Relax in God’s Overpowering Purpose For Being Counter Cultural
I have appeared to you for this purpose… Acts 26:16
The vision Paul had on the road to Damascus was not a passing emotional experience, but a vision that had very clear and emphatic directions for him. And Paul stated, “I was not disobedient to the heavenly vision” (Acts 26:19).
Our Lord said to Paul, in effect, “Your whole life is to be overpowered or subdued by Me; you are to have no end, no aim, and no purpose but Mine.” And the Lord also says to us, “You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go…” (John 15:16).
When we are born again, if we are spiritual at all, we have visions of what Jesus wants us to be. It is important that I learn not to be “disobedient to the heavenly vision” — not to doubt that it can be attained. It is not enough to give mental assent to the fact that God has redeemed the world, nor even to know that the Holy Spirit can make all that Jesus did a reality in my life. I must have the foundation of a personal relationship with Him. Paul was not given a message or a doctrine to proclaim. He was brought into a vivid, personal, overpowering relationship with Jesus Christ.
Acts 26:16 is tremendously compelling “…to make you a minister and a witness….” There would be nothing there without a personal relationship. Paul was devoted to a Person, not to a cause. He was absolutely Jesus Christ’s. He saw nothing else and he lived for nothing else. “For I determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified” (1 Corinthians 2:2).
PERTINENT WISDOM FROM OSWALD CHAMBERS God created man to be master of the life in the earth and sea and sky, and the reason he is not, is because he took the law into his own hands, and by attempting to become master of himself, gave up the mastery for all of which he was created. from The Shadow of an Agony, 1163 L
Your Word I have hidden in my heart, that I might not sin against You. Psalm 119:11
When Jesus was tempted in the wilderness, He faced it head-on with the Word of God, quoting it to silence Satan: “It is written,” “It is written,” “It is written” Luke 4:4, 8, 10). So folks, if Jesus triumphed over temptation with God’s Holy Word, how could we ever think today with the world’s prevailing selfish evil narrative, that we can live a life of holiness and purity apart from it?
Just as God has created a physical immune system to equip our bodies to ward off diseases, (that the world system has for decades deliberately compromised) God has provided us a way of overcoming temptation assuring our continual immunity. Only by rooting (planting, hiding) His Word in our hearts, does God implant in us His spiritual immune system empowering us to live godly lives. Jesus Himself models the best spiritual antioxidants for strengthening and protecting ourselves against the infection of Satan’s temptations – the godly discipline of reading (studying, pondering) and then, obeyingGod’s Word.
Are you polluting your spiritual immune system with junk food – the pollutants of the world’s system? Let’s commit to daily filing our hearts with God’s Word to fight temptation like Jesus did: “It is written….”
Prompted by and revised by merlin from David Jeremiah’s “Destinations – Your Journey With God”
Oswald Chambers My Utmost For His Highest September 14
Simplicity is the secret to seeing things clearly. A saint does not think clearly until much time passes, but a saint ought to see clearly without any difficulty. You cannot think through spiritual confusion to make things clear; to make things clear, you must obey. In intellectual matters you can think things out, but in spiritual matters you will only think yourself into further wandering thoughts and more confusion.
If there is something in your life upon which God has put His pressure, then obey Him in that matter. Bring all your “arguments and…every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ” regarding the matter, and everything will become as clear as daylight to you (see II Corinthians 10:5).
Your reasoning capacity will come later, but reasoning is not how we see. We see like children, and when we try to be wise we see nothing (see Matthew 11:25). Even the very smallest thing that we allow in our lives that is not under the control of the Holy Spirit is completely sufficient to account for spiritual confusion, and spending all of our time thinking about it will still never make it clear. Spiritual confusion can only be conquered through obedience. As soon as we obey, we have discernment.
This is humiliating, because when we are confused we know that the reason lies in the state of our mind. But when our natural power of sight is devoted and submitted in obedience to the Holy Spirit, it becomes the very power by which we perceive God’s will, and our entire life is kept in simplicity. Jesus Christ is always unyielding to my claim to my right to myself. The one essential element in all our Lord’s teaching about discipleship is abandon, no calculation, no trace of self-interest.
