Stay With It to the End

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“Behold!  The coming of Jesus is so soon, it’s as if He is standing up now getting ready to go gather his church home!”  I was about 8 years old, when that word of prophesy sure got my attention.  I thought dang!  I had better tie my shoes!  I was ready then to stand before God and to give an account for how I had lived my life.  After serious soul searching and one more prayer asking God to forgive me of all of my sins I can say right now I am ready to stand before God.

In these last days, one has to be intentional about staying focused on the prize of eternal life.  Satan is working overtime, and with the help of the Russians putting out “fake” news to keep Americans stirred up (okay, kidding), but honestly, it can be extremely difficult to maintain a straight path toward heaven.

Mar 13:4-13  “Tell us, when is this going to happen? What sign will we get that things are coming to a head?”  Jesus began, “Watch out for doomsday deceivers.  Many leaders are going to show up with forged identities claiming, ‘I’m the One.’ They will deceive a lot of people.  When you hear of wars and rumored wars, keep your head and don’t panic. This is routine history, and no sign of the end.  Nation will fight nation and ruler fight ruler, over and over. Earthquakes will occur in various places. There will be famines. But these things are nothing compared to what’s coming.  “And watch out! They’re going to drag you into court. And then it will go from bad to worse, dog-eat-dog, everyone at your throat because you carry my name. You’re placed there as sentinels to truth.  The Message has to be preached all across the world.  “When they bring you, betrayed, into court, don’t worry about what you’ll say. When the time comes, say what’s on your heart–the Holy Spirit will make his witness in and through you.  “It’s going to be brother killing brother, father killing child, children killing parents.  There’s no telling who will hate you because of me. “Stay with it–that’s what is required. Stay with it to the end. You won’t be sorry; you’ll be saved. (MSG)

All one has to do is read the above verses, and then turn on the world news.  Am I predicting a date of Jesus’ return?  NO WAY!  If you read further down chapter 13 it goes on to say that only God knows the exact day and hour.  Therefore, I beseech you, okay a little too much King James, but I urge you strongly to keep your focus on God, hold Jesus’ hand, and listen to the Holy Spirit, and you will make it home.

Copyright © 2017 Mark Brady, All rights reserved

 

Are You Nothing?

My co-worker was questioning how someone could not give a particular race respect. Even think they are stupid animals.  As the conversation continued we came to one conclusion.  This attitude toward others can only be a result of “hate”.  Unfortunately, “hate” doesn’t just stop with people groups, but can actually be focused on coworkers, friends, and oh my goodness, family.  Wait, did I just say family?  Yes.  I did.  And what will surprise you the most is, this “hate” can even come from those who consider themselves Christian.  Guess what, going to church does not make one a Christian.  And we wonder why some people don’t like Christians.

1 Corinthians chapter 13:4-8 tells us what pure love is, but I have realized it also shows us what pure hate looks like:

Hate gives up.
Hate cares more for self than others.
Hate wants what it doesn’t have.
Hate struts, has a swelled head,
Forces itself on others.
Is always “me first.”
Flies off the handle.
Keeps score of the sins of others,
Revels when others grovel.
Takes pleasure in spreading lies,
Doesn’t put up with anything.
Never trusts God.
Never looks for the best.
Always looks back.
Hate always kills.

1Co 13:1-3   If I speak with human eloquence and angelic ecstasy but don’t love, I’m not lovenothing but the creaking of a rusty gate.  If I speak God’s Word with power, revealing all his mysteries and making everything plain as day, and if I have faith that says to a mountain, “Jump,” and it jumps, but I don’t love, I’m nothing.  If I give everything I own to the poor and even go to the stake to be burned as a martyr, but I don’t love, I’ve gotten nowhere. So, no matter what I say, what I believe, and what I do, I’m bankrupt without love. (MSG)

The bottom line is this:  If you “hate” anyone for any reason you are nothing!  Choose to love, and they might just choose to love you back.

Copyright © 2017 Mark Brady, All rights reserved