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Be Consistent and Useful to God – Charles Spurgeon

Woe to me, that I sojourn in Meshech, that I dwell among the tents of Kedar. Psalms 120:5

As a Christian you have to live in the middle of an ungodly world, and it is of little use for you to cry, “Woe to me.” Jesus did not pray that you should be taken out of the world, and what He did not pray for, you need not desire. It is far better to meet the difficulty in the Lord’s strength and by doing so to glorify Him. The enemy is always watching for inconsistency in your conduct; therefore be very holy. Remember that the eyes of all are on you, and that more is expected from you than from other men. Strive to give no occasion for blame. Let your goodness be the only fault they can discover in you. Like Daniel, compel them to say of you, “We shall not find any ground for complaint against this Daniel unless we find it in connection with the law of his God.”1

Seek to be useful as well as consistent. Perhaps you think, “If I were in a more favorable position I could serve the Lord’s cause, but I cannot do any good where I am.” The worse the people are among whom you live, the more they need your exertions; if they are crooked, all the more need for you to set them straight; and if they are perverse, they need you to turn their proud hearts to the truth. Where should the doctor spend his time if not among the sick? Where is honor to be won by the soldier but in the center of the battle? And when you are weary of the strife and sin that meets you on every hand, consider that all the saints have endured the same trial. They were not carried on couches to heaven, and you should not expect to travel more easily than they. They had to risk their lives on the battlefield, and you will not be crowned until you also have endured hardship as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. Therefore, stand firm in the faith, be courageous, be strong!

Nevertheless – by Charles Spurgeon

Nevertheless, I am continually with you.  Psalm 73:23

As the world continues to beat you down God has already prepared a great Word of encouragement from a pastor who lived and preached throughout the 1800’s.  I always find it amazing that through “His Word” God uses people from all around the world, at different points in time, to reach His people.   I hope today’s message of inspiration blesses you as much as it did me!

Nevertheless”-as if, notwithstanding all the foolishness and ignorance that Asaph had just been confessing to God, not one atom was it less true and certain that Asaph was saved and accepted, and that the blessing of being constantly in God’s presence was undoubtedly his. Fully conscious of his own lost estate and of the deceitfulness and vileness of his nature, yet, by a glorious outburst of faith, he sings, “Nevertheless, I am continually with you.”

Believer, you are forced to enter into Asaph’s confession and acknowledgment; endeavor in like spirit to say “nevertheless, since I belong to Christ I am continually with God!” By this is meant continually upon His mind-He is always thinking of me for my good. Continually before His eye-the eye of the Lord never sleeps but is perpetually watching over my welfare. Continually in His hand, so that none shall be able to pluck me away. Continually on His heart, worn there as a memorial, even as the high priest bore the names of the twelve tribes upon his heart forever.

You always think of me, O God. The tender mercies of Your love continually yearn toward me. You are always making providence work for my good. You have set me as a signet upon Your arm; Your love is strong as death, and many waters cannot quench it; neither can the floods drown it. Surprising grace! You see me in Christ, and though in myself disapproved, You behold me as wearing Christ’s garments and washed in His blood, and so I stand accepted in Your presence. I am therefore continually in Your favor-“continually with you.”

Here is comfort for the tried and afflicted soul; vexed with the tempest within, look at the calm without. “Nevertheless”-O say it in your heart, and take the peace it gives. “Nevertheless, I am continually with you.”

Weapon of Prayer – Charles Spurgeon

Their prayer came to his holy habitation in heaven. 2 Chronicles 30.27

prayer-my-weapon-of-choicePrayer is the never-failing response of the Christian in any case, in every plight. When you cannot use your sword, you may take up
the weapon of prayer. Your powder may be damp, your bowstring may be relaxed, but the weapon of prayer need never be out of order. Satan laughs at the javelin, but he trembles at prayer. Swords and spears need to be sharpened, but prayer never rusts; and when we think it most blunt, it cuts the best. Prayer is an open door that no one can shut. Devils may surround
you on all sides, but the way upward is always open, and as long as that road is unobstructed, you will not fall into the enemy’s hand.

We can never be taken by siege or invasion as long as heavenly help can come down to us and relieve us in the time of our necessities. Prayer is never out of season: In summer and in winter its merchandise is precious. Prayer gains audience with heaven in the dead of night, in the middle of business, in the heat of noonday, in the shades of evening. In every condition, whether poverty or sickness or obscurity or slander or doubt, your covenant God will welcome your prayer and answer it from His holy place.

