Of Faith

Thursday, July 13, 2017, 4:11 a.m. – The Lord Jesus put in mind the song “His Tender Mercies.” Speak, Lord, your words to my heart. I read several scriptures (in the ESV) on the subject of faith.

Be Not Anxious (Matthew 6:25-34)

“Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.

“Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.”

I think it is human nature to want to know the end from the beginning of a situation before we will venture into that area. It can be, in the natural, a fearful thing to step out into the unknown, not knowing what lies ahead or how things are going to come together. Yet, when we walk by faith, we learn to trust the Lord in all things, and we believe him to work it all out according to his plans and his purposes.

In the natural, so many things could go wrong, and our plans could fall apart. But, when we are being led by the Lord, and he is the one directing our paths, he will go before us, and he will prepare the way for us. This is not saying we will never face obstacles, but that God is completely sovereign (in control), and that he will work all things out for the good of those who love him; who have been called according to his purposes.

So, we learn to trust him, and to rest in him, and to believe him to supply all that we need for what he has called us to do. And, so we inquire of him to know what we are to do, where we are to go, and what we are to say. We do what he says, and then we leave the results in his hands. We follow him and his lead in our lives, and we trust him, too, with the people in our lives.

Of Little Faith (Matthew 8:23-27)

And when he got into the boat, his disciples followed him. And behold, there arose a great storm on the sea, so that the boat was being swamped by the waves; but he was asleep. And they went and woke him, saying, “Save us, Lord; we are perishing.” And he said to them, “Why are you afraid, O you of little faith?” Then he rose and rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was a great calm. And the men marveled, saying, “What sort of man is this, that even winds and sea obey him?”

When we follow the Lord in obedience, it does not mean it will always be “smooth sailing.” Sometimes we will face storms, i.e. difficult and troubling situations which shake us, and which may be life threatening, as well. And, it may seem to us that God is asleep on the job, and that he is not paying attention to what is going on in our lives. But, he is still sovereign (in control), and he has it handled. Nothing escapes his notice. He has a plan and a purpose for it all, and he will see us through any and every situation.

So, we should not let the storms of life unsettle us or to make us feel as though there is no recourse or that there is no hope. We must be steadfast in hope and in faith no matter our circumstances. Walking by faith often means that we don’t know what lies before us, and how things are all going to work out. But, when we know God is in it, we have to know that he will make a way where there seems to be no way.

Why Do You Doubt? (Matthew 14:22-33)

Immediately he made the disciples get into the boat and go before him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowds. And after he had dismissed the crowds, he went up on the mountain by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone, but the boat by this time was a long way from the land, beaten by the waves, for the wind was against them. And in the fourth watch of the night he came to them, walking on the sea. But when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were terrified, and said, “It is a ghost!” and they cried out in fear. But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, “Take heart; it is I. Do not be afraid.”

And Peter answered him, “Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.” He said, “Come.” So Peter got out of the boat and walked on the water and came to Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid, and beginning to sink he cried out, “Lord, save me.” Jesus immediately reached out his hand and took hold of him, saying to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?” And when they got into the boat, the wind ceased. And those in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.”

Sometimes, when things get particularly bad, which they will sometimes, we lose sight of Jesus and we get lost in the details of what we are going through. And, that is when we begin to fear and to fret. And, that is because we are looking at the circumstances and we are focusing on them rather than focusing on the God who is sovereign (in control) over our circumstances. So, we may begin to listen to the lies of Satan, instead, and begin to think that God can do nothing about what we are going through.

And, even though Jesus is right there with us in our circumstances, we may not recognize him, and so our hearts may begin to sink. And, when we cry out to him, he reveals himself to us, and he shows us how he is there. Sometimes it isn’t just that he is there with us through our trials, though, but that he is the one initiating the trials in our lives, because he has a plan and a purpose for them to mature us, to get us to rely on him and not on ourselves, and to teach us patience and endurance.

We might, at times, step out in faith, and be walking with the Lord in obedience, and then along the way get sidetracked by troubles or hardships and forget that our Lord is in control. And, then we begin to drown in our difficult circumstances because we took our eyes off Jesus. So, we need to refocus our attention on Jesus, be renewed in our faith, and keep going forward, even when we don’t know what lies ahead. We must walk by faith and not by sight, believing God to do his work in our lives, and in the lives of those we love, even if we don’t see yet what has been promised.

His Tender Mercies / An Original Work / January 26, 2014

Fear not! I’m with you.
Be not dismayed!
God watches o’er you.
Trust Him today.
He’ll lead and guide you;
Give you His aid.
He’ll love and keep you
With Him always.

Walk in His footsteps.
He’ll lead the way.
Trust in His love;
Believe that He cares.
He will not leave you.
Faithful He’ll be.
His tender mercies
Now you will see.

Fellowship with Him
Throughout the day.
Tell Him your heartaches.
He’ll heal always.
Rest in His comfort.
He is your friend.
Your faith He’ll strengthen,
True to the end.

False Witnesses

Tuesday, May 30, 2017, 6:03 a.m. – The Lord Jesus put in mind the song “Draw Me Close.” Speak, Lord, your words to my heart. I read Psalm 27 (Select vv. ESV).

