VIDEO Prepare to Be Amazed

The holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God, having the glory of God. Her light was like a most precious stone, like a jasper stone, clear as crystal. Revelation 21:10-11

In the 1939 film The Wizard of Oz, when Dorothy lands in Oz, she journeys on the yellow brick road to the Emerald City to meet and receive a favor from the so-called Wizard of Oz. The Emerald City was built of green glass, emeralds, and jewels, while its buildings were decorated with gold. The sight of it took away the breath of Dorothy and her traveling companions.

Creating the Emerald City was a rare feat in the 1939 film; this was long before digital computer animation. Regardless of how real or how glorious modern fantasy creations look, they are still fake, still fantasy, and still beyond reality. But a brilliant city is on the prophetic horizon that will be as real as anything we know today—the city of the New Jerusalem, the eternal dwelling place of the people of God. It is described in all its glory in Revelation 21.

The next time you are dazzled by something on this earth, whether real or computer-created, remember: What is coming is like nothing you’ve seen before.

A continual looking forward to the eternal world is not…a form of escapism or wishful thinking, but one of the things a Christian is meant to do. C. S. Lewis


66 Revelation 21-22 – J Vernon Mcgee – Thru the Bible

Practice Biblical Fasting

Psalm 42:1-2

We’ve all been guilty of overlooking those we love. There are so many things vying for our attention, and we often choose the quick task over investment in a relationship. Unfortunately, we can do the same thing with God. But that’s not what we really want, is it?

The biblical practice of fasting is one way to help us focus on God and what matters to Him. It’s an opportunity to set aside other things so we can to seek His face and hear His voice. It’s a time of preparation that leads us to fix our attention on God’s purposes and will.

Many of us haven’t tried fasting because it seems too hard. We don’t know how to begin or when to find the time. But if we see it for what it is—something that sharpens our spiritual vision, intensifies our desire for God, and leads to understanding His direction—then we will want to try it for ourselves.

Have you been crying out to the Father for more of Him? Do you need to know God’s will for a particular area of your life? Biblical fasting can help bring you to the place where your hearing is sharper, your mind is clearer, and your eyes are more firmly fixed on the Lord and His plans. Why not discover this for yourself?

The Concept of Divine Control

Jesus is laying down the rules of conduct in this passage for those people who have His Spirit. He urges us to keep our minds filled with the concept of God’s control over everything, which means that a disciple must maintain an attitude of perfect trust and an eagerness to ask and to seek.

Fill your mind with the thought that God is there. And once your mind is truly filled with that thought, when you experience difficulties it will be as easy as breathing for you to remember, “My heavenly Father knows all about this!” This will be no effort at all, but will be a natural thing for you when difficulties and uncertainties arise. Before you formed this concept of divine control so powerfully in your mind, you used to go from person to person seeking help, but now you go to God about it. Jesus is laying down the rules of conduct for those people who have His Spirit, and it works on the following principle: God is my Father, He loves me, and I will never think of anything that He will forget, so why should I worry?

Jesus said there are times when God cannot lift the darkness from you, but you should trust Him. At times God will appear like an unkind friend, but He is not; He will appear like an unnatural father, but He is not; He will appear like an unjust judge, but He is not. Keep the thought that the mind of God is behind all things strong and growing. Not even the smallest detail of life happens unless God’s will is behind it. Therefore, you can rest in perfect confidence in Him. Prayer is not only asking, but is an attitude of the mind which produces the atmosphere in which asking is perfectly natural. “Ask, and it will be given to you…” (Matthew 7:7).

WISDOM FROM OSWALD CHAMBERS

Christianity is not consistency to conscience or to convictions; Christianity is being true to Jesus Christ.  Biblical Ethics, 111 L

Committed to His Trust

“O Timothy, keep that which is committed to thy trust, avoiding profane and vain babblings, and oppositions of science falsely so called: Which some professing have erred concerning the faith.” (1 Timothy 6:20-21)

Paul exhorted his disciple, Timothy, and by implication exhorts us, to “keep” (literally to guard or preserve) that which was placed in his trust. The context implies that the entire teaching of Paul is in mind, as well as Timothy’s position of ministry.

Not only was he to preserve truth, he actively was to “avoid” error. Systems of thought were available that masqueraded as “science” (literally “knowledge”). These systems were not merely neutral but were in opposition to the truth.

There can be no doubt that godless humanism (particularly as it finds its false scientific justification in evolution and uniformitarianism) has been responsible for the loss of faith in many professing Christians. Much of what is called “science” in universities today could better be described as “profane and vain babblings.”

