Are you ready and watching?

Wake up! Strengthen what remains and is about to die … Remember, therefore, what you have received and heard; hold it fast, and repent. But if you do not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what time I will come to you (3:2-3)

Although the letter was sent to this specific church in Asia Minor, it is relevant and applicable to the church today.  These letters apply to all the original churches, as well as churches throughout the church age (which is the time since the first coming of Christ through to His second coming).

The church in Sardis was a small church… and very few of them remained faithful to the Lord, true believers.

They had killed the message and compromised the distinctiveness of ChristThey incorporated pagan cultures into the “church” and were happy to “get along” with other faiths and blend in.  Much like the interfaith, ecumenical movement that is being promoted today.   The distinctiveness of Christ no longer mattered or matters to the church of Sardis, then, and up today!

This church was dead!

The LORD counselled the church of Sardis to do 5 things which, if they’d obeyed, would have made them acceptable to Him:

  • Be watchful
  • Strengthen the things that remain
  • Remember what you heard and believed at first
  • Hold Fast
  • Repent

Today I want to concentrate on the first counsel the Lord gave this church … Wake up! Be Watchful!

Be watchful (Wake Up!)

The opposite of being watchful is being complacent.

The first thing Sardis needed to do was to stop being complacent and be on a state of alert.

The fact that the LORD had to tell them to wake up, be watchful, points to a serious deficiency in the teaching of the Reformation leaders.   This deficiency was because they lacked instruction in Bible prophecy and separation.

The word “WATCH” is used by the Lord in several other passages of Scripture and indicate the attitude that should characterize His children in view of His promised return!   Prophetically instructed Christians are very much more likely to be separated, consecrated Christians than those who are not aware of the promises of our Lord’s second coming and the imminency of the catching away (rapture) of the church, etc.

The church of Sardis represents some of the denominations today that are being swept along by compromise, sin and erroneous teaching. These 3 things kill a church.

We are living in days where people are deciding to pick and choose what they want to believe from the Bible.  This is extremely dangerous!

Christ’s Warning to Sardis
So then, if you do not wake up, I will come like a thiefor as the New King James Versions puts it: “Therefore if you will not watch, I will come upon you as a thief, and you will not know what hour I will come upon you” (Rev 3:3)

As is the case for Sardis, so it will be for those who have not heeded our Lord’s warning. It is very clear that they will be taken unawares when our Lord comes.

The Lord Jesus Christ warns Sardis of the consequences of “Not watching”. If Sardis does not watch they will be taken unaware by Christ’s appearing. Throughout the Gospels the Lord stresses the need for the believer to be careful and keep a watchful eye for His “Imminent return

There are many evidences around that reveal the prophetic ignorance on the part of Reformation churches (AND, sadly, many of the evangelical churches today too!).  An example of this includes the fact that they have people from within their midst who are leaders in the World Council of Churches ecumenical program – a program that aims to unite all Protestants, all Catholics and all religions.  If they had any understanding of the prophetic Word of God, they would realize they are playing right into the schemes of the Antichrist.  That One World Religion is his church during the Tribulation.

We all know the parable of the 10 virgins, five were prepared for the bridegroom and five were not.  When the bridegroom came, the five foolish virgins rushed around trying to buy oil for their lamps.  The five wise virgins were ready and went to the wedding. Sadly, the five foolish virgins tried to get to the wedding later, but were kept out, because the bridegroom did not know them.  As it states in Matthew’s Gospel chapter 25 …“Afterward the other (foolish) virgins came also, saying, ‘Lord, Lord, open to us!’  But he answered and said, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, I do not know you.’”

Christ warns His church to be ready.

“Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour in which the Son of Man is coming” (Matthew 25:13)

Through this prophetic foreshadowing, the dead churches are warned, that unless they WATCH they, like the foolish virgins, will be ushered into the Tribulation period.  They will NOT be ready for the Lord’s return for His Church.