Taken from John Eldredge’s book “Wild at Heart: Discovering the Secret of a Man’s Soul” from Chapter 11 titled “An Adventure to Live” pg. 203.
What Are We Men Waiting For?
“Where would we be today if Abraham had carefully weighed the pros and cons of God’s invitation and decided that he’d rather hang onto his medical benefits, three weeks paid vacation, and retirement plan in Ur? What would have happened if Moses had listened to his mother’s advice to “never play with matches” and lived a careful, cautious life steering clear of burning bushes? You wouldn’t have the gospel if Paul had concluded that the life of a Pharisee, while not everything a man dreams for, was at least predictable and certainly more stable than following a voice he heard on the Damascus Road. After all, people hear voices all the time and who really knows whether it’s God or just one’s imagination? Where would we be if Jesus was not fierce and wild and romantic to the core? Come to think of it, where would we all be at all if God hadn’t taken that enormous risk of us in the first place?
Most men spend the energy of their lives trying to eliminate risk, or squeezing it down to a more manageable size. Their children hear “no” far more than they hear “yes”; their employees feel chained up and their wives are equally bound. If it works, if a man succeeds in securing his life against all risk, he’ll wind up in a cocoon of self-protection and wonder why he’s suffocating. If it doesn’t work, he curses God, redoubles his efforts and his blood pressure. When you look at the structure that false self-made men tend to create, it always revolves around two themes: seizing upon some sort of competence and rejecting anything that cannot be controlled. As David Whyte says, “The price of our vitality is the sum of all our fears.”
For murdering his brother, God sentences Cain to the life of a restless wanderer; five verses later Cain is building a city (Gen 4:12, 17). That sort of commitment – the refusal to trust God and then reach for greater control – runs deep in every man. Whyte talks about the difference between the false self’s desire “to have power over experience, to control all events and consequences, and the soul’s wish to have power through experience, no matter what that may be. You literally sacrifice your soul and your true power when you insist on controlling things, like the guy Jesus talked about who thought he had finally pulled it all off, built some really nice barns and died the same night. “What will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul?” (Mark 8:36 NKJV). By the way, I now realize I can lose my soul long before I die.”
Again, what are we men waiting for? As children, we all begin with our perceptions. Later, as we become men gaining wisdom, His Truth becomes our reality diminishing the prevalent deceptions. mle091122
By clicking on the “Into the Deep” underlined below, or perhaps a blue button once and then clicking again on the opened article, I believe you can view half of the article. Or you can go directly to the Plain Values website and search. A script of the entire article follows below in this blog. Contact me if you desire a free copy of Robert’s third book, “Rise Above: How to Heal the Hurts and Overcome the Worst.”
Into the Deep or Finding God in the Depth of Sorrow
Words directly from from two of Robert Roger’s books and arranged by Merlin Erb.
For the September 2022 issue of Plain Values magazine
“He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All these things are gone forever. And the one sitting on the throne said, ‘Look, I am making everything new.’” Revelations 21:4-5
It was Labor Day weekend 2003, and we were returning to our home in Liberty from a family wedding. In our minivan was myself, my wife Melissa, and our four children: eight-year-old Makenah Alexandra, five-year-old Zachary Seth, three-year-old Nicholas Adam, and one-year-old Alenah WenYing, who we had recently adopted from China.
An unfathomable flash-flood inundated our minivan on the Kansas Turnpike. It thrust our vehicle off the highway, plunged us into the deluge, and washed half of our precious family out the window while our youngest three were still strapped in their car seats. Miraculously, I survived.
“Mr. Rogers, we need to ask you to identify the bodies of your three youngest children. They are dead.”
Those piercing words from early Sunday morning, August 31, 2003, changed my life forever. Perhaps you can relate. You know at that moment life will never again be the same.
I identified our three youngest. Later my oldest child Makenah was found on a barbed wire fence nearby the van – a mile and a half from the turnpike. Three days later they found my wife, my beloved Melissa. All I cherished most was gone: every dream, every hope.
Life Before the Flood
I met my wife in Massachussets. In March of 1989 I returned to Digital Equipment Corporation in Boston for my engineering job. The year before I happened upon a gentleman outside Lily’s Café delighting a crowd on a baby grand piano. When he took a break, I offered to fill in for him and from there it was history. I loved to fill the cobblestone sidewalks with music.
