Friday, July 28, 2017

Preparing For The Storm


Mark 13:28-37  (KJV)
"28 Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When her branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is near:
29 So ye in like manner, when ye shall see these things come to pass, know that it is nigh, even at the doors.
30 Verily I say unto you, that this generation shall not pass, till all these things be done.
31 Heaven and earth shall pass away: but my words shall not pass away.
32 But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father.
33 Take ye heed, watch and pray: for ye know not when the time is.
34 For the Son of Man is as a man taking a far journey, who left his house, and gave authority to his servants, and to every man his work, and commanded the porter to watch.
35 Watch ye therefore: for ye know not when the master of the house cometh, at even, or at midnight, or at the cockcrowing, or in the morning:
36 Lest coming suddenly he find you sleeping.
37 And what I say unto you I say unto all, Watch."

During the summer months we frequently hear about a Hurricane Watch or a Hurricane Warning.     "A great storm is coming....prepare for the storm."      In the passage of scripture just read, Jesus is giving a warning of a great storm approaching.  Verse 37 - the text for the message - says, "And what I say unto you I say unto all, Watch."                                      
Be sober,
Be on guard,
Keep awake!

As storms develop and move toward the United States, all eyes and ears are glued to televisions and radio weather monitors.  As the dangers increase, preparations and precautions are taken.  We become alert and aware.  We follow the directions of the officials.  It is clear from The Word of God that the whole world is headed into the storm of all storms....The Great Tribulation...The Day of The Lord.   The children of God, the born-again believer is, of course, concerned about "staying ready" for the rapture of the church.  Why?  Because, the blood-washed, saints of God shall be delivered from that great hurricane or the tornado of God's wrath.                                                                            "For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ."  (1 Thessalonians 5:9)  This does not mean that God's people are exempt from turmoil, trouble and upheaval of the stormy weather that will precede and come ahead of the great storm itself.  Before the "eye of the storm" passes over a certain location there are howling gales of wind, blinding driven rains and floods of high tide and water.
To me, this is where we are - prophetically and spiritually speaking.  We are on the fringe of the great tempest that is coming up in this sin benighted world.  Though we rejoice in our blessed hope, which is Christ, and look forward to deliverance by the great catching up and "snatching away", the rapture, we need to "batten down" and make preparation for whatever God may allow to come our way before we hear that great shout and trumpet sound from Heaven.
Oh that people would be as concerned about making preparations and taking precautions for the storm that Jesus is warning about as they are for pending hurricanes.  We have ample warning of hurricanes approaching.  Surely we have all of the necessary warning(s) in God's Word of the great storm that is approaching on God's calendar of events.  It is "right upon us" in this age and generation.  We are already "feeling the effects" of the rapture of the church and the events that will follow.  Jesus has given us the "storm watch and the "storm warnings", time and time again in His Word.   Matthew 24:44 says,    "Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh."

We can choose to ignore the warnings and suffer the consequences...or we can make the necessary preparations, take the necessary precautions and be assured of deliverance and safety!  
There are all kinds of resources and information published on "How to Prepare for the Storm."  God has given us His Word, The Bible, a Book of complete instruction.  All we need to do is believe it, obey it - and take heed to it.  We need to carry out the orders!
                                  Here's "another twist" to the "I" of the story....  
                             Not the EYE (E-Y-E) of the storm, but the I.  (You and I).......

Are you in the midst of a storm and upheaval?
Do you not have real peace, calmness, tranquility and true rest?
Are you walking with God or running from Him?
Are you the "I" of the storm?

Do you remember the story of Jonah?  He admitted that he was the "I" of the storm.  In Jonah 1:12 he said, "Take me up, and cast me forth into the sea; so shall the sea be calm unto you: for I know that for my sake this great tempest is upon you."  Jonah was running from God, not doing what he knew he really should be doing.  He was not in the place where God wanted him to be.   Are you the "I" of the storm?

When the eye dies............the storm dies!

The Jonah syndrome is always........"the I at the center of the storm."                                                 Many times self and disobedience is what keeps the storm raging on.                                   Take care of the "I" and the storm will cease!


