Daniel 3 (1)Nebuchadnezzar the king made an image of gold, whose height was threescore cubits,(about 90 feet) and the breadth thereof six cubits: he set it up in the plain of Dura, in the province of Babylon. ” 90 feet tall! What a statue, you definitely could not miss seeing this grand statue. The fear it must have evoked upon all who saw it and the intimidation. Do you have a 90 foot statue blocking you, scaring you, intimidating you? Is it standing there while you wonder how in the world are you going to ever get around this. How can you ever defeat and overcome such a tremendous stumbling block. As if this was not enough to instill fear into the people, the king commanded that everyone should bow to worship this huge image, and if they did not, well it was into the fiery furnace with them. Verse 6 says” And whoso falleth not down and worshippeth shall the same hour be cast into the midst of a burning fiery furnace. ” Does your situation not only seem too hard to overcome, but does it seem that if you were to try, you will fail and when you do, you will be met with great consequences? Does the fear of the unknown scare you? Are you afraid of what might happen if you try and fail? Let’s go further in the chapter. The three Hebrew children had now been accused of not bowing down. They had seen the obstacle, they were not intimidated, they were now going to face the consequences or the persecution, if you will. Old Nebuchadnezzar asked them in verse 15, ” And WHO is that God that shall deliver you out of my hands?” That is just like the doubts that Satan will cast upon us. He puts a huge obstacle or stumbling block in our way, we have two choices, either try to overcomes it or settle with it. Then when we try to overcome it, because we know that through Christ, we are made more than conquerors, then he will cast doubt and fear, who, he says, will deliver you out of my hands. Well let us go on to verse 16-18, ” Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, answered and said to the king, O Nebuchadnezzar, we are NOT careful to answer thee in this matter. (17) If it be so, OUR GOD whom WE SERVE is ABLE to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and HE will deliver us out of THINE HAND, O king, (18) But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast cast up. ” They had already won! When you determine that you will follow Christ despite the obstacle, despite the consequences, then you have your SALVATION! You have already been rescued and you have already won! Jesus in the New Testament would tell someone that had come to Him for a healing, Go, thy FAITH hath made thee whole. These three men’s faith had already saved them! I’m just gonna go a couple steps further to close the story. As you know they did not bow, the furnace was then heated 7 times hotter, and the king commanded they be cast in. The devil can certainly demand that we be punished for serving God, he can throw a fit but when we trust God, then no matter what, we’ve won!! I’m sure you know the story, but even a guard was slain trying to put them in the furnace and when they were cast in , the king looked and saw and was astonished, the scripture says, and he said, Did not we cast three men bound into the midst of the fire? They answered and said unto the king, True, O king. I love this part, in verse 25 the king says, Lo, I see four men LOOSE, WALKING IN THE MIDST OF THE FIRE, and they have NO HURT; and the fourth is like THE SON OF GOD. ” Praise God for His marvelous works! He is not constrained by our fears and the doubts that seem to overtake us!! These men saw the obstacle, they chose to fight and say no, I will serve the Lord no matter what! For He is able and He alone, to save! They knew the consequence would or could be bad, and then, by their FAITH, they were saved! Sometimes God will move the obstacle, but sometimes we must stand our ground and be determined that we will stand for what’s right. We then understand what the consequence can be, we are prepared to take the punishment that mortal men can dish out, knowing that it is Christ in whom our faith lies. No matter what, He is more than able to deliver us! When we reach that point, then our faith has made us whole! No matter what happens, we have won!! In Christ we live and even when we die, we live! There is nothing to hold you down! The ties that had these men bound, were burned off, and they were loosed! Not by mans’ hands but through God’s. Only He has the power to save. So today, or tomorrow, or whenever you come to that statue in your life, that obstacle that is bearing down on you, casting fear and doubt. Be ready to stand in the name of the Lord, you know the consequences of standing but you know in whom you trust and you will win! Your God is your salvation! He will save you out of the devil’s hand. I just want to add that a statue or obstacle can be a bad habit that you know you should quit, a lifestyle, a job. These things and more can scare us and intimidate us. We know to stand means being uncomfortable. Facing the consequences of standing is not fun. Trying to beat a bad habit, or get out of a certain lifestyle or hating the job you are in. But here is good news! Through FAITH your FAITH IN GOD, is your salvation! You are not powerless! Take your faith and stand, you will win!
