Watch for the Master!

Watch for the Master!

This is a message for EVERYONE!  We are taught by the Scriptures to keep a watch for the coming of the Master.  Jesus is the “Master of the house” of each person who has accepted Him as their Savior and Lord. 

Watch therefore, for you do not know when the master of the house is coming—in the evening, at midnight, at the crowing of the rooster, or in the morning— 36 lest, coming suddenly, he find you sleeping. 37 And what I say to you, I say to all: Watch!”  (Mark 13:35-37, emphasis added)

Your watchmen shall lift up their voices, with their voices they shall sing together; for they shall see eye to eye when the Lord brings back Zion.  (Isa 52:8)

I have set watchmen on your walls, O Jerusalem; they shall never hold their peace day or night.  You who make mention of the Lord, do not keep silent . . . (Isa 62:6)

In the Christian community, our watchmen are the prophets and pastors who teach us and lead us in our daily walk.  The prophets give us timely insights from the Lord and we should pay attention to them.  The pastors are under-shepherds who are supposed to follow the example of Jesus, the Shepherd of all believers, by living exemplary lives of faith and love.  Pastors also lead their flocks in right paths and teach us about God’s nature and the Bible to enable us to live righteous, upright lives.

We are also told to “watch and pray” lest we enter into temptation.  (Mt 26:41)  This is a spiritual watching coupled with prayer that gives each one of us the strength to survive temptations and the difficult situations of life.

When the New Testament instructs us to “watch,” it means to stay alert, awake, and attentive.  This is a spiritual instruction to be spiritually perceptive, on guard, and to examine every teaching closely so that we do not allow ourselves to be lead into error or false doctrine.

As we study our Bibles daily and meditate upon them faithfully, the Holy Spirit will bring to our minds the Scriptures that we have learned.  (Joh 14:25-26)  He will lead each of His children wherever He wants each person to go.  Praise the Lord!

Feet of a Deer: Hind’s Feet

Feet of a Deer: Hind’s Feet

The Sovereign Lord is my strength; He makes my feet like the feet of a deer, He enables me to tread on the heights.  (Hab 3:19 NIV)

The Lord God is my strength, and He will make my feet like hinds’ feet, and He will make me to walk upon mine high places.  (Hab 3:19 KJV)

In Habakkuk 3:17-18, the prophet says:

17 Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, 18 yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Savior.

Verses 17 and 18 show us that Habakkuk chooses to praise the Lord and to be joyful in Him in spite of life’s challenging circumstances. 

He maketh my feet like hinds’ feet, and setteth me upon my high places.  (2 Sam 22:34 & Ps 18:33 KJV)

So what is the significance of hind’s feet?  A hind is a female deer (or a gazelle) who is able to place her back feet unerringly where her front feet have walked.  Because of this, a hind is able to run unreservedly on the roughest terrain.  In times of peril, the hind can run securely and stay on course.  Because the hind can scale high places, it can elude predators.

The spiritual lesson for us is that, despite our circumstances, when we are truly anchored by faith in Jesus, we’ll be able to run with joy the race that is set before us.  The Word reminds us that God Himself is our strength, and in Him our spiritual feet have become as sure-footed, nimble, and fast as the hind. 

The strength that God gives to us is an inward strength—confidence and assurance and courageousness in the face of all external afflictions and trials.

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.  (Phil 4:13 NKJV) 

. . . that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man . . .  (Eph 3:16 NKJV)

We are the temple of the Holy Spirit (1 Cor 6:19), and the strength of the Lord is within each one of us.  Glory to God!

Benefits of Our Salvation

Benefits of Our Salvation

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life; and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.  (Ps 23:6)

We determine that we will dwell in the house of the Lord forever and that goodness and mercy shall follow us by accepting the Lord Jesus Christ as our personal Savior and Lord.  With that one decision, we also decide to accept all of the benefits and blessings of our salvation—which are unlimited!

Of course, the Bible also informs us that there will be persecution for our faith for which we must be prepared.  (Mt 5:44; 10:23; Lk 21:12)  But we can and should expect both, especially God’s blessings.

The blessings of salvation are many, varied, and unlimited.  You truly need to study the Bible to locate all of the promised blessings, but I love to list at least some of them for people to meditate upon and to rejoice over!

  • God is our shield and surpassingly great reward (Gen 15:1)
  • The Lord is our healer (Ex 15:26)
  • His joy is our strength (Neh 8:10)
  • Jesus is our Open Heaven (Joh 1:51)
  • All of God’s promises to us are answered “Yes” and “So be it” through Jesus, our Lord (2 Cor. 1:20)
  • The Lord gives us a long life (Ps 91:16)
  • God gives us good things to eat and renews our youth (Ps 103:5)
  • God gives us an incorruptible inheritance (1 Pet 1:3-4)
  • God give us eternal life.  (Joh 3:15)

These are just a small handful of the benefits of trusting in God and accepting Jesus Christ as our Savior and Lord.  Meditate on how much God loves you, and how very much He wants to bless you every single day of your life!  Hallelujah!

Do You Not Care?

Do You Not Care?

And a great windstorm arose, and the waves beat into the boat, so that it was already filling. 38 But He was in the stern, asleep on a pillow. And they awoke Him and said to Him, “Teacher, do You not care that we are perishing?” 39 Then He arose and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, “Peace, be still!” And the wind ceased and there was a great calm. (Mk 4:37-39)

In this passage from the Scriptures, the companions of Jesus ask Him, “Don’t You care that we’re in danger of dying?”  Is it ever possible for God to NOT care about His sheep?  Decidedly NO—it is not possible!

