When I see, the snow falling outside my office window, it’s beautiful! Everything so bright white and clean looking. Just thinking, when it does snow and build up, wouldn’t it be neat to enjoy the beauty and then just have the snow return from where it came?
“As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and DO NOT RETURN TO IT without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater…” (Isa. 55:10)
Isaiah has this to say about our Abba Father’s word…
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the LORD. “AS THE HEAVENS ARE HIGHER THAN THE EARTH, SO ARE MY WAYS HIGHER THAN YOUR WAYS AND MY THOUGHTS THAN YOUR THOUGHTS…” (Isa. 55:8-11)
When God speaks His word SOMETHING ALWAYS HAPPENS! It will never return empty! So, as we go out to share the word of God: “YOU WILL GO OUT IN JOY AND BE LED FORTH IN PEACE; the mountains and hills will burst into song before you…” (Isa. 55:12)
Go out with joy on this Valentine’s day!!!
THE MOUNTAINS AND HILLS WILL BURST INTO SONG BEFORE US…
Then Jesus…said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me…go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and TEACHING THEM TO OBEY EVERYTHING I HAVE COMMANDED YOU…” (Matt. 28:18-20)
We are to go in the name of Jesus, but how do we accomplish this great work?
“Jesus said to them: “It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set…YOU WILL RECEIVE POWER WHEN THE HOLY SPIRIT COMES ON YOU; and you will be my witnesses…to the ends of the earth.” (Acts 1:7-8)
Ok, what happens when we receive this power?
“Very truly I tell you, WHOEVER BELIEVES IN ME WILL DO THE WORKS I HAVE BEEN DOING, and they will do EVEN GREATER THINGS than these, because I am going to the Father. And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that THE FATHER MAY BE GLORIFIED in the Son.” (John 14:12-13)
ALL THAT WE DO IN JESUS NAME BRINGS GLORY TO GOD…
“After Jesus said this, he was taken up before their very eyes, and a cloud hid him from their sight. They were looking intently up into the sky as he was going, when suddenly two men dressed in white stood beside them. “Men of Galilee,” they said, “why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been TAKEN FROM YOU INTO HEAVEN, WILL COME BACK IN THE SAME WAY you have seen him go into heaven.” (Acts 1:9-11)
These angels announced that Jesus was coming back…
“Do not let your hearts be troubled…I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I WILL COME BACK AND TAKE YOU TO BE WITH ME that you also may be where I am.” (John 14:1-3)
Jesus said: “don’t worry I’ll get everything ready and come back to get you…
“For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left WILL BE CAUGHT UP TOGETHER WITH THEM IN THE CLOUDS to meet the Lord in the air. And so, WE WILL BE WITH THE LORD FOREVER.” (1 Thess. 4:16-18)
THEREFORE ENCOURAGE ONE ANOTHER WITH THESE WORDS…
“…AFTER I HAVE RISEN, I will go ahead of you into Galilee.” (Matt. 26:32)
Jesus said: “…as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of a huge fish, so the Son of Man will be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.” (Matt. 12:40)
So, what did Jesus do for these three days and nights?
“For Christ also suffered…to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive in the Spirit. After being made alive, HE WENT AND MADE PROCLAMATION TO THE IMPRISONED SPIRITS—” (1 Pet. 3:18-19)
As the possessor of the keys of death and hell, Jesus was led to proclaim the gospel to this group…
“I am the Living One; I was dead, and now look, I am alive for ever and ever! And I HOLD THE KEYS OF DEATH AND HELL.” (Rev. 1:18)
Jesus Christ, when we receive Him and believe on Him, we have everlasting life…
“Jesus said…“I AM THE RESURRECTION AND THE LIFE. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die;” (John 11:25)
WE WERE ALL BORN INTO SIN, BUT JESUS FORGIVES US AND MAKES US ONE WITH THE FATHER.
“A woman came to Jesus with an alabaster jar of very expensive perfume, which she poured on his head as he was reclining at the table. When the disciples saw this, they were indignant. “Why this waste?” they asked. “This perfume could have been sold at a high price and the money given to the poor.”
Alabaster jars were often made from a precious stone found in Israel. This stone resembles the texture of marble, and was extremely expensive to own. Mark tells us it was worth about one year’s wages (John 12:5).
Aware of this, Jesus said to them, “WHY ARE YOU BOTHERING THIS WOMAN? SHE HAS DONE A BEAUTIFUL THING TO ME. The poor you will always have with you, but you will not always have me. When she poured this perfume on my body, SHE DID IT TO PREPARE ME FOR BURIAL. Truly I tell you, wherever this gospel is preached throughout the world, WHAT SHE HAS DONE WILL ALSO BE TOLD, in memory of her.” (Matt. 26:7-12)
It is interesting to go through the Gospel accounts and note the many times Jesus said to these disciples that he was going to die. Over and over again he informed them that he was heading for death. NOT ONE OF THEM BELIEVED HIM — except Mary of Bethany.
LET THE WORLD AROUND YOU KNOW, JESUS IS COMING BACK…
“FOR YOUR HUSBAND IS YOUR MAKER, whose name is the LORD of hosts… “For the LORD has called you…even like a wife of one’s youth…” Says your God.” (Isaiah 54:5-6)
The Lord has planned this wedding for some time, why a wedding? Because it is the ultimate form of intimacy.
“Let us rejoice and be glad and give him glory! For THE WEDDING OF THE LAMB HAS COME, and his bride HAS MADE HERSELF READY. Then the angel said to me, “Write this: Blessed are those who are invited TO THE WEDDING SUPPER OF THE LAMB.” (Rev. 19:7, 9)
The great and glorious day will soon come, and nothing will compare to this awesome event! So, how will we prepare for this day?
