40 days later….

40 days of “social distancing” – y’all, we might be tired, but GOD’S GOT THIS!


Sometimes I think “I can do ANYTHING” and I can endure – but an “end time” helps me tremendously. In a workout, I might think, “yes, I can do this for 3 more minutes”. I had a minor surgery last summer, and knew the recovery time before I went in: “yes, I can do this for 8 weeks”. If you asked me to run a mile, sure – I know how long that takes me and I can do it. However, if you said, “Just start running and I’ll let you know when you can stop”, I might have a harder time!

Of course, not knowing the “day or time” is not new for us, is it? Serving the Lord, we are told that we won’t know when Jesus will return (Matthew 24:36-44,1 Thessalonians 5:1-3, 2 Peter 3:10,Revelation 3:3). We are told that hardships will come (John 16:33, Romans 8:18, 8:35, 2 Tim 2:3-4, 2 Tim 4:5) but we are also told that Jesus has overcome and we will have the victory in Him (1 Cor 15:55, 1 Cor 15:57, 1 John 2:13-14, 1 John. 5:4-5)…. These are lessons that we know well, and we know to keep at it!

Paul encouraged the believers in Galatia,

“Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up” (Galatians 6:9)

I was thinking this weekend about growing weary before we reap the harvest…. if ever there was a time I might grow weary too soon, maybe it would be in this season. Who knows when we will worship together in our church buildings? Who knows when schools will reconvene? Who knows when the salons might open again (LOL)? For now, we must be content in the knowledge that God knows – and that He is preparing us for a great harvest. Let’s not get tired just yet – let’s persevere and see what will happen next! Let’s be ready when the harvest comes, not “asleep at the wheel” because we gave into our weariness too soon! ūüôā

(or maybe its just me who feels this way sometimes!)

Hang in there, my friends!

chronological day 365 :)

Please read Revelation chapters 19, 20, 21 and 22. I can’t believe we’re about to be finished! ¬†Last 4 chapters – come on back and let’s visit one more time. ¬†What’s your highlight? ¬†If you finished the year with me, I’d sure love to hear from you!

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“His eyes were like a flame of fire, and on His head were many crowns. He had a name written that no one knew except Himself” Revelation 19:12

It’s so precious to think that Jesus has a Name that has never been profaned in the mouth of a human. ¬†This Name is saved only for the ears of the redeemed.

The beast from chapter 19? ¬†I think it’s the little horn from Daniel 7. ¬†Daniel 12 is referenced in Revelation 20:4-6.

“But I saw no temple in it, for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple” Revelation 21:22

Now the tabernacle of God will be with men. ¬†The work which started back in Exodus 25 will be complete. ¬†The holy of holies would now encompass every believer – not restricted to a few. ¬†There’s no temple, because the Lord IS the temple. ¬†We’ll have full access to His glory. ¬†How perfect, how beautiful. ¬†What a gift!

“Even so, come Lord Jesus” Revelation 22:20

Thank you, my friend, for this year together!

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chronological day 364 :)

Please read Revelation chapters 15, 16, 17, and 18. ¬†One day to go – it’s unbelievable, really! ¬†Come on back and let’s visit a little bit!

The bowls are judgements, full of God’s wrath. Please, please keep in mind the character of God that we have spent a year learning: God is kind, God is patient, God is loving, God is just. Nothing He does is without purpose. Everything He does is to draw us back to Him. Apply 1 Corinthians 13 (the “love chapter”) to the Lord – read it with His name in place of the word “love”, it will be a great comfort and blessing today.

