Bless the Lord, O my soul; And all that is within me, bless His holy name!
Bless the Lord, O my soul, And forget not all His benefits:
Who forgives all your iniquities, Who heals all your diseases,
Who redeems your life from destruction,Who crowns you with lovingkindness and tender mercies,
Who satisfies your mouth with good things, So that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.
The Lord executes righteousness and justice for all who are oppressed.
He made known His ways to Moses,His acts to the children of Israel.
The Lord is merciful and gracious,Slow to anger, and abounding in mercy.
He will not always strive with us, Nor will He keep His anger forever.
He has not dealt with us according to our sins, Nor punished us according to our iniquities.
For as the heavens are high above the earth, So great is His mercy toward those who fear Him;
As far as the east is from the west, So far has He removed our transgressions from us.
As a father pities his children, So the Lord pities those who fear Him.
For He knows our frame; He remembers that we are dust.
As for man, his days are like grass;As a flower of the field, so he flourishes.
For the wind passes over it, and it is gone ,And its place remembers it no more.
But the mercy of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting On those who fear Him,
And His righteousness to children’s children, To such as keep His covenant,And to those who remember His commandments to do them.
The Lord has established His throne in heaven, And His kingdom rules over all.
Bless the Lord, you His angels, Who excel in strength, who do His word,Heeding the voice of His word.
Bless the Lord, all you His hosts,You ministers of His, who do His pleasure.
Bless the Lord, all His works, In all places of His dominion. Bless the Lord, O my soul!
Yes, today I will bless the Lord. Even though annoying things try to interfere, the words of rude people try to shake me, I will still bless the Lord. I feel like a memo went out to the world : “make her life difficult in every way” – that’s how the last two weeks have felt. How can I have so much interference everywhere I turn? Why isn’t everything going my way? Why are the simplistic things turning into long dragged out trials? Why am I dealing with so many problems? Whatever! I’m going to bless the Lord and refuse to be brought down.
I will bless the Lord, with all my soul and forget not His benefits. I will lift my head up and wait for my King. He forgives all my sins and heals all my diseases, He redeems my life from destruction and crowns me with loving kindness and tender mercies. How awesome is that?!? He makes all my problems disappear as I refocus. I will rejoice for this is the day that the Lord has made. He will strengthen me and renew my youth like the eagles. Amen, it just doesn’t get any better than that.
Last summer, much of my free time was spent driving back and forth to Seattle to spend time with my dear friend, Anne, and to take her to various medical appointments. Anne had been bravely battling stage four cancer for nearly nine years. Many of those years had been extremely victorious. However, the unpredictable and ugly disease had spread its corrosive cells throughout her entire body. Though Anne presented a valiant fight, the cancer was finding a foothold that nothing could seem to stop. By summer’s end, she needed a place to stay where she would not be left alone for long stretches of time, but rather where there would continually be a person present in the home. God provided the perfect place – a home with a loving Christian couple and their eldest daughter, who happened to be an in-home care medical person. Additionally, the new location was a mere fifteen minutes from my home, rather than forty.
One of the many things that Anne loved about their home, is that they would talk with her and spend time reading the Bible aloud to her, as she requested. There was a verse that came to be very significant to Anne as she became increasingly frail, and barring a miracle, it was apparent that her end was near. This morning as I read through the passages in my daily reading plan, there was a hitch in my heart as I came upon that particular verse. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. – (2 Timothy 4:7) Anne, although her days were far shorter than any of us would have liked, she fought the good fight, she never wavered in her faith, and she finished her race strong, even unto her final breath. It is my prayer that I would learn from her example, and that no matter what comes my way, that I would continue to fight the good fight and keep the faith. When my days are done, I want to know that I have finished the race He has set before me, with no regrets.
may it give God praise;
with all of our heart,
for all of our days.
To fight the good fight,
means stay in the game;
trust that He is good,
have faith in His Name.
We must run the race,
that He’s called us to;
for He’s qualified,
and equipped to do.
View not the struggle,
nor look to the task;
instead to the Source,
our Strength as we ask.
Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You have given us numerous examples of those who have gone before us and have fought the good fight, have finished the race, and have kept the faith. Thank You that this is not something that we are meant to do in our own strength, but rather in Yours. Thank You that You supply all that we need to stand strong and stay in the fight for as long as we are meant to run our race. Forgive us for allowing weariness to let our hearts wander off course, and help faith to rise up as we grow in our understanding of who You are, and just how much You love us. Thank You that Your mercy is new every morning, and that Your grace is enough. May we stand strong in faith in the fight, and run our race as You call us to run. Let Your love be what people see in us, and may many come to know You as their Lord and Savior, as our path points people to You. Be glorified through how we are running our race. Amen.
© Shannon Elizabeth Moreno and Revelations in Writing, May 2011 – present.
