Saturday, March 30, 2013

Micki's Baptism

Pastor Mike Glenn
Last Sunday, our little Grand-daughter, Micki, was baptized at our church here Brentwood, Tennessee.  We are so proud of Micki as she is only 8-years old.  

The attached video is the full service from last Sunday and Micki's baptism starts around the 36-minute mark.

Click on the link below to begin.

The title of the sermon that day was "On What Authority" which is the final sermon from Pastor Mike Glenn's series "How Jesus Taught us to live".  Here are the sermon notes:

This week, we will conclude our study of Jesus' Sermon on the Mount. Matthew tells us Jesus' listeners were amazed at His teaching. But He isn't content with amazement.

Jesus is looking for people who build their lives on His Word. He's looking for those who not only hear but do what He says. He has this authority because He alone knows the Father—speaks and acts for the Father. He alone laid down His life so that we might have His life.

As we come to the Lord's Supper table, remember the price Christ paid so that you might have the life He teaches us to live. Are you just amazed by Jesus? Or is He the authority—the foundation—of your life?
The Storm Is Coming

Several times during the Pastor's sermon he stated "The Storm is Coming".  I found this phrase very interesting as he said it more than once.  This phrase caught my attention as this is something that I feel the Lord has been speaking to my heart about.  

As the pastor was preaching I saw, in my mind, the disciples in a boat being tossed around by a fierce storm.  The gospels tell this story of how Jesus was walking on the water to keep His appointment with the disciples on the other side of the lake.   The time was around 3 a.m. and there was complete darkness at this time of the morning.

Jesus may have passed them by if He had not walked close enough to the boat to hear their frantic screams of fear.  Jesus turned and started walking towards the boat and they became even more afraid as they did not recognize Jesus in the darkness and thought he was a ghost.  

In My vision, what I saw in my mind during the Pastor's sermon really has nothing to do specifically with the Pastor's sermon.  I think it is just something the Lord wanted to show me and I will give you more detail on this in the next lesson.

You would think Luke is not listening

After Micki's baptism Micki and her mother came back to the pew where my wife and I were sitting.  Micki crawled up in her Grandmother's lap while Luke continued to sit by me for the rest of the service.  Luke prefers to sit with us each week during the sermons instead of going to Market Place for kids his age.  Luke is 10-years old and cannot help but wiggle in the pew and you would think Luke is not listening to the sermon at all.  Luke surprised me on the way home and again when we arrived at home by saying, "The Storm is Coming"!  That's all he said both times.  I am amazed at how closely he listens to every word the pastor says in the sermons. 

I feel like the Lord confirms what He wants to tell us, or show, us though difference sources like sermons, but is not limited to sermons only.  I believe He even uses children.  When God reveal things like this to us is what I think the Bible calls "Sings and Wonders".

Friday, March 29, 2013

Well Done

In our recent study of who will and who will not go to heaven we found that Jesus mentioned a group of people, who are probably church attenders, that will not go to heaven.  In the New King James Version Jesus calls these people those that practice lawlessness Matthew 7:23.  Check out these scriptures on the word "Lawless".

Even though the Bible does not say specifically who these people are, the scripture confirms that these people thought they were doing God's work and based on their own works.   They thought they were on their way to heaven because of their success using Jesus name instead of actually following Jesus.  They believe their good deeds earned their way into heaven as if God owed them salvation because of what they had done.   One can never do good or be good enough to earn heaven.  Isaiah 64:6 says that our righteousness is as filthy rags therefore no matter how good we are or how hard we have worked for the kingdom of heaven we can never be good enough.  Jesus is the only one that was ever good enough or ever will be good enough.  We, the believers, are now good enough because we are in Christ Jesus and not because of anything we've done.  Click on the link "in Christ" for a list of scriptures that tell you who you, the believer, are in Christ.

Depart From Me, I Never Knew You

When God looks at those are feel they are righteous because of their good deeds God sees them as unrighteous and self-righteous.  The self-righteous person feels God owes them because of their good deed, but the fact of the matter is God does not owe us anything.  Jesus will say to them, " . . . depart from me, I never knew you."  Those words will be the hardest words a person can ever hear Jesus say them them as they are doomed forever.

