You ARE Leaving a Legacy…You’re Living It!

Have you ever considered what kind of ‘legacy’ you’re living?

I said that correctly…What ‘legacy’ are you LIVING?

The reality is that most of us don’t think about the ‘legacy’ we’re leaving until we leave a job, retire, until our kids grow up and move away, or until someone dear to us dies.

And because we don’t think about it, we don’t concentrate on this fact: Your Legacy grows up out of your LIFE.

In other words, ‘How you are living’ will determine what ‘legacy’ you leave behind.

Be sure of this: You ARE leaving a legacy…whether you want to be or not.

What is the ‘legacy’ you’re leaving, based on how you’re living?

 

Not sure if you’ve heard, but Hugh Hefner died last night.

All due respect to Mr. Hefner and his family…I’m sure they’re grieving, and I pray for their comfort.

However, I heard him talked about on the radio this morning, and the newscaster was talking about the LEGACY Mr. Hefner left behind. Seriously?

The host interviewed someone…some ‘expert’ who spoke of Mr. Hefner’s ‘groundbreaking’ magazine, Playboy. Founded in 1953, it quickly gained notoriety as a ‘Gentlemen’s Lifestyle’ magazine. While it started out with pictures of women in bikini’s, etc., it quickly escalated into increasingly pornographic. Many credit Playboy (and Hefner) as helping launch the ‘sexual revolution’ of the 60’s and 70’s.

Hefner died at the age of 91, a multi-millionaire. From this world’s standpoint, many would regard him as a success. After all, he founded a very influential magazine, made tons of money, and had a very recognizable name.

What else is there, after all?

However, when one evaluates his legacy from a Biblical perspective, you find nothing more than self-centered narcissist who uses others–women in this case–for their own pleasure. Period.

Let me ask you: if you could evaluate his ‘legacy’ from God’s perspective, what do you think you’d end up with?

Certainly nothing good. Certainly nothing ‘Biblical’ or ‘Eternally significant’ (at least, not in a positive way).

And if our actions come from either God, This World, our Self, or Satan, where did his come from? Certainly not from God!

 

So, as we think about ‘legacy’, let me ask you: IF your legacy comes from how you live, what is your (current) legacy? Is it like Hefner’s–a ‘worldly’ success, but a spiritual failure?

Think about it: If you’re going to be remembered based on how you’ve lived to date, what is it going to be?

All about Money? Popularity? Looks? Work? Family? Service? Faith?

Is it time to turn it around?

If so, don’t wait!

May we all be able to say, with the Apostle Paul,  As for me, my life has already been poured out as an offering to God. The time of my death is near. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, and I have remained faithful. And now the prize awaits me—the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give me on the day of his return. And the prize is not just for me but for all who eagerly look forward to his appearing.” (2 Timothy 4:6-8)

 

Now THIS is ‘Living’!

“If anyone would come after Me, he must deny himself, take up his cross daily, and follow Me”. (Mark 8:34)

Our culture is very ‘self-focused’.

We are encouraged to ‘look out for #1’, to ‘get what you have coming to you’, to ‘stand up for yourself’.

Our culture, our world says ‘This is ‘Living’!

In fact, even in churches,’self’ has become dominant.

We look for churches that make us feel good…we demand that teachers teach things that make us feel comfortable…we want the worship music to make us feel all warm and toasty.

Even from some pulpits, we hear ‘self’ as #1.

We’ve taken Jesus’ words in the conversation with the religious leader and turned it around:

36 “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”

37 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’[a] 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ (Matthew 22:36-39)

We’ve taken that…Love God, Love Your Neighbor…the clear focus of Jesus’ words, and made them subordinate to ‘as yourself’–the assumption of what we normally do (without prompting).

But we just can’t do that.

If we are going to ‘follow Jesus’, we need to live as He’s called us to live, and clearly, that means (among other things) to ‘self-sacrifice’.

Mark 8:34-35: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. 35 For whoever wants to save their life[b] will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me and for the gospel will save it.”