I love a certain scripture in Luke chapter 19:41,42. To me it really conveys how much Jesus cares for His people, and how hurt He is when we don’t receive Him. Verse 41 ” And when He was come near, He beheld the city, (Jerusalem) and WEPT over it. (42) Saying, If thou hadst known, even thou, at least in this day, the things which BELONG unto THY PEACE! but now they are hid from thine eyes.” Jesus wept over them because their eyes were now hid from this peace. These people would deny who He was, and demand that He be put to death. Today the same thing is happening, people deny who He is, they refuse to believe that He arose again, and they choose to believe that He was just a man, and believe that He is still in the grave. Oh the peace that they could have if they would put their trust in Him, the peace that would belong to them. I can only imagine that Christ as He looks down upon man, and He sees the corruption, the lost dying in their sins, the hate, and the disdain for His name, He weeps! Oh the peace, He would say, that they could have but now it is hid from their eyes. If these people which are called by His name would humble themselves and pray, He would hear them, and heal their land. I pray that if you are reading this, and you have not accepted who Christ is, I pray that right now, you will. I pray you will allow Him to save you, and give you the peace that He has spoken of, the peace that would belong to you. If you are already one of His children, I pray that you will rest in that peace, because it belongs to you! He died for our sins, and gives us the peace that passeth all understanding! You do not have to live in fear. He has defeated all fear, don’t cause Him to weep just because you can’t trust Him. Trust Him and fear not!
In Luke chapter 18, starting in verse 31, Jesus was going to Jerusalem, and on the way as they came near to Jericho, there was a blind man begging, and he heard the crowd and asked what it meant. They told him that it was Jesus of Nazareth. The man knew that this was the Christ and he cried out in verse 38, “And he cried,saying, Jesus, thou son of David, have mercy on me. (39) And they which went before rebuked him, that he should hold his peace: but he cried SO MUCH THE MORE, thou son of David, have mercy on me.” I love how this man refused to be quiet. This was possibly his only chance to be healed and he wasn’t about to let it pass him by! The world wants to shut the Christians up, and even some “religious people”, want us to shut up, they don’t want us to offend or rock the boat, but we should cry so much the more, about Jesus and seek Him! If we don’t cry out and seek Him, He will pass us by, if we don’t cry out and spread the Word, how will people know, how will they be saved? The crowd told him to hush, but he refused. We must refuse to hide our candle like the world wants us too. The devil and his gang are trying their best to intimidate the Christian, trying to make them be quiet, but I see that no matter what, all over the world, the dear people are crying out so much the more!! They refuse to let Christ pass them by, and because of that, He has stopped, He has reached down to comfort these people, and though their circumstances may not change, He has given them the strength to endure and fight the good fight. Some lose their physical battle but Christ is waiting with open arms to welcome them home, all because they cried out so much the more. We cannot let circumstances, or people cause us to sit quietly by, when you feel you should speak out, then speak out! When you feel you should spread the Word, spread it! Let your every day life be a ultra bright light for the whole world to see! If they say, why do you pray to God, or why do you believe, you should just quit, then cry out so much the more!! Let your light shine, no matter how gloom things look around you, sing His praises of victory even when you think you are defeated, because a true believer will never lose! We cannot lose when we have all to gain! Don’t ever let Jesus pass you by for fear of what people will say, cry out to Him so much the more. Don’t ever let fear hold you back from preaching His Word, cry out so much the more!! We are the voices in the wilderness crying out, today is the day of repentance! God bless you all!! I pray He will keep you and give you strength to face your daily battles. Amen.
