VIDEO Anticipation – The End of the Universe,

Therefore, beloved, looking forward to these things, be diligent to be found by Him in peace, without spot and blameless. 2 Peter 3:14

Psychologists tell us that anticipation, which is the opposite of surprise, is an emotion with marvelous healing powers. People who are snowbound sustain their spirits by anticipating the longer days of spring and summer. Couples who are separated by military deployment stay sane by anticipating their reunion. Students anticipate the end of the semester. Workers look forward to their vacations. Brides and grooms are eager for their wedding day.

Can you imagine a world without anticipation? How would we feel with nothing to look forward to? Welcome to non-Christianity. Without Christ, there’s no ultimate anticipation. There may be momentary prospects and incremental excitement, but lasting expectancy is missing. The future has no promise; it holds no hope. Everything is perishing or will perish. Death is the termination of our life, our families, our fortunes, our civilization, and even of the universe itself.

Thank God we have a message of hope! Our joy is complete as we look to the future return of our Lord and to the mansions He is preparing for us. Let’s live in anticipation today!

On every page of the Bible there are words of God that give reason to hope…. In the promises of God I find inspiration and new hope. Charles L. Allen


The End of the Universe, Part 1 (2 Peter 3)

Chosen to Forgive

Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing. Luke 23:34

As a middle-schooler, Patrick Ireland first sensed God had chosen him for something. But what? Later as a survivor of the horrific Columbine (Colorado) High School massacre where thirteen were killed and twenty-four wounded, including Patrick, he began to understand an answer.

Through his long recovery, Patrick learned that clinging to bitterness causes further wounding. God showed Patrick that the key to forgiveness is to stop focusing on what others have done to us and to focus on what Jesus has done for us. Christ’s words on the cross toward His tormenters, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing” (Luke 23:34), fulfilled Zechariah the priest’s prophecy of Jesus’ forgiveness (1:77). Additionally, His example revealed a purpose for Patrick, and twenty years after the tragedy, Patrick shared, “Maybe I was chosen to forgive.”

While most of us will not endure an unimaginable calamity such as the one committed at Columbine, each of us has been wronged in some way. A spouse betrays. A child rebels. An employer abuses. How do we move forward? Maybe we look to the example of our Savior. In the face of rejection and cruelty, He forgave. It is through Jesus’ forgiveness of our sins that we, ourselves, find salvation, which includes the ability to forgive others. And like Patrick, we can choose to let go of our bitterness to open our hearts to forgiveness.

By:  Elisa Morgan

Is your heart open to forgive? How might you experience more of the salvation Jesus died to provide by choosing to move toward forgiving someone who has wronged you?

Dear Father, show me who I’m chosen to forgive today, and give me the strength to offer the forgiveness You died to provide.

A Parent’s Positive Influence

Colossians 3:23-25

Yesterday we discussed the spiritual impact of mothers and fathers. Today I’d like to mention other areas that are shaped by parental example: relationships, money, and vocation. While these three things don’t directly impact salvation, they do affect quality of life, so we should yield control over them to the loving, omnipotent, all-knowing Holy Spirit.

Relationships—Kids are more likely to avoid the wrong crowd when they see Mom and Dad carefully choosing their own friends and then treating those people with grace and love.

Money—Before our children can use money well, they need to know that everything they earn is actually a gift from God. Wise parents both teach and model that money’s true value lies in its being a means of meeting needs and blessing others.

Vocation—Boys and girls should grow up knowing God has a plan and will for their life. And if parents always strive for excellence because they’re serving God, kids will grow up knowing everything is to be done for the Lord, regardless of who the human boss is.

Despite what the world thinks, true success is not about having the most money, the best job, or the best-looking spouse. Success means keeping a God-centered attitude and letting that spill over into all areas of life

Let Him Hear Will You?

“He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.” (Revelation 3:22)

It makes an eternal difference whether a person hears—yet doesn’t hear—or really hears what he hears, especially when God speaks! In Christ’s seven letters to the seven churches (Revelation 2 and 3), representing all churches, each letter concludes with His words in our text. How important it is to really hear when He speaks!

First of all, when we truly hear His call, He gives salvation. “He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life” (John 5:24). Then, if we have really become His sheep, we will hear His voice and follow Him as He leads. “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me” (John 10:27). “He calleth his own sheep by name, and leadeth them out” (John 10:3). Also, if we really hear when He speaks through His Word, we will do what He says. “Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock” (Matthew 7:24).

