EVERYONE WILL GET THEIR DAY IN COURT!

REVELATION 20:11-15: “Then I saw a great white throne and one seated on it. Earth and heaven fled from his presence, and no place was found for them. I also saw the dead, the great and the small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Another book was opened, which is the book of life, and the dead were judged according to their works by what was written in the books. Then the sea gave up the dead that were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead that were in them; each one was judged according to their works. Death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire. And anyone whose name was not found written in the book of life was thrown into the lake of fire.” CSB

OBSERVATION: What would you do if every thought, every attitude, and ever action was played right before your eyes on a giant screen? All the things you secretly thought, secretly did, and secretly desired? The things that were done in the shadows so no one else would know?

It is a horrifying thought to say the least. I don’t know about you but I sure would not want this to happen to me. Yet, this is exactly what people are wishing for who insist on being justified by their own good works. They refuse to receive the grace of God, reject the invitation to believe in Jesus Christ, and openly criticize and malign the very Word of God. In their opinion they are good enough, they don’t need religion as a crutch!

The book of Job is a very insightful book. Job was a man who was suffering from a terrible disease. His friends told him it was because of sin that Job had committed. Job rejected this premise and stood boldly proclaiming his own righteousness. He also demanded an audience with the Almighty.

Job wanted his day in court.

However, in God’s mercy, Job received something that was needed more. He received a revelation of God. The Lord knew that Job could not stand on his own merit and be justified before a righteous and all powerful God. So God revealed Himself to Job and extended His grace and mercy to him. When Job stood in the presence of the living God and beheld His power and His glory, Job said,

  • “I had heard reports about you, but now my eyes have seen you. Therefore, I reject my words and am sorry for them; I am dust and ashes.” Job 42:5-6 CSB

When Job was confronted with the glory and nature of God he humbled himself in sincere repentance. Some may insist – “If God revealed Himself to me like he did to Job, maybe I would believe too!” And, dear friend, the answer to you would be – HE DID!

  • “The Word (Jesus Christ) became flesh and dwelt among us. We observed his glory, the glory as the one and only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth…No one has ever seen God. The one and only Son (Jesus Christ), who is himself God and is at the Father’s side — he has revealed him.” John 1:14, 18 CSB

There is a choice before every man, woman, and child who walks this earth. It is a choice to receive grace or to insist on a trial. Grace calls us to faith in Jesus Christ, who wipes away all of our sins, and writes our names in His Book of Life. Standing on our own goodness and merit, ushers us before the Great White Throne, where one will stand trial with all of their works exposed before a righteous and holy God.

The choice is ours to make!

We, like Job, can try to stack our personal righteousness up against a righteous and holy God. The Apostle Paul once did this, before He met Jesus on the Road to Damascus. When Paul encountered Jesus Christ, he realized that even his best deeds were but filthy rags when compared to the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus.

Everyone will get a fair trial before the Creator of the Universe. It is a choice of what evidence you wish to stand upon.

  • “More than that, I also consider everything to be a loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. Because of him I have suffered the loss of all things and consider them as dung, so that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own from the law, but one that is through faith in Christ — the righteousness from God based on faith. My goal is to know him and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of his sufferings, being conformed to his death, assuming that I will somehow reach the resurrection from among the dead.” Philippians 3:8-11 CSB

The choice is before us all. Lord, I choose to be found in Christ, not having my own righteousness, but the righteousness that is only received through faith in the completed work of His death and resurrection. I pray all those who read this choose the same!

  • “I call heaven and earth as witnesses against you today that I have set before you life and death, blessing and curse. Choose life so that you and your descendants may live, love the Lord your God, obey him, and remain faithful to him. For he is your life, and he will prolong your days as you live in the land the Lord swore to give to your fathers Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.” Deuteronomy‬ ‭30:19-20‬ ‭CSB‬‬

In Jesus Name!

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GOT GRACE?

