Tag Archives: prophecy

December 28 – Intentional

Revelation 1-5

Whenever I read John’s Revelation, I always pray that my focus would not be on the horizontal, but on the vertical. Not on the material pictures painted here, but on God Himself. And when I do, I can almost join that worship service I read about and sing with the angels, “Holy, Holy, Holy! Worthy is the Lamb!”

God speaks to us Christians through John about the role of the church; the pitfalls, and the promise. I hear Him tell us not to just go through the motions, but to serve Him with the same love we had when we first believed.

I hear Him tell us to stay true to Scripture and reject Satans’ lies. I hear Him say it won’t be easy, that persecution will effect Christians all over the world.

Don’t accept false teaching, He tells us. Wake up and live this Christian life intentionally. Hold on. Be passionate and effective for the kingdom.

God tells us He will discipline the disobedient Christian in order to save them.

And, for those of us who overcome, we will receive the best prize ever – God Himself: the crown of life, the power and authority, the Word, the morning star, JESUS!!

Reading Revelation and not thinking it’s a history book, or a futuristic prediction, makes it alive and personal today. God wants us to be active Christians, obedient, loving, and alert so that others can know Him, too. I don’t think the book of Revelation is so much a book of the future. I think it’s a book for today, right now, with important lessons for us to follow.

My intention is not to offend those of you who study this book and look for material interpretations. I certainly don’t intend to criticize you if God is directing you in that way. I am telling you how He is directing me. And I don’t want us to miss the messages He has for us for today, to make us stronger and more effective workers in His Kingdom. I think we can all agree that  all Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for instruction, correction,  so that we are equipped to do what God wants us to do as we live out our salvation at the end of 2016 and into the new year.

Today, as I read His Word, I believe God is asking me to be intentional in my walk with Him. And He promises it will be worth it, when I realize He Himself is my prize!

July 31 – Really Good News

Isaiah 49-53

How lovely on the mountains are the feet of him who brings good news, who announces peace, and brings good news of happiness, who announces salvation, and says to Zion, “Your God reigns!” (52:7)

So many people want to limit the Good News to peace or happiness. Peace and happiness are certainly contained in the Good News. But the really good Good News is salvation, and the knowledge that Our God Reigns!

I hope you read Isaiah 53 today. It’s an amazing account of what Jesus did while in a human body here on earth. And it was written by Isaiah a long… LONG time before Jesus was born.

Every time I read this chapter I am blown away by it’s accuracy. If you ever had doubt that Jesus is who He said He is, read Isaiah 53 and ask yourself who but God could fulfill every detail.

Thank You God, for telling us in advance what Jesus did. And thank You Jesus, for going to the cross, for being despised and rejected, for being lied about and spit upon, for dying like a common criminal, yet being totally innocent, for pouring Yourself out to death – for me. You bore my sins. You carried my sorrows. And because You did – I live. There can be no doubt. You are God. You are MY God. And my God reigns! That’s really good news!

July 16 – Terror And Trust

Micah

Are the prophetic books like Micah meant to be interpreted as futuristic occurrences only? Are the “latter days” a stick we need to continually throw ahead? Or are there truths for today, no matter when the day comes that Jesus returns?

Terror is covering our globe like a heavy blanket. It’s not just us in America who go to bed wondering where and when the next attack will be. The overwhelming drive to consider evil good and good evil should concern all believers. Our world, as we know it, seems to be spinning out of control.

How much worse can it get? Maybe that’s not an answer we’re ready to hear.

Things were bad in Micahs’ day, too. And they were going to get worse. But I want to leave you with Micah’s words from chapter 7:7-9. They are words that spoke to me this morning, and give me hope. I trust they’ll do the same for you.

But as for me, I will watch expectantly for the Lord; I will wait for the God of my salvation. My God will hear me. Do not rejoice over me, O my enemy. Though I fall I will rise; though I dwell in darkness, the Lord is light for me. I will bear the indignation of the Lord because I have sinned against Him, until He pleads my case and executes justice for me. He will bring me out to the light, and I will see His righteousness.

 

July 15 – Spoiler Alert

2 Chronicles 27, Isaiah 9-12

Are you the person who reads the last chapter of a book first? I’m not. I like to unveil the story one page at a time.

Do you, when watching a movie with someone who’s seen it before, continue to ask what will happen next? Are they going to be ok? Do they find the treasure? Did the butler do it? Do they fall in love?

I am reminded that as I read God’s Word, especially words of prophecy, God’s already seen the movie. He can tell us what’s coming because he has already seen the end. He’s read the last chapter.

Even though we view them as things that will happen, God sees them in the past tense. That blows my mind.

What a comfort to know that, after all the craziness of life on earth, God is still standing. And He wants me standing with Him!

So here’s the spoiler alert: Jesus, sitting on the throne forever. Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace… from then on and forevermore!

