Psalm 63:3 (KJV)
Because thy lovingkindness [is] better than life, my lips shall praise thee.
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We live in the atmosphere of ‘ time after time.’
Time after time, humankind has faced the same problems, applying the same solutions. One generation passes and another comes.
The wisest man in the universe made this statement, “there is no new thing under the sun.”
Ecclesiastes 1:9 “The thing that has been, is the thing which will be; and that which is done is that which will be done: and there is no new thing under the sun.”
If we don’t get the real point behind his statement, we will be like ‘hamsters on a wheel,’ operating in useless effort.
God is eternal. He has a plan for our lives. His plan is better than life.
I experienced this frustration when I was in my thirties. I looked at what I know now, was a beautiful life, and compared it to the ‘ worlds view of success.’
I found it lacking. It cost me some things that I will never get back. In the worldly view two wonderful sons, and a great husband wasn’t enough. I wanted to make my mark.
Now reading back in my journals, I want to coach my 30 year old self. I want to talk to her!
If she could know then, what I know now, she would enjoy her present life more. I would say continue with, ” Do your best, God will do the rest.”
I would tell her, ” adversity is good for you. Don’t shoo it away, like a stray cat. Don’t feed it, it will leave when the time comes.”
I would tell her to stop criticizing herself and others. Stop comparing herself or her family to other families.
It wasn’t just me.
I would encourage my 32 husband that he was a great success already! He was a great father. A great provider.
Don’t read me wrong. I believe things turned for our good. I’m only regretting not enjoying the process more.
I would tell him not to buy into the lie that said, ” if you are not successful by age thirty, you will never be successful.”
Looking back now, somethings were a real struggle. We didn’t have any real mentors to get truthful with us.
Or maybe we did, we just didn’t pay attention. We didn’t recognize the truth.
What “they,” said was speaking so loud, we didn’t hear what God already said.
Who were ‘they?’ Who are ‘they,’ now?
I really want to encourage someone today. Listen to God. Read his word and obey his word. If you do that you will be a success.
I will tell you this; If I read the words of my creator every single day, I will be saved from self-doubt, insecurity, and intimidation.
Maybe I wouldn’t have done things to differently concerning my career. I’m glad my husband focused on being a business owner.
I do believe though, I could have experienced more serenity in my life.
I would not have wasted useless effort trying to discover something I already had.
Daily we must realign our lives to truth.
At age thirty, we were just getting started in life. At 30, I had already been married for 14 years. That in itself was a success!
My husband did establish his business, when he was 33 years old. He is a success today, because he never gave up.We made mistakes but we repented.
We realigned ourselves to the word of God. We know there is nothing new under the sun that he did not create. There is no solution other than the solution he created.
The good news for believers is that Gods word is eternal. It’s for every generation and for every time. God’s word never returns void, but always accomplishes what he send it out to do.
Success needs to be redefined based on His word.
Look at Joshua 1:8 (paraphrased) Meditation on the word day and night and you will be a good success.
Successful is doing the best you can do in life. It’s being the best you can be. Loving who you are, and what you do. Loving your family.
If you don’t have a family yet, then it’s the time to look around and see who your real family happens to be, and love them!
Thirty is not the time to dig up everything you planted. It is a time to dig in and plant your feet. No starting over.
Goodness, I wish I knew then, what I know now!
I would have focused on relationship over anything else. It has a order for it to experience true success.
God first, family second. Spouse first, children, and then immediate family.
The family that prays together, stays together. I believe this with all my being.
After that: The family that plays together stays together.
Though it might not appear my family is successful as others define successful, make no mistake, we are successful in God’s ‘eyes.’
We are not aiming for perfect. Our goal is eternity.
With the goal of eternity in mind, I do not have to strive for it. I already have the promise of life eternal. The New Covenant assures me of that.
I am successful. There is nothing under the sun, that can move me any closer to ‘already there.’
We have got to get this. I didn’t deserve my salvation. I was still a sinner, when he died for me.
I accepted the truth of that at age 18. Nothing changed, when I walked off the path and got lost in the wilderness. Nothing changed when time after time nothing new under the sun, was lost in my understanding. I rambled around trying to find the one thing that would make me stand out in the world. Now, I laugh at my 30 year old self. I had what counted the most.
