Don’t wait!

Standard

Can you imagine?

“And tombs opened… The bodies of many godly men and women who had died were raised from the dead. They left the cemetery after Jesus’s resurrection, went into the holy city of Jerusalem, and appeared to many people…”

(Matthew 27:52-53 NLT)

Imagine if this were to happen again today, the reactions of the local people…

Well, it IS going to happen again, and soon!

The trumpet will sound, loud!

“What I am saying, dear brothers and sisters, is that our physical bodies cannot inherit the Kingdom of God. These dying bodies cannot inherit what will last forever. But let me reveal to you a wonderful secret. We will not all die, but we will all be transformed! It will happen in a moment, in the blink of an eye, when the last trumpet is blown. For when the trumpet sounds, those who have died will be raised to live forever. And we who are living will also be transformed. For our dying bodies must be transformed into bodies that will never die; our mortal bodies must be transformed into immortal bodies.”
— ‭‭1 Corinthians‬ ‭15:50-53‬‬

Jesus is returning soon- and the dead in Christ will rise first- they will be resurrected, raised from the grave- even those who were cremated, supernaturally their ashes will somehow assemble back to life, just as God assembled the life of Adam from dust, dust God created by the way;- and all will rise up in the sky to meet Jesus in the parted clouds!

“For since we believe that Jesus died and was raised to life again, we also believe that when Jesus returns, God will bring back with him the believers who have died. We tell you this directly from the Lord: We who are still living when the Lord returns will not meet him ahead of those who have died. For the Lord himself will come down from heaven with a commanding shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet call of God. First, the believers who have died will rise from their graves. Then, together with them, we who are still alive and remain on the earth will be caught up in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. Then we will be with the Lord forever.”
— ‭‭1 Thessalonians‬ ‭4:14-17‬‬

Yes- it WILL happen. And all the living, born again believers will also be caught up into the clouds to be with Jesus, before the horrible days, 7 years of tribulation, begins.

Imagine it!

Those who will be raised who are driving cars, flying planes, sailing ships- all will in an instant, disappear!

Utter chaos will erupt! Accidents, loss of life, fatalities, crashes all over the world will occur…

Thousands of people, maybe even millions, of god-filled people representing everything GOOD in humanity, instantly disappears- leaving behind who? You? Some of your loved ones? Who?

It will instantly become a very dark, sinister world.

Certainly many who THINK they are ‘Christians’ will be surprised when they realize they too were left behind…

And all the infants, toddlers, and small children will disappear- some instantly removed from the womb and the arms of nursing mothers- could be in the midst of the night or in the broad day, no one know the hour-

Leaving behind everywhere whatever clothing they all were wearing to fall onto the ground or bed or wherever they were moments before.

When all of Gods goodness within His children disappears- what’s left? Who’s left?

You can be absolutely sure the evil one who disguises himself as an angel of light, who, under pretense, will lie and give some sort of excuse casting blame on some sort of nuclear explosion or other far fetched story… and the Antichrist will step into his reign…

But for the first 3.5 years, subtly he will persuade those remaining to trust him, and follow his ‘plan’ for ‘peace and security’… and quickly will issue in a ‘one world order’, a ‘one world government’ and a ‘one world’ economy system.

If you’re one who put off receiving Jesus Christ as YOUR Lord and Savior- who chose to reject Jesus as your redeemer, if you’ve never been born again- or, if you left your faith and entered into a lifestyle of living in sin and ungodly living- mark my words-

YOU WILL BE LEFT BEHIND.

And the pressure to take the ‘mark of the beast’ will so tempting!

Revelation 13:15-18 is the main passage in Scripture that mentions the mark of the beast. The passage says, “And it was allowed to give breath to the image of the beast, so that the image of the beast might even speak and might cause those who would not worship the image of the beast to be slain. Also it causes all, both small and great, both rich and poor, both free and slave, to be marked on the right hand or the forehead, so that no one can buy or sell unless he has the mark, that is, the name of the beast or the number of its name. This calls for wisdom: let the one who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man, and his number is 666.”