The Lord Is (vv. 1-3)

The Lord is my light and my salvation;
whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the stronghold of my life;
of whom shall I be afraid?

When evildoers assail me
to eat up my flesh,
my adversaries and foes,
it is they who stumble and fall.

Though an army encamp against me,
my heart shall not fear;
though war arise against me,
yet I will be confident.

Who are our enemies? If we are followers of Jesus Christ, crucified with him in death to sin, and risen with him to newness of life, our enemies are Satan and his many hordes. Satan has followers, too, and they do his bidding in coming against Jesus Christ, his Word, his gospel, and his servants. And, many of them have infiltrated the church, too. They are the wolves in sheep’s clothing, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ, and as servants of righteousness, but truly they are among us to steal, to kill and to destroy. So, they might be pastors, teachers, elders, other professors of Christ, politicians, parents, children, neighbors, and/or website monitors.

They are there to spy on our freedom in Christ Jesus and to make us slaves again to depravity. So, they dilute the gospel message of salvation to appeal to human flesh and to appease the world. They preach (teach, share) feel-good messages which tickle itching ears, which say what people want to hear, not what they NEED to hear, for the truth offends. Many of them are part of the New World Order and are working together to bring the people of the world into unity with them in thought, word and deed. Their goal is to get us to forsake all which divides us as the people of the world, and to get us to compromise our faith and convictions in order to unite as ONE voice, ONE heart and ONE mind, across the globe, with this one world religion.

On a global political (or religious) level, they utilize the media to spread their lies and deceptions in order to deceive and to convince naïve minds. Because so many people regularly watch TV, and especially believe what they see on TV news (or on the internet), they are able to deceive people by the thousands or by the millions, or even greater. TV, especially, can be very hypnotic, and thus is one of Satan’s avenues for tricking people into accepting lies as truth, and truth as lies. So, we need to be very discerning. As followers of Jesus, we need to be wise, and not so trusting of humans, but we should take everything to the Lord in prayer, because not everything that appears to be real is real. So many things can be faked now days.

Basically, these enemies are out to destroy us either through trickery, deception, manipulation, setting traps for us to fall into, or via outright persecution, abuse, false accusations, imprisonment or through death. Their goal is to stop the spreading of the gospel as was taught by Jesus and by his NT apostles. If they can’t stop us one way, they will try another until something works, or until they kill us.

Yet, we have no reason to fear any of them, because we know that our Lord is completely sovereign (in control) over all he has made, and over every power known to man. They may try to take advantage of us, but we don’t let them, and, instead, we turn to our Lord for help, for counsel, for wisdom and for discernment to know truth from error, and to know how to respond to the enemy’s attempts to take us down. We must rely on the Lord for our strength, and, if need be, we must stand alone against the mass of voices which may try to convince us to retreat. We have to stand on truth even if all forsake us and betray us, for the Lord is our light and salvation, not man.

Seek His Face (vv. 7-10)

Hear, O Lord, when I cry aloud;
be gracious to me and answer me!
You have said, “Seek my face.”
My heart says to you,
“Your face, Lord, do I seek.”
Hide not your face from me.
Turn not your servant away in anger,
O you who have been my help.
Cast me not off; forsake me not,
O God of my salvation!
For my father and my mother have forsaken me,
but the Lord will take me in.

When our enemies come against us, which they will, instead of responding with our flesh, we need to seek God’s face. We need to cry out to God in our suffering, trusting him to give us all we need to endure and to keep pressing on. Yet, there will be times when we may not get an immediate reply to our cries for help, and we may even feel as though God is absent from us, but those are lies of the enemy to try to make us afraid. We must know that our God will never abandon us. He will never leave us or forsake us, so we should not fear those times when it feels like he is not near us, but we must persevere in what we know, and keep seeking his face. Then, we must trust him, rest in him, believe him, hold on to HIM, and not give up. Although others will forsake us and betray us, our Lord will take us under his wings.

A Level Path (vv. 11-14)

Teach me your way, O Lord,
and lead me on a level path
because of my enemies.
Give me not up to the will of my adversaries;
for false witnesses have risen against me,
and they breathe out violence.

I believe that I shall look upon the goodness of the Lord
in the land of the living!
Wait for the Lord;
be strong, and let your heart take courage;
wait for the Lord!

So, how to respond to the enemy’s attacks against us? Instead of being afraid, we turn to the Lord, and we ask him to teach us his ways and to lead us on a level path. A level path is upright, honest, pure, and unadulterated by the world. Instead of yielding to these voices, which try to talk us into compromising our faith, we set our faces like flint, and we determine to keep on walking in the Spirit in following our Lord in his service, despite all opposition waged against us. We cannot let false accusations, tricks, traps or persecutions break us, but instead we must commit our lives to our Lord, pray to him for help, and trust him to work in and through our lives.

And, we must continue to hold on to the hope that is ours in Christ Jesus, keeping our eyes focused on Jesus and on the goal that is set before us, which is to live holy lives, pleasing to God, and which is to be the Lord’s servants and witnesses in ministering his grace and his love to all people. And, when things get tough, which they will, we must wait for God to move on our behalf, be strong in the Lord, take courage, and wait on the Lord.

