VIDEO Chipping Away at the Future

He causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hand or on their foreheads. Revelation 13:16

Maybe you’re using a smartwatch to monitor your vital signs. Good for you! We need to stay as healthy as possible. But what if a tiny chip the size of a speck of dust could be injected under your skin to do just that and more? Engineers at Columbia University School of Engineering and Applied Science have created an injectable chip that can be inserted under your skin to monitor your temperature, blood pressure, glucose, and other health stats.

Technology isn’t evil and today’s innovations may lengthen our life, but what happens when an oppressive government seizes that technology to control its people? During the days of the Great Tribulation, the Antichrist will use every means to control the commerce and conduct of its citizens. 

We shouldn’t be anxious about anything, but we should keep our eyes open to everything that may point toward the hastening of the return of Christ.

Citizens of the Antichrist’s empire will be distinguished by the mark of the Beast. Citizens of Christ’s kingdom are also identified by a mark: God marks believers as His very own by sending His Holy Spirit to live in them. David Jeremiah


The Mark Of A Beast – Revelation 13:16-18 – Jon Courson

Live to Serve

Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms. 1 Peter 4:10

After ten-year-old Chelsea received an elaborate art set, she discovered that God used art to help her feel better when she was sad. When she found out that some kids didn’t have art supplies readily available, she wanted to help them. So when it was time for her birthday party, she asked her friends not to bring her gifts. Instead, she invited them to donate art supplies and help fill boxes for children in need.

Later, with her family’s help, she started Chelsea’s Charity. She began asking more people to help her fill boxes so she could help more kids. She has even taught art tips to groups who have received her boxes. After a local newscaster interviewed Chelsea, people started donating supplies from all over the country. As Chelsea’s Charity continues sending art supplies internationally, this young girl is demonstrating how God can use us when we’re willing to live to serve others.

Chelsea’s compassion and willingness to share reflects the heart of a faithful steward. The apostle Peter encourages all believers in Jesus to be faithful stewards as they “love each other deeply” by sharing the resources and talents God has given them (1 Peter 4:8–11).

Our small acts of love can inspire others to join us in giving. God can even rally supporters to serve alongside us. As we rely on Him, we can live to serve and give Him the glory He deserves.

By:  Xochitl Dixon

Reflect & Pray

How can you rely on God to help you serve others today? In what way has God been nudging you to serve Him that seems too big for you to handle alone?

Faithful Father, please give me all I need to serve You by loving others with my words and actions today.

Patience in the Wait

Though we, like Job, may go through hardships, God never ceases being merciful and good.

James 5:10-11

We may think our theology and attitude about the Lord are revealed by what we claim to believe. But when our prayers go unanswered and circumstances remain unchanged, the way we wait speaks volumes about our true beliefs.

Job was a God-fearing man who endured the loss of his children, health, and possessions. Yet he remained faithful to the Lord throughout his ordeal, despite a desperate need to know why he was so afflicted. In the midst of his suffering, Job cried out, “Oh, that my request might come to pass, and that God would grant my hope!” (Job 6:8). Every day was filled with unrelenting pain, but his consolation and joy were that he had “not denied the words of the Holy One” (Job 6:10). 

The world around us judges God as unfair, indifferent, or malicious, but this should never be the case with us. When the Lord remains silent during our times of adversity or confusion, we should go to His Word to discover what it says about His character and ways. Even when our feelings seem overwhelming and our faith starts to falter, we can stand firm on the facts of Scripture. 

The Pleasure of the Lord

“Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in his hand.” (Isaiah 53:10)

The very concept of God having pleasure in things that take place on Earth staggers the imagination. Most amazing of all is the revelation that it pleased Him to put His own Son through a terrible, bruising death, as the tremendous Messianic prophecy of our text reveals.

Nevertheless, this was the only possible way whereby “the pleasure of the LORD” could be accomplished in the redeemed lives of lost men and women, whom He had created for eternal fellowship with the triune God. “For the LORD taketh pleasure in his people: he will beautify the meek with salvation” (Psalm 149:4).

Five times we read in the New Testament that God the Father spoke from heaven assuring us that He was “well pleased” with His “beloved Son” (Matthew 3:17; 17:5; Mark 1:11; Luke 3:22; 2 Peter 1:17). “Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him!” This is almost impossible to understand, but had it not been so, none of us ever could have been saved. The Lord Jesus Himself has confirmed to His own “little flock” that “it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom” (Luke 12:32).

Thus, not only have we been created “for thy pleasure” (Revelation 4:11), but also we have been “predestinated…unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will” (Ephesians 1:5). This is far beyond our comprehension, so we merely rest in the great truth that “it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure” (Philippians 2:13). We know that “the LORD taketh pleasure in them that fear him” (Psalm 147:11), and we rejoice with thanksgiving! HMM

Peace

What misery that I have stayed in Meshech, that I have lived among the tents of Kedar! I have lived too long with those who hate peace. I am for peace; but when I speak, they are for war (Psalm 120vv. 5-7).

