On The Edge Of Time

Message Magazine’s Online Devotional for Monday, June 29, 2015
Based Upon Revelation 6:12, 13

“And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood; And the stars of heaven fell unto the earth, even as a fig tree casteth her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind.”

The end of all things is at hand. As close in proximity to our bodies that our hands are, is the imminence of Jesus’ return. He will soon breach the sky with loud peals of thunder, and the brightest light of lightening, as the eternally reigning King of kings. All of His enemies will hide and beg the rocks to fall on them. The evil course of their lives will finally take its toll on their consciences. They will realize that it is eternally too late. The voice leading to repentance is silenced forever.

The end time signs are fulfilling all around us. Rapidly and steadily, we see them drift into the past. We are living on the edge of time, which will soon fall over the precipice into the abyss of eternity. Those that are faithful to God until the end will soon begin experiencing immortality.

Any student of history knows that in the seventeen and eighteen hundreds, incredible things happened in the heavens and on the earth. In your spare time, Google the great earthquake of Lisbon, the dark day that occurred at noon, the moon appearing in the sky as blood, and the incredible falling of stars. You will discover that what the Lord revealed to John concerning these cataclysmic signs, occurred hundreds of years ago. This means that we are closer to the second coming of Christ than ever before. If you pay close attention to the text for today, the next remarkable event following those mentioned above, is the arrival of Christ. This gives us a view of the nearness of the end.

end of the road

What does all of this have to do with you? If the Lord is on His way, and He is, then we all need to be preparing to meet Him. As we surrender daily to His Lordship and yield ourselves to His service, we are preparing to meet Him. The blessing is, He is able to mold us into His image so that we can be ready. The thought of the end should make us eager to be faithful, knowing that soon we will receive the honor that only Jesus is worthy of. Be encouraged by the following promise God made to His faithful followers in the end times: “Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth. Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown.” (Revelation 3:10-11).

Close of Business As Usual

Message Magazine’s Online Devotional for Sunday, June 28, 2015
Based Upon Matthew 23:37-38

“O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not! Behold, your house is left unto you desolate.” (Matthew 23:37–38).

In a guttural discourse addressed to the “establishment” that was called Jerusalem; the city that was to represent holiness unto God to the masses much like a priest was set aside for that purpose, Jesus cried out to His people. While they were to have been awaiting His arrival upon the scene, because of His pronouncement of prophecy, which proclaimed His arrival and mission, His people were not ready. As if that were not bad enough, the same people who should have been purveyors of truth, and forerunners of the then coming King, actually rejected Him. They refused to believe that this humble Man, who wanted to establish the eternal Kingdom of God, which would actually transcend temporary earthly dominance over the Jews’ Roman oppressors, could be their Deliverer. Since He did not fit the description they contrived in their minds (they had not a love for the Truth Himself), they were ripe for being deceived and believing a lie—so much so that they ultimately crucified their King.

And so Jesus, recognizing their arrogance, setting themselves up as gods, undermining the God of the universe in His mission, had had enough. With tears of disappointment He expressed anguish over the fact that those who should have been first in receiving His message, and disseminating it to the world, were instead first to reject His message and kill Him and His faithful messengers. As a loving, protective hen gathers her chickens, our Master beckoned His people, but they flat out refused to hear and respond! Instead of welcoming the opportunity to join forces with Him and turn the enemy’s kingdom on its head, they dogged His steps at every chance they got.

thumbs down

Pardon me if this devotional is a bit more targeted toward those of us who profess to follow the King today, but this is necessary at times. Could it be, that at a time that we are to be preparing for the Lord to arrive again, and be poised to direct the minds and hearts of the masses to the soon coming King that we, too would rather kill the prophets? Could it be that some of us, instead of preparing the way of the Lord, being clothed in His holiness, that we would rather crucify unto ourselves the Lord afresh and put Him to an open shame through our lifestyles? Could it be that some of us put up our hands and attempt to strong-arm our King as He tenderly calls to us to be gathered together under His banner of love? Could it be that our King yet again weeps over Jerusalem, those who are supposed to be heirs according to the promise made to Abraham, the church? Could it be that while He awaits our acceptance of His glorious gift of power and salvation, we would rather take life into our own hands and formulate our own earthly kingdoms? To those who in times passed and we today who would rather press our own agendas, and supplant the mission of the King, He says, “Your house is left unto you desolate!”