There is only one that is righteous and that is Jesus.  When God looks at the believer He see Jesus which means when He looks at what Jesus did and not what we have done or ever will do.  Our righteousness or right standing with God is only because of Jesus' works, not ours.  Hebrews calls our attempt to do works to please God as dead works, which mean they are done in vain.  By our being righteous in Jesus and not of our dead works Jesus cleanses our conscious from the need to continue in practicing dead works.  Jesus has already done all that needs to be done.

The New King James version interprets the key word in Matthew 7:23 as Lawlessness.  However, the King James version uses the word iniquity which means; 1. lack of justice or righteousness; wickedness; injustice and 2. a wicked act; sin.  The reason these church going people were not counted as worthy of the kingdom of God was because they were unrighteous in their deeds.  The put their trust in their own merits and not in Jesus' righteousness.

Notice the way the Amplified Bible says it, " . . . you who act wickedly [disregarding My commands]".  Herein lies the key phrase, "disregarding My commands."  Remember Jesus laid the foundation later in Matthew 7: 24-27  when He said, " . . . and whoever hears these words of mine and does them . . . ".

Some pastors preach that the church is not sin conscious enough.  This teaching causes one to focus on their own failures past, present, and future.  This thinking is supposed to cause one to overcome their sins by changing themselves.  This erroneous teaching causes self-consciousness therefore causing one to feel they must do something to earn favor with God because we fail miserably in changing ourselves.  We cannot change ourselves no matter how hard try as we will fail again and again.

There is a very disturbing web link and YouTube video going around by a woman claiming that Jesus came to her in several dreams showing what heaven is like and what hell is like.  The video appears, on the surface, to be a warning from God, however I believe it is a deception from Satan himself.  When I watched the video I was very disturbed when I looked at the woman.  She sounded like a believer, but her face did not show it.  All I saw in here face was evil.  Her message was a message of bondage to the law.  Satan loves to use the law to try to put us back into the bondage of the law that Jesus delivered us from.  The law itself is not bad, but the law does not help us to not sin.  Instead it causes to only focus our sins and failures to be perfect.  There is nothing we can ever do to be perfect, however we are perfect in Christ Jesus.  Some people believe that grace gives believer a free license to sin and if you believe this you were never saved in the first place.  Under grace we are not drawn to sin whereas under the law we are drawn to sin.

God's way has a reverse or reciprocal force in place.   Notice the scriptures says that to find life one must lose it.  If you desire to be exalted one must humble himself.  To become wealthy one must give of what God has blessed you with to others.  Jesus teaches us the importance of laying up treasures in heaven instead of hear on earth.

The pastors and believers alike should be teaching one another to not focus on our own selves, but rather focus on Jesus and His works.  We are what we think about.  Do you think about how guilty you feel because of your failures in the past and present and your failures to change yourself?  Or, do you think about Jesus and what He did for you on the cross and what He's doing for you now sitting at the right hand of God.  When Jesus gave up His life on the cross He said, "It is Finished" just before He gave up His spirit out of His body.  All the works have been done and there is no more need for one to attempt to please God through works or good deeds.  

This is the difference between grace and the law.  As a believer we are dead to the law and alive unto grace.  We were married to the law before Jesus came into our lives, but when Jesus came in we are dead to the law.  The old husband is dead and now we are remarried to a new husband and His name is Jesus.  As a believer we are a part of the church which is the bride of Christ, therefore we are married to Jesus who is grace. 

Let your focus be on Jesus and His redemptive works.  Focus on His love, focus on His kindness, focus on His gentleness, and focus on His peace.  Change your focus to constantly looking at Him and the things in your life that need to be changed (those things you cannot change about yourself) will be changed by the Holy Spirit.

Well Done

Be faithful to your Husband for you are married to Christ Jesus.  Keep your eyes focused on Him and when you stand before Jesus you will hear Him say to you, "Well Done my good and faithful servant..."  Matthew 25:21

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Order Your Free Copy and Become A Follower

You and your words are the only Bible
that some people will ever read.
Please feel free to request a free copy of my eBook "How to Win the War on Debt". This book is a ministry tool that I used when I taught Bible based Money Management classes in churches.  The book is not only designed to train us how to better manage our money using biblical principles, but is also designed as a tool to guide the reader through the scriptures to get to know God by His word.