See, once this happens, the Bible says no one will be able to buy or sell without having the Mark of the beast. NO ONE.

Revelation 14:9-10 warn, “If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand…”

You’ll be hunted down. They will know who you are and where you are.

Revelation 20:4 describes John seeing in a vision all those who have been killed for Christ. He wrote: “And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands ….”

Modern technology has led to a massive intrusion into people’s personal lives. Governments are increasingly dictating where people go, where they live, and how they worship. Neighbors are being encouraged to snitch on neighbors. The kind of phone tracking and surveillance systems being discussed and even rolled out are exactly what would be needed to enforce the mark of the beast.

Neighbors, friends, even family- will betray you. They’ll take the mark, and will turn you in.

Think about it – you are hungry and you have no food. And the money that you used to have in your bank- it is no longer good.

Your debit card? Your credit card? It’s useless.

All the stocks and investments that you own? They also are useless.

The only sign of power that you will have and it’s a false one as well, will be the sign on your arm or your forehead – the mark of the beast-it could be in form of a ‘chip’ that is implanted in you. Perhaps concealed or disguised within a ‘vaccination’- that remains to be seen.

But what we know for a biblical fact, is it will happen.

And when you accept the ‘mark of the beast’ (Satan’s mark) you are denying Christ eternally and you will never ever have an opportunity to turn back.

DON’T!

No matter what, no matter how hungry, do not sell your soul to the devil.

Quickly repent, ask Jesus to forgive you of your sins, and receive Gods free gift of salvation, and be born again.

Even during the tribulation times, there will be opportunities for repentance and salvation.

It’s just going to be more difficult because the one world order will make it a crime to worship Christ, and if you’re caught without the Mark of the beast or worshiping Jesus Christ, you will be killed.

Are you strong enough to resist?

And what would happen if YOU’RE one of those left behind, killed by an abandoned vehicle left out of control by a raptured believer? It would be too late. You’d never be able to repent after you’re dead.

But the Bible says to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord- for those who are born again. There is no fear of death for those who know Jesus Christ.

Our confidence and hope is knowing that the moment we end our life here, we start our life in heaven, in eternity.

It would be so much better for all who don’t know Christ to be clothed with Him NOW-to be ‘hidden with Him NOW’ & born again NOW-and to receive His peace and Holy Spirit NOW, so that when that day comes, and it is coming soon – you also will be ‘caught up’ to meet Him in the air raptured away from these dark times about to take place.

The day is coming. We are closer to it than ever before.

Just as was foreshadowed when Jesus was crucified, and Gods amazing resurrection power was demonstrated, and those in the grave came back to life and walked among those who knew them- Gods mighty power WILL be demonstrated again, only on a scale never before known to mankind.

Are you ready? Will you be taken, or left behind?

It’s. Your. Choice.

Death or life- blessings or cursings.

Choose life. Choose Christ.

Why did He have to die?

Standard

‘AFTER JESUS had finished all…He entered…’

These words of God were highlighted by the Holy Spirit for me this morning as I was reading my devotional.

“AFTER JESUS had finished all that He had to say in the hearing of the people [on the mountain], He entered Capernaum.”

Luke 7:1 AMPC

Jesus was only 33 years old when His life on earth ended.

Many would say He died way too young. Ever think about how His friends and family felt when He passed away?

There were people who loved Jesus who grieved when He passed…

Yet God had a plan and a purpose for His life… to impact the lives of a multitude of others.

The people who lived life with Jesus grieved deeply when His life on earth ended.

Just as WE grieve, when OUR loved ones pass on.

God cared about Jesus’s friends.

And God cares about us.

Yes, God cares about their (and our) broken hearts…

Yet God had a purpose.

One that most of us simply do not understand.

