Psalm for the Day

Friday, July 27, 2012

Chaos in the Temple………..


“Jesus went into the Temple and drove out all those who were buying and selling there. He overturned the tables of the moneychangers and the stools of those who sold pigeons, and said to them, “It is written in the Scriptures that God said,
My Temple will be called a house of prayer.” But you are making it a hideout for thieves!”  Matthew 21:12-13 GNT

The disciples were with Jesus when He decided right before the Passover to go up to Jerusalem for services. They thought they were just going to church, or to the Temple.

When they got to the Temple courtyard, things were just like usual; big crowds, money changers, children running around and merchants selling their wares. There were people talking and joking, children laughing and doves and pigeons fluttering their wings in their cages.  Merchants were shouting trying to be heard above all the noise.  And then………… all of the sudden, Jesus goes off like a madman. He’s overturning tables, driving sheep and cattle and their owners out of the gates, and opening bird cages along the way.

People are running for cover.  Money changers are scrambling for coins that have been spilled all over the place and merchants are grabbing for their merchandise.  There’s a lot of shouting going on.  Some of it by Jesus who cannot believe what they have made out of the Temple.  Instead of a house of God, it has become a religious marketplace.

It all must have been quite a shock to the disciples.  At first, they probably tried to calm Jesus down and then run for cover themselves because the Temple Guard and their Roman overseers would turn up quickly.

It wasn’t what they were expecting, but oftentimes things with Jesus weren’t what they were expecting.  But this had the potential to be big trouble.

In those few minutes of chaos in the Temple Jesus sent a shockwave through the religious system of His day.

What about ours?  How would Jesus respond to the religious systems we have set up in His name?

It may be that Jesus is not looking to come into our churches and set things right. Maybe He is trusting us to do that; trusting us to be willing to challenge the status quo.



Jesus is looking for people who love God and each other, and are trying to figure out how to be the Body of Christ and the Living Presence of Christ in this world.

If people can walk into a church and discover a Jesus who is life and light, I imagine Jesus might just come on in and enjoy Himself.











Thursday, July 26, 2012

“Well done……faithful servant....?”


“For we must all appear and be revealed as we are before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive [his pay] according to what he has done in the body, whether good or evil [considering what his purpose and motive have been, and what he has achieved, been busy with, and given himself and his attention to accomplishing].”   II Cor. 5:10 AMP

I must realize that the only record of my life that exists is the one I write, myself.

Once I realized that, I see what the judgment seat of Christ Jesus is-----it is only a playback.  It is there I receive “the things done in this body”……my earthly life, not simply the reward of those things.

I will meet actions again, like a re-run movie.   But this time I will see them from God’s standpoint, how they were recorded in His eyes and ears…….He will reveal all my hidden motives behind some things I have said and done.

There will be no addition to or subtraction from what I ‘was’ and ‘did’.

The books of God (Mal. 3:16) are nothing more than His retrieval system.  God sees, hears and remembers everything.  That is why repentance is important and should be done immediately instead of trying to justify my selfishly actions or words. 

Judgment Day will be my “rereading” day and God will show me the daily pages written with my own life.  This brings into reality a sense of heaven and hell, my choice depending upon my decisions, actions, motives and desires.  Good or bad…they will be recorded and played back for my viewing.  I will answer for all I have done upon this earth.   Every careless word, jealous action and choices that were selfish and self-centered, as well as all the good I have done and sacrifices I have made for God’s Kingdom.

My destiny is not decided later, in eternity, but now while I live on this earth.   My destiny is only the echo of my present decision.

Not only, the destiny itself, but the quality of that destiny is decided here, whether stubble or precious stones (I Cor. 3:12).

Wow…..what a responsibility!  Only one walk through life and yet an eternity depending upon it.

How grateful I am for my precious friend, Jesus, who first removed my sins by His sacrifice at Calvary and Who sent me a Helper, Holy Spirit.  He walks with me and guides me and wants to help me write the story of my life, which one day I hope will cause Jesus to smile.  He longs to be able to say to me and you, “Well done….faithful servant; enter……..the joy of thy lord.”  Matt. 25:21 KJV



 “You therefore, beloved, since you know this beforehand, beware lest you also fall from your own steadfastness, being led away with the error of the wicked…”           II Peter 3:17 NKJV

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

The Spirit and the Bride say, “Come!”


“I, Jesus, have sent My angel to testify to you these things in the churches. I am the Root and the Offspring of David, the Bright and Morning Star.”

 And the Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” And let him who hears say, “Come!” And let him who thirsts come. Whoever desires, let him take the water of life freely.”   Rev. 22:16-17 NKJV



Imagine how John was encouraged.   Remember how he was in exile because of his Christian faith on the island of Patmos. He was by himself.  No longer did he have the fellowship of other Christians around him.  Imagine his excitement when Jesus says, ‘I am coming soon! You can get ready now and you can welcome me soon!’



