Friend, we are living in the Last Days before the return of Jesus Christ! Are you ready?
Take heed to the words from 2 Peter 3:3-6
3 Above all, you must understand that in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and following their own evil desires. 4 They will say, “Where is this ‘coming’ he promised? Ever since our ancestors died, everything goes on as it has since the beginning of creation.” 5 But they deliberately forget that long ago by God’s word the heavens came into being and the earth was formed out of water and by water. 6 By these waters also the world of that time was deluged and destroyed. 7 By the same word the present heavens and earth are reserved for fire, being kept for the day of judgment and destruction of the ungodly.
8 But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. 9 The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.
10 But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything done in it will be laid bare.[a]
11 Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives 12 as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming.[b] That day will bring about the destruction of the heavens by fire, and the elements will melt in the heat. 13 But in keeping with his promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, where righteousness dwells.
14 So then, dear friends, since you are looking forward to this, make every effort to be found spotless, blameless and at peace with him. 15 Bear in mind that our Lord’s patience means salvation, just as our dear brother Paul also wrote you with the wisdom that God gave him. 16 He writes the same way in all his letters, speaking in them of these matters. His letters contain some things that are hard to understand, which ignorant and unstable people distort, as they do the other Scriptures, to their own destruction.
17 Therefore, dear friends, since you have been forewarned, be on your guard so that you may not be carried away by the error of the lawless and fall from your secure position. 18 But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever! Amen.
Be ready my friend. Jesus is coming back soon! Don’t be complacent thinking you have plenty of time to get your house in order, your life right with Him. It could be any day, and many scholars believe it is going to be VERY, VERY SOON!
I Peter 2:9-12 reminds us that we are a Chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, and the reason we are chosen is because we are Called to declare God’s praises.
Peter goes on to say that we are the people of God and we have received His mercy. Oh how we need His mercy! I don’t know where I would be without God’s mercy, love and grace in my life.
How about you, my friend? Can you see God’s hand on your life? Can you think of times when you knew beyond a shadow of doubt that God had taken care of you in a certain situation or life circumstance?
Peter writes in verse 11: “Dear friends, I urge you, as aliens and strangers in the world, to abstain from sinful desires, which war against your soul. Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us.”
Friend, when you commit your life to Jesus and walk with him, you become a stranger to this world. As long as you are in your body on this earth, living in this earth-cursed system, you will battle sinful desires. Peter writes that these “war against your soul.” But do not despair! Jesus gives us His Spirit to live within us, and the Spirit helps us to live Godly lives and stay away from sin.
Now maybe you have people in your life who criticize you and “accuse you of doing wrong.” This world is so backwards that wrong is considered right and right is considered wrong. Our enemy, the devil, has deceived many into believing these things. It is only when someone’s eyes are opened to the truth from God’s word and they turn to Jesus that they can see the difference.
But, look at the last part of that verse: “…they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us.” Friends, do not grow weary in doing good and living for Jesus. There is coming a day when He will return and those who are still rejecting and resisting him and are still blinded to the truth will finally see that truth!
Philippians 2:10-11 assures us that: “…at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”
God WILL be glorified, Jesus WILL be exalted, and we WILL be saved! Glory Halleluiah!
…I kneel before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name. I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. and I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge-that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.
~ Ephesians 3:14-19
David, young, handsome, simple shepherd. How is it that he was able to kill Goliath?
You’ve heard the story, yes? How all the Israelites cowered in fear toward this Philistine giant, Goliath. The bible says he stood six cubits and a span. That’s somewhere between 9′ and 11′ tall! For this 5’3″ gal, that’s pretty tall!!
Every day as they went to battle, this defiant giant who called out against them and the one true God, tormented and terrified them. They all retreated in fear and defeat. For 40 days they did this! I don’t know about you but cowering in defeat for 40 days is a long time. I hesitate to think that these Israelites ever thought they would win this battle against these Philistines as long as Goliath was around.
In response to Goliath’s bold statement, “This day I defy the armies of Israel! Give me a man and let us fight each other.” ~ I Samuel 17:10 …David stepped up to say, “Let no one lose heart on account of this Philistine; your servant will go and fight him.” ~ I Samuel 17:32
“Your servant has been keeping his father’s sheep. When a lion or a bear came and carried off a sheep from the flock, I went after it, struck it and rescued the sheep from its mouth. When it turned on me, I seized it by its hair, struck it and killed it. Your servant has killed both the lion and the bear; this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them, because he has defied the armies of the living God. The Lord who rescued me from the paw of the lion and the paw of the bear will rescue me from the hand of this Philistine.” ~ I Samuel 17:34-37
What in your life is your Goliath? The battle looming in front of you that seems like such a giant to you? Trust in the Lord your God, the maker of Heaven and Earth. Believe on the Lord Jesus and all that He did at Calvary for YOU. Then you can face any Goliath, any giant, any battle…and You Can Have Victory!
The Lord who rescued David from the paw of the lion and the paw of the bear…the Lord who rescured you from (fill in the blank from your life), will rescue YOU from the hand of this (fill in that thing that is still standing in your way of victory).
Believe it! Stand on it! Thank God for it! Then GO GET YOUR VICTORY!! Don’t let your Goliath keep you from it any longer.
In the quiet of each morning, as I’ve been seeking the Lord, reading devotionals, reading the Word, I am so encouraged to know that He is always there, He is always listening, and His plans for me are good…always good.
Friend, are you following hard after God today? Are you spending time with Him and reading His word? His truth will saturate your life, encourage you, envelope you with His strength and power to face every situation that comes your way.
1 Samuel 3:9b says, “Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening.” (NIV)
John 10:27 says, “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.” (ESV)
As we follow Jesus, we obey His words and carry on our lives in order to please and honor Him. Doing this will keep us close to Him and enable us to hear His voice clearly.
John 8:47a says, “Whoever belongs to God hears what God says.” (NIV)
Maybe you, like me, are waiting for some important answers from God. We can stand on His promise that He hears our prayers, He knows our hearts, and He knows our needs, and He will answer in His perfect timing.
Let us not grow weary in waiting on Him. Let us not forge ahead with our own ideas to try to solve our problems. But let us praise Him, thank Him, trust Him, knowing full well that He will bring good things our way in His perfect time.
Is it hard to wait? Sometimes it sure seems to be. But waiting for God’s best is ALWAYS worth the wait.
I love the book of Hebrews, and I love the word of God! Because the Word is a living, breathing book of truth, I can read it one day and get one truth, and then another day the Holy Spirit will reveal a new truth that I didn’t see before. So astounding! Today was a perfect example.
Reading in Hebrews 1:3, I was so encouraged by what it says: “The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and *the exact representation of his being*, sustaining all things by his powerful word.”
Wow, wow, wow!! Jesus, the Radiance of God’s Glory!! Praise His name!
Reading in Ephesians this morning about our adoption into the family of God through faith in Jesus Christ, I was struck by the word. Then I thought about all the wonderful families who adopt children who need a loving home. What a special love!
When I think about the love a man and woman has for the child they have adopted, the way they look at that child as their very own, the same as a biological child, I am reminded that God looks at us that way too!
Because of Jesus Christ, we are made righteous, justified, sanctified, and redeemed–out of the darkness of sin and into the fullness of the light of truth!
I began this study because it is going to take me through the New Testament books of Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians and Philemon. The Apostle Paul had much to say to these churches and fellow Christians, and we can learn much from his teaching too.