South Carolina may be hit by Hurricane Isaias, that said, "Please Note: There is a possibility of us losing power and internet. If this happens... I will be unable to post my daily blog-- which is ready to go. Please say a prayer and hopefully we will not get anything that will take our power out!
And every man that hath this hope in him purify himself,
even as he is pure.
1 JOHN 3:3
Two little girls were talking in school one day, and one said to the other, "I hear the school board is making an inspection of our school this week." The other girl's desk was messy, so she said, "I'll clean my desk up tomorrow!"
The first girl asked, "But what if they come to our school today?" Her friend answered, "You know, I think I'll clean it up right now and keep it clean. That way it won't matter when they come!"
CHANGING OUR DAYS
Since we are people who look for Jesus Christ to come at any moment, we ought to be living clean lives for Him. For example, if you knew for certain that Jesus Christ were coming this afternoon, are there some things that you would get right in your life?
Would there be some changes that you would make? Would there be someone you might call this day and want to make up with before Jesus came? Would there be some literature in your home that you would like to dispose of?
CHRIST COULD COME ANY DAY
Are there some things that would change if you absolutely knew that this was the afternoon you were going to meet Jesus Christ?
You see, that's exactly what John meant when he said that those who have this hope (that is, the expectation of the coming of Jesus) purify themselves.
Hear your Children Oh Lord we are lifting our Praise to you.
Let singing like incense now rise to your throne. Come dwell in the place hollowed out for your Spirit. Come make of our praises your home Lord.
What a motivation to commit ourselves to living a holy life, once we fully realize that at any moment we might meet Jesus face to face!
BELOW: Hear My Song, Lord - Gaither Vocal Band
Give unto the Lord the glory due unto his name; worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness.
A man lived a long life as a believer and a follower of Christ Jesus, and now he was in the winter of his life. He was dying and his loved ones came and asked him to sign his name to a necessary legal document.
They explained, "Daddy, if you would sign this, it would help us with a lot of legal difficulties. We hate to mention it, but it needs to be done before you die."
WITH A MIND ON ETERNITY
Facing eternity, with a quivering hand the old man willingly signed the paper. His children, seeing their father was close to dying, lay the paper on the night table next to his bed.
They each told him they loved him and kissed his face for what would be the last time. Their father with a smile on his face, slipped into eternity to be home with his Lord and Savior
When his family saw the document, to their amazement they saw that their father had signed the wrong name, he had signed the name, "Jesus." More than likely, it was the only name that meant anything to him... in those last moments.
WHOSE NAME MATTERS TO YOU
Each of us will face our final moments here on earth, and only one thing will actually matter. Who did we live for while here on earth?
Who's name did we whisper in our times of worship? Who's name did we pray in, for the healing and salvation of loved ones? Who's name actually mattered most in our daily living?
FACING OUR FINAL MOMENTS
Each of us will face our final moments here on earth, and only one name will genuinely matter. That name, that will mean anything and everything! To me that name is--Jesus.
So, what name will mean the most to you when you come
to the end of this lifetime?
BELOW: There's Something About That Name
Bill & Gloria Gaither
Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ's sake:
for when I am weak, then am I strong.
2 CORINTHIANS 12:10
SOMETHING TO PONDER
What does Paul mean in this verse when he says he "takes pleasure" in all of these difficult circumstances?
He is saying that:
BLESSINGS IN WEAKNESS
A great experiment in the desert called the biodome was created as a living environment for plant life and young trees. A huge glass dome was constructed to house an artificial, controlled environment with purified air, water, healthy soil and filtered light. The intent was to afford perfect growing conditions for vegetables, fruits and trees.
However, when the trees grew to a certain height, they would all topple over. Scientists were baffled until they realized they forgot to include the natural elements of storms and wind.
Trees need wind and storms to blow hard against them because it causes their root systems to grow deeper, which supports the tree as it grows.
LESSONS FROM GOD IN NATURE
So now you know, just how very young trees, when faced with the many storms through it's young life, ultimately become stronger. And, the more powerful the winds, torrential rains, famine, ice and snow, the deeper the roots of the tree grow and the stronger it becomes.
God has given us a great lesson in wisdom through nature if we will pay attention. Watch and see how a tree bends and sways gracefully as the wind blows against it.
The tree does not stand rigid, resisting the flow of energy. It does not push back. The tree bends and sways receiving God's blessings that helps it develop and grow strong.
BENDING IS NOT BREAKING BUT BLESSING
A curve in the road is not the end of the road... unless you fail to take the roads course. As we learn to trust God in the storms of our lives we learn that such storms and sufferings develop our character and deepen our spiritual roots.
When we grow deeper, we will also stand taller. God's desire is not to destroy us in our sufferings, His desire is to make each of us stronger. There is Godly power in all of our sufferings.