Just like God has a plan and a purpose for ALL life-

Life is a gift from God. Whether alive for 1 day or 100 years-ALL life is significant and carries Gods purpose for a bigger picture…HIS picture.

Sometimes it’s not what the individual life can accomplish by themselves and for themselves that matters, but what that life represents in the span of another’s life.

Stop and think for a moment about some of the knowledge that we possess.

Where did we learn from? Who did we learn from?

Sometimes we learn from mistakes.

Our own and also those of others.

But more often than not, we learn by example. We follow the example of those around us.

Infants learn to imitate what their parents do and continue to grow throughout their life… shaped and formed based on their childhood experience.

Ever bump into a personality type that rubs you the wrong way? That just kind of gets on your nerves?

Yeah… me too. I often wondered why… and then I asked God.

Instead of asking God to change them, He let me know that there was something in ME that needed changing…

God was providing me an opportunity through the difficult personalities of others to teach me and develop me.

An opportunity to be chiseled… to be pruned… to be sharpened… to grow… to improve my love walk…

Perhaps the sharp edges of others are being used to file off rough spots on our own hearts… after all, diamonds in the rough need to be revealed by harsh treatment of others…

Proverbs 27:17

‘As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.’

Both blades are being sharpened and transformed into efficient and effective tools, when used together. By themselves, they remain dull and ineffective.

The truth here is that we need one another.

And the passing of ones life is very important to those who remain and continue to live without them.

We influence one another… and sometimes the detriment of one life coming to end has a lasting, significant impact on the life of another or on a group of people.

Often times, we get so lost in our grief that we are blinded to the blessings… and the lessons, God has for us.

There’s often good that comes out of bad.

The impact of loss forever changes how the lives of others are being shaped, and formed, and molded into Gods perfect plan.

Remember, God is the Potter, we are the clay.

Isaiah 64:8 ESV

‘But now, O LORD, You are our Father; we are the clay, and You are our potter; we are all the work of Your hand.’

Sometimes, in life… we just plain out feel like a lump of clay.

And we feel like ‘life’ keeps throwing sucker punches at us… a quick jab to the left, and POW 💥- a major blow to the stomach. Right?

Ever hear or say the expression ‘when it rains, it pours?’

We get to the point where we can’t seem to catch our breath, and BOOM! There’s yet another test and trial facing us.

Yikes!

It sometimes hurts to be pressed, pushed, pounded, shaped and molded, as clay… doesn’t it?

When a loved one dies… it leaves a hole in our hearts… we feel lost. We are filled with unanswered hard questions… and often, people blame God.

God knows exactly how we feel!!!

Look at Jesus. His life on earth was short too, but significant to all mankind.

He only lived to age 33.

His life was cut short.

Have you ever thought about it?

I’m sure many of those who loved Him felt robbed and shortchanged when He died on the cross.

I’m sure many said things like ‘it’s not fair!’ Or ‘He didn’t deserve to die’ or ‘He was such a good person’… and in Jesus’s case- it WAS not fair! He DIDN’T deserve to die! He WAS a good person!

In fact- He was SINLESS.

We’ve all heard people ask ‘why do bad things happen to good people?’

Maybe you’ve said it yourself or at least thought it…

I have a few questions for you:

What is ‘good?’ What is ‘bad?’ By who’s standard?

Can not BOTH things or circumstances that are ‘good’ and ‘bad’ be worked out for our good?

Yes. Absolutely.

Romans 8:28 NASB

‘And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.’

God had another purpose for His Son’s life that was greater than His life itself.

Like Jesus, let’s consider the life of others that ended…leaving a gap in ours….

What does this persons life have to teach me?

How might my life be enhanced for the better because of this persons life?

How has the life of my loved one impacted the lives of others?

Am I thankful to God for the gift of their life in mine?

We often times think we have it all figured out don’t we?

Sometimes the perspective is always introverted and we think ‘life is only about me’ or ‘what’s in this for me’ or ‘how can I bear all of this?’

‘Why do I have to endure this?’

