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Archive for October 2013

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Watch and Pray

watch and pray

Have you ever noticed that in the Bible it says that when Jesus returns, He will come as a thief specifically to those who are asleep and are careless? Consider the following passages of scripture:

“Remember, therefore, what you have received and heard; hold it fast, and repent. But if you do not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what time I will come to you.” ~Revelation 3:3 (NIV)

"But suppose that servant is wicked and says to himself, ‘My master is staying away a long time,’ and he then begins to beat his fellow servants and to eat and drink with drunkards. The master of that servant will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour he is not aware of.” ~Matthew 24:48-50 (NIV)

Interestingly, in the parable of the ten virgins described in Matthew 25:1-1…ALL of the virgins were asleep and were alarmed at the coming of the bridegroom! However, by comparison, the five that were considered wise were the ones that were at least better prepared for His coming.

Paul aptly makes the differentiation between those who are asleep and those who are not in I Thessalonians 5:1-5 (NIV):

“Now, brothers and sisters, about times and dates we do not need to write to you, for you know very well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. While people are saying, “Peace and safety,” destruction will come on them suddenly, as labor pains on a pregnant woman, and they will not escape. But you, brothers and sisters, are not in darkness so that this day should surprise you like a thief. So then, let us not be like others, who are asleep, but let us be awake and sober.”

So, what should we be doing? Part of the answer we see in the Bible is that we should watch and pray. Jesus instructs us to watch and pray during these perilous times, just as He instructed the disciples during the perilous hours just before His death, “Couldn’t you men keep watch with me for one hour?” he asked Peter. Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.” ~Matthew 26:41 (NIV). It is interesting that He was asking for watchfulness and prayer during this hour of great travail before His death, and also during the hour of great travail of His return. “Be always on the watch, and pray that you may be able [or strengthened] to escape [or flee away from] all that is about to happen, and that you may be able to stand before the Son of Man.” ~Luke 21:36 (NIV). The prophet Zephaniah speaks of the Day of the Lord, “Gather together, gather yourselves together…seek the Lord, all you humble of the land, you who do what he commands. Seek righteousness, seek humility; perhaps you will be sheltered on the day of the Lord’s anger.” ~Zephaniah 2:1,3 (NIV). Paul continues his instructions above by saying, “Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” ~I Thessalonians 5:16-18 (NIV)

Jesus warns us about how difficult those days will be, and says, “If those days had not been cut short, no one would survive, but for the sake of the elect those days will be shortened.” Thankfully, He warned us ahead of time, told us what we should be doing and also shortened those days for our benefit! I like the simplicity of what He says in Matthew 24:25, “See, I have told you ahead of time.” But are we listening? How will we respond? Will we remain watchful? Or will we grow drowsy and careless?

I have heard someone refer recently to the house of prayer as the “house of the watchful and the wise”. I couldn’t agree more! Interestingly, in what appears to be a sign of the times, thousands of 24/7 houses of prayer have been popping up all around the world over the last 20 years! But, whatever the format or location we meet in, let us encourage each other to stay the course and continue to watch and pray!

“And will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off? I tell you, he will see that they get justice, and quickly. However, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?” ~Luke 18:7-8 (NIV)
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Things are not OK right now

fasting and mourning 2

Have you ever felt like something is missing in your life? Have you have looked around and felt like things are just not right on the earth? Well, it’s true. Jon Thurlow puts it well in one of his songs when he sings, “Things as they are, are not OK…when someone is missing, when someone is absent.” In the beginning, Adam walked with God in the Garden of Eden and had fellowship with Him. I believe that from the time Adam had to leave the Garden until now, there has been a growing realization that something, that SOMEONE, is missing! Jesus is missing! When Jesus finally arrived and walked the earth, He said, “How can the guests of the bridegroom mourn while he is with them? The time will come when the bridegroom will be taken from them; then they will fast.” (Matthew 9:15, NIV). Before He left, He predicted that in His absence (and as time went on) darkness and injustice would increase. He also said that as darkness and injustice increased, we would cry out and mourn for Him more and more...and that He would answer! Jesus said, “And will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off? I tell you, he will see that they get justice, and quickly. However, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?” (Luke 18:7-8. NIV) The prophet Isaiah said, “I have posted watchmen on your walls, Jerusalem; they will never be silent day or night. You who call on the Lord, give yourselves no rest, and give him no rest till he establishes Jerusalem and makes her the praise of the earth.” (Isaiah 62:6-7, NIV)

