Category: Inspirational


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                             RAPTURE AND SECOND COMING CONTRASTS

Rapture/Translation

1 Translation of all believers
2 Translated saints go to heaven
3 Earth not judged
4 Imminent, any-moment, signless
tribulation
5 Not in the Old Testament
6 Believers only
7 Before the day of wrath
8 No reference to Satan
9 Christ comes for His own
10 He comes in the air
11 He claims His bride
12 Only His own see Him
13 Tribulation begins

2nd Coming/Estab. Kingdom

1 No translation at all
2 Translated saints return to earth
3 Earth judged & righteousness established
4 Follows definite predicted signs including tribulation
5 Predicted often in Old Testament
6 Affects all men
7 Concluding the day of wrath
8 Satan bound
9 Christ comes with His own
10 He comes to the earth
11 He comes with His bride
12 Every eye shall see Him
13 Millennial Kingdom begins

Read more…http://www.pre-trib.org/data/pdf/Ice-DifferencesBetweenTheRapt.pdf

Walking out the Will of God!

images1 Thes 5:14-18 Now we exhort you, brethren, warn them that are unruly, comfort the feebleminded, support the weak, be patient toward all men. See that none render evil for evil unto any man; but ever follow that which is good, both among yourselves, and to all men. Rejoice evermore. Pray without ceasing. In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.

The apostle Paul‘s epistle to the Thessalonians contains clear and powerful exhortations concerning the will of God for believers. These exhortations express the specific will of God in relationships with others, with ourselves, and with the Lord. Packed into these short verses are patterns of life and behavior which receive His blessing in all these relationships.

“Warn them that are unruly”; people who are idle, undisciplined, pleasure seeking, need to know the danger they are in.

“Comfort the feebleminded”; comfort people who are disheartened; come alongside them with brotherly affection and encouraging words, and pray for them.

“Support the weak”; our natural tendency is to despise and neglect weaker people, to stay away from them since they have nothing to offer us, and can damage our reputation. Jesus says no, find them, and lift them up however you can.

“Be patient toward all men”; realizing how patient God is with you, and that “patient” is the first thing that love is, [1 Cor. 13:4]. It means waiting in love and hope, with prayer, for people to see what they need to see, do what they need to do, change how they need to change.

“See that none render evil for evil;” do not allow evil men in this world to corrupt your own behavior and character. This is a constant temptation throughout life because evil people are everywhere, including the church.

“Follow that which is good”; being and doing good of every kind is our lifelong mandate as believers; there are millions of ways to obey it. This is God’s will for us toward all men – even those who don’t deserve it!

“Rejoice evermore”; Jesus has rescued your eternity from unspeakable misery and pain to everlasting joy and pleasure. The constant reality of your life is undergirded by an ecstatic future forever. You can afford to be quite happy about it.

“Pray without ceasing”; ‘impossible’, you say. Given the fact that your relationship with the Lord is wide open to communication with Him 24/7, why not continually include Him in your words and thoughts?

“In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you”; gratitude is a life saver, apart from being the most appropriate response to having been created, redeemed, and blessed by our loving Lord. Thankfulness in all things turns you into the beautiful soul your were intended to be. Gratitude in the midst of suffering is a special perfume for the Lord.

The will of God is not so hard to figure out when we read these simple statements. Just obeying these exhortations is enough to do for a lifetime. Wherever the Lord calls you, He calls you to this lifestyle. God’s Holy Spirit inspired these words, and He alone gives the power to carry them out. Our part is to believe and act, He will fill us as we do.

 

Read more….http://www.worthydevotions.com/

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John 9:6-7 When he had thus spoken, he spat on the ground, and made clay of the spittle, and he anointed the eyes of the blind man with the clay, And said unto him, Go, wash in the pool of Siloam, (which is by interpretation, Sent.) He went his way therefore, and washed, and came seeing.

I read this passage and I wonder how I would react if someone mixed their saliva with some dirt on the ground and put it on my face like this. Ewww! Why didn’t Jesus just heal this guy and be done with it? Why the messy prelude?

If you’ll notice, Jesus did two things. First, He placed mud on the man’s eyes. Then, He told him to go and wash himself in the pool of Siloam. Of course, the man willingly obeyed. If you had some gross concoction smeared on your eyes, wouldn’t you? The mud actually provided the motivation for his obedience.

My point? We don’t always have to understand why we find our selves muddy sometimes. Perhaps if we weren’t muddy, we’d never be motivated to obey! And obedience is crucial to a successful and flourishing walk with the Lord.