EZEKIEL 16:62-63: “I will establish my covenant with you, and you will know that I am the Lord, so that when I make atonement for all you have done, you will remember and be ashamed, and never open your mouth again because of your disgrace. This is the declaration of the Lord God.’” CSB

OBSERVATION: If you had to choose one word to define your life in Christ, what would it be? Would it be peace, joy, faith, love, life, or a list of so many other great blessings and benefits that we have received as a child of God? To the Apostle Paul there was only one word to define his life in Christ.

This word was GRACE!

  • “For I am the least of the apostles, not worthy to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace toward me was not in vain. On the contrary, I worked harder than any of them, yet not I, but the grace of God that was with me.” 1 Corinthians 15:9-10 CSB

The sixteenth chapter of Ezekiel is both a graphic and hard chapter to read. The Lord, through Ezekiel, portrays Judah’s sin in the terms of a wayward prostitute. And, worse, a prostitute that did not receive money for their sinful acts, but actually paid money to those who they committed sin with. God’s displeasure and His judgment are laid out to Judah without mincing any words.

Yet, at the end of this chapter, as in all of Scripture, we get a glimpse of the grace of God always at work. Even though Judah would be judged for her sins, the Lord would redeem her. It would not be an action that was initiated by Judah, but by God Himself.

  • “I will establish my covenant with you, and you will know that I am the Lord, so that when I make atonement for all you have done, you will remember and be ashamed, and never open your mouth again because of your disgrace. This is the declaration of the Lord God.”

Judah, defeated by her sin and failure, conquered and a prisoner of those whom she committed sin with, helpless and powerless, would be redeemed! It would come from God, acting on His own, based on His covenant of promise. He would make atonement for them. He would remove their sin and appease His wrath by His own action. This was a prophetic picture of God’s redemption for all mankind through Jesus Christ!

  • “For Christ also suffered for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring you to God. He was put to death in the flesh but made alive by the Spirit,”. 1 Peter 3:18 CSB

Like Judah, each one of us were lost in sin before Jesus rescued us. We did not initiate this rescue – He did! Jesus died for our sins to make atonement with the Father. His blood cleanses us from all sin and fully satisfied the justice of God. The penalty of sin was death and Jesus paid the penalty in full, of His own volition, and as a gift of grace.

Paul never forgot this. He remembered his past – always! It was not a preoccupation with his past. Rather, it was a recognition of it. Paul remembered his roots. He never forgot them. And, it was this remembrance that kept him focused on the grace of God. If it was grace that saved him, it would be grace that sustained him.

It was God’s action in his life from start to finish!

  • “Therefore, my dear friends, just as you have always obeyed, so now, not only in my presence but even more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. For it is God who is working in you both to will and to work according to his good purpose.” Philippians 2:12-13 CSB

Notice the similarity to Paul’s previous statement in I Corinthians 15,

  • “…On the contrary, I worked harder than any of them, yet not I, but the grace of God that was with me.

Paul embraced God’s grace. He remembered God’s grace. He lived by God’s grace. He never forgot that it was God’s grace that saved him from a life of spiritual blindness. It was God’s action toward him, in him, and through him!

It was grace alone!

Lord, how many times have I taken Your grace for granted? I have fallen to the temptation of believing that I am somehow responsible for my salvation and sanctification. And, yet – it is fully Your work for me and in me. I need grace today to live for You.

I humble myself before You and ask You for more grace – greater grace!

  • But he gives greater grace. Therefore he says: God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble. Therefore, submit to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Be miserable and mourn and weep. Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you.” James 4:6-10 CSB

In Jesus Name!

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THE MARK OF THE BEAST…

REVELATION 13:11-18: “Then I saw another beast coming up out of the earth; it had two horns like a lamb, but it spoke like a dragon. It exercises all the authority of the first beast on its behalf and compels the earth and those who live on it to worship the first beast, whose fatal wound was healed. It also performs great signs, even causing fire to come down from heaven to earth in front of people. It deceives those who live on the earth because of the signs that it is permitted to perform in the presence of the beast, telling those who live on the earth to make an image of the beast who was wounded by the sword and yet lived. It was permitted to give breath to the image of the beast, so that the image of the beast could both speak and cause whoever would not worship the image of the beast to be killed. And it makes everyone — small and great, rich and poor, free and slave — to receive a mark on his right hand or on his forehead, so that no one can buy or sell unless he has the mark: the beast’s name or the number of its name. This calls for wisdom: Let the one who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, because it is the number of a person. Its number is 666.” CSB