When I returned to my job, I also resumed playing piano at Lily’s during my breaks. One warm spring Saturday afternoon, an attractive blond stopped by while I was playing. I was instantly smitten. Before she left, I gave her my business card. Melissa, from Kansas, was working as a nanny in Boston, but I had no way to contact her. I could only hope she would return, which she did. Unbeknownst to me, Melissa returned to the square numerous times that summer to observe me play from a distance. When I returned to college that fall, I got a card from her with a poem she’d written for me titled “The Piano Man” while listening to my café music. Soon the romance was underway, and we got married on New Year’s Eve, 1991.
Our first earthquake occurred during the birth of our first daughter, Makenah, scheduled to be a home water birth, but after 48 hours of hard labor, a C-section was performed and all ended well. We learned a valuable lesson: Even though everything that happens to us is not always good, God can still bring good out of everything that happens to us (Rom. 8:28). Makenah’s difficult delivery was an experience that drove us deeper in our faith.
Our son Zachary was born after a normal delivery but within hours were told, “we believe your son has Down syndrome.” We were speechless, and Zachary was whisked off to Children’s Mercy Hospital for heart and bowel complications. Zachary also was autistic. Such pressures often cause marriages to break up. But for us, instead of tearing us apart, Zachary galvanized our marriage, bringing Melissa and me closer to each other and God.
Unknown by me, we were being prepared by our years of crying out to Him in our deepest pain – during childbirth, during Zachary’s surgeries, during Down syndrome complications, during Nicholas’ birth, during Alenah’s adoption, during marital struggles, during months of more bills than paychecks, while nearly drowning in a riptide, enduring all sorts of trials – because we turned to God rather than away from God. In those times of deepest pain, we grew to know and receive God’s deepest presence when nothing made sense but ultimately revealing God’s deepest and most intimate loving nature.
The six of us were on our way home from a family wedding. Around 8:55 pm, 11 miles out of Emporia, Kansas, having driven in heavy rain since Wichita, we noticed several vehicles parked with their running lights on along the right side of the road in the Flint Hills. We were among about eight vehicles that kept moving in the left lane past the stopped vehicles. Almost instantly, it seemed as though we were surrounded by water, not merely a pool, but a river flowing from left to right.
The whirl of the wind and the noise of the rain were so loud that it was hard to hear anything else. We saw taillights in front of us getting through. We figured the height of the water was already at its worse. The water was soaking our feet and everything on the floor. We couldn’t move at all, blocked fore and aft by vehicles and to the left by the concrete median barriers, and to the right by debris, even vehicles that were now floating. We were trapped. Inside, the engine stalled when the water reached the seat cushion level. By this time, Makenah, Nicholas , and Alenah were all noticeably scared and crying. Zachary was the only not crying, Makenah got out of her seat belt and came up to stand between us.
“Okay, you guys. Let’s sing a song together.” We chose a song we had sang many times around the piano at home: “Lord, I lift Your Name on High.” I recited portions of Psalms 46, saying, “God is my strength, God is my refuge, an ever-present help in times of trouble.” Despite the fear and stress of the situation, I sensed an amazing reassuring peace that somehow we were all going to be ok through this. Inside the van the water had now risen to the steering wheel. Our children’s heads were still safely above the water level, but the water was so very bitterly cold.
Suddenly, around 9:18 pm, everything broke loose. Eyewitnesses from cars that were trapped described a seven foot wall rushing across the highway that swept the 11 sections of the concrete median off the road down the embarkment into the creek bed. Each section was 20 foot in length and weighed 10,000 pounds. These concrete barriers were all that held our van in place. Once the medians were gone, nothing remained to protect us from the fast cross current.
We took a nosedive across the southbound lanes of traffic and down the embankment. We seemed to hit something as we crashed with a sudden jolt; perhaps a culvert or one of the 11 concrete medians. It felt as though we were in a powerful waterfall. When I kicked out the window, it was like popping a balloon. I was instantly sucked out of the van. I lost all sense of direction as I was pulled downstream underwater. I’m convinced that both Melissa and Makenah, who were both out of their seat belts were sucked out immediately behind me. In the urgency, chaos, and confusion, Melissa and I shared no final kiss or words of good-bye with each other or our children.