Remember the purpose of Revelation?  Jesus came and said I have words to give you to write to the churches.  John had seven visions that he wrote to seven churches.  We near the end of this letter here where Jesus reminds him that yes, this was his purpose, and this he did.  Vs.16 "I, Jesus, have sent my angel to give you this testimony for the churches.”  Because these were miraculous visions, they were almost too hard to comprehend because John saw into the throne room of God.

John was reminded that yes, he wasn’t just dreaming, but these revelations he had seen were true.  God had sent His angel to give him proof.

The angel who has guided John through the various visions of the book is now authenticated by Jesus Himself.   The plural "you" indicates that it was intended for others besides John.  It stresses that the revelation is not a private affair but for the entire Church.

He continues to tell him, “I am the Root and the Offspring of David, and the bright Morning Star." He reminded him that not only was He the Lord of David, but He was David’s son, just as scripture had foretold.

Jesus in His divine nature was the root or source of David, while in His human nature He was David's offspring.  In other words Christ was both David's Lord and offspring (Matt. 22:42-45).

Christ is the root of David as to His divine nature; for from that the entire human race sprang, for He is the Creator of all things, and without Him was nothing made which is made.   He is the offspring of David as to His human nature; for that He took of the stock of David, becoming thereby heir to the Jewish throne and the only heir who then existed; and it is remarkable that the whole regal family terminated in Christ.

Jesus declares that He is "the bright morning star."  Here, "morning star" is a translation of the Greek word phosphoros which means "light bearer" or "source of light." Phosphoros could refer to the sun or to the morning star.

May we live our lives by the light of the bright Morning Star!

We live in a new day, a day that when fully realized will reveal not only a redeemed humanity, but a redeemed creation in the new heaven and the new earth.

So, Jesus still speaks to His Church today, “Behold, I am coming soon!” And the Church says, “Amen. Come, Lord Jesus!”




Tuesday, July 24, 2012

The Bride of Christ…….


"I am . . . the Bright and Morning Star" (Rev. 22:16). 

What is the morning star?  It is the herald of the dawn.

This tells us of the Lord Jesus as the Coming One.  Peter says we are to cherish the Word of prophecy for it shines as a light in a dark place.  We are to keep it in our hearts until the Day Star arises. Jesus is the Day Star — the Bright and Morning Star.

 In a little while He is going to shine forth in glory — quietly, serenely, beautifully, to herald the coming day.

Paul tells us, "Behold, I show you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.  For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality" (1 Cor. 15:51-53).  That is what is going to take place when the Lord Jesus shines forth as the Bright and Morning Star.

Some of us do not often see the morning star. It shines out just before the dawn when everything is darkest down below. Through the gloom there is that beautiful star shining.  No matter how dark it gets, do not be discouraged.

Though apostasy is increasing, iniquity is abounding, the love of many is becoming cold, distress on earth with grave perplexity, men's hearts failing them for fear — no matter how dark conditions may be, Jesus is coming.  He may come at any moment and when the Morning Star shines forth we know that the day — the day of righteousness — will soon appear.

The Book of Revelation is part of the vision the Bridegroom is giving to the Bride, with the intent of drawing her closer, and of giving her hope in the midst of great despair that will occur just prior to the time of the King's return for His Bride.

Jesus speaks of Himself as the "Bright and Morning Star." Before the rising of the sun, before the millennium dawns, He will be to the Church the "Bright and Morning Star."

He will dispel the darkness for us before the prophesied judgments come upon a weary, sin sick world; and before the glories depicted in this chapter are revealed, He will appear as the Bright and Morning Star.

We must never cease to cherish this great truth, keeping our eyes fixed and our hope centered upon Jesus.

The Lord says, "Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation" (2 Cor. 6:2).

 So harden not your heart.

Jesus is coming!

Are you ready?


Monday, July 23, 2012

The key of David……… Part II


“I, Jesus, have sent My angel to testify to you these things in the churches.  I am the Root and the Offspring of David, the Bright and Morning Star.”

 And the Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” And let him who hears say, “Come!” And let him who thirsts come. Whoever desires, let him take the water of life freely.”   Rev. 22:16-17 NKJV

In Revelation chapters 2 and 3, letters are written to seven churches in Asia Minor. Of the seven churches, the church with the highest praise from God is the church in Philadelphia. The church of Philadelphia can be viewed as the model church among the seven churches in the book of Revelation.  Jesus tells this church that He has the key of David.  In Rev. 3:7 it is written:

“Write this letter to the angel of the church in Philadelphia.  This is the message from the one who is holy and true, the one who has the key of David.
What he opens, no one can close; and what he closes, no one can open…”



A key is critical in opening and closing a door. If Jesus has a key to a door, it MUST be important. In addition, there must also be an importance concerning WHAT key that Jesus is holding.  In Revelation 3:7, Jesus tells us that the name of this key points to David.