OBSERVATION: There is a lot of concern today about the mark of the beast. Some are afraid to embrace new technology, wondering if they might inadvertently take this mark. Numerous posts on Facebook are shared about the ability to implant identity markers under the human skin that can be used to track every aspect of one’s life, including buying and selling. How are we to navigate in the midst of all this information?

I am not an expert in the study of eschatology. Yet, I don’t believe one has to be an expert to glean some simple observations that can calm the fears of those who read these verses. We know that the spirit of antichrist is already in the world (I John 4:2-3). However, this is far different from the unveiling of the true Antichrist. Before we have to be concerned about the mark of the beast here is the progression of things that will happen.

As we read all of Revelation 13 we can see that the unveiling of the Antichrist must take place before any concern needs to be given to the mark of the beast. The Antichrist must rise to power and all the world must pledge their allegiance to his rule.

  • “And it (the beast with 10 horns, the Antichrist) was permitted to wage war against the saints and to conquer them. It was also given authority over every tribe, people, language, and nation. All those who live on the earth will worship it, everyone whose name was not written from the foundation of the world in the book of life of the Lamb who was slaughtered.” Revelation 13:7-8 CSB

It is in this context that the other beast, the false prophet rises to power.

  • “Then I saw another beast coming up out of the earth; it had two horns like a lamb, but it spoke like a dragon.” Revelation 13:11 CSB

This is the false prophet that establishes the worship of the Antichrist. He causes everyone to worship an image of the beast and he performs great signs and wonders to deceive the nations.

  • “It (the false prophet) deceives those who live on the earth because of the signs that it is permitted to perform in the presence of the beast, telling those who live on the earth to make an image of the beast who was wounded by the sword and yet lived. It was permitted to give breath to the image of the beast, so that the image of the beast could both speak and cause whoever would not worship the image of the beast to be killed.” Revelation 13:14-15 CSB

It is then, and only then, that the second beast causes everyone to take the mark of the beast on their right hand or forehead as a sign of their allegiance to the Antichrist. Without this sign they will not be able to buy or sell. Death will be the only pathway for those who refuse to take the mark.

  • “And it makes everyone — small and great, rich and poor, free and slave — to receive a mark on his right hand or on his forehead, so that no one can buy or sell unless he has the mark: the beast’s name or the number of its name.” Revelation 13:16-17 CSB

So, let’s sum up what we have observed from this chapter. The mark of the beast is one of the concluding acts in the progressive revelation of the Antichrist. It is a consolidation of his power to control the world. There are many things that will need to take place in sequence before there is any concern about the mark. And, since the most important one, the unveiling of the Antichrist, has not taken place, an over concern with the mark of the beast is a bit premature.

Why is this important? I believe it is important because the Lord does not want His children to live in fear. I personally am convinced that the church will be raptured before the Antichrist is revealed to the world (I Thessalonians 5:8-9). Yet, regardless of one’s view of eschatology, it is clear – he has not been revealed yet! Therefore, we are not at the place where we need to fear the mark of the beast.

  • “Now concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered to him: We ask you, brothers and sisters, not to be easily upset or troubled, either by a prophecy or by a message or by a letter supposedly from us, alleging that the day of the Lord has come. Don’t let anyone deceive you in any way. For that day will not come unless the apostasy comes first and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the man doomed to destruction. He opposes and exalts himself above every so-called god or object of worship, so that he sits in God’s temple, proclaiming that he himself is God.” 2 Thessalonians 2:1-4 CSB

So, how should we live in light of these truths?

First, I don’t believe we should fear technology. Technology is not evil within itself. It is the use of technology that determines if it is good or evil. Rest assured, I will not allow any implants to be placed on my forehead or right hand, but I will not be afraid to use new technology that falls short of this. Through the dawn of technological breakthroughs the Gospel is being spread around the world in new and powerful ways!

