December 10, 2013
I had almost decided to only send out Christmas cards this month, but my heart is stirring, and I want to stir yours also. Jesus is indeed the reason for this season! This month as we celebrate His first coming as Shepherd and Sacrifice, let us also look to His second coming as King and Judge! As we give gifts to our loved ones, we remember He is our greatest gift. As we sing songs of praise and worship, we look to the day when every knee will bow and every tongue will confess—Jesus is Lord! Philippians 2:9-11.
Throughout the Old Testament there are prophesies of the first coming of Jesus. The most familiar are—born in Bethlehem, of the lineage of David, and by a virgin. These have all been fulfilled by His first coming. Just as these prophesies came to be, prophesies of His second coming are just as valid. Jesus Himself said in John 14:28, if I go away, I will come again. We as Christians are to be alert as we await this second coming. As we listen to Holy Spirit, we can sense this season as it approaches. Just as the wise men followed the heavenly star to find the child, Jesus, the world will be able to see other heavenly phenomenon that will point to His soon return. Over the coming months there will be four blood moons with a solar eclipse in the middle. While this type of phenomenon has occurred in the past, it has rarely occurred on Jewish festival days as it will this time. It did happen this way in 1492 when Jews were cast out of Spain and Columbus opened the way to our land. It occurred again in 1948, and you will remember this is when Israel got back their land. It also occurred in 1967 when Jerusalem was restored as capital of Israel. You must admit when these events happened in the natural world, something important happened in the spiritual world. This time when we see these heavenly events, it will also be a Sabbath year on the Jewish calendar. If you have studied your Bible at all, this information should stir your very being! I checked NASA’s website, and they cannot predict when these events will occur in the future. Friend, something big is about to happen!
My challenge to you this month is to make sure you have moved from spiritual death into spiritual life. We are living in exciting times, but we must not be like the people in the days of Noah, just busy with living life. We should look into the Word of God and begin to see our future. And remember—Jesus is coming soon!
November 11, 2013
I was studying repentance in 2 Peter 3 and 2 Timothy 2 when I was directed to the book of Jude, a little book located right before Revelation in the New Testament. I am still not sure why I keep going back to this book, but I will continue to read it until God shows me what I am to learn there. Sometimes when I study, the words in the Bible seems to stand up off the page, and other times, I just have a glimpse of something I desire to see. So, I keep looking.
While there are many good challenges to Christians in the book of Jude, the basic message is a warning about false teachers creeping into the church. It happened back in Bible days, and it happens today. We must know what we believe and why we believe it if we are to keep ourselves from these false teachers. We are so conditioned to “sin” in the world that we are not even alarmed when we see it in the church. Movies, television, and modern music tell us sin is to be laughed at, sin is to be tolerated, sin is to be accepted, all because of the Grace of God.
Many say God has provided forgiveness of our sins so our sin does not matter, but this is a perversion of the truth as taught in holy scriptures. If you want to know the truth about love, relationships, marriage, children, and finances, you must look into the Word of God. It is there that you will find truth that will displace what the world has embedded in your mind. To sum up verses 20-23, use your faith to grow; pray with Holy Spirit’s help; stay in love; show mercy to those who have doubts; rescue others by snatching them from the flames of judgment; and show mercy to others but do so with great caution, hating the sins that contaminate their lives.
My challenge to you this month is to read the book of Jude along with me. It is only 25 verses, but it speaks volumes to us today. I encourage you to check and see if you have allowed any false teachers to speak into your life. Check what you believe to see if it lines up with God’s Word. Make any necessary adjustments, and receive the freedom we have provided to us in Jesus. And remember—Jesus is coming soon!
October 22, 2013
I am continuing my study of the Kingdom of God, and I am so excited about the things I am learning. The more I learn, the more I see that I need to learn. But I am on my way to a greater understanding of how God operates. Sunday morning I asked God a question. When I got to church my pastor asked me a question, and the answer to my question to God, came right out of my own mouth! I just laugh at how God talks to me!
I want to talk to you today about a gift God has for you. 2 Peter 3:9 tells us The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. God is not willing that any would perish so He supplies us with what we need. Repentance is a gift that God has provided to us to keep us from perishing. 2 Timothy 2:25-26 In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves, if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth; and that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken
captive by him at his will. When we have repentance we acknowledge, or name, our sin. When we do this, we recover ourselves out of the devil’s snare (bondage). Another translation says, and that they will come to their senses and escape from the trap of the devil, who has taken them captive to do his will. What gets you out of satan’s trap (bondage)—repentance! The New Testament uses four words for repent, and they all include change. It includes the idea of turning from sin and turning to God; it includes the idea of feeling remorse; and it is realization of your need for God. There is power in the Grace gift of repentance. Even if you have been in bondage for decades, if you humble yourself before God and confess what you are doing is wrong, acknowledge it is wrong, and repent, then His power will come upon you and shatter every bondage that is on you.
My challenge to you this month is to allow God’s gift of repentance to flow through you. When you recover yourself from the snare of the devil, God’s power will shatter every bondage that has held you captive. And remember—Jesus is coming soon!
