DRAWING NEAR – PART 19
WE CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE EVERY DAY
It is easy to see there are many things going on in the world that gives us a reason to be concerned. Matthew 24 allows us to see that Jesus prophesied the future and is aware that we are anxious. Of course He realizes we are concerned and as we try to figure out what to do in preparation for what is coming, we desperately need to have a clear mind and a clean heart. “And you shall hear of wars and rumors of wars: see that you be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation shall rise against nation and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines and pestilences, and earthquakes in many places. All these are the beginning of sorrows.” (Matthew 24: 5-8) We watch the news and listen to what is happening, but I just want to say with confidence that God is not surprised or shocked. He has always known about all that is going on and all is NOT lost. The word of the Lord for us this day is that God is NOT worried or afraid and neither should we! How easy it is to become so caught up in the dangers and anxieties and what WE are going to do to survive that we do not pay attention to those around us. Jesus loves the world and has a burden for the lost – and this is also the mindset we should have. We are to not be distracted by the “bombs and bullets” so to speak but to remain focused on the mission at hand. I am reminded of the old TV show “M.A.S.H.” when the incoming wounded would be brought in and the emergency surgeries would be performed while the sound of rockets were exploding all around them. They did not run and hide but were “concentrating” on what they needed to do to save others. This is our calling right now – not to spend our time railing against the system but to be a courageous soldier in the midst of spiritual warfare and help those who are wounded and afraid. It’s not about how much we can accumulate or spend every minute soaking up the pleasures and abundance we have been given. It’s about keeping a clear head and a clean heart so that we can KNOW what God is saying and be prepared to do it – whatever it is! The more we love others – the more we will pray for them and the more involved we will become with God’s specific will.
Matthew chapter 24 is such a “packed” series of passages and gives us much spiritual insight as to what is coming in these last days. It talks about severe persecution for God’s people, the great falling away from the faith, the anti-christ, the tribulation, the return of Christ and the judgment of all who did not heed the warnings to be faithful and obedient. Of course the enemy is working hard to tell the younger generations these are all fairy tales and superstitions that are not based on fact. The devil is leading a global campaign to discredit God’s Word and make it seem that only an uneducated fool would actually believe such fictional literature. I say to you this day that EVERY word of God’s promises are true and will come to pass exactly as The Almighty has declared! And it is the day and the hour for all of His children to fall on their knees and cry out to Him! Verses 21 and 22 are very serious reminders of how this will not be a time of playing around nor having a half-hearted devotion to Christ. “For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor shall ever be. And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elects sake those days shall be shortened.” Violence is increasing and we cannot imagine how much worse it will be “if or when” there becomes a power outage along with a probable financial collapse. I heard today that a waitress asked a man to put out his cigarette in a restaurant and the man pulled a gun a shot her in the head. Another story a couple of days ago reported where a family moved to another state because the man had accepted a position of pastor for a church. 2 men watched him leave and came into his house and killed his pregnant wife – taking an ATM card (?). No value for human life – no sensitivity or conscience. Many are trying to block out the news as a way to escape how bad it is becoming but let us make sure we are also not blocking out our call to pray.
There are still a few good people in the world and these individuals are very serious about their relationship with God and are serving Him. There are prayers being sent up by those who still have faith in God and who trust in His promises – and He will be faithful to their cries. It is true, that it is possible to find ourselves being surrounded and overwhelmed by so much negativity, that we forget that everything and everyone is NOT bad. The old saying is definitely worth repeating, “The bad things are getting worse but the good things are getting better!” What is getting better brother? I am reminded of the old hymn, “Every day with Jesus – is sweeter than the day before; every day with Jesus – I love Him more and more. Jesus saves and keeps me –
and He’s the one I’m waiting for; every day with Jesus – is sweeter than the day before.” Isn’t that a wonderful encouragement? Amen! One question I hear all the time is, “WHAT CAN WE DO?” Well, no matter where we are or what we are going through – we can pray, study and worship our King! We can spend every moment talking with Jesus and telling Him all that we are concerned about. Communicating with Christ through the Holy Spirit is physically the easiest act we can do – but mentally and spiritually it will be our most difficult challenge. Why? Because the enemy of our soul does NOT want FAITH to be generated from our spirit to our heavenly Father. The devil realizes this will RELEASE the POWER and AUTHORITY of God to bring hope and love into circumstances and creates miracles within all types of needs and situations!
We have said that we cannot change the world’s system and have not really been called to do that. We also cannot change a person’s heart because each of us is responsible for our own actions. We can help others, talk with them and pray for them but we have to turn them over to Jesus. We have talked about spending time with the Lord and how this is our highest priority, but in closing, I want to mention another thought that is associated with what we can do – we CAN exercise and demonstrate our faith by our works! We CAN rise in the morning and ask God to not only show us who and what to pray for that day – but for a divine appointment to SAY something and DO something so they might be reminded that God loves and cares about them. In this small way – we CAN make a difference in the world EVERY DAY for His glory! “For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.” (James 2:26).