Friday, May 27, 2011

Matthew 12:9-13

"Then Jesus went over to their synagogue, where he noticed a man with a deformed hand. The Pharisees asked Jesus, 'Does the law permit a person to work by healing on the Sabbath?' (They were hoping he would say yes, so they could bring charges against him.)

 "And he answered, 'If you had a sheep that fell into a well on the Sabbath, wouldn't you work to pull it out? Of course you would. And how much more valuable is a person than a sheep! Yes, the law permits a person to do good on the Sabbath.'

 "Then he said to the man, 'Hold out your hand.' So the man held out his hand, and it was restored, just like the other one!"
Jesus noticed the man with a deformed hand. He did not wait for the man to come to him. Maybe it never occurred to the man that anything in his life would change. But Jesus noticed, and he healed—even though he knew it would be risky for himself. The Pharisees were so hung up about keeping rules they could not see the value of a human being. Jesus knew that a human being is more valuable than rules or animals or anything else. Remember today: Jesus notices you, he has compassion, and he desires to heal you.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Genesis 35:9-12

"Now that Jacob had returned from Paddan-aram, God appeared to him again at Bethel. God blessed him, saying, 'Your name is Jacob, but you will not be called Jacob any longer. From now on your name will be Israel.' So God renamed him Israel.
 "Then God said, 'I am El-Shaddai—"God Almighty." Be fruitful and multiply. You will become a great nation, even many nations. Kings will be among your descendants! And I will give you the land I once gave to Abraham and Isaac. Yes, I will give it to you and your descendants after you.'"
When Jacob obeyed God and was in the place God had told him to go, he again appeared to Jacob and blessed him. Integral to the blessings was a name change signifying an identity change. He was no longer defined by his own character (Jacob means "deceiver"), but by his relationship to God ("one who struggles with God"). We cannot be blessed apart from our relationship with God. And it is in that relationship that we find our true identity.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Genesis 32:24-29

"Then God said to Jacob, 'Get ready and move to Bethel and settle there. Build an altar there to the God who appeared to you when you fled from your brother, Esau.'
"So Jacob told everyone in his household, 'Get rid of all your pagan idols, purify yourselves, and put on clean clothing. We are now going to Bethel, where I will build an altar to the God who answered my prayers when I was in distress. He has been with me wherever I have gone.'"
Jacob was in a tough spot. Dinah had been raped, her brothers exacted vengeance, and war was about to break out. God told Jacob to return to the place where he had met God, and worship God there. When you are in a tough place, go back to when you connected with God, to when you knew God was with you. Affirm that he is the same God who is with you now. And, if there is anything that's coming between you and God (like the idols in the passage), get rid of it. Worship God alone, and see what happens.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Will there be a Rapture?

I was totally amazed at the news when the rapture was to happen Saturday, May 21, 2011 at 6:00PM.  The first words out of my mouth was "in what time zone"?

Satan already knows he is defeated. He already knows he will eventually end up in the Lake of Fire and Brimstone forever and ever. He knows that this will be his last and final chance for mass destruction and terror. He hates all humans and anything to do with God and heaven.

But thank our God, He will not allow this scenario to go this far. But God is going to allow it to go far enough to teach all of us a lesson that we will never, ever forget. He is going to show us how quickly humans can be deceived by Satan and his demons, and the only thing that has kept this world in one piece throughout human history has simply been the power and restraining force of God the Father Himself operating through the Holy Spirit.


Will there be a Rapture? You will each have to decide for yourselves on the way the above Scripture verses are worded. My own personal conclusion, after putting all the above verses together like pieces to a jigsaw puzzle, is that there will be a Rapture, and that it will occur sometime before the beginning of the 7 year Tribulation.

I believe the Rapture is a "mystery" from God and that it is "hidden" in the above verses. God does not want the rest of the unbelieving world to have full access to this mystery, otherwise people will be accepting His gift of eternal salvation for the wrong reasons – to escape the coming horrors of the Tribulation and not with a true, repentant heart to want to accept Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior for the sinners that we all truly are.


"And now you know what is restraining, that he may be revealed in his own time. For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only He who now restrains will do so until He is taken out of the way. And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord will consume with the breath of His mouth and destroy with the brightness of His coming." (2 Thessalonians 2:6-8)

"For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be CAUGHT UP together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord." (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17)

"Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall be changed – in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet." (1 Corinthians 15:51)

"Because you have kept My command to persevere, I also will keep you from the hour of trial which shall come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth." (Revelation 3:10)

"Watch therefore, and pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man." (Luke 21:36)

"… and to wait for His Son from heaven, whom He raised from the dead, even Jesus who delivers us from the wrath to come." (1 Thessalonians 1:10)

"For God did not appoint us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesue Christ." (1 Thessalonians 5:9)


There is only maximum life with God or maximum death without Him.


Matthew 11:28-30

"Then Jesus said, 'Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.'"
This is Jesus' wonderful invitation to come to him, to learn from him. He is even eager to receive you and teach you, not holding back! His yoke for you fits perfectly. His burden is light, for he does most of the burden bearing. What he gives you is bearable. The burdens you give yourself, or accept from others, are not light. They're very heavy. Swap those burdens for Jesus' (single) burden. Put on his yoke, so that together you and Jesus do the work uniquely designed for you.