Saturday, December 19, 2020

December 19

My husband and I got new bicycles. These aren’t just any old bikes; they are e-bikes, electric, battery-powered, and can excel to 25 miles per hour! We began seeing them a while back on Little Gasparilla's beaches and realized that they might be something fun to experience, so as a Christmas gift to ourselves, we purchased two of them. Oh my! They are so much fun! The air right now is a little crisp to be powering through it, but we forgot about the cold chill the moment we began to pedal, or not; it’s not necessary to pedal! We expect to have endless fun on our new Christmas gift and may never ride a regular bicycle again.

You can compare this experience to having access to the Holy Spirit. On the regular bicycle, you must push forward to propel yourself; it can be exhausting and challenging on the body and not as much fun; it’s like living without the Holy Spirit. Once you try the electric bicycle or e-bike, it’s like having the Holy Spirit; everything changes, life is no longer boring, you are propelled forward by a force that is beyond anything you could imagine, and your purpose in life becomes more apparent. Jesus gave us the Holy Spirit as a gift; someone to help us stay connected to him, and if appropriately accessed, he will propel us forward at lightning-fast speeds; we only need to trust in his power.

And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you. “I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. John 14:16-18

Friday, December 18, 2020

December 18

Jesus was not passive! When he describes himself in a parable as a ruler, he denotes that he is a severe man, taking what he did not deposit and reaping what he did not sow. Not only that, but he expects us, his servants, to conduct business until he comes back. Jesus is in the business of people and wants our help to bring them to salvation. He knows he has enemies that hate him, but what he describes as being done to them is something we don’t think about, and it’s quite disturbing. If we love our fellow humans and don’t want to see them slaughtered, then we need to get busy and use whatever ability we have to tell others how to become saved. Those who do nothing will face the same condemnation! The business of Jesus is not a game! When he commanded us to go into the world and make disciples of all nations, you better believe he means business. I’m not telling you this to frighten you, and your part may be small, but some of you are supposed to play a more significant role and need to engage. Go and read this parable in Luke 19:11-27, and decide which one you are, and pray you’re not the third one; however, if you are the third one, it’s not too late to start investing.

‘I tell you that to everyone who has, more will be given, but from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away. But as for these enemies of mine, who did not want me to reign over them, bring them here and slaughter them before me.’” Luke 19:26-27

Thursday, December 17, 2020

December 17

I’ve gone before judges more than I’ve ever wanted, but in most cases, I’ve been vindicated, but not every judge is good. I have friends whose son was given a raw deal and ended up in prison; the judge was unrighteous and thought he was ruining this young man's life, but he didn’t; he grew closer to God while there. God always wins. Because our judicial system seems to be failing, I make it a point to investigate every judge that asks for my vote; it’s a lot of work because they don’t want you to know where they stand on critical issues, so they hide their bias. Never skip that part of your ballot so that we don’t end up standing before unfair judges. 

The one thing we can count on is that God is a righteous judge, and he sees what’s going on. I know everyone is crying foul right now, but know this, we WILL be vindicated! We are the elect, and Jesus promises justice for us.

And will not God give justice to his elect, who cry to him day and night? Will he delay long over them? I tell you, he will give justice to them speedily. Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?” Luke 18:7-8

Wednesday, December 16, 2020

December 16

Did you know that most birds of prey look behind them before they attack? Not the eagle! They hone in, never looking back. The bald eagle, which we have here in the United States, is known to carry the heaviest load; interesting, isn’t it? The Word of God is incredible! It can easily be understood on the surface, with the Holy Spirit's help, but its meaning can be quite deep, and a greater understanding of the symbolism is required. Explaining it might be difficult, but I’m going to try.

In Luke 17, a Pharisee asks Jesus when the kingdom of God would come, and he explained that you wouldn’t see it coming and that it’s already here. Further, into the text, he explains it to be like in Noah’s day, everyone going about as if nothing were happening. Then Jesus says it will be like Lot’s day, when he was leaving Sodom and Gomorrah, God told them not to look back! However, his wife did, and she became an example for all to see. 

When we accept Jesus as our Savior, we are not to look back and long for the mortal life that we left behind. We are to be like eagles, warriors charging forth, slicing through the air and the plans of the enemy, leaving our dead bodies behind. I think the key to this scripture is that we leave our own mortal bodies behind. Any Bible scholars who want to challenge my thoughts on this subject, please chime in, but I feel like I understand this portion of scripture better than ever before. Is this scripture really about the rapture, or is it about leaving our former way of life? Food for thought. 