Now, what is the contrast of this desolation? The Bible makes it abundantly clear that His house is to be a house of prayer for all people. This presupposes that those who have already claimed to accept the title and lifestyle of being God’s people are welcoming the lame, maim, blind, sick, addicted, murderous, and evil into the house of God to be delivered from all such things. This presupposes that we who say that we love God are willing to surrender our all in order to nurture others into the fold of God who is King of His house. When He is sincerely worshipped as the King of His house, deliverance from every binding weight and chain must be the reality. Why? Because where He is worshipped, He is also present to heal.

So, what then is the warning to people like me who profess to know the King of the house? God is a Gentleman. He is longsuffering and kind, and will not force Himself upon anybody. Therefore, if we embrace an attitude of, “we have a plan, and we are going to execute it our way” in the house of God, eventually He will no longer beg us to pay attention to Him. And in that case, He moves off the scene from among those who do not embrace Him, and surrenders the proverbial house to them—leaving it desolate of His power and presence.

It is our privilege, according to the mercies of God, and His calling upon our lives, to have Him ever near, let us welcome Him into our lives and worship Him in the church and experience the life changing power of His Spirit who is available to keep us until He comes. Let’s put away all malice, strife, contentions, selfishness, backbiting, fornication, murder, stealing, and pride, and get about the business of our soon coming King.

Daniel And The Revelation of Christ

Message Magazine’s Online Devotional for Friday, June 26, 2015
Based Upon Daniel 9:25

If you seek Him, you will see Him

“Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times.”

As the prophet Daniel tried to understand the prophecy of the seventy weeks of years, he humbly confessed his sins and the sins of his people. Like the prophet Isaiah as shown in Isaiah chapter 6, he understood fully that he was equally responsible for the iniquities committed against God, which were the cause of the Babylonian captivity.

At the beginning of his prayer, the Bible says that the angel Gabriel was dispatched from heaven to give the sorrowing prophet skill concerning the vision (Daniel 9:23). How fast was this mighty angel of God able to move from one place to another, if during a prayer he was able to leave the heavenly courts, and before the prayer was finished, he reached earth, countless light years away?

The story continues. This vision in some ways included both the seventy weeks and twenty-three hundred year prophecies since both had the same starting point in history (Daniel 8:2, 14; 9:22-23). Gabriel reveals the starting point of the vision as “from the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem,” Daniel 9:25. This command, which included not only the rebuilding of the temple, but the city as well, with the return of power to the Jews to rule according to their own laws, occurred in 457 B.C. by Artexerxes (Ezra 4:7-23; Ezra 7:12-26). From the year 457 B.C. to Messiah (which means anointed) the Prince, was sixty-nine prophetic weeks. In symbolic Bible prophecy, one day equals one literal year (Numbers 14:34; Luke 13:31-33). Sixty-nine prophetic weeks equal 483 literal years (sixty-nine times seven days).

Did you know that exactly 483 years later (27 A.D. including the year zero), Jesus Christ, whose name means anointed, received the anointing of the Holy Ghost at His baptism explicitly fulfilling the prophecy?

“Now when all the people were baptized, it came to pass, that Jesus also being baptized, and praying, the heaven was opened, And the Holy Ghost descended in a bodily shape like a dove upon him, and a voice came from heaven, which said, Thou art my beloved Son; in thee I am well pleased,” Luke 3:21, 22.

Less than two months later Jesus stood in the synagogue and read from the book of Isaiah. “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, To preach the acceptable year of the Lord. And he closed the book, and he gave it again to the minister, and sat down. And the eyes of all them that were in the synagogue were fastened on him. And he began to say unto them, This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears,” Luke 4:18-21. Gabriel continues by revealing the sacrificial death of Jesus that would occur three and one half years later (31 A.D.), and the rejection of Him in 34 A.D.

What is the moral of this story? At a time when one of God’s people was bewildered and seeking Him diligently, God chose to reveal the ministry and sacrifice of the Messiah. Of all the events that would occur between the time of Daniel and the end of time, God chose to give a snapshot of the gospel.

God is still revealing Himself through the gospel today. In our times of deepest need, if we persevere in prayer, He will reveal Himself in the light of Jesus Christ. Jesus is still the answer to all of our inner turmoil. Let us search for Him while He can still be found, and live in a constant attitude of prayer.

Patience And Comfort For The Neediest

Message Magazine’s Online Devotional for Thursday, June 25, 2015
Based Upon Romans 15:4

Zeal for God’s temple puts an end to indifference.

“For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.” (Romans 15:4).

