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 http://www.davidlweatherford.com/
Advertisements

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 PERFECT YET!

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!

Footnotes
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 …
10 
“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
Email: dayashton.uk@gmail.com

 

 

 

 

Is there really hope for the future?

 

WHAT HOPE IS THERE FOR THE FUTURE?

Is it unreasonable to ask such a question?  No.  Why should it be?

As we look around us, the world we are living in does not look a very happy place!

Increased levels of fear due to terrorism. Based on what we have been seeing in the last few months, acts of terror are increasing globally, not forgetting constant daily terror attacks in Israel.   Warfare has changed and it is so difficult to “nail” the terrorists, police and armed forces facing very dangerous situations.

160519156Strange and dangerous treaties being signed.  Laws being changed to accommodate non-Biblical values and anti-Christian stances.

The global economy is not stable.  Despite that. there are so many instances of various projects where money is being wasted while needy folk within ALL countries, including our own, are struggling.   Incredible amounts of money being spent on issues over which humankind has genuinely got no control despite them thinking they have, global warming and climate change being one such instance.   Oh yes, one does have to take due care and avoid unnecessary damage to the planet that God created.   But in reality, if folk would take time to read the Bible, they would discover that this world as we know it is destined to be burned up.

Am I being cynical?  No, I am being a realist.

What hope is there then?

The sad, sad situation in our world today is that people are writing God out of the equation.  God has provided incredible guidelines in His Word which would solve a myriad of the problems we are facing today IF His Word, His Guidelines would be followed and adhered to.   So many issues would be resolved if we would be obedient to His Word.  Sadly people have ignored the Book of Books, know little about it or prefer to treat it as a great literary work rather than Life’s Handbook.

I believe (as do many true Christians) that the Lord’s return is very, very close.   No, we cannot say the day or the hour, BUT the Lord Jesus Himself warned that we could tell the general period of His return.   Never before have things been so ready for all the end-time scenarios to fall into place.  In fact, the Bible in 2 Timothy 3 tells us that things will go from bad to worse!  Someone recently compared events in the last days to a pack of dominoes.  They are all closely stacked up together and once the first domino goes, the others will fall in rapid succession.

World events will be like that in the last days:  the Church (true believers in the Lord Jesus Christ, those who have put their trust in Him as Saviour) will be caught up to meet the Lord in the air (commonly known as The Rapture). Once this has happened, the Antichrist will emerge (Global Leader), the Tribulation Period of 7 years will begin. Then the Battle of Armageddon followed by the Christ return RaptureReturn or Second Coming of Jesus Christ (this time as Judge and not Saviour).  This is followed by the Millennium (the 1000 year reign of Christ), etc.
These events will have the domino effect. Once the first one starts, the others will follow in sequence and rapid succession. I have no doubt that we have never been closer to the return of the Lord Jesus Christ than we are right now.

Just look how descriptive God’s Word is:  ” …   in the last days there will be very difficult times. For people will love only themselves and their money. They will be boastful and proud, scoffing at God, disobedient to their parents, and ungrateful. They will consider nothing sacred. They will be unloving and unforgiving; they will slander others and have no self-control. They will be cruel and hate what is good. They will betray their friends, be reckless, be puffed up with pride, and love pleasure rather than God. They will act religious, but they will reject the power that could make them godly… ” (2 Timothy 3:1-5 – New Living Translation)

Describes things exactly as they are!  It goes on to describe that “3 …  a time is coming when people will no longer listen to sound and wholesome teaching. They will follow their own desires and will look for teachers who will tell them whatever their itching ears want to hear. They will reject the truth and chase after myths.” (2 Tim 4:3&4 NLT).   People find it far easier to follow New Age teachings, Liberal Theology, Esoterical Thinking, Humanistic thinking, etc.

 

The Bible describes the times and attitudes of people in the world we are living in now so accurately.

I could say SO much more, but to get back to the question I asked at the start of this article:  “Is there really hope for the future?”

Yes.  There certainly is!   There is one way and only one way.   If we as individuals have accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as our personal Saviour, we have the hope of eternal life where we will be forever with the Lord.   Whilst we are still here upon this earth, God’s Word does not teach us that nothing will go wrong in the life of a Christian – it does – BUT, we do not have to go through things alone.  He gives the strength we need.  He provides for us in various ways when we go through hard times, He really does – He has done it for me countless times!