I would bet that you have been feeling an increasing inner desire for something. Maybe it’s been something that you just can’t put your finger on. Whether you have realized it or not, much of this inner desire is separation anxiety. It is a longing for more of Jesus in your life. He said that if we ask and seek Him, that we would find Him and that He would be with us and never leave us! But beyond the spiritual realm, we also have this innate desire for His return to this earth to physically be with us and walk with us. It is a desire for the way it was supposed to be from the beginning…like it was in the Garden of Eden! How long will I feel this? You will feel this desire to cry out for Him, to even MOURN for His return…until He comes in a greater measure into your heart…and ultimately until He comes to walk with us on the earth!

What about the Jewish people who rejected Him? Jesus said of Jerusalem, “For I tell you, you will not see me again until you say, ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.’” Yes, the nation of Israel will too fast and mourn specifically for the return of Jesus Christ. In Zechariah 12:10-12, the prophet Zechariah says, “And I will pour out on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirit of grace and supplication. They will look on me, the one they have pierced, and they will mourn for him as one mourns for an only child, and grieve bitterly for him as one grieves for a firstborn son. On that day the weeping in Jerusalem will be as great as the weeping of Hadad Rimmon in the plain of Megiddo. The land will mourn, each clan by itself, with their wives by themselves...” In Zechariah 10:6, it says, “I will restore them because I have compassion on them. They will be as though I had not rejected them, for I am the Lord their God and I will answer them.”

Yes, it’s true, as the song says, “I’ll stay here and mourn for You, I stay and fast for You, I’ll stay here and watch for You, I’ll stay here and wait for You. Things as they are, are not ok…when Someone is missing, when Someone is absent. And they won’t be until You come back!

Come, Lord Jesus!!

“Things are Not OK” ~Jon Thurlow. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JU0OPJGPHro
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Darkness is increasing! Why? And who are you?

Return to Pigeon Point Lighthouse - 138th Anniversary

We can look around us and see that darkness is increasing…especially if we watch the news! Jesus warned us that this increase in wickedness would happen. However, He also said that He would let the “wheat and the tares” grow up together…and that in these perilous times there would also be an amazing outpouring of His Spirit! Joel 2:28-32. This also means that the darkness and the light will increase together. At the end of times, there will be two harvests: 1) The Weeds (or Tares) and 2) the Wheat. In Matthew 13:41-43, Jesus explains, “As the weeds are pulled up and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of the age. The Son of Man will send out his angels, and they will weed out of his kingdom everything that causes sin and all who do evil. They will throw them into the blazing furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Whoever has ears, let them hear.”

Why does the darkness increase with the light for a time? Jesus says He allows this because He does not want the “wheat” to be uprooted with the “weeds.” My guess is that this has to do with His mercy. But, we know that this is only temporary…and during this period of grace. Personally, this seems like a very deep subject that requires much wisdom and revelation…perhaps we will pursue this further in another post.

So, what remains in our discussion is “who are you?” Also, what can I do? I have come of up with a simple acronym, “DARK.” It is something to remind us how we can respond to darkness.

Destroy it.

Yes, overcome the darkness. But how?...

Arise and Shine.

Stand up to it! “The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” John 1:5. Jesus said, “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. 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.” Isaiah 60:1-3 says, “Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord rises upon you. See, darkness covers the earth and thick darkness is over the peoples, but the Lord rises upon you and his glory appears over you. Nations will come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your dawn.” Remember that in the parable of the talents, Jesus told us not to crawl into a hole in fear and wait for Him to come back (my paraphrase). We must stand up and shine!

Resist and rebuke it.

“Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” James 4:7. That seems simple enough. Perhaps it is not easy, but simple. But it’s not enough just to resist…

Kick it out and overcome it!

In the Garden of Eden, mankind made a decision to give his authority over to the devil, plunging us into darkness. Bad idea. Now, it’s our job to kick the devil back out! The Bible predicted this overthrow of darkness in Genesis…the plan was revealed right away! Father God spoke of Adam’s offspring, that “he [Adam’s offspring] will your crush [Satan’s] head, and you [Satan] will strike his heel.” Genesis 3:15.