It is not immediately apparent from reading this verse just how it relates to Bible prophecy. Yet, it is referenced often in studies related to prophecy. However, upon closer inspection a wonderful message shines through.

Let’s take a quick look at the three preceding verses. The Bibles says: “But we who are strong ought to bear the weaknesses of the weak, and not to please ourselves. Let each one of us please his neighbor for his good, for the purpose of edification. For even Christ did not please himself, but just as it is written, “The insults of those who insult you have fallen on me.”” (Romans 15:1–3, LEB). Indeed, there is a specific context relevant to these verses, which we discussed in the past from Romans 14 and will not address here.

The lesson I would like to glean here is that there is a principle of selflessness and empathetic living in play. We are not here to live unto ourselves. It is our privilege to suffer with those who suffer. It is honorable to soothe the broken hearted. It is a blessing to lift up those who are burdened down by life’s circumstances. Racial tensions are on the rise, and all involved, both offender and those who are offended need our prayers and help. Murder is on the rise, and all involved, both the families of those who were killed and the murderers themselves need our help. Many of our personal economies are in extreme difficulty and we need to be of service to others, sharing our resources wherever we see the need. We cannot live in a silo. We must be available to serve all whom the Lord allows to cross our paths.

How does all of this relate to Bible prophecy? Why should we care? In verse three there is an allusion to the following verse: “For the zeal of thine house hath eaten me up; And the reproaches of them that reproached thee are fallen upon me.” (Psalm 69:9). The immediate context was related to King David’s zeal to bring the Ark of the Covenant back to Mount Zion and rebuild the Temple in Jerusalem, which the Lord passed on to Solomon to accomplish. But, the Holy Spirit correlated this zeal to that which Jesus had for the honor of His Father’s house and for those who would go there to worship in spirit and truth. Wicked people trampled God’s Sanctuary for their own material gain and impeded the progress of those who came to worship God. With holy indignation, Jesus removed those wicked people and restored order to His Father’s house.

It was Prophecy that forecasted the Lord’s zeal. It was prophecy that forecasted the Lord’s unwillingness to lay down and sleep while the honor of His Father and the needs of the people were trampled. It is through prophecy, now, that we can experience the righteous example of Jesus and recognize our marching orders. In the last days, we must not lay down while people are being abused and trampled all around us. We find relevance and instruction in the Scriptures for living to serve others and honor our heavenly Father. Remember, “For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.” (Romans 15:4).

Light In–And At The End Of The Tunnel

Message Magazine’s Online Devotional for Wednesday, June 24, 2015
Based Upon Revelation 1:11, 19

“I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the last: and, What thou seest, write in a book, and send it unto the seven churches which are in Asia; unto Ephesus, and unto Smyrna, and unto Pergamos, and unto Thyatira, and unto Sardis, and unto Philadelphia, and unto Laodicea. Write the things which thou hast seen, and the things which are, and the things which shall be hereafter;”

Throughout history, the Lord has chosen how to reveal Himself to the world, and on what level. After sin, He revealed Himself to Adam and Eve as the promised seed that would crush the serpent’s head. To Abraham, He revealed Himself as the promised seed that would make faithful people heirs of the salvific promise. To Noah He revealed Himself as the ark of safety into which all who would live must flee. To the children of Israel, He revealed Himself as the heavenly sanctuary to which all of their ceremonies pointed. To Jeremiah, He revealed Himself as the ultimate covenant keeper. To John the Baptist He revealed Himself as Messiah and the light unto the Gentiles. To Martin Luther, He revealed Himself as Author and Finisher of our faith–the only way to salvation. To those living in the last days, He reveals Himself as the only true God, worthy of worship. He is the One who is jealous over His law, and reveals how a powerful God can separate for Himself, a people that will be faithful amidst the persecution of religio-political powers that work against God. He is the One who will soon burst the clouds to take His people to heaven. His progressive revelation can be considered as present truth. In every era, what He revealed of Himself was then a present understanding of God.

When Daniel the prophet was receiving greater light concerning God, there came a point when God restricted his permission to transmit what he had seen. It may be that He even limited his understanding of things to come on some level. “And I heard, but I understood not: then said I, O my Lord, what shall be the end of these things? And he said, Go thy way, Daniel: for the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end,” Daniel 12:8, 9. Only during the end times would God reveal the messages especially tailored for those living in that era.