What is the key of David?  In Revelation 3:7, Jesus said to the church at Philadelphia that He had the key of David.  In Revelation 22:16, Jesus sent his angel to testify to the church that He is the root and offspring of David.  In Acts 13:22, we find that David was a man after God's own heart.

God wanted to communicate a spiritual message to His people through the Holy Spirit that God's Word is eternal.  God's Word will be kept by His people for all eternity, when God creates the new heavens and the new earth.  David was a man after God's own heart because David loved God's Word.

The Key of David is the Word of God.

The Key of David is written on the heart of God's Bride.


Sunday, July 22, 2012

The key of David……… Part I


 “I, Jesus, have sent My angel to testify to you these things in the churches.  I am the Root and the Offspring of David, the Bright and Morning Star.”

 And the Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” And let him who hears say, “Come!” And let him who thirsts come. Whoever desires, let him take the water of life freely.”   Rev. 22:16-17 NKJV



The book of Revelation is the Revelation of Jesus Christ which God gave to show His servants of things to come (Rev. 1:1).  If the last book of the Bible is important, then the last chapter in the Bible must be important also. If the last chapter of the last book of the Bible is important then the last few verses must be even more important.

The last few verses of the book of Revelation speak of the desire for the second coming of Jesus and the desire that the Bride of Christ would be married unto Him. In Rev. 22:16, Jesus speaks His final words to the Churches as it is written:

"I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning Star."

The churches are already believers that Jesus is Messiah.  It stands to reason that Jesus couldn't be reminding the churches through His angels that He is the Messiah.

So, why did Jesus send His angel to testify to the CHURCHES and NOT to the unbelievers that He is the root and offspring of David?

Once again, Jesus wants His CHURCH to identify with David when they identify with Jesus.    Why?   David is a type and shadow of God's bride.



 David in Hebrew means, "Beloved."   (Strong's word 1732)   Beloved is a term for God's Bride. The Song of Solomon is a poetic song between God and His Bride.  In Song of Solomon 6:3 it is written:

I am my beloved's and my beloved is mine ...”


The next verse in the book of Revelation following the words of Jesus that He sent His angel to testify to His churches that He is the root and offspring of David is Rev. 22:17 as it is written:

"And the Spirit and the bride say, Come ..."

Therefore, it seems that the testifying to the Churches that Jesus is the root and offspring of David is associated with the marriage of God's Bride.


Friday, July 20, 2012

Precious Pets……………..


“Blessed are those who do His commandments, that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter through the gates into the city.

 But outside are dogs and sorcerers and sexually immoral and murderers and idolaters, and whoever loves and practices a lie.”  Rev. 22”14-15 NKJV

In our world today dogs are most people’s precious pets, fed on choice delicacies, shampooed and bathed in fancy dog tubs, housed in designer kennels, and taken around for joy rides sometimes in flamboyant doggy clothes.  Canine lovers may be puzzled by the derision dogs receive in the pages of the New and Old Testament.


More often however, both the New and the Old Testament associate dogs with ruin, unclean or evil.

From the Old Testament:

“Therefore you shall not eat any flesh that is torn to pieces in the field; you shall throw it to the dogs” (Ex.22:31).

“The dogs will eat the flesh of Jezebel on the plot of Jesreel” (2 Kings 9:38).

“For dogs have surrounded me. A company of evildoers have enclosed me” (Ps.22:16).

“The sword to kill and the dogs to drag away” (Jer.15:3).

From the New Testament:

“Don’t give that which is holy to the dogs” (Mt.7:6).

“It is not appropriate to take the children’s bread and throw it to the dogs” (Mk.7:27).

“Beware of the dogs, beware of the evil workers, beware of the false circumcision” (Phil.3:2).

“Outside are the dogs, the sorcerers, the sexually immoral, the murderers, the idolaters, and everyone that practices falsehood” (Rev.22:15).

While taboos concerning other animals had health related justifications or ritualistic considerations concerning ideas of purity, dogs seem to have been singled out.

Dogs were considered unclean animals under the law of Moses, and the term was applied to unclean persons who were low in character, vile or shameless  as well as, including people such as Sodomites (Deut. 23:17-18; I Tim. 1:10) and false teachers of low moral standards (Phil. 3:2).

This passage also suggest that the dogs are not only the shameless and the unbelieving, but also Christians who after giving their hearts to Jesus, "return to their vomit."

The dog may, then, be a symbol of all that is disgusting.

Separated forever from all the blessing of God will be the unclean, or "dogs."

The sins of the last days will tend to fix the character of each person according to the habits which he/she has already formed.

There will come a time when change will be impossible--when no further opportunity will be given for repentance on the one hand or for apostasy on the other.

Continued sin defines character and determines destiny.

