Thursday, December 29, 2011

"Until an Opportune Time"

Last month, I posted a blog about how satan is like a hungry lion seeking those whom he may devour. During my Bible reading time this morning four small words caught my attention:


Luke 4:13 And when the devil had ended every temptation, he departed from him until an opportune time.

I knew that Jesus had been tempted by the devil as it is explicitly detailed in Luke 4:1-12, but those four words never hit me before. These four words tell me that satan tempted Jesus on other occasions; that satan saw Jesus as someone he could devour. Now, that's hubris! Not only did satan think he could ascend above the throne of God when he was in heaven, he thought he could be greater than God and when God dressed in the body of a man came to earth, satan thought he could devour him!

I always wondered why satan thought he could defeat God at the Battle of Armageddon. This is an angel whose pride and self-esteem know no bounds. He is so full of evil and himself that he doesn't give up; he just keeps going in his attempt to defeat God so that he can "be" God.

Be aware then, and be cautioned: If satan really believed that he could devour Jesus and was just waiting for an opportune time, know that he is just waiting for just such an occasion to come after you and me again and we need to be ready. Be prayed up and wearing the armor of God every single day! Don't give the enemy a foothold. Get rid of your anger and forgive. These are the things that God is saying to me today.

Lord, Jesus, I thank you that you are my high priest, interceding on my behalf to the Father. Thank you that you know what it's like to be tempted and tried. Thank you that you defeated satan on the cross that day and death when you were resurrected. Thank you that you now live inside of me and that you are greater than he that is in the world. Be my strength today, my source of power and inspiration to forgive those who hurt me and love those who hate me. I pray that you will be glorified in my life today, and I ask it in your name.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

ThoughtsThat Plagued Me During Christmas


This morning as I finished up my quiet time, I asked the Lord what I should write about today, and for some reason, He led me to write about these things that have been on my mind since Thanksgiving.

One thing that kept jumping out at me over the last few weeks is how frequently Christmas carols include the word "peace". For example, "sleep in heavenly peace", and "peace on earth". Everytime I heard the word "peace", I would stop and think about how Jesus said in Matthew 10:34:
Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword.

We love to romanticize things, don't we? The birth of a beautiful baby boy doesn't make us think of swords; it makes us think of sweet smiles, brights eyes, puppy dog tails, knights in shining armor, and happily ever after. It's hard to associate the precious little baby born in a cave and placed in a manger named Jesus with the grown man who was beaten beyond recognition and crucified on a cross as a criminal.

I think of that often when I hear of some horrible crime that has been committed - that the person who did it was at one time someone's precious little one.

It seemed to me like I moved through the month of December in a fog. Having in-laws who insist on keeping the Christmas tradition of gift giving and two children who I raised in the traditions that were taught to me as a young girl, it's very hard to completely divorce yourself completely and all at once from the melee known as "Christmas". Each year I take part less, and hopefully, soon I can just stop all the nonsense.

I say nonsense because as I walked through December, I felt like I was on the outside looking in all the time, and I kept thinking to myself that all this hustle, bustle, spending, eating and general over indulging had its roots in the birth of a child who grew up to be a man that a majority of the people hated and wanted dead and whose name people today hate to hear and are working tirelessly to have wiped out. Yet, they continue to "celebrate" the day. It all looks like a trumped up excuse to eat, drink, be merry and have some time off of work and not a day of celebrating the fact that God left heaven to live among us and show us how to live a life devoted to Him and free of sin.

Finally, another topic that kept cropping up was that of forgiveness; not God's forgiveness of us, but our forgiveness of each other. In Matthew 6:14,15, Jesus teaches us that we are to forgive others who have harmed us just as God forgives us and that if we can't find it within ourselves to forgive others, God will not forgive us either.

Giving grace to others and forgiving them for hurting us is hard. We feel justified in our anger for the harm done to us, but the Bible tells us that anger gives satan a foothold in our lives (Ephesians 4:26,27 and that we should not let anger control us. So, no matter how deeply we have been hurt, it is up to us to forgive the one who hurt us. Some hurts require God helping us to forgive because it is not within our ability to do it. Don't think God doesn't understand how it feels, because He does. Think about all the hurts and injustices perpetrated against Him while He walked this earth in a human body. Yet, He was able to forgive those who harmed him. I believe He shows us understanding in our desire to forgive and our inability to do so, and as long we seek His help in giving forgiveness (showing an honest desire to do so), I am sure that He grants us the ability to forgive over time. Surely that is where the old saying that time is the healer of all wounds came from.

I am living in the midst of a situation right now where one person needs to forgive another. I know that God wants us to forgive each other for our own mental health because as I watch the situation develop, I see the distress and destruction that both individuals are suffering. Anger destroys relationships, yes; but anger also destroys individual people, and families and innocent bystanders, like pets and friends. All who are around a simmering anger are singed by its fire, and that is where satan gets his foothold. If he can make us simmer with anger, then we will continue in our childish attempts of one-upping each other by committing another wrong and if we catch others around us on fire with the anger and hurt, that's all to his good (and definitely not to ours).