Thursday, July 13, 2017

How To Get Out Of The Dumps

Scripture:  Psalm 42:11 (King James Version)
"Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted within me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God."

Life is a battle!  No one will deny this.  
We might as well face it; the battle is all around us, in every type of society.  It is in the business world, the political world, the social world, and yes, even in the church world. 
Today I am speaking of the inner battles.  
The battles of depression, discouragement and defeat.  The battles that will put you down in the dumps.  In reality, we all may get down in the dumps every now and then - but certainly God wants us get right back out.  
                                     Staying in the dumps will lead to sad results!

Remaining in the dumps can impair your health. 
People have become invalids by just allowing the discouragements of life to linger and color their thinking.  The sad look - the gray feeling (some people say they "feel blue") - 
and a sour attitude.  Despondency and depression of spirits are the cause of headaches, nervousness, heart failure, low physical vitality and more.

Remaining in the dumps can hurt your Christian testimony. 
No one is impressed by a person that looks like they were weaned on dill pickles or green persimmons.  The world has troubles enough already.  
                      Down in the dumps is too far down to lift anybody else up.

Remaining in the dumps hinders the work of God.  
You can accomplish much for the Lord when you are discouraged, downtrodden and depressed.  When you get down in the dumps, you lose your joy...
May I remind you.......the joy of the Lord is your strength. (Psalm 28:7)

So, tell do you get OUT of the dumps?  Thousands have tried drugs, but that made matters worse.  Others have tried alcohol, but that got them deeper in the dumps
In other words, 
satisfying the flesh never puts a man on never gets anyone out of the dumps.

Here are some suggestions for getting out of the dumps:
#1 - Go to a good Bible believing church and worship God with those of true faith in God.  The Bible says in Hebrews 10:24-25, "And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works:  Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching."
True worship to God is guaranteed to help anyone and everyone!  
There is help in the House of Prayer.  There is help in the sanctuary of God.  
To truly worship God in spirit and truth will get you OUT of the dumps!  However, you can't truly worship God when there is sin present in your heart. 
Sin separates us from God, relationally.  
God is holy and is constantly reaching and calling out to us.  

Won't you accept Him today?
 Ask Jesus to make you a new creature in Him,
 so that you can truly worship and have a relationship with Him.

#2 - Get out of the dumps by reading, hearing and obeying God's Word.  
The Bible has the answer to your problems.  It is food for your soul.  It will give you faith in God - faith to move forward and go on.  The Word of God will liberate and set you free. The philosophies of man will last for a short while but, there is permanent and lasting help in the eternal book, the Bible.
                                                             Glory to God!

#3 - Get out of the dumps by getting down on your knees in prayers.  
                          Have a little talk with Jesus.  
                                          Commune with the Heavenly Father. 
                                                           Tell Him all about your troubles.  
                                                                             Unburden your soul to Him.  

Prayer changes things!  

Prayer moves the heart and the hand of the Almighty God.  Prayer resists satanic power.  Prayer releases supernatural power. 
Prayer remedies situations that otherwise are impossible.  
                       Thank God for the royal telephone! (there used to be an old song titled this) 

Guaranteed - Prayer will get you out of the dumps!

#4 - Get out of the dumps by talking to others about Jesus.  
This is one of the finest cures for getting out of the dumps.  Get your mind off of yourself and seek to lead others to Jesus.  
 It is impossible to lift others up without lifting yourself up at the same time!  

#5 -  Get out of the dumps and stay out of the dump by continually praising God.
The Bible says in Psalm 150:6, "Let everything that has breath praise the Lord, Praise ye the Lord."  
Again, let me say - The joy of the Lord is your strength!  
And, again reminding you of what the Psalmist said in our text, (Psalm 42:11)
"I shall yet praise Him who is the health of my countenance and my God."

Prayer and praise will lift us to heavenly places!

If you are down in the dumps and you want to come out, I challenge you to obey the above suggestions.....
                       ***With a deliberate desire.....
        ***With a definite devotion.....
                                                                     ***With a determined dedication.

Obey God!

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