” ‘For in one hour such great riches [a]came to nothing.‚Äô Every shipmaster, all who travel by ship, sailors, and as many as trade on the sea, stood at a distance” Revelation 18:17

“In one such hour such great rushes came to nothing”. Listen at how the Phillips reads: “They even threw dust on their heads and cried aloud as they wept, saying, ‚ÄúAlas, alas for the great city where all who had ships on the sea grew wealthy through the richness of her treasure! Alas that in a single hour she should be ruined!‚ÄĚ

Life, time, truly is fleeting. Lord, help me to set my heart on what will last, on what truly matters.

chronological day 363 :)

Please read Revelation 11, 12, 13, and 14. Revelation in under a week is a little crazy – but the entire Bible in a year? We’ve covered a lot of ground together! ¬†There’s so much in here – I’m glad we’ve been honest this year about the blog being to short to dig in deep…. I’m just going to point out a couple of things – what stood out to you as you read today?

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“And war broke out in heaven: Michael and his angels fought with the dragon; and the dragon and his angels fought, but they did not prevail, nor was a place found for them in heaven any longer.” Revelation 12:7-8

In chapter 12, the battle described here is prophecy – it hasn’t happened yet. The “woman” is Israel, the “child” is Jesus, the “dragon” is the devil. As we saw in the Old Testament, when the angel Michael shows up, he is there to protect Israel. ¬†He is Israel’s guardian.

“Time, times and half a time” (12:14) means three and a half years. ¬†Everything has a prescribed time period – the Lord has a plan and means to protect His remnant. What seems long to us is not long to Him, He has a purpose. ¬†It’s kind of funny – when we describe time, it’s always “running out” or “going”. ¬†For the Lord, time is always coming.

“And he was given a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies, and he was given authority to continue for forty-two months” Revelation 13:5

Do you remember Daniel 7? I think of that when we read 13:5. If you have time to go back, go back – I’m probably beyond my word count already!

“I heard a voice from heaven, like the voice of many waters, and like the voice of loud thunder. And I heard the sound of harpists playing their harps. They sang as it were a new song before the throne, before the four living creatures, and the elders; and no one could learn that song except the hundred and forty-four thousand who were redeemed from the earth.” Revelation 14:2-3

I love any description of worship in Revelation – we get a small glimpse of heaven. If you miss anything else, highlight those passages for sure!

chronological day 362 :)

Please read Revelation 7, 8, 9, and 10 today.  What is your take-a-way today?  Come on back and share an insight!

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The “sealed” represents many things – another debate I’m not getting into! ¬†Let’s just stay faithful and close to Jesus, folks. ¬†Walk just as He walked (1 John 2:6 – still great advice!)

he said to me, ‚ÄúThese are the ones who come out of the great tribulation, and washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. Therefore they are before the throne of God, and serve Him day and night in His temple. And He who sits on the throne will dwell among them”¬†Revelation 7:14 NKJV

We’re read about these people before, the ones described in Revelation 7:14-17. ¬†Do you remember these people from Daniel 12?¬†I think it’s God’s desire to see this Scripture fulfilled in an entire generation, everyone to fill the earth with His glory. ¬†Let’s make it our mission to participate in this coming to pass!

“I went to the angel and said to him, ‘Give me the little book.’¬†And he said to me, ‚ÄúTake and eat it; and it will make your stomach bitter, but it will be as sweet as honey in your mouth.’¬†Then I took the little book out of the angel‚Äôs hand and ate it, and it was as sweet as honey in my mouth. But when I had eaten it, my stomach became bitter” Revelation 10:9-10

I think its important to note the change: the book was sweet in John’s mouth, bitter in his stomach. I think this is how the truth can be if we don’t apply it correctly and share it with others: sweet at first, but bitter if we reject it OR sweet at first, but bitter if we try to keep it to ourselves.

 

 

chronological day 361 :)

Today, we are powering through Revelation – our last book! ¬†Today, please read chapters 3, 4, 5 and 6. ¬†Again, nearly impossible to comment on much of anything in a short blog post – we could spend a year in any one book of the Bible all by itself, let alone the entire work in one year! ¬†I’ll point out a few things, and you find a few things too. ¬†We’ll get through it! ¬†Come on back and let’s visit!