The book was written in 1996 and has been revised many times since then, however I feel the book by itself is not enough to throughly train couples and individuals how to use these biblical principles.  A classroom setting or one-on-one counseling has proven much more effective in the long run, but is not convenient for readers that live in different areas of the world other than where I live.  To further enhance the training I have created two different BLOGs that give my readers more Godly principles to add to their arsenal of weapons in their individual "War on Debt" and war against the enemy that "Seeks to steal, kill and destroy" every believer.

The eBook is free, however I do have one request - Become a follower of both of my BLOGS - My War on Debt and Well Done   - the reason for this request is for you to receive an e-mail from me every time an article has posted on either BLOG.  This is my way of sharing continued educational training with you and also sharing the Gospel of Jesus at the same time.   When you forward a copy to your friends and family you are also spreading the Gospel of Jesus.

Once you subscribe as a follower you are entitled to limited, but free counseling by e-mail.

Thank you again for ordering the eBook and also for partnering with me in sharing the love of Jesus Christ.  Please become a follower today!

Monday, March 18, 2013

Matthew's Story

Preston Morrison
In yesterday's post I shared with you how you can get involved in training for the "My Hope America TV" event coming later this year.  This training is to prepare you on how to invite your unsaved friends and acquaintances to your home to watch the My Hope America TV event later this year.

I am impressed at how God confirms His will, His direction, if you will, with signs and wonders.  I am so excited by the way He confirms what He wants by giving me more than one confirmation of what He's doing.

When you watch or listen to "Matthew's Story" by Pastor Preston Morrison you will see what I mean.  Notice that when Jesus saw Matthew setting at the tax collector's booth Jesus said to Matthew, "Follow Me".  Matthew immediately got up and followed Jesus.  Now Matthew did the same thing the My Hope America event is all about.  Matthew invited his friends to his house to sit down to meet and dine with Jesus.  The My Hope America event is to invite your friends to sit down at your house to meet Jesus.

I think God is confirming His will by showing us how He wants us to invite the lost to come to know Jesus by doing what Matthew did and how Billy Graham will share Jesus with all you invite to your home for the TV event coming later this year.

Please listen or watch Matthew's Story

Sermon Notes

For more on how to be a witness for Jesus please also watch or listen to The Samaritan Woman's Story.

Sermon Notes

Discussion Guide

Sunday, March 17, 2013

My Hope with Billy Graham - Always Good News

In the last lesson I mentioned in future lessons we will discuss how we can be a witness to the world around us.  As a source to help us learn to be a better witness I highly recommend that you consider Billy Graham's "My Hope America" training.  You will learn how to prepare for the "My Hope America TV" event coming later this year.  There may be a training even in your area or you can register to take the training online.  This is your opportunity to "Share the Gospel of Jesus"

Check out the video here

or you can watch on this BLOG:

Monday, March 11, 2013

Who Will Enter The Kingdom of Heaven

In this lesson we look at scriptures that gives us the answer to the question "Who will enter the kingdom of heaven".  We will learn who are the few that enter the kingdom through The Narrow Way.
  • 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.
  • Has rewards stored in heaven - Notice in Revelation 22:12 Jesus will bring your reward with Him when He comes again.  He will reward you openly for the whole world to see your reward - Matthew 6:6
  • You have laid up treasures in heaven for your eternal future.  Your treasure is where your heart is.  Those that have there hearts set on the worship of the one true God will be abundantly blessed with treasures in heaven. 
My study of the scriptures has let me to conclude that are some common principles for one to be ready to meet Jesus at His coming.  These people will not feel ashamed at His coming and are looking forward to standing before Him:

