Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Three Questions for Such a Time as This - Pat 2

Michael continues; Matthew chapter 24 is about the dark days before the end times. Those who stand up for Jesus, standing in His strength alone are prepared for the spiritual battle ahead of us. Jesus Christ didn't come to make peace with the world, he came to bring a sword against the powers of darkness. One of the signs of the end times is that men and women of this world will fall away. The only way to remain in communion with God, when severely tested and confronted about our faith, is to put on the whole armor of Christ. The preparation is to love God above all, having our feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of Peace, for Jesus Christ is the Prince of Peace. Maranatha means "come quickly Lord Jesus."  

Jesus confronted Peter after Peter's three denials and asked him, "Peter, do you love me?"  Jesus asked this question because he already knew Peter's heart. A man and woman of God needs to ask themselves, "Do you love your Lord above all?"

The second  question is, "Do you find your identity in Christ?" In Him we live and move and have our being. Will the real you please stand up?  The real you is Christ in you the hope of glory. For we all, with open face beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are changed from the glory (of the flesh) to the glory of the Spirit, even by the Spirit of the Lord. Am I my earthly father's child or am I my Heavenly Father's child? The truth of the Word of God tells us not only "who we are" but more importantly "whose we are."

The final question is "do you want to spend the rest of your life becoming just like Jesus?"  A disciple is a disciplined follower.  Softly and tenderly Jesus is calling ... We don't want to be those who said, "Lord, Lord did we not do miracles and cast out devils in your name?” These are those to whom Jesus said, "I never knew you." To those called of God, persecution and trials prove the power of God to overcome, For His strength is made perfect in my weakness.

God hasn't called us to "keep the rules”, but to “be the rules." May our prayer in this new year be: "Lord I know I'm not the person I need to be. Lord, make me that person." This is a prayer that God yearns to answer. Our challenge in this new year is to "make every day Opening day."  On Opening day with your first at-bat, your batting average is a perfect 1000. He has called us up to the plate and has given us an opportunity to knock one out of the park to glorify Him. For me to live is Christ and to die is gain. For I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God unto salvation.

God has closed the books and settled our debts for the past year. He has given us a clean slate. We have been made a new creation in Christ. All things have become new.  Morning by morning new mercies I see. Therefore, forgetting those things that are behind I press toward the upward calling of God in Christ Jesus.

May God richly bless you!
Your brother in Christ, Michael

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