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Archive for August, 2013

What Are Your Most Important Investments?

28 Aug

In the time period we live in, it’s tough not to see the goals in America.  It doesn’t matter if one has wealth or doesn’t, the obsession appears to be to try and achieve it for the majority of people.

What does the New Testament have to say on these issues?  Where does it indicate we should be putting our resources?  Where are some the hints that we should take note of?

Matthew 13:44-46 – 44 “The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field.  45 “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls. 46 When he found one of great value, he went away and sold everything he had and bought it.

Luke 12:33-34 – 33 Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will never fail, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys. 34 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

Luke 18:22-30 – 22 When Jesus heard this, he said to him, “You still lack one thing. Sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” 23 When he heard this, he became very sad, because he was very wealthy. 24 Jesus looked at him and said, “How hard it is for the rich to enter the kingdom of God! 25 Indeed, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.” 26 Those who heard this asked, “Who then can be saved?” 27 Jesus replied, “What is impossible with man is possible with God.”
28 Peter said to him, “We have left all we had to follow you!” 29 “Truly I tell you,” Jesus said to them, “no one who has left home or wife or brothers or sisters or parents or children for the sake of the kingdom of God 30 will fail to receive many times as much in this age, and in the age to come eternal life.”

In all of those verses mention above it doesn’t sound like, get a great job, invest, build an empire on earth, build up wealth, and also just acknowledge Jesus.

No I think it’s warning pretty clearly that we are to not concentrate solely on ourselves, but to live for the Lord and show love to others.  Our King didn’t come down with a gold spoon in his mouth as His example.  He was fully capable of doing so, He’s made everything and certainly powerful engough.  No, He came down as an example of how He wants us to live.

Matthew 23:11-12 – 11 The greatest among you will be your servant. 12 For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.

We’re not to exalt ourselves.  We aren’t supposed to take ego classes and build up our self esteem.  We’re to be humble and servants.

Now that we see how we can invest above.  Let’s see the warnings on trying to invest mightily down here.

Luke 12:15-21 – 15 Then he said to them, “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; life does not consist in an abundance of possessions.”
16 And he told them this parable: “The ground of a certain rich man yielded an abundant harvest. 17 He thought to himself, ‘What shall I do? I have no place to store my crops.’
18 “Then he said, ‘This is what I’ll do. I will tear down my barns and build bigger ones, and there I will store my surplus grain. 19 And I’ll say to myself, “You have plenty of grain laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry.”’
20 “But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?’
21 
“This is how it will be with whoever stores up things for themselves but is not rich toward God.”

Matthew 13:22-23 – 22 The seed falling among the thorns refers to someone who hears the word, but the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke the word, making it unfruitful. 23 But the seed falling on good soil refers to someone who hears the word and understands it. This is the one who produces a crop, yielding a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown.”

Luke 16:13 – 13 “No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.”

It takes faith to deny yourself today and invest into what you can’t see yet.  Do you think God likes that kind of faith?

Hebrews 11:6 – 6 And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.

It’s pretty elementary.  If love yourself, your going to invest everything into yourself.  If you love the Lord you’re going to invest into Him.

As you can see the Word of God really isn’t silent on the issue.  The problem is man and his sinful nature wants to believe we can believe Satan and God at the same time.  Have the cake and eat it too.

God wants our obedience.  He wants us to faithfully believe His Word and serve Him.

Let’s invest into the Lord and not ourselves.

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What Is The Great Commission Of All Christians?

20 Aug

Matthew 28:16-20 – 16 Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. 17 When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. 18 Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

Mark 16:15 –15 He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.

The commission for us all is to proclaim the Good News.

Isn’t it ironic that one of the things the world wants you to do is keep your faith to yourself?  Why do you think that is?  Because the deceiver knows that if the Good News is preached throughout the world, which Jesus is Lord and has died for their sins, his end will come.  Satan hates God.  Satan hates all.  He selfishly wants people to worship him and the reason is because he has always wanted to be god.

