The Final Word

Scripture: Revelation 22:

20He who testifies to these things says, "Yes, I am coming soon."
      Amen. Come, Lord Jesus.

21The grace of the Lord Jesus be with God’s people. Amen.

Revelation 19,20,21,22 – Passage Lookup – New International Version – BibleGateway.com

Observation:  The final word in the story of all existence and the whole of the universe belongs to God.

Application:  It is the final day of the year and there seems like this day like so many others will not have enough hours to do all the things I need to do, little less the things I’d like to do today.  As I look at this scripture today I think about having the last word in a conversation, or an argument.  Some people find it impossible to resist the urge to get the last word in.  This is the message for today.  You may think you’ve got the last word on faith, you may think you know all you need to know about God, your soul, life and death and many other things.  But God will have the final word, He is the creator and He was there as the first atom of matter came into existence, and He will be there in the end when this earth passes away and there is a new beginning for us.

Yes, I am coming soon.  Thank you God!   Amen

Prayer: Alpha and Omega,

Thank you for securing for yourself the final word in my life.

Love Michael

When You Least Expect It

Scripture: Revelation 16:

15"Behold, I come like a thief! Blessed is he who stays awake and keeps his clothes with him, so that he may not go naked and be shamefully exposed."

Revelation 15,16,17,18 – Passage Lookup – New International Version – BibleGateway.com

Observation: It is an urgent and important matter to be prepared to meet God.

Application: Yesterday was a very busy day for me, and As I lay down to sleep last night, I thought about all the different things that had happened.  I was going to sleep in a far different place than where I woke up and I had covered quite a bit of ground.  But you know, we try to fit so much into our lives that often we feel like we just need more time in the day.  I suppose it is the nature of our society. 

One of the downfalls to our modern lifestyle is the fact that we are so busy with every little detail which seems to be so urgent that we often overlook things of great importance.  There is nothing more important than your soul, and being prepared to face God is the prime directive of this life.  Whether the second coming of Christ is now, tomorrow or a thousand years from now is irrelevant in the equation because you could be standing before Him before you reach the end of THIS day. 

I’m not trying to bring you down by making you think about your mortality today, but rather I want to lift you up with the blessed assurance of your salvation!  If you are not ready, NOW is the time to get ready.  And it’s so easy!  You can be prepared for that time that sneaks up on many like a thief. 

If you don’t think you would be ready to stand before God right now – take five mins more and visit this link.   Need God

Prayer: Father Almighty,

Help me to always be prepared to meet you.

Love Michael

Your Deeds Follow You

Scripture: Revelation 14:

13Then I heard a voice from heaven say, "Write: Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on."
      "Yes," says the Spirit, "they will rest from their labor, for their deeds will follow them."

Revelation 10,11,12,13,14 – Passage Lookup – New International Version – BibleGateway.com

Observation: Although we are not saved by good deeds, we are rewarded for them.

Application: We recently talked about this on a Sunday night study at church, what are our rewards?  We are rewarded for our good deeds by being given crowns in heaven, Jesus spoke of treasures, and places in heaven that were to be prepared for us.  We are told that when we meet Jesus in heaven that he will say "Well done good and faithful servant."  That statement would imply that Jesus is talking about things we have actually done. 

Doing good deeds won’t get you to heaven.  You can’t do enough good to make yourself righteous before God, that is why we need Jesus’ atoning work on the cross to be the payment for our sins.  However, the things we do in the name of God on this earth are noticed, I think, in heaven.  Jesus said – what you have done for the least of these my brothers, you have done for me. 

Those who pass through this life and have The Lord in their hearts, are truly blessed and the good that they have done here is not forgotten.  Let us lay up for ourselves treasures in heaven where moth and rust do not corrupt and where no one can steal them away from us.

Prayer: God Almighty,

Let me each day do something of value for you.  Let every action be pleasing and acceptable and bring glory to you.  Let the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be acceptable and pleasing to you.

Love Michael

Preparing For The Trumpets

Scripture: Revelation 8:

6Then the seven angels who had the seven trumpets prepared to sound them.

Revelation 5,6,7,8,9 – Passage Lookup – New International Version – BibleGateway.com

Observation: The only time we have is now.