One can recognize a “dead” church in that …

  • It doesn’t proclaim the Gospel
  • It doesn’t uphold the Scripture (Bible)
  • It doesn’t pursue holiness

So, I want to urge you to make sure you belong to a Bible-believing church.  One that teaches that you are saved by faith in the finished work of the Lord Jesus on the Cross.   A church that believes “sola Scriptura” (that Scripture – the Bible – is the sole authority for faith).   That the only way to get to heaven and be in a right standing with God is through the Lord Jesus Christ who clearly stated that: “I am the Way and the Truth and the Life. No one comes to the Father except through Me”. (John 14:6)

If you need further help or information, please do not hesitate to contact me via the contact form or one of the other options below

Day Ashton

Skype: dayashton1





You need to persevere, so that after you have done God’s will, you will receive what He has promised. For, “In just a very while little, He who is coming will come and will not delay””  (Hebrews 10:37)

Just recently I shared a post about the return of the Lord Jesus and it was interesting to note how a number of folk shared that they do not hear this message preached in their churches anymore.   I ask the question again … “How long has it been since you last heard a sermon or message in your church or on TV and Radio about the Lord’s return and the Rapture or catching away of the Church?”

The Word of God, the Bible, is very clear about the events of both His first coming and His return.  If the first coming of Christ was fulfilled to the letter, why should His second coming not be fulfilled to the finest detail?  It will.

For those who have never come to know the Lord Jesus Christ as their Saviour, time is running out.  We do not know the day or the hour, but we do know that His coming is imminent!

The Bible tells us very clearly:

But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father… Therefore, keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come. … So, you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him” (Matthew 24:36,42 & 44)

But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. Be on guard! Be alert! You do not know when that time will come. … Therefore, keep watch … What I say to you, I say to everyone: ‘Watch!’” (Mark 13:32,33 & 37)

Be always on the watch, and pray that you may be able to escape all that is about to happen, and that you may be able to stand before the Son of Man” (Luke 21:36)

To illustrate the difference between “watching” and simply “waiting”, I will share two examples I heard recently.  They get their point across very well:

The story is told of sailors returning to harbour following active service during the war.   There were crowds of people on the dock cheering and watching to see the first glimpse of their loved one.  There was one sailor, however, that had no one there to greet him.   He returned home and found his wife at home busy in the kitchen.  When he walked into the kitchen she turned around and said, “I’ve been waiting for you”.     Waiting but not watching.    Expecting his return some time, but not actively watching to see if he would be aboard that particular vessel that returned that day.

The other true story was an example given by Charles H Spurgeon during one of his sermons about the return of the Lord.   He stated that even whilst he was busy preaching to his congregation, his dogs would be eagerly watching for his return home from church.   They knew he would be coming back and they were actively watching and listening!   As soon as they heard the sound of his carriage coming along the road, they would rush to the front door and be ready to greet him.

Are you eagerly watching and waiting for your Saviour’s return?

Did you know that there is a crown of righteousness awaiting those who are longing for His appearing?

 “In the future there is reserved for me the [victor’s] crown of righteousness [for being right with God and doing right], which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that [great] day—and not to me only, but also to all those who have loved and longed for and welcomed His appearing.” (2 Timothy 4:8 – Amplified version).   Another version puts it like this… “to all who crave His appearing

Are you eagerly watching and longing for His appearing?

He could come today!

Are you ready?

Understanding that Amazing Grace …

Amazing Grace …

Just recently a few friends were gathered and the hymn, Amazing Grace, was discussed.   Various thoughts were expressed about it.  This got me thinking about John Newton’s well-known hymn and what a magnificent testimony it is to God working in the lives of His children.

Sometimes hymns or tunes can become a bit “worn” and we stop thinking of the profoundness of the words of the hymn or Christian song.   Also, in the case of “Amazing Grace”, it has incorrectly been associated with the slave trade.  Yes, John Newton was very outspoken against slave trading and the abolishment thereof.   However, John Newton NEVER connected the writing and construction of Amazing Grace with anti-slavery sentiments.  The hymn was his personal  testimony of salvation!

The words of Amazing grace were penned to convey the wonderful work of grace God had performed in his life.

Let’s have a closer look at the words, and realize that they are as relevant to each one of us as individuals today as they were for John Newton.  Let’s find out why.

There is an acronym which spells it out – God’s riches at Christ’s Expense.   God’s undeserved favour.
Put yet another way, “Grace” means that God moved heaven and earth to save sinners who could not lift a finger to save themselves.   That includes you and me!

