VIDEO The Coming Conflict

Behold, the day of the Lord is coming…. For I will gather all the nations to battle against Jerusalem.  Zechariah 14:1-2

On September 6, 2007, an Israeli airstrike destroyed a mysterious military site near the Euphrates River in Syria. There’s little question why—Israel acted to keep Syria from developing nuclear weapons. But what about now? Iran and North Korea are working day and night to create their own nuclear weapons. Turkey may be seeking the same. And Hezbollah claims its goal is to have 500,000 missiles aimed at Israel. History is hurtling toward a global conflict, and the Middle East is ground zero.

That’s just what the Bible predicted.

John F. Walvoord wrote, “The importance of prophecy should be evident, even superficially, in examining the Christian faith, for about one-fourth of the Bible was prophecy when it was written. It is evident that God intended to draw aside the veil of the future and to give some indication of what His plans and purposes were for the human race and for the universe as a whole.”1

We should keep our eyes on the headlines and our nose in the Bible.

In the nature of Christian faith a solid hope for the future is essential. Christianity without a future would not be basic Christianity.
John F. Walvoord

  1. John F. Walvoord, Every Prophecy of the Bible (Colorado Springs: David C. Cook, 1999), 10.

Zechariah 14:1-9, The Siege of Jerusalem

God-Sized Love

If you love those who love you, what reward will you get?  Matthew 5:46


I once visited an impoverished neighborhood of Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic. Homes were made of corrugated iron, with electrical wires dangling live above them. There I had the privilege of interviewing families and hearing how churches were helping to combat unemployment, drug use, and crime.

In one alleyway I climbed a rickety ladder to a small room to interview a mother and her son. But just a moment later someone rushed up, saying, “We must leave now.” A machete-wielding gang leader was apparently gathering a mob to ambush us.

We visited a second neighborhood, but there we had no problem. Later I discovered why. As I visited each home, a gang leader stood outside guarding us. It turned out his daughter was being fed and educated by the church, and because believers were standing by her, he stood by us.

In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus presents a standard of love that’s beyond comparison. This kind of love embraces not just the “worthy” but the undeserving (Matthew 5:43–45), reaching beyond family and friends to touch those who can’t or won’t love us back (vv. 46–47). This is God-sized love (v. 48)—the kind that blesses everyone.

As believers in Santo Domingo live out this love, neighborhoods are starting to change. Tough hearts are warming to their cause. That’s what happens when God-sized love comes to town.

By: Sheridan Voysey

Reflect & Pray

How would you describe the difference between human love and godly love? Who can you bless today who can’t repay you?

Jesus, pour Your love into me so I may pour it out to others—even to those who can’t repay the favor.

Why God Closes Doors

Jeremiah 10:21-24

A blocked opportunity can be a useful tool for teaching. God wants to mold us into His image, and He can use anything—including something we desire—to do so.

Closed doors prevent mistakes. Just because a path is clear doesn’t mean it’s the one God intends for us to follow. Sometimes we won’t have the information we need to make a wise decision, so He blocks the way. The Holy Spirit knows the whole road map for our life, so we should follow Him.

Closed doors redirect our walk. God won’t leave a willing servant with nothing to do. Closed doors can result in better fruit, more satisfaction, and greater glory for Him.

Closed doors test faith and build perseverance. Waiting for the Lord is hard, but it’s a means by which we can learn wisdom, patience, and trust.

Closed doors buy us time. We aren’t always as prepared as we’d like to think. God may temporarily hold shut an opportunity for service until we’re ready.

Despite the many references to closed doors in this devotion, the real message is that God opens doors for us, and they lead us in the best possible direction. His path is perfect, and if we stay on it, we will live a life of service, satisfaction, and glory for God.

King of All of the Earth

“For God is the King of all the earth: sing ye praises with understanding.” (Psalm 47:7)

This stirring psalm of praise, which celebrates the reign of Christ over all the earth, finds its primary fulfillment in Christ’s second coming and full reign over His kingdom. The reader is exhorted to “sing praises unto our King” (v. 6). The reign of Christ certainly gives cause for celebration. His arrival forces the psalmist to proclaim, “O clap your hands, all ye people” (v. 1).

What has happened to make this Kingship such cause for celebration? After all, “by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible or invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him” (Colossians 1:16). He belongs on the throne. We should expect to find Him there. However, even though there is a sense in which He reigns today, the sad fact remains that another has usurped rule.

This usurper can be none other than Satan, who not only claims rule of the creation for himself, but who spoiled the original perfection of the creation which now “groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now” (Romans 8:22). He has encouraged men to accept the mindless concept of evolution, and even denies Christ recognition as Redeemer, as the humanist’s creed “We will save ourselves!” boasts.