That’s how the story unfolds. And, for those of us who know Jesus as our Savior, we’re going to be ok!

Psalm 22

God revealed to David what Jesus would experience hundreds of years later. There is such detail in Psalm 22 that I am amazed anyone would think the disciples could orchestrate Jesus’ death as a hoax. 

David tells us Jesus’ enemies would lie about him. Beat him. Pierce his hands and feet (and that was written before crucifixion was an accepted form of capital punishment). David saw Jesus thirst. His strength gone. His life poured out like water as Jesus’ side was pierced. God showed David the guardsmen casting lots for Jesus’ clothing. And David heard Jesus cry out to God – why have you forsaken me?

Coincidence? I think not.

Only God could have whispered those details in David’s ear. Is this book I am reading alive, active, powerful, true? Absolutely! Does it reveal a God who loves me and gave himself for me? On every page!

Dear God, may your Holy Spirit find fertile ground as people read your Word today. Touch hearts. Break wills. Hear our prayers as we cry out to you. Forgive us in Jesus’ name. Thank you for the cross. Thank you for your Word.

August 18

Ezekiel 31:1-18; Jeremiah 32:1-33:26

The Old Testament Jews probably dreaded it when Jeremiah received another prophecy from God. Usually it was about God’s displeasure and the devastation that was coming because of their disobedience. But I have to think they welcomed what they heard in Jeremiah 33.

God is promising the Jews peace and prosperity. He is telling them they’ll get their city back, bigger and better than before. I can almost see the wives pouring over the latest Lowes catalog and picking out new granite countertops for the kitchens they were going to remodel when the money started rolling in.

But what is it that God is promising? History tells us the city of Jerusalem did regain prosperity. It was a seat of government and commerce. But when God promised a righteous Branch from David’s line he was not talking about a flesh and blood king. When he said Judah would be saved and Jerusalem would live in safety he was not promising the absence of war.

And when he promised a descendant of David’s would sit on the throne forever, he was not talking about a human king. 

Let’s not try to put these prophecies into a material box. The truth here is so much bigger. When history has played out according to prophecy, it was done for one reason… to demonstrate the spiritual truth, to show the world God is who he says he is.

God’s goal in telling the Jews what was ahead was not so they could plan how to spend their money. God’s goal in telling the Jews the future was so that when the future panned out the way God said, all people would recognize God as the One True God and be drawn to him. 

We know the Jews were still looking forward to having that human king take over the world when Jesus came on the scene. Some of them are still looking for that. But God’s kingdom is so much bigger. 

I believe every word in the Bible is true. And if we try to interpret these verses materially only, we miss out on the real message here. Let’s not spend so much time looking at the signs. Let’s look at the goal, accepting God for who he is and his Son as our Savior.

Jesus is on the throne. Forever. With him is peace. With him we have everything we need, more than we can ask for. We have God himself living in us!

Amen.

July 8

Micah 4:1-7:20

“In the last days”, Micah says. There is a lot of speculation as to what those last days entail. Some people have devoted countless hours studying and calculating the details of “the last days”. Did God throw us a tidbit of information, a clue to some great mystery? Whether we are talking about Isaiah or Micah or Revelation, is there a hidden message that only a few are able to understand? And if that is true – whose message is the right one in light of the many theories out there?

What is God hiding? I believe the answer is, nothing. Our God wants us to know him. He has laid out his plan, explained himself, shown himself to be true. I don’t believe he would change his MO about “the last days.”

Yesterday my pastor pointed us to the Scripture that says a day is like a thousand years to the Lord. So it’s been like two days since Jesus went to the cross. We are bound by time. God is not. We are in the last days. But so was Paul. So was my grandfather who died in 1966.

Here’s what I believe God wants us to know. Life is hard. Evil exists. There are consequences for rejecting God. The temptation to sin will be with us every day we walk this earth. We will experience times of victory and times of defeat. We will know hunger and thirst for God when we don’t walk with him. We have a Savior in the person of Jesus Christ. Forgiveness is ours for the asking. And until God returns, he will use every means possible to draw all men to himself.

The pictures the prophets paint concerning the last days are not meant to hold a key to a mystery. They are written to encourage us, get our attention, point us to Jesus, and remind us that God is still on the throne and one day, we’ll be in his presence for the rest of eternity. I can’t get caught up in the details someone has interpreted from Scripture, which may or may not happen. 

Jesus is coming again. That’s really all I need to know. Because when he does, I want to be counted with the redeemed. I want my family and friends to be counted, too. I want to meet Jesus surrounded by many who are there because I was faithful.

Dear God, you have given me another day. May I use it to honor you, to reach out to someone who needs you, to represent you in everything I do and say. And if you come back today, may I be ready. May you find me busy sowing and reaping, sharing you with others, being the woman you intend for me to be. May Jesus be glorified.