Second, I will not live with my head in the sand. I will head the closing verses of Revelation 13.

  • “This calls for wisdom: Let the one who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, because it is the number of a person. Its number is 666.” Revelation 13:18 CSB

The spirit of antichrist is now living among us. We need to understand that the current glorification of man (666 is the number of man) is setting the stage for the rise and rule of the Antichrist. We need to live our life ready for Christ’s return and engaged in proclaiming the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We need to tests the spirits to see whether they are from God and walk in wisdom. There is no reason to fear, but there is every reason to be ready!

  • “You also be ready, because the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.” Luke 12:40 CSB

Lord, give me wisdom in these last days to test the words that are coming forth to see if they align with Your Word. Help me never to be moved by fear, but to always walk by faith. Give me spiritual understanding and discernment as we witness the closing chapters of history being unveiled before our very eyes!

In Jesus Name!

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TAKE TIME TO CONSIDER YOUR END…

LAMENTATIONS 1:8-9: “Jerusalem has sinned grievously; therefore, she has become an object of scorn. All who honored her now despise her, for they have seen her nakedness. She herself groans and turns away. Her uncleanness stains her skirts. She never considered her end. Her downfall was astonishing; there was no one to comfort her. Lord, look on my affliction, for the enemy boasts.” CSB

OBSERVATION: Do I take the time to consider my end? Lamentations is a difficult but important book to read. It is the lament of the prophet Jeremiah as he looks back over the destruction of Jerusalem. Jeremiah was there for it all. He was the prophet called to warn Judah in her final days. And, he was there when the host of the survivors were taken to Babylon. In these two verses from the opening chapter of this book there is a startling statement.

  • “She never considered her end.”

Jeremiah looks over the destruction of Jerusalem, the devastation of the Temple, and the suffering of his people and he concludes – “They never considered their end.” They had the prophetic word through Jeremiah and others. They had warning signs of previous conflicts and difficulties. And, in all of this they chose to walk blindly, believing the false testimony of prophets who were speaking for their own gain and not for God.

What would have happened if they had considered their end. Have you ever looked back over the results of a bad decision and thought – “If I only knew what would happen I would have acted differently!”. No doubt this was what Jeremiah was thinking and what those who had survived and were exiled pondered in their heart. “If only we had listened,” “If only we had headed the word of the Lord.”.

Considering our end is important in every aspect of life. It not only speaks to carefully contemplating the consequences of sin. It also speaks to looking forward to the wonderful promises of God. If we consider the end of all our decisions it will help us to make wise choices. And, if we consider the end of our blessed assurance it will help us to live in the power of His grace!f

  • “But the day of the Lord will come like a thief; on that day the heavens will pass away with a loud noise, the elements will burn and be dissolved, and the earth and the works on it will be disclosed. Since all these things are to be dissolved in this way, it is clear what sort of people you should be in holy conduct and godliness as you wait for the day of God and hasten its coming. Because of that day, the heavens will be dissolved with fire and the elements will melt with heat. But based on his promise, we wait for new heavens and a new earth, where righteousness dwells. Therefore, dear friends, while you wait for these things, make every effort to be found without spot or blemish in his sight, at peace.” 2 Peter 3:10-14 CSB

Let’s recap our end. Everything in this life will be destroyed. To place our faith and confidence in the hopes of this life is no different than Judah listening to the assurance of the false prophets who could not stop the destruction of Jerusalem. Yet, we have a blessed hope. It is the hope of a new heaven and a new earth. It is the hope of eternal life that begins now as we walk by faith in Christ. Taking an account of our end should change us. It should purify us. It should compel us to press on toward the high calling of God in Christ Jesus!

My most prized possession as a young teenager was my race modified 1972 Ford Pinto. I spent all my time and money modifying this car. It was my prize possession. Yet, I never at that time considered its end. One morning, as I went to buy new tires and wheels for my prized possession, I greeted it with police lights and the sign of an accident. Someone had hit the back end of my prized possession and my dreams were shattered. Now this prized possession is probably recycled into a building, or worse yet – a minivan :).

