The Strength of a Father’s Heart

This is an excellent message for ALL, not just fathers.  He points out an admonition the Lord gives to all of us that is very applicable for these times, as well as what is coming.  It is a very encouraging admonition.

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Remain in the Faith for the Last Days

This is an excellent message!  Be sure to have your bible, a pen, and a notebook handy.  You will want to take notes!

Children of the Harlot – Jacob Prasch

This message is very applicable for what we are seeing taking place in many churches these days.

God is A God of Order

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God is a God of Order

We are told in 1 Corinthians 14:33 that God is a not the author of confusion. He is a God of order, and we can see this in His Word. For instance, in the days of creation, He didn’t start with day 5, then go to day 7, then day 1, etc. Genesis describes those days in the order they happened.

Another example of this is Isaiah 61:1-2 and Luke 4:18-19. Jesus didn’t quote all of Isaiah 61:1-2. The last line of verse 2 mentions the day of vengeance. Jesus only quoted the previous parts of those verses because that is what He was fulfilling in His first coming. That last part will happen when the Lord pours out His wrath on the earth, starting at the end of Revelation 6.  Again, you can see He is a God of order.

In Matthew 24, the disciples wanted to know the signs of the end times. Since God is a God of order, I fully believe Jesus answered their question in the order of how things will happen.

Verses 4-5: He warns of deception and admonishes us to take heed so that we aren’t deceived. He tells us many will come in His Name and deceive many. This means that many false teachers are going to enter churches and teach doctrines which are not sound. This is already happening in many mega churches. They are accepting a doctrine of unity with all faiths (including Muslims, Mormons, and Catholics), and saying we are all one. Many churches are ordaining homosexuals. This is clearly against scripture.

Verses 6-7: We are warned of wars and rumors of wars, but also famines, pestilences, and earthquakes.

Verse 9: Jesus tells us we will be delivered up and killed because of Him. Please notice that He does not say He comes back to deliver us before this happens. There is nothing to indicate a rapture happening before this occurs. (That comes later in this chapter, so hang on, we will get there.)

Verses 10-11: He speaks of betrayal which will happen, many false Christs will arise to deceive many. Lawlessness will abound, resulting in the love of many growing cold. Mark 13:12 warns us that brother will betray brother. I believe this warning can also refer to brethren in the church. Since there will be so many false teachers/false Christs arising, deceiving many, it only makes since that we will be betrayed by our own church family – the ones who have fallen for the deception. John 16:2 tells us there is coming a time when those who kill us will think they are offering a service to God.

Verse 13: We are told those who endure to the end will be saved. It is quite possible that the ‘end’ may be giving our lives. Now you may be thinking, “But we aren’t appointed unto wrath!” Yes, you are correct. As I stated above, the wrath of God is not poured out until Revelation 6:16-17. However, in verses 9-11 of that chapter, you can see where there are martyrs crying out to the Lord to avenge their blood.

Verse 15: Jesus mentions when we see the abomination of desolation. Why is He telling believers “when you see,” if we are not here? After all, the disciples were asking how they could tell when the end of things was coming? If believers were gone at this point, why would we need to know this bit of information?

Verse 21-22: Jesus warns that great tribulation is coming, and for the sake of His elect, He will shorten those days. Again, if the rapture had already taken place, why would the elect need those days shortened? We would already be gone. However, this is proof again, that the rapture has not taken place.

Verse 27: He tells us that His coming will be as lightning flashing across the sky. Everyone can see lightning. It brightens the sky. He is pointing out that all will see His coming. It is not a private rapture, where we just disappear, leaving everyone wondering what happened to us. Revelation 6:16-17 confirms that all eyes will see Him when He comes to rapture His church. The unbelievers will try to hide from His glorious presence and His wrath.

Verse 29: This verse gives critical information to help us know when to expect Jesus. It tells us immediately after the tribulation, the sun and moon won’t give off their light, and stars will fall from the sky. This event actually happens in Revelation 6:12-13.

Verses 30-31: Jesus will appear in the clouds and all tribes will see Him. With the great sound of a trumpet, He is going to gather His elect. Now you may be thinking this is His coming at the end of the seven years. However, if we compare this verse with what happens at His coming at the end of Revelation, we can see it is two different things:
Matthew 24:30:

He comes on the clouds, He blows a trumpet, He comes with angels, and He comes to gather His elect.

Revelation 19:11-16, 19:

He rides a white horse, He has a sword coming from His mouth, He is followed by His saints on white horses, and He comes to destroy the anti-Christ.

Scripture compared against scripture — it is VERY CLEAR that these are two different events.

I know this information may be entirely foreign to what you’ve been taught over the years. However, we are to be like the Bereans, searching out what the scriptures say, rather than just accepting what we are taught from the pulpit or books.

I will be honest, when my eyes were first opened to this concept, it was incredibly difficult for me. It happened around the time when ISIS was doing so much beheading. I began to have panic attacks and was so depressed. However, I prayed through it. It wasn’t easy. It took months for me to wrap my head around all of this. And I will still admit – I hope I am wrong! If ever I was wrong about something, I want it to be on this issue!! However, I don’t think I am.

So that being said, my thinking has become, “I would rather be prepared for the tribulation and surprised by the rapture than to be prepared for the rapture and surprised by the tribulation.”

This concept has become a passion of mine, and why so many of my devotions are devoted to motivating people to spend time in the Word of God. It is the ONLY way to get prepared spiritually for the days ahead of us. The church is not prepared for what is to come! I fear many will fall away when they realize they were taught a pre-trib rapture, and it doesn’t happen. It breaks my heart and has caused me to shed many tears over the last few years. It is out of love that I share this hard concept with you.

