VIDEO Packed With Prophecy

The hope which is laid up for you in heaven, of which you heard before in the word of the truth of the Gospel. Colossians 1:5

A man once said to his pastor, “I don’t mind when you occasionally preach on the signs of the times, but I’m not very interested in biblical prophecy.” His pastor replied, “Oh dear, then you must not like the books of Daniel, Zechariah, 1 and 2 Thessalonians, Revelation, and large portions of Matthew, Isaiah, Second Peter, and many other books. That’s quite a bit of the Bible to be missing!”

There’s a reason the Bible is packed with prophecy. It’s the basis for the believer’s optimism. Jesus died and rose again to give us a glorious future, and the unfolding coming events should excite our minds, comfort our hearts, and inflame our ministries.

If you’re indifferent or confused about biblical prophecy, pray, “Lord, give me a fresh glimpse of what You’ve planned for me and a new understanding of how it will come to be. I’m eager to know!”

Today always goes better in the light of God’s tomorrow.

Bible prophecy helps us to better understand the future and realize the urgent need to spread the gospel. It motivates us to personal purity and gives us hope in a hopeless age.   Tim LaHaye


Colossians 1 – Pastor Chuck Smith

A Fire Called Holy

Today's Devotional

He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.  Luke 3:16

After several years of drought, the wildfires of Southern California left some residents thinking of them as acts of God. This disturbing impression was reinforced when news sources began referring to one as the Holy Fire. Many unfamiliar with the area didn’t realize it was a reference to the Holy Jim Canyon region. But who was Holy Jim? According to local history, he was a nineteenth-century beekeeper so irreligious and cantankerous that neighbors tagged him with that ironic nickname.

John the Baptist’s reference to a baptism of “the Holy Spirit and fire” also came with its own story and explanation (Luke 3:16). Looking back, he was likely thinking of the kind of Messiah and refining fire foreseen by the prophet Malachi (3:1–3; 4:1). But only after the Spirit of God came like wind and fire on the followers of Jesus did the words of Malachi and John come into focus (Acts 2:1–4).

The fire John predicted wasn’t what was expected. As a true act of God, it came with boldness to proclaim a different kind of Messiah and holy flame. In the Spirit of Jesus, it exposed and consumed our futile human efforts—while making room for the love, joy, peace, patience, goodness, kindness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control of the Holy Spirit (see Galatians 5:22–23). Those are the acts of God that He would like to work in us.

By: Mart DeHaan

Reflect & Pray

How has your life been affected by the work of the Holy Spirit? What does it mean for you to pursue a holy—set apart—life before God?

Father in heaven, please replace our fear of Your Holy Spirit with a love, joy, and peace that is as priceless as our stubborn ways are worthless.

Confront Closed Doors

Acts 16:1-13

Closed doors can be frustrating. Paul knew exactly how that felt. On his second missionary journey, during which he had hoped to tell the good news in Asia, the apostle repeatedly found his way blocked by the Holy Spirit. It must have seemed strange that God would prevent him from sharing the gospel.

The Bible doesn’t say how long Paul and Timothy remained in Troas, but we think the apostle didn’t make a move until God showed him a new mission field (Acts 16:9-10). Paul’s actions illustrate the principle found in Proverbs 3:5-6—that God will make a straight path for those who choose to trust in Him rather than in themselves.

Christians in a period of waiting should seek God’s purpose and guidance. Ask the Lord why He has barred the way forward—perhaps the timing is wrong or we have unconfessed sin in our life. Whatever the reason, we must be sensitive to the Spirit’s leading. We also want to be ready for the door that will open.

When an opportunity is blocked, remember that God has a reason. And He’s providing love and protection, even in your disappointment. The Lord is also keeping His promise to work everything for your good (Rom. 8:28). When one door has closed, another will open. Be wise and watch for it.

Behold, He Comes

“Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him.” (Revelation 1:7)

This striking verse, which deals with the return of Christ, contains several aspects well worth our study.

First: “Behold, he cometh.” This event is still future, but it is as sure as if it had already taken place. Christ will return.

Second: “They shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory” (Matthew 24:30). His coming “with clouds” was also prophesied in Daniel 7:13; Matthew 26:64; Acts 1:11; and elsewhere.

Third: “Every eye shall see him.” Who is included here? Certainly everyone living at the time, both Christian and non-Christian. But also the saved dead and raptured saints will be present (1 Thessalonians 4:17). Can it be that the unsaved dead will likewise “see” Him come? Those who died without Christ should be vitally interested. Either the coming rebellion will defeat Christ and free their spirits from Hades, or they will soon face certain, final judgment.