There is a contrast of times. What God sealed up in Daniel’s time has been reserved for us. We are living in the last days. Thus, it is imperative for us to receive the truth that is present for our day. Truth, though never new, is progressive. As time progresses, so does God’s revelation of Himself. Daniel sealed up the vision, but John the revelator was commanded to write down what he was given by God and deliver it to His people (Revelation 1:11, 19).

It is a blessing to trust that God knows exactly how much and what particular light to give us. As we grow in Him, let us always be willing to understand and do what He reveals.

Here’s How To Collect Your Prize

Message Magazine’s Online Devotional for Tuesday, June 23, 2015
Based Upon Revelation 1:3

“Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand.”

The view of God that many have is interesting. Follow me for a moment in thought. Some view God like some sort of sweepstakes organizer. Oftentimes, the terms, rules, and conditions of these contests are so difficult to understand, and the date to announce the winner is so far in the future, that it discourages most people from even entering. If that were not discouraging enough, the odds of winning are ridiculous. The huge cash prizes are more difficult to win than seeing a shooting star or solar eclipse. In most sweepstakes, the odds are against us, not for us. How many times have you heard of people watching the Super Bowl in the United States, and waiting for some prize van to show up at their door with television cameras and balloons to deliver a huge check, and announce their good fortune to the world? Then when the big game has passed and no van, cameras, balloons, or big paycheck appears at their front door, they are hurled into disappointment. Unfortunately, this is the view many people have of God.

He is no evil riddler waiting to see how many He can confuse by hiding important information in an array of obscure meanings. God simply wants us to trust Him for understanding.

Our God is not like that. He loves us and wants the best for us. When considering the book of Revelation, it is a mistake to assume that God is trying to hide something there. He does not want us to grope around in the darkness of our own limited understanding for His truth. The truths contained in this glorious book are for our learning. Otherwise, why would God pronounce a blessing upon those who read, hear, and keep the words therein? “Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand.” Revelation 1:3. He does not promise blessings and then play peek-a-boo with us. He is no evil riddler waiting to see how many He can confuse by hiding important information in an array of obscure meanings. God simply wants us to trust Him for understanding. The very name of His book reveals His intentions for us. The Revelation of Jesus Christ is God revealing to those who would be His faithful servants, mysteries concerning the last days. The only condition for winning this spiritual sweepstakes is that we become, and remain God’s servants. Aren’t you glad that God is in the business of blessing and not teasing us? I am.

May the Lord make us faithful servants, that we may know His will for our lives in these days.

His Secrets Opened For You

Your secrets, though, are locked away!

Message Magazine’s Online Devotional for Monday, June 22, 2015
Based Upon Deuteronomy 29:29

“The secret things belong unto the LORD our God: but those things which are revealed belong unto us and to our children for ever, that we may do all the words of this law.” (Deuteronomy 29:29).

In Deuteronomy 28, the Lord revealed both the blessings for those who keep covenant with Him, and the curses for those who choose to turn our backs on Him. The immediate context is the Children of Israel. God had led them by a mighty hand out of Egyptian captivity. He was taking them step-by-step out of spiritual captivity while He led them to the Promised Land.

In chapter 29, God continued to express what would happen to those who broke covenant with Him, and the fact that all would be able to see. The judgments and curses would be so startling that those who witnessed them would wonder why these curses were levied against the people. Verse 29 gives a basic answer to this curiosity where Moses said, “The secret things belong unto the LORD our God: but those things which are revealed belong unto us and to our children for ever, that we may do all the words of this law.” God may not choose to blurt out your sinful business to all who witness the adverse effects, but there is one thing He does open to everyone—the words of His law.

We are living in a time when tragedy-after-tragedy strikes by the day. From injustice to premeditated acts of violence and murder, sin abounds. We may not always understand why God’s judgment is applied in certain ways, but instead of us breaking our brains to peer into the secret counsels of God, which belong solely to Him, it is our privilege to embrace that which He has revealed—His Word. The mysteries of Scripture, especially concerning our responsibilities in the last days, are being opened to all who diligently seek God’s face. While many are leery of, or too lazy to study the prophecies of Daniel and Revelation, along with other Bible study, others are reaping rich rewards for opening their hearts to God’s revelation.

We may not always understand why God’s judgment is applied in certain ways, but instead of us breaking our brains to peer into the secret counsels of God, which belong solely to Him, it is our privilege to embrace that which He has revealed—His Word. The mysteries of Scripture, especially concerning our responsibilities in the last days, are being opened to all who diligently seek God’s face.

