Showing posts from December, 2017

"...for the time is near."

"Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written in it; for the time is near."   - Revelation 1:3 If you've been in church for any length of time, you've probably heard a sermon or two where the preacher exclaimed, "The time is near!" or "Jesus could come at any time!" or "The Lord could come tonight!"  We've been told that the End could happen tomorrow, in the next seconds, today....but nothing has happened.  Even in the early church days, the Apostles faced the same issue and arguments: " should remember the predictions of the holy prophets and the commandment of the Lord and Savior through your apostles, knowing this first of all, that scoffers will come in the last days with scoffing, following their own sinful desires.  They will say, 'Where is the promise of His coming?  For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all things are continuing as they were f

J.O.Y. - Jesus, Others, You

"Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves.  Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others." -Philippians 2:3-4 We live in a time where our kids are being taught that they are #1 in everything.  In today's society, there are no losers, only winners.  There is no second place, only first.  There are no rewards or trophies for hard work and simply being better, but rather we have replaced these achievements with participation ribbons and rewards based on any level of effort given.  Everyone is king in his/her own universe.  My goodness is this mindset so contrary to Scripture! Self esteem is one thing.  We should never bully or mistreat people but rather build each other up.  We should also love our enemies.   However, the point here with what the Apostle Paul was inspired to write to the Philippians goes along the line of Christian humility.  As Christi

When we get in the way...

"Now when we heard these things, both we and those from that place pleaded with him not to go up to Jerusalem.  Then Paul answered, 'What do you mean by weeping and breaking my heart?  For I am ready not only to be bound, but also to die at Jerusalem for the Name of the Lord Jesus.'"  - Acts 21:12-13 Here's the situation: The Apostle Paul had his heart set on getting to Jerusalem and sharing the Gospel with his fellow Jewish brethren; he had continually had his heart set on going there.  He gets the opportunity to set sail, make a few stops along the way, and then finally arrive at the city.  Paul and his shipmates arrive at a place called Caesarea and he runs into a fellow believer named Philip the evangelist (one of the original 7 chosen back in Acts 6) and he stays with him several days.  Sometime during his stay, Paul is approached by a prophet from Judea named Agabus.  Agabus shares with Paul a prophecy that wasn't something to get excited about: the

Verbal integrity...

"Let such a person consider this, that what we are in word by letters when we are absent, such we will also be in deed when we are present."   - 2 Corinthians 10:11 In the Roman world, much like in our culture today, if you were a gifted, eloquent speaker, you were placed on a pedestal.  More times than not, if you could speak well, you could win over any crowd (we see this a lot today in the media, political events, etc.).  Facts don't necessarily even need to be present as long as the speaker is compelling enough to turn the crowd, sway their thinking, and win them over.  False apostles were infiltrating the early church and they were doing so in different ways.  The situation Paul was addressing here in 2 Corinthians was one where his own integrity and ability to lead was being attacked.  The false apostles, referring to themselves even as "super-apostles," were setting themselves up as the true leaders of the church, preaching false doctrines and attempt