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Are You Expecting?

“You also must be ready all the time, for the Son of Man will come when least expected” (Matt 24:44; NLT). Jesus gave this exhortation after talking to His disciples about the end times. What did He want them to be ready for? The second coming of Jesus. Mark chapter 13 also deals with the end times and ends with the following words of Jesus, “And what I say to you, I say to all: watch!” (Mark 13:37; NKJV). (See also the parable of the 10 virgins in Matt 25:1-13). Paul confirms this in 1 Thess 5:2, when he says that the return of Jesus will be unexpected, “like a thief in the night.”
From these passages we learn that we must be ready and prepared for the second coming. We should be thinking about it and be joyfully expectant, constantly reminding ourselves that it could happen any day. We don’t know when exactly because only God the Father knows that (Matt 24:36) but we do know that it will happen “in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye” (1 Cor 15:52; AMP). Peter cautions us that as we wait for the return of Jesus, we should be doing our best to live lives that are above reproach (2 Peter 3:14).
The hope of eternity with Jesus should motivate us all our days because the book of Revelation tells us a little bit of what we have to look forward to. We will see God face to face, (Rev 22:4), we will drink from the fountain of living water (Rev 21:6b), there will be no more sin, sickness, death, sorrow, crying or pain (Rev 21:3-4) and we will reign with God forever! (Rev 22:5). Now that’s something to shout about!

Do it God’s Way

“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future” (Jer 29:11; NIV). God’s greatest desire for each of us is that we would discover His plans for us, because in those plans, we will find fulfillment and serve God mightily. Our job is to get to know God and to walk in His ways, this opens God’s hands to be able to reveal His plans for us, bless us and use us (Matt 6:33).
King David wrote that God delights in the man whose steps are directed by God (Ps 37:23). So often we try to help God and, in our minds, we come up with all sorts of plans and things God would surely want for us, then we ask Him to bless them! In Isaiah 55:8-9, the Lord tells us that “My thoughts are not your thoughts” and He goes on to say that His thoughts for us are way higher than ours.
I love Prov 16:3 in the Amplified Bible, “Roll your works upon the Lord (commit and trust them wholly to Him; He will cause your thoughts to become agreeable to His will, and) so shall your plans be established and succeed.” In other words, if we prayerfully give God our plans and aspirations, He will bring our thoughts into line with His and we will experience success and fulfilment. As we spend time in God’s word and prayer, growing in our relationship with Him, we will learn to discern His directions and our thoughts will be elevated to His thoughts, His plans will become our plans. Hallelujah, I want that, how about you?

The Tongue

“Set a guard, O Lord, over my lips” (Ps 141:3-4; NKJV). The Bible has so much to say about our speech, it is no wonder that King David, in the verse above, is asking God to help him in this area. The book of Proverbs is replete with wisdom on this subject; for example, kind words deflect anger (Prov 15:1), they are sweet and bring health (Prov 16:24) and wise words are more valuable than riches (Prov 3:14). In Ecclesiastes we are admonished to think before we speak (Eccles 5:2a) and again in Proverbs warned that “death and life are in the power of the tongue” (Prov 18:21; NKJV) Wow, our words are very powerful!
Jesus also had something to say on this subject. He said that what we speak is a reflection of what is in our heart and He added that on judgment day we will have to explain all of our negative words, and our words will either acquit us or condemn us (Matt 12:33-37). The apostle Paul added to this admonition in Ephesians 4:29 (NLT), “Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them.”
James the brother of Jesus, dedicated 12 verses on how to control the tongue in his epistle (James 3:1-12). In verse 2 of that passage, he says that if we could control our tongues, we would be perfect and of course none of us are perfect because we are human. However, the Holy Spirit can help us in our endeavour to “guard our mouths” (Prov 13:3.) It is a lifelong process but the more we allow the Holy Spirit and the word to influence our lives, the more progress we make.

The Prodigal Son

The parable of the prodigal son has much to show us about God’s incredible love and forgiveness (Luke 15:11-32). In this parable the younger of two sons asked his father for his share of what would eventually be his inheritance. The son then travelled far away and wasted his wealth on licentious living, winding up in poverty. With a repentant heart he headed home. His father had been waiting and watching for the return of his wayward son and greeted him not with chiding and criticism, but with great compassion, forgiveness and rejoicing. The elder son was not impressed with his brothers return and could only respond with loveless judgmentalism.
The sins of the prodigal son damaged his relationship with his father. Before anyone becomes a Christian sin separates them from God (). However, like the father of the prodigal our heavenly Father waits patiently for people to repent and ask Him into to their lives so He can forgive them and lavish His love and compassion on them. There is great joy in heaven when someone gives their life to Jesus (Luke 15:7). However, like the Prodigal son’s elder brother, not everyone on earth will cheer when someone comes home and gives their life to God. Such critics need to experience our heavenly Father’s unconditional love (1 Cor 13:4-7) and understand that His desire is for all to be saved and none to be lost (1 Tim 2:4; 2 Peter 3:9). As Christians we can recall when we were separated from our heavenly Father. Pray for anyone you know that is living without Jesus to come home to God!

On Eagles Wings

“Let the weak say, I am strong” (Joel 3:10; ASV). That is a powerful faith confession. All through the Bible we are reminded that God is our strength, for example, “He gives power to the weak and strength to the powerless” (Isa 40:29; NLT) and “But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength. They will soar high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint” (isa 40:31; NLT). What an amazing promise!
In the New Testament Paul prays for the Colossians that they “would be energized with all His explosive power” (Col 1:11; TPT). The Greek word for energized is related to the word “dunamis” which is where we get our word dynamite from! Paul also prays for the Ephesians to be “strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man” (Eph 3:16; NKJV). This is referring to an inner strength. God can strengthen us both spiritually and physically. (See also Eph 6:10.)
It is God who gives us the strength to live our lives and do what He has called us to do (Phil 4:13). We observe that strength in the life of Jesus and also Paul and the apostles, whether they were teaching and preaching, ministering to those in need or enduring persecution.
Look to God as you go through your day, if you are feeling weak and tired confess any of the strength scriptures over your body and believe you receive by faith.