VIDEO Preparations Are Made – Which Way Will You Be Going?

Preparations Are Made

Then He will also say to those on the left hand, “Depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels.” Matthew 25:41

For children, maybe the best part of a Thanksgiving road trip to the grandparents’ house is the expectation of what has been prepared: a house filled with wonderful aromas from the kitchen; a fire in the fireplace; Grandpa’s huge leaf pile to jump in; and probably a surprise or two from Grandma for the little ones. Preparations carry out purposes.

The same could be said about the preparation God has made for those redeemed through faith in Christ. Revelation 21–22, with its portrait of the New Jerusalem and the eternal state is enough to make us eager for eternity. But there is another eternal preparation being made for the devil and his demons: everlasting fire. Nowhere does the Bible suggest that those angels who followed Satan out of heaven will have the opportunity to repent and be saved. Their fateful choice to rebel against God leaves them with no hope.

But not us! We who bear the image of God and are reconciled to Him through Christ have an eternal hope and home prepared and waiting for our arrival (John 14:1-4).

All the places in heaven and hell are reserved.  John Blanchard


The Sheep And The Goats – (Matthew 25:31-46)

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Who’s Driving?

Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. Galatians 5:25

My neighbor Tim has a figurine on his dashboard of a “wild thing” based on Maurice Sendak’s beloved children’s book Where the Wild Things Are.

Not long ago Tim was following me through traffic and made some abrupt moves to keep up. When we arrived, I asked, “Was that the ‘wild thing’ driving?”

The following Sunday I forgot my sermon notes at home. I “flew” out of the church to retrieve them, passing Tim along the way. When we met later, he joked, “Was that the wild thing driving?” We laughed, but his point hit home—I should have paid attention to the speed limit.

When the Bible describes what it means to live in a relationship with God, it encourages us to “offer every part of [ourselves]” to Him (Romans 6:13). I took Tim’s response to me that day as a gentle reminder from God to yield my “lead foot,” because I am to give all of myself to Him out of love.

The question of “who’s driving?” applies to all of life. Do we let the “wild things” of our old sin nature drive us—like worry, fear, or self-will—or do we yield to God’s loving Spirit and the grace that helps us grow?

Giving in to God is good for us. Scripture says that God’s wisdom takes us down “pleasant ways, and all her paths are peace” (Proverbs 3:17). Better to follow where He leads.

Loving Lord, thank You for the grace You give us to obey You, and the peace You give us as we stay near.

What God requires He also inspires.

By James Banks 

INSIGHT

Paul dismisses the notion that God’s grace permits us to do whatever we want. In fact, he finds the idea preposterous (Romans 6:2). God’s grace frees us to choose life in Him. That’s why Paul says, “Offer every part of yourself to him as an instrument of righteousness” (v. 13).

Today, what do I need to offer to God?

Tim Gustafson

Patience, A Powerful Attribute

Colossians 3:12-17

Patience, or a lack of it, spills over into every aspect of our life. For example, when you’re waiting for an elevator that doesn’t come quickly, do you repeatedly push the button? Or if you’re stuck in a grocery line that’s not moving, do you wait calmly or inwardly grumble about how poorly managed the store is?

Although to some degree our temperaments may determine our ability to wait, the kind of patience God wants Christians to have is that which is produced by the Holy Spirit (Gal. 5:22-23). Apart from Him, we will naturally become impatient when people frustrate us or circumstances aren’t to our liking.

The spiritual fruit of patience allows us to say, I’m willing to let go of immediate gratification and wait for the Lord to supply. It’s an inner quietness and trust that comes from God alone. This doesn’t mean we’ll never feel pressure or stress, but when we release our expectations to the Lord, He will calm our heart and mind.

David understood this. While waiting to become king, he had several opportunities to kill Saul, the nation’s current ruler. By refusing to take advantage of the situation, David demonstrated patience and faith in God’s timing (1 Samuel 24:10-11; 1 Samuel 26:10-11).

Patience is a matter of trust in God. Are you willing to release your expectations for both the small and large events in your life? Can you acknowledge that the Lord’s timing is more trustworthy than your own? If so, you’re on your way to being a truly patient person.

Yes, Christ at Creation

“When he prepared the heavens, I was there: when he set a compass upon the face of the depth: When he established the clouds above: when he strengthened the fountains of the deep.” (Proverbs 8:27-28) 

This chapter contains a beautiful description of some of God’s works during the creation week when God, in Christ, was creating and making all things. Christ Himself, personified as the divine wisdom, the word of God, is speaking.

Verse 27 speaks of His pre-existence before the creation of the space/time universe itself. At first the “earth” matter was “without form,” with only a great “deep” of water. Then God “set a compass” on the face of the deep, activating the gravitational forces that brought it into spherical form. The Hebrew word for “compass” means “sphere,” the same word used in Isaiah 40:22, where it is said God “sitteth upon the circle [i.e., ‘sphere’] of the earth.”