But today’s students are not alone in their error. Back in the 1800s, when uniformitarianism, and later evolution, were first being championed by only a small minority of scientists, theologians led the way to their broad acceptance. Rushing to embrace Charles Lyell’s principle of uniformity and the concept of an old earth while still holding on to a charade of biblical authority, theologians proposed the tranquil flood and local flood concepts. Likewise, theologians proposed theistic evolution, the day age, and gap theories to accommodate evolution, and their theological grandchildren enjoy the majority voice at most evangelical seminaries today.

It is time that Christian laity as well as those standing in our pulpits today regain “that which is committed to [their] trust” and avoid “science falsely so called.” JDM

Keep A Joyful People

But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.

—John 4:14

 

We do have many professing Christians in our day who are not joyful, but they spend time trying to work it up. Now, brethren, I say that when we give God His place in the Church, when we recognize Christ as Lord high and lifted up, when we give the Holy Spirit His place, there will be joy that doesn’t have to be worked up. It will be a joy that springs like a fountain. Jesus said that it should be a fountain, an artesian well, that springs up from within. That’s one characteristic of a Spirit-filled congregation. They will be a joyful people, and it will be easy to distinguish them from the children of the world.

I wonder what the apostle Paul would say if he came down right now and looked us over in our congregations. What if he walked up and down the aisles of our churches, then went to a theater and looked them over, then on to a hockey game, on to the crowds at the shopping center and into the crowded streets? Then when he came back and looked us over again, I wonder if he would see very much difference?   COU008

Father, I need that artesian well of joy today. The burdens and busyness of leader ship sometimes really sap my strength and kill the joy. Help me and our whole congregationto demonstrate that real Spirit-inspired joy this week. Amen.

 

Happy with Only Him!

The Lord is my strength and song…he is my God, and I will prepare him an habitation…and I will exalt him.

—Exodus 15:2

 

Being lonely in this world will only drive you to a closer communion with the God who has promised never to leave you or forsake you. He is altogether good and He is faithful. He will never break His covenant or alter that which has gone from His mouth. He has promised to keep you as the apple of His eye. He has promised to watch over you as a mother watches over her child.

God’s anxiety for you is real, and His pattern for you is plain. He says, “This is the sign of your pleasing My indwelling Spirit: you have been absorbed with Christ, you have made your thoughts a clean sanctuary for His holy habitation.”

Build that invisible altar within. Let the Spirit of God produce the living, cleansing flame that marks your devotion to Christ, our Lord. MMG034-035

It is part of my belief that God wants to get us to a place where we would still be happy if we had only Him! We don’t need God and something else. God does give us Himself and lets us have other things, too, but there is that inner loneliness until we reach the place where it is only God that we desire. COU082

 

Writing the Last Chapter Well

Revelation 14:13

Death is inevitable for us all. Sometimes it comes suddenly, but most of the time it is a process, an important final chapter in our lives, critical to the meaning of our entire life story.

That chapter should be completed with an exclamation point, not a question mark. We should be affirming our faith, demonstrating trust, experiencing grace and receiving and expressing love. It is our time to pass on a legacy of courage and to witness that God is present in every circumstance of life and that His grace is sufficient for every crisis.

We are all too familiar with the reality that age takes a heavy toll on faculties and functions and that many people experience a terrible loneliness as friends die, families move away and strength abates. When such people face the prospect of unrelieved physical suffering as well, they may be seized with a feeling of desperation and loneliness. Some may even express a wish to die.

When patients see themselves as “an intolerable burden” or when they see life as “not worth living,” should they have the right to enlist the support of physicians and end their lives? Besides medical, social and moral reasons, assisted suicide is inconsistent with a biblical view of life, death and suffering and accountability to God. Our role with our loved ones, when we cannot cure, is to care for and to comfort them.

Palliative care is a unique form of health care developed for the needs of people with terminal illness. As family members and friends of the dying, we need to understand that caring for such patients is a privilege. “We can foster a good death by repairing relationships, respecting wishes, helping the dying to live as fully as possible, reducing pain and allowing time and space for transcendence and for letting go,” writes Dr. Ira Byock, president of the Academy of Hospice Physicians, in Dying Well.

When family is not available, faith communities can mobilize visitors and helpers to meet emotional, physical and spiritual needs.

Let us help our dying loved ones to write the last chapter of their lives well. Thus will people experience the love of God and the grace of God and the peace of God, and have the opportunity to affirm their faith and leave a legacy of courage in the face of suffering.

With the Apostle John, we affirm, “Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on” (Rev. 14:13).

Herbert C. Rader, M.D., The War Cry

 

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