Revelation 2:11 (WEB)
We have an amazing future in store for us! We do not have to be afraid of judgment because Jesus Himself promises that those who overcome will not be hurt by the second death. When I think of this promise, I think of the verse in 1 Corinthians 15:55 that says… “Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?” (NIV)
Praise God that death no longer has a sting over us! We don’t have to live in fear of death because our Elder Brother Jesus has conquered death and sin and the grave once and for all. Another Bible verse that comes to mind is from Hebrews 2:14-15…
Since therefore the children share in flesh and blood, he himself likewise partook of the same things, that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil, 15and deliver all those who through fear of death were subject to lifelong slavery. (ESV)
Jesus has destroyed the one who once held the power of death so that we can experience true life and freedom of the fear of death! To echo again the words of 1 Corinthians 15:55… “Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?” (NIV)
We believe that in accord with your Word the hour has come for Your children to be received into glory and it is plainly evident to those with eyes to see and ears to hear. We ask that You would now glorify us that we may glorify You. We have greatly desired to be with Your Son, our Lord, and now we will see Him face to face. We have accepted Your Son and His message and have placed our faith in Him for the forgiveness of our sins. We know that He rose again from the dead and ascended to Your right hand. As surely as You live, we know He lives and reigns with You. And as surely as He rose He will come again. We have brought You glory on earth and have obeyed the commandment of Your Son to share the Gospel of grace with every nation.
Your Holy Spirit within us has convicted the whole world of sin. The world You love has rejected Your offer of forgiveness, but all of Your sheep have heeded the message and await the fulfillment of the promise You made to redeem our earthly bodies. We know that You will not lose even one of us. Free us from these bodies of sin and death and seat us with our Lord in the heavenly realms. Hide us with Christ on high. We accept Your irrevocable gifts of eternal life and the authority to reign over the nations. Clothe us in incorruptible and immortal bodies. Make us like Your perfect Son. Let us walk with Him clothed in white with new names and as everlasting pillars in Your heavenly temple.
We have fought the good fight and kept our faith to the end. We have overcome the world not by our works, but by our faith in Your Son, our Lord Jesus Christ. And now our accuser and his accusing angels are preparing a cosmic assault to destroy us, yet we are not shaken. We will overcome him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of our testimony. We have loved not our lives unto death. Together we cry “Abba! Father!” Deliver us from the wrath that is to come and count us worthy to escape all the things coming on the earth and to stand before the Son of Man. Purify and sanctify Your Church. Remove everything that divides us. Make us one just as You and Your Son are One. Make us one in the Spirit and in the truth. Keep us until the end. Let us faithfully follow You and Your Word, never flinching in the face of persecution and adversity.
For those who still refuse to come to Your Son to find life, we pray that You would now prepare them for the coming wrath. When we go to You, open their eyes and bring them to repentance. Let them finally recognize that You are the LORD of all the earth and no god was formed before You, neither will any god be formed after You. Open their blind eyes and unstop their deaf ears. Melt their hard hearts. Please show them great mercy even in the midst of wrath. Let them finally come to know You and let them hold fast to their faith in You even as great horror is unleashed upon the earth. Surround them with people and Scriptural knowledge that will help direct their path in the midst of great opposition and deception. Let them not be deceived. Keep them from taking the beast’s mark.
We pray also for protection for Your people Israel. Please bless them with abundance and let not their enemies triumph over them. Let them finally recognize that Jesus is their Messiah. Help them to fervently seek the truth despite what will be the greatest opposition they have ever faced. Protect the remnant and send on them provision for their every need. Keep them in the palm of Your hand.
Finally, we pray that You would stir up our hearts with faith and courage, so that in these remaining days we would share the Good News and the lateness of the hour with a greater fervency and zeal than we ever have before. Let us no longer just be fed ourselves, but let us go and feed Your sheep. Make each brother and sister aware of what they can do to alert the Church and the world to what is coming. Give them courage and provision to carry Your plans through to completion. Help them to deliver the message boldly. Help them to pray this prayer unceasingly.
Abba, we await Your Son from Heaven. We long for deliverance. Maranatha and AMEN.