Draw Me Close To You / Donnie McClurkin

Draw me close to You
Never let me go
I lay it all down again…

You’re all I want
You’re all I’ve ever needed…
Help me know You are near

They Rise Up

Friday, April 21, 2017, 9:09 a.m. – The Lord Jesus put in mind the song “Why are You Afraid?” Speak, Lord, your words to my heart. I read Acts 4:23-31 (NIV).

On their release, Peter and John went back to their own people and reported all that the chief priests and the elders had said to them. When they heard this, they raised their voices together in prayer to God. “Sovereign Lord,” they said, “you made the heavens and the earth and the sea, and everything in them. You spoke by the Holy Spirit through the mouth of your servant, our father David:

“‘Why do the nations rage
and the peoples plot in vain?
The kings of the earth rise up
and the rulers band together
against the Lord
and against his anointed one.’

Indeed Herod and Pontius Pilate met together with the Gentiles and the people of Israel in this city to conspire against your holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed. They did what your power and will had decided beforehand should happen. Now, Lord, consider their threats and enable your servants to speak your word with great boldness. Stretch out your hand to heal and perform signs and wonders through the name of your holy servant Jesus.”

After they prayed, the place where they were meeting was shaken. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly.

The Nations Rage

In our world today, the nations are raging again, and they are persecuting the Lord’s servants and messengers, commanding them not to preach the message of the gospel, as was taught by Jesus and his NT apostles, nor to try to convert others to faith in Jesus Christ. So far, it isn’t the name of Jesus they so much object to, as far as I can tell, as long as they keep their faith to themselves, i.e. as long as they are not preaching it to others. Even in the church this is being stressed that we need to “stay in our own lane” and not say anything to anyone which might offend them. Much of the church is teaching more that we just need to be nice to people and do good deeds, but not evangelize them. Our world leaders want the world to all join hands together singing “Kumbaya.” They want us to all agree together to accept all religions as viable and to not pass judgment on people’s sins.

But, Christians are not the only ones being targeted by “the nations,” i.e. by this New World Order beast. The world, at large, is suffering under the hands of these tyrants who are busy taking over the world, one nation at a time. So, who is behind all this? Well, there are many players, including the Bilderberg group, the Council on Foreign Relations, the Trilateral Commission, Big banks, Freemasons, Zionists, and CEOs of corporations, etc. The US government serves this beast as a temporary structure, in support of and as workers for this New World Order of the Elite (the shadow government) while it is being built (formed). The US serves as their military arm, and as their messengers to the people of the world, including to the people of our own nation, in order to strong-arm or manipulate (deceive) them into submission to the beast.

Since Donald Trump became the president of the USA, our nation is moving even closer to coming under the full authority of this New World Order beast, as are many other nations in this world. I doubt that there are many nations left today which have not been conquered, and whose governments are not already comprised of transitional governments (temporary structures) of the New World Order until this beast kingdom is fully built. Right now this New World Order beast, i.e. the All-Seeing Eye of Horus, hovers over the world (the unfinished pyramid), which they are restructuring (remodeling), in order to build this global totalitarian kingdom of the beast. But, one day it will all come crashing down on all of us, well particularly here in America, as the rest of the world, or most of it seems to have already experienced the weight of this beast on their shoulders.

What we, especially as Americans, need to understand, and we all need to pray about this, is that Revelation 13 is being fulfilled right now, in our time, and that America is the harlot (Babylon) which rides the beast, but is hated by the beast, and he will destroy her when he is finished using her. We are not the good guys and humanitarians going around the world rescuing people, well our government is not. We are the terrorists of the world who are going around the world killing at will, murdering innocents, terrorizing people, taking over sovereign nations, pillaging, raping, stealing and destroying property and human lives. Our news media is owned by this New World Order and so they report only what they want the people to believe. We finance, equip and train terrorists. N. Korea, Iran and Syria are not the ones we need to fear, although we should not fear anyone but God. The US government, under the authority of this N.W.O. beast, is doing all this stuff and then blaming it all on others.

Raised Voices

When we read in the news about all these terrorist attacks, please understand that these people are working for the beast, and most all of the unrest now going on in the world is being orchestrated by this N.W.O. beast as part of their “remodeling” of the world, in order to build the kingdom of the beast. And, this is going to be a fact of life from here on out until our Lord returns, I believe.

Yet, instead of letting all this unsettle us and to make us afraid, we need to raise our voices to God in prayer, believe that he is absolutely sovereign over all that he has made, and that he has a plan and a purpose for it all. I believe his purpose is to revive his adulterous and complacent church and to bring many people to faith in Jesus Christ before he returns to judge and to take his followers (his bride) to be with him forever. I believe this is what the prophecies of scripture teach regarding these final days before the return of the Lord.

What this beast New World Order is doing, although definitely it is of Satan, is what God, in his sovereignty, but also in his mercy and justice, decided beforehand should happen. It was foretold in the Old Testament prophets as well as in the New Testament. So, this should not take us by surprise that these events are unfolding before our eyes.

