Saturday, March 19, 2022

March 19, 2022

My dogs love having a big yard. They can sniff and frolic without me becoming concerned with them getting hit by a car. Rudy, who loves to run, has never run so much in his entire life. As I'm following them around to watch them, I'm discovering treasures that thrill my heart, like the avocado tree that got a bit nipped by frost that’s sprouting new leaves. There are philodendrons with holes in the leaves, and the new growth is vibrant green. I'm finding countless crepe myrtle trees busting out. A giant wisteria is blooming, and the scent wafts through the air, delighting my senses. I live in a garden, and it makes my heart full. 

Don't get me wrong, it's not perfectly manicured and needs a lot of work. The point of today's story is that everything may not be perfect in your life, but look for things that are. It's nearing spring; there are plenty of good things to discover this time of year.

For as the earth brings forth its sprouts, and as a garden causes what is sown in it to sprout up, so the Lord GOD will cause righteousness and praise to sprout up before all the nations. Isaiah 61:11

Friday, March 18, 2022

March 18, 2022

I came across this bit of instruction that most of us have neglected in pursuit of evangelism. 

Everyone who goes on ahead and does not abide in the teaching of Christ, does not have God. Whoever abides in the teaching has both the Father and the Son. If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not receive him into your house or give him any greeting, for whoever greets him takes part in his wicked works. 2 John 1:9-11

This scripture sounds like we shouldn’t even be friendly to them, and if we are, we are participating in their evil deeds! This teaching reminds me of when my preacher invited a well-known speaker from a cult religion to speak in the pulpit on Sunday morning. It caused a bit of decent among our group of Bible students, which in turn, caused the preacher to kick us out of his church. The anger of this preacher welled up like the Incredible Hulk, and rather than help us understand his position, he lashed out at us. According to this, we were right in our disagreement with him.

Thursday, March 17, 2022

March 17, 2022

Today, I will complete the final cleaning of my home because our closing is on Tuesday. We have barely cleared out enough space for our belonging amongst my father-in-law's stuff, so my new home is chaotic. Glimmers of hope lie around every corner as we systematically handle the issues that have come to light because of his passing. I would say that chaos is a picture of our lives right now, but God is sustaining us. 

One of my goals, set by the Holy Spirit, is to encourage people to rid themselves of bondages from their history. Fear, trauma, unbelief, and rejection are encumbrances we must get past to have freedom in Christ. Freedom is not a one-and-done process; it's systematic, like our family sorting through issues and belongings. We may not be the ones who created the problems, but we are responsible for dealing with them. You must take control of your thoughts one by one with the help of the Holy Spirit; it's an excellent way to gain complete freedom. 

For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith. 1 John 5:4

March 16, 2022

We have victory in Jesus! It almost makes me sad to conclude Revelation; the blessings I’ve received from this study are overwhelming and have changed my perspective on what the future holds. I don’t know how many times he must tell us that he will bring justice and repay the wicked for what they have done before we take him at his word, but it’s coming soon because he’s on his way! I suppose that if we look back at Job, we might see the similarities in what God has planned. Like Job, we are beaten down and overrun by the forces of evil. Still, God’s plan will bring about compensation, and we will flourish beyond what we can hope or imagine. 

Let the evildoer still do evil, and the filthy still be filthy, and the righteous still do right, and the holy still be holy.” “Behold, I am coming soon, bringing my recompense with me, to repay each one for what he has done. Revelation 22:11-1

Tuesday, March 15, 2022

March 15, 2022

What makes a city a city? Streets? Tall buildings? No, it’s the people. However, God shows us a beautiful city with streets of gold with jeweled gates that are never closed, but the best part is that no evil will be allowed in; it will be full of love and the glory of God’s presence. When do we get to the point that we long for his presence rather than his presents? It has taken me a long time, but I think I may be there. All the beautiful things I’ve collected over my years seem excessive, and I feel like ridding myself of the abundance. Maybe that’s it; he wants us to strip ourselves of the need for physical possessions and become content with him. Then, we will overflow with joy at the thought of him and become overwhelmed with the unimaginable beauty as he describes in Revelation 21, the new Jerusalem, beauty for our eyes to behold, and the radiance of our Lord shining on us forever. 

And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” Revelation 21:3-4

Monday, March 14, 2022

March 14, 2022

After the thousand years of peace, somewhere between Revelation 20 and 21 is when we are taken into heaven or raptured. It doesn't specifically say; however, Revelation 21:2 says this: 

"And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband."

I've read this verse quite a few times, but until today, I pictured heaven and earth connected by a city, but that's not what it says. The new Jerusalem is us, God's holy people, the bride of Jesus! To be coming out of heaven, somehow, we had to get there. Now, if you inject the picture of Paul's account in 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18, the vision becomes more apparent. If you have time, read this whole section in your Bible.

Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord. 1 Thessalonians 4:17

Revelation 19:17-18 also matches up to Jesus's account in Matthew 24:29-31; first tribulation and the death of the bad guys, then the vultures gather to eat.

"Wherever the corpse is, there the vultures will gather." Matthew 24:28

And he will send out his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other. Matthew 24:31

The timeline makes more sense to me now; I hope this clarifies it for you too. 

Sunday, March 13, 2022

March 13, 2022

No one can bring on justice like our Father in Heaven. If the mischievousness of man has hurt you, you don’t have anything to worry about, nor reason to seek revenge; there is nothing we can do to them that can compare to what they have coming. After the thousand years of peace on earth comes judgment; this is terrible news for those who lived a life of evil. God will open the books, and he will judge their evil deeds. The dead, those who died without Jesus, will come back to life and face him. They will die the second death in the lake of fire. 

And the sea gave up the dead who were in it, Death and Hades gave up the dead who were in them, and they were judged, each one of them, according to what they had done. Revelation 20:13

What comes next is exciting! God will create a new heaven, assuming it was sullied by the devil who was thrown to earth and create a new earth; there is no need for me to explain this one; we know how evil has destroyed the beauty it once had. For those crushed by what’s going on in the world, chin up! What God has in store for us is better than we can ever imagine. 

Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. Revelation 21:1