Let’s not despise the mud on our face today. We all have times of trial. Let’s use them for an opportunity to be obedient! God is just trying to help us see better!

 

Read more…http://www.worthydevotions.com/

You are Chosen and Changed

download1 Samuel 22:1-2 David therefore departed thence, and escaped to the cave Adullam: and when his brethren and all his father’s house heard it, they went down thither to him. And every one that was in distress, and every one that was in debt, and every one that was discontented, gathered themselves unto him; and he became a captain over them: and there were with him about four hundred men.

1 Corinthians 1:26-29 For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called: But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are: That no flesh should glory in his presence.

Early in his life David was forced to flee from his king and father-in-law, Saul — to flee for his life. During this long season of exile and hiding David began to find himself surrounded by loyal friends who joined themselves to him. But these were friends of an unusual kind: they were men who had all been unhappy, distressed, helpless, or in debt — by and large, the outcasts of the world. But an amazing thing happened to these formerly hapless human beings when they joined with David; they were empowered and became his “mighty men.” When David finally became King of Israel, these men were ennobled and raised to be princes and officers in his Kingdom.

As it was with David, so it is with Jesus. Jesus came to save sinners, the wretched outcasts of this world, discontented, indebted, distressed and helpless … whom He clothes with His righteousness and fills with His Spirit, ennobles and transforms into “mighty men”, who will rule and reign with Him in His kingdom!

We have gathered ourselves to Jesus, the Messiah, the son of David, and He has chosen us as His brothers and sisters and fellow laborers in His Kingdom, never again to be outcasts, but rather embraced in His love, part of His enormous family, and delegated and empowered to serve  Him in His Kingdom. Let’s be encouraged remembering where we came from AND where we are going!

Be a glimmer of hope!

imagesDaniel 12:3 And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever.

Most people have never heard of the first overseas missionary from America to Burma, Adoniram Judson. Judson was a brilliant man who learned to read when he was only 3. He went to college when he was just 16. He graduated valedictorian of his class at the age of 19. He was the son of a pastor, having been raised with Godly values, however while in college, he met a student named Jacob Eames, a deist who denied the miracles of the Bible. By the time Judson finished college he had turned completely from the Lord. For a short while, he lived a vagabond and reckless life, until a series of God-incidences turned his life inside out.

During this time, he left to visit his uncle, but instead, unexpectedly encountered a pious young man who amazed him by his strong Christian convictions, yet without being austere or dictatorial. The Lord placed this young man in the path of Judson to recapture the heart of the prodigal.

The very next night, he stayed at a small village inn where he had never been before. The innkeeper apologized that his sleep might be interrupted because a critically ill man was staying in the next room. The following day, as Judson was leaving, he asked the innkeeper about the sick man, and was informed that the man had passed during the night. Judson then asked the innkeeper, “Do you know who he was?” The man replied, “Oh yes. Young man from the college in Providence. Name was Eames, Jacob Eames.”

Upon hearing it was his old friend that just passed, Judson could hardly move. He stayed there for hours pondering death and eternity. He thought, if Jacob Eames was right, then his death was just a meaningless event. Judson could not believe it, and said, “That hell should open in that country inn and snatch Jacob Eames, his dearest friend and guide, from the next bed-this could not, simply could not, be pure coincidence.”

From that moment forward, Judson knew God was real. He rededicated his life and became a missionary in Burma for nearly 40 years. Before he died, he translated the Bible into Burmese, and planted over 100 churches.

Perhaps God will place someone in your path today because He wants you to be a light so that his or her life might be turned around! With the greatest harvest fast approaching, each of us is called to the mission field – the one right outside our door!

 

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Take care!

images (1)1 Corinthians 6:19-20 What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.

We’ve been working on so many different things recently and we’re just exhausted. But this is a word of advice the Lord gave us. Perhaps it’s for some of you too.

Oftentimes we forget that our spiritual, mental and emotional livelihood is directly connected to our physical one. What I mean by that is when we don’t take care of our bodies, not only can we get physically sick, but spiritually, mentally and emotionally as well. The media and the medical industry may have a lot of ideas and “quick fixes” for getting healthy but it really all boils down to a few important fundamentals.

