It’s God…In a Landslide!

4 Jesus answered: “Watch out that no one deceives you. 5 For many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am the Messiah,’ and will deceive many. 6 You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. 7 Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. 8 All these are the beginning of birth pains. Matthew 24:4-8

We hear these verses quoted often nowadays, and with good reason. There’s a lot to get uptight about in our world

As I write this, the election results are beginning to pour in. Both “sides” are up in arms, so to speak, about the other candidate and how he will destroy this and that. Doomsday prediction are also pouring in from a media bent on hyping everything from Covid-19 to the largest hurricane since hurricanes have been recorded. Historic even.

God is still working.

He’s still moving in the hearts and minds of men, women, and children around the world, regardless of who is in power in the United States.

He is also still very much in control of all of this.

Nothing escapes Him.

Nothing catches Him off guard.

And certainly nothing can knock Him from His throne.

You probably woke this morning with the election results.

Relax. God is still in control.

If you voted for the guy that got in, He’s in control.
If you didn’t vote for the guy that got in; He’s still in control.

Now’s the time to hum a song through the day….

He’s got the whole world, in His hands, He’s got the whole world….

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Breathing Hope Into the Soul

3 As Jesus was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately. “Tell us,” they said, “when will this happen, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?” Matthew 24:3

At this point, as they overlooked Jerusalem from about 3 miles away, the disciples seem to be getting curious. They’re away from the crowds and the Jewish leaders. They seems to be relaxing, just “chewing the fat,” as it were. But He is about to teach them essential truths about what will occur in the future. How soon? Nobody knows.

The disciples don’t know it right now but they were absorbing much of His teaching. They would need it to carry on the ministry when Jesus departed.

I recall many years ago attending a Promise Keepers event in Chicago. Lunch break was over and 50,000+ men were working their way back into the stadium. I stayed in the parking lot laying under a tree with my pastor. For whatever reason we were just talking. I’m not even sure about the topics. We could hear the meeting starting again yet we continued to talk. Ministry was happening, perhaps even more so than what was going on in the crowded arena a hundred yards away.

I can envision Jesus doing the same with his disciples, just talking. Big things. Small things. Answering question. Asking question. We only get a snippet of their conversation, something that we would need in our ministries, but I’m fairly certain they talked more than these few words that were recorded.

Ministry is about breathing a little bit of light and hope into someone else’s soul.

  • Coffee with a friend.
  • Laying under a tree at a conference, shooting the breeze.
  • Working alongside and joking with fellow laborers on a missions trip.
  • Talking a coworker “off the ledge” after the boss just read him the Riot Act.

Sure, it’s the big things like teaching and preaching and going into all the world, but it doesn’t have to be that elaborate or grandiose.

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Not One Stone Unturned

Jesus left the temple and was walking away when his disciples came up to him to call his attention to its buildings. 2 “Do you see all these things?” he asked. “Truly I tell you, not one stone here will be left on another; every one will be thrown down.” Matthew 24:1-2

As mentioned yesterday, Jerusalem would be in one piece for another forty years. As with most strong nations, the people believe that nothing bad could possibly happen to them based on what they know at the moment. That is certainly true in modern day America.

But we all know that nations rise and fall, and they often follow a pattern. It was true for Israel back then, and it’s true for them right now. Did Rome ever believe it would fall? No, but they crumbled from within.

We may not see it here in the West, but God is doing some amazing things around the world. The Church worldwide is exploding in numbers. People are still hungry for truth and the Word of God. But that expansion also comes at a cost. More and more believers are being persecuted and imprisoned than anything as well.

As a side note, I’ve never heard church growth experts and consultants tell us the best way to grow is to be so bold people will “naturally” persecute you. With all their facts and figures at their fingertips, you’d think one of them would at least be honest about true organic growth.

As long as God is still working and moving in countries we can barely pronounce, we should continue to support them anyway we can. When we hear of injustices and persecution, we should pray the moment we hear of it, take an interest in it, and follow it through. Chances are good, that if it’s a country such as Burundi or Uruguay or Mauritania, you may be only one of a few dozen from the West who has taken an interest in it. Most of the time those nations are not ever on our “radar.”

I’d love to hear some of your stories after you get involved with ministries and missionaries from those not so common lands. Write me so I can share them with others.

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Jerusalem Jerusalem

37 “Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were not willing. 38 Look, your house is left to you desolate. 39 For I tell you, you will not see me again until you say, ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord. Matthew 23:37-38

Jesus went from rebuking the leaders to lamenting about His chosen people. The Israelites had a love/hate relationship with truth and faith, and seemed to not mind captivity. The prophets came to them, and the people stoned them. They didn’t want to hear the truth.

In 40 years the Temple that was so magnificent now would be destroyed and the only thing that would remain would be the Western Wall (modern Wailing Wall).

Over the last two months, the nation of Israel has formed relationships with three or four nations that before this was unheard of.

Continue to “pray for the Peace of Jerusalem, May those who love you be secure” Psalm 122:6

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The Day to Day Faithfulness of the Saints

33 “You snakes! You brood of vipers! How will you escape being condemned to hell? 34 Therefore I am sending you prophets and sages and teachers. Some of them you will kill and crucify; others you will flog in your synagogues and pursue from town to town. 35 And so upon you will come all the righteous blood that has been shed on earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah son of Berekiah, whom you murdered between the temple and the altar. 36 Truly I tell you, all this will come on this generation. Matthew 23:33-36

Jesus spoke these words 2000 years ago but he could have been speaking today. Many have carried on the tradition of these men.

Thousands of men, women, and children have been martyred every year at the hands of people who hate them and believe what they are doing is good for the world. The Spirit of anti-Christ is alive and well in this world.

An early church father, Tertullian, said, “The blood of the martyrs is the seed of the church.” It was as profound in AD 197 as it is today.

We hear stories of people who preached and preached for years only to be martyred. Years, sometimes decades later, a church springs up where those seeds were planted.

It was the day to day faithfulness of those who have come before us that enables us to have the liberties and Gospel we now enjoy.

Jesus spoke the harsh words against the leaders of the day but it’s also a reminder to us that Jesus forewarned us about such people.

Those in the trenches serving Christ, keep at it.

Day by day.

You are not serving man alone but Christ also.

And when it’s difficult, know that He is giving you strength to serve another day.

It’s worth the struggle.

It’s worth the blood sweat and tears.

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