For the Lord your God will bless you, … and your joy will be complete. – Deuteronomy 16:15
Part of Paul’s exhortation to the Philippians included a reminder that simply hearing or knowing the truth is not enough. As we grow in our understanding of the Word of God, we must also put what we learn into practice. It is not enough to simply have heard the word, and let it lie forgotten. It must take root and grow in our hearts, as we allow the Holy Spirit to point us to the places of application in our lives.
Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me – put into practice. And the God of peace will be with you. – (Philippians 4:9)
Back then, the people of Philippi did not have access to a Bible as we do. They had to rely on what they had heard and what Paul and other early disciples modeled for them. We have the benefit of both the Bible and an abundant history of faithful followers whom have demonstrated a life lived in obedience before Him. To know that the God of peace will be present with me, makes any sacrifice required, more than worth the price. His presence is far greater than anything we may need to give up out of obedience to Him. May we each be willing to put into practice all that He is showing us, and may our hearts be overwhelmed with the presence of His perfect peace.
of Your every word;
may truth penetrate,
where Your voice is heard.
Please open my ears,
my mind and my heart;
so all that’s received,
I’m willing to start.
Lord, grant me Your peace,
so I will press on;
no matter the storm,
our true battle’s won.
Let hope be our hold,
as eyes fix on You;
we’ll trust and obey,
as You make us new.
Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You provide Your word and Your Holy Spirit, to lead us and guide us in how we are meant to live. Thank You that so many have gone before us, modeling a life lived faithfully in You. Thank You that You do not expect us to just figure it out, but You promise to provide Your peace, that surpasses all understanding, as we press on in faith. Forgive us for neglecting to put what we know into practice, or for not allowing the truth to shape how we live. Teach us to give all of ourselves unto You, so that we may become who You have called us to be. Thank You that You are merciful and kind, loving and full of grace. Thank You that You long for us to come to a place where we surrender and choose total obedience unto You. Help us to be disciples, as You call us to be, not just fans. May many come to the place of total surrender, as we walk in loving obedience before You. Let our knowledge lead to action that inspires others too, to make a choice. Be glorified, Lord God, as we move. Amen.
© Shannon Elizabeth Moreno and Revelations in Writing, May 2011 – present.
Shout aloud and sing for joy. – Isaiah 12:6
Job 28:1Surely there is a vein for the silver,
and a place for gold where they fine it.
2 Iron is taken out of the earth,
and brass is molten out of the stone.
3 He setteth an end to darkness,
and searcheth out all perfection:
the stones of darkness, and the shadow of death.
4 The flood breaketh out from the inhabitant;
even the waters forgotten of the foot:
they are dried up, they are gone away from men.
5 As for the earth, out of it cometh bread:
and under it is turned up as it were fire.
6 The stones of it are the place of sapphires:
and it hath dust of gold.
7 There is a path which no fowl knoweth,
and which the vulture’s eye hath not seen:
8 The lion’s whelps have not trodden it,
nor the fierce lion passed by it.
9 He putteth forth his hand upon the rock;
he overturneth the mountains by the roots.
10 He cutteth out rivers among the rocks;
and his eye seeth every precious thing.
11 He bindeth the floods from overflowing;
and the thing that is hid bringeth he forth to light.
12 But where shall wisdom be found?
and where is the place of understanding?
13 Man knoweth not the price thereof;
neither is it found in the land of the living.
14 The depth saith, It is not in me:
and the sea saith, It is not with me.
15 It cannot be gotten for gold,
neither shall silver be weighed for the price thereof.
16 It cannot be valued with the gold of Ophir,
with the precious onyx, or the sapphire.
17 The gold and the crystal cannot equal it:
and the exchange of it shall not be for jewels of fine gold.
18 No mention shall be made of coral, or of pearls:
for the price of wisdom is above rubies.
19 The topaz of Ethiopia shall not equal it,
neither shall it be valued with pure gold.
20 Whence then cometh wisdom?
and where is the place of understanding?
21 Seeing it is hid from the eyes of all living,
and kept close from the fowls of the air.
22 Destruction and death say,
We have heard the fame thereof with our ears.
23 God understandeth the way thereof,
and he knoweth the place thereof.
24 For he looketh to the ends of the earth, and seeth under the whole heaven;
25 To make weight for the winds; and he weighteth the waters by measure.
26 When he made a decree for the rain, and a way for the lightning of the thunder:
27 Then did he see it, and declare it; he prepared it, yea, and searched it out.
28 And to man he said, Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom; and to depart from evil is understanding.
In this increasingly “go with what feels good” culture, it is essential to not only be aware of what God deems right and wrong, but to also be in a close relationship with Him, so that we are able to hear His still small voice as He speaks to us, individually, about what is and is not permissible for us. There are some things that the Bible clearly defines as right and wrong. Yet there are other areas, that are a bit muddy. These are the places where it is paramount to pursue Christ for answers, rather than just going with whatever society says is good.