  1. Worship God and only God - we must not love anyone or anything more than God.  The true believer does not wait until Sunday to praise and worship God.  The true believer gives God the first fruits of our lips every morning by giving Him praise, worship, and thanksgiving for all the wonderful blessing He has given.
  2. We must know God through the study of His words - to some Jesus will say, "Depart from me as I never new you".  For Jesus to know us we must want to know Him more than anything else in life.  God created man to have a relationship with Him.  How do you have a relationship with God?  Just as in a marriage you must communicate with one another.  God want to talk to you through the Holy Spirit.  He want you to talk to Him about anything and everything.  He wants you to seek His will in every area of your life.
  3. We must do more than just believe, we must believe and have faith that He will do just what He says in His word.  Jesus said, "You will know them by their fruits".  Fruits are the fruits of your lips, our words, and the fruit of our labor, works for the kingdom.  The more your fruits are the larger your reward in heaven.  The only  reward that I personally want to receive is just to hear Jesus say to me, "Well Done".  That's my hearts desire more than anything else.
  4. God knows our hearts and He knows what we have need of before we ask.  For us to get to know Jesus and for Him to know us we must give Him the first fruits of our time praying and talking to Him everyday.  If we have not time for Him, how can He meet our daily needs or how can He protect us from the evil one?
  5. Tithing - the true test for the believer is the test of tithing.  If we are not giving back to God His 10% then you are stealing from Him.  If you are stealing from God how can you expect Him to bless you more than you gave Him?
  6. Gifts and offerings - these are what you give to the kingdom above your tithe.  This can be money, but it is not limited to money.  It can be the time you give as a volunteer working at your church or some other organization that helps those in need.  It can be visiting the sick, visiting those in jail or in prison, helping feed the hungry, giving water to the thirsty - "And the King will answer and say to them, Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me."  Matthew 25:31-44 NKJV
  7. Witnessing - witnessing is one of the hardest things for most believers because of fear.   We fear that we don't know what we should says and we are going to get into a debate.  I have found that if the person you are witnessing to wants to debate then you will always fail if you debate with the individual.  Many people do not like to be witness to because they feel like that believer thinks they are better than they are.  Most people do not like to be preached too.  Our job as a witness is not to debate, but rather tell your story in a conversational manner.  We will take more about this in the next lesson.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Who Will Not Enter The Kingdom of Heaven

Jesus is knocking on the door
 of your heart.  He is calling you
to let Him in your heart. 
The Gospel of Matthew records Jesus' words regarding who will enter and who will not enter the Kingdom of Heaven.  Please open the link and read the full chapter for each verse shown.

As we've found out in previous lessons, not everyone that says, "Lord, Lord" will enter the kingdom of heaven.  In this lesson we will take a look at what the Bible has to say about those that will not enter.  If you find yourself in any of these sins now is the time to repent and ask Jesus to cleans your heart, and the come into your life.  If you truly repent and trust Jesus to change your heart you will be saved.  Do not attempt to wait thinking that you have time to do it later as you do not know the hour or the day when your life will end.  Once your life ends its too late to make things right with God. Do it now!

The following is a list of words for phrases with scripture links that reveal to us who are those people that will not enter the Kingdom of Heaven.  Please open the link to each scripture for the whole chapter and not just the single verse.  
  • Being filled with all unrighteousness, Sexual Immorality, covetousness, maliciousness, envy, murder, strife, deceit, evil-mindedness, and whispers
  • Out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, Fornication, thefts, false witness, blasphemies, uncleanness, lewdness, works of the flesh, covetousness, passion, evil desire, idolatry
  • unrighteous, fornicators, idolaters, adulters, homosexuals, sodomites, kidnappers, liars, perjurers, or any other thing that is contrary of sound doctrine
  • cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters Revelation 21:8 (read whole chapter)
  • Lust, lewdness, drunkenness, revelries, drinking parties, idolatries, walking according to the flesh, uncleanness and despise authority, presumptuous, self-willed, not afraid to speak evil of dignitaries, scoffers.
  • ashamed of Jesus - He will be ashamed of you when He comes
The key to the answer the question "Who Will Not Enter The Kingdom of Heaven" if found in the condition of each person's heart.  The people described above all have one thing in common - their hearts are hardened through rebellion against God.  God has given them many opportunities to stop their disobedience and turn to Him and to trust Him with their lives.  These people enjoy their sins and do not want to give them up as they are their own  god and their worship is to please themselves.