Remember Lot's wife. Whosoever shall seek to save his life shall lose it; and whosoever shall lose his life shall preserve it. I tell you, in that night there shall be two men in one bed; the one shall be taken, and the other shall be left. 37  And they answered and said unto him, Where, Lord? And he said unto them, Wheresoever the body is, thither will the eagles be gathered together. Luke 17:32-34 & 37 KJV

Tuesday, December 15, 2020

December 15

God is not a genie in a bottle, but he does answer our prayers and knows our desires even if we don’t vocalize them. For years my daughters and I have been going to the Henry B. Plant Museum during their Victorian Christmas Stroll. It’s not a big deal, but it’s something nice we do as a tradition. In one portion of the museum, there is a beautiful staircase, and I’ve always wondered what was at the top of it; the museum has it blocked off so you can’t use it. This year I went twice, first with one of my daughters, and yesterday with my mother, who had never been. We wanted to explore a little more, and because the school is being taught virtually, there were no students; the old Henry B. Plant Hotel that houses the museum is home to the University of Tampa. A nice gentleman who works for the museum told us that we could go through any open door, so that’s what we did. We perused through four levels of this five-level hotel made into a university, and to my surprise, we got to see what was above the beautiful staircase in the museum. It wasn’t what I expected; I was hoping for old dusty relics from a bygone era, but no, it was just more classrooms and offices. I’m happy though, I’ve had my curiosity quenched, and I’m grateful that God heard my request and answered my prayer.

God hears our cries for help; he knows our hearts and our desire for good to prevail. I don’t know what will become of this current chaos, but know this; God can change evil into good; wait for it. 

And he said to his disciples, “Temptations to sin are sure to come, but woe to the one through whom they come! It would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck and he were cast into the sea than that he should cause one of these little ones to sin. Luke 17:1-2

Monday, December 14, 2020

December 14

I can’t tell you how important it is to work out your faith now. Many people are reading my posts, who are BINO (believers in name only), and need to work out their unbelief with fear and trembling. These people think they are safe, but they are no better than the Pharisees who killed the prophets of old, praising Jesus with their mouth, but living a life opposite of a true believer. 

Things in this world are rapidly changing, and tomorrow is not promised. Do not live your life for someone else! Do not base your beliefs on someone else’s experience with the “church.” They will not be there to help you when you pass from this life to eternity. Ultimately, what happens to you in the afterworld is up to you alone. If your family passed on and ended up in hell, is that where you want to go? 

There is a story in Luke 16 that Jesus tells about a rich man who ended up in hell and a poor man who had also died but ended up in heaven. He used to lay at the rich man's gate and desired to be fed with what fell from his table. He asked Abraham if Lazarus could go back from the dead and warn his brothers to change their ways, so they didn’t end up where he was, in a dry and hot place, but Abraham told him that it wasn’t allowed. 

When you die, you die alone unless you have Jesus, and he will judge everything you did. One of the differences between a Christ-follower and one who rejects him is their eternal resting place, either with Jesus or separated from him. Ask God if you are truly saved, and listen carefully to what he says; then repent, accept Jesus, and turn away from sin. 

He said to him, ‘If they do not hear Moses and the Prophets, neither will they be convinced if someone should rise from the dead.’”  Luke 16:31

Sunday, December 13, 2020

December 13

Not everyone knows who God is; some have their eyes hidden to whom God has not revealed himself. What’s unique about that is, he chose to reveal himself to you; that’s why you know him. 

Every year I use the same ornaments to decorate my Christmas tree; I might buy a couple of new ones because I like to collect them. This year I decorated two homes, so I divided my decorations and brought all my beachy ornaments to the beach along with three small tinsel trees that I usually put in the dining room. I’ve never decorated them because they are pretty by themselves, but since they will be my only trees at the beach, I decided to decorate them. To my surprise, the ornaments that I’ve always used, which seemed to disappear on my green tree, suddenly popped and are more beautiful than I ever imagined. Seeing them against the backdrop of the tinsel trees changed them and uncovered their beauty. 

God is like my ornaments hidden in the green tree; he has always been there but hidden in plain sight, and only revealed when he decides to open your eyes to see his magnificence. I hope you feel incredibly blessed; not everyone gets the privilege of knowing God; he chose you, and that’s an incredible honor.

Then turning to the disciples he said privately, “Blessed are the eyes that see what you see! For I tell you that many prophets and kings desired to see what you see, and did not see it, and to hear what you hear, and did not hear it.” Luke 10:23-24