To be perfectly honest, and this is something people do not like to hear or admit … we ALL have sinned, every single one of us and fall short of God’s standard.  No one is righteous – not even one” (Romans 3:10).   “For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard.  Yet God, with undeserved kindness, declares that we are righteous. He did this through Christ Jesus when He freed us from the penalty for our sins.  For God presented Jesus as the sacrifice for sin. People are made right with God when they believe that Jesus sacrificed His life, shedding His blood.” (Romans 3:25a).   He became our substitute.

Ephesians 2:8-9 paints such a clear picture: “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast”.

So, if one is basing one’s salvation and achieving a place in heaven on “living a good life”, “doing good works”, “being seen at church”, “paying the church”, this will all fail.  There is only ONE way, and that is coming to the foot of the Cross where Jesus died for you and me, confessing that we are sinners, repenting of our sin, acknowledging that there is nothing we can do to earn our salvation, and asking Him to save us.

As that beautiful hymn by Charlotte Elliott (which one seldom, if ever, hears today) says:
“Just as I am, without one plea, But that Thy blood was shed for me,
And that Thou bid’st me come to Thee, O Lamb of God, I come! I come!”

Just as I am …

It is only once we’ve come to the Cross of Calvary and accepted Jesus as our Saviour, that works count (and then only simply to prove that we belong to Jesus – for all we do should be in the Name of Jesus, the Name above all Names)


Let us take a closer look at JOHN NEWTON’S hymn of testimony

If one has been saved from certain destruction or death when we definitely did not deserve it, or completely lost and then gloriously found… what would your reaction be?   If you’re a normal being you would be eternally thankful to the one who has helped and / or found you …

Amazing grace! How sweet the sound That saved a wretch like me!

Wretched?  We’ve already taken a good look at what that means in terms of how God sees us BUT … the good news is that … He made a way for us to be put in a right standing with Himself.   Remember, God’s Word tells us that ALL our good works (in order to try and save ourselves) are as filthy rags.   Isaiah 64:6 tells us “We are all infected and impure with sin. When we display our righteous deeds, they are nothing but filthy rags.  Like autumn leaves, we wither and fall, and our sins sweep us away like the wind”.   “(God) hath made Him (Jesus) to be sin for us, who knew no sin, that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him” (2 Corinthians 5:21).

I once was lost, but now am found; Was blind, but now I see.

John Newton realized how lost and wretched he was and what an amazing grace it was that God had mercy on Him.  He had lived a life far from God and had been opposed to Him.   His life was radically changed when he realized how blind and lost he was.   We may not all have such a dramatic conversion, but nonetheless we are lost without Jesus as our Saviour.   I certainly can identify with this hymn … I too was lost once and knew that I would go to a lost eternity, BUT, praise His Name, Jesus found me and saved me from my sin and gave me a new life in Him.  (see 2 Corinthians 5:17).

’Twas grace that taught my heart to fear, And grace my fears relieved;
How precious did that grace appear the hour I first believed

Grace” is mentioned three times in this verse, and it culminates in Newton’s most personal story of his conversion and underscores the use of his personal testimony that he shared with his parishioners.

When we first come to know the Lord as our personal Saviour, peace which passes understanding should be flooding our soul and knowing Jesus should be something so precious.  The hour I first believed”

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him will not perish but have everlasting life” (John 3:16)   Having come to know Jesus as our Saviour, we can look forward to an eternity in the presence of the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, the One who saved us by His grace.  With John Newton we should also be able to sing from the depths of our souls …

“When we’ve been there ten thousand years, Bright shining as the sun,
We’ve no less days to sing God’s praise Than when we’d first begun”.

So, until that day when the trumpet sounds and those who’ve trusted Christ as their Saviour, are caught up to meet Him in the air, we must be about our Father’s business.

  • Share the good news of the Gospel with others,   
  • Read His Word daily and grow spiritually,
  • Pray and
  • Fellowship with other believers.

The challenge this hymn brings to us is this:

  • Have you come to the point in your life where you’ve realized that you are a sinner and that there is nothing you can do to save yourself … that you need a Saviour?
  • If you have taken advantage of that amazing grace, are you living for Jesus?