Then God “established the clouds above.” The word for “clouds” means “thin mists,” undoubtedly referring to the great water canopy “above the firmament” (Genesis 1:7). Finally, He strengthened the fountains of the deep, locking them under the “foundations of the earth” (Proverbs 8:29). The same strong fountains of the deep would later be broken up at the time of the great Flood. When the earth was finished, He “rejoiced in the habitable part of his earth” (i.e., Proverbs 8:31).

In all these and the other mighty works of creating and making all things, the Lord Jesus Christ assures us “I was there!” That further assures us, of course, that through all the ages to come, He will be there.

This remarkable eighth chapter of Proverbs concludes with the following exhortation, more relevant today than ever: “For whoso findeth me findeth life, and shall obtain favor of the Lord. But he that sinneth against me wrongeth his own soul: all that hate me love death” (Proverbs 8:35-36). HMM

Take heed unto thyself and unto the doctrine

1 Timothy 4

In this letter to Timothy Paul denounces many of those forms, of error which have been the plague of the Christian church in all ages. Those who deal with spirits, or profess to do so, those who multiply forms and ceremonies, those who make religion to lie in meats and drinks, and those who attach importance to legends and traditions, are all heavily censured, as they deserve.

1 Timothy 4:1

leading on to the worship of angels, fear of demons, and attempts at commerce with the dead. In every age some deceivers and deceived ones have wandered in this direction. Far from us be such darkness.

1 Timothy 4:2

As a hot iron deadens the part which it burns, so is their conscience no longer sensitive, and they can utter falsehood unblushingly.

1 Timothy 4:3

How well this describes the Church of Rome, which combines both superstitions. Other sects also have decried marriage, and issued laws as to eating and drinking, making that to be sin which is no. sin.

1 Timothy 4:6

To hold fast the true faith is one of our first duties. To be for ever chopping and changing is a most unhappy and dangerous condition.

1 Timothy 4:8

For bodily exercise profiteth little: or a little; it may, when rightly used, promote bodily health, but that is all

1 Timothy 4:9, 10

All men derive some benefit from Jesus death. They are spared, they enjoy the common blessings of providence, and they are placed under mediatorial rule; yet redemption has its special design and effect, and these have to do only with believers. The Saviour has bought some good things for all men, and all good things for some men. Are we believers? Then, in a special sense, Jesus is our Saviour.

1 Timothy 4:14

Even when the miraculous gifts of the Spirit were in the church the most favoured ministers were to study and meditate: how much more then is it now their duty! Those who speak without thinking seldom say anything worth thinking of.

1 Timothy 4:15, 16

Or “be thou wholly in them.” Be absorbed in thy work,

Care as to our doctrine will both preserve the teacher himself from serious error, and keep his hearers from the same evil. This should lead us to be very prayerful, and careful as to what we receive, and what we communicate to others. Doctrines are not to be trifled with, they are life and death matters. Lord teach us thy truth.

 

Make me to understand

Thy precepts and thy will;

Thy wondrous works on every hand,

I’ll sing and talk of still.

 

So, What Really Does Matter?

For what hath man of all his labour… wherein he hath laboured under the sun? (Ecclesiastes 2:22)

It is all but impossible these days to get people to pay any attention to things that really matter. The broad cynic in our modern civilization is likely to ask: “What really matters, after all?”

It is our personal relationship to God that really matters!

That takes priority over everything else; for no man can afford to live or die under the frowning displeasure of God. Yet, name one modern device that can save him from it. Where can a man find security? Can philosophy help him? or psychology? or science? or atoms or wonder drugs or vitamins?

Only Christ can help him, and His aid is as old as man’s sin and man’s need.

A few other things matter to be sure. We must trust Christ completely. We must carry our cross daily. We must love God and our fellow men. We must fulfill our commission as ambassadors of Christ among men. We must grow in grace and in the knowledge of God and come at last to our end like a ripe shock of corn at harvest time.

These are the things that really matter!

 

Sanctified Souls Are Satisfied

My people shall be satisfied with my goodness, saith the Lord. Jer. 31:14

Note the “my” which comes twice: “My people shall be satisfied with my goodness.”

The kind of people who are satisfied with God are marked out as God’s own. He is pleased with them, for they are pleased with Him. They call Him their God, and He calls them His people; He is satisfied to take them for a portion, and they are satisfied with Him for their portion. There is a mutual communion of delight between God’s Israel and Israel’s God.

These people are satisfied. This is a grand thing. Very few of the sons of men are ever satisfied, let their lot be what it may; they have swallowed the horse-leech, and it continually cries, “Give! give!” Only sanctified souls are satisfied souls. God Himself must both convert us and content us.

It is no wonder that the Lord’s people should be satisfied with the goodness of their Lord. Here is goodness without mixture, bounty without stint, mercy without chiding, love without change, favor without reserve. If God’s goodness does not satisfy us, what will? What! are we still groaning? Surely there is a wrong desire within if it be one which God’s goodness does not satisfy.

Lord, I am satisfied. Blessed be thy name.

 

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