Acts five conveys the story of Peter and the apostles being arrested and jailed, simply for speaking the truth of what they had witnessed through the life, death, resurrection and ascension of Christ. The Sadducees jealousy got the best of them, and they threw the men of faith in prison. When brought to trial, the high priest asked them why they had gone against what they had been told (to stop teaching in His Name). “Peter and the other apostles replied: ‘We must obey God rather than men!” – (Acts 5:29)
Though few of us face the fear of prison for sharing our faith, we do deal with social pressures to stay silent, and to go along with societal norms that directly disregard what God has spoken. There is a delicate balance in loving others, yet speaking the truth in love. We cannot go around shouting to people that they “must turn or burn“. Rather, our charge is to live in such a way, that people are drawn unto us, and begin to ask questions as to why we are the way we are. God will provide opportunities for truth to be told in His time. He is tender and kind, and longs to draw people unto Himself. May we be living examples of His love, and may we choose to obey God first, always.
we shall hear the way;
to do as You ask,
to honor, obey.
We must truly seek,
to hear still small voice;
then choose to follow,
Let not fear of men,
keep us from what’s true;
our final answer,
will be unto You.
Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that we have access to mighty examples of those who have faithfully followed You. Thank You too, that You do not expect us to do this on our own, but You provide us all that we need, through Your word, and Your Holy Spirit. Forgive us for folding to social pressures, or for staying silent when we were meant to speak. Teach us to hear Your voice clearly, so that we may be Your voice to those who know You not. Let our lives lived in love, speak volumes to all who are around us. May many come to know Your goodness and Your grace, as they enter into a personal place of seeking Your face. Be magnified, our great and mighty King. Amen.
© Shannon Elizabeth Moreno and Revelations in Writing, May 2011 – present.
“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort.” – 2 Corinthians 1:3
Jonah Chapter 4
1 But it displeased Jonah exceedingly, and he was very angry. 2 And he prayed unto the Lord, and said, I pray thee, O Lord, was not this my saying, when I was yet in my country? Therefore I fled before unto Tarshish:for I knew that thou art a gracious God, and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repentest thee of the evil. 3 Therefore now, O Lord, take, I beseech thee, my life from me; for it is better for me to die than to live.
4 Then said the Lord, Doest thou well to be angry? 5 So Jonah went out of the city, and sat on the east side of the city, and there made him a booth, and sat under it in the shadow, till he might see what would become of the city. 6 And the Lord God prepared a gourd, and made it to come up over Jonah, that it might be a shadow over his head, to deliver him from his grief. So Jonah was exceeding glad of the gourd. 7 But God prepared a worm when the morning rose the next day, and it smote the gourd that it withered. 8 And it came to pass, when the sun did arise, that God prepared a vehement east wind; and the sun beat upon the head of Jonah, that he fainted, and wished in himself to die, and said, It is better for me to die than to live. 9 And God said to Jonah, Doest thou well to be angry for the gourd? And he said, I do well to be angry, even unto death. 10 Then said the Lord, Thou hast had pity on the gourd, for the which thou hast not laboured, neither madest it grow; which came up in a night, and perished in a night:11 And should not I spare Nineveh, that great city, wherein are more than sixscore thousand persons that cannot discern between their right hand and their left hand; and also much cattle? (KJV)
Jonah Chapter 3
1 And the word of the Lord came unto Jonah the second time, saying, 2 Arise, go unto Nineveh, that great city, and preach unto it the preaching that I bid thee. 3 So Jonah arose, and went unto Nineveh, according to the word of the Lord. Now Nineveh was an exceeding great city of three days ‘journey. 4 And Jonah began to enter into the city a day’s journey, and he cried, and said, Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown.
5 So the people of Nineveh believed God, and proclaimed a fast, and put on sackcloth, from the greatest of them even to the least of them. 6 For word came unto the king of Nineveh, and he arose from his throne, and he laid his robe from him, and covered him with sackcloth, and sat in ashes. 7 And he caused it to be proclaimed and published through Nineveh by the decree of the king and his nobles, saying, Let neither man nor beast, herd nor flock, taste any thing:let them not feed, nor drink water:8 But let man and beast be covered with sackcloth, and cry mightily unto God:yea, let them turn every one from his evil way, and from the violence that is in their hands. 9 Who can tell if God will turn and repent, and turn away from his fierce anger, that we perish not?
10 And God saw their works, that they turned from their evil way; and God repented of the evil, that he had said that he would do unto them; and he did it not. (KJV)
Jonah 1:17 Now the Lord had prepared a great fish to swallow up Jonah. And Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights.
Jonah2:1 Then Jonah prayed unto the Lord his God out of the fish’s belly, 2 And said,
I cried by reason of mine affliction unto the Lord, and he heard me;
out of the belly of hell cried I, and thou heardest my voice.
3 For thou hadst cast me into the deep, in the midst of the seas;
and the floods compassed me about:
all thy billows and thy waves passed over me.
4 Then I said, I am cast out of thy sight;
yet I will look again toward thy holy temple.
5 The waters compassed me about, even to the soul:
the depth closed me round about,
the weeds were wrapped about my head.