These are the people that are mentioned in book of Revelation that will experience the Wrath of God during the great tribulation and will be given chances to repent, but because of the hardness of their hearts they will continue to refuse God's mercy (Revelation 16:9).

I pray that if you do not know Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior you will repent and ask Jesus to forgive your sins, and to cleanse you of all unrighteousness.  Ask Him to come into your life and to change your heart in Jesus name.  If you have done these things I've just mentioned then you are "Born Again" and the Holy Spirit will begin to make changes in your heart.  The old man is dead and the new man (your spirit) is alive in Christ Jesus.  Go, take up your cross daily and follow Jesus.  As Jesus said, "Go and sin no more".  Study His words and obey what He says and you will be saved.

Friday, March 08, 2013

Work Out Your Own Salvation

This New Testament is full of wonderful instructions, or teachings, that are all road signs pointing us to Jesus.  They are our strength an encouragement to prepare us to "Work Out Own Salvation" or to prepare us to be ready to meet Him.

The term "Work Out Own Salvation" is found in Philippians 2:12.  As you know I don't like to take things out of context therefore I would like for you to read all of chapter 2 to get the full scope of what is being said and why.  Philippians 2 NKJV and please also read Philippians 2 Easy-to-Read Version.  You may want to read other versions, i.e., the Amplified version to get a good all round interpretation from the Greek to English.

We know Jesus is coming back for us, the church, but what we do not know is when.  Our job is not to be concerned with when, but rather to be ready, watching and waiting, and expecting His return at any moment.  I think the term "Work out your own salvation", is talking about being ready for His coming by taking steps to make sure you are ready.  As in the Parable of the Ten Virgins five were prepared because they were expecting the bridegroom to come at any minute.  The other five are known as foolish because they were unprepared because they felt like the bridegroom was not coming any time soon and they had plenty of time to get ready later.

Now when the bridegroom did come the wise virgins went in with the bridegroom and then the door was shut.  The foolish virgins ran out of oil and were not prepared for the bridegroom's coming.  They had to go out and buy some oil.  When they got back the door was shut.  Notice in verse 11 the foolish virgins knocked on the door and said, "Lord, Lord let us in."  The bridegroom answered, "I never knew you."

Right after this parable Jesus taught "The Parable of the Talents".  Jesus is continuing His teaching on how to know the difference in a person that has "Worked out their own salvation" and those that have not.  Notice in comparison the unprofitable servant and the foolish virgins suffered the same consequences - they both were shut out of kingdom of heaven.

There is one other example of rejection from the kingdom of heaven I want to point out to you and that is the people that practice lawlessness.  Notice in Matthew 7 :21-23 Jesus used some of the same words He used in the "Parable of the Ten Virgins" when He says the words "Lord, Lord" and "I never knew you".

The point of this lesson is we do not have time to waste.  We cannot assume Jesus' coming has been delayed and also assume we have time to get our hearts ready at later a later time.  We do not know the hour or the day.  We do not when we will die and if we die without being unprepared the door to heaven will be shut and Jesus will declare to us, "I never knew you".

Wednesday, March 06, 2013

The Signs of the Times and the End of the Age

The Signs of the Times and the End of the Age is on more people's minds than ever before.  Matthew 24 gives the specific words Jesus used to describe what will happen on the earth during those last days. Matthew 24:3-51

Jesus has warns us by His telling us to be prepared for the "Last Days"  I believe we are now in the Last Days He spoke of because His signs are increasing more than ever.  The good news is these "Last Days" must to come to pass or we will never experience the eternal joy of living forever with God in heaven on earth.  In future lessons we will take a look at what the scriptures tell us will happen, but for now I must talk about some division in the church that has the believers confused.

The first thing we will look at is the term "Rapture" as there has been a big debate going on for years.  The word Rapture is not found in the Bible, but it is from an interpretation of the words "Caught Up" found in 1 Thessalonians 4:14 - now my purpose is to not get into a theological debate whether you agree if there will be a Rapture or not.