I was drowning. I felt like a ragdoll tumbling in a washing machine. This can’t be the end, I thought. Not now. Not like this. Somehow, I wasn’t afraid. I felt a tangible, comforting peace of God. I was ingesting water and remember thinking that although I was truly drowning – and sensed my wife and children were as well – our whole family was going to heaven together, and it really wasn’t so bad. It was like being in a dream, only this was real. It felt as if God had reached down His hand and cupped our entire family into His palm to personally escort us directly to heaven together.
About a half mile from the highway, my head lifted above the water. Suddenly, I grabbed onto something and crawled out of the water on my hands and knees. I was utterly exhausted, in shock, and freezing cold. I could see the flashing lights of emergency vehicles up on the highway, so I crawled toward them as quickly as my body would allow. Nearly an hour after being expelled from the van, I approached a highway patrol trooper and blurted, “My wife and four children are still down there!”
But it was too late—in our family I was the sole survivor.
Life After the Flood
The day following the 2003 Kansas flash flood, I was visited by my engineering boss, his words deeply resonating within me. He helped me recognize nothing I could think or do now would change history. What mattered most from here forward was not my actions from last night but my reactions to last night. If I spent the rest of my life in pity, feeling sorry for myself, I would only imprison myself and serve no good whatsoever. I wanted my family’s lives to count for something. Already I could sense that God had a profound purpose for my life. Already I could see that people’s lives were being touched in a positive way. I began to sense God had spared me for a reason.
Before preparing for my first press conference, I spoke with my father, an extremely thoughtful man known for his wisdom and insights. “Son, this is where the rubber meets the road,” he said. “Give it straight. Explain how shattered you are. But don’t hesitate to say how you still trust God. Either we believe what we say or we don’t. Either God is God, or He’s not.”
He was right. This was the moment my new calling in life began. I was facing and embracing head-on the worst pain of my life. I knew my only source was God, and the result was His peace amid the horrific reality. So many times on my way to work over the years, I have prayed Psalm 112. Now those words came back to me. “Even in darkness light dawns for the upright… Surely he will never be shaken; a righteous man will be remembered forever. He will have no fear of bad news …. His heart is secure, he will have no fear.’(verses 6-8)
The concept of heaven and eternity was never more real. As I kissed my children goodbye, I kissed death. Amazingly, it had no victory over me or them. My grief still tore at me, but death had lost its sting because I knew through Christ it represented our passage into eternal life. I could now feel the glory through the agony, life out of death. That’s the message of the gospel. Beauty out of ashes.
What matters most, I’ve found, is how you respond to the wreckage and remnants of what remains. Where do you run to after the ruin? Where do you hide? “Those who live in the shelter of the Most High will find rest in the shadow of the Almighty.” (Psalm 91:1-2).
We each have that choice when life slams into the side of a mountain or under a wall of water. Yes, we can slam the door in God’s face, bolt it, and even lock it. Conversely, we can seek an embrace in His arms and allow Him Who holds our healing to hold our hearts as we grieve. It requires a steadfast, intimate relationship with God through a personal encounter with His Son, Jesus Christ. Even if our faith somehow remains intact, too often our souls remain messed up and wounded. Now my soul needed surgery and rehabilitation. Yes, I believe that God “restores my soul.” (Psalm 23:3 NIV) But, how can He? How will He?
It is a process, for certain. It takes time. Weeping is good. Tears hurt, but they heal and are vital to recovery. Now 19 years later traveling the country and parts of the world, people want to know “how” I made it. How do I still navigate through the unrelenting pain of the past, particularly as I recount raw emotions from my heart hundreds of times to all who invite me? The short answer is, “Only God.”
Throughout my five books and now nearly 1400 presentations, in a straightforward and practical way, I strove to answer in my third book, Rise Above, how God can heal your hurts and overcome the worst. I offer three simple steps to assist you on the road to recovery.
1st Step to Rise Above: Face It. Yes, admit it happened. Accept it. Don’t pretend it never happened. Rather than tell God how big your problem is, tell your problem how big God is.