And prayer is never futile. True prayer is always true power. You may not always get what you ask, but you shall always have your real needs supplied. When God does not answer His children according to the letter, He does so according to the spirit. If you ask for cornmeal, will you be angry because He gives you fine flour? If you seek physical health, should you complain if instead He makes your sickness result in your spiritual health? Is it not better to have the cross sanctified than removed? This evening, my soul, do not forget to offer your petition and request, for the Lord is ready to grant your desires.

Assurance in Trials – Charles Stanley

v3trials

In the book of James, chapter 1, James mentions that we are to count it all a joy when we face trials and tribulations.  So, how many of us actually rejoice?  Not many I would guess. However, in the below message, Dr. Charles Stanley shares with us how we can have assurance in these trials.  With a better understanding of God’s presence, we gain a better understanding how we can rejoice in these difficult circumstances.

We all experience hardship, and trials can shake us unless we cling to truth. Let me share three assurances to remember when troublesome circumstances arise.

First, God will always meet our needs. This doesn’t mean He provides everything we want. Instead, the Lord will bless us with all that is necessary to fulfill His purpose for our lives. His goal is to sanctify us, not simply to satisfy each immediate desire.

Second, we’re never alone. God promised to be with us always (Hebrews. 13,5). Loneliness often accompanies hardship, so we may feel deserted or opposed by family and friends. But our Father has sent His Spirit to be with us and in us, until the day He brings us to heaven (John 14.16-17). He is all we need–our advocate, guide, helper, and comforter. Recognizing His intimate presence gives us confidence in the midst of trials.

Third, God’s love is eternal. Regardless of our circumstances or poor decisions, His care is unconditional–even when He reprimands us. Loving parents allow disobedient children to experience the consequences of wrong choices; they recognize the benefit of learning from mistakes. Of course, there are also times when we are negatively affected by others’ wrong actions. Even then, God is sovereign and allows only what will bring good in His followers’ lives.

In difficult times, we can remember that God will meet all of our needs, is always with us, and loves us forever. Though Jesus said we would face troubles in this life, He offered encouragement: The ultimate victory is His. So keep in mind that trials are fleeting, whereas our Father’s love is forever.

Romans 8.31-39, ESV 2011

31 What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32 He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? 33 Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. 34 Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised— who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us.10 35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? 36 As it is written, “For your sake we are being killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.”
37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Power of Prayer – Charles Spurgeon

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27 Then the priests and the Levites arose and blessed the people, and their voice was heard, and their prayer came to his holy habitation in heaven. 2 Chronicles 30.27

Prayer is the never-failing response of the Christian in any case, in every plight. When you cannot use your sword, you may take up the weapon of prayer. Your powder may be damp, your bowstring may be relaxed, but the weapon of prayer need never be out of order. Satan laughs at the javelin, but he trembles at prayer. Swords and spears need to be sharpened, but prayer never rusts; and when we think it most blunt, it cuts the best. Prayer is an open door that no one can shut. Devils may surround you on all sides, but the way upward is always open, and as long as that road is unobstructed, you will not fall into the enemy’s hand.

We can never be taken by siege or invasion as long as heavenly help can come down to us and relieve us in the time of our necessities. Prayer is never out of season: In summer and in winter its merchandise is precious. Prayer gains audience with heaven in the dead of night, in the middle of business, in the heat of noonday, in the shades of evening. In every condition, whether poverty or sickness or obscurity or slander or doubt, your covenant God will welcome your prayer and answer it from His holy place.

And prayer is never futile. True prayer is always true power. You may not always get what you ask, but you shall always have your real needs supplied. When God does not answer His children according to the letter, He does so according to the spirit. If you ask for cornmeal, will you be angry because He gives you fine flour? If you seek physical health, should you complain if instead He makes your sickness result in your spiritual health? Is it not better to have the cross sanctified than removed? This evening, my soul, do not forget to offer your petition and request, for the Lord is ready to grant your desires.

What is Your True Purpose? By Charles Stanley

Purpose1 Samuel 16:6-13
What do you live for each day? A pay raise? Retirement? Then perhaps you’ve discovered the reality that basing aspirations on getting ahead in this world typically ends in disappointment. People with a misguided sense of direction often wonder why they feel unfulfilled.