Suffering does not have to weaken you; it may even make you stronger then you were been before the adversity. Finding the "Blessings in Our Weaknesses" is finding God's strength in our suffering!
BELOW: Why Me Lord - Gaither Vocal Band
Truly God is good to Israel, even to such as are of a clean heart.
Asaph, the author of Psalm 73, started his psalm by talking about the purity of a person's heart and the goodness of God. Then he says, "But as for me, my feet were almost gone; my steps had well nigh slipped."
He thought when he got right with God, that he wouldn't have any more problems or troubles. Then the truth hit home with Asaph; "Verily I have cleansed my heart in vain, and washed my hands in innocency. For all the day long have I been plagued, and chastened every morning."
Asaph thought to himself, "Here I have got right with God and I'm still having problems!" Do you know what Asaph's problem was? He had a false expectation that the Bible does not give to any of us.
As Christians we do not receive preferential treatment, from those that are not Believers in Christ Jesus. What we do have is a God who will walk with us through the trials, anxieties and afflictions we will face.
WHERE IS GOD
Some of us have lost our marriages, a beloved family member, or we have a serious illness that keeps us in daily, unbearable pain, a family member has been in a serious accident and is barely hanging onto life.
Who of us has had a situation so dire that we did not ask, "Where are you God? Do you see the burden I'm carrying??"
HOW MANY ASK... IS GOD ENOUGH
IF... I'm saying, IF in the midst of your burdens and sufferings you can say, "My God is enough," let me tell you just one thing you've done: you have shut the mouth of the enemy, Satan himself!"
Satan would say to you, "Well, he only serves you because of those good things you have done for him. You bought him off with your blessings!"
WHAT GOD SAYS
Let me tell you what God is saying, "No, Satan! My children love me for who I AM, not because of the blessings I've given to them.
And do you know why that is the ABSOLUTE TRUTH?? Because the presence of God IS enough... even in the midst of our trials!
God's Word says: "These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world."
WHY JESUS SPOKE THESE WORDS
Jesus told us this so that we might have "peace of heart and mind." We are going to have many trials and hardships here on earth, but Jesus has over come this world.
So do we believe these things "beyond a shadow of a doubt?" We can because Jesus spoke these words that we might TRUST him, that we might have UNSHAKABLE ASSURANCE and be deeply at peace, because no matter what is happening in us, to us or around us... Jesus is with us and he has overcome this world and he has overcome our adversities!!
BELOW: I Just Came to Talk to You Lord (LIVE: Sheri Easter)
But he said unto them, "It is I; be not afraid." JOHN 6:20
In one way or another, God's Word tells us 365 times, "Don't be afraid--Do not fear!" In total God is saying everyday of the year, we need not be afraid or fear what appears to be happening to us or what may be going on in this world.
Still, God knows that we have a habit, an impulse to constantly resort to fear. The devil is the "sinister minister of fear!" Our God is NOT! Our Lord Jesus is the exact opposite of fear and He tells us so in His Word.
JESUS SPOKE THE WORD
The disciples, some of whom were competent sailors, were overcome with fear, bending their backs to the boat's oars. Their fears lead them to think they may drown in the roaring waters.
Their fear made them wondered if their boat would go down as the waters spilled into it. And, where was Jesus when they actually needed him?? Why wasn't he there to do something about the raging storm?? Had he forsaken them to die in the stormy weather??
FROM FEAR TO TERROR
Just when they thought it couldn't get any worse, they see what appeared to them to be a ghost--walking on the waters. Their panic now turned to horror. Their fears intensified into cold, shivering terrors.
Who was that? What or who was walking towards them on the stormy sea? Their fears intensified into cold, shivering terrors... Until, until they recognized--it's Jesus!
JESUS KNOWS AND UNDERSTANDS
Jesus would never forsake them. And, why would they even think that? Had they not heard him teach?? Had they not seen him do miracles??
And,Why hadn't they just called out, "Jesus help us?" (As a side note, this is a prayer I taught to the little children in my Sunday School class, but anyone in the midst of an awful situation can call out "Jesus help me" and know that he will be right there to help and to guide you!
The disciples were human, just like us. We've all been in the storms of life, if not right now, then later. We are usually going into the storms of life, in the middle of the storm or just coming out of the storms.
LEARNING GODLY PEACE
In this world... times of peace seem rare at times. We must learn that "Peace in our lives is not the subtraction of problems; it is the addition of power to meet those problems... with God's Peace!"
KEEP GOD'S WORD IN YOUR HEART
Memorizing God's Word helps us through this earthly life. The scriptures are there to meet our every need and in this case... we can remember Jesus' words:
"Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world gives, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid." JOHN 14:27
BELOW: Sometimes It Takes A Mountain - Gaither Vocal Band
Judy A. Weltin