Let’s consider for a minute the way we’ve been treating our bodies. Have we been drinking enough water? Lot’s of water is the number one cure for many bodily ailments including weight loss. Are we eating the kinds of things we should? We can’t expect to put junk in our bodies and expect them to function normally. Are we moving enough? We need to get some form of exercise each day, even if it’s just taking a stroll around the block a few times. I know exercise is a scary word for some of us, but it’s so very important! Are we getting enough sleep? At least eight hours a night for any length of time is key!

Have you been running, running, running and losing your cool? When we don’t take care of our body the way we should, it’s bound to happen! Want to do greater things for the Lord? Want to get God’s direction for your life? Want to get more stable mentally and emotionally? Let’s commit to taking care of our body. It is the Temple of the Holy Spirit living in us. We should strive to keep it in good shape. There’s so much work to be done!!

It happened to the best of them!

imagesPsalms 51:10-12 Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.  Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me.  Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit.

David is called a “man after God’s own heart.” Considering that he lusted after his neighbor’s wife, committed adultery with her, and had her husband murdered, the Lord’s description of him is remarkable. How could a man who was convicted a murderer and an adulterer also be called one after God’s own heart?

The answer is simple but profound: God did not regard David according to the actions of his sinful nature, but according to the deepest motivations and disposition of his heart and will; and these were revealed by David’s response to the conviction which Nathan the prophet brought upon him; a conviction which brought immediate total confession and repentance, and a broken and contrite heart. This response exemplified the shepherd king’s walk with God throughout the entire journey of his life .

If, after David had fallen he made excuses, rationalized, or resisted the clear message of his sinfulness it would have been a totally different story. His heart would have revealed a self-justifying, self-righteous attitude with no realization of his absolute need for God’s mercy. This would have defeated and defined him as a man after his own heart. But the immediacy and completeness of David’s confession qualified him for the Lord’s forgiveness and mercy, saving him from death and restoring him to that most treasured relationship of his life, his relationship with YHVH.

The consequences of his sin were very serious and followed David all the days of his life. But he demonstrated the genuineness of his repentance by never railing against God for the troubles which followed him as a consequence of his sin with Batsheva. David always rose up, submitted, and humbly praised God, writing wonderful psalms and pouring out his heart before the Lord. He served God and worshiped Him all his life. So the Lord God didn’t reckon David’s life by his fall – but by his walk, and by his heart.

We all stumble in many ways, but God does not define us by our failures. It’s our love for Him and our honesty before Him that reveals a true walk of faith! So if you fell, you messed up, your sin got the best of you, then come clean. Make your confession. Accept the consequences without complaining, allow the Lord to forgive and restore you completely, and continue on your journey with Him. That was David’s heart. His example is worthy to follow. May you also be one of those that lived their life “after God’s own heart!”

 

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Live your life in Him!

8_jesusJohn 21:14-15, 22 This is now the third time Jesus showed Himself to His disciples after He was raised from the dead. So when they had eaten breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me more than these?” He said to Him, “Yes, Lord; You know that I love You.” He said to him, “Feed My lambs.”

Jesus said to him, “If I will that he remain till I come, what is that to you? You follow Me.”

After Jesus’ resurrection, He showed himself to the apostles several times. Once, they were fishing, and Jesus met them on the shore of the Sea of Galilee. Peter was there, back at his craft, but swirling with inward emotions. The anguish of his recent denial, three times, exactly as Jesus had predicted, mixed with the amazement and perplexity at the empty tomb, and finally the astounding relief and joy witnessing the risen Lord. Peter was on an emotional roller coaster for days, but the issue of his denial remained unresolved.

The Lord’s encounter with Peter on the Sea of Galilee was to fully restore him. Three times Jesus probes His beloved disciple “Do you love me?” But this is more than just a quantitative restoration. The Lord is penetrating the apostle’s heart in this amazing conversation, because He really knows how much Peter loves Him and He wants Peter to know that He trusts him completely even after his awful failure. So Jesus gives Peter his lifelong commission– “Feed my lambs!”; “Feed my sheep.” Jesus knew that He could entrust Peter with this responsibility, and He told him so. Peter was restored.

Yet Peter still wobbles, even as he receives his restoration, when he asks about his fellow apostle, John. Jesus’s response, “what is that to you, you follow me!” settles the matter. The Lord is saying, “stop the competition, Peter. Those days are over, yet you’re still comparing…I have work for you; I have a life for you; live it!”

The enemy would love to dig up your past, thrust it in your face, and leave you comparing yourself with others for the rest of your life – but the Lord has a life for you and He wants you to live it. Your life, not someone else’s. He loves you and He trusts you to be who He made you to be. So don’t allow your past failures or your present jealousies to prevent you from the life you’re called to live for Him!

