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Unfailing Love

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Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet My unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed,” says the LORD, who has compassion on you.

Isaiah 54: 10

With all I see and hear in the news lately it is nice to know that even when everything looks like it is going wrong –mountains shaken, hills removed, that God’s love for us is unfailing!! What a comforting thought that is, especially this Christmas season.

People discuss and debate about when Jesus was actually born, but regardless of the time year – one truth remains; God wrapped Jesus in human flesh, and sent Him to this earth because of HIS unfailing love for us!!!

Remember tonight as you look at your Christmas tree that the angel or star that may be on top of your tree heralded great news and led people to where Jesus was.

The lights that fill you with a warm glow represent the light of God’s love. Jesus said that He is the light, and we are to be a light to a dark world. Think about this as you watch your tree sparkle bright.

As you look at each present wrapped so pretty, remember we have all been given gifts by the Lord. Some come wrapped very nicely, some seem to come rough and ragged, but God himself wrapped each one. Don’t forget gifts are eventually meant to be unwrapped and used!!

Finally as you sit by the glow of your tree see Jesus dying on a tree for OUR sins. He hung on the cross; bore all our shame – so one day we will be able to stand before the Throne of Grace.

Christmas isn’t about gifts, carols, or even family and friends it is about so much more. It is Gods love for us taking a very real form. He was not content to give us His word – He Himself became a walking testament so we could be reconciled to Him, and eventually be led home to live in His presence for all time. Now that is truly unfailing love.

Merry Christmas!!!

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I am listening to an audio christian fiction book and a character was explaining the rapture and it was an analogy I had never heard. He said think of the rapture this way when two countries go to war the first thing they do it recall their ambassadors. That is what is the rapture will be – Jesus recalling His ambassadors home. Never thought of it that way and that thought I would share.

Luke 21:29-36 NKJV

Then He spoke to them a parable: “Look at the fig tree, and all the trees. When they are already budding, you see and know for yourselves that summer is now near. So you also, when you see these things happening, know that the kingdom of God is near. Assuredly, I say to you, this generation will by no means pass away till all things take place. Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away. “But take heed to yourselves, lest your hearts be weighed down with carousing, drunkenness, and cares of this life, and that Day come on you unexpectedly. For it will come as a snare on all those who dwell on the face of the whole earth. Watch therefore, and pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man.”

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World Upside Down

I was reading in Acts 17 and vs 6 jumped off the page at me. Many had come to accept Jesus as their Messiah but those who weren’t persuaded couldn’t fashion an argument against them. They went to bring out Paul but they couldn’t find him, so they brought out those who supported him. The charge they brought against them was – ‘These who have turned the world upside down have come here too’ . This made me wonder have we turned the world upside down or have we allowed the world turn us upside down? Just something to think on.

Acts 17:5-9 NKJV

5 But the Jews who were not persuaded, becoming envious, took some of the evil men from the marketplace, and gathering a mob, set all the city in an uproar and attacked the house of Jason, and sought to bring them out to the people. 6 But when they did not find them, they dragged Jason and some brethren to the rulers of the city, crying out, “These who have turned the world upside down have come here too. 7 Jason has harbored them, and these are all acting contrary to the decrees of Caesar, saying there is another king—Jesus.” 8 And they troubled the crowd and the rulers of the city when they heard these things. 9 So when they had taken security from Jason and the rest, they let them go.

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The Unbarred Door

The Unbarred Door
When on America’s eastern plain
Still roamed her forest child,
And the new homes of Europe’s sons
Were rising in the wild.
 
Upon a clearing in a wood
Amos had built his cot;
He tilled his little farm
And lived contented with his lot.
 
A just, peace-loving man was he,
Kind unto all and true,
And well his ever-open door,
The wandering Indian knew.
 
But often were the settler’s lands.
By force or fraud obtained
And to the Red man dispossessed,
Revenge alone remained.
 
And ’round the blazing fire of logs
When winter nights were cold,
To shuddering listeners, dreadful tales
Of Indian raids were told.
 
But Amos feared not, though his home
All undefended lay,
And still his never-belted door
Was open night and day.
 
One morn a neighbor passed in haste;
“Indians, they say, are nigh,
So Amos, bolt your door tonight
And keep your powder dry.”
 
“My friend,” said he, the God I serve
Commands me not to kill,
And sooner would I yield my life
Than disobey his will.
 
“One gun I have, but used alone
Against the wolf or bear,
To point it at my fellow-man,
My hand would never dare.
 
“But I shall put the thing away.
They shall not see it here.
For the old gun in hands unskilled,
Might do some harm, I fear.
 
“Besides, the Indians are my friends
They would not do me ill,
Here they have found an open door
And they shall find it still.”
 
“Well,” said the neighbor, as he went,
“My faith is not so clear.
If wretches come to take my life,
I mean to sell it dear.”
 
But the good wife of Amos stood,
And listened with affright.
“Unless,” she said, “that door is fast,
I shall not sleep tonight.”
 
