VIDEO God’s Timing Is Perfect

Seventy weeks are determined for your people and for your holy city, to finish the transgression, to make an end of sins, to make reconciliation for iniquity, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up vision and prophecy, and to anoint the Most Holy. Daniel 9:24

Prophetic and apocalyptic language is a feast for linguists. There are metaphors, allegories, word pictures, double meanings, and figures of speech. The use of “seventy years” in Daniel’s prophecy is a good example.

Jeremiah said that the Jews’ captivity in Babylon would last for seventy years (Jeremiah 25:11-12). Those were the literal years that Daniel discovered in Jeremiah’s prophecy and that drove him to prayer (Daniel 9:1-3). But when Daniel prayed for understanding about those years, the angel Gabriel showed him that “seventy years” had an additional meaning: seventy weeks of years, or 490 years total. The seventy weeks would be subdivided into 629 weeks of years, and one final week of years. That timeline becomes the background of the most critical prophetic calendar in Scripture.

God’s timing can mean more than one thing. In any case, His timing is always perfect. Let God be God when it comes to the times of your life.

I will therefore be prepared at all times for that which may come at any time. Unknown


Episode 22 – “Objections based on Messianic Prophecy: Daniel 9:24-27…?

Innocence Found

See what great love the Father has lavished on us.  1 John 3:1

“I’m not who I once was. I’m a new person.”

Those simple words from my son, spoken to students at a school assembly, describe the change God made in his life. Once addicted to heroin, Geoffrey previously saw himself through his sins and mistakes. But now he sees himself as a child of God.

The Bible encourages us with this promise: “If anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!” (2 Corinthians 5:17). No matter who we’ve been or what we’ve done in our past, when we trust Jesus for our salvation and receive the forgiveness offered through His cross, we become someone new. Since the garden of Eden, the guilt of our sins separated us from God, but He has now “reconciled us to himself through Christ,” “not counting” our sins against us (vv. 18–19). We are His dearly loved children (1 John 3:1–2), washed clean and made new in the likeness of His Son.

Jesus is innocence found. He liberates us from sin and its dominating power, and restores us to a new relationship with God—where we are free to no longer live for ourselves but “for him who died for [us] and was raised again” (2 Corinthians 5:15). Watch Fernando Sosa’s devotional video, “Jesus, the Liberator.” As with Geoffrey, Christ’s transforming love gave him a new identity and purpose to point others to the Savior. And He does the same for us!

By:  James Banks

 

Hindrances to our Hearing

1 Samuel 3:1-10

How sharp is your spiritual hearing? Ask yourself the following questions:

1. How well do I know God? Not knowing God’s character and what pleases Him hinders listening.

2. Have I been too busy to Make time for God? We can’t listen and respond to Him when there’s no breathing room in our schedules and mind.

3. Do I believe God speaks through His Holy Spirit? Unless we believe that our heavenly Father speaks to us personally, we won’t hear His voice.

4. Do I have a sense of guilt? If we don’t live in the freedom of God’s forgiveness—which Christ gained for us on the cross—we’ll experience false guilt, and our listening skills will diminish.

5. Am I committing repeated sin in my life? Unless we repent of known transgressions, we will be harboring sin, which makes hearing the Lord difficult—like static in our ears.

6. How well do I receive criticism and correction? Our tendency is to reject the messenger without determining if he or she was sent by God.

Believers have a responsibility to listen carefully and be self-aware (Luke 8:18). Consider these questions with an open heart, and God will guide you to the next steps He wants you to take.

Old Rugged Cross

“God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world.” (Galatians 6:14)

As we ponder the crucifixion of our Lord Jesus Christ, a fuller understanding should bring us to an ever-deeper reliance on and identification with Him. To assist us in examining the work of Christ on the cross, let us use the beloved hymn “The Old Rugged Cross.” Here we will find its words reflecting a deep and abiding love for Christ and His cross. The next four days we will, in turn, study each of its four verses, but today note its chorus:

So I’ll cherish the old rugged cross,
Till my trophies at last I lay down;
I will cling to the old rugged cross,
And exchange it some day for a crown.

Our text reminds us that there is no worth in any deed of our own, including even a full adherence to the law of Moses (Galatians 6:12-13). Only through the cross and the salvation by grace made possible by the cross do we have any standing before God. We must cherish the cross, and cling to it! Thus, we can say with Paul that this “world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world”—its sinful allurements and the recognition of men of no value.

“Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing” (2 Timothy 4:8). All our legitimate accomplishments, those true trophies or “[crowns] of rejoicing” (1 Thessalonians 2:19) done in His power and for His glory, will be cast before His throne (Revelation 4:10) in recognition of His worth and kingship. His cross made it all possible. So I’ll cherish the old rugged cross. JDM

Overcome The Distractions

But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.

—Matthew 6:6

 

Among the enemies to devotion none is so harmful as distractions. Whatever excites the curiosity, scatters the thoughts, disquiets the heart, absorbs the interests or shifts our life focus from the kingdom of God within us to the world around us—that is a distraction; and the world is full of them. Our science-based civilization has given us many benefits but it has multiplied our distractions and so taken away far more than it has given….

The remedy for distractions is the same now as it was in earlier and simpler times, viz., prayer, meditation and the cultivation of the inner life. The psalmist said “Be still, and know” (Psalm 46:10), and Christ told us to enter into our closet, shut the door and pray unto the Father. It still works….

Distractions must be conquered or they will conquer us. So let us cultivate simplicity; let us want fewer things; let us walk in the Spirit; let us fill our minds with the Word of God and our hearts with praise. In that way we can live in peace even in such a distraught world as this. “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you” (John 14:27).   SOS130-132

Lord, help me to cultivate simplicity, to be satisfied with fewer things and to find the inner peace that You can give in a life of prayer and meditation. Amen.

 

Worshiper First, Worker Second

Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.

—Matthew 4:10

 

I think that God has given me a little bit of a spirit of a crusader and I am crusading where I can that Christians of all denominations and shades of theological thought might be restored again to our original purpose.

We’re here to be worshipers first and workers only second. We take a convert and immediately make a worker out of him. God never meant it to be so. God meant that a convert should learn to be a worshiper, and after that he can learn to be a worker.

Jesus said, “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel” (Mark 16:15). Peter wanted to go at once, but Christ said, “Don’t go yet. Wait until you are endued with power.” (See Luke 24:49.)

Power for service? Yes, but that’s only half of it; maybe that’s only one-tenth of it. The other nine-tenths are that the Holy Ghost may restore to us again the spirit of worship. Out of enraptured, admiring, adoring, worshiping souls, then, God does His work. The work done by a worshiper will have eternity in it. WMJ010

What [God] asks from us is worship….The homage He claims is the devotion of our hearts. CTBC, Vol. 4/010

 

Resurection Power

Philippians 3:10

Power is a dominating theme of our age. We talk about nuclear power, money power, political power, people power. Men in the corridors of power play the power game, manipulating men and nations. Yes, human power is great. But it fades into insignificance when we consider the power of Christ.

The Scriptures give us a picture of His power. All things were made by Him. By His creative power He gave the hills their shape, the landscape its color and beauty and the animal kingdom its rich variety. He demonstrated His power over nature when He stilled the storm and calmed the raging sea. He showed His power over human nature when He opened the eyes of the blind and made the lame to walk.

But mightiest of all was His power over death when on that first Easter morning He burst the shackles of the grave and overcame death with resurrection power. The words of Paul shared his longing: “I want to know Christ and the power of His resurrection” (Philippians 3:10).

Such power is irresistible. It takes no account of obstacles. Jesus emerging from the tomb found the heavy stone no barrier. He left the grave clothes behind undisturbed. He ignored the Roman guards.

Doesn’t life at times seem to hem us in with all kinds of obstacles? Immovable barriers and insurmountable limitations? We just can’t be the kind of people we want to be. Sinful habits keep coming back to thwart us. Frustrations and difficulties weigh us down and we feel we can’t cope. There is no way we can break through.

But wait! Resurrection power can touch your life. It doesn’t have to be defeat and despair. Just as the women who went to the garden in that pre-dawn hour found the massive stone rolled away from the tomb, you can find the resurrection power to overcome your setbacks, your sins.

Symbolically that quiet power, so unlike the world’s noisy, explosive variety, we see at work in springtime each year. New life, color, beauty and glory come unobtrusively to the earth after the cold barren death-like time of winter. So the resurrection power of Christ, His quiet force, can bring new beauty and loveliness to your life. As John Gowans has reminded us:

 

Out of my darkness He calls me,

Out of my doubt, my despair,

Out of the wastes of my winter,

Into the spring of His care.

Eva Burrows, Salvationist