“After these things I looked, and behold, a door standing open in heaven. And the first voice which I heard was like a trumpet speaking with me, saying, ‘Come up here, and I will show you things which must take place after this.’ ‚ÄĚ Revelation 4:1

“After” is referring to the previous vision (“these things” that he saw in a vision). ¬†John is “looking” in a vision, and sees a door. ¬†It’s interesting that he goes straight from one vision into another. ¬†As soon as one closes, he looks for the next one immediately. ¬†There doesn’t have to be a delay – God is always speaking to us.

‚ÄúYou are worthy, ¬†O Lord,¬†To receive glory and honor and power;¬†For You created all things,¬†And by Your will they exist and were created.‚Ä̬†Revelation 4:11

The Phillips translation describes this passage as “the ceaseless worship of Heaven”. ¬†I love that. I relate this verse to so many others: Psalm 19:1, Psalm 115:1, Isaiah 6:3, 1 Corinthians 10:31 – the Word is consistent throughout.

“Now when He had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each having a harp, and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints.¬†And they sang a new song, saying: ‘You are worthy to take the scroll, And to open its seals; For You were slain, And have redeemed us to God by Your blood, Out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation’ ”¬†Revelation 5:8-9

So much symbolism in Revelation Рit can be hard to keep up.  The bowls represent prayers, harps represent worship.

In chapter 6, the 7 seals represent a series of judgements that will be part of a period called the Great Tribulation. ¬†I’m not going to enter the pre-tribulation/post-tribulation debate – I’ll just going to do my best to be ready! ¬†(Someone once said to me, “I’m gonna keep my nose clean if it takes both sleeves! ūüėČ Amen!). Stay close and trust the Lord!

 

chronological day 360 :)

5 days to go – at this point, every day feels like a milestone, a final countdown. ¬†Wow – we are going to finish together! Please read Jude, and Revelation chapters 1 and 2. Revelation in 5 days? ¬†Crazy – there’s no way to hit it all in a short blog post. ¬†Sometime, let’s dig deeper together – but for now, dig in deep for yourself! ¬†Draw circles, make highlights, underline, pencil in question marks or exclamation points – read and come on back, share some of your notes with me!

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“But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit” Jude 20

Build yourself up. ¬†That’ll preach – we have to be able to do this for ourselves, not wait on someone else to read or pray or study or seek God for us. ¬†No “second hand relationships” here! ¬†I remember back to our Old Testament days, and Moses speaking to the children of Israel: ‚ÄúFor this commandment which I command you today is¬†not too mysterious for you, nor is it far off. It is not in heaven, that you should say, ‚ÄėWho will ascend into heaven for us and bring it to us, that we may hear it and do it?‚Äô Nor is it beyond the sea, that you should say, ‚ÄėWho will go over the sea for us and bring it to us, that we may hear it and do it?‚Äô But the word is very near you, in your mouth and in your heart, that you may do it (Deuteronomy 30:12-14, emphasis mine). ¬†I think about Paul and the people with the unknown god, telling them “so that they should seek the Lord, in the hope that they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us” (Acts 17:27, emphasis mine).¬†What a gift to see the Bible as a whole, all themes and truths so tightly connected.

“on some have compassion, making a distinction” Jude 22

It’s so important to know your intended audience. The only way to effectively minister is through the guidance of the Holy Spirit. ¬†Make a distinction.

“And when I saw Him, I fell at His feet as dead. But He laid His right hand on me, saying to me, ‘Do not be afraid; I am the First and the Last’ “Revelation 1:17

Jesus ALWAYS brings peace.  He ALWAYS casts out fear.  What are you afraid of today?  Bring it to the Lord.  Compare it to His power.

As we go into the 7 letters, there’s a pattern to take note of, each has these elements:

Statement about Christ

Description of the church

a promise at the end

 

I love a promise at the end – you and I have one too.

 

chronological day 359 :)

Merry Christmas! ¬†359 days together, wow! ¬†Take a minute from the festivities to read 1 John 4:7-21, 1 John 5, 2 John 1, and 3 John 1. ¬†Knocking out 3 books today! ¬†(Maybe visit Luke 2 while you are here as well, just for Christmas’ sake!) What stands out to you today? ¬†Come on back and let’s visit!