Considering our end is important. And, for the believer it is a positive thing. It reminds us what our faith and devotion should be focused upon. And, it assures us of our blessed future and coming inheritance of the saints. Considering our end keeps us from the deception of sin and its heartbreaks. It helps us purify our lives and walk in a spirit of humility and repentance. The good news is – I’ve read the end of the book and – WE WIN!

Lord, help me to consider my end today in every thought, action, and decision I make. Help me to always put Your Kingdom first in my life. Grant me the grace to lay down every weight and sin and run with patience the race that is set before me – UNTO THE BLESSED END!

In Jesus Name!

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JESUS IS COMING! ARE YOU READY?

REVELATION 9:20-21: “The rest of the people, who were not killed by these plagues, did not repent of the works of their hands to stop worshiping demons and idols of gold, silver, bronze, stone, and wood, which cannot see, hear, or walk. And they did not repent of their murders, their sorceries, their sexual immorality, or their thefts.” CSB

OBSERVATION: I will never forget my attitude toward what we called – “Jesus Freaks.” These were teenagers who were always talking about Jesus and warning that the end of the world was coming. I thought to myself – “Are they crazy?” The end of the world is not really coming. For centuries we have heard this cry and we are still here. To me they seemed like ignorant and irrational extremists.

That was many years ago now. And, today I look back on this group of zealous teenagers and I thank God for the tracks that they stuffed into my locker and that I callously threw away. What I couldn’t throw away was their zeal and their message. One of the constant mantras of the day was – “Jesus is coming! Are you ready?” And, the answer was – I wasn’t!

Then my best friend became a “Jesus Freak.” I couldn’t believe it. I was a Christian (so I thought). I went to church occasionally and I even went to a parochial school growing up. What was all the fuss about? I have plenty of time to repent and get my life right with God. Now is the time to party and enjoy myself. This was my attitude as I graduated from high school. And, I was soon to find out that I was on a crash course with God’s grace.

When you encounter God’s grace in a powerful way you have a choice. You can either surrender your life to Jesus Christ, or you can begin hardening your heart. Each time we dismiss the grace of God our heart grows a litter bit colder, a little bit darker. The battle was waging for my heart. I knew the truth, but I was fighting against it. In the end, Jesus won. Yet, I often wonder what would have happened if I had hardened my heart.

The last two verses in Revelation chapter nine bring a chill to my heart. It shows the outcome of those who harden their hearts and continually refuse the grace of God.

  • “The rest of the people, who were not killed by these plagues, did not repent of the works of their hands to stop worshiping demons and idols of gold, silver, bronze, stone, and wood, which cannot see, hear, or walk. And they did not repent of their murders, their sorceries, their sexual immorality, or their thefts.”

When someone says I have plenty of time to get right with God, they usually mean that they will get serious about God when things get tough or near the end. Yet, as we read about the end time judgments in the book of Revelation, we see that this is not the case. Even as angels from heaven come sounding the trumpets of God’s judgment, and the faithful witnesses call them to repentance, they do not repent. In fact they double down on their sin.

We now live on the warning side of God’s judgment. The time to respond to God’s grace, the time to repent, the time to get right with God is NOW!

  • “For he says: At an acceptable time I listened to you, and in the day of salvation I helped you. See, now is the acceptable time; now is the day of salvation!” 2 Corinthians 6:2 CSB

I know that we have all heard that the end of the world is coming countless times. We have dismissed this many times as just another alarmist who is out of touch with reality. I bet this is what those who passed by Noah as he built the ark thought too – until it started to rain. Looking at the world, and thinking about its end, seems a little bit easier today than it did when I was a child. The end is coming and there is no room to procrastinate in responding to the grace of God.

There is a glorious reward for those who born again by the Spirit of God through faith in Jesus Christ. It is the promise of an abundant life now and an eternal life in heaven when our life on earth ends. It is the promise of escaping the wrath that is to come. It is daily abiding in the loving presence of God. It is the joy and promise of being reunited in eternity with all those who also embraced Jesus Christ as their personal Savior and Lord. And, it is the assurance that the same grace that saved us will sustain us through everything we face in life!

