September 24 “Are you ready and watching?”

watching, looking, happy little girl three years old signing the sky

Mark 13.33, “Take heed, watch and pray; for you do not know when the time is.” While we don’t know when the Lord will return, many signs point to the fact that it could be soon. Are you ready and watching? Are you praying?

 

Today’s Readings:
Isaiah 39 & 40
Psalm 109.21-25
Proverbs 26.2
Galatians 2.1-21

 

Isaiah 39 & 40:

At least it’ll be good for me

Hezekiah made me think of some of our politicians. He has just been told that his actions are going to cost his children and grandchildren dearly. Look at his response. Isaiah 39:

5 Then Isaiah said to Hezekiah, “Hear the word of the LORD of hosts. 6 ‘Behold, the days are coming when all that is in your house, and what your fathers have accumulated until this day, shall be carried to Babylon; nothing shall be left,’ says the LORD. 7 ‘And they shall take away some of your sons who will descend from you, whom you will beget; and they shall be eunuchs in the palace of the king of Babylon.’”

8 So Hezekiah said to Isaiah, “The word of the LORD which you have spoken is good!” For he said, “At least there will be peace and truth in my days.”

mountains

 

He who weighs the mountains

Chapter 40 makes we wonder afresh if we really understand the awesomeness of God:

12 Who has measured the waters in the hollow of His hand,
Measured heaven with a span
And calculated the dust of the earth in a measure?
Weighed the mountains in scales
And the hills in a balance?
13 Who has directed the Spirit of the LORD,
Or as His counselor has taught Him?
14 With whom did He take counsel, and who instructed Him,
And taught Him in the path of justice?
Who taught Him knowledge,
And showed Him the way of understanding?

Though the Bible is not primarily a book about science, where it does speak of science or any other subject, it is truth! “It is He who sits above the circle of the earth …” (v. 22). He told us the earth was round long before science figured it out!

Although many theories laid out by sinful, unredeemed men contradict the Bible (remember it’s the theory of evolution), true science does not!

Outer space, night sky, stars, heavensChapter 40 goes on:

26 Lift up your eyes on high,
And see who has created these things,
Who brings out their host by number;
He calls them all by name,
By the greatness of His might
And the strength of His power;
Not one is missing.

Just look up! The heavens declare His majesty. The order and magnificence of the universe speaks of a Creator. The intricacies of the human body alone confirm to anyone who wants the truth that nothing happened by mere chance.

God is upholding everything! He “brings out their host by number; He calls them all by name.” The host—all the stars and planets and all the universes that exist, do so because He created them, He already knows just how many there are even as we continue to discover new ones. He has already named each one of them. Just as He declared what a set of pagan parents would name their son (King Cyrus) hundreds of years before, so He pre-ordained the name of each star and planet and solar system.

And if that’s not enough, it’s His power which holds each one in its place, “by the greatness of His might and the strength of His power; not one is missing.” But one day that will all change and the events going on in the world today point to the fact that it could happen anytime! Mark 13:

3 Now as He sat on the Mount of Olives opposite the temple, Peter, James, John, and Andrew asked Him privately, 4 “Tell us, when will these things be? And what will be the sign when all these things will be fulfilled?”

5 And Jesus, answering them, began to say. “Take heed that no one deceives you. 6 For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am He,’ and will deceive many. 7 But when you hear of wars and rumors of wars, do not be troubled; for such things must happen, but the end is not yet. 8 For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be earthquakes in various places, and there will be famines and troubles. These are the beginnings of sorrows.

Verses 21 and following:

21 “Then if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Christ!’ or, ‘Look, He is there!’ do not believe it. 22 For false christs and false prophets will rise and show signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. 23 But take heed; see, I have told you all things beforehand.

24 “But in those days, after that tribulation, the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; 25 the stars of heaven will fall, and the powers in the heavens will be shaken. 26 Then they will see the Son of Man coming in the clouds with great power and glory. 27 And then He will send His angels, and gather together His elect from the four winds, from the farthest part of earth to the farthest part of heaven.

28 “Now learn this parable from the fig tree. When its branch has already become tender, and puts forth leaves, you know that summer is near. 29 So you also, when you see these things happening, know that it is near—at the doors! 30 Assuredly, I say to you, this generation will by no means pass away till all these things take place. 31 Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away.

fig treeThe fig tree is the nation of Israel. Israel is God’s time clock in all of this. So as other nations continue to make threats and spew out lies against God’s people the Jews, we need to be watching, even though no one knows the exact time. Back to Mark 13:

32 “But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.