Living for Jesus, a life that is true,
Striving to please Him in all that I do;
Yielding allegiance, glad-hearted and free,
This is the pathway of blessing for me.

O Jesus, Lord and Saviour, I give myself to Thee,
For Thou, in Thy atonement, didst give Thyself for me;
I own no other Master, my heart shall be Thy throne;
My life I give, henceforth to live, O Christ, for Thee alone.

Living for Jesus Who died in my place,
Bearing on Calv’ry my sin and disgrace;
Such love constrains me to answer His call,
Follow His leading and give Him my all.

Living for Jesus, wherever I am,
Doing each duty in His Holy Name;
Willing to suffer affliction and loss,
Deeming each trial a part of my cross.

Living for Jesus through earth’s little while,
My dearest treasure, the light of His smile;
Seeking the lost ones He died to redeem,
Bringing the weary to find rest in Him.

Thomas O. Chisholm, 1917



2017 has been a tumultuous year.   2018 could be as bumpy a ride or worse (I believe in being realistic!).

So, if you and I need to find peace within the storms of life, we need the peace of God.

A few days ago, I found a few steps to focus on in the book of Philippians, chapter four.  If we follow these steps 4 steps, God’s Word promises us His peace.   Let’s take a look …

  • Stand fast in the Lord or in other words, “stay true to the Lord
  • Be “full of joy in the Lord”– rejoice in the Lord
  • Be “considerate in all you do” or put differently, “let your gentleness be known to all …
  • Be anxious for nothing. That is, “Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything


  1. Standing fast in the Lord or “staying true” to the Lord.
    The only way we can stay true to the Lord is by getting to know Him better, more intimately. And the main way we do this is through reading and studying God’s Word for ourselves.  Get to know the Author.   Reading and studying His Word will help us to avoid the massive deception that is in the world around AND sadly, within many, many churches too.  It will help us to stand firm and avoid compromise in a world that wants everyone to be squeezed into its ungodly mould.
  2. Be full of the joy of the Lord or rejoice in the Lord
    The key phrase here is “in the Lord”. Being full of the joy of the Lord or rejoicing in the Lord is not related to current circumstances around us – family, community or global circumstances.  Rather, it is knowing that despite all the personal and other difficulties around us, the believer’s joy is related to an unassailable, secure and unchanging relationship with the Sovereign Lord.  God does not change and His Word is true and addresses all situations.   It is knowing that we are secure in Him (having surrendered our lives to Him) that we can be filled with a deep inner joy.
  3. Let your gentleness be known to all.
    We live in a very hard and an inconsiderate world. This is where we as true believers in the Lord Jesus Christ can shine for Him.  This “gentleness” refers to contentment and being generous towards others, showing consideration for others.   Being compassionate and caring and sensitive towards others.   This reflects the Christlike spirit to a needy world.
  4. Be anxious for nothing
    We all feel anxious at times and no more so when the world around us is falling apart. These are rather perilous times we are living in.  Personal circumstances can make us very anxious too.  However, when we worry and fret, this could indicate that we lack trust in the wisdom of God and His sovereignty and power.   So, what could be an antidote to anxiety?  The answer lies within that same verse when it says: Don’t worry about anything; instead, PRAY about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank Him for all He has done”. Meditating on HIS WORD (not meditation as the world understands it or contemplative prayer which has its roots in Eastern mysticism).   Feeding on HIS Word.   Delighting in the LORD.  Thanking Him for His eternal security for those who have put their trust in Him as their Saviour.



If we stay true to the Lord, are filled with the joy of the Lord, are considerate in all we do and don’t fret and worry about things but take it to the Lord in prayer, “THEN we will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard (our) hearts and minds as (we) live in Christ Jesus”.  And as the New King James Version puts it, “and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus

Scripture references from Philippians 4:1 & 4-7 New Living Translation & the New King James Version of the Bible.

Do you need to slow down?

Although this is a somewhat different post to my usual, I thought the poem by David L Weatherford had quite an effective message.

