Tuesday, August 22, 2017

JUDGMENT COMES



II Chron. 36:15-16  The LORD, the God of their ancestors, repeatedly sent his prophets to warn them, for he had compassion on his people and his Temple.  But the people mocked these messengers of God and despised their words.  They scoffed at the prophets until the LORD’s anger could no longer be restrained and there was no remedy.

Over and over again God sends people out into the world to warn them about the things of God and the consequences of ignoring Him and His Word.  God is relentless in His pursuit of lost souls.  He is not willing that anyone would miss out on saving grace and go to hell.  He makes sure that no one has an excuse.  He reveals Himself to all.  The more a person hears about God, the more responsible he is for what he does with what he knows. 

Yet, people over and over again mock God and His messengers.  They reject God’s message and try to silence those who proclaim it.  They refuse to believe it’s true.  They hate those who proclaim it.  They continue to go deeper and deeper into the life of sin.

God is very patient, but there comes a point in which His patience runs out.  He lets man display his wickedness and defy Him to the point where He no longer can put up with it and comes down on judgment of man.  The final and full day of His wrath has not come yet; yet, I believe it will be here very soon.  In the meantime, God displays His anger on people and nations that He simply cannot continue to deal with any other way.

When God runs out of patience, there is no remedy but judgment.  No amount of praying will stay the hand of God when it’s time for judgment.  There is no last second changing of God’s mind.  God can put up with the sin of man for just so long.

It behooves us to be a people of prayer.  It is not too late to plead with God for repentance.  It is not too late for us to turn back to God.  I don’t know how much time we have left before the patience of God runs out, but do we dare take our chances?  God is gracious and merciful, but He is also holy and all sin will be judged.  We need to pray for ourselves, our families, friends, neighbors, and country.  Are you praying?  Are you listening to the message of God today?  Judgment Day is coming.  Are you ready?

Monday, August 21, 2017

PAY ATTENTION



II Chron. 33:10  The LORD spoke to Manasseh and his people, but they ignored all his warnings.

Some things don’t seem to ever change.  Over and over again God speaks, but people keep ignoring His warnings.  I wonder sometimes why God even bothers.  People are stubborn and do what they want.  They consider God’s warnings to be just words and frivolous.  They scoff at the idea that God really means what He says.  They rebel at the thought that there are consequences for sin, that a loving God would hold them accountable for sinful behavior.

Yet, in order for there to be God, there has to be absolute perfection in all things.  God has to be absolutely trustworthy in everything He says or He cannot be trusted in anything He says.  God cannot be all loving if He is not equally holy.  He cannot be God of grace without being God of justice.  We cannot understand God only through the eyes of His goodness and love.  We also must understand Him to be holy and intolerant of sin.

When we have a high regard for God we will have a high regard for His warnings.  We cannot treat His warnings lightly.  God deals with sin harshly.  He commands our submission to His life.  We must be striving to be holy, even as He is holy.  We will never be as God is, but we can never excuse ourselves and not pursue holiness.  Holiness is a life of separation from sin.  It is a mindset that strives to resist and reject sin.  It forces us to deal with our sin before God when we do sin.  It is feeling guilt and shame for our sins and confessing them to Him so that we might be forgiven.

God does not leave us in the dark.  He warns us over and over again about sin and its consequences.   No one has any excuse.  All will be held accountable before God for sin.  No one will have anyone but themselves to blame when God metes out judgment for sin.  Pay attention to God’s warnings.  He says what He means and means what He says.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

BE STRONG AND COURAGEOUS!



II Chron. 32:7-8  “Be strong and courageous!  Don’t be afraid of the king of Assyria or his mighty army, for there is a power far greater on our side!  He may have a great army, but they are just men.  We have the LORD our God to help us and to fight our battles for us!”  These words greatly encouraged the people.

Jerusalem was under attack.  King Hezekiah gathered together the officers of his army and gave them a pep talk.  He reminded them of just how powerful they were with the Lord on their side.  He reminded them that it wasn’t the size of their enemy that mattered; it was the size of their God.  With God on their side, there was no army on earth that could defeat them.

Do you know the Lord today as your personal Savior?  Be strong and courageous!  No matter who or what you may be facing in life, with God’s help you can overcome it.  Your circumstances may seem to be way too much for you to handle, and they may very well be.  But, with God’s help, nothing is too much for you.  Believe it!  Let the Lord lead the way.  Let Him have all of you and see what He can do.

Get what you know to be true out of your head and into your heart.  Trust the Lord.  You can do all things through Him who gives you the strength and means to do it.  He will show you the way.  He will provide whatever you need as you deal with life.  He will work everything going on in your life out for your good and His glory.  He loves you and wants to take your burdens off your shoulders and carry them for you.

Dear friend, take heart.  It is the Lord of life who has promised to fight your battles for you.  It is He who has promised to help you.  Give Him whatever you are up against in life.  He will take care of you.  Look to Jesus, the author and finisher of our salvation.   Let Him take care of you; you will be glad you did.

Saturday, August 19, 2017

RETURN TO THE LORD



II Chron. 30:9  For if you return to the LORD, your relatives and your children will be treated mercifully by their captors, and they will be able to return to this land.  For the LORD your God is gracious and merciful.  If you return to him, he will not continue to turn his face from you.

