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Posts Tagged ‘time’

Waiting, Watching, and Ready

June 6th, 2018

Christ Will Come as He Promised.

“Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come.”  Matthew 24:42

My thoughts and comments today are about,

“Waiting, Watching, and Ready.”

Imagine issuing a grand invitation to many friends but when your invited guests arrived, they found you awkwardly unprepared. As your guests would feel less welcome, you would feel embarrassed. For some, Christ’s return for believers will be like that. Whether  prepared or not, He will return. And of that day, Jesus warned, “At the coming of the Son of Man, don’t let Him find you sleeping when He arrives without warning. What I say to you, I say to everyone: Watch for My return. Read Mark 13:34-37. When Christ returns you will not go up then, unless you wake up now.

God’s Word promises that Christ will give, “a crown of righteousness . . to those who have loved His appearing” 2 Timothy 4:8. On that day, the issue will not be about any differences about theological projections of when Christ will return for Christians. When He does, Then the Angel will declare for all the world to hear, “There shall be time no longer.” Revelation 10:6. Whatever your understanding of the things surrounding Jesus’ return in the calendar of Biblical events, this is certain. Christ will come as He promised. Of this the Bible faithfully testifies.

The real issue is whether you and I will be ready, or surprised and unprepared. The essential answer to that is that at this moment of eternal consequence we are found trusting Christ alone for our salvation and eagerly anticipating His return. “So, Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for Him shall He appear the second time, without sin unto salvation” Hebrews 9:28.

Are you looking for Him with joyful anticipation? “When Christ Who is our life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory.” Colossians 3:4. Do not be careless or doubting. Because Christ has not yet come does not mean that He will not come. It only means that the day is that much closer. Any day and any time, our Savior and Lord will return for those who are ready when He appears. This is wise advice, “Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come.” Matthew 24:42 NIV.

On that day, “God will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” Revelation 21:42 NIV. What a day that will be. And that day will be as Heaven has promised for those who are prepared, as well as for those who were forewarned but not ready.

The Apostle Paul wrote, “For the Lord Himself will come down from Heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the Archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so, we will be with the Lord forever.  Therefore encourage each other with these words.” 1 Thessalonians 4:16-18 NIV.

Today, I pray for you to be waiting, watching, and ready.

Christian Communications 2018

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The Company of Friends

June 7th, 2017

Navigating difficulties requires the support of friends.

“The Father of compassion and the God of all comfort Who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.” 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 NIV.

My thoughts and comments today are about,

“The Company of Friends.”

Trouble is a common experience. You won’t always cause it. You won’t always enjoy it. But you can and must learn from it. Trouble is never enjoyable, but it can yield a maturity of life and faith that is learned in no other way. Trouble can be faced with faith, not fear. The Bible says, “Whenever trouble comes your way, let it be an opportunity for joy. For when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow.” Read James 1:2-5 NLT.

According to James, there are three elements which develop character and spiritual growth. Trouble – on occasion, everyone experiences troubled times or troubling people. Time – you must exercise patience and endurance to rightly learn from trouble. Truth – Godly perspective brings wisdom. Trouble is something you will have; time is something you must give; truth is something you must learn and in which you must be confident.

Among the things I have learned about trouble, this is most important. Navigating difficulties successfully requires the company and support of friends. Solomon wrote, “Two are better than one . . if one person falls, the other can reach out and help. But people who are alone when they fall are in real trouble . .” Read Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 NLT. Value those friends who will accompany you in your struggles and sorrows. Everyone needs someone alongside on their journey.

When you face troubled times or troubling people, which the Bible calls, “tribulation and persecution,” there are two questions your soul ponders about friendship. Are you there for me? And, do you care for me? Prize the gift of those friends who offer their company and compassion when you struggle most. “A friend is always loyal, and a brother is born to help in time of need . . As iron sharpens iron, a friend sharpens a friend.” Proverbs 17:17/27:18 NLT.

Jesus taught a simple yet profound truth, “Do for others what you would like them to do for you. This is a summary of all that is taught in the Law and the prophets.” Matthew 7:12 NLT. Be that kind of friend to others. My Dad taught me a valuable lesson about the responsibility and mutuality of friendship. By his words and example, he taught me that, “You will have the kind of friends that you choose to be for others.”