John names some of the people who will remain outside.  He writes in verse 15; "Outside are the dogs and the sorcerer’s and the immoral persons and the murderers and the idolaters, and everyone who loves and practices lying."

Five of the six characteristics are also found in the slightly longer list in Rev. 21:8 of those whose lot is the lake which burns with fire and brimstone.  Such people do not have a right to the tree of life, nor do they enter the New Jerusalem.

Unbelievers do not live according to God's commands. They will remain outside the city-the New Jerusalem. Taken literally, we might picture them as living just outside the gates. But, in reality, they will have their destiny in the lake of fire (21:8). They will suffer eternal punishment and will be separated forever from the blessings of God.

This is probably one of the more difficult messages for the mind of modern man to accept.  Especially those who do not believe in life after death and those who do not believe in heaven and hell, they often strongly oppose the idea of eternal punishment.  For them there are no dividing lines between the destinies of men.

 Psalm 101:7 reminds us that;"No man who practices deceit shall dwell in my house; no man who utters lies shall continue in my presence.”

Jesus is coming soon.
 
Every person needs to heed that warning cry, and respond while the Spirit and the Bride still say, "Come!"



 Just a thought: Do you think it is possible that the metaphor for “dogs”, since they are considered evil, unclean…….our precious “pets” could be our precious “idols”?  Some people tend to covet, worship, love, hunger, dwell upon and idolize their secret sins.  These “sins” are “pets” they cherish them more than a relationship with God.  They are unwilling to give them up because they are precious pets that fulfill their fleshly desires. 

Thursday, July 19, 2012

The Tree of Life………….


“Those that are granted entrance have “wash[ed] their robes, that they may have the right to the tree of life.”  Rev. 22:14

What is it that our robes must be washed in?  It is the blood of Jesus.   Normally, you don’t think of blood making something clean. But in the case of our sin, it is only the blood of Jesus that can make us clean.


Read what the Bible says about Adam’s sin in regard to Jesus Christ, our Redeemer; in Romans 5:14-15 (NASB), “Nevertheless death reigned from Adam until Moses, even over those who had not sinned in the likeness of the offense of Adam, who is a type of Him who was to come.  But the free gift is not like the transgression.  For if by the transgression of the one the many died, much more did the grace of God and the gift by the grace of the one Man, Jesus Christ, abound to the many.”

It has been well said that the last book of the Bible, Revelation, brings the completion of all that is begun in the first book of the Bible, Genesis.

Let’s review a few of the comparison and the contrast of the tree of life in Genesis and then in Revelation:


Genesis speaks of the creation of the sun. Revelation tells of a place that needs no sun.


 Genesis speaks of the entrance of sin into this world. Revelation tells of the banishment of all sin.


Genesis speaks of the sin-curse that is pronounced upon mankind. Revelation tells of the broken curse.



Genesis speaks of Satan’s first triumphant victory over mankind. Revelation speaks of Satan’s defeat!


Finally, Genesis speaks of the exclusion from the ‘tree of life.’ Revelation speaks of the admission to the ‘tree of life.’

God gives it back to those who have washed their robes by the blood of the Lamb.


We have seen how sin separated mankind from the tree of life and how when we are washed by the blood of the Lamb, Jesus, we become partakers of the ‘tree of life’.

By faith in the work that was accomplished on the most precious tree of life, the Cross of Calvary we eat of the fruit of salvation.

If Jesus came back today, what would it be like for you?

Would you be left behind?



Wednesday, July 18, 2012

The Choice is Yours…………..


It has often been said, "Cleanliness is next to godliness," but in this case, cleanliness is godliness.

John picks up that same theme when he says, "Blessed are those who wash their robes, that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter by the gates into the city" (Rev. 22:14).

Sainthood is not a graduate degree in Christianity, but the entrance requirement.  A saint is not someone who is sinless, but someone who is forgiven.

The same people Paul called "saints" he also sternly rebuked for their sinful behavior.  In fact, he accused them of being worse than the heathen (1 Cor. 1:2; 5:1).

Saints are not sinless, just forgiven.

For too long we have tried to sell the world an easy religion that majors on "free grace" and minors on full obedience; a cheap faith that offers forgiveness without repentance and purity without washing.  

 Even the unreligious know that a religion that costs nothing and demands nothing is worth nothing.  It is a false religion of a false Christ who is pictured as coming simply to lower the standards of admission to the Kingdom of God so that almost everybody makes it.

We have forgotten about holiness without which no one can see God (1 Peter 1:15, 16).

The Bible gives another perspective on holiness with this beatitude: "Happy" are those who wash their robes." Holy living is happy living.  It is life at its best and fullest.  It is the fulfillment of Jesus' promise: "I came that they might have life, and might have it abundantly" (John 10:10).

You are as holy as you want to be.

The unholy defect is in your desire, NOT your circumstances.