6 I went down to the bottoms of the mountains;
the earth with her bars was about me for ever:
yet hast thou brought up my life from corruption, O Lord my God.
7 When my soul fainted within me I remembered the Lord:
and my prayer came in unto thee, into thine holy temple.
8 They that observe lying vanities forsake their own mercy.
9 But I will sacrifice unto thee with the voice of thanksgiving;
I will pay that that I have vowed.
Salvation is of the Lord.
10 And the Lord spake unto the fish, and it vomited out Jonah upon the dry land. (KJV)
1 Now the word of the Lord came unto Jonah the son of Amittai, saying, 2 Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and cry against it; for their wickedness is come up before me. 3 But Jonah rose up to flee unto Tarshish from the presence of the Lord, and went down to Joppa; and he found a ship going to Tarshish:so he paid the fare thereof, and went down into it, to go with them unto Tarshish from the presence of the Lord.
4 But the Lord sent out a great wind into the sea, and there was a mighty tempest in the sea, so that the ship was like to be broken. 5 Then the mariners were afraid, and cried every man unto his god, and cast forth the wares that were in the ship into the sea, to lighten it of them. But Jonah was gone down into the sides of the ship; and he lay, and was fast asleep. 6 So the shipmaster came to him, and said unto him, What meanest thou, O sleeper? arise, call upon thy God, if so be that God will think upon us, that we perish not. 7 And they said every one to his fellow, Come, and let us cast lots, that we may know for whose cause this evil is upon us. So they cast lots, and the lot fell upon Jonah. 8 Then said they unto him, Tell us, we pray thee, for whose cause this evil is upon us; What is thine occupation? and whence comest thou? what is thy country? and of what people art thou? 9 And he said unto them, I am an Hebrew; and I fear the Lord, the God of heaven, which hath made the sea and the dry land. 10 Then were the men exceedingly afraid, and said unto him, Why hast thou done this? For the men knew that he fled from the presence of the Lord, because he had told them.
11 Then said they unto him, What shall we do unto thee, that the sea may be calm unto us? for the sea wrought, and was tempestuous. 12 And he said unto them, Take me up, and cast me forth into the sea; so shall the sea be calm unto you:for I know that for my sake this great tempest is upon you. 13 Nevertheless the men rowed hard to bring it to the land; but they could not:for the sea wrought, and was tempestuous against them. 14 Wherefore they cried unto the Lord, and said, We beseech thee, O Lord, we beseech thee, let us not perish for this man’s life, and lay not upon us innocent blood:for thou, O Lord, hast done as it pleased thee. 15 So they took up Jonah, and cast him forth into the sea:and the sea ceased from her raging. (KJV)
John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 The same was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. 4 In him was life; and the life was the light of men. 5 And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.
Each of us, whether we are aware of it or not, has an assignment. God has created and gifted each one of us with something special in mind. However, we are not born with an instruction manual, nor do we receive a special guide book at our moment of redemption, thus we find ourselves in a space of needing to seek Him to find out what He has planned.
We do have an instruction manual of sorts for our lives, as the Bible shows us how to live in love and trust in Him, among other essential things found in a life formed by faith. Also, because of Christ’s sacrifice, we are able to call out to God in prayer, any time, and ask whatever we need. The critical element in helping discover our given assignments, is the gift of the Holy Spirit. “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” – (Acts 1:8) When we invite Christ into our lives, we invite the Holy Spirit as well. Just as the early disciples received God’s power to do as He had called them to do, we too, can receive the very same power to do all that He is asking of us.
Three things that the disciples did, that we must still do today, are: to join together with fellow believers, pray together in faith, and wait. It seems that the first two are the easier of the three to manage. In this instant gratification society, waiting is a tough sell. Patience and perseverance are characteristics that seem a rarity, rather than the norm. The standards that were established all those years ago, still apply today. All things that are worthwhile take work and waiting. We are told that the same is true with our walk with Him. “Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance, perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out His love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom He has given us.” – (Romans 5:3-5)
The disciples were told to go and wait after Jesus had ascended into Heaven. We also, are meant to wait on Him, when we need to know what comes next. As we are faithful to wait, the blessings discovered by spending time intentionally in His presence, are well worth the investment. He is faithful to answer as we ask, we simply must press in and persevere, trusting that He hears our every prayer.
then faithfully wait;
for His answers,
not early nor late.
for the Lord is good;
He knows our need,
we are understood.
to both heart and mind;
trust Him to touch,
He is gentle, kind.
God will equip,
us to do each task;
know what He says,
and do as He asks.
Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You made the way for us to be in a relationship with You, and that the very same power You poured out on the early disciples, is available, ready and dwelling in the hearts of those who believe. Thank You that You equip us for all that You ask, and that You strengthen and encourage us as we listen and wait on You. Forgive us for forgetting to slow down, or for growing impatient in the waiting. Teach us to trust in the wait, and help us to persevere, so that we may hold the holy hope You have for us. May we live in love as we walk in obedience to all that You ask, and may many come to know You as a result. Be glorified in all that we say and do. Amen.
