Ahhh, the first day of Spring 2022! Let me hear you say “outstanding!” Or tickle my ear with the good news! “That sounds miraculous!” Increase my joy by replying “what a hope we have in Jesus!” Fascinate me by your interest in the scripture I shared. “What a blessing that was!” The truth is that we were created by God with two ears, and one mouth….let us listen more, and speak more about “their” positive impact, “their” eternal destiny, and less about me, me, me. Why not ask more questions, and listen intently? “where do you think you will be spending eternity? Do you believe in heaven and hell? Insert your HOPE in the PROMISES of GOD and tell them about heaven. It is a place without pain, sickness, taxes or death! The Bible tells us that we are the generation that will not pass away. According to Psalm 90 – a lifetime is between 70 – 80 years. The end times began in 1948 when Israel became a sovereign nation. In May 2022 Israel will celebrate 75 years – When Jesus intentionally chose not to travel with his friends to eat, He knew in advance that the woman He was going to ask for a drink. She was astonished, by His question! The truth Jesus imparted changed her eternal destination! “Woman,” Jesus spoke and His word satisfied her thirst for truth. She became a mighty force, a great blessing to others! Our Lord told us that “we shall do greater works than these” A greater work is to share the Gospel with anybody who will listen. In the NIV Bible we are exhorted to “LISTEN” 412 times. The clip below is from The Chosen, when a teacher of God’s law named Nicodemus is puzzled over being “born again”. What does that mean? Speak Holy Spirit for your servants are listening…
GREG LAURIE March 21, 2022 “It is later than it has ever been before. Quite literally, we are nearer the world’s final days than we have ever been in human history. People in the 19th century were alert to the biblical signs playing out in their society. People in the 20th century—across two world wars, the reestablishment of Israel, and then the Cold War—also thought the end was near. A popular radio host and pastor named Harold Camping got a lot of national attention for saying the Rapture would happen on May 21, 2011. He said it would occur “beyond the shadow of a doubt.” It didn’t. The world laughed at him and shrugged him off. (It didn’t help that he had previously predicted the Rapture would happen back in 1994.) In the children’s story, Chicken Little got everyone in the barnyard all ramped up about the sky falling, but it never fell. The boy who cried “Wolf!” for so long gradually lost the attention of the people who needed to hear his message. Bible Prophecy takes up 1/3 of the Bible “Christians should NOT be surprised by what is happening in the world. Jesus told us very clearly that there would be days like this. Amir Tsarfati, a retired IDF Major living in Israel in a place that overlooks the Jezreel valley, Amir points out that while the rest of the world may experience fear in these dark days, a knowledge of the Word of God lays a solid foundation of HOPE for the born again Christian. He recounts past plagues, and current earthquakes and reminds us to be a light in the darkness as the spiritual battle is fierce. Evil is ramping up just as the Bible says it will…things will not return to normal, but Jesus will return!
So is the end of the world really near or are we just singing the same old song about the end times? If you’re like me, and you feel a compulsion to tell people about JESUS because without Him their eternity will be excruciating in a pit of fire with a smell of stench. The LEADERS around the GLOBE have had their hearts hardened, and they are stiff necked against the Truth of Jesus Christ. As a coalition of nations gather to take the plunder of Israel’s trillions of natural gas, we are absolutely correct in saying the time is drawing near. Earth as we know it will soon be devastated by the wrath of God. Maybe our neighbors think they have “heard it all before.” That shouldn’t surprise us because the Bible predicts this: “Most importantly, I want to remind you that in the last days scoffers will come, mocking the truth and following their own desires. 4 They will say, “What happened to the promise that Jesus is coming again? From before the times of our ancestors, everything has remained the same since the world was first created.”—2 Peter 3:3-4, NLT — This blog post is intended to encourage believers in Jesus Christ to REJOICE and and be GLAD! On this first day of Spring 2022, we have much to celebrate! AMEN – For those paying attention, the evidence keeps mounting towards the soon return of Jesus. The world is shaking as signs escalate in visible intensity. Wars and rumors of wars. False teachings. Apostasy. Earthquakes and famine. A global pandemic. The decline of moral values. A one world order in the daily news, while the amazing miracle of Israel (the size of New Jersey) that slice of land set aside by the Sovereign Lord God Almighty prepares to defend itself against IRAN! GOG (Russia) and his MAGOG assembly of nations are chomping at the bit to take the land and all the rich resources of Israel. Ezekiel, Zachariah, Matthew all told us in advance of what the last generation can expect. The truth is that Jesus Christ is coming back again. This reality is clearly taught in Scripture, and you and I both know that we are nearer to that world-changing event than we have ever been. People shrug off the signs because of PAST generations failing in their end time predictions. They ask “why we should expect Jesus to return when every generation seems to have that expectation, then remind them of this: In Luke 12:40, Jesus said, “be ready all the time, for the Son of Man will come when least expected” (NLT). Scoffers will be crying when the CHURCH of JESUS CHRIST is taken out and the RESTRAINER departs from earth. The Scoffers will run to caves and still DOUBT God’s word. DO NOT be deceived, Do NOT allow the scoffers to trip you up. Listen to what the Holy Spirit is saying in Scripture. I will be ready. Will you?”