People, most people want to see proof. They desire this in order to believe. We demand proof to judge whether something is true or not. I am the same way, we cannot take things at face value, but has this made us demand to see proof of God’s existence? Trusting and believing in God is the only thing we can put 100% trust in. However He has not left us to do this. He has given us His Word, which as been proven down through the ages. Those who have tried to disprove it, have in fact proved His Word. Even when Jesus was here on earth the Pharisees demanded to know when the kingdom of God should come. In Luke chapter 17:20,21,24″Jesus says this, ” The kingdom of God cometh not with observations: (21) Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, Lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is WITHIN YOU.” God does have His kingdom in heaven but it will not be complete until all His children are there. We are His kingdom. So He’s telling them and us, don’t look for signs to prove His kingdom has come or exists, because His kingdom is us! Now another verse I want to touch on is this, (24) For as the lightning, that lighteneth out of the one part under heaven, shineth unto the other part under heaven; so shall also the Son of man be in His day. ” This was Jesus speaking. He is referring to what He will be after His death and after His resurrection. He spoke of how those will say that He is here or he is there, but we know this is not true because He has already told us that He is like the lighting, he shines down upon all, He is not in one place, He everywhere! We cannot be fooled by those who claim to be Him, like others have in the past. He said not to go looking for him when people say that He is there. He lives in our hearts, because we are His kingdom, there is no need to search for Him on earth. We will not see Him in the flesh. We will see Him, when He returns for us, and then we will arise, we will not have to search for Him, our spirit will hear the call, and we will go automatically to Him. Rest in the fact of who He is, take what He says as the only proof that you need, because it is.
In Luke chapter 17 verses 11-19, it tells about when Jesus passed through the midst of Samaria and Galilee. There were 10 lepers standing afar off, but they lifted up their voices and cried unto Him and asked that He would have mercy on them. Jesus told them to go and show themselves to the priest and as they walked they were cleansed. Verse 15,16 goes like this,” And ONE of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, and with a loud voice glorified God. (16) And fell down on his face at His feet, giving thanks: and he was a Samaritan. ” Jesus pointed out that this man was the only ONE to return and not only that, but he was a Samaritan. Why didn’t those other men return? Were they not grateful as well? I think that they had to have been extremely glad that they were no longer going to be cast out, and die from this disease, but they were too ready to get on with life, rather than to take the time to go back and thank the One who had given them life. If you think about it, we are really no different. We know what Christ has done for us, but rather than take a few moments every day to thank Him, we just want to get on with life. There’s too many things pulling us and desiring our attention. So we are glad that we have been saved, but we are too busy to stop and thank Him. Jesus did not have to heal those ten men. He knew that only one would return. He could have just healed the one, but He didn’t, He healed them all! He gave them all the chance to have life, and He gave them all the chance to praise Him. He didn’t have to die for the whole world, He could have said, Well I know these certain ones will serve me and be loyal, so I will die for them, but praise Him, He looked beyond all our faults and died for us all anyway! He loves us even though we don’t praise Him like we should! He is that awesome! I pray today, that we not take for granted what this precious King did for us, let’s thank Him everyday for what He has done in our lives! Let’s give thanks unto the Lord, for He is good! Be the one that takes the time to praise Him and give Him all the glory, believe me, it will do wonders for your spirit when you take the time out of life to give praise to the One who gave you life!
God our Father is omnipotent, He knows all and sees all. That which He has commanded, He is able to do. In Ezekiel 12:21-23 God spoke to Ezekiel and said this, (21)”And the Lord came unto me, saying, (22) Son of man, what is that proverb that ye have in the land of Israel, saying, The days are prolonged, and every vision faileth? (23) Tell them therefore, Thus saith the Lord God; I will make this proverb to cease, and they shall no more use it as a proverb in Israel; but say unto them, THE DAYS ARE AT HAND, and the effect of every vision. ” We human beings tend to get complacent. We can have an emotional time that stirs us and our hearts, but then we tend to relax some, and before you know it, you’re no longer stirred up. It’s like when there is a revival, people walk away feeling so eager to spread the gospel and have the best of intentions, but then the day to day activities start to creep in, and then we get bogged down with the cares of this life. Now if we as Christians can suffer from this, how much more the sinners suffer from it. They see the times, they hear what is being preached, but because nothing seems to be happening, they are relaxed, and think, the days are long, and the visions fail. I have news for all, His Words have not and will never fail. What He said He will do, he will. We as Christians need to remind these people by our actions, and words, that Christ is in fact returning. He is going to have His kingdom of those who have served Him. For those who have remained diligent, not forgetting that His kingdom is at hand. If you skip back to chapter 11:19,20 God says, ” And I WILL give them one heart, and I WILL put a new spirit within you; and I WILL take the stoney heart out of their flesh, and WILL give them an heart of flesh: That they may walk in my statutes, and keep mine ordinances, and do them: and they SHALL be my people, and I WILL be their God.” This is going to happen, we that have become complacent with the status qui need to shake ourselves, arise and go back to the Book, God’s Word. The people in Ezekiel thought that because the visions had not come to past that they wouldn’t. They thought that time effects God’s plans, but it does not. Time has no effect on what God has planned, He has not forgotten, if He spoke it, it will come to pass. He said that He will return, and make a new heaven and earth, whether it is tomorrow, or ten years, or a hundred years from now, make no mistake, it will happen. We must be ready. We must keep our hearts clean, our Spiritual armor solid without any holes, we must be ready for His return.
