Revelation Deciphered

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I just finished reading this book.  It took me months to finish it.  Granted, the book has over 530 pages, but that isn’t why it took me so long to read it.  Was it because it was boring?  Nope.  Not that either.  In fact, it was very interesting.  I jotted down a lot of notes as I read the book, and I do plan to read it again, making a lot more notes.  I didn’t agree with everything he said, but some of his insights and thoughts were very eye-opening and interesting.  It is a worthy read — one to be savored and read a little at a time because of all of the topics he covers.

 

So what was the real reason why it took me so long to read it?  After all, I love to read.  I always have.  The real reason is because over the last four or five years, I have been reading the Word of God, rarely touching anything else.  Now that I have truly tasted and seen the Lord is good, I just find it incredibly hard to read anything else.

 

There was a time in my Christian life where I read a lot of “Christian” books.  I would buy them at the bookstore, online, or else borrow them from the library.  Frequently, you could find me reading two books at once.

 

After spending the last several years reading the Bible in depth, I’ve come to realize that a lot of the books out there that are called “Christian” aren’t Christian at all!  Many are nothing more than how-to programs.  Others push that false prosperity gospel, while others push a social gospel, which isn’t biblical at all.  And there are others which push nothing more than a spiritual, emotional experience which has no depth to it.  There are others, pushing the false doctrine of the New Apostolic Reformation.  Many of these false teachings are very hard to recognize.  However, when you get the true Word of God in you, it’s much easier to spot false teachings.

 

It’s kind of like those who investigate counterfeit money.  They don’t teach them to study the counterfeit.  Rather, they teach them all about the real thing.  When they come across a counterfeit, it’s obvious that it is fake!

 

Now that I’ve spent the last four or five years really digging into the Word of God, I have fallen in love with that Book.  Nothing else holds a candle to it.  In fact, it has become a passion of mine to encourage others to really get into the Word of God.  After all, Jesus warns us multiple times in the latter days that deception will abound.  So I ask you — Do you know enough about the real thing to spot a counterfeit?

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A Beautiful Recipe

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A Beautiful Recipe
 
Recipes have several ingredients.  If you ate just one of the ingredients, such as unsweetened chocolate, it wouldn’t taste good.  In fact, it would be very bitter. However, after you mix it with the eggs, sugar, oil, flour, salt, and other necessary ingredients, it tastes delicious!  It’s the same in a spiritual sense with us.
 
Life’s trials can be very bitter experiences. No one likes to go through difficult times. Some will emerge from those troublesome times, like a dish that has been overbaked. Their countenance is hard and crusty. Their words often drip with bitterness.
 
Yet, there are others who come forth from those bitter trials with an entirely different result. I have had the personal experience of knowing some of these women.
 
One came through a nasty divorce where abuse and adultery were common. She even found herself and her two sons homeless during this arduous time. She emerged with such an elegant grace and heart of wisdom.
 
Another woman faced a similar situation, but also lost several loved ones in a very short period. She too has a heart of wisdom, but is also graced with a compassion unlike anything I have ever seen. Her trials have also made her a tremendous prayer warrior.
 
I watched as another dear sister battled cancer. An attitude of peace, trust, and a deep love of God exuded from her until she took her final breath and went into the presence of Jesus.
 
I am currently watching as another precious sister is dealing with being a caregiver for a husband with Parkinson’s disease. Just recently, she received the distressing news that her daughter is only expected to live for a few more months. Yet when you look at her countenance, she glows with the glory of the Lord. Such purity and joy radiates through her countenance, in spite of the difficulties.
 
What makes the difference for these women? Those experiences by themselves are horrendous.  However, when mixed with the love, grace, mercy, and wisdom of God, they make a beautiful recipe!
 
If you are struggling with the trials in your own life, turn them over to Jesus and watch Him make a beautiful recipe in your own life!
© 2018, Stacy R. Miller

 

When Ice Forms on Your Wings

This is an excellent message!  I found it especially encouraging because I have recently gotten back to my passion — writing.  Just last week, I wrote some devotions dealing with the topic of wings, as well as the topic of waiting on the Lord and how it is not a passive action.  And Pastor Conlon addresses both of those topics here.  The confirmation was sweet to my soul.  Stay tuned — those devotions will be posted once I get them copyrighted this week.

True Salvation

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Over the last four years, I have spent a lot more time in the Word, and I left other books alone.  When you choose to spend your time in the Word, letting the Holy Spirit be your teacher, it is amazing the things you can learn!  I began to see some things I had been taught in church, as well as through “Christian” books were in error.

One of the most common errors is the teaching of salvation being as easy as A-B-C:

  1. Admit you’re a sinner.
  2. Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ.
  3. Confess your sins.

Ok, so number one is good.  To be saved, you do need to realize that you are a sinner in need of a savior.

Now I have a bit of a problem with number two because James 2:19 tells us that even the demons believe….and tremble.  So it takes more than just believing to be saved.

As far as confessing our sins, that is important because we are told in First John 1:9 that if we confess our sins, God will forgive us.

So what is my problem?  My problem is with a HUGE piece of the missing puzzle to being saved!  REPENTANCE!!!  Jesus came on the scene, and the first thing He told us about being saved is to repent!  So if that is the first thing He tells us, it means it is very important!

If we just do A/B/C as listed above, we could likely get up off our knees and go out and return to our sinful lifestyle, then come back and repeat A/B/C again next week.  However, Jesus told us to repent.  That means we are to do a 180 degree turnaround.  Our life is to drastically change — we are to change the direction we have been going and go in a new direction — one that doesn’t involve living a life of sin!

Let’s look at some verses where Jesus speaks of repentance:

From that time Jesus began to preach, saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” (Matthew 4:17)

I have not come to call the righteous but sinners to repentance. (Luke 5:32)

Unless you repent, you will all likewise perish. (Luke 13:3, 5)

Sadly, many churches are not teaching/preaching this truth, and those who are in churches where biblical truth is not being taught are going to be easily led astray.  They will be more apt to fall for a counterfeit gospel instead of the true gospel.

So I ask you — Is your church teaching this biblical concept of repentance?  If it isn’t, I challenge you to ask yourself if perhaps your church is a false church.  If so, it’s time to come out and be separate.