What I find disturbing is the church is so divided.  This is one group that believes the Rapture, the great "Catching away", will take all the Christians off the earth just before the "Great Tribulation".  The second group believes that the Christians will not be taken out of the "Great Tribulation" until 3-1/2" years have gone be.  This will be when the Antichrist will break the peace agreement that he brokered between Israel and the middle eastern countries that surround her.  The Antichrist will break the agreement and will sit on the throne in Jerusalem (which has not been rebuilt as yet) and declare himself as God.  The third group denies there is any such Rapture and the Church will endure all seven years of the Great Tribulation."  This group says there is not a Rapture, but the believers will be "Caught Up" at the Second Coming.   They believe and teach the church will be "Caught Up" in the air, but there will be the resurrection of the dead first and then the true believers that survived the tribulation will be "Caught Up" next.  The reason the last group believe what they believe is because of the term "First Resurrection" is mention in Revelation 20:5-6.  The third group's teaching is scriptural and they are correct, however the key is whether there have been resurrections before the "First Resurrection" mentioned in Revelation.

This last group believes that the Pre-Tribulation preachers are sending people to hell because these people believe they can live like they want to and sin like they want to because if they miss the Rapture they can still get right during the Tribulation.  Who in their right mind would think like this much less promote this lie?  It has been said that this kind of teaching is being taught in Christian schools.  The secret ingredient is these people that believe this lie were never saved in the first place.

Some pastors are attacking those that teach a pre-tribulation Rapture as false prophets and are sending people to hell.  They are judging certain ministries and calling them by name.  I am very disturbed by this because it reminds me of a certain TV Evangelist that once had a very successful ministry.  The closer one gets to God and the more a person does for the kingdom of heaven the more Satan attacks to bring down the ministry.  And, this is just what happened to this TV Evangelist.  He became so full of himself (pride and arrogance) he started attacking other ministries and other denominations.  He was successful in bringing down a successful TV ministry known as PTL (Praise The Lord).  He exposed TV Host's secret sin to the world and then this once successful ministry crumbled.  Next the Evangelist exposed a successful pastor in New Orleans and his ministry crumbled.

The New Orleans pastor decided to get even with the TV Evangelist by exposing the sins of the TV Evangelist.  And, you guessed it the TV Evangelist's ministry crumbled just as he had caused the other ministries to crumble.  I think there was possibly one more pastor's ministry from New Orleans that was a part of this same sin, but I cannot confirm that he was brought down by the TV Evangelist.  The point is all of these men were very successful in their ministry and they were all friends.  They all fell because of the sin of lust and the pride of life.  All of these men were doing a great work for the Kingdom of Heaven, but Satan was able to bring them down because he was able to seduced them and therefore make them ineffective for the kingdom of heaven.  God allowed their sin to be exposed and their ministry to fall in order for them to repent of their sins.  They had to pay the price for their sins and will never be the great ministries they once were, but they were giving a chance to repent and continue in the ministry in a much smaller and humble ministry.

I said all of that to say I think it is wrong to judge and condemn a ministry because they differ with you on the subject of the Rapture.  Okay!  Who's right then?  The answer is I don't know because each group uses scripture to back up their beliefs.  When you read their arguments they all sound correct biblically.  Can they all be wrong?  Or, are they all right to some degree.  I think the argument of the First Resurrection found in Revelation 20:5-6 is misunderstood because there have already been more than one resurrection.  There was Lazarus and others mentioned in the New Testament that Jesus raised from the dead.   Then Jesus and many saints that were dead were seen alive and walking the streets of Jerusalem when Jesus arose from the dead.  The resurrected saints were recognized by the people that were alive.

Okay, now that we have that out of the way let's decide what to do from here.  Since we do not have a concrete answer whether the church will go through the tribulation or not it is our job to be prepared no matter what happens.  Our job is to know what Jesus said and do whatever He said to do.  Why?  Only the true believers will survive and we will go deeper into the word as the lessons progress.