2nd Step to Rise Above: Embrace It. Yes, dive in head first. Jesus surrendered to the cross to which His Father had appointed Him. He embraced it. So should we. “Even when I walk through the dark valley of death, I will not be afraid, for you are close beside me.” (Psalm 23:4)
3rd Step to Rise Above: Replace It. Yes, God has a marvelously divine exchange program. Right now, ask God to replace your pain with praise, your despair with joy, your ashes with beauty. He can and He will. Please consider these words and take them to heart for they literally cost me everything to share them with you. I pray they take root and dramatically transform your life,compelling you to join me in building a legacy of no regrets.
Bio: Robert Rogers founded Mighty in the Land Ministry after the death of his wife and four children. The ministry’s mission is to teach others to know God and live a life of no regrets. His compelling message impacts lives, transforms congregations, and inspires people to know God through a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. A tithe of everything given is placed in the Mighty in the Land Foundation, which funds eight orphanages around the world.
For scheduling or more information, contact Robert Rogers, Mighty in the Land Ministry, 429 East DuPont Road, # 230 Fort Wayne, IN 46825. Phone #: 260.515.5158 Email: email@example.com Website: www.MightyInTheLand.com
Bio: Merlin briefly interviewed Robert Rogers for this article and then wove direct excerpts from two of Robert’s books; “Into the Deep: One Man’s Story of How Tragedy Took His Family But Could Not Take His Faith” and “Rise Above: How to Heal the Hurts and Overcome the Worst.” into this feature story. Merlin’s work on this assignment was impacted by his own experience of loss in that in less than three years of marriage, his first wife tragically died in a car accident. Today, Merlin and his wife Loretta call Dalton, Ohio, home, and they are active members at Kidron Mennonite Church. They are anticipating the birth of their first grandchild this summer! You can read more of Merlin’s musings at merlinsmustache.com.
As mentioned above, if you desire a free copy of Robert’s spot-on inspiring third book, Rise Above:How to Heal the Hurts and Overcome the Worst, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Don’t be bashful! Trust His Divine connections for your life as Robert did for his, and I, reluctantly did for mine; actually “ours.”
Remember the last time you drove along interstate and read the various signs. Ever think the extent to which your mind interacts with such stimuli? And only because of a quick unconscious glance! Signs can be informational; Exit 74 2 miles. Or invitational; Great Food This Exit! Even warnings; Right Lane Closed.
Whether offered as information, an invitation, or a warning, each sign is designed to move us from where we are to where we want to be; or perhaps, wish to avoid. In a similar way, God in His providence, has a number of critical signs along the highway we call “human history.” We call these signs prophecies, and we Christ Followers(CF’s) are made aware of them through God’s living prophetic vehicle, the Bible.
Perhaps the crisis today for the remnant CF’s, since too often, churches are effectively removing themselves from their vertical relationship with the Trinity, so that in this advanced culminating informational age, we are inundated with both ignorance and apathy. Remember the Question & Answer sequence posed in the Aug 15 post asking “the difference between ignorance and apathy” with the answer given as “I don’t know and I don’t care.”
Even though I certainly didn’t state or write such years ago, when I later examined my life, I certainly could have been Satan’s “organized religion’s” poster person for ignoring truth and being the epitome of both ignorance and apathy, appearing devoted and immersed in the “consuming church culture” about me. Perhaps you can relate? Anything remind you of a baby’s pacifier?
Such deception! Indeed, strong words, but true. The remaining time for we yet living humans, is quite finite, depending on our advancing years, before we return to dust. The planet’s timetable for its demise though, is not so certain.
So Why Study the Signs?
“The history of the church is littered with countless books and studies creating innumerable questions, concerns, and especially confusion in our minds. How do obscure passages, distant places, and unfamiliar symbols have any significance for our lives? For heaven’s sake’s, if we can’t understand what the Bible is teaching, how in the world can it hold any relevance to what we are or will be experiencing?
There are actually over 1800 prophecies in God’s Word just detailing the first and second coming of Jesus Christ! Obviously important to God, He desires we understand His plans having given us signs for a purpose. Especially today, we yearn to see ahead, to know, to avert disaster. Dr David Jeremiah counts it a privilege to help CF’s find their place in the great pattern of prophetic events foretold by the prophets, written out in scripture, and confirmed in the headlines of the day.