These are some of the heart wrenching thoughts and questions many who are grieving experience.

Perhaps instead we should be looking at other questions?

Maybe asking God ‘show me Your purpose in this.’

Or ‘What is it Lord I need to learn from this?’

Or ‘Help me Lord fulfill Your plan for my life regardless for the length.’

God places others in our lives to help us in our development of becoming who God wants us to be.

God uses every emotion and every experience for His good.

Every tear shed, every disappointment, every heart ache, every mistake… God causes even our mistakes to prosper and work out for our good.

Not every ingredient in a recipe taste good by itself.

In fact there’s some ingredients that are downright nasty tasting- for instance, try taking a spoonful of baking powder or baking soda and see how that taste.

By itself NO ONE would eat it and say ‘yum this is so good!’

Yet it (as each ingredient) has a purpose, and by the time the cake comes out of the oven, the entire house smells wonderful and every bite of that cake is going to taste good.

I believe our lives are like a cake recipe…

Throughout our lives, there’s different experiences, good ones and not so good ones… and painful ones.

These experiences are similar to an ingredient of a cake recipe- that by themselves independently appear to be bad and leave a yucky taste in our mouth.

But at the end of our lives, when it’s all put together, we can look back one day and see how God intricately woven in every ingredient of every experience, good and bad, into His beautiful masterpieces…

Our steps are ordained established by God.

  • Ordained and established for HIS plan. HIS big picture.
  • Psalm 37:23

    ‘A man’s steps are established by the LORD, and the LORD delights in his way.’

    We need to stop thinking we know it all.

    And we need to truly relinquish control to God. Do we trust Him?

    Do we REALLY trust Him?

    Really? Even when we don’t understand?

    Even when it doesn’t make sense?

    EVEN WHEN IT HURTS?

    Proverbs 3:5-6 (NKJV)

    Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.

    It’s not always easy to surrender. God is faithful, and He knows all things, and He’s working things out for good…

    Not only for YOUR good… but for the good of His Kingdom.

    It’s good to plan… but it’s BETTER to seek out GODS plans… for His are the one that matters.

    Gods ways are not our ways. We can’t possibly understand everything about God. Only His ways He puts in His Word are we able to understand… to a degree.

    Every life matters, and is significant in Gods plans- and…

    Every life has a beginning, and an appointed time to end.

    Treasure all life. And give your treasures to the Keeper of your heart. 💗

    Proverbs 19:21 (ESV)

    ‘Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand.’

    Hope arising-Sunflower miracle

    Standard

    Every time I see a sunflower, I smile.  It reaches deep into my soul, and takes me back to a time where I was filled with despair, heartache, and anguish over the death of my beloved Great-Aunt Zippy, but how faithful is my God who hears and heals the brokenhearted!    What does this have to do with a sunflower?  With Hope arising?  With a miracle?

    I’ll tell you.  Growing up the oldest of three, and the only girl, and as a military child was difficult for me.  My younger brothers had each other as playmates regardless of where we moved to, but I never seemed to fit in.  My Aunt Zippy, who lived in Charles City Iowa, had a soul connection with me.  Though I didn’t get to see her often, the times we did get to visit were so instrumental and profound, the memories of our visits boosted me.  She always had a way of making me feel special, even long-distanced.  She seemed to read my mind, and know when I was struggling.  Sometimes, I’d get a letter in the mail from her, in her curly old-fashioned handwriting; always ending with “Aunt Zippy loves you!”  Other times, I’d get a phone call from her, with her saying “Aunt Zippy just needed to hear your voice dear. Is every thing OK?” And all of my troubles would spill out into her listening ear.

    Well, the day came when she passed away.  When my mother called me, and said she had to tell me something that was going to upset me, suddenly in my heart, I knew.  “Is it Aunt Zippy?” I asked.  And mom confirmed.  A part of my heart stopped beating at that moment, and I fell into a depressed, numb shock. NOOOOOOOOOO!  I screamed silently.  It couldn’t be true!  I wasn’t ready for her to die!