For those Christians who have become “lukewarm” towards the things of the Lord, it is time to WAKE UP as time is running out.  Churches that are failing to stick to the Truth of God’s Word; compromising His Word and making it say or not say what it clearly states; failing to preach the True Gospel of Repentance and point people to Jesus as the only way to the Father and to be saved; no longer regard the Bible as the infallible Word of God – are in a very dangerous position.   Revelation teaches that God will spit them out of His mouth as they make Him sick!   The invitation to those churches is this:    “20 Behold, I stand at the door [of the church] and continually knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him (restore him), and he with Me. 21 He who overcomes [the world through believing that Jesus is the Son of God], I will grant to him [the privilege] to sit beside Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down beside My Father on His throne. 22 He who has an ear, let him hear and heed what the Spirit says to the churches.”  (Rev 3:20 – Amplified)

I end with two verses from a very old hymn written by Edward Mote (1797-1874) based on the 1 Timothy 1:1

My hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesus’ blood and righteousness;
I dare not trust the sweetest frame,
But wholly lean on Jesus’ name.
On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand;
All other ground is sinking sand.

When He shall come with trumpet sound,
Oh, may I then in Him be found,
Clothed in His righteousness alone,
Faultless to stand before the throne!
On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand;
All other ground is sinking sand.

If you have any questions or comments, please contact me without delay.

Day Ashton
dayashton.uk@gmail.com

YOU ALSO BE READY FOR IN AN HOUR WHEN YOU DON’T EXPECT, JESUS WILL COME!

 

 

 

 

GOD NEVER SPEAKS TO ME!

God never speaks to me!

Some years ago I heard about a woman who told her friend: “God never speaks to me!”  As the conversation progressed, the friend discovered that this lady seldom read the Bible and seldom prayed …

This lady indeed professed to be a Christian but had never learnt to speak to God in regular prayer, nor had she realized the joy and encouragement of communion with the Saviour through the reading of His precious Word.  How sad is that?

God’s Word is alive.   God speaks to us through His Word if we will only but listen!

Paul, in his second letter to Timothy, tells us that “All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right.  God uses it to prepare and equip his people to do every good work” (3:16-17)

The writer to the Hebrews tells us that “… the word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow.  It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires” (Hebrews 4:12)

The psalmist also reminds us that God’s Word is “… is a lamp to guide my feet and a light for my path” (Ps 119:105).  In verse 130 of the same Psalm, it is encouraging to note that the teaching in God’s Word is so plain, it is possible for everyone to understand: “The teaching of your word gives light, so even the simple can understand”.

We need to read God’s Word for in so-doing we can hear Him speak to us.  We need to read His Word prayerfully.  His Word guides our steps, helps us become more like Jesus and helps us overcome evil.  His Word helps us pray according to God’s will.

If you have never heard God speak to you through His Word, make sure you get to know Him as your Saviour in the first instance.

Whether a new Christian or someone who has known the Lord Jesus Christ as their personal Saviour for many years, take time daily to read His Word – God’s blueprint and map for our lives.

Read the Bible, God’s infallible Word, prayerfully.  Read it expectantly. 
You will not be disappointed.  

Will your Anchor hold in the storms of life?

The Dangers of the Last Days  – will YOUR Anchor hold?

The New Living Translation puts 2 Timothy 3 as follows:

“You should know this, Timothy, that in the last days there will be very difficult times. For people will love only themselves and their money. They will be boastful and proud, scoffing at God, disobedient to their parents, and ungrateful. They will consider nothing sacred. They will be unloving and unforgiving; they will slander others and have no self-control. They will be cruel and hate what is good. They will betray their friends, be reckless, be puffed up with pride, and love pleasure rather than God. They will act religious, but they will reject the power that could make them godly. Stay away from people like that!  …. (v13)  But evil people and impostors will flourish. They will deceive others and will themselves be deceived”

This is exactly what we are seeing around us! As the King James version of the Bible puts it, “Evil men and impostors will grow worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived.” (2 Timothy 3:13).   This is a clear picture of what is happening right now as the end of this Age of Grace nears.

I want to ask you, “Who or what is your Anchor?”

When we look around us, what are the major threats?   Certainly not global warming as many would have one believe.  The major threats we are facing are very real and very dangerous:  ISIS, Islamic terrorism, ever-increasing Russian aggression, international drug cartels, ante-Semitism, the rogue nations nuclear activities, or even another looming world-wide economic meltdown, to mention a few.