Almighty God reserves the right to reveal some things and conceal others. Although we may not know why natural disasters occur, the biblical truths we do know with absolute certainty allow us to trust the Lord even in times of great suffering. Because of the Bible, we can be certain:
God is in control (Psalm 103:19). Nothing in heaven or on earth is outside of His rule and authority. He does not react to events but sovereignly ordains or permits them to run their course. Although we cannot know for certain if He has sent a catastrophe or allowed it, we can trust in His goodness and wisdom.
The Lord loves people and wants them to be saved (John 3:16-17). Giving His Son for the salvation of the world proves without a doubt that He loves each person. This truth stands firm despite the fact that many reject the Savior. He cares for us, even when we can’t feel it or won’t accept it.
God works circumstances for His good purpose (Isa. 46:10). Though we can’t fully comprehend what He’s doing in each incident, every disaster is a wake-up call for humanity. God is alerting us to the need for repentance—so the lost can be saved and the saved can be revived to live totally for Him. The Lord wants to get our attention, and catastrophes open our ears to hear from Him.
The One who loves us perfectly is in full control, working everything out according to His plan. Knowing this should fill us with hope, even in the midst of crisis situations. The Lord promises to turn disaster to good for those who “are called according to His purpose” (Rom. 8:28).
Your dominion endures throughout all generations.
Yahweh is faithful in all his words,
and loving in all his deeds.
From Dust To Glory
For then the dust will return to the earth, and the spirit will return to God who gave it. — Ecclesiastes 12:7 (NLT)
Most of us would agree with the statement that we won’t live forever. But that isn’t entirely true. The issue is not if we live forever or not, but who “we” refers to.
If we think of ourselves as our body, then it’s true; we do not live forever, and knowing that should inspire us to make the most of the time we have. However, if we know the truth about who we are – that we are essentially a soul and not the body we have been given for a number of years – then it is true that we live forever, only not in physical form or on this planet, but in our spiritual form in our real home in Heaven.
As it says in the book of Ecclesiastes: “For then the dust will return to the earth, and the spirit will return to God who gave it.” This perspective should also affect the way we live as well.
If you were going on a short trip for a week or two, you would never go on a vacation that would spoil your life after the trip. You wouldn’t squander all your money on this vacation and have nothing when you returned to your house. You wouldn’t quit your job or sever important relationships. At the same time, you also wouldn’t want to waste a minute of your vacation, and you would hope that the relaxation you experience while away would follow you into your daily routine.
The sages teach that we are each a soul, given the “clothing” of a physical body so that we can be here for a limited amount of time. Knowing this is a temporary state of being, like being on a trip, we wouldn’t want to do anything that would take away our reward in the afterlife. We wouldn’t want to forget that we have a job to do – to make ourselves and the world a better place. We wouldn’t want to waste a minute of our lives and would use every moment as a chance to develop our souls.
Knowing that we do live forever makes us pause and consider what we are doing today to ensure that our “forever” is the best that it possibly can be. How can we be more generous? How can we become more loving? In what ways can we overcome our shortcomings and develop our God-given talents?
One day, our bodies will be part of the earth. But our souls never die. We simply return to where we came from and live the rest and best part of our lives. On that day, all we will take with us are our good deeds.
How might that influence the decisions we make today?
This is a story of a somewhat dysfunctional family — something most of us can relate to. So first, let’s look at the Prodigal son. He asks his father for his inheritance, immediately, before the normal time for receiving it — essentially implying that he would prefer that his father were dead, rather than remaining with him and his older brother. The father would have been quietly devastated. Think about it ?- if your son approached you with a request which was normally fulfilled by your passing away — how would you feel? Yet in spite of the pain caused by his callous son — the Father truly loves him. Upon his return, the Father embraces him once again and even treats him like a King!
So it is for much of the unbelieving world with no acknowledgment of or gratitude for their Creator — they’re happy to enjoy the abundance of God and His creation, while completely ignoring His existence and counting Him as dead.
Yet God so loves his prodigals — and desires every one to return Him!
We are all called to reach this world for the Lord. And prodigals are everywhere (including many of us)…Let’s give them a taste of their Father’s love — so that when they begin to come to their senses, they will know and feel that they can safely return to His house and be received with open arms!