Life is incredibly fast-paced and stressful.   So many people are becoming over-stressed, burnt out, despairing, trapped.   Believe it or not, the Bible gives plenty of advice re priorities AND a balance in one’s life.   One example of where it spells out clearly the need to set aside time to rest a while, is found in Mark 6:31 where it puts it like this:  “Jesus said to them, ‘Come away by yourselves to a secluded place and rest a little while’—for there were many [people who were continually] coming and going, and they could not even find time to eat” (Amplified version)

We do need to take time out, slow down and rest a while.

David Weatherford, a child psychologist and poet, wrote:

Have you ever watched kids on a merry-go-round,
or listened to rain slapping the ground?

Ever followed a butterfly’s erratic flight,
or gazed at the sun fading into the night?

You better slow down, don’t dance so fast,
time is short, the music won’t last.

Do you run through each day on the fly,
when you ask “How are you?”, do you hear the reply?

When the day is done, do you lie in your bed,
with the next hundred chores running through your head?

You better slow down, don’t dance so fast,
time is short, the music won’t last.

Ever told your child, we’ll do it tomorrow,
and in your haste, not see his sorrow?

Ever lost touch, let a friendship die,
’cause you never had time to call and say hi?

You better slow down, don’t dance so fast,
time is short, the music won’t last.

When you run so fast to get somewhere,
you miss half the fun of getting there.

When you worry and hurry through your day,
it’s like an unopened gift thrown away.

Life isn’t a race, so take it slower,
hear the music before your song is over.

Poem Used with permission.  If you’d like to see any more of David’s poems, you can visit his site at

Are you limited by your own capacity and strength?

In a recent quiet time I had with the Lord, I was blessed by reading Psalm 1 and Ephesians 2, especially verse 10: “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them”

Good Works … cannot produce salvation (i.o.w. our good works cannot save us) but good works follow on, are subsequent to salvation and form part of the evidence of the God-empowered fruits of salvation.  As with our our salvation, so our good works (following on from salvation) were ordained before time began.   An amazing thought.  He had you and me in mind all the time!

If we think a tall tree covered in foliage.   If one of the branches is cut off it will wither and die.   The only branches that thrive are those connected to the main and flourishing tree.

When we are walking with Christ and connected to Him, many opportunities and blessings we couldn’t begin to imagine become available to us.   So, rather than being limited by our own capacity and strength, we can draw on Christ’s strength and power that He has made available to us.     If we are called by God, He also equips us with what we need for the task – our walk with Him.   We can rely on Him in the same way that Joshua and Moses did.

We need to let go of our own limited expectations and so-called self-sufficiency.

We need to cling to the old rugged cross and draw on all that the Lord has made available to us.   The wonderful thing is that He promises to be with us and IS with us through every season and moment of our lives.

Remember “I can do all things through Christ Who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13)

Billy Graham once said: “The greatest barrier to knowing God’s will is simply that we want to run our own lives.  Our problem is that a battle is going on in our hearts – a battle between our wills and God’s will”

Stop trying to do things your way.  Surrender to the Lord Jesus, walk in the light as He is in the light and remember the “joys of those who do not follow the advice of the wicked, or stand around with sinners, or join in with mockers…. but … delight in the law of the LORD, meditating on it day and night.  They are like trees planted along the riverbank, bearing fruit each season. Their leaves never wither, and they prosper in all they do”. (Psalm 1)


Not that I have already obtained it [this goal of being Christlike] or have already been made perfect, but I actively press on [e]so that I may take hold of that [perfection] for which Christ Jesus took hold of me and made me His own (Philippians 3:12)

I am sure you have seen the phrase: “Be patient with me, God is not finished with me yet”.   Very true indeed.

In my quiet time with the Lord this morning, I read that well-known passage in Philippians 3 (Paul writing to Timothy) which says:

“12 I don’t mean to say that I have already achieved these things or that I have already reached perfection. But I press on to possess that perfection for which Christ Jesus first possessed me. 13 No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it,[d] but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, 14 I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.

Apart from the overall message of this passage, which illustrates the importance of finishing the race rather than necessarily winning the race, never entertaining the possibility of slacking off because of infirmity or old age and committing oneself to finishing strong with whatever strength and abilities one has – until our final breath or when we are caught up to meet the Lord in the air and we get our first sight of the Lord Jesus …,  there were some other very encouraging and helpful thoughts I gleaned from this passage.  Let me share them with you now.

