Is This It?

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The church, where I first learned about a better life.

Have you ever asked yourself is this it?  What’s next?  Is there more?

As I was giving thanks to God this week for His many blessings upon my life, a thought hit me.  One I don’t recall having before.  For those who have never accepted Jesus as their savior, and had their sins, wrongs forgiven, then this is it!  This life is the best they will ever have.  For them, there is no hope for an even better life.

This life, with its hardships, struggles, and pain.  This life with its sickness and diseases.  With its final blow, death!

But we don’t have to settle for just this life.  We can choose to have the hope of a better life.  A life with no hurt, sickness, and no death.  Think of it this way; if those who believe and have accepted God are wrong then we have only gotten the same as you.  This life.  But, if we are right, if our faith delivers the hope God’s word says is waiting for us then we have so much more.  So much more than just this life.  And on the way to that better life, is God.

Act 2:26-28   I’m glad from the inside out, ecstatic; I’ve pitched my tent in the land of hope. I know you’ll never dump me in Hades (Hell); I’ll never even smell the stench of death. You’ve got my feet on the life-path, with your face shining sun-joy all around. (MSG)

 Copyright © 2017 Mark Brady, All rights reserved

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

 

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

“Now This Will Preach!”

I gave up on life altogether. I’ve forgotten what the good life is like.
I said to myself, “This is it. I’m finished. GOD is a lost cause.”
I’ll never forget the trouble, the utter lostness, the taste of ashes, the poison I’ve swallowed.
I remember it all–oh, how well I remember– the feeling of hitting the bottom.
But there’s one other thing I remember, and remembering, I keep a grip on hope:
GOD’s loyal love couldn’t have run out, his merciful love couldn’t have dried up.
They’re created new every morning. How great your faithfulness!
I’m sticking with GOD (I say it over and over). He’s all I’ve got left.

SO THEN:

When life is heavy and hard to take, go off by yourself. Enter the silence.
Bow in prayer. Don’t ask questions: Wait for hope to appear.
Don’t run from trouble. Take it full-face. The “worst” is never the worst.
Why? Because the Master won’t ever walk out      and fail to return.

Now read only what is in yellow.

Lamentations 3:17-24, 28-31 (MSG)
Italics mine.

 

Copyright © 2017 Mark Brady, All rights reserved

Through It All

storms of lifeLife certainly can be rough sometimes.  Maybe not to you directly at the moment, but to those around you.  To people that you know and care about.  Right now one of my coworkers is with her mother who is at the exit ramp of life.  A friend from high school just lost his mother this week.  She was a spiritual giant who will be truly missed.  A family member of mine had her house partially damaged by a tornado that hit near Tulsa, Oklahoma.  You certainly don’t have to look very far to see the storms of life.

I have been listening to the song (a lot lately) “It Is Well” by Bethel Music featuring Kristene Dimarco.  One of the lines in that song, that I really like, says, “The wind and rain still know His name.”  When we are going through the storm we often forget this.  We take our eyes off of the one who can calm the storm, and we look at the circumstances around us.  Doing so will weaken your faith.  Jesus may not directly speak to the storm you are in and calm it, but I assure you He will get you through it all.