I know this must seem like a rambling piece today, and perhaps it is, but these are things that have weighed heavily on my mind here at the end of the year. The ads on tv and in the newspapers and magazines have begun for losing weight, but the real weight many need to lose is the noose around their neck of unforgiveness. Take time to take bow humbly in front of God and ask Him for help in forgiving those who have hurt you and then ask Him to forgive you for the ways that you have hurt Him, yourself and others. That, my friend, is the best way to start off a new year filled with sleeping in heavenly peace and could just possibly help to bring in peace on earth, good will to men.

May your new year be filled with the presence of the spirit of God, peace on earth, good will to men and peaceful, heavenly sleep.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Does God Still Speak To the World?

Are you like many in the world today who claim that God no longer speaks to us as He did in ancient days?

If so, I am here to encourage you today; to show you that God IS indeed speaking to us today.

God said in Genesis 1:14-15:

14 And God said, "Let there be lights in the expanse of the heavens to separate the day from the night. And let them be for signs and for seasons, and for days and years, 15 and let them be lights in the expanse of the heavens to give light upon the earth." And it was so. 16 And God made the two great lights--the greater light to rule the day and the lesser light to rule the night--and the stars.

You may have read in the news recently about a comet named Lovejoy which had a close encounter with the sun and was anticipated to be burned up as a result. You can imagine that anything that has a really close encounter with the sun would be destroyed, right? Well, I believe God spoke to the world through that comet. Please read this well documented piece by my friend, Art at the New Wineskins blog.

Is that amazing? To me, this is a direct message from God saying that it is time for His followers to give Him the headship in our lives and we are to follow Him implicitly; even into things that are unpalatable to us and possibly very trying. The pouring out of the latter day rain in the form of His holy spirit is imminent. It is vital that we lay down our love for this world and lay down our lives in service, praise and worship of Him.

May God richly bless YOU with an outpouring of His spirit at this time and may 2012 be one in which God is glorified in all of our lives.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Deja-Vu

According to "How Stuff Works", deja-vu (déjà vu) is French and means, literally, "already seen." Those who have experienced the feeling describe it as an overwhelming sense of familiarity with something that shouldn't be familiar at all.

Have you ever experienced deju-vu?

In the past several weeks, I have experienced this anomaly about three or four times. This is unusual for me as I have experienced it on occasion in the past but never as frequently as this.

The interesting thing is that each time I have experienced deja-vu in the past few weeks, it has been in relation to things that I "seemingly" have experienced that relate to the rapture of the church. What I mean is that as I think about the experiences, in each one of them, when it happened originally, whatever the event was, occurred at the time of or immediately before or after the rapture.

I don't know if this is God's way of telling me that the rapture is near or if it's just my mind getting out of control, but it has caused me to stop and think about the oddness of this happening so frequently to me right now.

I do think the rapture is close, though. I think that not just because prophecy is being fulfilled daily, but I feel within myself and around me a sense of hopelessness in the world unless Christ comes soon and corrects all the things that are wrong. In other words, the world is so bleak and there is so much ugliness being exhibited that I can't believe that God will put up with us much longer.

I saw a video on Facebook yesterday that Johnni Depp had put forth with some guy named Babybird about Jesus at a stag night club. It filled me with mourning for mankind's ability to continue mocking Jesus 2000 years later.

And then, I was reading a news item online and just perusing the comments and one in particular stood out. It said something to the effect of "why don't you Judeo-Christians go find yourselves a Jew-deo Christian country of your own to live in..."

Needless to say, the events going on in the Middle Eastern countries are just one spark away from being a major forest, fire called World War III.

I find myself calling out to the Lord a lot about things I see and hear and the answer I hear is always hold on tight to me, stay close and always check with me on the truth of any given thing.

The other night as I ended my day in prayer, the Lord brought to my mind how He loves me, that He died for me and that nothing can separate me from Him. I saw Him on the cross whispering my name, "this is for Kimberly." It seems possible to me that when Jesus was on the cross, that the name of each and every person who has ever lived or ever will live crossed His mind.

I see the world as having so little love in it today, real agape love, that when I think about how Jesus loves us, I get chills. This week I had a brother in christ tell me that I was on his mind and the he was praying for me, and I "felt" the truth it in and it made me feel very special. How often does that happen?

With Christmas being just around the corner, I have found myself watching the commercials and the "christmas" made-for-tv movies or otherwise related programs and thinking, all this for a holiday which (whether or not you believe it to be pagan) supposedly celebrates the birth of child who grew to be a man hated by most people.

Knowing that the hour is short and that at any minute, Jesus could rapture the church (or that your life might just end), I encourage you to seek Him with all your heart, mind, and soul and show some love to your fellow man today:

Let us love one another: for love is of God and everyone that loveth is born of God and knoweth God. (1John 4:7)