The voice of the Lord can even raise the dead: “Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, and shall come forth” (John 5:28-29). Now, if even those who have died physically can hear Him, surely He is able also to quicken those who are spiritually dead if they will only listen as He calls. But it is necessary that they hear! “To day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts, as in the provocation. For some, when they had heard, did provoke….whose carcasses fell in the wilderness….So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief” (Hebrews 3:15-19). “He that hath an ear, let him hear!” HMM

A Normal Employment of Moral Beings

The four and twenty elders fall down before him that sat on the throne, and worship him that liveth for ever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying, Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.

—Revelation 4:10-11

 

All of the examples that we have in the Bible illustrate that glad and devoted and reverent worship is the normal employment of moral beings. Every glimpse that is given us of heaven and of God’s created beings is always a glimpse of worship and rejoicing and praise because God is who He is.

The apostle John in Revelation 4:10-11 gives us a plain portrayal of created beings around the throne of God….

I can safely say, on the authority of all that is revealed in the Word of God, that any man or woman on this earth who is bored and turned off by worship is not ready for heaven.   WHT013

Lord, please don’t let me ever become bored with worship! I pray that You might enhance my vision of Your glory and draw me into heartfelt worship. Amen.

 

The Cross of Power

What things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ….that I may know…the fellowship of his sufferings.

—Philippians 3:7, 10

 

Christians have decided where to put the cross. They have made the cross objective instead of subjective. They have made the cross external instead of internal. They have made it institutional instead of experiential.

Now, the terrible thing is that they are so wrong because they are half right. They are right in making the cross objective. It was something that once stood on a hill with a man dying on it, the just for the unjust. They are right that it was an external cross—for on that cross God performed a judicial act that will last while the ages burn themselves out….

But here is where they are wrong: They fail to see that there is a very real cross for you and me. There is a cross for every one of us—a cross that is subjective, internal, experiential. Our cross is an experience within….When that cross on the hill has been transformed by the miraculous grace of the Holy Spirit into the cross in the heart, then we begin to know something of its true meaning and it will become to us the cross of power. JAF082-083

Our spiritual life is perfected by the constant recognition of the cross and by our unceasing application of it to all our life and being. CC031

 

Christian Faith in a Computerized World

Job 36:26

Voltaire, the avowed social critic and atheist, admitted, “The world embarrasses me, and I cannot think that this watch exists and has no watchmaker.” Indeed, if watches must have a watchmaker, the incredible wonders of creation all about us, and within us, eloquently witness to a “world maker.” Gerard Manley Hopkins, the poet priest, exclaimed: “The world is charged with the grandeur of God.”

Recent discoveries, in both the infinite and the infinitesimal, open new revelations of the majesty and magnificence of the Creator’s handiwork. The computer revolution has hit as a seismic force, collapsing time zones and national boundaries. Where does our Christian faith fit into this milieu of change? Gratefully, the church has long since emerged from the infamous Galileo episode where religion vigorously resisted and suppressed new advances in scientific discovery.

If you look for Christ on the Internet, you may find Him listed some 146,000 times. Even prayer receives momentum from the Internet, with prayer concerns daily posted by Internet and e-mail users.

But of course, technologies are not neutral. C. S. Lewis reminds us: “There is no neutral ground in the universe. Every square inch is claimed by God and counterclaimed by Satan.” The church today is challenged by the widespread virus of cyberporn and cybersex with their anonymity and easy access. Christian families must vigilantly protect their young from the pernicious influence of salacious offerings on the Internet.

“Can you probe the limits of the Almighty?” is the penetrating question that comes to us from the ancient Book of Job (11:7). Man has an insatiable passion to explore how he fits into the grand cosmological scheme. The advanced resources from technology today can help us recapture an awareness and awe of the transcendent God. We want a God who is beyond the probe of our minds and satellites, a God higher than the utmost reach of our ultimate questions. Job reminds us that we have just such a God: “How great is God—beyond our understanding!” (36:26)

But the God of the Cosmos is also the God of Calvary. The God who holds the stars in their unerring courses also holds our frail and finite lives in His mighty hands. The God who knows the names of the incomputable billions of stars, knows us each by name and need. The God who flung galaxies into space condescends to hear our prayer, forgive our sin and accept us as His children.

Henry Gariepy, The War Cry