The simple message for today is that yes, there are some things that God will not reveal to us (the details of other people’s secret sins), but to all He reveals our responsibility to live in holiness. He reveals divine mysteries to those who submit to Him. Here is the promise He sent through John from the Isle of Patmos. He said, “Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand.” (Revelation 1:3). The revelation of God and His resultant blessings are for us and our children. Seize the blessing and do not worry your pretty little head concerning what God has not revealed about His judgments against others. His Word is rich enough to keep us occupied.

The God Who Lives In Eternity

Message Magazine’s Online Devotional for Sunday, June 21, 2015
Based Upon Job 11:7-8; Isaiah 55:8-9; Isaiah 46:9-10

“Canst thou by searching find out God? Canst thou find out the Almighty unto perfection? It is as high as heaven; what canst thou do? Deeper than hell; what canst thou know?” (Job 11:7–8).

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, Neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are my ways higher than your ways, And my thoughts than your thoughts.” (Isaiah 55:8–9).

“Remember the things I have done in the past. For I alone am God! I am God, and there is none like me. Only I can tell you the future before it even happens. Everything I plan will come to pass, for I do whatever I wish.” (Isaiah 46:9–10, NLT).

Today’s devotional thought is somewhat difficult, in that I am at a loss for where to even begin. We are discussing Almighty God here! As Moses recorded Job’s thoughts on this, it is true that searching or attempting to interpret the Almighty is staggering. Human beings had attempted to reach into the heavens with our ingenuity at the Tower of Babel, yet in our pride, the Lord was compelled to destroy those efforts and confuse our languages. Somewhat due to our curiosity and pursuit of increasing knowledge in the modern times, we have built incredible flying machines that swiftly carry us into outer space. And whatever far reaches the mighty machines have not yet approached, we have built high-powered telescopes to attempt to penetrate the expanse. Yet, whether by physically searching or philosophically attempting to interpret, we fall miserably short of our goal—to find out God. However, our God has beckoned that we seek Him, and has promised that we will indeed find Him, if we seek Him (His face in humble submission) with all our hearts.

While God’s thoughts, ways, character, and even His very essence are higher than our highest abilities to perform or fathom, He has given us a way to peer into His glory through Bible prophecy. He distinguishes Himself from all false gods, which have been crafted by human hands and devilish imaginations. He said that only He is God. He said that there is none like Him. Well, what is one of the ways that you distinguish yourself, God? He said that only He can declare the end from the beginning. Only He can do absolutely whatever He wishes, with absolutely no impediments to His plans. Only to Him are the events of every age like an open book. How is this possible? Notice what the Scriptures say: “For thus saith the high and lofty One That inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy; I dwell in the high and holy place, With him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, To revive the spirit of the humble, And to revive the heart of the contrite ones.” (Isaiah 57:15). Did you get that? God inhabits (abides in, sets up His dwelling in, encamps in) eternity. There never has been, nor ever will be a time where God does not dwell. Therefore, anything that will happen is as present to Him as you are presently experiencing this devotional thought. Nothing at all is a secret to Him. All is ever revealed to Him, and to whom He chooses to reveal it. False gods, feeble philosophical and pseudo-scientific constructs must all bow before the presence of the One who makes eternity His home.

Part of the beauty of all that we have said is that not only does God distinguish Himself as the only Revealer of future events, but His eternal essence is also key to our forgiveness and cleansing. He, who simultaneously experiences all time forever, is ever present to forgive our sins, past, present, or future, if per chance we should stumble. Therefore, if we accept His perfect plans for our lives, we can have the privilege of boldness in the Day of Judgment, because we have no sins that are hidden from Him, and He can blot out all our transgressions. What a mighty God we serve! Amen.

A Word About Your Future

Thoughts in Worship
Message Magazine’s Online Devotional for Friday, June 19, 2015
Based Upon Amos 3:7

“Surely the Lord GOD will do nothing, But he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets.” (Amos 3:7).

Believe it or not, prophecy is one of the greatest expressions of God’s love for us. I do realize that this statement may represent a paradigm shift for some, but it’s true.

Fact: Our God is all-powerful.

Fact: Our God is sovereign over all.

Fact: Our God is the creator of all things seen, unseen, and of the material origins of each.

Fact: Being the eternal God of the universe who actively keeps all that exists in order and constant motion, along with the fact that all of creation relies upon Him for life, and He has never ceased creating means that He owes puny little earthlings absolutely nothing. In fact, we actually owe everything to Him. Yet, there is nothing important concerning our existence on earth, and its relation to eternity that our God who owes us nothing, does not first reveal.