A great savior. His established plan. His love is better than life.
A wonderful unperfect husband. 2 rambunctious, unperfected sons.
A imperfect, down to earth pastor and church family.
I am blessed!
We all are familiar with Romans 4:3 where it is recorded that Abraham believed God and it was counted as righteousness.
Belief in God brings us into right standing. That’s our covenant right as children of Abraham by faith!
We all know our Abrahamic Covenant where God counts belief as righteousness.
But I wonder if we are acquainted with another man whose action was counted as righteousness.
Psalms 106: 30-31 Then stood up Phineas and executed judgement. And so the plague was stayed. And That was counted him for righteousness unto all generations forever more.
Who was this Guy? Phineas ?
Evidently not famous. He was just like you and I! He was a part of the Family of God. He was the grandson of Aaron.
He saw certain people were not in faith. Saw they had forgotten God. Saw that God would have destroyed them if Moses had not interceded for them. Saw how they murmured and refused to listen and continually provoked God.
Then, they began to intermingle with the Moabite women sent to weaken Israel by one of Gods own prophets . He was told he couldn’t curse what God had blessed so he told the king what what would weaken Israel.
But the one man, Phineas rose up and took action.
He stood up!
He executed judgement!
Hebrew Phrase: executed judgement means: he made a decision to act officially. (He took authority as a priest)
He executed judgement, and it not only stopped a plague in its tracks, it was counted as a act of righteousness forevermore on his behalf.
Numbers 25: 12-13 God gave him a covenant of peace and he said it was for him and his seed, a everlasting covenant.
We may not have the ability to do physically do what Phineas was able to do.
The authority of spiritual leaders in our country has been weakened. We intermingle too much. There Is no respect for our national leaders, or our president! ( That’s biblically incorrect by the way.)
But, we must have the same spiritual zealousness to help bring atonement, and pray judgement against unbelievers who seek to destroy our faith.
It’s our responsibility as the church to discern, and judge.
1 Peter 4:17 for the time has come that judgement must begin at the house of God, and it first begins with us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?
What will be the end be? Spiritual death.
Judgement in the church means cleansing! If we do not take responsibility to execute judgement, who will?
1 Cor. 6: 2 the saints shall judge the world.
So, we must stand up and pray judgement.
Vs. 9 the unrighteousness do not inherit the kingdom of God.
We also must pray separation / cleansing for unbelievers!
The blood of Christ Jesus is the only way to stop evil. The blood of Christ is over our doorpost is our sanctification.
Are we brave enough to pray judgement (cleansing) so God can stop the chaos in our families, bodies, church, nation?
We cannot abide with rebellion, unbelief because it will kept you out of the ‘rest,’ of God. We will not walk in peace.
We cannot take sin lightly, it is very deceptive.
You may not go to hell if you commit a sin, we all sin. But sin not repented of will cause a hardening of your heart and a hardened heart is a unbelieving heart.
That angers God.
Read Hebrews 3
Let’s be courageous! When we are courageous, we will see a great result. Let’s stand up!
It will be counted as righteousness just because of our faith! Let’s be righteous!
We live in a world that claims righteousness. But righteousness is separation from the world.
When we are zealous to remain separated for the Lords sake, and be willing to be judged, the result will be covenant peace. We will walk in assurance. That’s God’s true rest.
Can JESUS Walk through your house barefoot?
If not maybe you can get rid of what you would hide if you knew he was coming to your house today.
You are the household of God in Christ Jesus.
Maybe, we need to ask for God’s cleansing on our children, homes, church, government.
Maybe if we pray judgement on unbelievers, it will bring them in a place of atonement with God.
Just thoughts today, that softened my heart to pray for Jesus to always be welcome to walk barefoot through my life!
Thanks for listening!
I took my title for this post from Grant Jeffrey, a man that I respect, especially for his study on end time prophecies.
I asked him to write one of his favorite sayings in my bible. He so looked forward to the coming of our Lord, Jesus, he wrote, “Perhaps Today!”
