The end of America?

So what is going on? Some wonder if the end of the world is coming by what is happening in America lately.  Don’t be surprised.

The Bible’s view of end times worldliness is explained in less than glowing terms… “wars and rumors of wars, lawlessness, children’s disobedience to parents, being lovers of selves and eschewing God…” While these end time signs have been here for a long time, there is no mistaking the escalation of a lawless society. God says these are only the beginning of the “birth pangs.” He says these things must come.

While we watch rallies and marches for those in the struggle of their  civil rights choosing–whether it’s racial, gender related, sexual orientation, or women’s rights–there’s always a struggle, right? The stain of slavery now affords everyone the opportunity to cry for their own “civil” rights. Though what takes place is no longer civil. The mayhem that ensues is turning  into war.

While America values free speech in our Constitution, there are those who wish to shut it down. While progressive liberal political correctness  has allowed this censorship to thrive while calling out truth as hate speech, our society is slowly giving rise to something that America has never stood for.  Progressivism.

Progressivism is on the march, and, so far, America is the last holdout. A globalist’s dream of a new world order dominated by a few elitists is what is driving this movement where the government grows to be in charge of everything in our lives. This is called socialism. President Trump is the last stop gap measure to preventing this, and that is why he is hated. It’s not his tweets or his hair or his disdain for what he feels is fake news. It’s not his money or his uncensored tongue. It’s his policies to keep America alive. His leadership is getting in the way. So is the U.S. Constitution.

There are enemies of America who are doing everything they can to undermine his efforts. They used to be hidden, like wolves in sheep’s clothing. Now they are seen for who they truly are. They want America to die by a thousand cuts. They are the enemies from within. Scary, right?

Don’t be frightened. God is still on the throne. He’s still got his eye on America and if his people will turn to him, change will come. For now, all those who walk with the Lord can continue to pray that souls will come to him. May they see that this world can offer them nothing. All of what they’re looking for… their civil rights and more… can be found in Jesus.

 

 

 

The soil of your heart

What type of soil do you have in your backyard garden? Rocky, clay, thorny? Any avid gardener can tell you there won’t be much of a harvest without the right kind of soil. Well-tended gardens produce the best results because the soil where seeds begin their growth needs to be fertilized, conditioned, and hydrated with nutrients. It’s a no brainer, right?

In the Parable of the Sower in Matthew 13: 3-9, Jesus describes the four types of soil representing the condition of people’s hearts when first hearing his word. Unfortunately, the seed of his word that falls by the wayside or in stony or thorny ground never receives the proper nourishment necessary for growth, and one’s spiritual garden suffers as a result. After a scorching sun or a blustery wind, the sprout withers or is uprooted at the first signs of stress.

Whether one plants seeds in an outdoor garden or in the soil of one’s heart, the same ingredients apply. In order to grow in sanctification as a Christian, the seed of the Word of God needs to reside in receptive, nourished soil. One where the Holy Spirit is alive and quickened and heard above the fray… one where the aim is to apply God’s principles and doctrines in an effort to “work out our salvation in fear and trembling” (Philippians 2:12)… and one where we desire to glorify God above self.

 

What path will you take?

When we walk with the Lord as David did, we can rest assured of our security and safety in this world. No other anchor is needed to keep a believer’s head above water than when we hold onto the blessed rock of our salvation, our savior, Jesus. The winds of defeat may blow and buffet while the everyday storms of life may threaten to take us down, but holding onto the Lord will be our refuge in times of trouble.

In Psalm 16, David seeks the Lord and flees to him for protection from the threats of Saul. “You are my Lord,” he says. “Apart from you, I have no good thing.” David’s desire to cling to the Lord through his adversity is an example for believers today. “I will set the Lord continually before me; because he is at my right hand, I will not be shaken.”

David, like all believers, knew that God was his security and would never leave him. When we walk with the Lord and place our trust in his hands, we can rest knowing that he’s got our backs. “Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices; my body also will rest secure because you will not abandon me to the grave (Sheol) nor will you let your holy one see decay.”

On earth, there will be trials but by abiding in God’s word, we will not fall into the pit of destruction nor will we be shaken with every wind of trouble. If we stay on the path he ordains, we can rest in knowing he’s there… guiding us every day… directing our steps and blessing our ways until the hour he wishes to take us home where our inheritance awaits.

Like David, we, too can say, “You have made known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.”

 

Going down with pride

As Christians who walk humbly with our God, we know our place here on earth is to be used by God as his instruments. Essentially, his hands and feet. Oftentimes, as did the disciples, the concern of “Who is doing the most good for God?” comes into play while a sense of pride and self-importance arises.

In Mark, some of Jesus’ disciples grumbled about who would have the place of honor of sitting on the right and left side of Jesus in glory, primarily, James and John, the sons of Zebedee (a.k.a. the Sons of Thunder). Their pride yearned for a higher place, that showy place of importance and greatness. Jesus replied to them that these positions were “for whom they have been prepared” and added in vs. 45, “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.”

Let’s face it, God cannot be impressed with anything we do. Even worse, he loathes when pride, one of the seven deadly sins, takes root and settles into an inflated view of our own self worth when taking an overly zealous stock in our accomplishments. When rulers or slave owners lord over their subjects with exalted power, God is not pleased and we are wise to remember that “pride goes before a fall.”

In God’s economy, it’s the more humble and self-effacing person on whom God smiles. In Philippians 2, we see that even Jesus did not seek the high places or to elevate himself but rather humbled himself to the point of death. Apostle Paul tells us that Jesus did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped but he lowered himself in taking the form of a bond servant and being made in the likeness of men… After that, God elevated him to bear the name above all names.

Being a servant is not an easy task in a world full of pride. It’s not glamorous or flashy. For the most part, the life of a servant is one of sometimes doing the lowly grunt work and not one that calls much attention to itself. It quietly and ardently works behind the scenes and does not care who is watching because the work is being done for the Lord. Oftentimes, the Lord’s servants are thrust into greatness or a prominent place not because they necessarily want it but because the Lord grants it. He honors them. The position is not for one’s own seeking of glory, honor or riches but rather just the opposite. Servanthood is best performed when we empty ourselves of self and put on Christ.

 

Building God’s Kingdom

We, as believers, are called to witness for Jesus Christ and to spread the good news that our sins are all paid. This message of redemption should be our focus every day as we set our sights on things above and fulfill our earthly purpose. As the scriptures say in Mark 16:15, Jesus tells his disciples to “go into all the world and preach the Gospel to every creature.” What a great calling we have!

Psalm 96:3 says, “Declare His glory among the nations, His wonders among all peoples.” This should be a natural extension of someone who loves the Lord. We talk about our earthly possessions, gifts, and joys with pride and gratitude, yet the Lord is responsible for every one of those blessings! As the Lord’s beloved, our hearts should overflow with love for Jesus and we should be ready to give an account for the joy with which He’s blessed us. If not for Him, we would not have fellowship with God, the Father.

Building God’s kingdom is important because it’s our calling and also because God’s kingdom is the only one that will survive throughout eternity. While men work to build their own kingdoms on earth of self, status, power and money, all of these things will be gone one day. Only God’s kingdom will stand, and we will be there to be a part of it.

We have the Good News of Jesus Christ. The Bible tells us His return is imminent. Let’s utilize everything in our power to reach as many as possible and tell them of what Jesus has done for them.