Mark 9: 33-35: “They came to Capernaum. When he was in the house, he asked them, “What were you arguing about on the road?” 34 But they kept quiet because on the way they had argued about who was the greatest.

35 Sitting down, Jesus called the Twelve and said, “Anyone who wants to be first must be the very last, and the servant of all.”

Mark 10: 42-45:Jesus called them together and said, “You know that those who are regarded as rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. 43 Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, 44 and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all. 45 For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

Here is the bottom line:

Following Jesus–becoming a Christian…is not just about what you do with your Sunday mornings, nor is it only about ‘not doing’ certain things that are ‘outside the lines’ of Scriptural commands and principles. Following Jesus also means that we LIVE for Him, by allowing Him to make us more like Himself…and one of the keys to that is to embrace Self-Sacrificial love!

THAT is one key to ‘Life to the Full’ that Jesus promised (John 10:10)

It shows up in many ways–small and large, and it is never ‘easy’, but it is absolutely crucial for a person who wants to really ‘worship’ Jesus as Savior and Lord!

Truthfully, I ‘get’ that this world is selfish…and it’s not going to change.

However, as Believers in Jesus, and members of His body–the Church–we need to live differently.

We need to give up ‘self’ and focus on Loving God, and Loving our Neighbor.

For the Believer, THIS is ‘living’!

Now, Go! Now, Shine!

As I’ve written, our world is in a bit of turmoil, with no sign of it getting better. In fact, it may even get worse!

So, how should we respond?

Well, as I’ve written recently, the first thing to do is to go to God and submit to Him, repenting of our sins and lifestyle choices which have chased Him away, and caused Him to remove His blessing and protection, and may be earning His discipline.

The next crucial step, if you have not already done so, is to accept and acknowledge Jesus as Lord and Savior, giving your life and eternity to Him, by faith.

For those who have already done so, then there was yesterday’s post–WORSHIP! This assumes that God is on His throne, He is working out an eternal plan which is simultaneously ‘for His glory’ and ‘for our good’. Therefore, I can trust, follow…and worship Him.

So…what’s left?

I would suggest that all of these points are preparation for the role that He wants us to play. It’s like we’ve been packing for a trip–all of these steps have been important items to take, and have made us ready.

We are now prepared to join Him in His work…to be His hands, His feet, His voice to this world, which has lost it’s way and is blindly trying to come up with it’s own solutions.

For the follower of Jesus, who is faithfully trying to trust God, submit to Him and to love Him, now we need to ‘Go’, and ‘Shine’.

After His resurrection, Jesus said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me; therefore GO and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to do everything I have taught you. And be sure that I am with you always, even to the very end of the age.” (Matthew 28:18-20)

Our main job–after connecting with and worshiping Him–is to ‘spread the news’.

After all, He is THE ‘Savior and Lord’ of all the earth, and we need to let those that we come across know it. He loves each and every one on this earth, and wants us all to come to know Him…but how will they know unless we tell them?

As we move out…and ‘Go’ in His name, we need to remember to SHINE!

Jesus said, “You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot.

14 “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” (Matthew 5:13-16)

He wants us to ‘Light it up’!

He wants us to live in such a way as to shine!

Not shining our own light, but shining HIS light. Shining the light as He (based on His word) would have us do.

That means practically demonstrating His love, His grace, His mercy and forgiveness.

How do we do that?

Countless ways are available.

Volunteering in Hurricane Relief efforts…helping at your neighborhood school…serving at your local Mission…befriending a neighbor or coworker…giving your time, talent, and treasure to causes and ministries which reflect His love and direct to the Life that He offers.

It really means investing ourselves in self-sacrificial ways into the lives of other people.

Yes, there are some who ‘lose the connection’ with Jesus, and they end up doing a lot of temporary good…but no eternal good.

I think He wants us to do both…to love others while pointing them to Him.

Think about this: None of us know ‘the end’. We don’t know our own personal end, nor do we know the ‘end time’ for this world, for sure. Yet, we do know what He wants us doing. We do know how He wants us to live. We do know what we can do to make the biggest ‘eternal’ impact.

