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

 

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”!

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

Looking Your Best for God

big-hatThere was an emphasis on wearing your “Sunday best” when I was growing up.  Every week at church most would be decked out in the nicest piece of wardrobe in their closet.  “You should look your best when going to church,” was often heard.  Believe it or not, in some churches, the hats worn on Easter are so large one cannot see the pastor when sitting behind such monstrosities.

Now there is certainly nothing wrong with looking nice when one attends a church service, but note that wearing your best is on the outside.  God probably appreciates the effort, but what is likely more important is someone coming into God’s house looking nice on the inside.  In other words, having a contrite heart, or a heart after God’s heart.  A heart that is concerned for others, and where they will spend eternity.

“Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right, persevering, and steadfast spirit within me.”  Psa. 51:10 (AMP)

Knowing this, perhaps here at the beginning of a new year, it is time to clean out your “spiritual” closet.  Get rid of all of the things that make you look good only on the outside.  Let God examine your heart, and guide you in where changes need to be made.

Copyright © 2017 Mark Brady, All rights reserved

Close Gifts

red-crossMary held him close enough to hear him breath.  To feel his chest move in and out.  To see every radiant color of his eyes.  Her heart melted when he smiled.  Just think what an honor it must have been to be that close to God.  To hold God in your hands.

Jesus said, “For the Father and I are one.” (John 10:30)  Mary held God.  Today, God can hold you.

When it hurts, when you’re scared, when you’re confused, run into God’s arms.  Because God gave us His son, His son gave us God.

 

Copyright © 2016 Mark Brady, All rights reserved

Jesus is Lord!!

jesus-is-lordA young lady in my church, who hides behind a recliner to talk to her parent’s bible study group stands up with boldness in front of her class.  The 15 year old shared with them why God should be allowed back into schools.  She revealed students have a right to proclaim “Jesus is Lord”.  She stood there in the power of the Holy Spirit as He enabled her.  In her own might it would never happen, but she loves God and wants to be used by Him.

We are in full blown Christmas mode right now.  This is the easiest time of the year to share “Jesus is Lord”.  After all, Jesus is the reason for this season.  People are hungry for truth and Jesus is the Way, the Truth, and the Light.  All, who know “Jesus is Lord”, should be watching for opportunities to share their faith.  Ready to give an answer to those searching.  The Holy Spirit has been drawing them to God.  Now we need to be asking the Holy Spirit to help us to be ready and bold, like the young lady in my church.

This holiday season give more than an earthly gift.  Give the gift God gave us.  His son Jesus.  Share with all, why Jesus is the answer to their needs.  Give a gift that hopefully no one returns.

 

Copyright © 2016 Mark Brady, All rights reserved

Looking For God

P1020216This past week, during a team meeting for my trip to Zambia, one of the members shared that she keeps a journal, but not just any journal.  She went on to share how at the end of every day she writes down in this journal where and how God showed up.  The name of this journal is, “Only God”.

Isaiah 40:26 says, “Look at the night skies: Who do you think made all this?…”  Oswald Chambers writes in his book, My Utmost for His Highest “The people of God in Isaiah’s time had blinded their mind’s ability to see God by looking on the face of idols.”  I certainly think in our day people are looking at their idols as well.  An idol can be anyone or anything you put in place of God.

When you look for God every day, everything changes.  Your vision of people and events, your conversations, and even your reactions to the annoyances of each day can change.  What a great discipline to look for where God showed up in your day, and then to take the time to record it.  I guarantee you in a moment’s weakness where she might not think that God cares about her or hears her prayers all she has to do is open up her “Only God” journal and read a page or two in order to be assured that each and every day God is there with her.

I challenge you this week to look for God in your life, and to go one step further to record where you saw God and what you saw Him doing in your life, or in someone else’s.