But, I know, when you are in the midst of the storm, that sometimes it is difficult to have this perspective. I know, too, that I am right now sitting in a comfortable chair writing on a laptop computer in the comfort of a warm apartment, and I am not presently running for my life or dodging bullets, at least not physically, but that doesn’t mean I don’t have my trials, too, or that this is not coming to my home, as well, because it is. And, the reality of it all is becoming more and more evident every day.

Yet, I also know God is going to bring good out of this, and that he is going to perform miracles in people’s hearts and lives, and I believe he already is. So, we just need to trust him with this and believe that he will take care of us, and not let the threats of war and terrorism make us afraid. Instead, we should bring all our concerns to God in prayer, and pray for boldness and courage to keep speaking in Jesus’ name in sharing the full gospel message to a dying world in need of the Savior.

Why Are You Afraid? / An Original Work / December 5, 2013

Based off Various Scriptures

Do not be afraid.
Your Lord is always by your side.
Serve the Lord in righteousness
Before Him all your days.

Those who hate the light
Will not come to the Lord.
They fear their deeds
Might be noticed.
So, they hate the light,
And they embrace the night.

Do not be afraid,
Although your enemy attacks.
Dare to share your testimony
Of God’s saving grace.

Do not fear their threats,
But honor Christ, your Lord.
Be prepared to give an answer
For the hope you have,
With gentleness; respect.

Why are you afraid?
For all that’s hidden will be shown.
What I tell you, speak in daylight.
Let the truth be known.

Do not be afraid
Of those who’ll take your life.
Fear the Lord with understanding.
Trust Him with your life,
And give not up to strife.

Do not be afraid.
Take courage, it is I, your Lord.
Bow before Me; now adore Me.
Oh, why do you doubt?

Listen to the Lord.
Get up, and bear His name!
Run and tell the world He loves them.
Jesus came to save.
Give Him your all today.

Why Are You Afraid?

Many throughout the world are presently being severely persecuted for their faith in Jesus Christ and for their testimonies for the gospel of Jesus Christ. Numerous saints of God are being martyred because they refuse to deny the name of Jesus Christ, they refuse to bow to the world’s system, and because they will not stop sharing the true gospel of salvation.

Jesus said we would be hated as he was hated, and that as he was treated, so would we be treated, if we are his true followers. So, this should not take us by surprise when this happens, and it will come to America, too, because scripture teaches us that in the last days this persecution will increase, and that the dragon will be enraged, as though he is not already, and he will pursue Christ’s true servants and witnesses with hateful vengeance.

Yet, we are not to be afraid of those who can kill the body but who cannot kill the soul. We must believe that God is sovereign over all things – events and all people – and that nothing can enter into our lives, outside of ourselves, but what he allows it, and he has a purpose in it which will bring glory to his name, and many to saving faith in Jesus Christ. So, trust Him. Rest in His love. Believe Him that He will work it all for our ultimate good. Divine discipline is painful, but necessary in order to mature us, to purify us and to make us holy. We are not here on this earth for our own pleasure, but rather to honor and magnify our Lord God.

“Praise be to the Lord, the God of Israel,
because he has come to his people and redeemed them.
69 He has raised up a horn of salvation for us
in the house of his servant David
70 (as he said through his holy prophets of long ago),
71 salvation from our enemies
and from the hand of all who hate us—
72 to show mercy to our ancestors
and to remember his holy covenant,
73 the oath he swore to our father Abraham:
74 to rescue us from the hand of our enemies,
and to enable us to serve him without fear
75 in holiness and righteousness before him all our days. ~ Lu. 1:68-75

This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed. But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God. ~ John 3:19-21

Who is going to harm you if you are eager to do good? But even if you should suffer for what is right, you are blessed. “Do not fear their threats; do not be frightened.” But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander. For it is better, if it is God’s will, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil. ~ 1 Peter 3:13-17

Why Are You Afraid? / An Original Work / December 5, 2013

Based off Various Scriptures

Do not be afraid.
Your Lord is always by your side.
Serve the Lord in righteousness
Before Him all your days.

Those who hate the light
Will not come to the Lord.
They fear their deeds
Might be noticed.
So, they hate the light,
And they embrace the night.

Do not be afraid,
Although your enemy attacks.
Dare to share your testimony
Of God’s saving grace.

Do not fear their threats,
But honor Christ, your Lord.
Be prepared to give an answer
For the hope you have,
With gentleness; respect.

Why are you afraid?
For all that’s hidden will be shown.
What I tell you, speak in daylight.
Let the truth be known.

Do not be afraid
Of those who’ll take your life.
Fear the Lord with understanding.
Trust Him with your life,
And give not up to strife.

Do not be afraid.
Take courage, it is I, your Lord.
Bow before Me; now adore Me.
Oh, why do you doubt?

Listen to the Lord.
Get up, and bear His name!
Run and tell the world He loves them.
Jesus came to save.
Give Him your all today.

Gladness and Joy

Thursday, March 30, 2017, 7:48 a.m. – The Lord Jesus put in mind the song “The King is Coming.” Speak, Lord, your words to my heart. I read Isaiah 51:1-11 (NASB).

