But he who stands firm in the end will be saved. – (Matthew 24:13)
A life fixed on faithfully following the Father, is not for the fearful nor faint of heart. Temptations and trials are guaranteed, and choosing to willfully set aside our own pride and plans for those prepared for us by our Father in heaven, is not an easy undertaking. Daily, we must decide to either do His will, or our own. Though our way may lead to momentary satisfaction, His way, leads to a life everlasting. Temporary discomfort is well worth our eternal exchange. He has given His life for ours, so that we may lay hold of all that He has promised, and claim it as our own. The Lord is our strength and our supply, and will provide all that we need to weather every storm. Often He will ask us to step out of the boat to walk toward Him through the wind and waves, but He is always within an arm’s reach, ready to lift us up if we begin to sink.
hold fast to the end;
to our Lord Jesus,
our Savior and friend.
Though trials will come,
and seas will get rough;
our Lord Jesus Christ,
is always enough.
His strength when we’re weak,
His peace in our storm;
His hope is secure,
in Him, we’re reborn.
Hold fast to the One,
whose preparing room;
for all who follow,
to be with Him soon.
Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that despite the trials and tribulations that come our way, if we stand firm in You, we are assured of our eternal security. Thank You that though at times days seem long, they are but a blink of an eye in comparison to our eternity with You. Forgive us for our faltering faith, and help us to hold fast to You in all things and at all times. May our confidence in You encourage others to seek the security found in You alone, and may many find safety in You. Let us love others as we are loved by You. Be exalted in all that we say and do. Amen.
© Shannon Elizabeth Moreno and Revelations in Writing, May 2011 – present.
But because of His great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ. – Ephesians 2:4-5
Psalm 6:1 O Lord, rebuke me not in thine anger,
neither chasten me in thy hot displeasure.
2 Have mercy upon me, O Lord; for I am weak:
O Lord, heal me; for my bones are vexed.
3 My soul is also sore vexed:
but thou, O Lord, how long?
4 Return, O Lord, deliver my soul:
oh save me for thy mercies ‘sake.
5 For in death there is no remembrance of thee:
in the grave who shall give thee thanks?
6 I am weary with my groaning;
all the night make I my bed to swim; I water my couch with my tears.
7 Mine eye is consumed because of grief;
it waxeth old because of all mine enemies.
8 Depart from me, all ye workers of iniquity;
for the Lord hath heard the voice of my weeping.
9 The Lord hath heard my supplication;
the Lord will receive my prayer.
10 Let all mine enemies be ashamed and sore vexed:
let them return and be ashamed suddenly. (KJV)
Mackenzie is in the ER and they think she may have appendicitis, please keep her in your prayers! She is 10 years old! Thank you and God bless! I will update when I can!
Update: It is not appendicitis!!! She is on her way home! They are not sure what is wrong so please continue to pray, but thank you so much, God is still on the throne!!!
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)
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.
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!
Secret Angel has a wonderful post up this morning called “Dark Sunglasses and Depression”, which you can find here:http://secretangelps911.wordpress.com/2014/01/19/dark-sunglasses-and-depression/. It reminded me of the first time I ever wore a pair of sunglasses. I was about ten years old and we were going home from one of my aunt’s in the mountains of New Mexico to Artesia. My Mother and Aunt Pearl were both wearing sunglasses and like most children, I wanted to wear them too. I don’t remember who let me wear theirs, but I remember looking all around and seeing something strange to the left side of us which was pretty much just empty desert. It was a dark mass on the horizon that was only visible with the sunglasses on. My Mother and Aunt looked and r ealized that what I saw was a duststorm heading toward us. Because of that simple act of putting on a pair of sunglasses and looking in a different direction, we were able to get home and prepare for the coming storm.
It reminds me that sometimes looking at things with a different perspective or different lens allows us to see things we would not ordinarily see. And that sometimes God works in the small ways to warn us of oncoming danger.
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”
David Wilkerson said:
“Consider the plight of Israel in Egypt. God’s nation was in incredible ruin, with widespread apostasy. Satan had Israel under his heel, manipulating the political powers of the day to make laws against them and persecute them. The enemy was ridiculing and mocking God’s testimony on earth.
It was a dark hour in Israel’s history and over time the people grew discouraged. They began backsliding, indulging in the pleasures and sensuality of Egypt. Idolatry and fornication became rampant. Israel’s situation seemed hopeless and the faith of the nation was slowly dying.
What was God’s response to this rising power of darkness? Did He stir up surrounding empires to act as His rod against Egypt? Did He incite a civil war among the Egyptians? Did He send avenging angels? No– God did no such thing. He had a totally different plan and laid His hand on a single man, raising up Moses!”
Think about that for a moment! Christians in America are increasingly seeing the same thing here! With our faith being ridiculed and mocked and a government increasingly hostile to our practicing our faith. We see a rampant increase of sexual immorality and perversion along with an assault on a on our children by forcing them to accept this behavior as normal.
