The glory of this latter temple shall be greater than the former. Haggai 2:9
If you’re discouraged, think of Robert Mills. In 1836, his plans were chosen for the Washington Monument. But money didn’t come in, and construction was delayed for years. Then engineers found the ground was too soft, so the site was moved. Saboteurs destroyed a prized block of marble, and donations dried up. Vandals defaced the monument, and construction stopped again. After Mills died in 1855, his monument was an ugly, defaced stump. But today visitors stand in awe of the world’s tallest obelisk, and at its pinnacle are the words LAUS DEO, Latin for “Praise be to God.”
In Ezra 4, the workers trying to rebuild the temple in Jerusalem grew discouraged, and the work stopped for many years. But God sent Haggai and Zechariah to encourage the workers, and the day came when their rebuilt temple became a pulpit for the Lord Jesus Christ.
Rather than viewing problems as obstacles, we should see them as opportunities for praising the God who works things out for our good in His timing. Discouragement drains our spirits; perseverance accomplishes the job—especially when the cry of our heart is “Praise be to God!”
It is always hard to see the purpose in wilderness wanderings until after they are over. Attributed to John Bunyan
David Wilkerson – Get Ready For The End Of All Things – Must Watch Sermon
A seed that is not planted will never produce a crop. So Jesus used a seed to illustrate why He had to die in order to bring many people to glory. He was teaching a principle that’s also true in our lives: If our ambition is to remain isolated, protected, and comfortable, we’ll never bear the fruit God desires. It’s in dying to self and being broken of pride and self-sufficiency that we become fruitful and useful to the Lord.
Brokenness is one of the means God uses to mature His children. In that process, we may find ourselves challenged in:
Circumstances that cripple our self-sufficiency.
Areas in which we are not submissive to Him.
The timing of His plans.
If we refuse to be re-formed and instead cling to whatever God wants us to release, then how can He use us for His kingdom? Just like the single, unbroken grain of wheat, we will remain unproductive.
With so much at stake, why do we still resist His process of breaking us down? The problem is usually our shortsighted desires. It’s difficult to let go of things or relationships or hobbies we enjoy even when we know they are stunting our spiritual growth. We prefer to take the path of least resistance and hope God will bless us anyway.
Don’t be distracted by short-term happiness—that isn’t the road to maturity that God has prepared for you. An abundance of fruitfulness awaits you if you’ll release your grip and let Him do whatever it takes to get you there.
“Little children, it is the last time: and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time.” (1 John 2:18)
Evangelicals expect “the” Antichrist to be revealed in the future, yet there are more warnings about “many” antichrists who are currently and actively plotting evil. John lists two specific identifying factors that enable us to spot these “anti” Christs.
“Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son” (1 John 2:22).
“And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist . . . and even now already is it in the world” (1 John 4:3).
This much is clear. Anyone who refuses to accept the incarnated Christ as the Son of God is anti-Christ. Perhaps we need to see this term in its simplicity. Those who are “anti” Christ (oppose, reject, against, opposite to, before, instead of, in place of) are antichrists!
Peter warns that false prophets and false teachers are also “anti” Christ—and that they may well come from among the Lord’s visible Kingdom.
“But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction” (2 Peter 2:1).
Thus, we are told that Satan’s “ministers also [are] transformed as the ministers of righteousness” (2 Corinthians 11:15). No wonder we should have caution. This is the last time (days), and we need to be alert! HMM III
We left the apostle in the hands of the, chief captain and his soldiers, who were carrying him away to their quarters.
Acts 21:37, 38
The request uttered in the Greek language startled the captain.
The best of men are often mistaken for the very worst, nor need they wonder, for their Lord was condemned as a malefactor.
The storm subsided into a lull, and Paul, the bravest of the brave, with the utmost composure proceeded to address the crowd.
Acts 22:1, 3-18, 21, 22
He showed that he had once been as furious against the Christians as they themselves now were: this was intended to win their attention to the rest of his defence.
When baptism is preceded by repentance, and is attended by a believing calling on the name of the Lord, it becomes a beautiful emblem of that washing away of sins, which is graciously given to all believers. Paul told his own conversion, for he well knew that God often blesses such personal confessions. He then proceeded to give his reason for preaching to the Gentiles.
Their national prejudice was aroused: they could not endure that the Gentiles should be spoken of as regarded by God. May the Lord save us from all bitterness and bigotry of spirit.
Thou therefore endure hardness… if we suffer, we shall also reign with him. (2 Timothy 2:3, 12)
History reveals that times of suffering for the Christian Church have also been times of looking upward. Tribulation has always sobered God’s people and encouraged them to look for and yearn after the return of their Lord.
Our present preoccupation with the world may be a warning of bitter days to come. God will wean us from the earth some way—the easy way if possible, the hard way if necessary. It is up to us!
It is apparent that many now think Christianity is jolly good fun—another and higher form of entertainment; because Christ has done all the suffering. He has shed all the tears. He has carried all the crosses. So, we have but to enjoy the benefits of His heartbreak!
The “work of Christ” has been stressed until it has eclipsed the Person of Christ. We need to reexamine much of popular fundamentalist theology which emphasizes the utility of the cross, rather than the beauty of the One who died on that cross.
“And of Benjamin he said, The beloved of the Lord shall dwell in safety by him; and the Lord shall cover him all the day long, and he shall dwell between his shoulders.” Deut. 33:12
Yes, there is no safety like that which comes of dwelling near to God. For His best beloved the Lord can find no surer or safer place. O Lord, let me always abide under thy shadow, close to thy wounded side. Nearer and nearer would I come to thee, my Lord; and when once specially near thee, I would abide there for ever.
What a covering is that which the Lord gives to His chosen! Not a fair roof shall cover him, nor a bombproof casement, nor even an angel’s wing, but Jehovah Himself. Nothing can come at us when we are thus covered. This covering the Lord will grant us all the day long, however long the day. Lord, let me abide this day consciously beneath this canopy of love, this pavilion of sovereign power.
Does the third clause mean that the Lord in His temple would dwell among the mountains of Benjamin, or that the Lord would be where Benjamin’s burden should be placed, or does it mean that we are borne upon the shoulders of the Eternal? In any case, the Lord is the support and strength of His saints. Lord, let me ever enjoy thy help and then my arms will be sufficient for me.