I have learned the irreplaceable value of friendships. Friendship is a treasure not available for purchase or barter, and a treasure nothing else can replace. I am grateful for friends who have invited me to share their lives and inspired me to live the best version of God’s plan for my life.

Fortunately, even when no one else can be there for you – when they cannot, or will not – God is there! “Though my father and mother forsake me, the Lord will receive me.” Psalm 27:10 NIV. Though the dearest of friends may not be able to be near, God can and will be there for you always. “God is our refuge and strength, an ever present help in times of trouble. Therefore, I will not fear . .” Psalm 46:1-2 NIV. Though any circumstance and emotion may suggest differently, God is ever present. Always cares. Always there. “For God Himself has said, ‘I will never leave you nor forsake you.’” Hebrews 13:5 NKJV.

Today, I pray for you to be confident in God and His care for you.

Christian Communications 2017-6810

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Worry Is A Waste

May 17th, 2017

Worry is a waste of time and energy

 “Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything.” Philippians 4:6 NLT

My thoughts and comments today are that, worry is a waste.”

Years earlier, I learned a helpful prayer, “God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things that I can, and wisdom to know the difference.” Accept, or change. Worry is the destroyer of serenity, and never a viable option.

Apprehension is the implied belief that God either doesn’t care or is unable. Worry adds nothing of value and depletes so much that is helpful and healthful. Admittedly, there are plenty of things that cause worry. Anxious thoughts are the product of majoring on matters you do not control and cannot change. God is in control and He can be trusted to care for the things that concern you. Until and unless you come to peace with that knowledge, you will remain vulnerable to worry and the anxiety that results. Let me suggest some practical things about worry.

Worry is unhelpful. Worry does not work. Here is the unpleasant reality, “If you always do what you’ve always done, you will always get what you’ve always gotten.” Worry is wearying to body, soul, and spirit, producing feelings of mental, emotional, and spiritual futility. Worry never solves a problem nor changes a circumstance. It neither changes the past nor controls the future. Logically, if worry doesn’t work, why waste time and energy worrying?

Worry is unrealistic. Worry exaggerates any problem. Worry is never in proportion to reality. It takes a minor, but real, concern and makes it major. Worry magnifies a problem, distorts reality, exaggerates emotions, while achieving nothing productive. Worrying about something you cannot change is futile. Worrying about something you can change is stupid; just change it. Either way, don’t worry! Valuable, emotional energy is better expended elsewhere?

Worry is unhealthy. Worry distresses you physically. Worry causes ulcers, tension headaches, stomach distress, and insomnia while you continually worry without relief. It makes you both unhappy and unhealthy. The root of the word is, “to strangle, to choke.” That well describes what results. Life and its joy are seriously diminished by anxiety. “Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank Him for all He has done. If you do this, you will experience God’s peace, which is far more wonderful than the human mind can understand.” Philippians 4:6-9 NLT.

Worry is unnecessary. Your Heavenly Father cares for you. “Casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.” 1 Peter 5:7 NKJV. God does more than care about you; He provides ample care for you. Consider Jesus’ words about His Father’s care for you. “Do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first His Kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” Read Matthew 6:25-34 NIV.

Today, I pray for you to choose for your days to be carefree, fruitful, and fulfilling.                    

Christian Communications 2017

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Time Well Spent

April 24th, 2013

“Make every minute count.” Ephesians 5:16 CEV.

You cannot buy, borrow, or bargain for more time than God gives.

My thoughts and comments today are about “time well spent.”

Most of everything you use or lose can be replaced, except for time. It is a mistake to not value time as you should or use it as wisely as you could. Time is a limited commodity; you cannot buy, borrow, or bargain for more time than God gives you. Use the time you have, well and wisely. Time is irreplaceable, much too precious to waste; invest in people and matters of eternal importance rather than spending it frivolously. Jesus advised, “Store up for yourselves treasures in Heaven . . for where your treasure is there your heart will be also.” Matthew 6:19-21 NIV.

James’ counsel was that you not presume anything about tomorrow, because “How do you know what will happen tomorrow?” James 4:13-17 NLT. The Psalmist prayed, “Teach us to make the most of our time, so that we may grow in wisdom. Psalm 90:12 NLT. The wise objective is to prize each moment, investing it wisely as a gift from God. Paul’s counsel is, “Make every minute count . . find out what the Lord wants you to do.” Ephesians 5:16-17 CEV. Here’s practical advice how to do that.