Maybe you’ve already realized a goal of saving for the future or moving up the corporate ladder. You give to charity and volunteer at church, but somehow still feel a sense of insignificance or aimlessness. If so, there is a truth you need to hear: God gives each of us life for a very specific reason: to serve Him. Nobody finds inner peace without reconciling this fact. Our society teaches us that pleasure, prosperity, position, and popularity will make us happy–but living in the service of self always leaves an emptiness no earthly reward can fill.

Besides, worldly philosophy won’t stand the test of time. Few of us are going to live even 100 years. So whatever we’ll become in this life, we’re in the process of becoming that right now. Consider David: he was anointed king long before actually assuming the role (1 Sam. 16:12). He spent many years serving the purpose of God in insignificant places while developing into a great man. As his story shows, discovering God’s purpose for your life is the surest path to success.

Our heavenly Father’s purpose for our lives comes from His heart of love–which is perfect. None of us can foretell the great things He has in store for us, but we can trust His plan completely. Surrender to Him today and say, “Not my will, Lord, but Yours be done.”

Secular Humanism – by RC Sproul

religionsPsalm 144:3–4 “O Lord, what is man that you regard him, or the son of man that you think of him? Man is like a breath; his days are like a passing shadow” (vv. 3–4).

Because it has appeared throughout history in a variety of forms and with a variety of emphases, humanism can be hard to define. Perhaps the best way to summarize its major tenets is to use the ancient Greek philosopher Protagoras’ statement homo mensura, which means “man the measure.” In its secular form, humanism has taught that man is the measure of all things. Man is the ultimate, autonomous norm; that is, he is a law unto himself. His reason, not subservient to divine revelation, is the basis of ethics.

Not every humanist has denied God’s existence, but even those religious humanists have said that belief is merely one aspect of our humanity. Removing faith from the center of existence made it easy for humanists in the nineteenth century to question the Bible’s validity and define it solely as a record of primitive man’s experience of religion. As a result, many seminaries began to deny the supernatural, producing pastors and other leaders who denied the resurrection but tried to keep many of the ethical teachings of Jesus. The consequence of all this was the “Social Gospel,” which emphasized feeding the hungry and other works of charity without telling people of their need for salvation from sin. This incomplete Gospel is directly linked to the decline of the so-called “mainline denominations.” If we do not need to be saved from sin, there is no reason for us to sit under a preacher and hear platitudes about giving to the poor. Such good works can be done without the trappings of religion.

Beginning in the twentieth century, humanists began to articulate more honestly that subjectivism is the inevitable consequence of making man the final arbiter of what is true. Without an objective, transcendent norm all we have are individual preferences to guide us. We must then ask, whose preferences will guide us? More often than not this has led to some form of statism wherein the preferences of the few are made into laws for the many.

Coram deo: Living before the face of God

The naturalism that is taught alongside humanism makes humanity into a cosmic accident with no real value, hence the ease with which we abort children and abandon the elderly. Only the Christian worldview, where God is the measure of all things, can preserve life and liberty. Only those who believe that man is made in God’s image have grounds for attributing any kind of worth to humanity. Remember this as you engage other worldviews.

This Book by James Smith

ts-neon-bibleThe fountain of divine truth is the Lord Jesus Christ,
the repository of divine truth is the Holy Scriptures,
the proper abode of divine truth is the sinner’s heart,
and the sacred revealer of truth is the Holy Spirit.

The Bible contains all necessary truth–and nothing but truth. It was written expressly for sinners, it is freely given to them by God, that they may learn the things which make for their everlasting peace and salvation. It was never designed to gratify the critic’s pride, or please the carnal imagination; but it was intended . . .
to inform the mind,
to sanctify the heart,
and to direct the feet.
When we take it up, we should remember that it is a precious gift of God to poor sinners, designed to benefit them, and glorify His holy name.

This book sets before us our true state before God, as sinners:
cursed,
loathsome,
vile,
unworthy,
base,
Heaven-daring,
wrath-provoking,
mercy-despising,
Hell-deserving sinners.

It shows us that . . .
we have come short of the glory of God;
our hearts are depraved beyond description, and vile beyond expression;
the nature of Satan is not actually worse than ours;
instead of having anything to boast of, or pride ourselves in–all that we have and are, is calculated to fill us with shame, confusion, and self-abhorrence!

This book shows us plainly that salvation must be of grace–or not at all. It informs us that by faith in Jesus, we can rise from our dreadful state, and escape our fearful doom. It sets before us . . .
the provision of divine mercy,
the contrivance of infinite wisdom,
and the promises of eternal love.

It exhibits a perfect Savior, suited to our miseries and woes.