33 Take heed, watch and pray; for you do not know when the time is. 34 It is like a man going to a far country, who left his house and gave authority to his servants, and to each his work, and commanded the doorkeeper to watch. 35 Watch therefore, for you do not know when the master of the house is coming—in the evening, at midnight, at the crowing of the rooster, or in the morning— 36 lest, coming suddenly, he find you sleeping. 37 And what I say to you, I say to all. Watch!”

Are you ready and watching?

 

Psalm 109.21-25:

For His name’s sake

When that time comes, those of us who belong to Him can be thankful that He will deliver us:

“But You, O GOD the Lord, deal with me for Your name’s sake; because Your mercy is good, deliver me” (v. 21).

 

Proverbs 26.2:

The curse of sin

“Like a flitting sparrow, like a flying swallow, so a curse without cause shall not alight.”

Certainly, this can apply to the laws of sowing and reaping, but the world as a whole is under the curse of sin. One day it will be destroyed because of God’s righteous judgment. It will be replaced with a new heaven and a new earth (Rev. 21.1).

 

sky, sun, cloudsGalatians 2.1-21:

Justified by faith

But those of us who have been justified by faith (v. 16) will not be destroyed with it.

1 Thessalonians 4:

16 For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord. 18 Therefore comfort one another with these words.

We should be comforted by the fact that God is in control of everything and that those who belong to Him will not be destroyed along with the earth. The best preparation we can take is not climate control (no matter what they say about “global warming”), but the preparation of our hearts.

But let’s not be like Hezekiah in the spiritual sense, thinking we won’t be around to worry about all this, let’s share the Gospel with others. After all, wasn’t that the very thing Jesus commanded us to do (Matt. 28.19-20)!

Let’s pray like the Apostle Paul in Ephesians 6.19-20:

“… that utterance may be given to me, that I may open my mouth boldly to make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains; that in it I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.”

Blessings,
Donna

 

Featured resources on Kindle or in books:

 

The Prophecy Answer Book

There are 1,000 prophecies in the Bible so it’s natural to wonder, have any prophecies been fulfilled? Do they really explain the future? Can we really know what will happen at the end of time? In succinct and clear answers to most frequently asked questions, Dr. Jeremiah decodes and clarifies prophecy for the average person. He explains in simple lay terms what could otherwise be mysterious and even frightening, allowing readers to gain a balanced and assuring perspective of the significance of prophetic events to
their personal lives as believers in Christ. He also helps readers understand how prophecy is directly related to world events today.

What in the World is Going On?: 10 Prophetic Clues You Cannot Afford to Ignore

The Bible has much to say about the end times. Yet it is hard to piece together all that information in a way that gives a comprehensive picture of what that time period will look like. That’s why so many theories abound. And that’s why Dr. David Jeremiah has written What In the World Is Going On?, a unique book that cuts through the hundreds of books and numerous theories to identify the essential 10 most important bible prophecies. There is no other prophecy book like this. You’ll find it the ultimate study tool for understanding the future. And this book will also motivate readers to live a more holy life and make greater efforts in evangelism. If bible prophecy as always been a mystery to you, Dr. Jeremiah’s book will help you solve the mystery. At last, bible prophecy can make sense, and make a difference. Bible prophecy does not have to be confusing. What In the World Is Going On? is shocking and eye-opening but essential reading in a world of confusing theories.

Becoming a Contagious Christian

Evangelism doesn’t have to be frustrating or intimidating. Bill Hybels and Mark Mittelberg believe that effectively communicating our faith in Christ should be the most natural thing in the world. We just need encouragement and direction. In Becoming a Contagious Christian, Hybels and Mittelberg articulate the central principles that have helped the believers at Willow Creek Community Church become a church known around the world for its outstanding outreach to unchurched people. Based on the words of Jesus and flowing from the firsthand experiences of the authors, Becoming a Contagious Christian is a groundbreaking, personalized approach to relational evangelism. You will discover your own natural evangelism style, how to develop a contagious Christian character, to build spiritually strategic relationships, to direct conversations toward matters of faith, and to share biblical truths in everyday language. This landmark book presents a blueprint for starting a spiritual epidemic of hope and enthusiasm for spreading the Gospel.

 

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