Look to the Rock (vv. 1-3)

“Listen to me, you who pursue righteousness,
Who seek the Lord:
Look to the rock from which you were hewn
And to the quarry from which you were dug.
“Look to Abraham your father
And to Sarah who gave birth to you in pain;
When he was but one I called him,
Then I blessed him and multiplied him.”
Indeed, the Lord will comfort Zion;
He will comfort all her waste places.
And her wilderness He will make like Eden,
And her desert like the garden of the Lord;
Joy and gladness will be found in her,
Thanksgiving and sound of a melody.”

Jesus Christ, our Messiah and Lord, is the promised seed of Abraham: “Now the promises were spoken to Abraham and to his seed. He does not say, ‘And to seeds,’ as referring to many, but rather to one, ‘And to your seed,’ that is, Christ.” “And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s descendants, heirs according to promise.” “And you brethren, like Isaac, are children of promise.” “It is not the children by physical descent who are God’s children, but it is the children of the promise who are regarded as Abraham’s offspring.” (See: Gal. 3:16, 29; 4:22-31; Ro. 9:8). So, we who believe in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior of our lives are Abraham’s offspring. We are the children of promise, of the free woman, not of the slave woman. We are the Jerusalem that is from above, not of the earth.

Through the promised seed of Abraham, who is Jesus Christ, ALL nations on the earth are blessed (See: Gen. 22:18). When Jesus Christ died on the cross for our sins, he died for the sins of the whole world. He who knew no sin became sin for us that we might become the righteousness of God (Gal. 5:21). When he died, Jesus redeemed us, i.e. he bought us back for God with his blood. Through faith in Jesus Christ the law of the Spirit of life sets us free from the law of sin and death. Amen!

One of the things Jesus accomplished through his death is that he destroyed the barrier that stood between Jew and Gentile. Jesus’ “purpose was to create in himself one new humanity out of the two, thus making peace, and in one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross, by which he put to death their hostility… For through him we both have access to the Father by one Spirit” (Eph. 2:14-18). What this means is that the Jewish nation is no longer the children of promise. Only through faith in Jesus Christ can we be heirs of the promise. The division is no longer Jew and Gentile, but it is Christian (saved) and non-Christian (lost). The Jewish nation is now no different from Arab nations in that they are both of Hagar (Gal. 4:25).

So, our Rock from which we were hewn (fashioned) is Jesus Christ, the promised seed of Abraham. If we seek after God, we are to look to Jesus and to his righteousness for our consolation. He is our only hope of salvation. Only through his death and resurrection, and through God-given faith in him, can we be delivered out of slavery to sin and enter into God’s eternal kingdom. We who believe in Jesus Christ are Zion, the heavenly Jerusalem, the Holy City of God, his temple. He will comfort us with his mercy and grace. Whereas we were once dead in our sins without hope, God made us alive in Christ. He forgave us our sins, and gave us new birth unto a living hope. Through faith in him we now are filled with inexpressible joy.

Pay Attention (vv. 4-8)

“Pay attention to Me, O My people,
And give ear to Me, O My nation;
For a law will go forth from Me,
And I will set My justice for a light of the peoples.
“My righteousness is near, My salvation has gone forth,
And My arms will judge the peoples;
The coastlands will wait for Me,
And for My arm they will wait expectantly.
“Lift up your eyes to the sky,
Then look to the earth beneath;
For the sky will vanish like smoke,
And the earth will wear out like a garment
And its inhabitants will die in like manner;
But My salvation will be forever,
And My righteousness will not wane.
“Listen to Me, you who know righteousness,
A people in whose heart is My law;
Do not fear the reproach of man,
Nor be dismayed at their revilings.
“For the moth will eat them like a garment,
And the grub will eat them like wool.
But My righteousness will be forever,
And My salvation to all generations.”

God’s people now are those who have put their faith and trust in Jesus Christ, whether Jew or Gentile by physical birth. We are his nation: “But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light” (1 Pet. 2:9). We who believe in Jesus with God-given faith – which is persuaded as to God’s will for our lives – have been given the gift of salvation from sins. Yet, our salvation is not complete until Jesus Christ returns for us and he takes us to be with him forever.

While we live on this earth we will see much wickedness and we will experience much sorrow. We who follow Jesus Christ with our lives and who bear witness to his gospel of salvation, as taught by him and his NT apostles, will be hated, persecuted, ill-treated, falsely accused, rejected, despised and even killed for our faith in Jesus Christ and his gospel. Although it is our joy to serve our Lord as his ministers on this earth, our time here will have many trials and tribulations, and we will often long for our heavenly home, and for the time of our Lord’s return.

So, this is an encouragement to be faithful, and to be steadfast in faith and in hope, knowing that the time when our salvation will be complete is not that far off. There is a time coming when God will judge this earth, and he will put an end to sin and to suffering. What we are going through now is temporary. Also, we must understand that our Lord is absolutely sovereign and completely in control over all things. So, we should never fear humans or what they may do to us. They can kill the body, but they can’t kill the soul. And, one day God will put an end to their injustices and their rebellion against him. Yet, our Lord, His Word and His Salvation will be forever!