Read through The Book of Signs, you will find a comprehensive explanation of these prophecies and signs. You will see not only how God’s Word offer insights into the future, but also how Scripture builds our faith in the events of the past and encouragement for the uncertainty of the present. and beyond.
So What are the Signs?
They can be an event, symbol, object, place, or person whose existence or occurrence indicates something important in God’s plan for history. There presentations vary, but all express a particular meaning, helping us to know what to pay attention to, or point to what will be coming. God has taken great care to communicate in a way we can understand. Jesus Himself spoke of the signs verifying his first coming, signs portending His second coming back to earth, and the signs that outline both general and specific elements of the end of the age. We’ll take a close look at those in these pages, as well as other Scriptural passages in which signs are a major theme.
We are not to be fooled by the signs indicating that end times are near. We can expect a period of international and cultural chaos with the possibility of ceaseless, unending, terrible war. Seeing these signs played out in the news, on television, the internet, and especially in our own lives can cause despair, anxiety, and confusion; not only for the world situation, but also for those who are not yet a CF, and could be left behind to face the Tribulation. Jesus instructed we open our eyes to encourage us to gaze upon Him – not because this will cause all the world’s problem’s (and ours) to disappear, but because He is the Prince of Peace and in Him we are commanded “to abide.” Study with me as we discover together what Scripture reveals about the signs of the times.
The end times may be near, but as CF’s, our future is secure. We do live in a chaotic world but we can be confident and at peace because God is the author of history, and because the return of the Prince of Peace may be closer than we think.”
The above is an adaptation of the Dr. Jeremiah’s Prologue for his Book of Signs: 31 Prophecies of the Apocalypse. I am recommending CF’s may desire to seriously tackle it for their Autumn reading. Available everywhere. I’ve listened to it twice and my hard copy just arrived.
Overcome Ignorance and Apathy by Inviting the Love and Awareness of Christ Within Us.
I recently stumbled across this uniquely invaluable devotional (scripture only, no comments) first published in the King James Version in Great Britain in 1794 by the Samuel Bagster family, a forerunner of Marshall Pickering, a publishing company of 644 works between 1888 & 2021, bought by Harper and Row in 1988, now part of Harper Collins. Published now by Thomas Nelson in the New King James Version and copyright 1998 by Anne Graham Lotz.
The verse printed in bold at the top of the page following the date gives the theme for the verses that follow. At the back of this Lotz volume are selected Scriptural readings for Life’s Moments: the Seasons of Life, Special Occasions in Life, Sufferings in Life, Success in Life, Struggles in Life, Strength for Life, and Salvation of Life. The Scripture reference for each verse is given at the bottom of the page.
Even better, the Bagster family edition is available free on the internet at “dailylightdevotional.org” for your convenience on the go.
I was going to publish this back on May 7, but it was preempted apparently. Therefore this May 7 date rather than today’s, was typed up. Today’s scripture from Aug 18 morning reading really spoke to me, especially the last scripture from Deut 29:29. Since I have not time to type them all, I’ll just give you this verse from the NKJV ” The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but those things which are revealed belong to us and our children.” The Message reads “God, our God, will take care of the hidden things but the revealed things are our business. It’s up to us and our children to attend to all the terms in this revelation.” referring to the Covenant Oath from Deut 29 given the children of Israel by Moses on the plains of Moab. Understand, I prefer to interpret and apply this verse to a broader more inclusive aspect of discerning foundational truths for living as Christ followers today. Yes, including even the Rapture, Tribulation, etc.
So, since these future events are on the table, and as said prior, I for one am at the bottom of this learning curve and am merely seeking basic truths to live by. It is my aim to stimulate such an interest in your reading/listening as well in our preparation for these future events. And I believe Scripture is the key foundation for such revelations, and yes, even though there may well be author’s personalities and preferences involved, our foundation is first, based on Scripture. Much can be said for Spirit and “in community” revelations of truth vs. only reading or hearing them from others, and frequently, perhaps even then, with ulterior motives.
I say all the above to accent why I personally am increasingly preferring to read from Scripture each morning rather than only devotionals. The insights I receive daily from my One Year Bible and this dailylightdevotional.org without any editorializing has been refreshing and invaluable to me on my pilgrimage lately. Now understand, I still always read Chamber’s Utmost, and even other devotionals, but my One Year Bible and Daily Light are always first; the other devotionals come after, and understand, that’s just me, as I believe aspiring writers must consume relevant print constantly. Now onto an example of Bagster’s work.