When there was a need for Immanuel to come in order to solidify our enmity against sin, God revealed it first. When there was a flood impending during Noah’s time, God revealed it first. When God had chosen to send Messiah through the seed of Abraham, God revealed it first. When the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah was on the horizon, God revealed it first. When there were going to be many years of famine during the time of Joseph, God revealed it first. When 10 plagues were in position to run through Egypt, God revealed it first. I could go on. When the overthrow of various kingdoms were of eternal import for the people of God, He revealed it first. Make no mistake about it; these revelations were no mere spiritual public service announcements. They were no mere statements of fact. These revelations came so that people could get their minds right, repent, prepare, be renewed in the grace of God, etc. As I said in the beginning, prophecy is one of the greatest expressions of God’s love for us!

This reality begs the question, then: Is there a word of prophecy for us today? Well, I am so glad you asked. Scripture is full of promises that the Lord will be arriving any time now. He is preparing a place for people who are willing to submit to Him and accept His gift of salvation. The beginnings of sorrows–such as wars, tensions among nations, famines, incurable diseases, crazy weather patterns, false prophets and false Christs–spoken of in Matthew 24 are all increasing at alarming rates. World economies are crashing while we are sleeping.

“This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.” (2 Timothy 3:1–5). “But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief. Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness. Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober. For they that sleep sleep in the night; and they that be drunken are drunken in the night. But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation. For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ, Who died for us, that, whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with him. Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also ye do.” (1 Thessalonians 5:4–11).

Since the Lord is gracious enough to give us a heads-up on critical things concerning eternity, will you be grateful enough to pay attention?

Will you be thankful enough for His forewarnings to amend your ways and help others to turn to God, too? Among certain Christian churches it may have become cliché unfortunately, but it is true that Jesus is coming very soon, and He has given us ample insight concerning the events that will directly precede earth’s upheaval before His appearance. Let us ask God to insulate our minds against the constant barrage of news concerning famous people’s personal lives, the insane amount of crime that is occurring, and other things in our own lives, so that we can have clear eyesight to see what we must be doing as we prepare to greet Him at His coming. Don’t get tired now, friends. You think things are rough now? Uh, uh…It’s about to get real down here, and we need to be ready by God’s grace.

Your Life, Re-Created

Message Magazine’s Online Devotional for Thursday, June 18, 2015
Based Upon Galatians 3:26

“For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.” (Galatians 3:26).

Oftentimes children fantasize about being someone else. Boys may want to be superheroes or soldiers, and girls may want to be princesses or tenderhearted mommies. Children who are living in poverty might fantasize about having unlimited wealth where simple things like consistent meals and properly fitting clothing abound, along with the blessing of adequate shelter. Some of our childhood fantasies are healthy, while others a far from it. But, more often than not, as our little minds develop, and our practical life experiences increase with each passing year, our identities are no longer wrapped up in our fantastical imaginations.

Yet, there are many, too, who for whatever reason, never move beyond those stages. Some just create new fantasies that may be a hiding place from unresolved pain or abuse. Or perhaps these fantasies give some people identities to hopefully rise higher than their perception of their current circumstances.

Our God has created every single one of us with a purpose. The Bible says, “Even every one that is called by my name: For I have created him for my glory, I have formed him; yea, I have made him.” (Isaiah 43:7). Every person, whether male or female, regardless of culture or race, has been created to relish in the glory of God. Sadly, so many have either never heard of this, or have yet to receive the good news that when we accept God into our hearts by faith, we are recreated “To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved. In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;” (Ephesians 1:6–7). When we accept Jesus in to our lives, we no longer need to fantasize about being someone else, or bury our very real pain beneath the facades of our assumed identities. In Christ, we become new creatures, with new and holy identities, headed for a new world where sin and sadness will be no more. Will we have trials as we await the Lord’s return? Yes? Will we suffer sometimes? Yes. Will we need help to resolve emotional turmoil and pain? Yes. But, “…in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.” (Romans 8:37).

When we accept Jesus in to our lives, we no longer need to fantasize about being someone else, or bury our very real pain beneath the facades of our assumed identities.

Above all, friends, “Think about the things of heaven, not the things of earth. For you died to this life, and your real life is hidden with Christ in God. And when Christ, who is your life, is revealed to the whole world, you will share in all his glory.” (Colossians 3:2–4, NLT).