Arm of the Lord (vv. 9-11)

Awake, awake, put on strength, O arm of the Lord;
Awake as in the days of old, the generations of long ago.
Was it not You who cut Rahab in pieces,
Who pierced the dragon?
Was it not You who dried up the sea,
The waters of the great deep;
Who made the depths of the sea a pathway
For the redeemed to cross over?
So the ransomed of the Lord will return
And come with joyful shouting to Zion,
And everlasting joy will be on their heads.
They will obtain gladness and joy,
And sorrow and sighing will flee away.

This is a call to the Lord to fulfill his promises, and to deliver his people out of this sin-sick world and to take us home to be with him. Yet, it is also a call for him to work miracles in our lives while we still live on the face of this earth. The call acknowledges that our God is the Almighty God, our creator, who is all powerful. It calls to remembrance all the many ways in which he delivered his people in times past, which includes all the many ways in which we, individually, have seen him work miracles of grace in our lives, too.

On the basis of what we know of God, and of his history with humankind, and on the basis of his promises given to us in His Word, we can pray for what we know is according to his will and his purposes for our lives. We can believe him for daily deliverance from the evil one, from giving into temptation to sin, and from the fear of opposition from sinful humans. And, we can trust him to be with us, to not forsake us, and to lead us through troubled waters while still filling us with his perfect peace and joy.

And, we can rely on the strength of the Lord and the power and wisdom of the Holy Spirit within us, as well as his guidance, to lead us through every difficult circumstance and to make a way for us where there often seems to be no way. Nothing can touch us but what God allows it, and that he has a purpose for it, and that he will bring good out of it. We have to keep remembering that. We have to keep trusting, and not be afraid. One day he is going to return for us, and all the hardships we have gone through in this life will fade away, and will become no more. And, we will live in peace and safety with our Lord forever, and he will wipe every tear from our eyes.

The King is Coming
(Bill Gaither)

The King is coming, the King is coming
I just heard the trumpet sounding and soon His face I’ll see
The King is coming, the King is coming
Praise God, He’s coming for me

I can hear the chariot’s rumble, I can see the marching throng
And the fury of God’s trumpet spells the end of sin and wrong
Regal rolls are now unfolded, heaven’s grandstands all in place
Heaven’s choir is now assembled, start to sing “Amazing Grace”…

Heart Change

Tuesday, March 28, 2017, 6:01 a.m. – The Lord Jesus put in mind the song “Change My Heart, Oh God.” Speak, Lord, your words to my heart. I read Isaiah 43 (Select vv. NASB).

His Servant (vv. 10-13)

“You are My witnesses,” declares the Lord,
“And My servant whom I have chosen,
So that you may know and believe Me
And understand that I am He.
Before Me there was no God formed,
And there will be none after Me.
“I, even I, am the Lord,
And there is no savior besides Me.
“It is I who have declared and saved and proclaimed,
And there was no strange god among you;
So you are My witnesses,” declares the Lord,
“And I am God.
“Even from eternity I am He,
And there is none who can deliver out of My hand;
I act and who can reverse it?”

As followers of Jesus Christ, we are his servants and witnesses; “a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession,” so that we “may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called” us “out of darkness into His marvelous light” (1 Pet. 2:9).

As his servants, we do his bidding. We serve him according to his direction, not according to what we are willing to do “for” him, nor according to what we think is best. If he is our Lord, then he is our owner-master, and we are his bond-slaves. We don’t serve ourselves, and we are not in it for the fame or the fortune. And, we don’t serve for the glory of man or human approval, either, but for the glory of God. Thus, we give God all the honor and glory and praise for what he is doing through us, and we take no credit for ourselves, because we realize that every gift we have comes from him.

As servants and laborers for Christ and for his gospel, it is our responsibility to teach the God of the Bible and Jesus Christ, as he was presented in scripture, and the truth of the gospel according to Jesus and his NT apostles. Yet, in order to do that, we have to really know God through intimate relationship with him via God-given faith in Jesus Christ. We have to spend time with him in his Word, drinking it in, listening to the Lord speak his truths to our hearts, and then we need to obey what he shows us. We must walk in holiness and righteousness in the power and working of the Spirit of God within us, too, so that we not only teach rightly, but that we live rightly.

As his servants and witnesses, i.e. as laborers for the gospel of Jesus Christ, we should serve the Lord in humility. We should care for the legitimate needs of others, and we ought to do and say what is in their best interest, according to their needs, not according to their wants. This means that we will speak the truth in love, we will confront sin within the church, and we will warn of divine discipline (judgment, correction), and of false teaching. We will expose lies, and we will counter them with what is truth. We will call for repentance and obedience, and we will encourage and urge fellow believers to live lives of purity, honesty, integrity, faithfulness, and holiness in the power and strength of God’s Spirit now living within them. And, we will do this wherever our Lord opens doors for us to proclaim his Word.

Declare His Praise (vv. 15-21)

“I am the Lord, your Holy One,
The Creator of Israel, your King.”
Thus says the Lord,
Who makes a way through the sea
And a path through the mighty waters,
Who brings forth the chariot and the horse,
The army and the mighty man
(They will lie down together and not rise again;
They have been quenched and extinguished like a wick):
“Do not call to mind the former things,
Or ponder things of the past.
“Behold, I will do something new,
Now it will spring forth;
Will you not be aware of it?
I will even make a roadway in the wilderness,
Rivers in the desert.
“The beasts of the field will glorify Me,
The jackals and the ostriches,
Because I have given waters in the wilderness
And rivers in the desert,
To give drink to My chosen people.
“The people whom I formed for Myself
Will declare My praise.

