THE FUTURE?

Have you found yourself wondering what the future holds?

We are living in very tumultuous times.   Nothing is as it was and change is the order of the day.  The UK has just had a referendum and voted to leave the EU – this is a momentous event in the history of Europe as a whole and the UK specifically.  Who knows how things will pan out …

There is a migration problem affecting the Western world as we know it and changing the traditional “landscape” and “lifestyles” of so many countries around the globe.   Increased threats of terrorism, economic changes and unstable markets.   I don’t need to remind you … just look around you, read the news headlines, listen to news.

Yes, there are a few positive changes too, but the rapid changes taking place is impacting on so many lives and communities

The Bible actually warns of change and various situations that will occur as we get closer to the return of the Lord Jesus Christ.

The Dangers of the Last Days

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. london-riots-2011They 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! … (they) oppose the truth … have depraved minds and a counterfeit faith.

We also know that “everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution. But evil people and impostors will flourish.  They will deceive others and will themselves be deceived“.

If you know the Lord Jesus as your personal Saviour, then in the same way Paul urged Timothy, “remain faithful to the things you have been taught. … 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“.  (All Scripture quotations above are from 2 Timothy 3)

But having read the above and seeing what is happening around the world, we can still be so encouraged because God has promised He will never leave us nor forsake us.

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go” Joshua 1:9
Be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid of them; for the Lord your God, He is the One who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you” Deuteronomy 31:6

I could share so many more encouraging verses from the Bible, but I encourage you to look up the word encouragement in a concordance and find these treasures throughout God’s Word.

Yes the future is frightening, but if you know the Lord, He promises to be with you and help you each step of the way.

I end with the words of that wonderful hymn: “I know who holds tomorrow”
I don’t know about tomorrow
I just live from day to day
I don’t borrow from its sunshine
For its skies may turn to gray
I don’t worry o’er the future
For I know what Jesus said
And today I’ll walk beside Him
For He knows what is ahead

Chorus:
Many things about tomorrow
I don’t seem to understand
But I know who holds tomorrow
And I know who holds my hand

I don’t know about tomorrow
It may bring me poverty
But the one who feeds the sparrow
Is the one who stands by me
And the path that be my portion
May be through the flame or flood
But His presence goes before me
And I’m covered with His blood

If you do not know the Lord Jesus as your personal Saviour, I urge you to get to know Him as soon as possible.  If you want to know more, please contact me.

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.  

The world is changing … rapidly!

The world is changing … rapidly

The changes initially took place at a more gradual pace, but now … the intensity and speed of change is phenomenal!   It is affecting all walks of life … the way we shop, the way we do our banking, moral attitudes, intolerance of Christian values, increase in violence and terrorism, changes in the political arenas and globalization.

Not just that, the climatic changes.   How many times have you and I heard in recent years and months:  “This is the worst storm … earthquake … drought … floods … since records began”.

When everything around us is so unstable… so uncertain, is there anything that does not change?

The good news is yes there is!

It is a Person … the very Person the world around us is trying to squeeze out of everything – governments, schools, healthcare, business, Christmas and even Easter … the Lord Jesus Christ Himself!

God says in His Word (The Bible)“I am the Lord, and I do not change …” (Malachi 3:6)

When all around us things and people are changing, it is just so reassuring to know we have a God, the One True God, who NEVER changes and who has promised NEVER to leave us nor forsake us.   A God in whom we can put our trust utterly and completely.

If you are longing for stability and reassurance in this fragile and changing world, then I invite you to “turn your eyes upon Jesus, look full in is wonderful face.  And the things of earth will grow strangely dim, In the light of His glory and grace.”   As that beautiful old hymn says: “Change and decay in all around I see, Oh Thou who changest not, abide with me.”   The problems and troubles won’t just vanish, but Jesus promises peace and strength  midst the change and storms of life!

I close with the words of this wonderful hymn by Helen H Lemmel:

O soul, are you weary and troubled?
No light in the darkness you see?
There’s light for a look at the Saviour,
And life more abundant and free!

Refrain:
Turn your eyes upon Jesus,
Look full in His wonderful face,
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim,
In the light of His glory and grace.

Through death into life everlasting
He passed, and we follow Him there;
O’er us sin no more hath dominion—
For more than conqu’rors we are!