What did Jesus tell Peter to do if he loved Him?

John 21:15-17 – 15 When they had finished eating, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?”

“Yes, Lord,” he said, “you know that I love you.”
Jesus said, “Feed my lambs.”

16 Again Jesus said, “Simon son of John, do you love me?”
He answered, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.”
Jesus said, “Take care of my sheep.”

17 The third time he said to him, “Simon son of John, do you love me?”
Peter was hurt because Jesus asked him the third time, “Do you love me?” He said, “Lord, you know all things; you know that I love you.”
Jesus said, “Feed my sheep.

You see that is what we are supposed to be doing for our Lord.  Some will feed thousands.  Others will feed hundreds, others tens of people.  The Lord will use any of His own that are willing to feed and nurture others.  It can be done in many ways and always needs to be done with the love of our Lord in mind.

Jesus said this in a parable:

Matthew 25:23 – 23 “His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!

That doesn’t sound like the Lord is saying, just believe and take it easy, or sit around, enjoy life to the fullest and don’t burden yourself with things.  After all it’s about grace, right?

No, the Lord has given us all a commission.  We are all different and have unique gifts, but all of us are geared to be able to feed the Lord’s sheep one way or another.

If you love Him, feed His sheep.  Be responsible and faithful with a few things and allow Him later in the Kingdom to put you in charge of many things.

 

Will The Antichrist Appear To Be Evil In The Beginning?

15 Aug

When you see movies about the antichrist and people speak of him, you get a pretty evil demonic image.  However, when he first comes on the scene, who are most people going to think he is?

People are not going to look at the antichrist when he first comes on the scene as the devil.  They are going to look at him as dynamic, charming, diplomatic, and successful.  He is going to have fantastic worldly things to say that will make those on earth ooo and ahhh.

He’s going to have the answer for peace with Israel and the Islamic nations.  Therefore Israel is going to see him as the messiah and Islam is going to view him as their leader that is to come, whom they are waiting for.

Once again the Jews are going to think he is their messiah because he is going to bring peace.  That’s why they rejected Jesus.  They feel He couldn’t have been the Messiah because He didn’t bring peace and then He died.

Many of those who call themselves Christians and do not go in the rapture will believe the antichrist is divine.

So why is he portrayed as being so evil?

Daniel 9:27 – 27 He will confirm a covenant with many for one ‘seven.’ In the middle of the ‘seven’ he will put an end to sacrifice and offering. And at the temple he will set up an abomination that causes desolation, until the end that is decreed is poured out on him.

Half way through the 7 year peace treaty with Israel, we have a change of behavior.

Revelation 12:9 – 9 The great dragon was hurled down—that ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, who leads the whole world astray. He was hurled to the earth, and his angels with him.

Revelation 12:12-13 –  12 Therefore rejoice, you heavens and you who dwell in them!
But woe to the earth and the sea, because the devil has gone down to you!
He is filled with fury, because he knows that his time is short.”
13 When the dragon saw that he had been hurled to the earth, he pursued the woman who had given birth to the male child.

So Satan is cast down to the earth and is filled with fury because he knows his time is short.  What’s next?

Revelation 13:2-3 – 2 The beast I saw resembled a leopard, but had feet like those of a bear and a mouth like that of a lion. The dragon gave the beast his power and his throne and great authority. 3 One of the heads of the beast seemed to have had a fatal wound, but the fatal wound had been healed. The whole world was filled with wonder and followed the beast.

The dragon, which is the devil comes down and brings back the beast to life that appears to have died from a fatal wound.

Revelation 13:4-7 – 4 People worshiped the dragon because he had given authority to the beast, and they also worshiped the beast and asked, “Who is like the beast? Who can wage war against it?”  5 The beast was given a mouth to utter proud words and blasphemies and to exercise its authority for forty-two months. 6 It opened its mouth to blaspheme God, and to slander his name and his dwelling place and those who live in heaven. 7 It was given power to wage war against God’s holy people and to conquer them. And it was given authority over every tribe, people, language and nation.