 In all honesty you have to admit that you don't want to be a saint.  You are content to be an ordinary generic brand Christian, just a decent person.  But Jesus is not interested in spot-cleaning, tidying up around the edges where the dirt shows.  He wants to get the deep down dirt out.  He doesn't say, "Unless you are perfect I won't help you."  But He does say, "The only kind of help I'll give you is to become perfect" (Matt. 5:48).

You can get squeaky clean with steady use of the Christian's "bar of soap." 1 John 1:9 says, "If we confess our sins, he (Jesus) is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”  

When you soil your clothes, you wash them. You do not expect them to stay clean. The washing, though effective, is not permanent. If you get them dirty again, re-washing makes them clean again. The same procedure applies to your soul. God's cleansing is a continuing process.

The last beatitude of the Bible says, "Blessed are those who wash their robes that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter by the gates of the city."

Two special privileges are specified for clean saints.

First, they are given the right to the tree of life. That refers all the way back to the Garden of Eden when mankind fell into sin.

The second privilege of the saints is that they enter by the gates of the city. The Biblical story which began in a garden where mankind sinned ends in a city where even the horses and trash cans are holy (Zech. 14:20 LB).  The primeval curse has been repealed and the eternal blessing pronounced.

Your ticket through the pearly gates has been purchased by the precious blood of Jesus (Heb. 9:22; Rev. 1:5).

But only the saints will go marching in.  "Outside are the dogs and the sorcerer’s and the immoral persons and the murderers and the idolaters, and everyone who loves and practices lying" (Rev. 22:15).

In light of the context, it is obvious that believers are in view here. However, it is a mistake to conclude that all believers are meant.  Not all believers can be described as "those who do His commandments."

Jesus did not take it for granted that even the Apostles would obey Him! He said to them, "If you love Me, keep my commandments" ( John 14:15), and, "You are My friends if you do whatever I command you" (John 15:14).

The choice is really up to you.


Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Settling for less………


“Trust the Lord and live right!
The land will be yours,
and you will be safe.


 Do what the Lord wants,
and he will give you
your heart’s desire.

 Let the Lord lead you
and trust him to help.”   Psalm 37:3-5 CEV



Anything the world offers or has is substandard compared to what Christ offers, and has in store for us!  

In other words, the very best the world has is nothing compared unto Christ and to spend eternity with Him.



“That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life—whether you have enough food and drink, or enough clothes to wear.  Isn’t life more than food, and your body more than clothing?   Look at the birds. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them.  And aren’t you far more valuable to him than they are?   Can all your worries add a single moment to your life?

 “And why worry about your clothing?  Look at the lilies of the field and how they grow.  They don’t work or make their clothing, yet Solomon in all his glory was not dressed as beautifully as they are.   And if God cares so wonderfully for wildflowers that are here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow, he will certainly care for you.  Why do you have so little faith?

 “So don’t worry about these things, saying, ‘What will we eat?  What will we drink? What will we wear?’   These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs.   Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.

 “So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today.  Matthew 6:25-34 NLT

Anything less than Christ; less than trusting His Spirit, His Word and His angels is inferior thinking!


Anything other than trusting in and having a relationship with Jesus is inferior!

God is faithful (reliable, trustworthy, and therefore ever true to His promise, and He can be depended on); by Him you were called into companionship and participation with His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.”  I Cor. 1:9 AMP

For me to live is Christ [His life in me], and to die is gain [the gain of the glory of eternity].  Phil 1:21 AMP



Sunday, July 15, 2012

“…… I WILL REWARD...”


 “And behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to give to everyone according to his work.”  Rev. 22:12  NKJV

While salvation is a gift, there are rewards given for faithfulness in the Christian life and loss of rewards for unfaithfulness.  Rewards become one of the great motives of the Christian’s life or should be. But we need to understand the nature of these rewards to understand the nature of the motivation. Some people are troubled by the doctrine of rewards because this seems to suggest “merit” instead of “grace,” and because, it is pointed out, we should only serve the Lord out of love and for God’s glory.



Of course we should serve the Lord out of love and for God’s glory, and understanding the nature of rewards will help us do that. But the fact still remains that the Bible promises us rewards.

God gives us salvation. It is a gift through faith, but He rewards us for good works. God graciously supplies the means by which we may serve Him. Indeed, He works in us both to will and to do as we volitionally appropriate His grace (Phil. 2:12-13), but the decision to serve, and the diligence employed in doing so, are our responsibility and our contribution and God sees this as reward able.

“…… I WILL REWARD...”(vs.12)

A reward represents future action.
We are called to remember the truth of the gospel and that we will be rewarded for our faith!!


Just as we read Genesis 15:6, “Abram believed the Lord, and he credited it to him as righteousness.”  So we too know that belief brings reward!


Jesus has promised throughout the book of Revelation that He will reward those that overcome, hear what He says to the “Church” (Rev. 2:7, 11, 17, 26, 3:5, 12, 21).