Other issues that impact our lives in one way or another include illness, loss of loved ones – often in very tragic circumstances, loss of a job, unemployment, marriage breakdown, violence, selfish and uncaring attitudes, the increase of aggression towards Christians – Bible-believing Christians including opposition to Christian Schools and businesses, not to mention the godless life-styles which directly or indirectly impact on us as individuals.

So much instability.   So much insecurity.   So much heartache!

When all around us is changing – with increasing speed, how secure are you?  Is your hope and faith placed in the Solid Rock of Ages, the unchanging God, the Eternal One, the One who is the only Way, the Truth and the Life?   He, the Lord Jesus Christ, is the ONLY anchor that is worth having.  All else cannot save you.

I’m reminded of that good old solid hymn ….

“Will your anchor hold in the storms of life,
When the clouds unfold their wings of strife?
When the strong tides lift, and the cables strain,
Will your anchor drift, or firm remain?

“We have an anchor that keeps the soul
Steadfast and sure as the billows roll;
Fastened to the Rock which cannot move,
Grounded firm and deep in the Saviour’s love!”

My Anchor is Jesus!   Who or what is your anchor?

“18 So God has given both his promise and his oath. These two things are unchangeable because it is impossible for God to lie. Therefore, we who have fled to him for refuge can have great confidence as we hold to the hope that lies before us.19 This hope is a strong and trustworthy anchor for our souls. …” (Hebrews 6:19)

 If you need further spiritual help or wish to discuss this issue, please do not hesitate to contact me via the contact form below!

 

CALVARY’S CROSS

The “C” in Calvary stands for the Cross on which the Lord Jesus Christ died to save us Cross with soft cloud backgroundfrom our sins. “For all have sinned; all fall short of God’s glorious standard” (Romans 3:23) “…… You were His enemies, separated from Him by your evil thoughts & actions, yet now He has brought you back as His friends. He has done this through His death on the cross in His own human body. As a result, He has brought you into the very presence of God, and you are holy and blameless as you stand before Him without a single fault” (Col 1:21&22)

A” is for Atonement. “For God sent Jesus to take the punishment for our sins and to satisfy God’s anger against us. We are made right with God when we believe that Jesus shed His blood, sacrificing His life for us” (Rom. 3:25)

Calvary’s “L” stands for the incredible Love with which Jesus loves us. “And here is how to measure it – the greatest love is shown when people lay down their lives for their friends” (John 15:13). “For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life” (Jn. 3:16) The greatest expression of the love of Christ is seen in His self-sacrifice on Calvary’s cross and in His blood that flowed from His wounded hands and feet.

V” is for the Victory won at the cross of Calvary when Jesus shed His precious blood for us. “He paid (a ransom) for you with the precious life- blood of Christ, the sinless, spotless Lamb of God”(1 Peter 1:19) “For sin is the sting that results in death, and the law gives sin its power. How we thank God, who gives us the victory over sin and death through Jesus Christ our Lord” (1 Cor.15:56 & 57)

The second “A” stands for the Assurance we have that if we have confessed our sin and accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as our Saviour and Lord, we can know our sins are forgiven and know that we have eternal life. “If we confess our sins to Him, He is faithful and just to forgive us and cleanse us from every wrong” (1 John 1:9)

R” reminds us that Jesus is Risen from the dead. We serve a risen Saviour! “And Jesus Christ our Lord was shown to be the Son of God when God powerfully raised Him from the dead by means of the Holy Spirit” (Rom. 1:4) This gives us hope indeed. “If Christ has not been raised, then your faith is useless …. but the fact is that Christ has been raised from the dead. He has become the first of a great harvest of those who will be raised to life again” (1 Cor.15:17& 20)

When faced with such love, such sacrificial love … the “Y” stands for Your decision (and mine). What will you do with Jesus? Neutral we cannot be. “Look! Here I stand at the door and knock. If you hear me calling and open the door, I will come in, ….” (Rev. 3:20)

Dearest Lord Jesus, help us to understand how much you love us. Help us to to respond The Crossand seek to know you as our Risen Saviour. In these difficult days when Christ’s blood and atoning sacrifice is hardly mentioned, help us to realize anew what it cost You to purchase our salvation and deepen our understanding of the meaning and power of your precious blood. Amen.

(* New Living Translation used throughout)

[This is an extract from my book “Moments of Encouragement”]