“Fine linen, bright and clean, was given her to wear.” (Fine linen stands for THE RIGHTEOUS ACTS of God’s holy people.)” (Rev. 19:8)
We put on this fine linen, then what?
“…KEEP 1WATCH, because you do not know the day or the hour.” (Matt. 25:13) 1grēgoreúō: be vigilant (responsible, watchful).
I PRAY THAT YOU, MAY HAVE POWER…TO GRASP HOW WIDE, LONG, HIGH AND DEEP IS THE LOVE OF CHRIST.
“In the same way, when you see all those things happening, you know that the end is near. It is right at the door. What I’m about to tell you is true. The people living at that time will certainly not pass away UNTIL ALL THOSE THINGS HAVE HAPPENED.” (Matt. 24:32-34)
Some guy wrote a book called 88 reasons for the rapture in 1988. Then he revised it and changed the title to 89 reasons for the rapture in 1989. Why is it that IF THE SON OF MAN DOESN’T KNOW THE DAY OR HOUR, some think they do know?
“No one knows about that day or hour. Not even the angels in heaven know. THE SON DOES NOT KNOW. Only the Father knows.” (Matt. 24:36)
So, what do we do while we wait?
“…KEEP 1WATCH, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come.” (Matt. 24:40-42) 1grēgoreúō: literally: stay awake; figuratively: be responsible, watchful.
“Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all defilement of flesh and spirit, PERFECTING HOLINESS IN THE FEAR OF GOD.” (2 Corin. 7:1)
WE MAY NOT KNOW THE DAY OR HOUR, BUT WE DO KNOW THE SIGNS OF THE TIME…
“This gospel of the kingdom shall be preached IN THE WHOLE WORLD as a testimony to all the nations, and then the end will come.” (Matt. 24:14)
On Sunday night about 110 million people watched the Super Bowl. The BBC estimated that more than 1 billion people watched last year’s Cricket World Cup between India and Pakistan. The world population was estimated to have reached 7.6 billion as of December 2017. So, we have a way to go…
“Many false prophets will arise and will mislead many.” (Matt. 24:11)
There are almost as many cell-phone subscriptions (6.8 billion) as there are people on this earth.
“Jesus answered and said to them, “SEE TO IT THAT NO ONE MISLEADS YOU. “For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will mislead many.” (Matt. 24:4-5)
The full Bible is now available in 670 different languages, giving over 5,371 million people access to Scripture in the language they understand best.
“Heaven and earth will pass away, but MY WORDS WILL NOT PASS AWAY.” (Matt. 24:35)
So, what must we do to be prepared?
“STUDY TO SHOW YOURSELF APPROVED TO GOD, a workman that needs not to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth.” (2 Tim. 2:15)
GOD HAS REVEALED HIS WORD TO US BY HIS SPIRIT…YES, THE DEEP THINGS OF GOD!
In Philadelphia Jesus says: the kingdom of the Gospel, and the kingdom of heaven, is in my hands, I can provide admission to whoever I will; I can open to all who do my will.
“To the angel of the church in Philadelphia write: These are the words of him who is holy and true, who holds the key of David…I know your deeds. See, I have placed before you an open door that no one can shut. I know that you have little strength, yet YOU HAVE KEPT MY WORD AND HAVE NOT DENIED MY NAME.” (Rev. 3:7-8)
You have kept my word – you have kept the true doctrine; and have not denied my name…
“Since you have kept my command to endure patiently, I will also keep you from the hour of trial that is going to come on the whole world to test the inhabitants of the earth. I am coming soon. HOLD ON TO WHAT YOU HAVE, SO THAT NO ONE WILL TAKE YOUR CROWN.” (Rev. 3:10-11)
The Colossians had the fullness of the blessing of the Gospel of peace, but they must have more; it is their privilege to be filled with knowledge.
“For this reason, since the day we heard about you, WE HAVE NOT STOPPED PRAYING FOR YOU. We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives…” (Col. 1:9-12)
Oh, how very important for us to be givers of joyful praise to our Abba Father for enabling us to partake in the Kingdom of Light!
WE MUST HOLD ON TO WHAT WE HAVE, SO THAT NO ONE WILL TAKE OUR CROWN!
In Sardis, you have the reputation of being Christians, and consequently of being alive to God, through the quickening influence of the Holy Spirit; BUT YOU ARE DEAD – YE HAVE NOT THE LIFE OF GOD IN YOUR SOULS, you have not walked consistently and steadily before God, and his Spirit has been grieved with you, and he has withdrawn much of his light and power from you.
“Wake up! Strengthen what remains and is about to die, for I have found your deeds unfinished in the sight of my God. Remember, therefore, what you have received and heard; HOLD IT FAST, AND REPENT.” (Rev. 3:2, 3)
Strong beliefs and good desires along with some measure of the fear of God and of devoted standards, are about to die, because the Holy Spirit, the author of these qualities, who has been constantly grieved, is about finally to depart.
“Yet you have a few people in Sardis who have not soiled their clothes. THEY WILL WALK WITH ME, DRESSED IN WHITE, for they are worthy.” (Rev. 3:4, 5)
Remember our citizenship is in heaven; he who does not walk worthy of the Gospel of Christ cannot be counted worthy to enter through the gates into the city of our eternal King. “Whatever happens, CONDUCT YOURSELVES IN A MANNER WORTHY OF THE GOSPEL OF CHRIST. Then…I will know that you stand firm in the one Spirit, STRIVING TOGETHER AS ONE.” (Phil. 1:27-28)
WE MUST CONDUCT OURSELVES IN A MANNER WORTHY OF THE GOSPEL OF CHRIST…