A reward can, also represent a past action such as, what Jesus did on the cross, what we have done and what we will be judged for!

 “My reward is with me, and I will give to everyone according to what he has done (vv. 12).”

Is your past covered by the blood of Jesus?

You see past action do have consequences, good and bad!!

What are some of the rewards and how are they described in Scripture? They are described in terms of generalities. What we know about rewards is given in terms that are more general than specific. These are:

The Promise of Crowns. This seems to be used as a symbol of victory, authority, and responsibility.

 The Promise of Heavenly Treasure (Matt. 6:20; 1 Pet. 1:4).  Eternal value and security.

The Promise of Accolades or Commendations. This is seen in those passages where a reward is administered in the form of something like “well done thou good and faithful servant …” (Matt. 25:21; Luke 19:17; 1 Cor. 4:5b).

The Promise to Over Comers. These could refer to special blessing of rewards to those believers who overcome special trials and tests rather than a general promise to all believers. See Rev. 2:7; 2:11, 17, 26.

The Promise of Special Responsibilities and Authority of the Lord’s Possessions (Matt. 19:28; 24:45-47; 25:21, 23; Luke 19:17-19; 22:29-30; Rev. 2:26).

[Key Verses on Rewards: Rom. 14:10-11; 1 Cor. 3:11-15; 2 Cor. 5:9-10; 1 John 2:28; Rev. 3:11-12]

Rewards will be determined by works that are tested by fire. (I Cor. 3:11-15)

You are either in or out!!

You chose!

REMEMBER------- JESUS IS COMING SOON!




Saturday, July 14, 2012

“Behold!”


“And behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to give to everyone according to his work.  I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End, the First and the Last.”  Rev. 22:12-13 NKJV

How excited we get when family or friends tell us they are coming soon!  Our excitement increases as we anticipate their arrival.  We prepare our homes, stock up on groceries and recheck everything so it will be perfect for their arrival.

That is what Jesus wants to reminds us of today.  In the last book of the Bible, in the last chapter and in almost the very last verses, He encourages Christians to look forward to the time when Jesus will return.  He says, ‘Behold, I am coming quickly.’

When Jesus spoke those words, He realized that mankind, because of his sinful nature sometimes focuses a little too much on the things of this life and in this world.

He wants us to look forward in anticipation to the time when He will return.

He gives us this advice in the book of Hebrews. "Therefore, holy brothers, who share in the heavenly calling, fix your thoughts on Jesus, the apostle and high priest whom we confess" (Hebrews 3:1).

When Jesus said, ‘Behold, I am coming quickly’, He reminds us to fix our thoughts on Jesus who will return.

It begins with the little word: “Behold!”   This word appears quite frequently in the Holy Bible. It is a call to pay special heed, to be especially watchful, and to pay particular attention to the things going on around us.

At the birth of Jesus Christ, the angels appeared to the shepherds and brought them the news: “Behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy… For there is born to you this day……. a Savior” (Luke 2: 10-11).

In reference to Jesus, John the Baptist once said: “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!” (John 1: 29).  All these are especially striking, potent words which carry a great deal of power.

 Jesus said: “Behold, I have told you before….” (Matthew 24: 25, KJV).  Again we find the call to “behold!” The admonition behind this is that we should behold things from a divine perspective!  Here’s a beautiful the promise that the Lord gave His Apostles: “And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age” (Matthew 28: 20, ESV)—again an instruction to take note of what the Lord is doing!

“Behold, I am coming quickly!”—Just look at the conditions around us! The Lord is coming! This is our firm belief. The circumstances are coming to a head.

Being a Christian plays less and less of a role in their daily lives. Today—at least in our part of the world—churches are increasingly seen as institutions, which people treat more or less with distrust.

Just look at the fact that it is also becoming harder to keep our faith!  It is no longer so easy to remain upon the path of faith. There are so many other influences that seem to distract us.

‘Coming Quickly’ is a call to commitment!

Are you ready for His return?

Will it be a day of celebration or despair?

HE is coming back so we better live like it!






Friday, July 13, 2012

Dust can have a destiny……


“[The Lord] raises the poor out of the dust and lifts the needy from the ash heap and the dung hill,

That He may seat them with princes, even with the princes of His people.

 He makes the barren woman to be a homemaker and a joyful mother of [spiritual] children. Praise the Lord! (Hallelujah!).”   Psalm 113:7-9  AMP

There will come a time in my life where I will have to accept the fact that a life with Jesus is a series of “hurtings”. 

Animals suffer pain, but only human beings can become morally and spiritually better because of their pain.  Unless I suffer grief, I am not likely to grow into a mature disciple of Jesus Christ.

One of the greatest disappointments the Lord can suffer is to see me battle my grief and yet not become better.  

God said, “I kill, and I make alive; I wound, and I heal.”  (Deut. 32:39 KJV)

It is to my sorrow that I do not become healed or come alive when God allows me to feel pain.