It’s as if we’re running a race, He wants us to ‘run through the tape’…in other words, to finish strong!

For a Christian, ‘finishing strong’ means trusting Him, worshiping Him, and serving Him, as we ‘Shine His Light’ to this world.

So LET YOUR LIGHT SHINE!

The Best Response? Worship!

As I’ve written over the past several days, there are a lot of events going on right now which leave people wondering, ‘What is going on?’

We usually answer that question by pondering one of these…

  1. Are these all mere coincidences?
  2. Are they all caused by man, and therefore solved only by man? or
  3. Is God trying to get our attention–either by sending these calamities, or by removing His protection and ‘allowing’ them?

It will be no surprise to you that I think that the third answer is the ‘correct’ one, and I invite you to read the last few blogs to find out why.

But that leaves us with a question, ‘How are we to respond?’

The immediate personal response is what I wrote about in the last couple of days…but what are we to do, moving forward?

Whether these tumultuous events continue, or whether we go into a period of relative calm, how are we to ‘Move On’?

I believe that the best way to respond is in WORSHIP.

That’s right–worship–‘to revere, respect or admire a ‘divine being’; to devote oneself to something or someone’.

I believe that the only appropriate response to all this is to worship the Lord more fully and completely.

‘How’, you might ask, ‘does that change anything or help with any of these calamities’?

 

First, to really ‘worship’ the Lord means embracing the calling to take our focus off of our trials and tribulations, and lift our eyes above them–to the One eternal God.

Psalm 121:1-2:

“I lift up my eyes to the mountains—
    where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord,
    the Maker of heaven and earth.”

It means we need to keep things in perspective.

Our trials–overwhelming and painful as they may seem–are temporary. Even if they last us for the rest of our lives, that is ‘temporary’. Eternity is longer!

Obviously, this requires faith…it takes faith to believe in eternity…life after death…a God who is ‘above it all’.

It also takes trust–Trust in that God, who is wise (wiser than we are), who is loving (therefore, is working for our good and His glory…no matter what), and a God who is powerful enough to use all of this world’s circumstances and to ‘redeem’ them, using them for His eternal purposes.

That’s what we’re assured of in Romans 8:28:And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.”

What is His purpose? His glory and our eternal good.

We have to remember–by faith–that He is using every circumstance–Hurricane, Typhoon, Earthquake, Drought, Wildfire, Mudslide, Sunspot–everything we’d call ‘natural disaster’–for His purposes.

We also have to remember–by faith–that He is using every trial–at work, in our marriage, with our money, in our health–every thing we think of as a ‘personal trial’–for His purposes.

..and this requires that we trust His purposes.

This is where many people go wrong…and it’s due to their ‘spiritual eyesight’.

Many people look at their circumstances in the foreground, with God behind those circumstances in the background, partially obstructed by those very circumstances. They wonder, naturally, why God seems small and powerless compared to those circumstances.

I believe that faith–transformative, Spirit-empowered faith–enables us to look at God in the foreground, so that our circumstances are in the background, seen through the grid of our faith and trust in Him.

When we do that, then we can trust Him over the circumstances.

That’s why the Apostle Paul would go on to write,

(Romans 8:31-39)

What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who is against us? 32 He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things? 33 Who will bring a charge against God’s elect? God is the one who justifies; 34 who is the one who condemns? Christ Jesus is He who died, yes, rather who was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who also intercedes for us. 35 Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? 36 Just as it is written,

For Your sake we are being put to death all day long;
We were considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”

37 But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us. 38 For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

That is why, I believe that the BEST response–with all that in mind–is to worship.

Take my focus off of myself, off of my circumstances, and off of my temporary situation…and focus instead on the One True God, who is eternal, immortal, wise, loving, powerful, kind, and good.

As I do that, I then find the strength–by faith–with the correct perspective, to then deal more fully with the current reality–whether that be rebuilding my home or rebuilding my marriage, overcoming tragedy or overcoming trial.

2 Corinthians 4:16-18:

16 Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. 17 For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. 18 So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.