We pray for wisdom for our leaders and for God to intercede. But what if God has other plans? What if God were to bring a Moses forth? Would we recognise and welcome him? If he wanted to lead us to a different place, would we go?
“The Lord executeth righteousness and judgment for all that are oppressed. He made known His ways unto Moses, His acts unto the children of Israel. The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, plentous in mercy.” Psalms 103:6-8
The world is perishing for lack of the knowledge of God and the Church is famishing for want of his presence. The instant cure for most of our religious ills would be to enter the Presence in spiritual experience, to suddenly become aware that we are in God and that God is in us. This would lift us out of our pitiful narrowness and cause our hearts to be enlarged. This would burn away the impurities from our lives as the bugs and fungi were burned away by the fire that dwelt in the bush. A. W. Tozer — The Pursuit of God
Oh Lord please enlarge my heart with Your words and Your love!
Lord, thou hast heard the desire of the humble: thou will prepare their heart, thou wilt cause thine ear to hear. Psalms 10:17
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
And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. Colossians 3:14
Did you ever stop and realize that sometimes love takes an effort? No matter how much we want to be able to love perfectly, God realized that it was not always going to be easy! Think about the wording of this verse “put on love”, as if we are getting dressed! Wouldn’t it be wonderful to look in the mirror every morning and add an extra layer of love?
King James Version (KJV)
24 Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.
25 But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster.
26 For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.
27 For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.
28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.
29 And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.
Breaking Free Ministries is a wonderful organization that is bringing the word of God to those unfortunate who for whatever reason, find themselves in prison. In this day and age almost all of us either know someone or even have a family member that needs the word and these are the the people that can reach their hearts and souls where it is almost impossible for us to do so. This organization does not make excuses for those who have committed crimes, instead they offer them hope. The promise that Jesus came to redeem all! Please do take time to check them out and if you can offer support of any kind it will be greatly appreciated. You can contact them at Assemblies of God U.S. Missions, 1445 N. Boonville Ave., Springfield, MO 65802-1894; Tel: 417.862.9734 or email: AGUSFINANCE@AG.ORG ;From Pastor Scott Long:
At Global; we have had an increase to our student body over the past several months. I have seen it go from about 1500 students to over 1900 students since June. God is definitely moving thorough this ministry. We had 67salvation messages came in for the month of January; these are 67 new souls born into the kingdom of God. We give God all the glory and honor for what He is doing through His word and this ministry. We sent out almost 200 Great Questions of Life to new students and saw others complete the Christian Life program and move on to the Christian Service program. This ministry has grown by word of mouth of inmates who recommend their friends in prison take the courses or by being asked by a cell or barracks mate where they can get the courses. We are just in awe of what God is doing through the Prison Ministry at Global University. If you would like to see the courses that the inmates are doing; please go to this web site: www.globalreach.org or click on “free courses for inmates” on this web page.
From their website:
To reach and save inmates with the word of God minsitered through the power of the Holy Spirit.
To partner with churches to minister to the families of the inmates to create a better home life for the inmate when they are released.
To disciple inmates so that they can reach people that are unreachable in a normal church setting.
King James Version (KJV)
117 O praise the Lord, all ye nations: praise him, all ye people.
2 For his merciful kindness is great toward us: and the truth of the Lordendureth for ever. Praise ye the Lord.
“This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down His life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers. If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him? Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue, but with actions and in truth.” – (I John 3:16-18)
“Real love is an action, not a feeling. It produces selfless, sacrificial giving. The greatest act of love is giving oneself for others. How can we lay down our lives? By serving others with no thought of receiving anything in return.” – (NIV footnotes)
The greatest example ever given, was born to us, and is remembered each Christmas. Jesus was the ultimate example of what love is, for He loved with His very life. He stepped down from heaven, and became God with us – demonstrating again and again how to love with actions and in truth. As the only One who was fully God and fully man, there were so many “could have done’s” along the way, yet He chose instead, each time, to model love. He drew near to those whom society deemed undesirable, and He touched the untouchables. His love broke down social, racial and religious barriers, and encouraged all who came near, to love as He loved.
Though this blessed day of remembering is nearing an end, our command to love will remain. How can we carry Christmas with us as we approach the coming year? What can we give of ourselves to others, as He has given unto us?
What can I give?
Unto You Lord,
my great, mighty King.
My heart, You have,
and likewise, my life;
what of my time,
resource and supply?
Anew I ask,
how might I show love;
to honor You,
so You’re known above?
Lead me, I pray,
show me how to move;
let Your love shine,
so people see You.
Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You chose to come close – to draw near to us and show us that You are love. Thank You that You loved so much, that You sent Your One and Only Son, so that we may receive all that You are offering. Forgive us for giving with expectations, or for withholding, where You would have us to give more of ourselves. Teach us to trust You more, so that we may more clearly hear Your voice and Your instructions for the coming year. May we love as we are loved by You, and may many come into a lasting relationship with You. All glory to You, our great and mighty King. Amen.
© Shannon Elizabeth Moreno and Revelations in Writing, May 2011 – present.