Jesus wounded Simon Peter with a look that drove him to tears, he wept “bitterly”. (Luke 22:62 KJV)

The hurts of Jesus, if I accept them properly, are the healings of tomorrow.  I need His hurting to cauterize the shallow and superficial in my life.

 If I walk very long with Him, life will be a series of cuttings, woundings, and grievings.   Two personalities cannot walk together without wounding and healings.

Say what I will, but life will deal me hurts one way or another.  But I can choose.  I can say to the world, “Hurt me” and it will.   But the hurt of the world is a “survival of the fittest” hurt in which there is no mercy and no redemption. The world does not care if I die; it only cares that I get out of the way if I cannot compete.

But Jesus deals with losers, outcasts and beggars.   He has a place for them in His eternal plan.  He hurts them in order to polish and shape them, to sting them into an awakened condition, to remind them that dust can have a destiny and that human frailty can be covered with eternal glory.

Thank You, Lord, for making paupers into princes and raising the need to sit upon thrones. 

 “Be merciful and gracious to me, O God, be merciful and gracious to me, for my soul takes refuge and finds shelter and confidence in You; yes, in the shadow of Your wings will I take refuge and be confident until calamities and destructive storms are passed.”  Psalm 57:1 AMP


Thursday, July 12, 2012

Spiritual maturity…..


Therefore let us go on and get past the elementary stage in the teachings and doctrine of Christ (the Messiah), advancing steadily toward the completeness and perfection that belong to spiritual maturity.  Let us not again be laying the foundation of repentance and abandonment of dead works (dead formalism) and of the faith [by which you turned] to God.”   Hebrews 6:1 AMP

Jesus has certain expectations of all His disciples.  He expects us to make progress in our understanding of spiritual things. 

He asked Nicodemus, “Are you the teacher of Israel, and [yet you] do not understand these things?” (John 3:10)

The Pharisee did not understand the simple, elemental things of the gospel, the “earthly things” (vs. 12) that should have been clear to him from the OT.

Jesus asked the disciples who missed the meaning of His lessons, “Do you still not understand?  Don’t you remember the five loaves for the five thousands?”       (Matt. 16:9 NIV)   The disciples were still puzzling over “earthly things” when they should have gone on to “heavenly things,” that is, deeper truths of the Lord.

Nicodemus dealt with the truth almost daily; yet he could not see it.  That is inexcusable!

What is more inexcusable is for me to learn the simple, basic steps of faith but never get beyond them to the “heavenly things.”

I have wondered at the paucity of the church and its tiny impact on the world in general, even though there are far more of us today than ever.  Can it be that we are still infants, learning our ABC’s, never getting beyond elementary school? 

Do we hear Jesus saying, “Do you still not understand?”

Are we still battling the enemy with infantile weapons?

The urging of God is overwhelming He wants us to “…. advance steadily toward the completeness and perfection that belong to spiritual maturity.” (Heb. 6:1).

That is the will of God for us……….spiritual maturity!

“Your ears will hear a word behind you, saying, “This is the way, walk in it,” whenever you turn to the right or to the left.”   Isa. 30:21 AMP

ARE YOU READY?


“He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he that is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still”.   Rev. 22:11 KJV

The preaching of the Cross of Jesus ALWAYS has an effect on the hearers.  Some will be softened and drawn to Christ others will be hardened to the message. 

"The same sun that melts the ice hardens the clay."

"To the one an aroma from death to death, to the other an aroma from life to life..." (2 Cor. 2:16). "For the word of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God" (1 Cor. 1:18).

The second half of this verse is a promise to believers. If you really love Jesus now, you will love Him for all eternity.  When someone falls away from following Jesus it proves that his love for Jesus is superficial and his love is not rooted in the true message of the Cross.

Real believers, on the other hand, may fail Christ in some ways, but they will never stop loving Christ and will repent. 

What would you do differently if you knew that Jesus would come back next Sunday?

Paul said in 2 Timothy 3:1-7:  Don't be naive. There are difficult times ahead. As the end approaches, people are going to be self-absorbed, money-hungry, self-promoting, stuck-up, profane, contemptuous of parents, crude, coarse, dog-eat-dog, unbending, slanderers, impulsively wild, savage, cynical, treacherous, ruthless, bloated windbags, addicted to lust, and allergic to God. They'll make a show of religion, but behind the scenes they're animals. Stay clear of these people.

These are the kind of people who smooth-talk themselves into the homes of unstable and needy women and take advantage of them; women who, depressed by their sinfulness, take up with every new religious fad that calls itself "truth." (Message Bible)

So don’t expect great changes before Jesus comes back.  That does not mean that people can’t change before the Jesus comes, or before they die.


The warning is this:  You live out of God’s will; you die out of God’s will. You live a selfish life, you die a selfish person. ...

“He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still…….”  (Rev. 22:11).