Tuesday, March 05, 2013

The Beatitudes

Earlier this week the Lord impressed on me to read The Beatitudes and share the scripture with some of my friends and family.  Read what Patrick had to say on February 27th:

"WOW! I'm taken aback by you sending this to me now. I was just thinking of the Beatitudes yesterday and thought, I need to find a list of them but failed to go online last night and do so. And then I open my mail and here they are. I had been thinking about Chris and the Beatitudes are her Favorite. She's always loved them. I can't thank you enough for sending them to me.

I'm going to print them out tomorrow when I'm back in the office. I'm working from home  today and my printer is giving me fits.



The reason I'm sharing the above is because anytime the Lord prompts you to do something is because He has a message for someone and He is using you to deliver that message.  When you are obedient you are doing the Lord's work.  You are a doer of the word and not just a hearer only.  You are the vessel that brings an answer to a prayer, the desire of a persons heart, or a miracle confirmation that someone needs to know that God really loves and cares for them.

Take a moment to read The Beatitudes and write down any key words or phrases regarding the future.  Notice He spoke of "The Kingdom of heaven" and what shall be.  This sermon is all about those who are blessed, but notice also there are persecutions and people will say evil things against you.  I think this sermon is another lesson from Jesus to prepare us for what lies ahead.  There will be hardship, but notice Jesus tell us to rejoice and be exceedingly glad because great is our reward in heaven.  Jesus is telling us to not look at the hardship or difficulties in life but rejoice in our hardship because we have a great reward waiting for us when we get to heaven because we are faithful to Him.

Be Prepared

One of my fondest memories in my youth was when I was a Boy Scout.  With my good friend Jimbo McDonald, and other friends and me enjoyed our outdoor camping and many other outdoor activities.  But, the thing that I remember the most the Boy Scout Motto, "Be Prepared".  The Scouts taught me to be prepared for whatever life brings my way - Please take a moment to read the Boy Scout Law, Oath, Motto, Slogan and Outdoor Code.  The Boy Scout values is one of the best training any young man can have as I feel that my training in the Scouts created a sense of values that I live by today.

As a young adult my favorite thing to do was to read and study the scriptures every morning before going to work.  My oldest son, Eric, says that the thing he remembers the most about me as a child was when he woke in the mornings and walked in kitchen I was always at the kitchen table studying my Bible.  I've been studying the scriptures for over 40-years and you would think that I should know everything there is to know about everything concerning the scriptures.  But, almost everyday I find scriptures I've read before and the Holy Spirit brings new revelation that I had not seen before.  I feel like the Holy Spirit brings us fresh revelation of things as we need to know and at the time He gives them.  This is one of the way God answers our prayers and grants our desires.

The words "Fit For The Master's Service" has always echoed in my head since my early twenties and I really did not know why that was important.  I think it comes 2 Timothy 2:20-22 " . . . useful for the Master's service."  My hearts desire has always been to fit and ready for whatever He would have me to do.  My passion is to teach and I've done that through teaching Sunday School classes and money management classes.  I do not currently have a Sunday School class, but I feel the Lord wants me help others to "Be Prepared" for the return of our Lord Jesus through this BLOG.

Why would God want me to teach on being prepared for the second coming?  I feel that now is the time, more than ever, to  examine our hearts and if our heart is not right then it's time as we prepare for what is ahead.  I can tell the Lord has been changing me for the past year.  He's still got some work to do on me as I feel He's preparing me for what lies ahead.  I will explain more about this in our next lessons.

Watch and Pray

In our last lesson from Luke 21:36 we find the additional key phrase "Watch therefore and Pray" - there are other key phrases mentioned in the Bible pertaining to being watchful and in prayer - click here: Watch and Pray

Today we will focus on what Jesus told His disciples to do while He was praying on the night before His crucifixion on.  Jesus was very troubled in His spirit because He knew what He was facing the next day.  He was so disturbed in His Spirit His body was sweating drops of blood.  

He asked God if it be His will to remove this cup (suffering and death).  He knew this had to happen in order to pay the ultimate price for man's.  I think after Jesus prayed this to the Father He  then relaxed and He prayed, 
" . . . not my will but Your will be done."