It presents to us a salvation . . .
all of grace,
to be enjoyed by faith, and
manifested by good works.
A salvation that . . .
reaches to our present state,
delivers us from all that we have reason to fear,
introduces us to all that we can consistently desire, and
gives us a right to all that God has promised, and that Jesus has procured.

In a word, this blessed Bible tells the poor sinner . . .
what he is by nature,
what he must be by grace, and
then what he will be in glory.

It shows him . . .
nature’s deservings,
mercy’s way of escape, and
how God is glorified in his present salvation and future glory.

This book exhibits God’s . . .
gracious purposes,
merciful promises,
and wise precepts.

It sets forth . . .
the thoughts of God,
the secrets of eternity,
the designs of everlasting love,
the method of salvation,
the saint’s privileges and glory,
the impenitent sinner’s state, condition and awful doom!

This book . . .
contains the mind of God;
reveals the way of salvation by Jesus Christ;
teaches the genuine evidences of real Christianity;
is a complete rule of life;
is the charter of the Christian’s privileges;
is the casket that contains the jewels of God’s promises;
is the light that illumines our path in this dark world; and
marks out as with a sunbeam, the blessed end of the righteous–and the miserable doom of the impenitent sinner. All who live and die without the salvation it makes known–will be cast into outer darkness, where there is eternal weeping, and wailing, and gnashing of teeth!

There is a majesty in the Word of God which the believer sees, and an excellency, and glory which the Heaven-taught sinner discovers. He can no longer trifle with it, despise it, or pour contempt upon it. He views it as of . . .
infinite importance,
inconceivable value, and
exact adapted to himself.
He feels a deep interest in its contents, and is concerned . . .
to become acquainted with the blessings it reveals,
to enjoy the privileges it sets forth, and
escape the threatenings it holds out.

The true Christian . . .
learns the doctrines with satisfaction,
believes the promises with joy,
accepts the invitations with gratitude,
receives the cautions with fear,
listens to the exhortations with pleasure,
walks by the precepts with delight,
reads it with reverence,
searches it with diligence, and
implores the promised teaching and guidance of the Holy Spirit to understand it.

Beware of slighting, despising, or neglecting the Bible.
Read it daily,
pray over it incessantly, and
meditate on what it reveals continually!

“His delight is in the law of the LORD, and on His law he meditates day and night!” Psalm 1:2

The Burden of Inadequacy by Charles Stanley

stick_figure_carry_heavy-burdenRead: Deuteronomy 1:19-36.

Standing on the edge of the Promised Land, the Israelites were overcome by fear. The size and strength of the enemy contrasted sharply with their own weakness and inability. Because we’re human, everyone at times will experience inadequacy and the uncomfortable feelings that accompany it. The issue you and I face is not whether we are sufficient for a task, but how we will respond when a challenge is beyond our capabilities.

Like the children of Israel, we can give in to fear and then focus on the expectation of certain failure. As the obstacle grows in our minds, our feet run in the opposite direction, away from the challenge and toward safety. However, turning away from the task that God has given us will lead us not to security but into bondage. By allowing fear to control our choices, we’ll become chained to feelings of inadequacy, which will shape our future decisions and, ultimately, our destinies.

As a result of their refusal to trust the Lord and move forward to conquer the land, the Israelites were consigned to wander in the wilderness for 40 years. The men who did not believe God’s promise never saw the land that He wanted to give them. Opportunities are always lost when we let fear overrule our faith.

When God calls you to a task beyond your abilities, instead of giving in to your feelings, choose to rely on what you know about Him and His promises. By moving forward in faith despite your inadequacy, you will discover the Lord’s faithfulness. He always empowers us for the works He assigns.

Determination by Charles Swindoll

Determination-WDGSARead Luke 9:51
When Jesus tells us to “seek first the kingdom of God,” the very word “seek” implies a strong-minded pursuit. J. B. Phillips paraphrases the idea with “set your heart on.” The Amplified Bible says, “Aim at and strive after.” The Greek text of Matthew’s Gospel states a continual command: “Keep on continually seeking. . . .” The thought is determination, which I define as “deciding to hang tough, regardless.”

We need to keep in mind the difference between natural sight and supernatural vision. When we look at life with vision, we perceive events and circumstances with God’s thoughts. And because His thoughts are higher and more profound than mere horizontal thinking, they have a way of softening the blows of calamity and giving us hope through tragedy and loss. It also enables us to handle times of prosperity and popularity with wisdom.