When we are serving the Lord by sharing with people the truths of God’s Word, we will face opposition from sinful humans, much like the children of Israel faced from Pharaoh and his armies who pursued them after they had been delivered from slavery out of Egypt. Pharaoh was a type of Satan, for that is how Satan works, too, i.e. he is not willing to let us go, and then when God does deliver us from slavery to sin, Satan goes after us with his armies to try to get us back, i.e. to attempt to defeat us in battle.

One of his biggest weapons against us is his lies, and the fears which he tries to instill in our hearts in order to get us to doubt God and his many promises to us. He will try to get us to be afraid, to get discouraged, disheartened and to doubt God’s sovereignty over our lives. He will try to get us to fear opposition and roadblocks and circumstances, hoping that we will give up on our mission and turn back in dismay.

Yet, this is a reminder to us of God’s absolute power and sovereignty and control over all things, and of how nothing in this world and no enemy forged against us can prevail. They cannot thwart God’s purposes. What may appear like setbacks are really God’s delays, because it isn’t his timing yet for something to happen. Just because something promised hasn’t happened yet doesn’t mean it isn’t going to happen, though that is what Satan would like for us to believe. We just have to wait on God for his timing, and keep trusting him to do what he says he will do.

God is able to do what humans are incapable of doing. If he wants us to go a particular direction, he can remove all the obstacles, and he can make a way for us on dry ground while there are walls of water standing tall on either side of us. He has no limitations other than he can’t do what is evil. Even if things didn’t turn out the way we thought they would before, he can make them happen in the future or even in the present. We should not let our pasts define our present or our future, in other words. God can make all things new! He can change our hearts, and he can change the hearts of others to conform to his purposes, and he can do what he said he would do even if humanly it doesn’t seem possible.

Not Honored God (vv. 22-24)

“Yet you have not called on Me, O Jacob;
But you have become weary of Me, O Israel.
“You have not brought to Me the sheep of your burnt offerings,
Nor have you honored Me with your sacrifices.
I have not burdened you with offerings,
Nor wearied you with incense.
“You have bought Me not sweet cane with money,
Nor have you filled Me with the fat of your sacrifices;
Rather you have burdened Me with your sins,
You have wearied Me with your iniquities.

Even though God promises all these wonderful things for his children, that they will take place, it doesn’t mean that, for everyone, it is a present reality in their lives. Although there are certainly some who are truly walking in righteousness and holiness, and who are serving the Lord faithfully in being his servants and witnesses, there are many today who are not living like Jesus truly set them free from sin. They are not honoring God with their lives, nor are they serving him as he requires and desires.

God is not first place in their lives. He may not even be on their radar much at all, for they are busying themselves with all the things which give them pleasure, and which satisfy the desires of their sinful flesh. Many of them are not even calling on God, or if they are, it is not in truth, or it is being faked for the purpose of deception, to make others think they are living righteously when they are not. So, they just use God and his grace as a cover-up for evil, but their hearts are far from him.

They may give token sacrifices to God, but their hearts are not surrendered to Him. Their service to him is minimal. They are not fully devoted followers of Christ and he is really not their Lord (owner-master), nor are they truly his bond-slaves (servants), although they are called as such, and they are intended to be. They should be filled with the fruit of his righteousness and they should be scattering the seeds of truth and love so that it can multiply in people’s lives, but instead they are self-consumed. And, it isn’t that they don’t have the time or the opportunities to do so, but it is that they don’t take advantage of the opportunities given to them.

So, God is calling out to his wayward children, and he is confronting them with their sins of idolatry and spiritual adultery. He is warning of divine correction (judgment, discipline), and is calling for repentance and walks of faithful obedience to him. As well, he promises hope, healing and restoration for the repentant. If they do not repent, he will make a way for them to repent, but it will be painful. So, turn from your sins today, ask God to change your heart and to make you like him in holiness and righteousness.

Change My Heart, Oh God
Eddie Espinosa

Change my heart, oh God
Make it ever true
Change my heart, oh God
May I be like You …

Write These Things

Saturday, March 4, 2017, 9:22 a.m. – The Lord Jesus put in mind the song “When I Am Afraid.” Speak, Lord, your words to my heart. I read Revelation 1:9-20 (NASB).

A Fellow Partaker (vv. 9-11)

I, John, your brother and fellow partaker in the tribulation and kingdom and perseverance which are in Jesus, was on the island called Patmos because of the word of God and the testimony of Jesus. I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day, and I heard behind me a loud voice like the sound of a trumpet, saying, “Write in a book what you see, and send it to the seven churches: to Ephesus and to Smyrna and to Pergamum and to Thyatira and to Sardis and to Philadelphia and to Laodicea.”

I, Sue J Love, your sister and fellow partaker in the tribulation and kingdom and perseverance which are in Jesus Christ, to those who are followers of Jesus Christ, and who are also suffering persecution for the sake of His Name, and for the gospel of Christ. I empathize with you in your suffering.