War and peace have long been the topic of lively discussions among political analysts, writers, and thinkers of all generations. But even in peacetime, believers are not at home in this world. Until Jesus comes, there will be, at best, an uneasy truce between the forces of good and evil.

The psalmist laments that he dwells among people with whom he has nothing in common. Meshech, located southeast of the Black Sea, was a remote, barbaric tribe (Gen. 10:2). Kedar, south of Damascus in the Syrian desert, was about as far from Meshech as one could get. He was saying, in effect: I’m surrounded by warlike, nomadic Ismaelites!” He has lived with these vexing people for too long and ends his song in clashing discord: “I am for peace; but when I speak, they are for war” (v. 7).

If we are to be salt and light in a hostile world, we can expect the same kind of opposition. But we have the consolation of a Friend who walks and talks with us and will make us special, distinctive, and unique as we live in our secular culture.

Personal Prayer

Lord, as I dwell in “Meshech” and “among the tents of Kedar,” may I keep quiet appointments with you for strength and solace in this foreign land.

A Contemporary Lyric

I’ll Walk and Talk with Him Today

This world is not my permanent place—

A barren desert land;

But trav’ling this wasteland by His grace,

I’ll hold His mighty hand.

This life can be a crowded arcade—

A busy thoroughfare;

Yet quiet appointments can be made

With Jesus anywhere.

I’ll walk and talk with Him today

Relating as friend to Friend;

My Lord will lead me thru life’s way

As I walk and talk with Him today.

Words and music by Don Wyrtzen © 1975 Singspiration.

Their Days Are Numbered

The lawless one will be revealed. The Lord Jesus will destroy him with the … brightness of His coming.—2 Thessalonians 2:8

Despite all evidences to the contrary, God is in charge of the world’s affairs, and the days of rebellious kingdoms on earth are numbered. Our God reigns! The “power and the glory” spoken of in the final words of the Lord’s Prayer are talking about kingdom power and glory. The other type of power and glory, that which is measured by earthly standards alone and rejected by Jesus in His temptation in the wilderness, is doomed to dissolution and decay.

Ezekiel the prophet, speaking centuries ago of the impermanence of anything not founded on kingdom values, said, “Doom has gone out. The rod [of wickedness] has blossomed; arrogance has bloomed” (Ezk 7:10). Note the telltale steps: doom appears, sin blossoms, and pride has budded. And the fruit of all this? Dissolution and decay.

When speaking of a prominent figure who will arise in the last days and challenge the authority of God’s kingdom, Moffat refers to him in his translation as “the Lawless One, the doomed One” (2Th 2:3). Those who break the laws of God’s kingdom, which are written into the very nature of things, are doomed. Perhaps not today, nor tomorrow, but inevitably, anything that is against God’s kingdom is destined to destruction. It carries within itself the seeds of its own dissolution and decay.

Prayer

Gracious Father, I have looked upon the kingdom of the world until my eyes are tired—tired of looking at death. Now lift up my eyes, and let me look at life. Let me look upon You. And I see You, not as a reclining God, but a reigning God. Hallelujah!

Further Study

Eph 6:10-18; Jn 12:30-31; Heb 2:14; 1Jn 3:8

What is Paul’s exhortation?

How can we take dominion?

Confession of Sin

1 John 1:9

The nature of man was not constructed to harbor evil. Sin is an intruder. Conscience, the fear of God, the capacity of memory, all want to acknowledge what is wrong, to expel it and to get rid of its sting. But men knowingly violate all this. They hide their sin. Thus they make untold misery for those about them and bring final ruin upon themselves.

The teaching of the Bible is perfectly clear on this matter. Confession is a good thing. It makes for pardon. It helps toward resisting temptation. It gives humility and vigor to the soul. And it is good, also, because it is the condition on which God grants forgiveness. “If we confess our sins,” says the Apostle, “He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9).

Confession is important if only because, in the nature of things, unconfessed sin tends with terrible swiftness to destroy the soul. Evil grows worse by being hidden. Hidden fire—what a peril it is! Undiscovered disease—how awful! If the fire had only been uncovered, it might have been extinguished. If the sickness had been pointed out, a remedy might have been found in time. It is so with sin.

Without confession there is no salvation. The mercy of God is infinite toward men, and the sacrifice of Jesus Christ has provided a way of purity. But we must plead “guilty” before God if He is to pronounce us innocent.

And without confession there can be no peace of mind. The soul with unconfessed guilt upon it is like the troubled sea, it can never rest. The conscience with unconfessed sin upon it has a burden which nothing can take away.

Confession is an essential part of repentance; not merely the confession of sin in general, but the confession of particular sins. God will be no party to the covering-up business. Without confession there is no road to heaven. Without confession, no hope in Christ.

The solemn message of the ancient teacher is still sounding out its great warning: “He who conceals his sins does not prosper, but whoever confesses and renounces them finds mercy” (Proverbs 28:13).

Bramwell Booth, Life and Religion