Application: As the end of the year approaches, we often find ourselves thinking about what has happened and what is to come.  We set goals for the new year, we rethink decisions we made during the past year and we anticipate what is to come.  But worrying about the past, or the future doesn’t help us to be prepared for anything.  We only have this day, this moment, this breath in time to act and do what God is calling us to.  Yes – THIS moment.

What is God speaking in your heart right now.  This is technically my third trip through the book of Revelations this year and I have to admit that it hasn’t gotten any clearer for me, if anything I have more questions than I did this time last year concerning this esoteric and symbolic work.  One thing that I am sure of though is that whether the book is a prophecy of times to come, an allegory of the ancient Roman empire and the struggles of the Christian church against an oppressive government, or apocalyptic literature, the fact still remains that if we are going to apply the teachings of this scripture to our lives in a meaningful way we must do it now.

We can set goals but unless we act on them now, nothing will ever come to pass.  We can lament or rejoice in what we have already done, but unless those things of the past call us into action today they are meaningless.  Keeping your oil filled, and your lamp trimmed as Jesus admonished is something we do in the present moment, because otherwise the bridegroom may come at a time when we are not ready.

Is God speaking to you now?  I would venture to say that if you have your spiritual ears open so that you can hear, He will, and in fact He IS.

The only time we have is now – don’t miss This opportunity, This moment, This Blessing.

Prayer: I AM,

Thank you for being known as a God that IS.  You are not a God that Was, or a God that Will Be, you are I AM.  You are Now, You are present in every instant.   Help me to be with you where and when you are.

Love Michael

Jesus Is Watching You

Scripture: Revelation 1:

12I turned around to see the voice that was speaking to me. And when I turned I saw seven golden lampstands, 13and among the lampstands was someone "like a son of man,"[b]dressed in a robe reaching down to his feet and with a golden sash around his chest. 14His head and hair were white like wool, as white as snow, and his eyes were like blazing fire. 15His feet were like bronze glowing in a furnace, and his voice was like the sound of rushing waters. 16In his right hand he held seven stars, and out of his mouth came a sharp double-edged sword. His face was like the sun shining in all its brilliance.

17When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead. Then he placed his right hand on me and said: "Do not be afraid. I am the First and the Last. 18I am the Living One; I was dead, and behold I am alive for ever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and Hades.

19"Write, therefore, what you have seen, what is now and what will take place later. 20The mystery of the seven stars that you saw in my right hand and of the seven golden lampstands is this: The seven stars are the angels[c] of the seven churches, and the seven lampstands are the seven churches.

Revelation 1,2,3,4 – Passage Lookup – New International Version – BibleGateway.com

Observation:  Jesus is watching you.

Application:

Late one night, a burglar broke into a house that he thought was empty. He tiptoed through the living room but suddenly he froze in his tracks when he heard a loud voice say; “Jesus is watching you.”

Silence returned to the house, so the burglar crept forward again. “Jesus is watching you,” the voice boomed again.

The burglar stopped dead in his tracks. He was frightened. Frantically, he looked all around the room. In a dark corner, he spotted a bird cage and in the cage was a parrot. He asked the parrot: “Was that you who said Jesus is watching me?”

“Yes,” Said the parrot.

The burglar breathed a sigh of relief, then asked the parrot: “What is your name?”

“Moses,” said the bird.

“That is a dumb name for a parrot,” sneered the burglar. “What idiot named you Moses?”

The parrot said, “The same idiot who named the Rottweiler Jesus.” 

Maybe you’ve heard that one before, it’s been around for quite a while.  I couldn’t help but think about it when I read this scripture today.  Would we have second thoughts about how we acted in church if we realized that Jesus was really watching us?  Not just some far away concept or doctrine but the real Jesus, the King of Kings, the Righteous Judge.  If we knew that Jesus was watching us, what would we do differently?

Well, here’s the thing.  He is – and He does.  He walks among the candlesticks – he holds the angels (messengers) of the churches in His hand and He is present among us when we worship.  And of course He is not only watching when we are at church but also no matter where we are or what we are doing, his eye is always on us. 