I’ll be frank with you. I know of no more valuable technique in the pursuit of successful living than sheer, dogged determination. Nothing works in ministry better than persistence—persistence in godliness, determination to stay diligent in study, persistence in commitment to the priorities of ministry, determination in working with people. I often remind myself of those familiar words in 2 Timothy 4:2, “Preach the word; be ready in season and out of season.” That’s a nice way of saying, “Hang tough! Do it when it comes naturally and when it is hard to come by. Do it when you’re up, do it when you’re down. Do it when you feel like it, do it when you don’t feel like it. Do it when it’s hot, do it when it’s cold. Keep on doing it. Don’t give up.”

That is persistence and determination. Staying at it. Hanging tough with dogged discipline. When you get whipped or when you win, the secret is staying at it.

The Grandest Benefactors of the Church! by Charles Spurgeon

snail“By running and exercising every day, you are the fitter to run in a race. Just so, the oftener you come into God’s presence–the greater confidence, and freedom, and enlargement it will bring to your soul.”

No doubt by praying we learn to pray; and the more we pray–the oftener we can pray, and the better we can pray. He who prays by fits and starts is never likely to attain to that effectual, fervent prayer which avails much.

Prayer is good,
the habit of prayer is better,
but the spirit of prayer is the best of all.
It is in the spirit of prayer, that we pray without ceasing.

It is astonishing what distances men can run, who have long practiced; and it is equally marvelous for what a length of time they can maintain a high speed after they have once acquired stamina and skill in using their muscles.

Just so, great power in prayer is within our reach, but we must work to obtain it. Let us never imagine that Abraham could have interceded so successfully for Sodom, if he had not been all his lifetime in the practice of communion with God. Jacob’s all-night at Peniel was not the first occasion upon which he had met his God. We may even look upon our Lord’s most choice and wonderful prayer with His disciples before His Passion, as the flower and fruit of His many nights of devotion, and of His often rising up a great while before day to pray.

A man who becomes a great runner has to put himself in training, and to keep himself in it; and that training consists very much of the exercise of running. Those who have distinguished themselves for speed have not suddenly leaped into eminence, but have long been runners.

Just so, if a man dreams that he can become mighty in prayer just when he pleases, he labors under a great mistake. The prayer of Elijah, which shut up Heaven and afterward opened its floodgates–was one of a long series of mighty prevailings with God. Oh that Christian men would remember this!

Perseverance in prayer is necessary to prevalence in prayer!

Those great intercessors, who are not so often mentioned as they ought to be in connection with confessors and martyrs, were nevertheless the grandest benefactors of the church. But it was only by abiding at the mercy-seat, that they attained to be such channels of mercy to men.

O Jesus, by whom we come to God, seeing You have Yourself trodden the way of prayer, and never turned from it–teach me to remain a suppliant as long as I remain a sinner, and to wrestle in prayer so long as I have to wrestle with the powers of evil. Whatever else I may outgrow, may I never dream that I may relax my supplications.
 

Defeating the Devil’s Strategies, by Charles Stanley

Armor_of_God-croppedRead — John 21:15-19

All of us make tracks through the valley of failure. Then the key question is, What we will do next? Sadly, many believers who stumble give up a vibrant kingdom-serving life for a defeated existence. But failure can also be a chance for a new beginning of living in Christ’s strength.

In pride, Peter thought his faith was the strongest of all the disciples’ and swore that even if the others left Jesus, he never would (Mark 14:29). Yet when the time of testing came, he denied even knowing Christ–and did so three times (Matt. 26:69-75). Satan hoped the disciple would be so wounded by his own disloyalty that his faith would be undermined by shame, condemnation, and despair.

Likewise, when the Enemy sifts believers today, his goal is for us to become shelved and ineffective for God’s kingdom. That’s why he goes after our strengths, especially the areas in which we proudly consider ourselves invincible. But if we’re willing, the Lord can use our failures to do spiritual housecleaning, as He did in Peter’s life. After the resurrection, Jesus met with the disciple personally and restored him, preparing him to become a great leader in the early church. He made it clear that Peter’s potential to serve was defined, not by failure, but by his unwavering love for Christ.

Peter laid down his pride, received the healing Jesus offered, and put on courage with the Holy Spirit’s help. He then risked his life fearlessly to further the gospel, and many came to Christ through his example. Failure was the catalyst that grew in him a stronger, more authentic faith.

Requirements of Waiting – by Charles Stanley

Waiting on GodRead – Psalms 25:3-5

Waiting for God’s timing is neither passive nor idle–it takes discipline and commitment. I can think of four basic requirements for successful waiting.