September 20, 2013
I hope you have missed reading my letters as much as I have missed writing them. My book, I Believe in You!, was mailed out in August, and it took all my time and energy this summer to get it done. For anyone on our mailing list that did not receive a copy, there is a reason. We may not have your current address. You may need prior approval. We may had made a mistake. The book is paperback, perfect bound, and is mailed directly from In Him Ministries.Back in the 1970′s, God led me into a study of the Kingdom of God. The key scripture regarding this study is Matthew 6:31-33. I did not know how to properly study my Bible in those days so I sought out information from my current pastor. Unfortunately, he didn’t have the answers that satisfied my soul, and I dropped my study. This summer the Lord began to lead me back to this scripture. I have learned so much, and I will try to share some of these things with you. The first thing He showed me is that our concept of time and His reality of time is different. I was looking at all the years I did not study this subject and feeling defeated. He showed me that He looked at me taking one step from the 70′s into the current day. A flow, with no lapse in time. Repentance and obedience puts you right with God in a moment. Another revelation is that we as Christians are not to think like the world thinks. We are not to think about what we are to eat, what we are to drink, or what we are to wear. This is what the world is thinking about, and we are not to think this. But you can’t empty your mind of these thoughts and not put something in its place. You have to replace these wrong thoughts with God’s thoughts. And this is the last thing I will share this month. God’s thoughts are to become our thoughts. Just as you read my letters to know my thoughts, you must read your Bible to know God’s thoughts. His thoughts are always right, will always be the answer we need, and never change. He never changes His word to go along with our culture, the law of the land, or our personal experiences. We are the ones that change, and I don’t know about you, but I welcome His changes in my life.
My challenge to you this month is to read this scripture for yourself and see what God begins to show you. Meditate on His words and allow them to flow through your mind. As they do, you will experience change. And remember—Jesus is coming soon!
May 29, 2013
I usually know beforehand what I am going to write in the monthly letter of encouragement that I send out. For the most part it is something that God has recently shown me, or a basic Biblical truth that I believe needs reinforcing, or as today, a verse that comes into my mind as I sit down to write. I teach others to follow the leading of the Holy Ghost so I also follow where He leads.
Malachi 3 is where the Lord has directed me today. You may want to read the entire chapter as I did. Verse 7 is calling for them, and us, to return to the Lord. (In the King James version it is written as LORD, meaning Jehovah or covenant keeper.) Verse 8 is telling them, and us, they have robbed Him. And verse 13, which came to my mind, reads – Your words have been stout against me, saith the LORD. Yet ye say, What have we spoken so much against thee? I looked in other translations to gain a better insight into what stout means, or meant in that day. I think the best words to describe it are—to say terrible things against God. Verse 16 goes on to tell us that the LORD hears our good words and makes a written record. In this day of increased weather disasters, perversions like we have never seen or heard, and leadership who do not have the character for their offices, we need to examine the basics. What we saying about different issues and what we saying about God is the question of the day. The insurance world calls weather calamities the acts of God. Perversions are explained by saying God made me this way. Leadership thinks God is just another political tool to be used when appropriate. But I look into the Bible to see what God says about Himself, and I am much comforted. Good, merciful, kind, a daddy making plans for me that will bring peace and satisfaction to my heart. Even God as judge makes me smile because the price for my sin has been paid so I don’t have to pay myself. He’s my daddy and I trust Him!
My challenge to you this month is to check yourself out. What are you saying about God when natural disasters hit? What are you saying about God when someone is hurt by the perversions in this world? What are you saying about God when leadership have fallen from the example they should be providing? In the midst of life as we know it, what are you saying about God? Only the good is being recorded. And remember—Jesus is coming soon!
April 25, 2013
I have been watching the news over the past days, and I find many people are troubled with all that is going on around the world, in particular in our own country. I have a friend who emailed me asking for scriptures to give to people who are in crisis. While there are many scriptures that can give help when facing trouble, most people do not have a foundational belief system that these scriptures can build upon. Without a foundation, the scripture will fall short when tested.
Build yourself an ark—these words have been ringing in my mind for days now. Just as Noah built an ark for himself and his family to survive what was coming, we need to build ourselves an ark for the days ahead of us. Noah had never seen rain, much less flooding, and we have never seen what the days ahead are sure to bring our way. To begin, our basic beliefs provide a sure foundation on which to build. God, the Father; Jesus, the Son; Holy Spirit living within you; the Bible, your manual for living life; prayer, your daily conversation; the armor, your personal protection on earth; the fruit of the Spirit, your confirmation of a life lived well—all of these must be firmly established as your foundation. Next, you should surround yourselves with others who believe as you do. The Bible tells us not to forsake the assembling of ourselves, Hebrews 10:25. While we have access to preaching and teaching on the internet, on DVDs, on CDs, and on television, there is an anointing that is missed when you are not in the atmosphere of your local church body. We all need someone to help us when we stumble or fall. The believers who surround you will add to your protection in times of trouble. When we have our foundation sure and our surrounding protection, we can have confidence in the blood of Jesus as our covering. His blood provides all we need as a distinct separation from the evil one and his low level devils. Revelation 12:11—they overcame him [the devil] by the blood of the Lamb. A foundation, a surrounding, and a covering is your ark!