Worship the Lord! Keep your eyes on Him, and gain strength to overcome!

The Bride In the White Dress

Very few events are more powerful and moving than a beautiful wedding.

That moment when the groom, the groomsmen, the bridesmaids, the Minister, and all are in position and ready. They turn and look to the back of the church.

The music changes…the bride’s parents stand…all in attendance stand…and they look back in anticipation.

The doors open, and The Bride enters, with her father!

Dressed in white, hair done ‘just right’, flowers in hand, beaming and ready for The Moment!

All are breathless as they watch her. Some smile, some are brought to tears…all celebrate The Bride, especially as she arrives at the front to take the hand of The Groom.

 

Weddings are truly beautiful events.

…but anyone who has been involved in one knows that the preparation for it has been enormous. For many couples, the preparation for the wedding can be intense and stressful.

All of the work that this Bride put into the preparation is important to her. She wants the event to be ‘just right’. She’s dreamed of this day. She’s looked forward to it. She wants it to be just right–for The Groom!

 

In the Scriptures, the Church of Jesus Christ–those who are Believers in Him, and who acknowledge Him as Savior and Lord–are His ‘Bride’.

…and this is the time of our preparation.

There will be a time when Jesus (The Groom) will come for His Church (The Bride), and there will be a celebration!

Then I heard again what sounded like the shout of a vast crowd or the roar of mighty ocean waves or the crash of loud thunder:

“Praise the Lord!
    For the Lord our God, the Almighty, reigns.
Let us be glad and rejoice,
    and let us give honor to him.
For the time has come for the wedding feast of the Lamb,
    and his bride has prepared herself.
She has been given the finest of pure white linen to wear.”
    For the fine linen represents the good deeds of God’s holy people.

And the angel said to me, “Write this: Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding feast of the Lamb.” And he added, “These are true words that come from God.” (Revelation 19:6-9)

What has The Bride done to “make herself ready”?

She has prayed. She has worshiped. She has rid herself of all the junk that would hold not be appropriate for the wedding. She has endured opposition, persecution, and even death!

 

Imagine if that moment happened…the doors opened..and the bride showed up with mud all over her dress, her hair a mess, and boots on!

What a tragic mess that would be!

That bride needs to be ready!

Yet, some of us will not be.

Matthew 25:1-13:

“Then the Kingdom of Heaven will be like ten bridesmaids[a] who took their lamps and went to meet the bridegroom. Five of them were foolish, and five were wise. The five who were foolish didn’t take enough olive oil for their lamps, but the other five were wise enough to take along extra oil. When the bridegroom was delayed, they all became drowsy and fell asleep.

“At midnight they were roused by the shout, ‘Look, the bridegroom is coming! Come out and meet him!’

“All the bridesmaids got up and prepared their lamps. Then the five foolish ones asked the others, ‘Please give us some of your oil because our lamps are going out.’

“But the others replied, ‘We don’t have enough for all of us. Go to a shop and buy some for yourselves.’

10 “But while they were gone to buy oil, the bridegroom came. Then those who were ready went in with him to the marriage feast, and the door was locked. 11 Later, when the other five bridesmaids returned, they stood outside, calling, ‘Lord! Lord! Open the door for us!’

12 “But he called back, ‘Believe me, I don’t know you!’

13 “So you, too, must keep watch! For you do not know the day or hour of my return.”

Jesus says that we (the bridesmaids) need to “Keep watch”! We need to be ready!

What can we do to ‘get ready’?

Let me suggest 4 things:

  1. Receive His gracious self-sacrifice, by faith, as payment for your sins (Romans 3:23-34:)For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard. 24 Yet God, in his grace, freely makes us right in his sight. He did this through Christ Jesus when he freed us from the penalty for our sins.”
  2. Acknowledge Him as Savior and Lord. (Romans 10:9-11): If you openly declare that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God, and it is by openly declaring your faith that you are saved. 11 As the Scriptures tell us, “Anyone who trusts in him will never be disgraced.”
  3. Throw off the stuff that stands between Him and us. (Hebrews 12:1): “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us.” and
  4. Worship Him with your life! (Romans 12:1):And so, dear brothers and sisters,[a] I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him.”

