Tag Archives: NKJV

Happy New Year!! 2020, and the clock is ticking…..

Happy New Year everyone!!

   It’s 2020 and for some of us it’s an amazing fact. The fact that it is 2020, that the clock’s still ticking and we are still here. Growing up I remember hearing the expression “if the Lord tarries” as a response to plans people would declare having for the immediate future.

If the Lord tarries. If the Lord delays His return. If we are still here tomorrow. Jesus said clearly that no man knows the day or the hour (of His return) and added that not even The Son of Man (Himself) but only The Father – Mark 13:32 In light of this truth I will not be as foolish as some have to declare a date for the Lord’s return but I will look into some of the clues Jesus gave us as to what events will precede His return.

In Mark Chapter 13 Jesus gives a cautionary look at the events leading up to what has come to be called the End Times. Wars and rumors of war, earthquakes, diseases, famine, are listed as just the start of the troubles but not the end. Let’s consider that for a moment. The great wars that this earth has seen along with the natural disasters and famine and troubles are, according to our Lord, just the start of sorrows. Just the beginning!! Taken at face value one can suppose that things will get worse rather than better as time goes on.

In verses 14 through 20 Jesus goes on to describe an event of such shocking magnitude that He advises those who witness it to flee without taking the time to gather belongings – just run!! Again, I will not foolishly attempt to state what this event is. Many others have and you can google it. My focus here is to highlight the warning with their signs and wonders as told by our Lord.

A quick summery of the warnings given by Jesus as recorded in Mark 13 are

  • Take heed that no man deceives you! Guard your hearts and your heads. The psalmist wrote – Thy Word I have hid me my heart that I might not sin against thee. Ps. 119:11 Hiding Gods word in our hearts through reading and study of His word will protect us against deception. Deception, apparently, will be a part of the End Times.
  • False Jesus’s or Prophets will deceive many.
  • War and rumors of war are not the end and we should not be troubled by them because they have to take place. But the end is not yet.
  • There will be earthquakes and famines and troubles in many different places but these still are only the beginnings of sorrows – not the end.
  • Christian persecution will increase to the point that family members will turn on each other even to the point of death.
  • The Gospel (The Good News Of Jesus) will be preached to the whole world.
  • The fulfillment of a prophecy given by Daniel will be a shocking event which should cause those who witness it to flee very quickly.
  • Tribulations of such great and unprecedented proportions will take place and without Divine Intervention no one will survive.
  • Many will say that the Lord has arrived and is here or there but do not be deceived because His return will be seen and known by all.
  • When He returns the sun will darkened and the moon will not give its light and the very stars in the sky will fall. Jesus will appear in the clouds with great power and glory and with His angels. All will see and know it is Jesus.
  • Jesus tells us a parable ( a story or a metaphor to make a point) about the fig tree. He often used agriculture as a way of getting a point across. Here he reminds the listener of how when you see the branches become tender and sprout leaves you now that summer is close at hand. Likewise, when these events take place we should know that the end is near.
  • The generation that does see these things happen will not pass away until all things be fulfilled.
  • No one knows the day or the hour – THIS BEARS REPEATING! NO ONE KNOWS!! So when a preacher or televangelist or a new caster or politician or whomever say that they have decoded the Bible and can give you a date, be certain they know nothing because Jesus Himself said that no on knows – no – not even Jesus!!
  • Take heed, watch and pray! Be alert and ready because we do not know when that day will be. All we can be certain of is it wasn’t yesterday or the day before and it hasn’t been today, so far! But it will come and we alone are responsible for being ready.

There are many who believe that parts of the Bible are poetic or allegorical and as such can not be taken at face value or even given consideration as relevant to our day to day life. They say that these passages regarding any future prophetic events are fictional writings or not pertaining to events on earth, past, present or future. These people, along with all other non-believers and mockers use their sudo-intellectual theories as a shield against their fear that if they don’t discredit the Word of God they might just have to look at themselves in the mirror of His Words.

There are a great many things I do not know or understand in this world of 2020 but what I do believe to be true is that Jesus Himself is watching many of us with a heavy heart and asking His Father today as He did some 2000 years ago……

FATHER FORGIVE THEM FOR THEY KNOW NOT WHAT THEY DO!

Happy New Year!! 2020 is here and there is still time to repent and be saved because the clock is still ticking……..for now!

 

Be Blessed A&B

Reflections in a Mirror – How do you see you?

Have you ever seen that cute poster that shows a little cat sitting in front of a full length mirror and the reflection is that of a huge lion? The point that this image is conveying is that how you see yourself is of utmost importance. But is that really true? Isn’t that a bit self-centered and egotisical?