My challenge to you this month is to begin to build your own ark. Do you have a sure foundation, do you have your safe surrounding, and do you have the covering of the blood of Jesus? All questions that only you can answer. Tests, trials, and tribulations will surely come your way so it is up to you to make sure you are protected. Build yourself an ark! And remember—Jesus is coming soon!
March 22, 2013
I have been studying the feasts, or holy days, this month in preparation for what we call Easter. I find that each of the spring feasts has been fulfilled in the first coming of Jesus. It is amazing to think how orderly God is, how specific He is in His planning and in His directions. It is just another side of God that many don’t know. Some know His judgment, some know His love, some know His miracles, but we should remember He does things in order.
We read of the children of Israel leaving Egypt in the book of Exodus. It is a long story that I won’t repeat here, but it would be worth another look this month in particular. In their Passover a lamb was slain and the blood was applied to each doorway so they would be spared death. Jesus, the Lamb of God, was slain and His blood was presented in the Holy of Holies to spare us death. In the Feast of Unleavened Bread, households were swept clean of leaven, a representation of sin. Jesus descended into hell to make payment for our sins once and for all. The Feast of the First Fruits was a celebration of presenting the first of the harvest to the Lord. Jesus went from being the only begotten Son of God to being the First Born of many brethren, the greatest of harvests. And finally, Pentecost, the day celebrated for God giving the written law to Moses. For believers it is the day the Holy Ghost came down and wrote God’s words upon our hearts, 2 Corinthians 3:3. This is a brief summary from what I have studied. It would be impossible for me to go into more detail in this limited space, but I wanted to share what I could because these events are exciting to think about. Just as the spring feasts have been fulfilled in the first coming of Jesus, we now look toward the fall feasts to see the fulfillment of His second coming.
My challenge to you this month is to begin your own study of these events and see how the Lord reveals them to you. We have much to look forward to so we should live life knowing what feast is being fulfilled and having our destination in clear view. And remember—Jesus is coming soon!
February 25, 2013
I had an extra special Valentine’s Day this year, one that I will always remember. I held my mother’s hand as she took her last two breaths, and she moved on to heaven. I am thankful that all was as she desired – she was at home, she was in no pain, and she was not alone. God is good to us even in physical death.Over the past three months I have been thinking much about heaven. I have read books written by those who have experienced physical death, and have returned to tell about it. I have read books written by men and women of God explaining their views of heaven. But mostly, I have read the Bible, God’s word given to instruct, guide, and comfort us. It is there that I have found what I have needed for these difficult days. Difficult because I have never walked this way before. Difficult because I was not always sure of my decisions. Difficult because I realized my mama was leaving me. At each point God’s word was there to strengthen me for the day, like manna that the children of Israel received while in the desert – given as needed. I read in Genesis 1 that God never meant for man to physically die. What I was watching happen to my mother was not the will of God. I read in John 14:2-3 that Jesus had prepared a place for my mother and that she would be with Him there. God had already made preparation for her move from earth to heaven. I read in Revelation 21:4 that there is coming a day when God will wipe away all tears, and there will be no more death, no more sorrow, no more crying, and no more pain. Oh, what a day that will be!
My challenge to you this month is to check yourself to see what you believe about heaven, and what is the basis of that belief—where’s the scripture, Romans 4:3? Christians are called believers so we should always be ready to give an account of our beliefs. The Bible is the place to receive the information we need in order to live life and in order to be assured we will make heaven. And remember—Jesus is coming soon!
January 10, 2013
I am so thankful for this past year of study that the Lord provided for me. I have learned so many things that I did not know before. I now know why there is so much sexual sin in the world. I now know why so many Christians are living connected to the devil. I now know how to increase in my ability to live a godly life. I now know why Jesus came to earth (may not be what you are thinking.) I learned all these things in my study of the Word of God this past year.
2 Timothy 2:15 tells us to study to show ourselves approved, rightly dividing the word of truth. We have many misconceptions of what the Bible teaches. This is due to not reading the Bible ourselves, or accepting what we hear in a song, see in a movie, or read in a novel. We say Adam and Eve ate an apple, but nowhere in the Bible does it say this. Many hymns are our old favorites, just unscriptural. We watch a Christmas program with the manger scene showing wise men along with shepherds. The Bible clearly says the wise men came into the house to see the young child. There are movies where angels have come down to earth, and they regret going back to the heavens. How ridiculous that earth, cursed as it is, would be better than the heavenlies where there is no sickness, no death, no pain and no tears! Novels about Jesus being married and living a natural life are the foolishness of mankind. This was not God’s plan for His life, and it has no scriptural basis. We must read and study the Bible ourselves.
My challenge to you this month is to review what you believe and find the basis for your beliefs. If they are scriptural, good! If they are not, then plunge into the Bible and find the correction that you need. All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness that the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works, 2 Timothy 3:16-17. And remember—Jesus is coming soon!