There are some people that seem to think that in some way or another God is going to over look their sin, because after all, they say, “I’m a good person and the Bible says, “Jesus loves me””.  That is true…..Jesus loves you and He will never stop loving you, no matter where you chose to spend eternity.   Those that chose to spend eternity with Satan, God will still love you, His heart will be grieved but He will never stop loving you. 

A person who stands on that promise and continues to live in their sin reveals the love for their idol is more important than their love for God.  They want it both ways, and God says; you have to choose between life and death, heaven or hell, Jesus or Satan.   You cannot hold on to a form of godliness while living in sin and expect life in heaven.

 Jesus said in; Lk.13: 5; “…except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish”.

 John.3:7: “You must be born again…”

John 6:63:The Spirit alone gives eternal life. Human effort accomplishes nothing. And the very words I have spoken to you are spirit and life.”

John 5:40:But you do not want to come to Me so you might have life.”



John 5:24:I tell you the truth, those who listen to my message and believe in God who sent me have eternal life. They will never be condemned for their sins, but they have already passed from death into life.”

ARE YOU THE PERSON YOU WANT TO BE WHEN JESUS COMES BACK OR WOULD YOU RATHER BE SOMEBODY ELSE?

ARE YOU READY?




Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Jesus is coming back……….


And let the sinful people keep on being sinful.  Let the dirty-minded people keep on being dirty-minded.  And let those right with God keep on being right with God. Let the holy people keep on being holy.  Rev. 22:11  NLV

To those that are saved the day of Jesus’ return will be a day of rejoicing but for those that are lost it will be a day of sadness.

“Not everyone who calls out to me, ‘Lord! Lord!’ will enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Only those who actually do the will of my Father in heaven will enter.   On judgment day many will say to me, ‘Lord! Lord! We prophesied in your name and cast out demons in your name and performed many miracles in your name.’   But I will reply, ‘I never knew you. Get away from me, you who break God’s laws.’    Matthew 7: 21-23 NLT

This verse is not teaching us that there will be this straight line of perfection from a child of God. The evidence of a true child of God’s life will be the fruits of Christ-likeness; there will be the fruits of obedience, selflessness, servant-hood and humility.

Is there a real desire to follow Jesus?

Do you desire to lift up Christ in your everyday life?

Are you making a sincere effort to follow Jesus by obeying His commandments?

The Bible says we are to “examine ourselves to see if we are in the faith”.         (2Cor 13:5)

Make no mistake....only the Real Christians will be leaving when Jesus comes.
That’s a warning that is so serious; everyone should take serious thought about where they stand with God.

If you love sin now, you will always love sin unless you throw yourself on God's mercy and ask for His forgiveness.

You cannot change yourself!  

"No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up on the last day" (John 6:44).

ARE YOU THE PERSON YOU WANT TO BE WHEN JESUS COMES BACK OR WOULD YOU RATHER BE SOMEBODY ELSE?




Monday, July 9, 2012

A day of separation………..


“He who is unrighteous (unjust, wicked), let him be unrighteous still; and he who is filthy (vile, impure), let him be filthy still; and he who is righteous (just, upright, in right standing with God), let him do right still; and he who is holy, let him be holy still.”  Rev. 22:11 AMP

There are a lot of people who have sat on church pews all their life and thought they were saved and they die and go to hell.

I believe there are three different types of people in the world: the saved, the lost and those that are lost and think they are saved.

Just because you sit on a church pew and a member of the church, does not mean that you’ll die and go to heaven.  You must be born again.

There are a few things that will not matter when the Jesus comes.  It will not matter how old or how young you are when He comes.  You are going to be exactly who you are right now if He were to come right now.   It does not matter where you are from, what color your skin is, or what religion you are; what matters is that you have been washed by the blood of Jesus Christ.



It will not matter what kind of clothes you are wearing, what you’ve done in the past, what matter is whether or not you are saved.   A lot people in the world today live the most ungodly lives, they have damaged families, addictions, greed, lust, selfishness…..all these worldly things.   

If you’re lost and Jesus comes back, He’s going to ask, “who are you?”

You’re going to know him but He won’t know you.   

That day is going to be a day of separation.  A day when the just shall be separated from the unjust, a day when the saints shall be separated from the sinners, loved ones shall be separated from the lost ones, a day when spouses shall be separated from the lost one, a day when the believers shall be separated from the non believers, a day when the sheep are separated from the goats. 

It is going to be a day when the wheat is separated from the tares, a day when the living are separated from among the dead.

On the day of separation, for those that are saved by the grace of God it’s going to be a day of dawning but for the lost it’s going to be a day of darkness.

“Behold I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown.”  Revelation 3:11

He coming back quickly, He’s coming back for His Church and His Church is all that He’s coming back for.

There will no longer be time for change when Jesus comes.  You will either be taken or left behind.

Are you going to be ready?