Sudden Loss

   A few weeks ago I decided to finish a productive day with one last non-strenuous task before dusk.  There was just enough time to mow the lawn before the sun disappeared over the horizon.  After several rounds with the riding mower, I was patting myself on the back for making such good use of this last fleeting hour of the day, when I was startled by what sounded like a rock under my mower.  I quickly shrugged it off and decided that the season was almost over and I’d sharpen the blades when the grass started to green up in the Spring.  This event was far from tragic, …I thought.

  On my next round, I decided to watch carefully for any sizable fragments of rock that might be rediscovered by the blades.  As I approached the danger zone, I noticed what seemed to be small pieces of glass, foil and black rubber—none of which was large enough to fill a thimble.  It didn’t take long for me to consider how closely the color of the tiny fragments resembled the color of the protective case that housed my cell phone.  When I reached for my phone, the belt clip was empty.  I had just destroyed my little piece of technology that had more computing power than the devices used to land a rocket on the moon in 1969.  My heart sank.  It was indeed a sudden, tragic loss!

  Upon reflection, it seems apparent to me that incidents like this are likely to become more common in the future.  No, I’m not suggesting an increase in the likelihood of our chewing up treasures with lawnmowers, but that the useful treasures of earth may “tragically” start to disappear as more perilous times than most of us have ever known, become the new norm.

  My intention is not to be a “prophet of doom,” but rather, a discerner of the times.  As political, social, and economic foundations start to heave under pressures produced by the godless “isms” of man, it is refreshing to revisit the simple promises of the Bible. “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. (Matthew 6:33)”  The context of Matthew 6 suggests that “these things” include: food, shelter, and clothing.

It’s Logical

   Did you ever stop to consider the creation of man?  Moses described the event just as God revealed it to him, in Genesis, the book of beginnings.  “And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul. (Genesis 2:7)”  The words “living soul” describe the life that lives within the body.  The Creator tells us that the soul of man is eternal—it will live forever, somewhere.

  Though some seem to struggle with the concept of creation, it is perfectly logical to believe that the human body, with all of its intricacies and complex systems, did not happen by chance. Nor could these exist without the intervention of intelligence and power that is otherwise unknown to man.  Once we cross this first hurdle, there is a second; we must explain the balance of nature with its innumerable forms of life and natural laws that boggle the minds of scientists and yet operate in silent perfection to sustain the life that is at home on Earth.  It is certainly logical to admit that the vastness and complexity of what we observe through our natural vision, our microscopes and telescopes, could be nothing less than the work of a Great Designer.  What would you call such a Being?  There must be Eternal, Omnipotent God.  The existence of all of creation demands it, the Bible declares it, and thousands upon thousands have surrendered their hearts and lives to Him for a lifetime, with no regrets.

  As giver and sustainer of life, God’s plan is as complex as His Being, but He gives us a glimpse into His unique purpose through His Word: “For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: (Colossians 1:16)”  The Biblical evidence is irrefutable, you and I were created for God!  Soon after the creation the Bible tells us that sin separated us from God.  But not to worry, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. (John 3:16)”

Judgment Day

  The scriptures are clear, “…he (God) hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness (Acts 17:31)”  On that day, every soul that has inhabited the earth, from the beginning of time, will be reunited with its resurrected body to stand face to face with the Almighty and give account for the deeds done in their body. “…it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment: (Hebrews 9:27)”  

  But the phrase Judgment Day can be misleading.  Actually, a judgment program has been charted for the last days.  It includes the judgment of Israel (God’s covenant people), a judgment of the Gentile nations, of fallen angels, of men who don’t know God on His terms, and a special judgment for those who do.  Your name is on the docket for one of these Judgment Days, and if you would familiarize yourself with each of them in the scripture, you would find that God’s judgment of evil is quite foreboding.  God is holy and just by nature, and can neither tolerate nor overlook your sin.  He cannot act in a way that is contrary to His character.  The wages of sin is death in the spiritual realm—an eternal separation from God to be endured in the Lake of Fire that has been prepared especially for the devil and his angels.

Those who have not received God’s forgiveness through faith in His Son will stand before the Lord at the Great White Throne Judgment, described in Revelation 20.  They will have nothing to offer in their defense and will be cast out of God’s presence into eternal punishment.  Some might argue, “I’ll not attend any judgment; I don’t even believe in God,” but what one believes does not make it reality, and you should know that God believes in you—you are a part of His creation.  Mark His Word, there will be a day of reckoning at which time you will face the Almighty all alone.  You had better get prepared.  “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. (Romans 5:8-9)”  “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house. (Acts 16:31)”

Ready For Change ?

  Perhaps you have read the story in Joshua 3, of God’s people, Israel, approaching the land that He had promised to their fathers generations before.  For forty years they had wandered in the wilderness while a generation of unbelievers died, and their children learned to obey God and exercise faith in His promises.   Soon they would cross the Jordan River and begin a new and very different life.  It would be a change comparable to graduating from school and entering the work force, or getting married and taking the first steps as a new family, with all of its obstacles and uncertainties.  Yes, life for God’s people Israel was about to change drastically, and Joshua, their leader, needed to get them ready.  Their preparation would involve three steps:

  First, “…Joshua said unto the people, Sanctify yourselves: for to morrow the LORD will do wonders among you. (Joshua 3:5)”  The word sanctify means to be set apart.  e.g. Like a fire extinguisher hangs on the wall for only one purpose, Israel had to abandon themselves to the Lord and His cause. 

  Secondly, “…Joshua said unto the children of Israel, Come hither, and hear the words of the LORD your God. (Joshua 3:9)”  The road before them would be hard and filled with life threatening events.  The Word of the Lord would guide them and empower them.  Obedience would ensure certain victory!

  Lastly, the first leg of their journey would require renewed confidence in their God—the river that lay between them and their promise was flooded and turbulent.  Joshua simply conveyed God’s promise, “And it shall come to pass, as soon as the soles of the feet of the priests… shall rest in the waters of Jordan, that the waters of Jordan shall be cut off from the waters that come down from above; and they shall stand upon an heap. (Joshua 3:13)”

  We too, live in a day of great change and uncertainty; tomorrow is not going to look like today.  Those who understand God’s Word will not be surprised, and the wise will be ready: Set apart unto God, Attentive to His Word, and Living in confident expectation that He will perform all that He has promised.