First of all, this means that Jesus would come and defeat death and the grave on the cross! Jesus said that He came to destroy the works of Satan. Jesus was given all authority in heaven and on earth…then He told us to GO! He said He will be with us always, even until the end of the age. He told us to bring the Kingdom and disciple the nations!

So, secondly, this also means that we will bruise our heel kicking Satan out! Romans 16:20, Paul says, “The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet.” I John 3:8. Romans 12:21 says, “Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” One thing that Jesus says over and over again in Revelation, especially in regards to the end times; “Overcome… overcome… overcome… overcome!” There are many rewards He lists for those who overcome! (I highly recommend you read them in Revelation 2, 3 & 22). Let us not be like that generation of complaining Israelites that were afraid to go into the promised land and kick the enemy out! After that, there was another generation that got it…and did it! Today, in regards to the end times, I think that generation is you! Your children and babies are part of the plan too! Jesus reminded us in the book of Matthew of Psalm 8:2, “From the lips of children and infants you have ordained praise because of your enemies, to silence the foe and the avenger.”

In summary, our Father God prophesied in Genesis that we would defeat Satan. He then encourages us over and over again to overcome Satan. Finally He prophesied that His prophesy will come true! Revelation 12:11 says, “They triumphed over him [Satan] by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony; they did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death.” He is saying that we WILL become His Light and Love in the world…and we WILL overcome!

The only thing that will remain on this earth after this whole thing goes down is God’s Kingdom of Light and Love. Everything else will have been assimilated (by Love) or will have been destroyed. Yes, darkness is increasing on the earth…but that is quite temporary. Light and Love will overcome it and will be permanent. So, who are you?
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Arise & Shine!

arise and shine

As I drove in to my office this morning, I was reminded of a very important job that we all have to do as believers in Jesus Christ…that is to shine our light for Him!

It seems that these days, many are afraid of the darkness…content to stay put and draw back…instead of shining their light! Why is that? Could it be that we are unfamiliar with how things are going to go down? The Bible says that as darkness increases, so does the light! The light will ultimately defeat the darkness! What voice(s) are we listening to? What are we afraid of? After Adam and Eve sinned in the garden, they hid from God in fear and shame. But Jesus paid the price of our sins and has purchased our redemption! Jesus Christ has all authority! In respect to the end times, He tells us in the parable of the talents (my paraphrase) not to crawl into a hole and hide from Him, as in the garden, waiting for Him to come back. Instead, Jesus tells us to GO! He tells us to GET OUT THERE, to BRING THE LIGHT, to BRING THE KINGDOM! Hear the heart of the Father…

For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ. (2 Corinthians 4:6, NIV)

“The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” (John 1:5, NIV)

“Wake up, sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.” (Ephesians 5:14, NIV)

“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. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” (Matthew 5:15-16, NIV)

“Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord rises upon you. See, darkness covers the earth and thick darkness is over the peoples, but the Lord rises upon you and his glory appears over you. Nations will come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your dawn” (Isaiah 60:1-3. NIV)

“For Zion’s sake I will not keep silent, for Jerusalem’s sake I will not remain quiet, till her vindication shines out like the dawn, her salvation like a blazing torch.” (Isaiah 62:1, NIV)

“Those who are wise will shine like the brightness of the heavens, and those who lead many to righteousness, like the stars for ever and ever.” (Daniel 12:3, NIV)

“As the weeds are pulled up and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of the age. The Son of Man will send out his angels, and they will weed out of his kingdom everything that causes sin and all who do evil. They will throw them into the blazing furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Whoever has ears, let them hear.” (Matthew 13:40-43, NIV)


Beloved, we have a job to do! Adam and Eve turned man’s God-given authority over the earth to Satan in the garden. But Jesus Christ sacrificed Himself on the cross…and He is worthy! He has been given all authority! He has given us the task of kicking Satan back off of the earth! We may lose our lives in the process, but we will overcome!

“But we do not belong to those who shrink back and are destroyed, but to those who have faith and are saved.” (Hebrews 10:39, NIV)

“They triumphed over him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony; they did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death.” (Revelation 12:11, NIV)

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