    We weren’t sure how we were going to afford driving to Iowa for her funeral.  Our available cash was non-existent. At the time, I was selling Longaberger Baskets, and had a large amount of the collector baskets, and a few avid customers who loved deals.  I decided to bundle a bunch together and offer a grouping too irresistible to refuse, and was soon able to exchange a truck load of baskets for the cash we needed, and we were on our way, with our 3 children in tow.

    We were asked to sing at her funeral.  Our son plays the guitar and sings, along with the rest of us.  We decided we would sing “I Can Only Imagine”.  I couldn’t imagine being able to sing, when I wasn’t able to talk without crying, and breathing was difficult.  I kept praying for the Lord to give me strength.

    Aunt Zippy’s favorite flower was the Sunflower.  Due to a drought in the area, it was difficult  finding sunflowers for her funeral.  Her son, my cousin Paul, was able to get a few ordered for her casket.  Seeing her like that was the hardest sight I ever witnessed.  I missed her so much!  I was consumed with the deepest anguish, and struggled to find peace.

    You see, only a few weeks before her fiftieth wedding anniversary, her husband, my Uncle Red, passed away following complications with heart surgery.  She was so angry at God!  She felt cheated.  When I would try to talk with her about it, she’d clamp up, and I sensed the bitterness that was settling in, mixed with her heartache.  I knew she was raised in a church, and knew she was a member of the local church in fact; but didn’t know for sure she’d given her heart to Jesus, and received Him as her personal Lord and Savior.  The uncertainty of her eternal rest was eating away at me, and was the source of my agony!

    Desperate to know, I cried out to God.  On our return trip home, still numb with grief, still in shock, still searching within, I asked God “Father God, You know where she is.  You know how much she means to me, and how much I am hurting.  I know all things are possible with You.  I ask that You show me a sign dear Lord, that she is with you in Heaven.  I need a miracle dear Lord.  Please let it be, In Jesus Name, amen.”

    My head against the window, looking out at the roadside, tears streaming down my face, Iowa corn fields passing by us as we traveled, all of a sudden, I see the most amazing sight!  There on the right side of the road growing wild were several beautiful, tall sunflowers!    I jumped up, and exclaimed to my family “Look!  Did you see that?  There were 2 or 3 large sunflowers right there!  I know God placed them there as a sign for me that Aunt Zippy is alive in heaven with Him!”  My husband laughed and teased me, “Mommy must have had a dream kids” he said.  They laughed a bit too, while I insisted I wasn’t dreaming, and that I knew what I saw. I even suggested my husband turn around and go back to see it himself, but he didn’t.

    I guess I must have dozed off, but shortly after I was awakened by my children hollering “Mommy!  Look!  Look!  Look out the window!  Look at all of the sunflowers mommy!”  I looked and couldn’t BELIEVE what my eyes were seeing!  The entire roadside for about a mile or so was FULL OF SUNFLOWERS!  Amazing!  I couldn’t believe it!  They were soooo beautiful!  God is so good!  He answered my prayer, and tears were flowing, as I was knowing…my aunt Zippy was in heaven!  God is faithful!

    I called my cousin Paul and shared with him.  I just wanted others to have the peace that was flooding my heart in knowing she was with God!    He seemed subdued, and a little skeptical, but was happy for me.  I can’t describe to you the depth of my joy!  I was thrilled my children and husband witnessed it too.  WOW GOD!  And just like God, when we finally pulled into our driveway of our Virginia home, after 2 days of driving, guess what was there at our front door, welcoming us?  Yep.  You guessed it.  The biggest, largest sunflower bloom you ever saw, growing in our flower garden next to our front steps, with its petals wide open.  I’ve never planted sunflowers there before.  It wasn’t growing when we left.  It was heaven-sent, with arms wide open, welcoming us home.  Our sunflower miracle!

    Image