Fourth, notice the different reactions. His tormentors will be in horrible distress; those who “pierced him” will be in inexpressible anguish as they realize the awful consequences of their actions. Who pierced Him? Certainly Israel, but the collective sins of all men of all ages pierced Him. Some have gained forgiveness and will gladly see Him come; others have refused and will “wail” at His return.

Saints in heaven and on Earth will delight in His coming. To them, it means release from persecution, justice on their persecutors, and a righteous kingdom established. It will mean questions answered, imperfections removed, the curse repealed. Any distress felt for friends and loved ones still living in rejection will be swallowed up in the rightness of the action. JDM

Wait, Sending Something Better

Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.

—John 16:13

 

Our trouble is that we are trying to confirm the truth of Christianity by an appeal to external evidence. We are saying… “Here is a great statesman who believes the Bible. Therefore, the Bible must be true.” We quote Daniel Webster, or Roger Bacon. We write books to show that some scientist believed in Christianity: therefore, Christianity must be true. We are all the way out on the wrong track, brother! That is not New Testament Christianity at all. That is a pitiful, whimpering, drooling appeal to the flesh. That never was the testimony of the New Testament, never the way God did things—never! You might satisfy the intellects of men by external evidences, and Christ did, I say, point to external evidence when He was here on the earth. But He said, “I am sending you something better. I am taking Christian apologetics out of the realm of logic and putting it into the realm of life. I am proving My deity, and My proof will not be an appeal to a general or a prime minister. The proof lies in an invisible, unseen but powerful energy that visits the human soul when the gospel is preached—the Holy Ghost!”   HTB029-030

Lord, open our ears that we might hear when the Holy Spirit speaks. Amen.

 

He Gives…and Keeps

For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

—Romans 6:23

 

As humans, we are aware that if we give something away, we give it up for the time it is away from us. But God lends without giving anything up. God gives you life but He is still the life He gives you so He loses nothing by giving it to you.

So with everything else. God is power, but when He gives you power He does not give His power away. He gives wisdom, but He does not lose it when He gives it. He gives grace, but He does not part with His grace. He keeps it while He gives it because it is Himself that He gives.

So it is with everything—wisdom, being, power, holiness and every quality God bestows upon men. God is constantly giving of Himself to us, because God is life!

Life is sacred….There is a great truth involved here for human beings—for eternal life can best be described as having God in the soul! EFE041

Salvation is a stream of grace that [flows] to men from the foundation of the Father’s love. We have done nothing to deserve it….It is the gift of

God’s love. CTBC, Vol. 6/080

 

God’s Time

Ecclesiastes 3:1-8

Time flies, as the expression goes, and we’re often left wondering where it all went. The clock ticks relentlessly on, defying our attempts to keep the pace. And if we get far enough behind schedule, time seems like some cruel, oppressive force keeping us in sheer frustration.

Do you spend time fighting the clock? Does it control your behavior patterns, set your limits, dictate your opportunities, keep you moving too quickly, rarely allowing you to stop, consider and perceive the deeper realities? Do you sometimes end the day feeling as if you have lost a race?

I’ve taken my fair dosage of the so-called Protestant Ethic in my time. I know what it means to be obsessed with the fear of wasting time.

The scientific western world has succeeded in quantifying time. It has been defined as a measurement: seconds, minutes, hours, days, months, years, decades, etc. Calibrated points on a continuum. The Bible has a much more interesting view. Since God transcends time, He doesn’t need our means of time measurement to keep track. His time is different from ours. What is God’s time like?

First, it is a gift. We don’t have to “make time” in order to be good Christians. God the Creator is the only one who “makes time.” He gives it to us as a gift. This means that we can relax from our obsessive-compulsive drive to fill up our time with scheduled activity. Instead, we can ask, “I wonder what opportunity God is giving in this moment, this day? How shall I respond to this gift?”

Second, God’s time has content. In New Testament times the Greek language had two words for time. Chronos referred to measured time, the sequence of hours, days, years. Kairos implied much more: time with a distinct quality or purpose. It meant the right time for something to happen, the ripe time for events to come to fruition. God’s time is kairos. Jesus began His public ministry with this the announcement: “The time (kairos) is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand” (Mark 1:15 KJV).

Third, God’s time has purpose. It moves toward a goal. In the Bible, time progresses toward a definite goal set by God. The Book of Revelation describes this goal as “a new heaven and a new earth” (21:1). Today has meaning because it points toward tomorrow.

Let us then increasingly ask God rather than the clock or calendar what time it is, how God’s tomorrow beckons our today. How’s your timing?

Philip D. Needham, The War Cry