His Word shall not fail you—He promised;
Believe Him, and all will be well:
Then go to a world that is dying,
His perfect salvation to tell!

If you have never given your heart, your life, to the Lord Jesus, may I invite you to do so today.   If you need help or prayer, please contact us.   All matters are treated with utmost confidentiality. 

Day Ashton

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!

 

A New Beginning – the Road to Success

A NEW BEGINNING …

2015 has arrived and for most of us it probably feels as if everything is just rolling on as before.   For some 2014 may have been a good year, whilst for others, it is something you want to forget if you could.

I do believe though that everyone of us has the urge to start afresh.   There is a desire to succeed in this coming year.   One thing we need to remember is the Bible principle Paul reminds us of in Philippians 3:13: “… 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.”

That is the ultimate goal.

We also have personal goals in our lives (within the framework of our ultimate goal).  This is important and I would encourage you to pursue your goals and succeed.

I recently read a lovely piece by Helen Keller:  the Road to Success

Do not think of today’s failures,
but of the success that may come tomorrow
You have set yourselves a difficult task
but you will succeed if you persevere
Remember, no effort that we make to attain
something beautiful is ever lost!

As  a Christian, we have so much encouragement in God’s Word, the Bible.  It does require that we get our priorities right though.  As it says in Psalm 37:4 “Delight yourself in the LORD, and He will give you the desires of your heart!”

So, in this coming year, “Commit to the LORD whatever you do, and He will establish your plans.” (Proverbs 16:3)

A New Beginning
A New Beginning

If you have any questions or comments, do not hesitate to contact me.
Email me: dayashton.uk@gmail.com or
Use the contact form.

God bless you

Day Ashton

Daily Devotional … Amber’s Story – Walking Back into the Light

I just wanted to take a few moments to share a mini video with you all.

It is about a new Daily Devotional written by a dear friend:  Amber’s Story – Walking Back into the Light.

I share it now as it may be an ideal Christmas present for your loved ones.

Take a look and visit her site as well

I’d love to hear your feedback.   It has been a great blessing and encouragement to me.

Watch the video now (less than 2 minutes in length!)

An eternal and heavenly perspective …

It has been quite a long time since I blogged on this page.  So sorry about that…. BUT, I’m back again and I have something very precious to share with you all

I read about Fanny Crosby, the prolific hymn writer (wrote over 9000 hymns!), just recently again and was so blessed.  Some of those beautiful hymns include “Blessed Assurance”, “To God be the Glory”, “All the Way my Saviour leads me”, “Safe in the arms of Jesus”, “Rescue the Perishing” and “Tell me the story of Jesus” and thousands more!

The story is told of a well-intentioned preacher who said to her: “I think it is a great pity that the Master did not give you sight when He showered so many gifts upon you”.  Fanny Crosby’s reply is amazing indeed:  “Do you know that if at birth I had been able to make one petition, it would have been that I was born blind? … Because when I get to heaven, the first face that shall ever gladden my sight will be that of my Saviour”.

Wow …

How absolutely amazing but so wonderful.  When you’ve not been able to see all your life or for a large part of it, just imagine that the very Person you see when you are healed in eternity, is the precious Lord Jesus, the One who saved you by His grace!  To see His smile and hear Him say, “Well done, good and faithful servant”.

I do not have adequate words really …

Fanny could see life with an eternal perspective.

How do we face things that happen to us at any given point in our lives?  When viewing our problems in the light of eternity, they will look different.   Knowing there is Someone who cares for you and is able to help and guide you, makes so much difference – an eternal difference.

Fanny Crosby knew and loved her Saviour. It is reflected so clearly through her hymns and testimony.

Our trials will dim when on that one absolutely glorious day we see Jesus face to face – when we see His welcoming smile.

I know that my father who passed away last August and my mother who went “home” in 1994, both saw His welcoming smile and arms outstretched to meet them.

Let us make sure we are ready to meet Him, whether in death or when He comes again.

“For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever” (2 Corinthians 4:18)

Are you looking forward to that day when, like Fanny Crosby, you will look upon His face and see the One who has loved you with an everlasting love, face to face.

Eternity
Eternity

Let this be your song too:

What rejoicing in His presence,
When are banished grief and pain;
When the crooked ways are straightened,
And the dark things shall be plain.