And, He also asked His brothers to pray while He was praying during His darkest hour of the night.  Why did He want them to be praying?  Notice Jesus said in Matthew 26:40-42 to watch and pray lest you fall into temptation.  What temptation is He concerned about?  I think He was concerned that fear would overtake them and cause them to not be able to use their faith.  Have you ever noticed that when you are afraid you cannot think straight?  It's hard to stand in faith when you are overcome with fear.  

Jesus had warned His disciples this night was coming, but they did not understand the seriousness of what He was saying at the time.  They did finally remember Jesus' words and then understood what He was trying to get them to understand, but I don't think they fully believed or understood what had happened until after Jesus' resurrection, when He appeared to them in person.

Why is this Jesus' words of watching and praying important to us as believers today?  Jesus warns us of what to expect in during the times before His second coming.  He warned of tribulations and things the believers will suffer, and it is very important that we are prepared for what is coming.   And, the only way to be prepared is though Jesus' example of watching and praying.  You must study Jesus' words in order to prepare yourself for what's coming.  We are tested today, but we will be tested even more in these last days.  In order for one to pass a test one must study and prepare.  If you are not prepared you will fail.  Read the Parable of the Ten Virgins and the Parable of the Talents for your homework assignment.

Another time Jesus used the key phrase "Watch and Pray" found in Mark 13:32-44 - notice this time He's talking about when He will come again in person - "No One Knows the Day or the Hour" .  Jesus gave us many specific warnings of what to expect during the days before His Second Coming and we will examine more of these in the lessons to follow.

Note: The purpose of a test is to know what one knows or understands internalized.  During the test was in on the inside of a person comes out through our speech and actions.  Jesus said, "For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks."  If you have prepared your heart you have studied Jesus's words and you know what to expect and what to do during the last days.  Your words will give testimony of what is in your heart.  If you are not prepared to go through the test your words will also give testimony of what is in your heart.

I think the key for the believer to be prepared is to Guard our Hearts.   How to know if your heart is properly conditioned towards heaven?  Where ever your treasure is that is where your heart is.  

Here is your test for today - examine your heart and discover where your treasure is.   Are you looking forward to Jesus coming or are you dreading that day?

I would love for you to share your testimony on this BLOG if you are ready to see Jesus.  If you are not ready I would be glad to help you get there.  Please feel free to send me an e-mail.

How to Add This BLOG to Your Smart Phone

My nephew, Patrick, shared with me recently how he created an app for the "Well Done" BLOG on his iPhone.  I followed his instructions and it works perfectly.  If you would like to add the app to your smart phone or iPad please follow Patrick's instructions:

Hey Chet,
Here’s how I do it. I pull up Safari (the web browser), I the enter the web address and let the website come up. Once up at the bottom of the screen is the box with an arrow pointing to the right, if you tap on that it gives you several options as if you wanted to email or send  a message to someone. Well, I chose an option on mine called “Add to Home Screen” and it adds an icon to my main screen which is a shortcut to whatever website I want to get to quickly.


Let me know if you have any problems creating the app.

Friday, March 01, 2013

worthy to escape

Jesus spent a lot of time praying to our Heavenly Father and He did this as example for us to follow.  Jesus spoke a lot about the coming last days on earth to prepare us for those "end times", but the bad news is I don't think any of us really thought that we would be alive when those times arrived.  I think perhaps I thought it was a long time away.

Today, like never before, most everyone is realizing those "end times" or "last days" are upon us now.  Now is the time to prepare ourselves to be ready for the tribulations we must face and to be ready when Jesus returns.

How do we make sure we are prepared?  In Luke 21:34 Jesus gives us the key to surviving the soon coming "last days" - " . . . pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man."  Another key ingredient in being prepared is to study every word Jesus said in the Bible and do what He says.  To survive the future we must be prepared to do battle against an enemy that hates you, the true believers.

Over the next few weeks I will be sharing scriptures with you regarding the Bible's instructions on being "worthy to escape" and "to stand before the Son of Man".

As you know I really don't like to quote scriptures out of context therefore I would like for you to read all of Luke 21 because Jesus give you more teachings on; tithing, the signs of the time and the end of the age, the second coming and more.