Grace is the FREE and UNMERITED favor of God. FAVOR is an act of kindness beyond what is due. This my fellow brothers and sisters is what Christ does for us on a DAILY basis. Do we deserve it, no absolutely not, but praise God, He bestows it upon us anyway. Why? Because He loves us. He sees the ugly scars of sin and all our faults and YET He loves us anyway and bestows upon us GRACE and UNMERITED FAVOR. Ephesians 4:7 says, ” But unto EVERY ONE of US is given grace according to the MEASURE of the GIFT of Christ. ” Some days we may need more grace and favor than other days, and He is faithful and just to give us what we need. He is happy and it pleaseth Him to do this. We cannot fully comprehend this because most of the time, we tend to reciprocate kindness. Meaning if someone is kind to us we show it back, but Christ is kind to us even though we did not show it into Him. The very act of Him dying on the cross for those who were cursing Him, beating Him, and spitting on Him, shows this amazing unmerited grace. Though we were not there that day, our sins still drove the nails in His hands, our sins put Him on that cross, and we certainly do not deserve His grace, but he gives us grace. We cannot earn God’s love, He can’t love us anymore than he did when He decided to die for our sins, so what we can do, is accept this wonderful, wonderful gift that He so freely wants to give us. When we realize the magnitude of this gift, let us ever praise Him! Let us never take for granted this gift! Share His wondrous works!! This Thanksgiving, be ever so thankful for His grace that He gives us on a daily basis, the grace so undeserved. You may not have a penny in the bank, but if you have excepted Christ as your savior then you are blessed beyond all measure!!! Likewise, you can have millions in the bank, and if you don’t have Christ you are the lowest of the low, poor in spirit. Give thanks unto the Lord, rejoice in the Lord, for He has given us grace for today, and grace for tomorrow, and grace for whatever you will face in the days ahead!! Amen.
In Luke chapter 17, Jesus is talking about how if our brother offends us, we are to correct him, and if he apologizes, we are to forgive him. No matter how many times. The apostles asked for him to increase their faith. He talks about having faith the size of a mustard seed and commanding the sycamine tree to be pulled up by the root, and cast in the sea, and it shall be done. He then continues and talks about if you have a servant that has been working in the field, and he comes in, do you offer him to eat supper, no, you tell him to get your food and after you are done, then he can eat and you don’t thank him, because that was his duty. Verse 10 is where I am drawing from today, Jesus said, ” So likewise ye, when ye shall have done all those things which are commanded you, say, We are unprofitable servants: we have done that which was our DUTY to do. ” So we are to obey God and follow His teachings and by doing that, we expect no praise for our job. It is our duty to heal the sick, pray for the lost, spread the gospel, love our neighbor, be compassionate, help others pray for their problems, forgive those that trespass against us, be a good wife or husband. These are our duties, and therefore we should not expect any praise for them. We should humbly follow our Lord and do His will, and one day, He will tell us, Well done, thou good and faithful servant. That is what we are working towards. That will be our payday. This blog is something that I feel I can do to help and encourage people, it is not for me to get rich off of or for my own glory. If anyone receives anything from this site that helps and encourages them, then to God be the glory and the praise, I am a servant, following the orders of my Master, I am unprofitable, and I am glad that God can receive all the profits and glory into His kingdom. Spread God’s Word today, be an example to the lost,be a good servant for your Master, adding to His kingdom! For this is our duty. Amen.
