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

 

The Key to Your Life

KeysCurrently, I only use two keys.  It feels good.  It means I am not responsible for much.  I do not unlock a church anymore or even a desk.  So, in a way, the keys on your key ring tell others about you, about your life.

Most will have a house key, but you could also have a key to a cabin.  A car key, or two.  A key to your company’s building, company’s vehicle, your office door, or just your desk.  You could have a boat key.  One for your gym locker, gun locker, school locker, or even a foot locker.  But what if your key ring had one to your lover’s apartment, or to a lock box that no one else knew about?  Are there secrets to your life that require a hidden key?

Jesus knows about every key you poses.  Hidden or otherwise.  Jesus has keys too.  Rev 1:18   “I’m Alive. I died, but I came to life, and my life is now forever. See these keys in my hand? They open and lock Death’s doors, they open and lock Hell’s gates.” (MSG)  The only key that really matters in this life is the one that unlocks your heart.  Who, or what, have you given that key to?  I hope you have given it to Jesus.  Doing so, says you trust him with everything that is important to you.  Everything you value, even your very life.

 

Copyright © 2017 Mark Brady, All rights reserved

 

Do You Trust Me?

Trust.  It’s hard to trust someone else, and sometimes even ourselves.  God, throughout the centuries has asked people to trust Him.  Some did, others didn’t, but most did so with some fear and trepidation.  Another thing that is difficult is change.  Either change a job, a living location, but the hardest thing to change is yourself.  Putting the two things together will just about overwhelm you!

Whenever God calls you to change an area of your life, take it from me, it is best to blindly believe, and then obey.  Will you know how it will all work out?  Probably not.  Will you know ahead of time how you will make it?  No!  But the point is; God does.  That is where the trust comes into play.

One thing I have learned, the hard way, is God loves obedience.  When you figure out a direction God wants you to go, and then you go when the time is right He blesses you like nothing you have experienced before.  So when God asks you that question, say, “Yes”.

copyright 2017 Mark Brady

 

Sight Unseen

052012_47JBWould you buy a house sight unseen?  Probably not.  On the other hand, have things or people always been as they appear?  Most likely no.  So why is seeing so important?  Why is one state, I traveled through today, called the “Show me state”?  We put so much infaces on seeing before believing, that when it comes to God we want the same thing.

I asked a coworker some years ago this question, “What would it take for you to believe God was real?”  He thought long and hard and finally could not give me an answer.  Possibly in his mind anything God would do for him, would still trigger doubt, and disbelief.  Knowing how He made us, I think that is why God asks us to accept Him by “faith”.  Faith, is the substance of things hoped for, and the evidence of things not seen. (Hebrews 11:1)

It can be difficult, somethimes, to believe in God.  Especially when life is tough, but given the chance, and time God has proven Himself to me over and over.  He also promises to prepare a home for me in heaven.  I’ll accept that home, “sight unseen”!

Boxed In?

20170708_220718One thing that makes moving successful is having enough, and right size boxes for your stuff.  Moving works best when you have the time to put the right things in the right size boxes and number them, and then keep a running list of what is in each one.

When it comes to moving spiritually, what size box do you try to put God in?  Do you cram Him in a small one, because He is only a “small” part of your life?  Or does the God you serve fit in a refrigerator box?  How do you list the contents of the box you put God in?  That probably depends on what you think of God and His power.  Maybe it is limited by your experience with Him so far.

We’re human.  Our mind has limits, but when it comes to God we shouldn’t limit Him at all.  We should never put Him, and His abilities in a box.  Instead of saying, “Why can’t God…?” we should say, “My God can…”  When you start living with this kind of thinking about God you will begin to find your life outside the box.

Copyright © 2017 Mark Brady, All rights reserved

Good Words

Max LucadoI recently read this devotion by Max Lucado, and was moved by the truth and power of the words.  I decided the best thing to do was to share it with others.

Quarry the Deep Qualities of God

Don’t equate the presence of God with a good mood or a pleasant temperament. God is near whether you’re happy or not. But do quarry from your Bible a list of the deep qualities of God, and press them to your heart. My list reads like this:

  • ·  He is still sovereign.
  • ·  He still knows my name.
  • ·  Angels still respond to His call.
  • ·  God is still faithful.
  • ·  He is not caught off guard.
  • ·  He uses everything for His glory and my ultimate good.

Lay hold of the unchanging character of God. Pray your pain out. Pound the table. Even Jesus offered up prayers with what Hebrews 5:7 describes as “loud cries and tears.” Your family may be gone. Your supporters may have left. But God has not budged! His promise still stands, “I am with you and will watch over you wherever you go.”