Faith. The Lord’s ways and timing are nothing like ours (Isa. 55:8-9). From a human standpoint, He usually does things in a totally different way than we expect. But as we trust Him more, we’ll discover that His approach isn’t so strange after all. And when we live in harmony with God’s will, His timing starts to make sense.

Humility. To wait for the Lord, you must be convinced of your need for Him. Submission to His divine will requires humility–you cannot charge ahead with your own plans and at the same time be fully surrendered to God.

Patience. Are you willing to remain in your current position until you receive clear divine direction? Pausing for clarity from God does not mean that you disengage and allow circumstances to fall apart around you. Waiting upon the Lord is a deliberate decision that requires patience.

Courage. Waiting for God often takes courage, especially when there is pressure to act. If you’re not careful, you might stop listening to the Lord and follow other advice. So keep your ear attuned to the voice of Almighty God, and you won t go wrong.

Waiting upon the Lord is one of the wisest, most important decisions we make in life. And contrary to popular assumptions, it is an active endeavor that requires faith, humility, patience, and courage. When you rely upon God and wait for His timing, the various facets of life fall into place.

Enough Is Enough – by Charles R. Swindoll

enoughRead – Matthew 6:25
Today’s devotional has one primary objective: to help you enjoy yourself, your life, and your Lord more . . . without feeling guilty or unspiritual. Yes, enjoy!
In our work-worshiping society, that is no small task. Many have cultivated such an unrealistic standard of high-level achievement that a neurotic compulsion to perform, to produce, to accomplish the maximum is now the rule rather than the exception.  Enough is no longer enough.

Christians are not immune from stress fractures, especially vocational Christian workers. How many pastors or missionaries do you know who truly enjoy guilt-free leisure? How many Christian executives can you name who really take sufficient time to relax? On the other hand, how often have you heard someone boast about not having taken a vacation in several years? Or being too busy to have time to rest and repair?

Work is fast becoming the American Christian’s major source of identity. The answer to most of our problems (we are told) is “work harder.” And to add the ultimate pressure, “You aren’t really serving the Lord unless you consistently push yourself to the point of fatigue.” It’s the old burn-out-rather-than-rust-out line. Let’s go with a different rationale: not only, “It’s okay to relax,” but also, “It’s essential!” Without encouraging an irresponsible mentality, it says, “You can have fun and still be efficient.” In fact, you will be more efficient!

Join me in this prayer to start our new commitment:
Lord, our God,
Our world has become too small, too routine, too grim. We are enduring the scenery instead of enjoying it. We really take ourselves too seriously . . . and our stress continues to multiply.

We desire change . . . a cure from this terminal illness of dullness and routine.
You have made us whole people who are free to think and relax in leisure, not slaves chained to a schedule. Enable us to break loose! Show us ways to do that. Give us the courage to start today and the hope we need to stay fresh tomorrow . . . and the next day, and the next.

Bring the child out from within us. Introduce us again to the sounds and smells and sights of this beautiful world you wrapped around us. Convince us of the importance of friendships and laughter and wonder. Put our world back together.
May we become people like Your Son, committed to the highest standard of excellence and devotion to Your will, yet easy to live with and at peace within.

In His strong name we pray,
Amen

When the Trumpet Blows – by Charles Stanley

TrumpetRead | 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18
When it comes to learning about the end times and the return of Christ, many believers feel confused by the elaborate symbolism the Bible uses to describe these events. Clearly there are certain mysteries regarding the end of life as we know it, and God has chosen to present some of these topics in unique and interesting terms.

One revelation, however, is quite clear: We can be certain of the sights, sounds, and feelings surrounding the moment when Jesus returns, as today’s passage makes clear.
We will hear the magnificent voice of the Lord as He descends from heaven. The voice of the archangel and the sound of a trumpet of God will also be audible (v. 16).  We will see Jesus Christ with the archangel, and the deceased saints who had trusted in the Lord will be raised to meet them in the air (vv. 16-17).

We will feel our bodies instantly transformed as we are “caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord” (v. 17).
With these miraculous happenings mapped out for us in God’s Word, there is no reason to feel fearful about the return of our Savior. It will be a time of worship and rejoicing. No matter what happens in the world around us from now until then, we know that we can place our confidence in Jesus Christ. Just as He promised, He will return—accompanied by the archangel and announced by a trumpet—to take His children home for eternity.