When I was younger and I would hear of something bad that had happened to someone, I would pray that God would perform a miracle and by doing so, people around that person would get saved. I was young. But Jesus told us a parable of the rich man and Lazarus, and how when Lazarus died, he went to paradise and when the rich man died, he went to hell. He continues to tell how the rich man looked up to heaven and begged for water and Abraham told him, that could not happen. He said there was a gulf between them and him. I just want to interject something right here, the flames of hell won’t compare to the utter darkness and loneliness one will feel being separated from God. Not being in God’s presence is pure hell. So let us seek Him while we can. Anyway, after the man realized that he could not have water, he asked that Lazarus would go back to his 5 brothers and preach to them that they may not come to this place. Abraham told him that they have the prophets and Moses, let them hear them. The man really thought that if one came back from the dead, that they would repent. That’s logical, but here is what Abraham said, Luke 16:31, ” And he said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead. ” Do you believe that remark? I absolutely do, and here’s why, Jesus, the King of Kings, came and declared who He was, people didn’t believe it then and they don’t believe it now. He died a brutal, beyond words death. He was so battered and torn, you would not have recognized Him. He hung on a cross and gave His life’s blood, every drop, for all of mankind. He died with sinners, a sinners death. He AROSE victorious 3 days later!! Now, if people will not humble themselves and pray to a God that did this, then there is nothing that will change their minds. We cannot try to pray for miracles to happen in order for them to be saved. We can pray that God would reveal Himself to them, during this difficult time. We can pray that they realize that the only way to make it through their circumstances, is Christ. The greatest miracle of all, is when Christ died and arose again for us. He can and does work through people’s hard times to reveal Himself, but their heart must be ready to receive Him. When their heart is ready, they will realize the true miracle of salvation and will be saved, not because it will ease their problems on earth, but because the only thing that matters is going to heaven and being in His presence. Let us pray for the lost to be saved and not for miracles, that we hope will persuade them to be saved.
I know we all have read and heard lessons about the prodigal son, but today when I was reading I read something that really caught my eye. So I want to share a different take on this story that I’ve never heard. The prodigal son had hit rock bottom and he realized that he needed to go back home, and work for his father. In Luke chapter 15:19 he says that he is not worthy to be called son, but he wanted to be a hired servant. He had SAID what he was going to say to his father. He was making a plan. We’ve all done that. You go over what and how you are gonna say something, especially if it’s an apology. That very act showed that his heart had changed. In verse 20, here’s what happened, ” And he arose, and came to his father. BUT when he was yet a GREAT WAY off, his father saw him, and had COMPASSION, and RAN, and fell on his neck, and kissed him. ” If you notice, the son did not have time to open his mouth, he didn’t have time to apologize and beg for mercy. His father went running TO him and had compassion on him. The very fact that his son was coming home indicated that his heart had changed, and the father could look on him and see that he was broken. For the prodigal son, his first step of repentance was DECIDING to go to his father. He had a contrite spirit at this point, and he knew the only way he could be whole was to go back home. His father had mercy on him. Now with God this works the same way. When we have a broken spirit and set in our hearts that we want to ask for forgiveness and come home, God sees that before we ever hit our knees, and He has mercy on us! He is like the father in the story, he sees our ugliest sins and how we are battered and torn, He sees us coming to Him, He can tell that our heart is bent towards Him, and He comes running to us!! He holds us and let’s us know that He knows! Sometimes words do not have to be spoken, sometimes the weeping comes first. In verse 21, the son proceeds to tell his father how he wants to be a servant. We know how the story goes, the father asks for the best robe and the fatted calf, and they have a party for the lost son. Jesus told this story, this was His parable. So what really stood out to me was how He mentioned what the boy was GOING to say, what the father DID, and then what the son DID say. God knows our hearts, He knows what we’re going to say to Him, He has compassion on us, and then we can tell Him what we want to say. It’s all about the heart and the INTENT of the heart. Your heart can be touched anywhere, and one can come to Jesus at any place, it does not have to be in a church, but after we do repent it is very important to go to church to be lifted up and to give our praise to God for His wonderful works.