A time for everything

In the wise words of Solomon, he tells us in the third chapter of the book of Ecclesiastes:

“To everything there is a season and a time to every purpose under the heaven… A time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot, a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build, a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance, a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them…”

Through God’s infinite grace, we are given time on this earth. Rather than cutting off life or shutting down the world at the first sin of Adam and Eve, God graciously extended his hand outside the Garden to take care of them, despite their rejecting his command. He gave them time.

Generations later, God is still on the throne and watching from above the souls he’s created. For those who’ve come to know him personally—the days, weeks, months, and years he’s allotted—we now understand are given to us to do His will. Our time is lent to prioritize and utilize constructively, remembering always the days are fleeting, and what’s not done to glorify Him is time wasted.

When a creature is found dead in the forest, it calls to mind the circle of life. Sadly, time ran out for the creature, but now its offspring—newly born—have life. The creature’s purpose has been fulfilled. We, too, have purpose. While we know our days are numbered here on earth, in the time allotted to each of us, may we always say as with the Psalmist, “This is the day that the Lord has made. We will rejoice and be glad in it” – Psalm 118:24.

Finding peace in chaos

Peace is something we all need. While it is eagerly sought by everyone through various means, there is only one sure way to find the real thing—that which sustains through the worst of the worse. We won’t find it in the world; the world cannot offer the kind of peace we need.  Theirs is only a knock-off.  Real peace is found in the everlasting protective arms of Jesus.

Peace is when we are reconciled to God through the saving knowledge and belief in Jesus Christ. We now have access to fellowship with the father who sits on the throne. And when we face trials and temptations that serve to take away our peace, the Lord grants us “a peace that surpasses all understanding.”

The Lord tells us that in this world we will have trials. In all degrees, this is what the world, through sin, has become—a cauldron of unrest—for everyone. Of course, there are good days and bad, but what’s good about it is that the Lord also instructs us to not focus on the bad but cling to what is good… and that “all things work together for good to those who love God and are called according to His purpose.” – Romans 8:28.


 What would it take for you to walk away from God? Is there a line you wouldn’t cross to deny your Savior or break fellowship?  We may think that kind of pressure couldn’t happen in the United States, but there may come a time when your allegiance to God is challenged.

So far, we are still free in America to worship and pray to God, but for the Jews in sixth century Babylon, it was forbidden for a time. After they were taken away from their homeland in the Diaspora and made to live under foreign rule in captivity, an edict came down from King Darius that prayers were not to go to anyone but him for 30 days. Despite the forbiddance from the king, the prophet Daniel continued to devote himself to prayer to his Lord. And we all know what happened next…

Thrown to the lion’s, Daniel and his story describe a man of immense spiritual strength. He was sent to the den because he prayed to the Almighty God. He didn’t bend or sway to the king, nor did he fall away for fear of wild animals. In Daniel 1:8: “He purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself or commit a blatant act of wickedness such as worshiping a false god.” His story is akin to Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego in the fiery furnace where they were cast for their devotion to the Lord by not bowing down to the image of King Nebuchadnezzar.

In both stories we learn that the jealousy of the non-Jews toward those who wished to honor God ultimately led them to near-death events. In both situations, the intended result was thwarted. Both in the lion’s den as well as the hot oven, the Jewish men overcame their enemies and were delivered by the hand of God. What’s even more interesting is that God changed the hearts of the kings who ordered them to suffer. By not compromising their faith, the greatness of God shone forth and his name was magnified.



Beginning of the End…

Many would say we are in the end times. Daily, we see the moral corruption of our society as it wanes further into darkness. Just a few of hours of evening TV will point to our culture as revering sex, drugs, greed, and rebellion as something to be celebrated. How much more proof do we need to see that the American culture is pushing God out and embracing the evil one? We’ve moved from revering God to where false idols are the new role model. Where we once embraced morals and good conduct, now, what is right is called wrong and wrong is right.

As we earnestly seek the return of our Lord Jesus to earth, the Bible tells us we will not know the day or the hour of his coming back. However, in the 24th chapter of Matthew, there are signs to watch for that signal the time is approaching.

Matthew 24:6-8: “You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come.  Nation will rise against nation and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places.  All these are the beginning of birth pains.”

Second Timothy, chapter three says, “This we know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, traitors, heady, high-minded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God.” 

Increasing famines, natural disasters, and persecution of Christians are on the rise. But as the word says, do not be alarmed. The social fabric of society may be coming apart at the seams, but remember that in the midst of the chaos, our God is near. Just as in the times of Noah, God provided a way of escape for him and his family. So, too, we have a way of escape from the judgment to come through our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

How do we love?

Romantic songs often speak of love and claim how easy it is to become swept up in the lyrics. It’s also easy to love those who love us back. But this kind of love is superficial and pales in comparison to the kind of love the Lord displays toward us. Humanistic love usually has something attached to it, whether it’s feelings or something else. The Lord loves unconditionally.

The Bible speaks of several types of love. In the original Greek, there is eros (erotic) and philios (brotherly); some lesser known types are philautia (self-love), mania (excessive love), and storge (familiar love). Real love in action comes out of a will to love—not necessarily for what we can receive in return. This is called agape love.

In Ephesians 4:2, we are instructed “to be humble and gentle… patient, bearing with one another in love.” First Peter 4:8 says, “Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.”

Let’s be totally frank. Some people are difficult to love. So how do we manage to fulfill our Godly command to love others when sometimes we’d rather not? That’s when we make the choice to yield to the Holy Spirit and “put on Christ.” Loving people in our own strength can often fail. But with Christ, “we can do all things…”

As we serve God and make his name known, the only way to fulfill our purpose is to love people as God would. As we serve him, seek the lost, and share the love of Christ with our brethren, we demonstrate his love at work. The only way to truly love is without reservation and without strings.

John 15:12: “My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.”