Refrain
Face to face I shall behold Him,
Far beyond the starry sky;
Face to face in all His glory,
I shall see Him by and by!

Face to face—oh, blissful moment!
Face to face—to see and know;
Face to face with my Redeemer,
Jesus Christ Who loves me so.
(Car­rie E. Breck, 1898)

My favourite things … the old chipped mug

There is surely nobody who can say they do not have a favourite item. Be it an item of clothing, a chair, possibly a holiday destination, a coffee shop or even (as in my case) a favourite mug!

Can you believe it … a favourite mug indeed!

This mug, colourful with yellows, greens and shades of red and orange, was bought shortly after I moved to England from South Africa almost fifteen years ago. It was my “breakfast cup” and faithfully held my tea every morning for virtually 14 years (except of course when I was away from home!).

Over the years this old mug had acquired some battle scars. Altercations with the dishwasher or fellow mugs maybe …. Whatever the cause, my mug became somewhat chipped Image0249and faded over the years. But let it go? No. I was attached to it and loved having it around. Even when I was given a beautiful mug to “replace” it, it stood in a little corner in the kitchen – just maybe I could find another use for it …

The time came when I had to bid it farewell and it joined other items for recycling.

Thinking back on the old chipped cup, I couldn’t help but think about the prophet Jeremiah. He illustrates God’s intentions with and for us so wonderfully when he describes how the Lord sent him to the potter’s house. The potter was making something at his wheel. Jeremiah noticed that when the first jar the potter made didn’t turn out as he had hoped, he squashed it back into a lump of clay and started making it over again until he was completely satisfied with the finished product.
(Read the full story in Jeremiah 18:1-10)

The Lord showed Jeremiah (and us!) that He is able to crush us and destroy us. However, and most importantly, if we are willing to repent and turn to Him, He is longing to make us new … a vessel fit for the Master’s use. He makes all things new.

The old mug is a poor illustration indeed. Having thrown it out for recycling, it could potentially end up being something someone could possibly use again.

I was further reminded of a beautiful song written many years ago which is so meaningful … it reminds me of what the Lord did for me when He found and saved me over 40 years ago now – praise His glorious Name!

“The Potter saw a vessel that was broken by the wind and rain and He sought with so much compassion, to make it over again. O I was that vessel, that no one thought was good.hands of a potter, creating an earthen jar on the circle I cried Lord, You’re the Potter and I am the clay, make me over again today. Then God picked up the pieces of my broken life that day and He made me a new vessel, and revived my soul again”. 1

So, unlike the old chipped mug, if we come to Jesus, broken, chipped, scarred and feeling utterly useless, lonely and lost, He is waiting to do a miracle in our lives and make us over anew. As 2 Corinthians 5:17 says: “…anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!”

(1 Unfortunately, I’ve not been able to track who wrote it but am reliably informed that it is in the public domain)

Then sings my soul …

Just recently a dear friend gave me a beautiful DVD … “George Beverly Shea … Then Sings My Soul”.   What an experience listening to it and viewing the radiance of a servant of the King of Kings!

The DVD literally transports one into the presence of Jesus!   It takes the form of an GeorgeBeverlySheaPhotointerview.  Bill Gaither interviewing Bev Shea interspersed with 26 glorious hymns.  Clippings from various Billy Graham crusades bring the wonderful atmosphere of those long-forgotten and much-missed evangelical campaigns into the living room.

It is estimated that Bev Shea sang to over 220 million people in his lifetime.   In his more than 70 years of friendship with Billy Graham, he was a permanent fixture in Billy Graham’s Evangelical Campaigns throughout the world.

As I listened to extracts from this DVD, it was as if I the Lord Jesus was right there in the room with me.   An unforgettable experience!!

Very recently George Beverly Shea passed into the presence of His Saviour and Lord at the age of 104.

I am taking the liberty of inviting you to purchase a copy of the DVD.   If you love the Lord and enjoy music and testimonies that truly enrich one’s life, why not get your copy.   I really want to encourage you to do this.  http://www.comealive2012.org/links.html

Some might think it old fashioned … not so!!  Never forget that the message of the Cross NEVER gets old or outdated.  And sometimes it is a very good idea to stop a while and think … This is what the LORD says: “Stop at the crossroads and look around. Ask for the old, godly way, and walk in it. Travel its path, and you will find rest for your souls…” (Jeremiah 6:16)