Tag Archives: eternal

Is Your Destiny Secure?

mene-mene-daniel-5aaJeremiah 50/Daniel 5

As I write this the news has arrived, the infamous dictator, Fidel Castro has died. In today’s reading, we read about another dictator, Belshazzar. The marvelous mercy of God is that no matter your station in life, God has presented himself in His marvelous creation that we may be without excuse. We cannot say we did not know about God.  [Rom 1]

As the dictator Belshazzar partied, the finger of God appeared and wrote a message the charlatan wise men could not interpret. Then, as in any crisis, God has a man prepared for such a time as this. Belshazzar called for Daniel whom he noted as a “captive of Judah.” As Daniel stood there reading the words we wonder if he recalled the prophecy of the true prophet Jeremiah “I will chase the Babylonians off their land.” “Suddenly Babylonia will fall and be destroyed.”

It has been at least 66 yrs since Daniel arrived in Babylon. To Belshazzar he is still considered a “captive of Judah” but Daniel is, like Paul, a “prisoner for Christ.”  Daniel reminded Belshazzar that God’s finger of mercy was sent make him know his eternal destiny needed to be settled. He had all the evidence, the idols of Babylon were false; the charlatan wise men were false. Would he accept God’s way?  Crises come and go, dictators come and go but when we are a “prisoner of Christ” we can know that one day we will enter heaven for we have secured our eternal destiny.

Where is Castro now? Where is Belshazzar now? Where will you be when you die?

 

 

 

“Bait and Switch”

2cor-4-bait-and-switch2

We have all been approached by salesmen who say you have to take advantage of this deal today because tomorrow it will be gone. Beware, these are very persuasive people!  These were and are today the enemies we face. In Corinth there were those who sought to use these tactics to show Paul in the worst light possible. But God’s ways are not men’s. Truth will shine above the lies even though temporarily it may seem the other way around. As then it is true today, our true enemy is Satan and his goal is to dupe the unsuspecting, to deceive through any means possible. He targets those along the path of life who are seeking truth but often when the gospel is presented he comes and snatches it away lest they see the glorious gospel of Jesus Christ. Just as Paul, we too might be the target of the unscrupulous who seek to paint us in unflattering colors. This is not new for even the religious leaders tried this tactic with Christ. The truth of the matter is this: their temporal gain is their eternal loss.

So what do we do in situations like this? Take a lesson from Christ and Paul. Let your light shine through your earthen vessel for it is the light that dispels the darkness. If you are persecuted or knocked down remember this, Jesus will use this to present the gospel so that some will see and be converted while others will hear “you are without excuse.”

Precious One, do not despair, for your suffering is producing an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison. This is temporary but what cannot be seen is eternal.

The Pre-Eminence of Christ

colossians 1 christaChrist is the supremacy of God eternal, invisible, God only wise, He is Creator of that which was before eternity; He is the head of the Body, the Church. He laid down his life on a cross and shed His blood for us. He is the firstborn of the dead.

“The Greek word “firstborn” implied two things: priority to all creations and sovereignty over all creation. In the first meaning we see the absolute pre-existence of the Logos. Since our Lord existed before all created things, He must be uncreated. Since He is uncreated, He is eternal. Since He is eternal, He is God. Since He is God, He cannot be one of the emanations from deity of which the Gnostic speaks…” [Kenneth Wuest]

It is because of Christ’s eternality we are to be grateful for when we have Christ we have all that is needed or wanted. He is the fullness of God in bodily form. The world would seek fullness in philosophy, rituals or traditions and why we must be on guard against false teachers who espouse false doctrine and in the end seek to lead us astray. We are to “tear down arguments and every arrogant obstacle that is raised up against the knowledge of God, and we take every thought captive to make it obey Christ.” We must model the Bereans who studied the scriptures to know if what was being taught was the truth.

 

“What will your R.S.V.P. Say?”

ImageAs Jesus ended his earthly time with his disciples he had them prepare the Passover, his last meal with them before the cross. He emphasized that as they partook of the bread and wine that it represented his body and his blood shed for them. Although they did not totally understand the significance of this night until after the Resurrection, they quickly instituted what we know as Communion. In this way they obeyed his command to remember his death until he returns and when we may all celebrate it with him in heaven.

In Proverbs 9, Solomon used an analogy of two banquets prepared by Lady Wisdom and Dame Folly. Lady Wisdom is busy preparing a dinner for the guests, the naïve who lack understanding, sending out the dinner invitations to come and feast at her table. The invitation reads: “Blessed is everyone who will feast in the kingdom of God!” She sends her slaves to gather those invited to come. In contrast Dame Folly, who is naïve and does not know anything, sits at the door of her house calling to the passersby, come and taste of the “stolen waters which are sweet.” This reminds us of the parable Jesus taught in the NT of a king who prepared a wedding feast for his son and invited many guests. However, those who were invited offered excuses and would not come. Thus he said ‘the ones who had been invited were not worthy.” Why were they not worthy? They did not come when called.

Our King is busy preparing a sumptuous banquet for us and invites us to come. Will we offer excuses or be ready? God’s banquet leads to life eternal but Dame Folly’s only offers separation and death.

God knows…and…more importantly God cares….

ImageThe reading of today, Psalm 139 & 140, ties in so beautifully to the last two days in Revelation chapters 2 and 3. With eyes wide open and walking upon hallowed ground,  let’s explore and see how they are so intertwined as only the Holy Spirit’s inspiration could bring about.

David, anointed by the Holy Spirit, pens these two psalms to reveal three characteristics of God. He is the “I AM” of scripture who is omnipresent, omnipotent, and omniscient. He is not only all of those but He is the God, the El Roi who sees and cares. He is as we read in John, the Bread of Life upon which we may feed, He is the Living Water from which our spiritual thirst may be quenched. He came as Immanuel, God with us, in human form that we might understand His love for mankind. He is the Good Shepherd that knows his sheep.

In Revelation 2 and 3 we see that God knows our mindset, He knows our ways, He knows our thoughts. What powerful direction then we find in Ps 139 when King David asks that God examine him and search him. “Examine me, and probe my thoughts! Test me, and know my concerns! See if there is any idolatrous tendency in me, and lead me in the reliable ancient path!” And that is what Jesus was saying was his desire as he inspired John to write to the 7 churches. I have examined you and found areas that need to be corrected. Over and over in Rev 2 and 3 is found the phrase “I know” (full and exact knowledge from absolute clearness of vision.) and in Psalm 139 King David says: “You know” (you discern, you find out).

Not only does God know but God, El Roi, cares. Ps 139 You carefully observe me, You are aware of everything I do, no matter where I go, no matter what I say, You care. You care so much that you ordained my very being from eternity past and you knew me thoroughly even when hidden in the secret womb of my mother. You cared so much for me that you even recorded in a scroll what my days here on earth would be like, where I would go, with whom I would dwell, what I would look like, what I would think. No wonder King David said: 139:17 How difficult it is for me to fathom your thoughts about me, O God! How vast is their sum total! And yet as we read in John “3:16 For this is the way God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life” His love was so infinite, so deep, so wide that in his eternal knowledge he made a plan for you and for me that we might come into His presence forevermore. This is God’s amazing love and why we sing “My God, How Great Thou Art.”

Beloved do you know the God who knows you?