© Shannon Elizabeth Moreno and Revelations in Writing, May 2011 – present.
1 Corinthians 13:12 KJV “For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: for now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.”
2Timothty 2:1 Thou therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. 2 And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also. 3 Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. 4 No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier. 5 And if a man also strive for masteries, yet is he not crowned, except he strive lawfully. 6 The husbandman that laboureth must be first partaker of the fruits. 7 Consider what I say; and the Lord give thee understanding in all things. (KJV)
Acts 2:17 And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams:
18 And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy:
19 And I will shew wonders in heaven above, and signs in the earth beneath; blood, and fire, and vapour of smoke:
20 The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and notable day of the Lord come:
21 And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.
The story of Jonah and the whale is often dismissed by most as a Children’s story, but it really is not. It is one of the most important stories of redemption in the Bible. When God wanted Jonah to go to Ninevah and warn them to turn back from their ways, Jonah did not want to go.
King James Version (KJV)
2 Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and cry against it; for their wickedness is come up before me.
3 But Jonah rose up to flee unto Tarshish from the presence of the Lord, and went down to Joppa; and he found a ship going to Tarshish: so he paid the fare thereof, and went down into it, to go with them unto Tarshish from the presence of the Lord.
What we see in Jonah is a man who thought that his way was the best and didn’t not trust in God when He had a plan for the future of Ninevah. Jonah did not believe that Ninevah deserved redemption, and did not want to be the messenger that gave them the opportunity. But one of the most important things that we learn from the story of Jonah is that God is in control!
4 But the Lord sent out a great wind into the sea, and there was a mighty tempest in the sea, so that the ship was like to be broken.
5 Then the mariners were afraid, and cried every man unto his god, and cast forth the wares that were in the ship into the sea, to lighten it of them. But Jonah was gone down into the sides of the ship; and he lay, and was fast asleep.
6 So the shipmaster came to him, and said unto him, What meanest thou, O sleeper? arise, call upon thy God, if so be that God will think upon us, that we perish not.
7 And they said every one to his fellow, Come, and let us cast lots, that we may know for whose cause this evil is upon us. So they cast lots, and the lot fell upon Jonah.
8 Then said they unto him, Tell us, we pray thee, for whose cause this evil is upon us; What is thine occupation? and whence comest thou? what is thy country? and of what people art thou?
9 And he said unto them, I am an Hebrew; and I fear the Lord, the God of heaven, which hath made the sea and the dry land.
10 Then were the men exceedingly afraid, and said unto him. Why hast thou done this? For the men knew that he fled from the presence of the Lord, because he had told them.
11 Then said they unto him, What shall we do unto thee, that the sea may be calm unto us? for the sea wrought, and was tempestuous.
12 And he said unto them, Take me up, and cast me forth into the sea; so shall the sea be calm unto you: for I know that for my sake this great tempest is upon you.
13 Nevertheless the men rowed hard to bring it to the land; but they could not: for the sea wrought, and was tempestuous against them.
14 Wherefore they cried unto the Lord, and said, We beseech thee, O Lord, we beseech thee, let us not perish for this man’s life, and lay not upon us innocent blood: for thou, OLord, hast done as it pleased thee.
15 So they took up Jonah, and cast him forth into the sea: and the sea ceased from her raging.
16 Then the men feared the Lord exceedingly, and offered a sacrifice unto the Lord, and made vows.
17 Now the Lord had prepared a great fish to swallow up Jonah. And Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights.
We all know this part of the story, this is what we learned as children. But for so many the story stops here. Yet when Jonah gets to Ninevah is more important to the world of Jonah’s day. God warns them through Jonah that if they do not pray for forgiveness and turn from their ways that they will be destroyed.
3 So Jonah arose, and went unto Nineveh, according to the word of the Lord. Now Nineveh was an exceeding great city of three days’ journey.
4 And Jonah began to enter into the city a day’s journey, and he cried, and said, Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown.
5 So the people of Nineveh believed God, and proclaimed a fast, and put on sackcloth, from the greatest of them even to the least of them.
6 For word came unto the king of Nineveh, and he arose from his throne, and he laid his robe from him, and covered him with sackcloth, and sat in ashes.
7 And he caused it to be proclaimed and published through Nineveh by the decree of the king and his nobles, saying, Let neither man nor beast, herd nor flock, taste any thing: let them not feed, nor drink water:
8 But let man and beast be covered with sackcloth, and cry mightily unto God: yea, let them turn every one from his evil way, and from the violence that is in their hands.
9 Who can tell if God will turn and repent, and turn away from his fierce anger, that we perish not?
10 And God saw their works, that they turned from their evil way; and God repented of the evil, that he had said that he would do unto them; and he did it not.