My dear friend, have you responded to the grace of God? Have you answered the knocking at the door of your heart and invited Jesus Christ in? Have you stepped into the blessing of eternal life through sincere repentance and living faith in Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord of your life?

If not – why wait any longer? Call upon His name today!

  •  “…The message (of God’s grace) is near you, in your mouth and in your heart. This is the message of faith that we proclaim: If you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. One believes with the heart, resulting in righteousness, and one confesses with the mouth, resulting in salvation. For the Scripture says, Everyone who believes on him will not be put to shame, since there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, because the same Lord of all richly blesses all who call on him. For everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” Romans 10:8-13 CSB

JESUS IS COMING! ARE YOU READY?

In Jesus Name!

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DON’T QUIT! STAY IN THE BOAT!

REVELATION 2:10-11: “Don’t be afraid of what you are about to suffer. Look, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison to test you, and you will experience affliction for ten days. Be faithful to the point of death, and I will give you the crown of life. “Let anyone who has ears to hear listen to what the Spirit says to the churches. The one who conquers will never be harmed by the second death.” CSB

OBSERVATION: Have you ever felt like quitting? Have you grown discouraged in your Christian walk or your ministerial calling? If so, I have two simple words of exhortation to you –

DON’T QUIT!

I was called into the ministry at the age of 18. I was saved during the Jesus Movement and was studying to become a broadcaster. Working on the radio was my dream. I never thought about the ministry and especially never wanted to be a pastor. Yet, God had a different plan for my life.

It started with an inward calling by the Holy Spirit. Then others would confirm that calling by saying things like – “You should be in the ministry”, or, “Have you ever thought of becoming a pastor?”. These were the last words I wanted to hear. I had just decided on my radio handle and was applying for a spot on our College station. However, the Holy Spirit began to work double time on me!

It became apparent that I was in a battle. It was a battle of my self will and the call of God. I will never forget the day I surrendered to His calling. It was in a milk cooler at the grocery store I worked at. I had just thrown a stack of empty milk cartons down and shouted (in my heart) – “If I say yes, will you leave me alone?”. When I said yes a flood of God’s peace came over my life. I knew that I was called.

All of us have a calling. It may not be to enter the ministry as a pastor or full time worker or missionary. However, it is God’s call none the less. And it is important that we visit that calling often. I have found over the 45 years since God called me, it is His calling that has centered me and kept me all of these years. My call remains the same today. It is to be faithful to God’s call, empowered by His grace and filled with His Spirit!

Jesus exhorted the persecuted church in Smyrna,

  • “Be faithful to the point of death, and I will give you the crown of life.”

There is a crown awaiting all God’s children who are faithful to His calling. However, I struggled with the concept of what it meant to be faithful for years. I thought it had something to do with my effort and performance. This is a common trick of the enemy that he uses to bring us to points of despair and personal discouragement. His goal is to get us to lose heart.

  • “Let us not get tired of doing good, for we will reap at the proper time if we don’t give up.” Galatians 6:9 CSB

Then, one day it hit me, faithfulness is not about my effort, it is about my trust. When Jesus was asleep in the boat, and when the disciples woke Him up saying, “Don’t you care that we are going to perish?”, Jesus responded – “Where is your faith?” He did not scold them for their failure to trim the sails, or their lack of success in bailing out the water that was coming into the boat. He exhorted them to trust more!

How do we trust more? How do we protect ourselves from giving up? How do we stay faithful to the calling that God has given us – even unto death? WE STAY IN THE BOAT! It really is as simple as that. We do not leave the boat that Jesus is in. If we stay in the boat He will guide us to safe harbor. He will rebuke the wind and the storms that come against us. And, He will guide us to our final destination.