I am happy to say he has made it home already. I am grateful for access to his studies through this Prophecy Study Bible.
“Prophecy is vital to us in this hour.“
I am quoting 4 major reasons that he wrote:
1. Fulfilled prophecy authenticates the Bible as the inspired word of God.
2. The message of the Prophet calls the church to live in purity and holiness.
3. The prophetic message of the imminent return of Jesus Christ, motivates us to witness to those around us.
4. The message of prophecy is a vital evangelistic tool for reaching the lost.
God can use prophecy to help convince unbelievers that the Bible is the inspired word of God, thereby bringing them to a place where they may consider the truth of the Gospel.
I love these reasons to study prophecy and I truly believe prophecy is essential to our lives as believers.
We are also reminded as the church , we are called to live in purity and practice wholeness.
As we travel we are carrying the good news and we are prophesying over these states.
God Bless America!
In the picture above this Pastor is encouraging the family of a dreamer.
Their family member dreamed of this beautiful addition being built at Burns Assembly Of God in Slocomb, Alabama.
It was a touching moment, as their loved one was was unable to be at this dedication service. He was instead celebrating in heaven with Jesus!
This dreamer left a legacy.
A legacy that will live on as this beautiful building will be used to encourage others for many years.
As members of the RV Maps Volunteers that worked on this project, we did not have the pleasure of meeting the person who dreamed the dream.
That’s okay, we have a relationship with the same God.
We have the same faith in the hope that whatever we begin and entrust to God, will be finished by God.
This work is now finished and dedicated to our Lord Jesus Christ!
We, RV Maps volunteers were blessed to be Gods vessels! We were and are excited to be a part of the dream!
Today is the In-between day.
The day after the day, we remember the death of Jesus. The day before we celebrate his glorious resurrection.
The day between the cross and resurrection of Christ.
The Saturday, we remember as the day hope died for most of the followers of Jesus.
It’s the day after the torturous death of Jesus on a cruel Roman cross.
The depravity was beyond murder. It was shocking, criminal behavior against someone widely known, as ‘going about doing good.’
Have you ever thought about the in-between day? What it was like for those who loved Jesus?
Was it the day that hope died?
Grief was the overcoming emotion of the hours in between the cross and the resurrection.
During this time many forgot or never really understood that he promised to rise again.
They got the dreaded report. A loved one died. Except it was worse, the loved one did not die peacefully. He didn’t die quickly and by accident.
He died by the hands of sick, calculating Roman soldiers who did the unthinkable to a innocent man. They nailed his hands and his feet to a old rugged cross.
In broad daylight.
They weren’t just doing their duty. They spit on him, they mocked him, they did their best to humiliate him. They gambled for his clothes. It was to them a cruel game. It was morally corrupt, indifferent.
It must have been a sad relief for those who loved Jesus, when he took his last breath.
The suffering they felt, as he suffered, must have been beyond their ability to endure. Yet the love that kept him on the cross, kept them under the cross.
Then the next day, the in between day, when the shock is wearing off and the grief is unbearable. When the waiting, the unknowing of ” what happens next,” is the question.
What was that like?
As they waited in between times, when many felt all hope was gone, did they remember what Jesus said?
Did they remember all he did?
Did they remember the death of Lazarus, and the fact Jesus wept but he did not lose hope?
Did they remember how Lazarus came out of the grave?
As I reflect I see it.
It was there, smoldering beneath the surface. The love, the hope, faith.
It was a power instilled in them as they followed him. It was dwelling in each of them, rising, strengthening, empowering them.
It was Jesus with them, pouring love into their hearts. He had taught them faith, he had inspired hope. He had prayed for them. And, though they suffered for awhile, their hope revived.
That is what happened in the in-between day!
We know, because we also will have days of in-between.
The days when the worst happens. We lose loved ones. We experience set back after set backs. Dreams die! Life hurts!
What we can’t forget, is the in-between times are important for us.
We have to remember what God said. What Jesus did! We must know that Biblical hope is powerful! It is founded.
In those days we must remember, that suffering will always bring glorious blessing.
In those in-between days, when things are in between the lines, we may not understand it, we may not recognize it, yet, there is his character built into us!