To read more from Max, or to sign up for his devotions click on the link below:

Max Lucado

Copyright © 2017 Mark Brady, All rights reserved

How Satan Gets In

SieveJesus warned Peter (Simon) Satan wanted to get inside him and tempt him.  Satan wanted to see if Peter’s life was rattled, shaken would his belief in God remain.

Luke 22:31 “Simon, stay on your toes. Satan has tried his best to separate all of you from me, like chaff from wheat.” (MSG)

So how does Satan get inside our hearts in the first place?

Perhaps when a family member hurts us. – Resentment
Maybe when a neighbor gets a new car. – Jealousy
Could be when difficult financial times fall upon us. – Fear
When your boss rides you, even though you work very hard. – Hatred
It could be after the loss of a loved one. – Grief, or sorrow
Through a battle with a serious illness. – Desperation
If a child goes astray with their life, or departs from God – Hopelessness
You feel there is no one out there who really loves you, understands you. – Loneliness
A situation or person ticks you off – Anger

These are only a few examples of how our lives can be shaken, sifted.  If this is happening to you will God remain?  I hope so.  One way to make sure is to do an evaluation of what is in your heart.  Clean it out and then keep the door to your heart and soul SHUT!  And it wouldn’t hurt to lock it either.

Recognize quickly when Satan tries to sneak into your heart, because he will, even if the door is barely cracked.

 

Copyright © 2017 Mark Brady, All rights reserved

It Hurts!

HURTYou listen as they describe their current pain, despair, nightmare of a life.  They go on and on without the slightest glimmer of hope on their face, or in their voice.  They want relief, they want out, they want something so different then what they have.  Like a blind man looking for his glasses, their searching is in vain.

You’ve heard it before, from them and from others you care so much about.  Will this be the time they listen to you?  Have they reached the end of their rope?  Have they had enough?  Maybe, maybe this will be the time they here you share the life they could have if they would only accept the free gift of Jesus Christ.  How His death provides life.  How His taking on the whole worlds sin and sorrow deliveres eternal joy, happiness, and peace, if we just say, “Yes” to His offer.

It hurts, when we hear them say, “Thanks, but it’s not for me.”  It doesn’t make sense.  It’s hard for us to understand.  Irwin McManis put it like this, “People would rather live a bad life “they” purchased, than a great life that is free.”

Keep praying and trusting God for those you care about.

Copyright © 2017 Mark Brady, All rights reserved

“In God We Trust”

US coinOur founding fathers didn’t declare this, but congress did in 1956.  They could have declared a lot of things when they were deciding what to inscribe on our currency.  Something that would be used around the world.  I’m sure after a lot of thought, it became obvious, the only thing to say was who they trusted in.  Those men knew God and His word.  After all, men came to this land for the “pursuit of religious freedom.”  It just makes cents!

2Sa 22:31   As for God, His way is perfect; the word of the Lord is tried. He is a Shield to all those who trust and take refuge in Him.  (AMP)

There is an old hymn my church sang when I was young, that had the following line; “Trust and obey, for there’s no other way.”  I know, it’s hard to do.  You can’t see God, but if you trust Him, you might just see His hand move about your life.  You might hear His voice calm you in the midst of life’s storms.  By the way, you can’t see the wind either, but what fool would dare deny its existence?

Whats inscribed upon your heart?  What do you declare to the world to trust or believe in?

Copyright © 2017 Mark Brady, All rights reserved

God?

It would be so much easier if you could see God, touch Him, and hear Him audibly.  But if all that was possible don’t you think it would cheapen your faith?  I mean faith’s value goes through the roof when you chose to believe in who you can’t see, touch, or hear, and yet the things you have been talking to God about, happen.

If you asked God for His will for your life and the next morning you found an email in your inbox from God telling you to do something that you didn’t like you probably would label it as “Spam”.  Or, you might be tempted to click on “unsubscribe”.  You see God has a way of taking His desires for our lives and developing them in us to the point we start asking Him for the same thing.  Thinking it was our idea.Steering wheel isolated on a white background

One thing about God’s will is the timing.  Maybe you do know His will, but do you know His timing?  A good way to discover His timing is by moving.  It’s hard to steer a car when it is parked.  When you are moving in the direction you think is God’s will He can steer you, but you have to prayerfully watch the road signs.  It’s like this, just because someone offers you a job out of the blue, doesn’t mean it is God’s will for you to work there.

Another way to find His will and timing is to talk to mature Christians who have been there and have done that.  They can counsel you in the ways of God, and also be praying with you.  Remember this verse:  Isa 55:9  “For as the sky soars high above earth, so the way I work surpasses the way you work, and the way I think is beyond the way you think.” (MSG)  Trusting, believing, and obeying provides you the greatest adventures you will ever have and the most rewarding, and satisfied life.

Copyright © 2017 Mark Brady, All rights reserved