Oh Lord help me to recognize any pride in me. Am I so puffed up about my accomplishments that people avoid being around me? Forgive me for my boasting, my complaining, my whining. God reminds us and refreshes us in His Word “See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him. Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when Christ appears, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is. All who have this hope in Him purify themselves, just as He is pure.” 1 John 3:1-3 NIV
Our Father also warns us that we will be held accountable for every word we speak and think. Do our thoughts glorify the Lord? Do we quickly recognize Him at work in others and proclaim it? As the Spirit of God is always at work, do we seek to see what He sees in others? Are we quick to give compliments over what we see as good? Consider whether our focus is on what is wrong, or what is not perfect in others and in this world. Are we using our voice for God’s glory, or are we being an echo of what the world broadcasts? Do we think that our thoughts and ways are superior to others? God hears every thought, and we will be judged by every word we speak. Only God knows the contents of a person’s heart and we all fall short and need His grace. Ask “Does my level of contentment depend on who wins the game, the race, the election? Do I grumble when my plans are interrupted? Is it more important for me to get noticed for my good deeds over what God is doing in others? Do I seek opportunities to encourage others? Lord help me to seize each opportunity You give me to recognize the good and speak it. Wisdom Himself allows us to aptly discern when we choose to listen and obey. Am I quick to point out the good, the better way when in the midst of chaos?
Sweetly, gently, softly He speaks. Romans 10:17 “Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ.” God did not say that faith comes from reading the Bible. When we read the Word we cannot hear what the black marks on the white pages are saying. “Faith cometh by hearing” When we get into a submissive hearing state or attitude, we surrender our opinions, our knowledge with an open heart to hear what the Spirit is saying. The Holy Spirit requires us to yield to Him that we may hear what the Spirit of God is saying. He is the cause of Revelation. The Holy Spirit is our Counselor, our Teacher and only He can impart life to the Word which makes it a living, and personally applicable Word. The Holy Spirit works in us to impart wisdom that we may discern and walk wisely “in Him” Oh Lord, give me the gift of a listening heart that I may keep in step with Thee. AMEN
What lies ahead is so much more fabulous than anything we leave behind. “What comes out of a man is what defiles a man.” Mark 7:20 Lord, in the name of Jesus, help us heed Your calling for our hearts to be transformed as we put on the mind of Christ. Wash our minds and uproot the deep pockets of doubt and judgment that reside in our hearts. Give us eyes to see what You see in others and help us to obediently forgive others as You forgave us much. Help us to look and find the good in every situation, in each encounter You set before us. Help us to control our tongues and speak words that will edify and encourage those You place in our path. “Whoever slanders their neighbor in secret, I will put to silence; whoever has haughty eyes and a proud heart, I will not tolerate.” Psalm 101:5 To the glory of God, and for His good purpose, as we relate to our brothers and sisters in Christ, it is vitally important that we become a love covering for other believers who speak inappropriately. 1 Peter 4:8 “Above all, love each other deeply, because LOVE covers a multitude of sins” This truth instructs us to recognize that if we gossip about a wrong choice, or a worldly way in another, we are exposing faults and uncovering them. When we tear down instead of lift up, we are choosing to sin against God’s will that we love one another, forgive one another, and issue grace to one another…just as He loves, forgives and issues grace and mercy to us….daily. “For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” Matthew 7:2 Be encouraged by the Truth, not by how you feel. It is not God who puts us to shame. “This is how we know that we belong to the Truth and how we set our hearts at rest in His presence: If our hearts condemn us, (shame) we know that God is greater than our hearts, and He knows everything. Dear friends, if our hearts do not condemn us, we have confidence before God and receive from Him anything we ask, because we keep His commands and do what pleases Him. And this is His command: to believe in the name of His Son, Jesus Christ, and to love one another as He commanded us. The one who keeps God’s commands lives in Him, and He in them. And this is how we know that He lives in us: We know it by the Spirit He gave us.” 1 John 3:19-24 “Yet I will show you a more excellent way” 1 Corinthians 12:31 The polar opposite of a life spent in judgment, criticism, and bitterness is a life filled with complete joy and contentment. “We know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.” Romans 8:28 The NEW creation, is NOT a negative person, but a positive, joy filled, peaceful person who identifies with the freedom of Christ Paul had while in prison. We are either praising God in all circumstances, or we are whining and complaining! To live “in Me” as I am “in you” is to live in gratitude and contentment. “Rejoice always. Pray without ceasing. In everything give thanks, for this is the WILL of GOD in Christ Jesus concerning you.” 1 Thessalonians 5:16 Choose to think about whatever is noble, noteworthy or good in every situation, everyday. Enjoy the thoughts that occupy your mind. Choose thoughts to think and words to say as if you were talking to God. Wisdom calls us to honor our Father, Mother and all relationships in this way. Intentionally Choose to draw people to the Love, the Light and the Joy that lives inside you. Choose to rehearse or filter every thought before it exits your lips. Choose Wisdom words to inspire, uplift, encourage and transform. Choose words that cause the hearing face to light up. Wisdom cries out to mankind ” Let Wisdom pierce your heart for the fear of the Lord is to hate evil. Wisdom hates arrogant pride, evil conduct and lewd lips that spew cantankerous words. Therefore, accept the competent good advice of Wisdom. I was there when He established the heavens, when He laid out the horizon of the surface of the ocean, when He placed the skies above, when the fountains of the ocean gushed out, when He set a limit for the sea so that the waters would not violate His command, when He laid out the foundations of the earth. I was a skilled craftsman beside Him. I was His delight every day, always rejoicing before Him. I was rejoicing in His inhabited world, delighting in the human race.” Proverbs 8:22-31 Why Four Gospels?
Choose words that edify. We need our indwelt Holy Helper to change our thoughts to that which pleases our Father. Lord help us hold our tongue. Help us listen with genuine interest as we pause and wait on You to give us appropriate words to speak. Help us intentionally choose words that will uplift, acknowledge, and encourage. Help us glorify Your plan for the world as we speak Kingdom language. Forgive us for any secretly held thoughts of criticism, judgment, malice or unforgiveness. Amen —- “The Forty-Day Word Fast” by Tim Cameron