Archive for the ‘Time’ Category

Responding to bad news (Isaiah 21, II Peter 2)

May 20, 2014

“Then he who saw cried out; upon a watchtower I stand, O Lord, continually by day, and at my post I am stationed whole nights.”  Isaiah 21:8

Last week I read the story of a recent finding according to experts in the field of earthquakes.  Their prediction was simple this, “California will face an earthquake on the scale of at least 7.5 in the fifty years.”  The article continued with these words, “thousands will die,”

As I read those words, “the weight of the news became heavy on me.”  I found myself asking, “What should my response be to the news I had heard?”

In Isaiah 21 we find these beginning words, “The oracle (weight) concerning the wilderness of the sea.”

Isaiah is in the middle of his writings concerning the judgment of God upon the nations of the world.  As he writes we see the appearance of a strange word, “oracles.”  This Hebrews word speaks of a great weight on the person’s heart who is tasked to share this word.

Think it through:

1.  Isaiah is in pain because of this news, Vs:3

Isaiah openly weeps and is openly in mourning over what is about to happen to Babylon’s people.  Here me clearly, “Babylon’s people.”  God will judge Babylon and in Babylon are people.  Just like Isaiah you and I must know that God is going to destroy the evil system in our world (Like Babylon), Rev. 17-18.

2.  Isaiah is proactive because of the news, Vs: 8, 11-12

Isaiah does not just stand on the sidelines and watch as Jonah did (Jonah 4).  He actively engaged in the proclamation of the word of God.  This morning I want to join Isaiah by engaging my city with the gospel.

Our response:

This very day the news of God’s judgment could come true. This very day, God could return.  I must not be silent and I must not sit on the sidelines.  Help us Lord to engage everyone with the gospel while we have this day!!!

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Dying At The Finish Line

November 7, 2011

“Beloved, I urge you as sojourners and exiles to abstain from the passions of the flesh, which wage war against your soul. ” I Peter 2:11

Last weekend a 42-year-old man was participating in a half-marathon in L.A.  As he approached the finish line, which was 13.5 miles from the start, he collapsed and died.  Here was a guy who was in excellent health who thought he would cross a earthly finish line, but he did not.

This morning I was greatly challenged by God as I completed my study of the life of Jacob in the book of Genesis, 45:16-50:14.  Over the last week we have chronicled much of his life in our blog writings.  There is so much in these chapters, I hope you spend time reading them.

Here we see Jacob’s life, which by the way, began in great dysfunction.  His life now ends with great distinction.  We discover that God’s grace has been with Jacob all the way.  In chapter 47 Jacob stands before Pharaoh and gives this testimony, “The days of the years of my sojourning have been 130 years.”  The word sojourning is a powerful word that describes the attitude God’s people were and are to take concerning life on the earth.  We are just pilgrims who are passing through.  Psalm 39:12, “For I am a sojourner with you, a quest like all my fathers.”

The fact is, all of this life is a pilgrimage for the child of God who is living as a quest here. We are making preparations for our home in heaven.  Jacob would be blessed to live another 17 years and during those years I believe he made his life count for God.  At the end of his life Jacob speaks to his sons to prepare them for their futures.  Then Jacob by the grace of God crosses the finish line.

As I reflected on God’s example of Jacob, I came up with several points of emphasis for our lives:

1)  Life is short.  Seek His purposes, you and I do not have time to both fulfill our will and His will in a life-time as short as ours.

                2)  We are just sojourners.  Make sure you do not allow the idols of this world to gain priority in your life.

3)  Much is on the line each day of our lives.  We must be alert in every step of life, because we do not know when our last step will come.

4)  We must prepare those who come behind.  This day must be about preparing those who will take the gospel once we have crossed the finish line.

5)  Daily I must make sure I have zero unfinished business.  This could be the very day when I meet the Lord face to face.

This very day, I pray that you and I understand the seriousness of the shortness of our lives.  Make this day count, it could be your last.

 

The Best Use Of Our Time

March 30, 2011

Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil,” Ephesians 5:14-15.  Time is a precious gift from the Lord. This truth came resounding into my soul this very morning.

As I approached my quite time with the Lord, I found myself very tired and to be transparent, “distracted.”  My assignment was Ephesians 4-6, Psalm 147, and time on my knees with the Lord.  But I just could not get it together.  So for about 15 minutes I read and got nothing and I got nowhere.  But suddenly I was reminded, “Look carefully.”

How easy it is to get so busy that we fail to take inventory in our lives.  There are two areas of life in which we must daily take inventory.  First, we must ask ourselves, “What pleases the Lord.” “The Lord takes pleasure in those who fear Him, in those who hope in his steadfast love,” Psalm 147:11. When our ways please the Lord, he will empower us with His favor to accomplish the task’s on our to-do lists.  Daily we must seek to figure out the difference between what is His list and the other list we carry around, called peer pressure, self pressure, and sinful pleasure.

Second, we must Get everything in the light. “Try to discern what is pleasing to the Lord. But when anything is exposed to the light, it becomes visible.” Ephesians 5:10,13. As you and I walk in newness of life we will have everything in the light.  God’s Spirit directs us through His word to know what to do and when to do it.

I confess there are moments when everything is not in the light.  I want the light when I am in a tough spot.  I want the light when it is time to make tough decisions.  I want the light to do ministry.  But there are other times when I do not want the light.

For example, “There are moments in my day when I want a little bit for me, or I want to be left alone to make my own decisions.” In these moments I waste God’s time and my time.  And I also waste the time of those that I am to be investing in.

So this morning I came back to what I knew to do.  I stopped thinking over my day and prayed, “Lord, I bring everything before your light.  Show me what is pleasing to you and show me what is not pleasing to you. Dear Lord, do not allow me to leave anything in the dark.  Lord, I promise to take off my schedule those dark things and I promise to guard the things in the light.”

Oh my friend, “the weight lifted and the wealth of joy came because this is the day the Lord has made and now I can rejoice in it because the light is own.”  Father, I pray for all who read this today.  May they experience the joy of the journey with you.  Help each to make the best use of their time today, for your Glory alone!!!”