But all is not lost! Our text assures us that Christ will reclaim His kingdom: “He shall subdue the people under us, and the nations under our feet. . . . God reigneth over the heathen” (vv. 3, 8). Christ the Creator, the Redeemer, the Heir, has conquered the enemy and soon will assume His rightful throne—“the throne of his holiness” (v. 8), “greatly exalted” (v. 9). Then we shall join the redeemed of the ages, and “shout unto God with the voice of triumph” (v. 1). JDM

The Need for Our Illumination

But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.

—1 Corinthians 2:14


The doctrine of the inability of the human mind and the need for divine illumination is so fully developed in the New Testament that it is nothing short of astonishing that we should have gone so far astray about the whole thing…. Everywhere among conservatives we find persons who are Bible-taught but not Spirit-taught. They conceive truth to be something which they can grasp with the mind. If a man holds to the fundamentals of the Christian faith he is thought to possess divine truth. But it does not follow. There is no truth apart from the Spirit. The most brilliant intellect may be imbecilic when confronted with the mysteries of God. For a man to understand revealed truth requires an act of God equal to the original act which inspired the text….

Conservative Christians in this day are stumbling over this truth. We need to reexamine the whole thing. We need to learn that truth consists not in correct doctrine, but in correct doctrine plus the inward enlightenment of the Holy Spirit. We must declare again the mystery of wisdom from above. A re-preachment of this vital truth could result in a fresh breath from God upon a stale and suffocating orthodoxy.   POM076-077, 084

Lord, help me to heed this reminder that even Your inspired text is not alive until the Holy Spirit takes it and enlightens the recipients. May the Holy Spirit indeed take what I teach and imbed it in the hearts and minds of my hearers. Amen.


The Voice Within

I will hear what God the Lord will speak: for he will speak peace unto his people, and to his saints.

—Psalm 85:8


I once slipped into a noonday service in New York City and I heard something I will never be able to forget.

A minister speaking that day said: “We assume that if a man has heard the Christian gospel he has been enlightened. But that is a false assumption. Just to have heard a man preach truth from the Bible does not necessarily mean that you have been enlightened.”

God’s voice must speak from within to bring enlightenment. It must be the Spirit of God speaking soundlessly within….

I believe that God has related these somehow: the voice of conviction in the conscience and the Holy Spirit, the point of contact, witnessing within man’s being. A person has not been illuminated until that voice begins to sound within him.

Men and women need to be told that it may be fatal to silence the inner voice. It is always perilous to resist the conscience within; but it may be fatal to silence that voice, to continue to ignore that speaking voice within! EFE066-067

[W]hen we fail to hear His voice, it is not because He is not speaking so much as that we are not listening. JAS014


Christ of the Human Road

Luke 24:13-35

Following Christ’s crucifixion, two crestfallen disciples were making their way down the dusty road to Emmaus, some seven miles from Calvary. Their sun had set at midday. Jesus had been impaled on a Roman cross and was now in a tomb. All their bright promise of tomorrow had been turned into the tragic frustration of yesterday. The word “finished” had suddenly been inserted by the hand of fate into the middle of what had promised to be the greatest story ever told.

There is a poignant and bewildering regret in their sorrowing words, “We had hoped that He was the one who was going to redeem Israel” (Luke 24:21). Their dream had been shattered and their bright hope had been nailed to an ignominious cross. They were mourning not only the loss of a cherished companion but the loss of hope itself.

The text has a special message for those for whom someone, or something, precious has been snatched away. When we walk the road of loss or sorrow, there is One who will come and walk beside us and bring hope.

“He opened the Scriptures to us” was the joyous exclamation of the two Emmaus travelers. What an exposition that must have been! The Light of the World illuminating the Word! He whose luster radiated from its pages, revealed its sacred mysteries. Under the illumination of the divine Expositor they now saw the cross in the light of ancient prophecy, and that inglorious tree gleamed with a glory of which they had never dreamed.

Christ wants to open the Scriptures to us. He wants us to see new things in the old Book. When we walk life’s pathway with Christ the Bible becomes aglow with new meaning.

“Stay with us,” they petitioned, “for it is nearly evening, the day is almost over” (Luke 24:29). If they had not offered that prayer, Jesus would not have lingered with them. Think of what they would have missed!

The stupendous truth of the resurrection was vouchsafed to these two ordinary, nondescript disciples—Cleopas and, what’s his name, or her name? Jesus companioned with them until that seven miles of country road seemed as a golden path ending in a celestial city.

Still today, in our common ways of life, the Savior floods our prosaic paths with His peerless glory. The reality of the risen and reigning Lord on our road of life turns our Good Fridays into Easter Sundays!

Henry Gariepy, The War Cry