Jonah was one of God’s messengers that rebelled from doing what God wanted him to do, and yet God used that very rebellion to convince Ninevah of His message. If Jonah had been a willing messenger, Ninevah probably would not have taken him seriously. And yet Ninevah still might have gone the other way. They might have refused to listen. If they had not listened God would have kept His promise to destroy them. We see from this story that no matter how bad things are that there are hopes for redemption, that God always keeps His promise, that He is in control no matter what we think, and that no matter how faulty we are as humans, He can use us to save others. We see an example of resurrection and redemption, a forerunner of Jesus Christ Himself.
No matter what we think about this world, we need to remember that things are not always what they seem, and that God is still in control and His plan is in place. We are not aware of what He is doing at any given time, and what we think is a failure, may just be another step in the process to the final goal that He wants. We have read the Book and we know the end. God’s time is His own and our time on earth is only important in fulfilling the objectives that He has given us and that is to “go forth and make disciples.”
God bless you all, have faith and trust in God no matter what you think should be the right path!
2 Peter 1:12 Wherefore I will not be negligent to put you always in remembrance of these things, though ye know them, and be established in the present truth.
13 Yea, I think it meet, as long as I am in this tabernacle, to stir you up by putting you in remembrance;
14 Knowing that shortly I must put off this my tabernacle, even as our Lord Jesus Christ hath shewed me.
15 Moreover I will endeavour that ye may be able after my decease to have these things always in remembrance.
16 For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of his majesty.
17 For he received from God the Father honour and glory, when there came such a voice to him from the excellent glory, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.
18 And this voice which came from heaven we heard, when we were with him in the holy mount.
19 We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts:
20 Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.
21 For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost. 2 Peter 1:12-20
Our knowledge of God comes not from myths but from eyewitness testimony from those who were participants on the path of Jesus. Not a single testimony but multiple words that show no disagreement!
Hebrews 7:24-26 “But this man, because He continueth ever, hath an unchangeable priesthood. Wherefore He is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by Him, seeing He ever liveth to make intercession for them. For such a high priest became us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens;”
How wonderful to have the promise of an intercession and know that He loves us and made the ultimate sacrifice! It is also what we as followers of Christ must do for those in need, praying always!
C.H.Surgeon ” the wealth of the Church lies in the in the power of intercession”
“The heart of many will grow cold” – or has it already begun? Matthew 24. HWC- the global current sweeping through the world (Heart Waxing Cold)
Has your heart waxed cold? Has your mind strayed away from God’s principles? False teaching, worldly influences, and a spirit of wickedness have slowly manipulated people. This wickedness is waiting to rule over you.
Ask yourself, who comes first?
- mayyyyyybee other people (but only if you like them, and they’re nice)
- animals? (not that animals aren’t important, but let’s get real here – most people love their dog more than their neighbor)
Don’t you see what is about to come upon us? Jesus warned us in Matthew “the love of many shall wax cold”
In Matthew’s verse “Love of many shall wax cold”, the Greek translation is: the agape love of many people shall turn “physco”. The meaning in bible dictionaries for this term is cold/ breath, blowing. Physcros and physco are both translated in scripture as cold. Further research for a Greek definition of physco revealed the following: related to the soul, mind, also a study related to the body, nature, medicine or the physical world.
The word cold in this verse from revelation: “So then because you are lukewarm and neither cold nor hot, I will spew you out of my mouth” is psychros meaning : cold, sluggish, inert, in mind. This version of word is used 3x. It seems, in this verse, to be a metaphor for cold personality- a cold mind.
“the love of many shall wax cold”
Here are the options that this verse may mean: In the last days, the love of many will grow: uncaring, unloving, worldly, selfish, making our own ways, worshipping nature, following worldly ideas, medicated, worshiping things of the world….worldwide just as a current of wind blows through an area so this wickedness will try to consume all.
2 Timothy 3 goes into greater detail: “In the last days perilous times will come: For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away!”
Put others first!
Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others. Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. Phil 2
This week I was studying the story in Matthew about how Jesus fed the 5000. Jesus went away to get rest after John the Baptist had died, but the crowd followed Him. I noticed how Jesus put the crowd before His needs. He needed rest, He was probably deeply saddened by John’s death and maybe consumed with what was ahead for Him. He wanted to have quiet rest time and prayer with the Father, but He put his needs aside for all the people. This is the true shepherd, He laid down his life and all He had for us. –don’t get me wrong- we all need time to rest and pray- But Christ put the people’s needs first and trusted God to give Him the rest He needed. It makes me consider myself and times I have pushed my kids aside because I wanted my own time, or times I have ignored someone who needed my help because of my own selfishness. Often we need to remind ourselves – it’s not all about us. Me, me, me!
Consider your ways
Stop for a moment and imagine today was your last day. You are before the Lord God, would He say this to you ?
My child, I gave you much time and had a plan for you, what have you done with the time I’ve given you? Do you know how much of your day you gave to your own selfish wants – the computer? The television? ………….. So much needed to get done, so many harvesters were needed. Why don’t your children know Who I AM? Why didn’t you come when I called you? Why did you choose the world over Me? Where is your gold and what can you buy with your money now? I was hungry and you ignored me, I was thirsty, but you turned your head. I was lonely but you didn’t care. I wanted to be your friend, I reached out for you, but you scoffed and turned away. I kept knocking, but you didn’t open the door. You honored me with your lips, but you knew your heart was far from Me.