As we come out of the Christmas season, I am also reminded that some of the true attributes of God have been attributed to the character of Santa Clause.  And although Santa Clause is used by us to try and keep our children diligent about staying on the nice list, God really does know when we are sleeping and when we are awake, He really does know when we’ve been bad or good so…   Well you know the rest don’t you…

Remember Church– Jesus is watching you!

Prayer: God who watches me,

Help me to always know that no matter what I’m doing or where I am, you are watching.  Keep my heart pure and my actions acceptable in your sight.

Love Michael

God Is Here

Scripture: Psalm 119:

147 I rise before dawn and cry for help;
       I have put my hope in your word.

148 My eyes stay open through the watches of the night,
       that I may meditate on your promises.

Psalm 117; Psalm 119:81-176; 2 John 1; 3 John 1 – Passage Lookup – New International Version – BibleGateway.com

Observation: No matter where you are, or what time of day or night it is, God is there.

Application: I’ve gotten my clock all off.  I’m having trouble getting back into a day routine.  Not able to sleep tonight, I turn to my daily scripture reading.  Knowing that I will probably fall asleep sometime around dawn and sleep most of the morning, I decided to try to do my journal now.  As I read, I find these verses and they speak to me this morning in a special way. 

It’s as if God knew where I would be on this day, at this time and in this place.  I rise before dawn and cry out for help, I have put my hope in your word.  My eyes stay open through the watches of the night, that I may meditate on your promises.  Yes Lord, I recognize that you are here – I feel your presence.  I know you are with me.

The greatest Christmas present that I could receive is a deeper understanding of your presence in my life.  Any confirmation that you provide to me is treasured and preserved in my heart and is kindling for the fire of my faith.  Here I am, unable to sleep, and you knew that I would be here, these words were prepared for me as a comfort and as a sign and I receive them as such.

Prayer: Abba Father,

Thank you.

Love Michael

The God Of Love In Us

Scripture:  1 John 4:

16And so we know and rely on the love God has for us.
      God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him. 17In this way, love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment, because in this world we are like him. 18There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.

19We love because he first loved us. 20If anyone says, "I love God," yet hates his brother, he is a liar. For anyone who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen. 21And he has given us this command: Whoever loves God must also love his brother.

1 John 1,2,3,4,5 – Passage Lookup – New International Version – BibleGateway.com

Observation: Love is the key to having God in your heart and living a life which is pleasing to Him.

Application: It is Christmas!   I hope you have a wonderful day! 

There are several things about our modern celebrations of Christmas that disturb me, like how much money we spend, and how its more about presents than presence for some.  With my grandfathers illness that we have been going through I’ve really been thankful that we can all just say “I love you, Merry Christmas!” 

My wife has been working for Home Shopping Network in the sales department this year and part of their policy has been to wish everyone “Happy Holidays.”  Does that ruffle your feathers a bit?  Do you think they should have to say “Merry Christmas” instead?  I can understand the Happy Holidays policy – there are people from all kinds of faiths and traditions who call in, some celebrate Christmas and some don’t so Happy Holidays is a generic good tidings kind of thing to say and shouldn’t offend anyone.

For the past several years I’ve noticed that Christians are more and more adamant about the “Merry Christmas” greeting.  Which is fine but – I think sometimes it can be taken too far.  Some of the callers that my wife encounters get so upset because she says “Happy Holidays” rather than “Merry Christmas” that they will cuss her out saying things like, “I’m a (blank blank) Christian (blank) it – and I want you to say Merry Christmas.  I am NOT kidding about this.  She has gotten more than one response like this and I am just thinking, – Ok – how much of a Christian is a person who cusses someone out for not using the holiday greeting that they want to hear?

The scripture above speaks to me today in that the true sign of a Christian – the true sign that God is IN us and the true spirit of Christmas should be demonstrated by the Love that we have for others.  If you want the real reason for the season to be manifested in your life today – show your love for others.  You don’t have to fight against others or fuss and cuss about how others celebrate this time of year.  Just show your love for others and the God of Love will make His home in your heart and manifest Himself in your life.

Prayer: God of Love,

Help me this Christmas, and every day to demonstrate your presence in my life through love for others.  Help me to serve you by serving others, and let me not miss an opportunity to demonstrate kindness and compassion for all whom I encounter.

Love Michael