It was in a time of great suffering and persecution that God called me to this ministry. He used the passage in Habakkuk 2:2 in 2004 to call me to write what he teaches me from his Word, and to post it on the internet.

Then the LORD replied: “Write down the revelation and make it plain on tablets so that a herald may run with it.” (NIV)

The “revelation” for me was whatever he taught me from his Word each day. To make it plain was to write it in such a way that it was practical and understandable and applicable to our daily lives, and to the church of today, and to the world in which we now live. I believe the Holy Spirit guides me in what to say. My “tablet” is a laptop computer, and the “herald” is the internet, which runs with it. And, thus, the name of my blog is “Run With It.”

I Turned to See (vv. 12-16)

Then I turned to see the voice that was speaking with me. And having turned I saw seven golden lampstands; and in the middle of the lampstands I saw one like a son of man, clothed in a robe reaching to the feet, and girded across His chest with a golden sash. His head and His hair were white like white wool, like snow; and His eyes were like a flame of fire. His feet were like burnished bronze, when it has been made to glow in a furnace, and His voice was like the sound of many waters. In His right hand He held seven stars, and out of His mouth came a sharp two-edged sword; and His face was like the sun shining in its strength.

In the years since God called me to this ministry, he has revealed so much of himself to me through His Word and through the witness of the Holy Spirit in my heart, as well as through my own life experiences and tribulations.

I don’t see him in such a physical way as did John, though, but I have grown to know his character, his heart, his passion and his compassion. As he has allowed me to go through much suffering, I have learned to feel what he feels and to share many of his passions (zeal) for truth, righteousness, holiness, godliness and faithfulness. I have also known his comfort, encouragement, counsel, love, mercy, and faithfulness to me, his servant, especially during times when I was (or am) hurting deeply.

My God is a God of love, mercy, kindness and forgiveness, but he is also a God of justice and righteousness, and one who keeps his Word. He is completely faithful in all that he does. He has a purpose for everything he does in this life and in this world, too. And, he will accomplish his purposes in human hearts in His Way and according to His Will and His Timing. He demands obedience and repentance. They are not optional. He commands honor, respect, reverence and regard for Him and for His Word, too, and he does not take our sins lightly or smile at us when we rebel against him. Yet, he gives us all we need in order to live godly and holy lives, pleasing to him.

Do Not Fear! (vv. 17-20)

When I saw Him, I fell at His feet like a dead man. And He placed His right hand on me, saying, “Do not be afraid; I am the first and the last, and the living One; and I was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of death and of Hades. Therefore write the things which you have seen, and the things which are, and the things which will take place after these things. As for the mystery of the seven stars which you saw in My right hand, and the seven golden lampstands: the seven stars are the angels of the seven churches, and the seven lampstands are the seven churches.

I read a secular book a few years back titled, “Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway.” The title says it all! It is not a sin to feel fear. That is a natural human emotional response to troubling situations. Hey, I even jump out of my skin (not literally) when I hear a sudden loud noise, or when I am deep in concentration and someone sneaks up on me and all of a sudden I notice someone is there. I feel fear, but I then have a choice as to what to do with the fear. I can allow it to overtake me, or I can overtake it in the power of God’s Spirit living within me. I can even feel it, but then go against it.

I can recall numerous (too numerous to mention all) situations in my life where I felt fear but I went against the fear and did what was right and necessary anyway, and the feeling of fear then dissipated when I obeyed God and I didn’t let fear get the best of me. Sometimes we may obey God while “shaking in our boots,” you know. Fear has a way of humbling us and making us realize our absolute dependence on God, and not on ourselves, when in weakness we rely on his strength in order to do what he says.

Writing or speaking or teaching things that many people don’t WANT to hear, but that they NEED to hear, and that will get you rejected, hated, ostracized and persecuted (ill-treated) takes much courage and determination to obey God and to love people enough to share with them what they NEED and not necessarily what they WANT, i.e. what is best for them instead of what necessarily makes them feel good all the time.

The main antidote to fear, though, is to trust in God, even if the feeling of fear is still persisting, for a time. We must recall that our Lord Jesus is absolutely sovereign and in control over all things and all powers, including he has the keys of death and Hades, so we should never fear death or what humans may do to us, because God has it all under his control. We must continue to obey him, submitting our lives to his will, and to do what he has called us to do, which for me is to write what he teaches me, even if what he has me write is not popular and if only a few read it. Still, I trust Him!

When I Am Afraid / An Original Work
October 17, 2016 / Based off Psalms 56-57

When I am afraid, Lord, I will trust in You.
Your Word, Lord, I praise. I yield my life to You.
Enemies pursue me, slandering Your Name.
Lord, have mercy. I trust in You. Hear my cry today.

Lord, I love Your Word. It comforts me today,
As I look to you, and bow my head and pray.
You are Christ, my Lord. You saved me from my sin,
That I may walk, Lord before You, purified within.

Steadfast is my heart, O God, I sing of You.
I will praise You, Lord. To You, I will be true.
Oh, how great Your love. Your faithfulness endue.
Be exalted, God of heaven. Glory be to You.