And with her words as women can
She urged her husband sore,
Till for the sake of household peace,
At last he barred the door.
 
They went to rest, and soon the wife
Was wrapped in slumbers deep;
But Amos turned and tossed about,
And vainly tried to sleep.
 
Then came a voice within his heart,
A mild rebuke it bore.
It whispered, “Thou of little faith
Why hast thou barred thy door?”
 
‘Weak is that poor defense of thine
Against a hostile band;
Stronger than strongest fortresses,
The shadow of my hand.”
 
“Hast thou not said, these many times?
That I have power to save,
As when my servants trembling feet,
Were sinking ‘neath the wave?”
 
“Now let thy actions with thy words
In full accord agree;
Rise quickly and unbar thy door
And trust alone in Me.”
 
Then Amos from his bed arose.
And softly trod the floor;
Crept down the stairs and noiselessly
Unbarred the cottage door.
 
Then forth he looked into the night;
Starlight it was, and still
And slowly rose the waning moon.
Behind the tree-ringed hill.
 
He looked with trustful, reverent gaze
Up to the starry sky,
As meets a child with loving glance,
A tender father’s eye.
 
The cloud was lifted from his brow,
His doubts were over now,
The cool air breathed a kiss of peace
Upon his tranquil brow.
 
Then back to his forsaken bed
He slowly groped his way,
And slept the slumber of the just,
Until the dawn of day.
 
That night a painted warrior band
Through the dark forest sped,
With steps as light upon the leaves
As panthers’ stealthy tread.
 
They reached the farm; “we make no war,
With good and faithful men,”
The foremost Indian turned and said,
“Here dwells a son of Penn.”
 
“But brother, if still his heart is right.
How shall we surely know?”
Answered another; “Time brings change.
And oft turns friend to foe.”
 
Said the first one, “I will go
And gently try the door;
If open still it proves
His heart is as it was before.”
 
It yielded and they entered in.
Across the room they stepped,
And came where Amos and his wife.
Calm and unconscious slept.
 
With tomahawk and scalping knife.
They stood beside the pair.
A solemn stillness filled the room;
An angel guard was there.
 
The eye sought eye and seemed to say.
How sound the good man sleeps!
So may they rest, and fear no ill,
Whom the Great Spirit keeps.
 
Then noiselessly they left the room
And closed the door behind,
And on their deadly war trail passed.
Some other prey to find.
 
And horror shrieked around their steps.
And bloodshed marked their way,
And many homes were desolate.
When rose another day.
 
But Amos with a thankful heart
Greeted the morning light,
And knew not until after years
How near was death that night.
 
—Author Unknown

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The Hand of God

I was reading in 1 Chronicles 21  about King David.  The Lord had told Israel NOT to do a census of the people, but King David decided it was time.  Joab one of  King Davids men tried to talk the king out it, but King David prevailed so most of Israel was numbered.  The Lord was not happy with David and sent the prophet Gad to tell David to choose his punishment.  Davids choices were 3 years of famine, 3 months of being at the mercy of his enemies, or 3 days of a plague across the land…David chose door number 3.

So a plague went through out Israel and killed 75,000 people – David prayed that God would spare them…since the people didn’t sin…but him alone.  Now the angel of the Lord was ready to strike Jerusalem…but God – being merciful told the angel to stop.   Now the Angel of the Lord was standing by the door of the threashing floor of Ornan….Ornan’s 4 sons saw the angel and ran and hid.  Ornan just looked at the angel and went back to threashing his wheat…say WHAT????  Here is  the hand of the Lord – ready to strike and Ornan just kind of shrugs his shoulders, says eh and goes back to life as usual.  I was dumb founded when I saw that…but the story goes on.

Then David was instructed to go to the threashing floor of Ornan and make offerings to God, so David set out for the threashing floor of Ornan. David arrived at Ornan’s threashing floor and Ornan ran out and bowed at David’s feet.  David offered to buy the floor from Ornan…but Ornan says NO – I will give it to you along with the animals needed for the sacrifice.  But David said he must pay for the floor because (now catch this)…David says I will not offer anything that costs me nothing.   Now David had wanted to go and worship at  Gibeon , but he was afraid of the Angel so he didn’t go.

Did you see what I saw just then?  Two different people faced with the same problem – the hand of the Lord was heavy on the land….ones reaction was repentance…the others was to basically ignore the problem and go about life as usual.  We are seeing that same thing across our land right now…God’s hedge of protection is lifting off of America because we have forsaken God and thrown Him out of our country and out of our lives.

Now there are some that see this happening and have turned to God and repented. However, there are countless others like Ornan who say “eh” and go about business as usual.  Most  are saying a loving God would never punish us. While that is true God is loving and merciful….but He is also just.  We have asked Him to leave our land….we have legislated Him out of our land….so He is leaving us to the life WE have chosen – with all its consequences.