(1) Just say, “No.” Learning to say no to things – or people – that waste time allows you opportunity to say yes to God’s will, caring for your responsibilities, and being helpful to others. Stress results when you busy yourself with things not your responsibility, or commit to more than you can accomplish in available time. Jesus could confidently say to His Father, “I have finished the work You gave Me to do.” John 17:4 TEV. Jesus was not distracted by lesser matters, understanding personal priorities and knowing what is eternally important.

(2) Avoid procrastination. Ignoring things that must be done wastes time now and usually takes more time later. Personal and spiritual maturity is evidenced by doing what you should even when you don’t feel like doing so, just because that is what you should do. Jesus said, “I always do those things that please [the Father].” John 8:29 NKJV. Can you say that today? My spiritual life improved noticeably when I understood that procrastinated obedience is merely disobedience by lesser name. Read Matthew 21:28-31 NIV. Obeying God promptly and fully is time best spent.

(3) Take time to abide in Christ. Time reflecting on God’s Word, worshiping in His presence, and serving others is time well spent. Jesus was clear,“You cannot be fruitful unless you abide in Me.” John 15:4 NKJV. You will be more effective, more fruitful, more successful, and so much more satisfied. Listen and learn from the One Who will guide your life and direct your steps. Proverbs 3:5-6 NKJV. Your time doing so is well spent and makes every other minute more effective. A disciple of Jesus will trust His promise, “Seek first the Kingdom of Heaven and His righteousness, and all these other things will be provided for you.” Matthew 6:33. Life works best God’s way. First things first” is always good advice.

My prayer for you today is that you value time and use it with eternal purpose in mind.

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A Christmas Impossibility

December 21st, 2012

Christmas is any moment or circumstance when eternity penetrates time.

“For nothing is impossible with God.” Luke 1:37 NIV.

A few words at the end of a commercial caught my attention; “The impossible, true story,” as the announcer described it. What first seemed contradictory suddenly described Christmas perfectly to me, at least the real Christmas – the celebration of the Savior’s birth. God coming into our world, indescribable. A child born to a virgin, impossible. A Savior who came for sinners, incomparable. Christmas truly is the “impossible, true story.”

Centuries before Jesus was born, prophets foretold of Israel’s Messiah who would come. Isaiah wrote the most impossibly true words, “The Lord Himself shall give you a sign: Behold, a virgin will conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel, God is with us! . . for unto us a Child is born and unto us a Son is given . .” Isaiah 7:14/9:6-7. A Son would be born in Bethlehem; a Savior would be given at Jerusalem. His listeners must have puzzled over at Isaiah’s words, asking themselves, “How can this be?” Still today, Christmas remains “the impossible, true story.”

Christmas is the perpetual reminder that the Almighty God changes impossibilities into possibilities and improbabilities into probabilities; our God delights in confounding the wise by doing what others say cannot be done. Our God is unlike any other! “Christ is the mighty power of God and the wonderful wisdom of God. This ‘foolish’ plan of God is far wiser than the wisest of human plans, and God’s weakness is far stronger than the greatest of human strength.” 1 Corinthians 1:24-25 NLT.

Mary also asked, “How can this be?” Then, with assurance from the angel she rested her impossibility into God’s hands. In a few words from Heaven, Mary’s impossibility became possible. Christmas would forever mean that nothing would – nothing could – ever be the same again for Mary. Christmas is more than a moment of ancient history or annual calendar event; Christmas is any moment or circumstance when eternity penetrates time with the promise of possibilities that can change anything that ever has been and everything that still could be.

For you this Christmas, the Angel’s bold declaration to Mary is still true, “For nothing is impossible with God.” Luke 1:37 NIV. Christmas’ truth changed every previous assumption Mary held. The same can be true for you this Christmas. Your situation that appears impossible; your need that exceeds your ability or resource; the obstacle that defies your efforts; the sinful habit that seems indomitable; your failure you thought had stolen your future; all and more are well within the immeasurable bounds of God’s power to redeem. “Who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine.” Ephesians 3:20 NIV.

My prayer for you this Advent is that you invite Jesus into your heart and home as Savior and Lord.

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