Is it possible for anyone to be perfect in this imperfect world we live in?

The thought of being “perfect” can be troubling and challenging when we think of all our imperfections as Christians.   We are still a work in progress, after all…

The word “perfected” or “perfect” as used in the Bible to describe various people, does NOT mean “sinless perfection”.  Only Jesus is perfect and sinless!   In the Old Testament, we read about various Bible characters that were described as “perfect”, “blameless” or “loyal” – they were by no means sinless. For example – Noah, Asa, Hezekiah, Job and David (see footnote below for Bible references to these people).   It is important to be aware that several Greek and Hebrew words are translated as “perfect”, but the thought behind them is either “completeness in all details” or “to reach a goal or achieve a purpose”

I discovered that there are three stages of perfection (as set out in the Scofield Reference Bible):

  1. Positional Perfection
    This is something we have as soon as we put our faith and trust in the Lord Jesus Christ as our Saviour. Take a quick look at this verse in Hebrews 10:14:
    For by that one offering he forever made perfect those who are being made holy.”  (NLT)
    For by the one offering He has perfected forever and completely cleansed those who are being sanctified [bringing each believer to spiritual completion and maturity].” (Amplified Bible)
  2. Relative Perfection
    This refers to spiritual maturity I press on toward the goal to win the prize of God’s heavenly calling in Christ Jesus. All of us who are mature should embrace this point of view. And if you think differently about some issue, God will reveal this to you as well. Nevertheless, we must live up to what we have already attained.… (Philippians 3:15)
    Spiritual maturity is particularly important in relation to
    The will of God Epaphras … prays earnestly for you, asking God to make you strong and perfect, fully confident that you are following the whole will of God (Colossians 4:12)
    Love And as we live in God, our love grows more perfect…. (1 John 4:17)
    Holiness Because we have these promises, dear friends, let us cleanse ourselves from everything that can defile our body or spirit. And let us work toward complete holiness because we fear God.(2 Corinthians 7:1)
    PatienceAnd let endurance [patience/perseverance/endurance] have itsperfect work, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. (James 1:4)
    Every good work Now may the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, the great Shepherd of the sheep, equip you with every good thing to do His will. And may He accomplish in us what is pleasing in His sight through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.” (Hebrews 13:20-21)Maturity does not come overnight, but is progressive as we saw in 2 Corinthians 7:1 above.   Ephesians 4:12 summarizes this process so beautifully … And it was He who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, to equip the saints for works of ministry, to build up the body of Christ, until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God, as we mature to the full measure of the stature of Christ.…”.  Hence one can see the importance of regular Bible study and Bible reading as well as attending a Bible-believing and Bible-preaching church (regrettably many, many churches are no longer Bible believers and are following and teaching a post-modern, emergent church, liberal Gospel … that is, preaching another Jesus, not the Jesus in the Bible).
  3. Ultimate Perfection
    In other words, perfection of soul, spirit, and body. This will only be realized at the time of resurrection from the dead (Philippians 3) or if the Rapture of the Church occurs prior to our dying” (1 Thessalonians 4:17) “… For God’s way of making us right with himself depends on faith. I want to know Christ and experience the mighty power that raised him from the dead. I want to suffer with him, sharing in his death, so that one way or another I will experience the resurrection from the dead!” “we who are still alive and remain on the earth will be caught up in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. Then we will be with the Lord forever.”

As the footnote in the Schofield Bible states: “For the Christian nothing short of the moral perfection of God is always the absolute standard of conduct, BUT … Scripture recognizes that Christians do not attain to sinless perfection in this life.

So be encouraged as you meditate on these verses.   We are a work in progressLet us strive to draw ever closer to our Saviour and reflect His beauty in all we do, say and think!

Genesis 6:9, 1 Kings 15:14, 2 Kings 20:3, 1 Chronicles 12:38, Job1:1&8, Psalm 37:37)

Share His Word while you still can …

Speaking just a word for Jesus is so important in these days as we see the day of Christ’s return getting very close!

Sometimes one thinks that what one says is not effective or weak.  BUT …. if you share a word or two or three from HIS Word, the Bible, the Lord will assuredly use it to His glory!