The Sweeping Current of cold self centeredness aka HWC (heart waxing cold) the new earthly phenomenon.
I sense it, do you? It’s as if this selfish cold hearted spirit is knocking at my door waiting to rule over me. I have to remind myself to love others. In fact, I’m finding these last few weeks a real test and a struggle to be caring and loving to others. If I wasn’t grounded in the word and prayer I know I would not have noticed it. Maybe there is an intense war for God’s people going on right now that we don’t see. A verse to come to mind as I write this from Revelation 12 “ Woe to the inhabitants of the earth and the sea! For the devil has come down to you, having great wrath, because he knows that he has a short time”
7 And war broke out in heaven: Michael and his angels fought with the dragon; and the dragon and his angels fought, 8 but they did not prevail, nor was a place found for them[a] in heaven any longer. 9 So the great dragon was cast out, that serpent of old, called the Devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was cast to the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.10 Then I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, “Now salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of His Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren, who accused them before our God day and night, has been cast down. 11 And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death. 12 Therefore rejoice, O heavens, and you who dwell in them! Woe to the inhabitants of the earth and the sea! For the devil has come down to you, having great wrath, because he knows that he has a short time.”
Heart waxed cold HWC headlines: from propheyupdatenews.com on 1-7-14
HWC: Boy, 13, Kills Cousin Over Xbox…
HWC: Man fatally stabs wife in argument over cable bill…
HWC: Stockton Couple Accused Of Dismembering Roommate, Burning Torso In Campfire
HWC: California priest beaten to death with wooden stake, metal gutter pipe
How does our enemy work?
First, he tries to steal the Word of God from our hearts. Once that is done, we soon begin to make our own ways and our own man made laws. Second, he tries to distract you from God’s word and promises. He sends arrows of doubt, fear and worry into your thoughts trying to destroy your faith. Thirdly, he gains a choke hold over you and blocks out God’s word through deceit, riches and all the world has to offer.
Matthew 13:19-Therefore hear the parable of the sower: When anyone hears the word of the kingdom, and does not understand it, then the wicked one comes and snatches away what was sown in his heart. This is he who received seed by the wayside. But he who received the seed on stony places, this is he who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy; yet he has no root in himself, but endures only for a while. For when tribulation or persecution arises because of the word, immediately he stumbles. Now he who received seed among the thorns is he who hears the word, and the cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and he becomes unfruitful. But he who received seed on the good ground is he who hears the word and understands it, who indeed bears fruit and produces: some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.
What can we do?
We can begin by putting on the warfare we have been given in Ephesians 6 and living by the Beatitudes in Matthew 5. Revelation tells us we can overcome the wicked one by “the blood of the lamb and by their testimony”. 2 Timothy gives us more insight: follow right doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, longsuffering, love, perseverance, persecutions and afflictions.
“ But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: 2 For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, 3 unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, 4 traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God,5 having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away! 6 For of this sort are those who creep into households and make captives of gullible women loaded down with sins, led away by various lusts, 7 always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. 8 Now as Jannes and Jambres resisted Moses, so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, disapproved concerning the faith; 9 but they will progress no further, for their folly will be manifest to all, as theirs also was.
Who comes first in your life?
Your pet? Your neighbor? Yourself? God? Your club? The poor? The rich?
Let’s talk: Recently a dog in my neighborhood needed to be put to sleep. He was paralyzed, couldn’t see or hear but a sweet lady tried to help him. A local organization raised $15,000 to help the animal get wheels for his back legs, physical therapy in a pool, and weekly pyschology visits – I’m not kidding you. He lived about 7 months before he died. It’s amazing to see this outpouring for a dog- surely it was a kind gesture, but I don’t see the same kind of love outpouring for people. It doesn’t take a lot of searching to find someone in need. How few reach out to help the people around us who are struggling.
Here’s something else that bothers me – SeaWorld’s Blackfish episode. The outpouring for the whale and mother has been astonishing. Singers have cancelled events at the theme park and it’s made a mess for them. Now I don’t know much of SeaWorlds reply, and certainly the situation bothers me, but let’s get real. If we really want to close down SeaWorld, let’s close down pet shops, fishing fleets, zoos and hey! Wait a minute- do we get the same outpouring of concern for the 60 million aborted babies? Today is January 17th, since the new year began, 1.8 million babies have had their skull crushed and brains vacuumed out ( A hollow tube with a knife-edged tip is inserted into the womb. The vacuum suction, 29 times more powerful than a household vacuum cleaner, tears the fetus and placenta into small pieces which are sucked through the tube into a bottle and discarded or a pair of forceps is inserted into the womb to grasp part of the fetus. The teeth of the forceps twist and tear the bones of the unborn child. from Lifesitenews.com ) or had chemicals/salt poured over their bodies until they die. Where’s the nation’s uproar for that? No – somehow in our “psycho/physcros” minds we seem to care more for an animal than we do for a struggling mother with children or a small infant in a mother’s womb. This certainly is the generation of phychros – those of a cold mind towards people.