“The Lord is gracious and merciful; it you return to Him, He will not continue to turn His face from you.”  Dear friend, I don’t know your heart today.  I don’t know if you have wandered away from the Lord or not.  I do suspect that some who read this have.  If you have, I know that you are not very happy today.  You may think you are and yet, deep down inside of you, you know you aren’t.  No matter how hard you may try to convince yourself that things are alright with you, you know better.  You cannot be away from God and have peace in your soul.  You cannot sin against God without it bothering you.  The guilt and shame of sinning plagues you because you know better; you know that it does not please God and keeps Him away from you.

Listen carefully to this word from the Lord; He is gracious and merciful.  If you turn back to Him and repent of your sins, He will not turn His face from you.  The Lord will welcome you back with open arms.  He longs to once again embrace you and help you.  He will forgive you if you confess your sins to Him and accept responsibility for them.  He will wash your soul with the cleansing blood of Christ shed for you at Calvary.  He will purify your stained soul and make it whiter than snow. 

Dear friend, won’t you do it right now?  Won’t you turn back to the Lord and let Him make you whole once again?  Why put it off?  Today is the day of salvation.  Tomorrow may never be for you.  Aren’t you tired of listening to Satan’s lies?  Perhaps you are putting on a good front.  Perhaps you have others buffaloed and they think all is well with your soul.  It is time for you to repent.  It is time for you to return to the Lord.  Do it now, while the Lord is speaking to your heart.  He is waiting for you.

Friday, August 18, 2017

SUCCESS AND PRIDE



II Chron. 26:16  But when he had become powerful, he also became proud, which led to his downfall.  He sinned against the LORD his God be entering the sanctuary of the LORD’s temple and personally burning incense on it.

Uzziah became king over Judah when he was 16 and he was a good king.  He led the people of Judah into a spiritual reformation.  He got rid of the many ungodly things that had become a part of the people’s lives.  What he did pleased the Lord.  He became a popular and successful king.

Being in the limelight or being successful in the eyes of man is not all that it’s cracked up to be.  We being who we are, have a hard time handling the glory.  We are prone to think we are the ones who are responsible for our successes and deserve the attention and acclaim.  We tend to take credit for that which we don’t deserve.  We forget that God is the source of all our blessings, whether great or small. 

Success breeds pride unless the heart is well-grounded in Christ.  Pride is the fertile soil in which sin and presumptuous behavior flourishes.  We begin to think we are special and don’t have to follow the rules God has given us.  No one is above God’s laws.  Everyone is responsible to God for his behavior and the attitude of his heart.  Everyone will give an account to God for how he has handled himself in whatever role he has played in life. 

Do we honor the Lord in what we do and how we do it?  Do we honor Him with how we think about ourselves?  Protect your mind and soul.  Never underestimate your need to honor the Lord in all you do and don’t overestimate who you are in the scheme of life.  Honor the Lord by always living humbly before Him.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

YOU IMPACT OTHERS



II Chron. 21:20  Jehoram was thirty-two years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem eight years.  No one was sorry when he died.  He was buried in the City of David, but not in the royal cemetery.

Jehoram was an evil king.  He had married one of Ahab’s daughters and had become just as bad as King Ahab had been.  Even though he was the son of King Jehoshaphat, a good king in Judah, he rejected his father’s example and chose to live an ungodly life.

All of us affect others in some way or another.  We either leave a good taste in their mouths or a bad taste.  We are either fondly remembered for the good life we live or we are remembered as one who we are glad is no longer a part of the life we live.  How we live matters, whether we think so or not. 

We create the memories people have of us.  What a sad commentary on a life.  No one was sorry when Jehoram died.  His death was a welcome relief to the people he ruled and influenced. Think about it.  Here was a man who chose to live in sin.  He chose to reject God and do what he wanted to do.  He chose to be a bad influence on others.  He chose evil over good.  He chose earthly pleasures over the treasures of heaven.

What kind of choices are you making in life?  Are you leaving a good or bad taste in people’s mouths?  Do people speak well of you or evil?  Would you like others to remember you in a good or negative way?  Do you want others to grieve your passing or be glad when you die?  Do you even care what others may think of you?

No one can make your choices for you.  If you choose to live a life surrendered to the Lord, you will bring joy to the hearts of others.  You will inspire others to follow in your footsteps.  You will be remembered fondly as one who lived life well.  Choose today whom you serve.  As for me, I will serve the Lord.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

BELIEVE IN THE LORD



II Chron. 20:20  Early the next morning the army of Judah went out into the wilderness of Tekoa.  On the way Jehoshaphat stopped and said, “Listen to me, all you people of Judah and Jerusalem!  Believe in the LORD your God, and you will be able to stand firm.  Believe in his prophets, and you will succeed.”

The key to all spiritual success is to do simply what Jehoshaphat told his people to do, “Believe in the Lord your God.”  Believing enables us to stand.  God sends us people with His message for our hearts; believe them.  Success is given to those who will but believe.

The issue before us today is belief.  Do we really believe in the Lord our God?  There is a difference between believing about God and believing God.  Believing God means that we accept what God says about himself, all of it.  It means we take seriously what God says.  It means we acknowledge that God is worthy of not only our worship, but our allegiance.  It means that our highest calling in life is to yield to Him.  It means that we don’t pick and choose what we want to live and do from what He says.  Every word that comes from God is true and commands our attention and doing.

Can you honestly say today that you believe God?  Do you really believe that God is to be believed and obeyed?  Are you striving to not sin, to live a holy life?  Are you concerned about sin as you should be?  Are you taking what you believe into the world and striving to be the salt and light He commands us to be? 

Believing enables us to stand.  When we don’t believe as we should, we stumble around and fall.  There is no stability in the lives of those who don’t believe in their heart what the Lord reveals in the head.  Success comes to those who believe without wavering.