With all the focus on “self esteem” and “self worth” and the “look-at -me” social media lifestyle we live with today, I took issue with this mind set. I took issue because God doesn’t teach us to be so self-centered and ego-driven. His Word tells us to be humble and modest and to place others before us. But when we look around and see the drug abuse, eating disorders, violence in schools, hazing and peer pressure and all the pain and suffering caused by negative self-image, poor self-worth and the desire for acceptance, I had to rethink my position.

I looked into the Word of God and found somethings I’d like to share.

   Psalms 23:7 tells us that:

For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he

   There are many examples in the Bible of those who had either a very low self esteem or a prideful sense of self and God dealt with both accordingly. In Judges chapter 6 we see the angle of the Lord address Gideon as a “Mighty man of Valor!” yet, Gideon reveals very clearly how he sees himself in his response;

15 “Pardon me, my lord,” Gideon replied, “but how can I save Israel?

My clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my family.

  Gideon says that in all of Israel his family is the smallest, weakest and least powerful family and as if that wasn’t enough – he is the least of them! He just opened his mouth and declared himself to be one of the least powerful, important or capable people in the whole country!! Wow! talk about a poor self-image. But keep in mind that this is not how God sees him. Thankfully, this is not the end of Gideon’s story. He goes on, with the power of God, to fulfill his destiny as a mighty man of valor and saves Israel – see Judges 7

But lets look at how Gideon could say such a thing. Jesus gives us insight into where such things come from –

For out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks. Like 6:45

   So we see that Gideon said this about himself because that is what he really believed deep down inside himself. Regardless of what anyone else thought or said about him – he felt helpless and small. Thankfully God was able to turn his thinking around.

But lets look at an example of an over-inflated ego – King Saul

 There was a man of Benjamin whose name was Kish the son of Abiel, the son of Zeror, the son of Bechorath, the son of Aphiah, a Benjamite, a mighty man of power.  And he had a choice and handsome son whose name was Saul. There was not a more handsome person than he among the children of Israel. From his shoulders upward he was taller than any of the people. 1 Sam 9:1-3

   Unlike Gideon, Saul was a handsome man who came from a powerful family and was taller than anyone else around. Add to that the fact that he was chosen to be King of Israel and you have a formula for pride, self-reliance and disobedience. 1 Samuel records the story of how Saul, ordered to kill the Amalekites and not leave alive or take anything. He did not obey. He let the men take the best of the livestock under the pretense of making a sacrifice to God with them. His pride and concern for public opinion among the men of Israel caused him to disobey God and that cost him the crown. He was rejected by God as king over Israel and later, a small, skinny boy would be chosen to take his place – David.

Young David is an example of a healthy self-image.

  With Saul rejected as King the Prophet Samuel is sent by God to the house of Jesse to anoint a new king. Jesse has seven of his sons stand before the prophet but God says no to each of them. Only after the young skinny son that Jesse overlooked was brought before Samuel did God command – Go, anoint this one! David began his journey as King of Israel. David, who even as a child had a good self image and knew how he stood with God. This is clearly seen in the way in which David stood up to Goliath even though the entire army shook with fear of that giant.

David declares that no one should be fearful about this man because he (little skinny boy David) will fight and defeat him! On the surface this might seem like a prideful statement but David was drawing on the confidence inside him because of his relationship with the One True God and past experiences.

But David said to Saul, “Your servant used to keep his father’s sheep, and when a lion or a bear came and took a lamb out of the flock, 35 I went out after it and struck it, and delivered the lamb from its mouth; and when it arose against me, I caught it by its beard, and struck and killed it. 36 Your servant has killed both lion and bear; and this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them, seeing he has defied the armies of the living God.” 37 Moreover David said, “The Lord, who delivered me from the paw of the lion and from the paw of the bear, He will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine.” 1 Samuel 17:24-37

  David trusted in his own ability coupled with the power of God with him. Much like Daniel in the Lion’s den who trusted, come what may, in God’s Love to see him threw the situation ahead of them. Hopefully, you know how both these stories end. If not please look into it.

So, you see it’s all about a balance. You are not the lowest of the low no matter how you might feel and likewise, you are not he greatest one to walk the earth, even if you think you are!

Getting back to that cat looking at it’s reflection in the mirror.

He should see a great and mighty Lion in the mirror

as long as he also sees The Lord Jesus Christ beside him

otherwise it’s all and illusion!

Jesus said it best –

“I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. John 15:5

  Be blessed today as you go forth in the Power of the Holy Spirit to stand confidently in your place with Jesus by your side. Al

Further verses on this subject are listed here for our consideration.

Pride goes before destruction, And a haughty spirit before a fall. Pr 16:18

Therefore whoever humbles himself as this little child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. Matthew 18:4

But He gives more grace. Therefore He says: “God resists the proud, But gives grace to the humble.” James 4:6

Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time 1 Peter 5:6