You will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled.
God is our refuge and strength., a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; though its waters roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with its swelling. <> Come my people, enter your chambers, and shut your doors behind you; hide yourself as it were, for a little moment, until you’re the indignation is past. For behold, the Lord comes out of His place to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity. <> In the shadow of your wings I will make my refuge, until these calamities have passed by. <> Your life is hidden with Christ in God.
He will not be afraid of evil tidings; his heart is steadfast, trusting in the Lord.
These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.
Matt 24:6; Ps.46:1-3; Isa 26:20-21; Ps. 57:1; Col 3:3; Ps. 112:7; John 16:33
I’m not sure where we’re going on tomorrow’s blog. This was certainly not planned for today. It’s best if we live in the moment as He leads. Blessings today!
Inviting You to Comprehend God’s Calling on Your Life
Kidron Church’s Summer Sermon Series
We’re all Called by God to:
Fellowship: June 26 God desires to walk with us
Freedom: July 3 Free us from Satan’s bondage
Follow: July 17 Know Him as Savior and experience Him as Lord of our life…
Faithfull: July 24 Living in willing continual obedience day to day….
Fruitfulness: July 31 Our reward for being faithful… Added by God, not our choice…
Forgiveness: Aug 7 Our condition, our condemnation, His command to forgive as He forgave us.
August 14: Called to Fight – Text on video from Eph 6:10-18 begins at 38 minutes.
Christians are in a continual spiritual battle. If you’re unaware, perhaps you’re asleep (or spiritually dead)
Resources for Christians so Engaged In the Fight:
1.) Consider the Enemy…
Since the Garden….
Job – target of Satan out looking … , a hedge of protection
Cosmic War Between Good & Evil
David & Goliath
Jesus 40 Days in the Wilderness, Satan left Him for a more opportune time
Luke 22:31 Jesus said “Satan has asked for you Peter, that he may sift you as wheat..
2. Consider the EQUIPMENT Needed for the Fight
You have access to everything needed to Engage the Enemy & Emerge the Victor
First, Consider the Devil’s Five Tools:
Deception: twists God’s Words, good becomes evil, evil becomes good …
Difficulties: Persecution Acts 8: 1+
Discouragement: Elijah hiding from Jezebel after Mt Carmel victory I Kings 19
Distractions: Sower of Seeds on the Soils… Matt 13: 3+, life’s riches & pleasures
Divisiveness: disunity, dishonor, to get the church to be divided against itself…
Second, Consider the Christian’s Armor of God, First Five are Defensive Tools (weapons)
Belt of Truth: To Combat Deception, We Must Know the Truth, “I am the Way…”
Breast plate of Righteousness: Right living before God empowered by Holy Spirit
Feet shod with Gospel of Peace, Shalom, shoes with studs for traction…
Shield of Faith: quench Satan’s fiery darts, requires both childlike faith (David & Goliath, and huge faith demonstrated by Stephen, Paul, Peter, Martyr’s Mirror…
Helmet of Salvation: Protect your Vulnerability, what Satan makes looks like certain defeat will be a victory. Consider the Cross and the Tomb… the power from knowing that God is at work in my life, I’m preparing for eternity since I know who I am in Christ…
Sword of the Spirit: … which is the Word of God, (this is the only offensive piece of equipment, Jesus used Scripture to defeat Satan when tempted in the wilderness …
Pray in the Spirit: Continually and on all occasions. Regardless, keep on praying…
3. Consider the EXPECTATIONS of your fight…
Attacks are Inevitable: If none in sight; rest in the Spirit, refuel, strategize, role play, plant seeds, invite, evangelize, etc.
Check your Allegiance: If you’re on Satan’s side, he won’t attack you.
Never Forget, The War is Won! Read Revelations for even though the Battle Continues, Satan is a defeated foe for you’re not fighting the devil on your own, God is on your side providing you all the equipment (resources) you’ll ever need.