As Dr David Jeremiah shared in his devotional reading a few days ago, “Whenever we read the Bible, quote it, teach it, preach it, publish it, or spread it abroad, it speaks loud and clear.  God’s Word NEVER returns void but accomplishes what He pleases (Isaiah 55:11).   Any old mouthpiece will do – even ours!  You can be confident of HIS POWER whenever you share HIS precepts”  (Turning Point September 2017)

Isaiah 55 verses 10 & 11 state …
“The rain and snow come down from the heavens

    and stay on the ground to water the earth.
They cause the grain to grow,
    producing seed for the farmer
    and bread for the hungry.
11 It is the same with my word.
    I send it out, and it always produces fruit.
It will accomplish all I want it to,
    and it will prosper everywhere I send it.

Be faithful in sharing His Word:  “Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye steadfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord” (1 Corinthinans 15:58 KJV) “Therefore, my beloved brothers and sisters, be steadfast, immovable, always excelling in the work of the Lord [always doing your best and doing more than is needed], being continually aware that your labor [even to the point of exhaustion] in the Lord is not futile nor wasted [it is never without purpose] (1 Cor. 15:58 Amplified Bible)


The Waiting Game

I don’t know about you but I know that waiting for something can be SO difficult.   We live in a world that expects instant gratification and when one has to wait for any length of time, it can be very frustrating and oft’ times generates a lot of anxiety.

Well, sometime ago I was reading a portion in the well-known book, “Streams in the Desert” and I now share a few thoughts from that reading with the prayer that it will help and encourage you.

If we are praying about something and possibly not seeing an answer yet, the writer suggested 3 ways of “waiting”:

Wait in Prayer
Call on the Lord and, like Hezekiah in 2 Kings 19:14-19, spread the matter before the Lord.  Tell Him all about your problem.   Tell Him about your situation, your concerns, your longings and “plead His promise of aid”.

Wait in Faith
Express your unwavering confidence in Him.  Believe that His timing is perfect and the answer will come one or other way … and not a moment too soon or too late.

Wait in quiet patience
It is so easy to become impatient, but we need to learn not to murmur.   Just continue to put the case before the Lord, exactly as it is and remember, “… In quietness and confidence (trust) shall be your strength” (Isaiah 30:15). Put the matter in His hands, in the hands “of your covenant God, saying ‘Now, Lord, not my will, but Thine be done.  I know not what to do; I am brought to extremities;  but I will wait until Thou shalt cleave the floods, or drive back my foes.  I will wait, if Thou keep me many a day, for my heart is fixed on Thee alone …my spirit waiteth for Thee in full conviction that Thou wilt yet be my joy and my salvation, my refuge and my strong tower” (Morning by Morning)

Wait, patiently wait,
God never is late;
Thy budding plans are in Thy Father’s holding,
And only wait His grand divine unfolding
Then wait, wait,
Patiently wait.

Trust, hopefully trust,
That God will adjust
Thy tangled life; and from its dark concealings,
Will bring His will, in all its bright revealings,
Then trust, trust,
Hopefully trust.

(Mercy A. Gladwin)

As we approach Easter …

Cross with soft cloud backgroundDuring February this year (2017) the BBC commissioned a survey of 2010 people.

The tragic results showed that at least a quarter (25%) of people who described themselves as Christians in Great Britain,  don’t believe in the resurrection of Jesus.   Only 31% of Christians believe word-for-word the Bible account of the resurrection.   It rises to 57% amongst so-called “active” Christians (those described as going to a “religious” service at least once a month).

In my book, “Moments of Encouragement”, I wrote about God’s infallible Word.  I asked the question:  ‘How far has the message of the modern church strayed from the Truth of God’s Word, His infallible Word?”

The “infallible Word of God” – this is the issue eating away at the Church today!   I have have heard first hand a minister say from the pulpit that God’s Word is fallible!   That same church was one that discouraged the use of Bibles in church and removed all Bibles from the pews.