The floodgates now open and Mr. Charisma and the peace monger is no longer in charge but Satan himself.  Daniels speaks much about this.

Daniel 11:31-32 – 31 “His armed forces will rise up to desecrate the temple fortress and will abolish the daily sacrifice. Then they will set up the abomination that causes desolation. 32 With flattery he will corrupt those who have violated the covenant, but the people who know their God will firmly resist him.

Daniel 11:36 -37 – 36 “The king will do as he pleases. He will exalt and magnify himself above every god and will say unheard-of things against the God of gods. He will be successful until the time of wrath is completed, for what has been determined must take place. 37 He will show no regard for the gods of his ancestors or for the one desired by women, nor will he regard any god, but will exalt himself above them all.

2 Thessalonians 2:3-4 – 3 Don’t let anyone deceive you in any way, for that day will not come until the rebellion occurs and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the man doomed to destruction. 4 He will oppose and will exalt himself over everything that is called God or is worshiped, so that he sets himself up in God’s temple, proclaiming himself to be God.

2 Thessalonians 2:9 – 9 The coming of the lawless one will be in accordance with how Satan works. He will use all sorts of displays of power through signs and wonders that serve the lie,

Ultimately we know that the beast of the earth will demand that the beast of the sea be worshipped and take his mark or be killed.  You see Satan has always wanted to be like God.  He wants to sit in the place of God and demands to be worshipped as god.  If you don’t, you will die.

Revelation 13:11-17 – 11 Then I saw a second beast, coming out of the earth. It had two horns like a lamb, but it spoke like a dragon. 12 It exercised all the authority of the first beast on its behalf, and made the earth and its inhabitants worship the first beast, whose fatal wound had been healed. 13 And it performed great signs, even causing fire to come down from heaven to the earth in full view of the people. 14 Because of the signs it was given power to perform on behalf of the first beast, it deceived the inhabitants of the earth. It ordered them to set up an image in honor of the beast who was wounded by the sword and yet lived. 15 The second beast was given power to give breath to the image of the first beast, so that the image could speak and cause all who refused to worship the image to be killed. 16 It also forced all people, great and small, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hands or on their foreheads, 17 so that they could not buy or sell unless they had the mark, which is the name of the beast or the number of its name.

However, God makes it clear that if you take it, you will perish forever and hell awaits.

Revelation 14:9-10 – 9 A third angel followed them and said in a loud voice: “If anyone worships the beast and its image and receives its mark on their forehead or on their hand, 10 they, too, will drink the wine of God’s fury, which has been poured full strength into the cup of his wrath. They will be tormented with burning sulfur in the presence of the holy angels and of the Lamb.

If you’re left behind, you can’t take the mark unless you want to end up in hell.  The choice between Christ or antichrist will become a test of your life.  Lose it for serving Christ’s or prolong it, take the mark and enter eternity in torment when you die.

Who will you choose?  Jesus predicted His rejection and the acceptance later on of the antichrist.

John 5:43- 43 I have come in my Father’s name, and you do not accept me; but if someone else comes in his own name, you will accept him.

Choose Jesus as King and make Him your everything now.  However, if you’re reading this after the rapture, choose Him and don’t take the mark.  It will cost 98 percent of those their earthly life who can’t hide, but taking the mark of the beast is giving one’s allegiance to Satan and that is unforgivable.

The antichrist when he comes on the scene will be hailed by the world and those who reject Jesus as their savior.  He will be loved.  Don’t buy it.  Three and a half years into the 7 year peace treaty with Israel, no man in the history of the earth will ever have been, as evil as he will be.

 

Seek And You Will Find

06 Aug

Matthew 7:7-8 – “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.

Why is no one going to be able to plead ignorance that has reached a point of accountability?