This does not mean that we never make changes in life. Yet, it does mean that we don’t make changes out of discouragement or despair. Discouragement and despair are shouting at the top of their lungs – “Jump out of the boat!” Yet, Jesus is speaking softly to us through the still small voice of His Spirit – “Peace, be still. Stay in the boat!” When is it ok to change boats? When Jesus clearly calls you to move from one boat to the next!

God has a purpose and a calling for each one of us. It is not an earthly calling – it is an eternal calling. It is begun here on earth, and it will continue into our eternity. It is not about what we do, it is about who we are becoming. It is learning to be faithful until death. It is pressing on toward the high upward calling of God in Christ Jesus.

It is staying in the boat!

Lord, help me to stay in the boat! Help me to trust you with every aspect of my life, my calling, and my eternity. Help me to be faithful until death so that I too can receive the crown of life!

  • “Let anyone who has ears to hear listen to what the Spirit says to the churches. The one who conquers will never be harmed by the second death.”

In Jesus Name!

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I AM GOING TO MAKE IT!

JUDE 1:24-25: “Now to him who is able to protect you from stumbling and to make you stand in the presence of his glory, without blemish and with great joy, to the only God our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, power, and authority before all time, now and forever. Amen.” CSB

OBSERVATION: Have you ever wondered if you were going to make it? Am I going to make it through school? Am I going to make it through my career? Am I going to make it through retirement? No matter what stage of life we find ourselves in, we all wonder – “Am I going to make it?”

This is also true about our Christian walk of faith. We face battle after battle. In the midst of the battles we forget the joyous victories that we have already experienced. And, in these moment of weakness we wonder – “Am I really going to make it?”

Jude, in his short letter, warns us of false teachers, reminds us of our call in Christ, and gives us this blessed assurance – “You are going to make it!” And, the wonderful discovery of this truth is – making it does to depend upon me. It rests fully upon Him!

  • “Now to him who is able to protect you from stumbling and to make you stand in the presence of his glory, without blemish and with great joy…”

Note that the text does not say – “Now to the one who through their hard work and effort…”. Rather, it says – “Now to Him who is able…”. And, who is this who is able? It is Jesus Christ our Lord! He is able to protect us from stumbling. He is able to lead us in paths of righteousness for His name’s sake. He will lead us into the very presence of the throne room of God, without blemish, and with great joy. He will do it!

God is more invested in our sanctification than we are. He sent Jesus to die for our sins, to seal our pardon, and to reestablish us in peace with God. And, He sent His Holy Spirit to teach us, guide us, and to daily change us and mold us into the very image of His Son Jesus Christ. No wonder Paul proclaimed,

  • “What then are we to say about these things? If God is for us, who is against us? He did not even spare his own Son but offered him up for us all. How will he not also with him grant us everything?” Romans 8:31-32 CSB

Jude begins his letter with these words.

  • “Jude, a servant of Jesus Christ and a brother of James: To those who are the called, loved by God the Father and kept for Jesus Christ. May mercy, peace, and love be multiplied to you.” Jude 1:1-2 CSB

We are called, loved by God the Father, and kept for Jesus Christ. Peter proclaims,

  • “You are being guarded by God’s power through faith for a salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time.” 1 Peter 1:5 CSB

And, Jude prays – “May mercy, peace, and love be multiplied to you.” How can we not make it with all of this? How can we not walk in blessed assurance of His mercy, love, and peace each moment of our life. If God did not spare His only Son, but gave Him freely for us all – will He not also give us all things that pertain unto life and godliness? The answer is – HE WILL!

He will never leave me nor forsake me. If I simply place my full trust and confidence in Him, He will guide me along the path of His calling and destiny for my life. I don’t have to rush it. I don’t have to worry. I don’t have to try and make it happen. I simply have to trust and obey. I am in process – but I will make it!

Lord, thank you for reminding me this morning that You are more interested in my life than I am. You gave Yourself freely so that I could be restored in fellowship with You. As I trusted Jesus Christ as my personal Savior and Lord, so help me trust You in every step that I take. Give me a heart that desires Your will and the blessed assurance that –

I AM GOING TO MAKE IT!

In Jesus Name!

 

 

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