You will be victorious if you stand! Verse 6: 13
Christ is going to be glorified, for all He has done – is doing – and will yet do…
Summary & Sending Prayer
We indeed are called to Fight. We pray this scripture today will be an encouragement to us; to know who the Enemy is, to identify the Enemy, to know what our resources are, and then to know that through Jesus Christ the victory is already won. May we all be encouraged as we go out into the world as we go about doing spiritual battle. In Jesus Name, Amen
As alluded to yesterday, according to Jesus and for your consideration without any editorial comments from me, these are the ten things that will continue to multiply and progress as the first three and a half years of The Great Tribulation unfold.
Deception:“Many will come in My name saying, “I am the Christ, and will deceive many.” (Matt 24:5)
Dissension: “You will hear of wars and rumors of wars … Nation will arise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom.” (24:6-7)
Devastation: “There will be famines.” (24:7)
Disease: “Pestilences.” (24:7)
Disasters: “Earthquakes in various places.” (24:7)
Death: “They will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name’s sake.” (24:9)
Disloyalty: “Many will be offended, will betray one another, and hate one another.” (24:10)
Delusion: “Many false prophets will rise up and deceive many” (24:11) It should also be noted that part of the delusion will be an increase in drug use. One of the characteristics of the end times’ false religion will be what the book of Revelation calls “sorceries” (Rev 9:21) The word John used is pharmakia, from which we get the word pharmacy. It is an ancient reference to the ingestion of drugs. The use of mind-altering substances such as narcotics and hallucinogens will be associated with false religions, doubtless with the approval of the government.
Defection: “Because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold” (24:12) People will turn away from God from one another.
Declaration: “This gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations” (24: 14) In the midst of the darkness the light of the good news of Jesus Christ will shine brighter than ever. People everywhere will run to Jesus Christ for forgiveness, peace, and life.
Jesus spoke clearly about the Tribulation, but He is not alone. Several passages throughout the Bible describe the events that will occur during the Tribulation period. These descriptions occur in the writings of various OT prophets and in brief references here and there in other books of the Bible. But it is the book of Revelation that describes the Tribulation events in the greatest detail.
Time for a break from this future Tribulation Talk! Tomorrow we’ll focus on Christians being “Called to Fight.” Can we be any more timely?
Isaac’s Storm is a fascinating book about the 1900 hurricane that wiped out Galveston TX in one day. One of the main plot lines of the book is about how everyone was convinced that a hurricane could never strike Galveston, even as a monster storm was bearing down on them. The author vividly describes how, as the streets began to flood, people went about their business as if nothing was wrong. Children played in the water, people gathered for breakfast at the local diner, and no one fled from the storm that was about to strike with all its fury.
Some didn’t worry because Isaac Cline, the National Weather Service officer in Galveston, assured them it would not be a severe storm. Others simply believed that Galveston, was invincible. Some thought that since they had never seen a hurricane strike Galveston, one never would, So, for a variety of reasons, people assured themselves nothing bad would happen. And as a result, more than six thousand people died one tragic September day.
Like Galveston in 1900, a storm warning has been issued by the Creator for the entire world in the end times. A tempest of judgement is metastasizing and gaining steam. It will hit with the force of a Category 5 hurricane. I wish I could tell you the opposite. I would love to tell you that everything is going to be peaceful and prosperous in the days ahead and that all will be well, but that would follow the tragic example of Isaac Cline; except much, much worse.
Some people have not and will not take this storm warning seriously because of our culture’s fog, its accompanying “narrative,” enhancing even the smoke & mirrors. Have you ever considered pessimism and optimism are irrelevant in every situation where God’s Word has clearly spoken.
And yes, you’re correct in that I didn’t write most of this. How could I? By tomorrow, some of you wisdom book readers will recognize my source. Regrettably, as no doubt for more than a few of you, this is the first time I’ve ever seriously approached the subjects of rapture and tribulation. Times past apparently, I chose to be deceived! Indeed, God has and is continually, extending me His Forgiveness, Mercy and Grace!
This thread sort of reminds me of a question answer & sequence I once heard. Question: What’s the difference between Ignorance and Apathy? Answer: I don’t know and I don’t care! Ouch! Rather offensive but?
Think you’re ready now for the Ten Characteristics of the Tribulation from Matt 24 tomorrow?