The Bride must be ready!

Don’t waste any more time! Prepare, Watch, and Pray!

Living In the Light of Eternity

I remember that day very well.

I heard on the radio on my way to the office that a plane had hit the World Trade Center in New York. ‘What a tragedy’, I thought, ‘I hope there weren’t many people involved’ (the initial radio report was that a “small plane” had hit). Terrible accident.

I started a meeting with the rest of our staff when our phone started ringing…like crazy! Eventually we interrupted the meeting to pick it up, and my friend said, in a tense voice, “A plane has crashed into the World Trade Center!”

“I know”, I said, “We were just praying for them”.

“No”, the caller said, “a SECOND plane has hit the OTHER tower!”

At that moment, everything changed. We knew we were under attack.

If you’re old enough, you remember the rest of that day…in some ways, a blur…but specific details stand out.

I do remember getting several calls within the next hours from people asking us we we Pastors thought this was the beginning of WW III, and could this be the beginning of the end.

At first, I almost chuckled at that…but then I realized that people were really worried about it, and I needed to answer them in an educated, compassionate way.

Fast forward sixteen years.

The headlines on our newsfeeds (back then, we didn’t have ‘newsfeeds’), read about hurricanes, droughts, wildfires, earthquakes, floods…nuclear armament and threats of attack…

As I wrote yesterday, I think there IS something to pay attention to here! After all, Jesus said,

“Don’t let anyone mislead you, for many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am the Messiah.’[a] They will deceive many. And you will hear of wars and threats of wars, but don’t panic. Yes, these things must take place, but the end won’t follow immediately. Nation will go to war against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be earthquakes in many parts of the world, as well as famines. But this is only the first of the birth pains, with more to come.

“When these things begin to happen, watch out! You will be handed over to the local councils and beaten in the synagogues. You will stand trial before governors and kings because you are my followers. But this will be your opportunity to tell them about me.[b] 10 For the Good News must first be preached to all nations.[c] 11 But when you are arrested and stand trial, don’t worry in advance about what to say. Just say what God tells you at that time, for it is not you who will be speaking, but the Holy Spirit.

12 “A brother will betray his brother to death, a father will betray his own child, and children will rebel against their parents and cause them to be killed. 13 And everyone will hate you because you are my followers.[d] But the one who endures to the end will be saved…

21 “Then if anyone tells you, ‘Look, here is the Messiah,’ or ‘There he is,’ don’t believe it. 22 For false messiahs and false prophets will rise up and perform signs and wonders so as to deceive, if possible, even God’s chosen ones. 23 Watch out! I have warned you about this ahead of time!

24 “At that time, after the anguish of those days,

the sun will be darkened,
    the moon will give no light,
25 the stars will fall from the sky,
    and the powers in the heavens will be shaken…

28 “Now learn a lesson from the fig tree. When its branches bud and its leaves begin to sprout, you know that summer is near. 29 In the same way, when you see all these things taking place, you can know that his return is very near, right at the door. 30 I tell you the truth, this generation[k] will not pass from the scene before all these things take place. 31 Heaven and earth will disappear, but my words will never disappear.” (Mark 13:5-13, 21-25, 28-31)

These, Jesus said, are the beginnings of the birth pains.

These are a warning.

These are to get our attention, and lead us to repentance and worship.

They are for our good!

Note that Jesus said “…when you see all these things taking place, you can know that {My} return is very near, right at the door…”

That’s why Jesus calls them ‘Birth pains’…like contractions which lead to birth.

However, we don’t know exactly how long they will last.

This, together with other Scriptures which have been or are being fulfilled, leads many Christians to think ‘This is the time He was talking about!’

Is that true?

Obviously, we can’t know ‘for sure’. However, I think they may be.

Here’s the thing: To an extent, it doesn’t matter–in this way:

We should ‘prepare’ as if His return is immanent, because it is!

He could come back any day!