We have his character, and when we hold on, we will rise again from the ashes!
Suffering is not a waste in the Kingdom of God. Suffering can, does, and will produce.
Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know it produces perseverance,character; and character, hope. Hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he had given us. Romans 5: 3-5
That’s how we get through and rejoice, even when the unthinkable, beyond unbelievable happens.
We have the character of God in us through the suffering of the cross.
Hope in the resurrection does not disappoint us!
We know tomorrow is coming!
We can get through the worst oppression, the worst depression, the hopeless tragedies in our lives through the hope of his Resurrection!
Because he lives we can face today and tomorrow! We can move beyond the pain and wrong, the worst that could ever happen.
Jesus did not stay on the cross! He did not stay in the tomb. He rose again by day 3!
We are third day disciples! We are third day followers!
A lot can happen in 3 days!
From the most excruciating pain on Friday, to the extreme hopelessness of Saturday, to the infinite glory of Sunday!
Sunday! The miracle of all miracles pushed through the veil between heaven and earth! What a glorious day!
The hope of all hope, the king of all kings , the savior of all mankind manifested once again!
He is alive forever more!
He redeemed us! When he came out of the grave, we came out of the grave!
It’s is the greatest story ever told! It’s not just His Story! It’s our story!
It’s the greatest story ever lived!
The cross still stands as a reminder. The in-between time helps to evaluate our hope and faith. The Resurrection is the day we celebrate!
On that day, the miracle of all miracles happened.
The best time to tell your story of redemption is today!
I love the passage in the Bible concerning the rich young ruler. Matthew 19:16-30
The young man had a desire for eternal life. He went to the right person, Jesus who was the way to eternal life.
He addressed him as teacher. He was specific with his question. Basically, he wanted to know what good thing he most do to get eternal life.
Jesus said to him, “Why do you ask me about what is good? There is only one who is good. If you want to enter life, obey the commandments”
Then the young man wanted to know which ones. Jesus names off about six of them.
Why didn’t he name all ten?
What did it matter? Could anyone obey them?
Jesus was creating awareness here. It should have awakened a sense of need for God’s mercy, grace and redemption in this person.
The law is great as it helps us understand the fact that we can’t be ‘good,’ enough. It’s not possible.
My challenge to those reading this, would be to name anyone in the Old or New Testament that ever obeyed all of the commandments?
Besides Jesus, there is none. That’s the point isn’t it?
We cannot receive eternal life through being good. The commandments show us that truth. Without God it is impossible.
Romans 3:10, 12 “As it is written, there is no one righteous, not even one who understands, no one who seeks God. All have turned away, they have together become worthless; there is no one who does good, not even one.”
It is a worthless attempt to be good on our own merit. It is impossible.
Impossible means unable to occur or exist.
There is no possibility we can get eternal life through doing good, or just obeying the commands.
The rich young ruler could not kept all the commandments. We cannot keep all the commandments. Again it’s not possible.
If he or we, were capable of keeping the commandments, capable of being righteous, Jesus would not have had to die on the cross.
The rich young ruler told Jesus that he obeyed all the commandments, but still he was missing something.
His next question was, “What do I lack?”
Jesus said, “If you want to be perfect, then go, sell your possessions and give to the poor and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come follow me.”
Want to be good? Obey all the commandments.
Want to be perfect? Sell your possessions
Want to have treasure in heaven? Sell your possessions and give to the poor.
Want eternal life? Follow Christ
The young man went away sad, because he had great wealth.
That wealth was his weakness. He was not willing to put Christ above his possessions. He left sad. He missed the truth.
Jesus made this statement to the disciples, “I tell you the truth, it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. Again, I tell you, it would be easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle.”
I can’t help but wonder, what would have happened, if the rich, young ruler laid it all down to follow Jesus?
I didn’t have to wonder long because the disciples ask a good question, “Who then can be saved?”
Jesus answered “With man this is impossible, but with God, all things are possible.”
God can enlarge the eye of the needle! Open wide the gate! And he did! On the cross!
Ephesians 2:8-11 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith — and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
There is such joy in following Jesus!