Here are just several passages from the Bible to demonstrate my point.

Do not be afraid of them; the LORD your God himself will fight for you.  (Deu 3:22 NIV)  God fights for you.

And the Lord, He is the One who goes before you. He will be with you, He will not leave you nor forsake you; do not fear nor be dismayed.  (Deu 31:8)  The Lord never leaves you; don’t be fearful.

The Lord is my light and my salvation; Whom shall I fear?  The Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?  (Ps 27:1)  The Lord will light our way and give us strength.

But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Do not fear therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.  (Lk 12:7)  God not only loves us but He also values us highly.

So we may boldly say: “The Lord is my helper; I will not fear.  What can man do to me?”  (Heb 13:6)  We may boldly declare that “God is my helper.”

In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him. 10 In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.  (1 Joh 4:9-10)  God loved us first, and gave us His salvation.

Our salvation was designed by God the Father and paid for by Jesus Christ, our Savior.  What more proof do we need that God cares for us always, at all times, and in all circumstances? We are the objects of the unconditional and unending love of God.  Hallelujah!

Believers, Renounce Guilt!

Believers, Renounce Guilt!

Did you realize that guilt is a weapon of our spiritual enemy, the devil?  It’s designed to destroy the faith of Christians. 

Who shall bring a charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. 34 Who is he who condemns? It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us.   (Rom 8:33-34)

Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered.  Blessed is the man to whom the Lord does not impute iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no deceit.  (Ps 32:1-2)

 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.  (1 Joh 1:9)

The enemy’s plan is to bring about such condemnation upon a person that they will abandon faith in God.  That happens gradually, as the person battling guilt begins to question the very Word of God.  As the person slides into self-doubt, He may begin to question God’s faithfulness.  Will He really give the victory?  They begin to feel alone in the battle.

ALL of these things are from the pit of hell.  The Lord says that He has made a way of escape!  (1 Cor 10:13)  When temptation knocks, actively LOOK FOR the blessed way of escape.  It is hidden in your heart in the form of Bible verses.  Here are some very helpful and spiritually powerful verses to memorize and to review daily.

“No weapon formed against you shall prosper, and every tongue which rises against you in judgment you shall condemn.  This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and their righteousness is from Me,” says the Lord.  (Isa 54:17)

There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.  (Rom 8:1) 

. . . even the righteousness of God, through faith in Jesus Christ, to all and on all who believe . . . (Rom 3:22)

. . . so that as sin reigned in death, even so grace might reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.  (Rom 5:21)

But of Him you are in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God—and righteousness and sanctification and redemption—  (1 Cor 1:30)

. . . having wiped out the handwriting of requirements that was against us, which was contrary to us. And He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross.  (Col 2:14)

Fill your mind and heart with these truths from God’s Word, and focus on studying the Bible.  Memorizing Scriptures will give you strength against temptation.

Your word I have hidden in my heart, that I might not sin against You.  (Ps 119:11)

Jesus is our Savior and Redeemer; He is our righteousness.  He loves His children and surrounds us with His presence and His grace.  Begin to appreciate these precious truths, and your faith will be strengthened as well as your Christian walk.

Be Watchful

Be Watchful

But you be watchful in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.  (2 Tim 4:5)

. . . praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints—  (Eph 6:18)

But the end of all things is at hand; therefore be serious and watchful in your prayers.  (1 Pet 4:7)

Watch, stand fast in the faith, be brave, be strong.  (1 Cor 16:13)

Often the Bible urges us to watch as well as to pray.  (Mk 13:33; 14:38; Lk 21:36; Eph 6:18)  It’s important that these two actions go hand in hand. 

Watch means to stay awake; to be sleepless.  We need to take this command literally as well as spiritually.  We are meant to be vigilant, on guard, alert, and intently aware.  Spiritual watching combined with prayer will give us the strength we need to resist temptation and to overcome difficult situations in life.

Staying awake is connected with righteousness.  (1 Cor 15:34)  If ever there has been a time to stay alert and focused, it is NOW.  Many scholars believe that we are living in what is called the “end times.”  We must focus on strengthening our relationship with Jesus Christ and living a holy life, by the grace which He imparts to us.

Believers must be prepared for the return of Jesus Christ; we must guard against temptation; and we should pray without ceasing.  We should prepare for the completion (conclusion) of our salvation!

“Vigilant watchfulness is a manifestation of genuine spiritual life.” ~ Billy Graham

Strength for the Weary

Strength for the Weary

God reminds us in His Word that He will strengthen us when we are weak, and even increase our vigor.

He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.  (Isa 40:29 NIV) 

But those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.  (Isa 40:31 NKJV)

And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.  (2 Cor 12:9 NKJV)

A significant point to remember is that we need to turn to the Lord, and seek His help.  We need to focus on Him and His love and goodness in order to access the strength that He is able to give. 

When our goal is to live for Jesus and to extend His loving message of forgiveness and salvation to others, we are assured that He is our ever present help.  (Ps 46:1)

Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might.  (Eph 6:10)

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.  (Phil 4:13)

It’s good for us to turn to the Lord in times of stress, challenge, or difficulty.  When we’re feeling weak, fragile or defenseless, the Lord promises that He is our strength.  He will empower and strengthen His beloved, causing us to soar above our circumstances.  (Isa 40:31)  What a blessed promise!