May the Lord open your eyes and help you to navigate in the days ahead.
© 2018, Stacy R. Miller

 

Machine Gun Mouth

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Machine Gun Mouth

I have to thank Dan, who leads the Sunday school class I attend. He used this phrase to describe himself in earlier years. I loved the phrase because it gives us such a good word picture for how our words can be! So thank you, Dan, for the inspiration behind this devotion!

Sometimes we are on the receiving end of a ‘machine gun mouth.’ David felt the oppression from this scenario in Psalm 64. He described it as his enemies sharpening their tongue and bending their bows to shoot those bitter words like arrows into his soul. However, David found his refuge and hope in the Lord. He chose to glory in the Lord, and doing so changed his outlook when others were wounding him with their words.

Isaiah 32:6-7 gives a good example of a ‘machine gun mouth’ by mentioning those who speak foolishly, making evil plans, and speaking falsely about the Lord.

In dealing with others who may have a ‘machine gun mouth, we find that we shouldn’t cast our pearls before the swine.  (Matthew 7:6)  Proverbs 26:5 tells us not to answer a fool according to his folly or we will be just like him.  Clearly, there are times when we need to keep our pearls to ourselves and not share them.  We must use wisdom and discretion when dealing with others who ‘run at the mouth.’

When speaking of the last days, Timothy warned us in 2 Timothy 3:1-5 that we will see many in the church who are boasters and blasphemers. They will have a form of godliness, but deny its power. He gives a strict warning for us to stay away from such people.

Regarding our own tendencies to be a ‘machine gun mouth,’ we are warned that our foolish talk and godless chatter can destroy relationships.  (Proverbs 11:9)  1 Timothy 6:20-21
admonishes us to avoid foolish discussions with others who have so-called knowledge. People who engage in that have even wandered from the faith.  2 Timothy 2:16 advises us to avoid worthless foolish talk because it only leads to more ungodly behavior.

Colossians 3:8 warns us to put off anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, and filthy language.  I like how it words this, like these characteristics become a part of our clothing.  Have you ever met someone who just reeks of anger?  When you encounter someone like that, you likely want to run the other way!  I also found it interesting that every word listed here has to do with what comes out of our mouths. Obviously, our words hold a lot of power.

Proverbs 10:19 tells us that when our words are many, sin is not absent.  When you think of having an argument with someone, have you noticed that the longer, and more-heated the argument gets, the easier it is to start sinning with your mouth?

Another scenario where words can be many, thus leading to sin is in a group setting with several women.  If one begins to speak ill of her husband, the others tend to join in.  Next, each lady tries to outdo the others with her comments.  Before you know it, the room is filled with negativity and sin.

I have to admit, I have had many times in my life when I spoke with a ‘machine gun mouth.’ I have struggled with a bad temper for many years. If I don’t keep myself well-grounded in the Word, it is so easy to slip back into that nasty habit of letting my words be like a machine gun, wounding others, killing relationships, and putting chinks in my spiritual armor.

I noticed something else about our words when researching this topic. Proverbs 31:26 tells us when she speaks. This implies that we don’t always need to be talking! We don’t always need to share our opinions on every topic. We don’t need to vent every frustration we faced throughout the day. We don’t need to voice every burden we are carrying to everyone we meet.

Scripture shows us some beautiful ways to use our words and the results that come when we choose to allow the Lord to have control over our tongue.

·         We become wise and our tongue can bring healing to others. (Proverbs 12:18)
·         When we speak at good word at the right time, our words are like apples of gold in settings of silver. (Proverbs 25:11)
·         When we speak edifying words, it can impart grace to those who hear. (Ephesians 4:29)
·         Our words can feed many. (Proverbs 10:21)
·         God can give us an instructed tongue so we will know how to speak a word to those who are weary. (Isaiah 50:4)

Matthew 12:34 tells us that out of the abundance of our heart, our mouth will speak. This implies that our words hold a lot of power, as well as revealing what is truly in our heart — good or bad. I want my words to be the kind which will impart healing, refreshment, encouragement, grace, and wisdom to others! How about you?

© 2018, Stacy R. Miller

Ammo

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Ammo
There is a lot of ‘hoopla’ online right now with prepping. People are trying to prepare for the end of the world, stocking up on food and ammo. Now there’s nothing wrong with this because in Matthew 24, when talking about the end of the world, Jesus refers to the wise and faithful servant who will have food to give in due season. He is referring to Joseph, and He is encouraging us to prepare for what is coming.

However, many people start to go down the wrong path in this endeavor when they forget about preparing spiritually. The first thing we must realize is that we cannot put our confidence in ourselves. “Don’t be so naïve and self-confident. You’re not exempt. You could fall flat on your face as easily as anyone else. Forget about self-confidence; it’s useless. Cultivate God-confidence.” (1 Corinthians 10:12, MSG)

We need to armor-up! We need to do as Ephesians 6 says and put on the full armor of God. Along with this, we also need to be hiding God’s Word in our hearts so that we won’t sin against Him. (Psalm 119:11)

Peter mentions the end of all things being near in 1 Peter 4:7-8. He admonishes us to be sober and watchful in prayer. However, his next instruction seems a bit out of place when thinking about the end of all things. He tells us above all, to love one another fervently. Yet, when you go back to what Jesus tells us about the end times in Matthew 24, He warns us that people will hate us and betray us. It will be hard for us to be forgiving when we are betrayed if we don’t do as Peter says and learn to love one another fervently.

So as we journey through these end times, we must stock up on spiritual ammunition:
1.       Keep the Lord first and let Him be our confidence.
2.       Hide the Word in our hearts.
3.       Pray for the Lord to help us love fervently.

I don’t know about you, but I think I need to get on my knees and seek some more spiritual ammo.
© 2018, Stacy R. Miller

Why I Don’t Listen to Hillsong

This 12.5 minute video is very insightful.

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