Don’t dry out!

  jesusbaptismGenesis 2:7 And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.

1 Corinthians 15:49 And as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly Man.

John 4:14 but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life.”

Revelation 21:6 And He said to me, “It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. I will give of the fountain of the water of life freely to him who thirsts.

The first man was called “Ah-dom”, we know him as “Adam“. The word used for “man”, as in “mankind”, in Genesis 1, is also the same word – “Ah-dom”. “Ah-dom” is rooted in the three Hebrew letters, aleph-dalet-mem, and one of the Hebrew words for earth is “Adamah”, which contains the same three letters, however it ends with the Hebrew letter “hay”. “Adamah” means “red earth”, or “red clay”, and this word points to the natural earth elements, the “earth dust” that composed Adam’s body, and the body of every human being since. “Man” is “ah-dom”, in a very real sense, “clay”.

If a piece of clay is to become anything, it has to be molded – and to be moldable it must become wet. Clay has a tendency to dry out quickly and become hardened, and once that happens, there’s not much you can do with it. Since we are “ah-dom”, made of clay, we are in constant need of water. This is true both physically, and also spiritually. Our bodies need a constant resupply of water to stay alive and function well. Our spirits also need “water”, the “water” of the Word [Ephesians 5:26]. If we are constantly drinking this water of the word, our faith, which comes by hearing [Romans 10:17] will result in a magnificent promise from Yeshua: “He that believes in me, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water!”

This water of His Word welling up through His Spirit will prevent us from becoming dry and hardened, and will enable us to “water” others, even to be, ourselves, a spring of living water.

Drink from the water of life. You don’t want to become a hardened vessel, easily cracked or broken. Soak yourself in Him and in His word, so that God will keep you moldable, useful, and “drinkable” by others. Water is necessary, but it is also deeply refreshing, and Yeshua’s living water springs up, even to eternal life!

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Isaiah 53:4-5 Surely He has borne our griefs And carried our sorrows; Yet we esteemed Him stricken, Smitten by God, and afflicted (me-u-neh). But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; The chastisement for our peace was upon Him, And by His stripes we are healed.

Hebrews 2:9 But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels, for the suffering of death crowned with glory and honor, that He, by the grace of God, might taste death for everyone.

Hebrews 12:2 looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

Romans 8:16-18 The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs–heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together. For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.

When I studied Isaiah 53 earnestly in the ancient Hebrew, I was taken back by the Hebrew word for “afflicted” (me-u-neh). In modern Hebrew this word means “tortured“. When I was young, and first learned what torture actually involved, my soul was shocked that this could happen to people; in fact that it was happening to people. That a person could be kept alive for the purpose of intentionally causing him intense agonizing pain was an astounding enigma for my young soul. It really frightened me; and I think that fear of torture is probably the greatest fear that humans can experience. We read about people who have been tortured, with a kind of horrified awe. And quietly we wonder inside, “How can this be?” And, “Could this ever happen to me?”

Crucifixion was a form of torture which the ancient Romans used frequently. And while I had a concept of the suffering that our Messiah endured for us, for some reason the understanding that He was tortured for our iniquities brought my awareness to a new level. I did not begin to appreciate or fathom the suffering Yeshua went through. His identification with our suffering and our sin was total, and His experience of this torture so fully absorbed Him that He experienced what must have felt like infinite isolation and pain. Somehow, this is a deep comfort; to know that the Son of God understands by experience, torture and suffering unthinkable.

But then, I suddenly realized that I also could not begin to comprehend the glory that awaited Him after His suffering. And that His suffering purchased for me a portion in that glory as well. It was the other side of the story, and somehow, these two extremes complement one another; suffering, and glory. The apostle Paul states his revelation about our sufferings with almost light-hearted conviction; that they are not even “worthy” to be compared with the glory that awaits us. This, to me, could be the most amazing promise in all of scripture.

Suffering is everywhere, a constant part of this life; it may be you, or someone you love, or people you don’t even know but are agonizing over and praying for. This world casts suffering in every direction at every level of intensity. But all of it, every flaming ounce of it has been successfully absorbed into the body of Yeshua the Messiah. He was tortured for us – suffered death for us – so that our sufferings are trifles in the light of eternity. It’s been said this way: from heaven the most miserable earthly life will look like one bad night in a cheap hotel. Thank the Lord.

More from  George Whitten HERE