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I can’t put all of 1 John 4:7-19, but LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE! Read it again for me, slower this time ūüôā

“Little children, keep yourselves from idols. Amen.” 1 John 5:21

1 John 5:21 makes me think of Matthew 6:33: But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness”.¬† We need to keep ourselves from anything that would take first place away from Jesus (anything that takes first place in your life over Christ is an idol). ¬†This is an ACTIVE stance, not passive. ¬†We cannot only move away from the idol, we have to move toward God. ¬†Pressing on toward the goal!

Let’s go ahead and finish Matthew 6:33: “and all these things shall be added unto you”. All the things. ¬†What comfort and joy ‚̧

chronological day 358 :)

Today we are in 1 John – does anyone feel like they need more than a year to take in the entire Bible? ¬†We really do – and so it’s incredible how the Word can be new every day, how we can see something different every time…. We need a lifetime. ¬†Today, let’s read 1 John 1, 2, 3 and 4:1-6. I don’t know how to get through this in just a couple of days – so much here! ¬†Come on back and let’s talk!

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Just a few highlights:

“if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin” 1 John 1:7

We have fellowship and cleansing from sin IN THE LIGHT. To receive the benefits associated with salvation, we have to live the life of a disciple.

“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” 1 John 1:9

We have such a sweet promise in Christ: if we confess our sins, we will be forgiven.

“He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked” 1 John 2:6

That’s simple to understand, but not easy to achieve: it’s our daily walk, that we ought to model after Christ. Day by day, growing more and more, making progress. ¬†God allows us time to grow. We see the progression in¬†1 John 2:12-14 as well: little children, fathers, young men….

“Whoever has been born of God does not sin, for His seed remains in him; and he cannot sin, because he has been born of God” 1 John 3:9

This verse really means that we don’t practice a life of sin (not that we never sin). When God saved us, He also gave us the desire to live a righteous life (His seed). What you invest in will grow – spend your time pursuing a life of holiness, walking just as Jesus walked, and that is what will grow!

 

chronological day 357 :)

Please read 1 Peter 5:12-14, 2 Peter chapters 2, 3 and 4 today. ¬†1 Peter is finished, we have 8 days to go and we’ve finished the entire Bible – can you believe it? Wow – you are amazing! ¬†Come on back and let’s visit! ¬†Just for something a little different, I’ll go from the Phillips today:

¬†For this very reason you must do your utmost from your side, and see that your faith carries with it real goodness of life. Your goodness must be accompanied by knowledge, your knowledge by self-control, your self-control by the ability to endure. Your endurance too must always be accompanied by devotion to God; that in turn must have in it the quality of brotherliness, and your brotherliness must lead on to Christian love” 2 Peter 1:5-7 J.B. Phillips

It’s dangerous to stop growing. ¬†If we lack any of “these things”, we’ll forget the cleansing of our sins. ¬†You can see the progression that comes: knowledge, then self-control, then endurance, then devotion, then brotherliness, then Christian love. ¬†Like a roadmap for our spiritual growth, here are the signs!

I relate 2 Peter 2:20-23 to Hebrews 6.  To know the truth and then turn away from it must be the worst.

“But you should never lose sight of this fact, dear friends, that time is not the same with the Lord as it is with us‚ÄĒto him a day may be a thousand years, and a thousand years only a day. It is not that he is dilatory about keeping his own promise as some men seem to think; the fact is that he is very patient towards you. He has no wish that any man should be destroyed. He wishes that all men should come to repent.” 2 Peter 3:8-9 J.B. Phillips¬†

God desires for ALL to come to repentance.  ALL. Fill in any blank Рfrom the best person you can think of (God wants that person) to the worst person you can think of (God wants that person), from any background, from any belief system, from any high or low РGod wants that person.  All the more reason for us to operate in love continually.