The BBC article quotes the acting general secretary for Modern Church (which actually promotes Liberal Christian theology) as stating the following:

“I think [people answering the survey] are being asked to believe in the way they might have been asked to believe when they were at Sunday school. You’re talking about adults here. And an adult faith requires that it be constantly questioned, constantly re-interpreted, which incidentally is very much what modern church is actually about.” She continues by saying:  “Science, but also intellectual and philosophical thought has progressed. It has a trickle-down effect on just about everybody’s lives.  So to ask an adult to believe in the resurrection the way they did when they were at Sunday school simply won’t do and that’s true of much of the key elements of the Christian faith.”

What an utter lie and deception this is.   A statement like that comes from the great deceiver himself.   God’s Word is infallible.  It does NOT change to fit in with man’s thinking.  It stands forever.  We do not adapt the Bible to man’s interpretation, but rather, we build our faith and lives on the unchanging Word of God.   Is it any wonder that society is as it is these days?

The story of Easter, starting with Palm Sunday (today) IS the Gospel of salvation.  It is the most significant period in the Christian calendar.   It IS the central theme and fantastic reality of the mercy and grace of God by sending His One and Only Son to take on Him the punishment of our sin.  If one takes anything away from the Bible, God’s Word, one is in a very dangerous position.

Let the Bible speak for itself:   All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work” ( 2 Timothy 3:16-17).   “ I passed on to you what was most important and what had also been passed on to me. Christ died for our sins, just as the Scriptures said.He was buried, and he was raised from the dead on the third day, just as the Scriptures said. He was seen by Peter and then by the Twelve.After that, he was seen by more than 500 of his followers at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have died. Then he was seen by James and later by all the apostles. Last of all, as though I had been born at the wrong time, I also saw him. For I am the least of all the apostles. In fact, I’m not even worthy to be called an apostle after the way I persecuted God’s church” (1 Corinthians 15:3-9)

Paul continues in his letter to the Corinthian church:  But tell me this—since we preach that Christ rose from the dead, why are some of you saying there will be no resurrection of the dead? 13 For if there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ has not been raised either. 14 And if Christ has not been raised, then all our preaching is useless, and your faith is useless. 15 And we apostles would all be lying about God—for we have said that God raised Christ from the grave. But that can’t be true if there is no resurrection of the dead. 16 And if there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ has not been raised. 17 And if Christ has not been raised, then your faith is useless and you are still guilty of your sins. 18 In that case, all who have died believing in Christ are lost! 19 And if our hope in Christ is only for this life, we are more to be pitied than anyone in the world.

20 But in fact, Christ has been raised from the dead. He is the first of a great harvest of all who have died.

21 So you see, just as death came into the world through a man, now the resurrection from the dead has begun through another man. 22 Just as everyone dies because we all belong to Adam, everyone who belongs to Christ will be given new life. 23 But there is an order to this resurrection: Christ was raised as the first of the harvest; then all who belong to Christ will be raised when he comes back”

If one denies the literal death, burial and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ, you will be lost eternally.   That is the crux of the Christian message.   But there is time (not much time) left to turn to Jesus and ask His forgiveness and believe in the One and Only Saviour, the Lord Jesus Himself.

As Lorraine Lorenz puts it so clearly in her excellent devotional book “Amber’s Story – Walking Back into the Light”:

“There are certain foundations of our faith, which are made very clear in the Bible.  It is essential that we believe these with all our hearts.  In this post-modern age there are Christians who have ‘second thoughts’ about them.   Where do you stand?”

My next blog will contain a further extract from her book where we will take a quick test and see where we stand.

1 Timothy 4:16 says:  “Watch your life and your doctrine closely”

So as we enter this Easter period, the most sacred and holy period in the Christian calendar, please stop and think about what it really means.  Not Easter eggs and Easter bunnies, etc.    It is the greatest love story ever told, that Jesus loved us so much that He laid down His life for you and me, so that if we believe in Him, put our trust in Him as Saviour and Lord, we will have eternal life and be set free from our sin.

And now a prayer:   Father, help me to realize afresh that Your Word is Truth!  Help me to accept it as such without any doubt.  Help me to love it more and more and to strive to hide Your Word in my heart so that I can learn to live in a way that is pleasing to You. Thank you for Your Word, the Bible. Amen.

If you have any questions or comments regarding this article, do not hesitate to contact me.

Day Ashton