Now the question becomes what will you do when the hand of the Lord comes against this land?  Will you stand in utter defiance and basically shrug at God and say eh?  Or will do you what King David did and repent? It cost David something to repent – remember David wouldn’t offer anything that cost Him nothing.  Maybe it will cost you a friend, maybe a job or you could end up in jail because of your faith.  Repentance may even cost you  your life. Knowing all that the question that remains is; are you willing to repent and though it cost you everything?

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Some people I know believe in a pre-trib rapture, others a mid-trib rapture and still for others a post-trib rapture. Regardless of where you stand on the rapture…think of what the world will look like in the near future. Looking around at world today – its easy to see that the ‘church’ age is coming to an end. When that end comes – what will the world look like? What will your life look like?
 
As the world turns further away from God…the differences between Christians and the world will be glaring. Christians will be hated – even more than they are today and our beliefs and lifestyle itself will be seen as criminal. Think of your family, friends and co-workers who don’t know Jesus as their savior and how they will see you.
 
Brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles ,cousins, sons and daughters…all seeing you as hateful….seeing you as the enemy. Even those in your church who are really Christians in name only will line up to turn you in for your crime of being a Christian. How will you respond?
 
I have heard some Christians say they will fight to the death to protect what is theirs – their family, their friends, their lifestyle. Still others say they will comply with the ruling authories to the best of their abilities – after all the authority is set up by God himself. There is another group however – that will fight, but without violence. They will stand on the Word of God and defy the ruling authorities…they will preach the Word, even when told to sit down and shut up.
 
This group of fighters will preach in prisons, on street corners, in bombed out buildings and yes even while waiting in line to be executed. Why? Why can’t they just be normal like everyone else? Why can’t they see how divisive they are being? While the world around them is cheering on the Christians deaths…the Christian is weeping because he sees hell itself swallowing the souls of those around him.
 
The Christians that stand up on God’s Word does so – so that not one person would be lost. The Christian that preaches, preaches so that the shackles holding their loved ones would fall off. Those standing in lines waiting to die – do so not because they want to die, but because their Savior died for them.
 
So while you are sitting in your car in that traffic jam….when you are sitting in your pew on Sunday or at the dinner table with family and friends – look around. However, this time look around with the eyes of Jesus…do they know Jesus as their savior? Do they stand ready to meet their Lord? Does your heart break right now for them….or are you simply contemplating your next trip…or attending another game. If thinking about the lost and dying souls around you doesn’t break your heart….what will?
 
Where will you be standing when the ‘church’ age comes to an end?

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This is to address the ongoing conversations between Christians regarding the LGBTQ community and the ‘church’.  First let me say that I don’t see a lot of love on either side.  If you are feeling anger toward those on the opposite side – you need to stop and pray.  First pray that God gives you a heart of love toward them. Second pray that in all your conversations what you say and do would be pleasing to God.  Now that being said….lets get into it shall we.

I saw an article on  a friends Facebook page that talked about how tired he was of Christians being ‘offended’ by the LGBTQ community. I am not offended by your lifestyle, I am offended by sin.  I am offended by a church that has watered down the Word of God so much that it is worth nothing to those listening to it.  I am offended by those who think that         (” Judge not, that you be not judged ” Matthew 7:1) means that you cannot speak out against sin.

To those in the church and in the world who say Jesus never addressed homosexuality in the bible He only taught on love, that is only partially correct.  While it is true that Jesus did not speak to it in the New Testament…He did address it in the Old Testament.  How could Jesus address it in the Old Testament when He wasn’t born yet? According to John 1:1-3 “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made.” So that means that Jesus was there at creation.  Jesus was there when this particular sin was addressed, so there was no need to address it again.

However there are some that would say  the simple absence of mention by Jesus means that God has changed His mind and now its no longer a sin. That would mean that the Word of God is not accurate and true…I say this because Gods Word says “For I am the Lord, I do not change; Therefore you are not consumed, O sons of Jacob. Malachi 3:6  So if God does not change – then His definition of sin does not change.

 What do we do now?  We love them. We love them enough to show them the truth of Gods Word.  What they choose to do with Gods Word once they are shown is not up to you, all you are called to do it tell them. If  we do not tell them and they die in their sin we are guilty of their blood – as if we had killed them ourselves.”When I say to the wicked, ‘You shall surely die,’ and you give him no warning, nor speak to warn the wicked from his wicked way, to save his life, that same wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood I will require at your hand. Ezekiel 3:18

So put aside popular notions, political correctness and the go along to get along mentality.  Decide today whether Gods Word is true or not.  If you decide that God’s Word is not true and is in error – then nothing in it is accurate including your salvation.  Harsh I know but if part is a lie – then all is a lie.  If you decide today that God’s Word is indeed true – then you need to live as if its true.  Let us put aside the live and let live spirit that has engulfed the church and instead replace it with a broken spirit.  We need to love our neighbors, friends, and family enough to tell them that God loved us so much that He gave His only son as a sacrifice for all our sins. We need that love to drive us to pray for them, to contend with them and for them.

Well that is my take – I ask that you prayerfully consider the situation.

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