…and this isn’t just your typical ‘live each day like it’s your last’ slogan…I’m talking about taking an active posture of readiness for His return.

Jesus continued,However, no one knows the day or hour when these things will happen, not even the angels in heaven or the Son himself. Only the Father knows. 33 And since you don’t know when that time will come, be on guard! Stay alert!” (Mark 13:32-33).

Peter wrote this:

Since everything around us is going to be destroyed like this, what holy and godly lives you should live, 12 looking forward to the day of God and hurrying it along. On that day, he will set the heavens on fire, and the elements will melt away in the flames. 13 But we are looking forward to the new heavens and new earth he has promised, a world filled with God’s righteousness.

14 And so, dear friends, while you are waiting for these things to happen, make every effort to be found living peaceful lives that are pure and blameless in his sight.” (2 Peter 3:11-14)

Peter (and Jesus) say that it does matter how we live–if we are to be ‘ready’ and ‘alert’.

We should be living holy and godly lives…

It matters.

So, Christian: Are you paying attention? Are you watching, praying and ready? Are you repenting for any sin in your life, and making the changes necessary to worship Him fully–not just in word, but in lifestyle? Are you sharing the good news of the LIFE that is offered, through Jesus, to others?

For those of you who are not Christians, let me ask you: What will it take?

What do you have to see happen before you begin to realize that you’re not ready?
More trouble? More natural disasters? More ‘shaking of the earth’ and ‘signs in the heavens’?

I would encourage you to start to pray and ask Jesus to show you Himself, so that you can know…then turn to Him in faith and be saved from whatever the future holds!

The great news is that God loves you and wants to save you! Drop your guard and let Him!

 

What’s Going On?

Wow.

What a month it’s been!

Hurricane Harvey devastated large portions of Texas and Louisiana, and now Irma is getting ready to pummel Florida, after battering the Caribbean (now Hurricane Jose is up to a Category 4, following right behind Irma, but hopefully turning out to sea).  In addition to that, wildfires (which haven’t received nearly as much coverage) are burning at record rates across the west, from California to Oregon and Montana, have burned over 1.4 MILLION Acres!

Now we hear of major solar storms, we see that Mexico has suffered a major earthquake on the Pacific side, and Hurricane Katia is headed to the Gulf side.

In addition to this, information you may not have heard about is the drought in Africa, devastating floods in Asia, mudslides in South America, extreme heat waves in Europe…

There are 3 main responses to these events:

  1. Nothing to see here. The person who takes this approach says it’s the same as it’s always been, nothing new, we just have technology to know about it now and see it 24/7 on our t.v.’s. This person will continue on his/her merry way…as long as nothing happens near them.
  2. Climate Change is happening quickly! This person looks at these events and says, ‘See?! We’ve been saying for years that mankind has changed our climate and now we’ve finally seeing it! What we need to do is get rid of all greenhouse gases, and stop giving people the choice–everyone must join this!’ That person looks for the governments of the world to unite and require the people of the world to ‘get in line’ because the ‘only hope’ is a man-made solution.
  3. God is behind this. This person sees the ‘shaking of the earth, the heavens and the climate and sees God behind it…maybe in judgment, maybe in love…but He’s definitely doing something.

If #3 were the case, and it was on a global scale, as we’ve been seeing, we’d expect to see something in the Scriptures to back that up.

Hmm.

“Jesus told them, “Don’t let anyone mislead you, for many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am the Messiah.’ They will deceive many. And you will hear of wars and threats of wars, but don’t panic. Yes, these things must take place, but the end won’t follow immediately. Nation will go to war against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in many parts of the world. But all this is only the first of the birth pains, with more to come.” (Matthew 24:4-8)

Beginning? More to come? Whoa!

And when you hear of wars and insurrections, don’t panic. Yes, these things must take place first, but the end won’t follow immediately.” 10 Then he added, “Nation will go to war against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. 11 There will be great earthquakes, and there will be famines and plagues in many lands, and there will be terrifying things and great miraculous signs from heaven.