Matthew mentions it above.  If you seek the Lord and truth He will reveal it to you.  It’s my favorite scripture.  The reason it is, is because I used to be one of the lazy Christians who ask to be forgiven and then never sought the Truth.

The Lord doesn’t want anyone to perish, but He doesn’t want a bunch of blind followers who don’t want to seek Him or His Truth.  It’s not about getting the get out of free jail card and then living anyway you want.

Matthew 6:33 – 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.

The Lord makes it clear.  Put Him first.   No, really, make Him first.

Matthew 6:24 – 24 “No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.

There is a serious problem in the world and especially in America when it comes to serving finances.  How many put their time in their finances more than in the Lord?

Our relationship grows by seeking God and His Son.  Our faith grows by reading His Word and discovering the truth of it when we look around.

We need to earnestly seek God is what He asks.  What happens for those who do?  They find.  What do they find?  The Truth!  Why is the Truth important?

John 14:6 – Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life.  No one comes to the Father except through me.

John 8:31-32 – 31 To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. 32 Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”

If we don’t make it a point to seek the Truth then we are jeopardy of being swept away by the untruths or lies.

In the last days there is great falling away and I believe it’s because people don’t care about truth.  They are happy with just making the truth whatever they want it to be. 

Seek truth.  Ask, seek, knock.  He will open the door.  I’ll vouch for that personally.

 

Does Your Life Reflect Galatians 2:20?

01 Aug

Galatians 2:20 – 20 I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.

This one scripture would put an end to our continuous problem of being selfish if we could just grasp it.

Do we chase after greed if we no longer live in our self centered state?  Do we get so upset we choose not to forgive if we no longer live, but Christ lives in us?

It’s a verse that asks us to be totally contrary to who we naturally are in the current body.  Why is that?  Product Malfunction!

Yet we have a God that loves us so much, that even as haywire and sinful we are, He died for us and took on the penalty that sin requires.

Jesus asks us to pick up our cross and follow Him.

Matthew 10:38-39 – 38 Whoever does not take up their cross and follow me is not worthy of me. 39 Whoever finds their life will lose it, and whoever loses their life for my sake will find it.

That’s not an easy scripture for today’s church to accept.  However it reads very clear.

In the areas we all struggle in, Galatians 2:20 explains that if we died to our selfish wants or vices, we wouldn’t continue to struggle in these areas.

For many it’s not just a struggling in the flesh thing.  The real problem comes in their faith.

Many say they believe in Heaven, yet they live on this earth like there’s no tomorrow.  Faith issue?  Absolutely. 

If you don’t believe Heaven’s tons better than this earth, you’re not going to invest into it or live like were supposed to here. 

Faith is strengthened by studying the Word.  Then it’s about looking around you and seeing it all being Truth.  The good, the bad, the history, the sinful nature, the persecution, selfishness, greed, addictions, unforgiveness, murder, hatred, etc.

So are we supposed to live gung ho for the world today and then hope for the best regarding Heaven tomorrow?

Not from what I read.

It’s supposed to be exactly the opposite for us.  Don’t chase the world.  The Lord knows you have needs.  Trust in the Lord and chase after Him.  He who is the least will be the greatest.  He who humbles himself will be exalted.

Did our Lord come as a rich king on this earth when He was here?  Who was peddling the riches and power?  That was Satan tempting Him in the desert.

Matthew 13:44 –  44 “The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field.

What does God want from you?  Your heart. 

What can you give a God that has made everything?  Your heart.

As a free will being He can’t make you love Him.  That’s what He wants you to give Him your heart.  Your love and obedience while a being a freewill individual.  The easiest way to surrender is to die to your sinful nature and self.

Here it is again –

Galatians 2:20 – 20 I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.

Jesus isn’t a theory, Jesus is person, Jesus is the Son and God in the flesh that died for those who will make Him Lord and ask for that forgiveness.

If you don’t know Him as a person, as your best friend, the One you can trust, please make every effort to do so.