As Christians- we should ask ourselves if we have in anyway become cold. Keep your eyes open to your ways and thoughts; be careful not to become coldhearted and uncaring for others. I believe there is a strong current, like a mighty force, sweeping through the land that we all would become uncaring and unloving to others. Another definition used for this word is breath- putting it all together – it’s as if a strong current is sweeping over people turning their hearts cold towards others.
Besides selfishness, I think sometimes we can become cold hearted by the cold heartedness of people around us, but we can’t let that influence us. Jesus is our example of how we should treat others. He didn’t fight or shout, not did he break the weakest reed (which means he didn’t crush those already brokenhearted and weak). He asked forgiveness for those who crucified Him, can we find that same forgiveness and mercy for others within ourselves?
Hear the Word of the Lord:
But you have carefully followed my doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, longsuffering, love, perseverance, 11 persecutions, afflictions, which happened to me at Antioch, at Iconium, at Lystra—what persecutions I endured. And out of them all the Lord delivered me. Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution. But evil men and impostors will grow worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived. But you must continue in the things which you have learned and been assured of, knowing from whom you have learned them, and that from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.2 Timothy 3 1-17
Revelation 3:15 “I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot. So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth
Matthew 24 : Now as He sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately, saying, “Tell us, when will these things be? And what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?” And Jesus answered and said to them: “Take heed that no one deceives you. For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many. And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of sorrows.
“Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name’s sake. And then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another. Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many. 12 And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold. 13 But he who endures to the end shall be saved. 14 And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come.
“Therefore when you see the ‘abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place” (whoever reads, let him understand), “then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. Let him who is on the housetop not go down to take anything out of his house. And let him who is in the field not go back to get his clothes. But woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing babies in those days! And pray that your flight may not be in winter or on the Sabbath. For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be. And unless those days were shortened, no flesh would be saved; but for the elect’s sake those days will be shortened. “Then if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Christ!’ or ‘There!’ do not believe it. For false christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. 25 See, I have told you beforehand. “Therefore if they say to you, ‘Look, He is in the desert!’ do not go out; or ‘Look, He is in the inner rooms!’ do not believe it. 27 For as the lightning comes from the east and flashes to the west, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. For wherever the carcass is, there the eagles will be gathered together.
29 “Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. 30 Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. 31 And He will send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.32 “Now learn this parable from the fig tree: When its branch has already become tender and puts forth leaves, you know that summer is near. 33 So you also, when you see all these things, know that it[d] is near—at the doors! 34 Assuredly, I say to you, this generation will by no means pass away till all these things take place. 35 Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away.36 “But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven,[e] but My Father only. 37 But as the days of Noah were, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. 38 For as in the days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, 39 and did not know until the flood came and took them all away, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. 40 Then two men will be in the field: one will be taken and the other left. 41 Two women will be grinding at the mill: one will be taken and the other left. 42 Watch therefore, for you do not know what hour[f] your Lord is coming. 43 But know this, that if the master of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched and not allowed his house to be broken into. 44 Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.45 “Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his master made ruler over his household, to give them food in due season? 46 Blessed is that servant whom his master, when he comes, will find so doing. 47 Assuredly, I say to you that he will make him ruler over all his goods. 48 But if that evil servant says in his heart, ‘My master is delaying his coming,’[g]49 and begins to beat his fellow servants, and to eat and drink with the drunkards, 50 the master of that servant will come on a day when he is not looking for him and at an hour that he is not aware of, 51 and will cut him in two and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites. There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
What has happened to us? Has the current of filth and worldliness caused us to drift so far we don’t realize our ways anymore? Lord, open our eyes, our ears and our hearts to your call. Set our feet back on the right path and give us discernment when we start to slip. I know you are always there for us, but keep us from honoring you with only our lips and not our hearts. Give us a love for others as Christ has. Teach us to consider others above ourselves. Forgive for our cold self-centeredness. Let us be a light in this world that would lead others to your kingdom. Give us a love for others, give us a heart of mercy , a heart of grace and forgiveness as you have showered upon us all through Christ your Son, In Jesus name, Amen.
Christ and His gospel will always be spoken against. If you know a gospel that is approved of by the age and patronized by the learned, that gospel is a lie. Sermon 2396, C.H. Spurgeon 1895
People are always looking for the easy way, but that is not the path that a follower of Christ can expect. There is truly not much difference between the snake-oil salesmen in the days of old and preachers of today who promise eternity while lining their wallets with your money. If they had faith and truly believed in the word of God, they would follow His instruction and build up their treasures in heaven and not on earth!
But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break in and steal. Matthew 6:20