12 “But before all this occurs, there will be a time of great persecution. You will be dragged into synagogues and prisons, and you will stand trial before kings and governors because you are my followers. 13 But this will be your opportunity to tell them about me.[c] 14 So don’t worry in advance about how to answer the charges against you, 15 for I will give you the right words and such wisdom that none of your opponents will be able to reply or refute you! 16 Even those closest to you—your parents, brothers, relatives, and friends—will betray you. They will even kill some of you. 17 And everyone will hate you because you are my followers. 18 But not a hair of your head will perish! 19 By standing firm, you will win your souls.

20 “And when you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then you will know that the time of its destruction has arrived. 21 Then those in Judea must flee to the hills. Those in Jerusalem must get out, and those out in the country should not return to the city. 22 For those will be days of God’s vengeance, and the prophetic words of the Scriptures will be fulfilled. 23 How terrible it will be for pregnant women and for nursing mothers in those days. For there will be disaster in the land and great anger against this people. 24 They will be killed by the sword or sent away as captives to all the nations of the world. And Jerusalem will be trampled down by the Gentiles until the period of the Gentiles comes to an end.

25 “And there will be strange signs in the sun, moon, and stars. And here on earth the nations will be in turmoil, perplexed by the roaring seas and strange tides. 26 People will be terrified at what they see coming upon the earth, for the powers in the heavens will be shaken. 27 Then everyone will see the Son of Man[e] coming on a cloud with power and great glory.[f] 28 So when all these things begin to happen, stand and look up, for your salvation is near!”

(Luke 21:9-28)

Wars…rumors of wars…earthquakes…famines…plagues…strange signs in the heavens…roaring seas, strange tides…

Check!

Now, again…some will say ‘those things have always been here…nothing is new here’.

Most importantly, I want to remind you that in the last days scoffers will come, mocking the truth and following their own desires. They will say, “What happened to the promise that Jesus is coming again? From before the times of our ancestors, everything has remained the same since the world was first created.”

They deliberately forget that God made the heavens long ago by the word of his command, and he brought the earth out from the water and surrounded it with water. Then he used the water to destroy the ancient world with a mighty flood. And by the same word, the present heavens and earth have been stored up for fire. They are being kept for the day of judgment, when ungodly people will be destroyed.

But you must not forget this one thing, dear friends: A day is like a thousand years to the Lord, and a thousand years is like a day. The Lord isn’t really being slow about his promise, as some people think. No, he is being patient for your sake. He does not want anyone to be destroyed, but wants everyone to repent.” (2 Peter 3:3-9)

…and THIS is the point!

It is my conviction that God is using all of these events–in unison–to bring us to humble ourselves and repent!

He is extending his hand of love to us, not wanting any to perish, but all to come to repentance and LIFE, in Jesus!

We have taken Him for granted, then ignored Him, then claimed He was dead, then defied Him…our nations are like the people in Babel (Genesis 11), thinking we have all the answers, ourselves. ‘We don’t need God, we don’t want God. We can do it ourselves’ has been the mindset of our age.

I believe that this has caused Him to remove His hand of protection, and we’re reaping what we’ve sown.

Will it get worse?

I hope not…but I think so.

For those of you who are skeptical, let me ask you: What would it take for you to pay attention? What would have to happen in order for you to think ‘there may be something to this’?

Earthquakes in unusual places? Something happen to our water sources? Military actions? Terrorism?

Wouldn’t it be better now to humble ourselves and repent?

After all, what are we resisting?

The loving care and direction of God our Creator! Life…to the Full, in Jesus the Christ!

I continually pray for protection. I pray that God moves these storms and intervenes to break them up. I pray that the calamities cease. Yet, I also pray that my friends and neighbors, my countrymen and the citizens of this world will repent of their stubborn pride, their sin, and receive forgiveness and LIFE, through Jesus!

If you’re already a believer, join me in praying for that, and make sure that you are repenting of your own stubbornness, pride, sin…and that you are loving Him and worshiping Him and seeking Him more…as I am!

God wants to love us…let’s let Him!