The Rapture Prayer

Our Father in Heaven,

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.

 

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It’s Time To Look Up and See Our Saving Grace

Jude 1:24 (WEB)

Promise 270: I will keep you from falling until you joyfully stand blameless in My presence.

The Gift of Forgivness

Matthew 22:36-40

Most of us have known the Golden Rule since childhood: We are to treat others the way we want to be treated. And for young children, this standard seems to make sense. It is logical to share if you want others to share with you, and to avoid hitting because you wouldn’t like being on the receiving end.

But as life continues and relationships become more complicated, this simple ethical code doesn’t always seem to fit our circumstances. For instance, imagine being wronged by your business partner. How can you treat him respectfully when he has taken advantage of you? What if a kind, forgiving attitude opens the door for you to be hurt again?

God’s command nevertheless does apply in this situation. Obedience can be challenging, however, because when we are hurt or mistreated, our instinct is to retaliate. This might take the form of speaking badly behind a person’s back or showing subtle disrespect to his face. Human nature wants revenge for wrongdoing. In fact, we are unable to do anything different on our own.

Thankfully, as believers, we are indwelt by the Holy Spirit, who enables us to forgive. So while our own strength is insufficient for a godly response, we have the option to obey through the Spirit.

“The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, [and] self-control” (Gal. 5:22-23). Are these characteristics evident in your interactions with others—even with people who are difficult to love? Ask for the Lord’s supernatural strength so you can respond correctly.

The World Treasures vs Heavenly Ones
Psalm 145:13 (WEB)
Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom.
Your dominion endures throughout all generations.
Yahweh is faithful in all his words,
and loving in all his deeds.

 

djs

The Power Of Forgiveness

The Power Of Forgiveness

Out of the depths I cry to you, LORD — Psalm 130:1

There is a story from Spain about a father and son who had become estranged. The son ran away from home, and his father set out to find him. The father searched for months, but to no avail. As a last-ditch effort, the father took out a full-page ad in a Madrid newspaper. The ad read: “Dear Paco, meet me in front of the newspaper office at noon on Saturday. All is forgiven. I love you. Your father.” The next Saturday, 800 men named Paco showed up, all looking for love and forgiveness from their fathers!

How many people in life are walking around looking for love and forgiveness from their Father in heaven?

If you’re like the rest of us, you have probably messed up once or twice in your life. We all make mistakes! As it says in Ecclesiastes 7:20, “Not a single person on earth is always good and never sins” (NLT). However, there is also a danger in thinking that you are only a sinner. Every time we fall, there is the risk that we will be too discouraged to get back up again. The next step after sin is repentance; yet sometimes, we find it hard to move on.

In Psalm 130 King David exclaimed, “Out of the depths I call out to you . . .” The  sages explain that the “depths” David was referring to was the depths of sin. Sometimes when we sin, we feel so low and so far from God. We feel like we are deep in the gutters of life. How can we possibly climb out? How can we face our God again? We feel distant, unlovable, and unworthy.

The sages caution us, “Do not consider yourself wicked in your self-estimation!” If we give in to those feelings of unworthiness, we will never be restored to our true selves. In Psalm 130 David also reminded us that God is forgiving. He implored us to put your hope in the LORD, for with the LORD is unfailing love and with him is full redemption” (v.7).

God is waiting for us, loving us, and anticipating our return so that He can forgive us. We just need to return to Him.

Imagine that you open the newspaper today and you see an ad with your name on it: “Dear _____. Meet me in church on Sunday at noon. All is forgiven. I love you. Your Father.” Believe it — God is sending us this message every day! We just need to turn to God in repentance, and He will do the rest.

djs

The Dark Side Of Self Defeating Jealousy

 The Dark Side Of Self Defeating Jealousy

A heart at peace gives life to the body,
but envy rots the bones.
— Proverbs 14:30

It could be your neighbor’s new car or maybe it was your fifth-grade teacher praising your best friend, but not you. There are so many scenarios that can catch us off-guard and bring out one of the ugliest traits that we are all susceptible to — the experience of jealousy. Whoever came up with the expression “eat your heart out” in reference to producing jealousy in another person was speaking a truth. In Proverbs we learn “envy rots the bones.” Jealousy destroys us from the inside out.

But there is a flipside to self-defeating jealousy. The very same verse begins, “A heart at peace gives life to the body.” Literally translated from the original Greek, “a heart at peace” is called “a healing heart.” The sages explain that a healing heart is a soft heart, one that accepts and forgives and is kind and generous.

A healing heart is the exact opposite of a jealous heart. A jealous heart wants what others have. A healing heart is happy for others when they succeed. A jealous heart is never satisfied. A healing heart is always content. A jealous heart is focused on its own personal gain. A healing heart looks out for the well-being of others.

Yet, for all jealous people do to better their own lives, they only bring ruin upon themselves. In contrast, kind, content, and generous people will bring peace and healing to themselves and to others. People with such a positive and peaceful attitude allow the body to function properly while spreading peace and health to those with whom they interact.

Of course we’d all prefer to have a healing heart over a jealous one. But how can we avoid jealousy?

The following story can help us. Once there were two eagles who would fly together. One eagle was able to fly higher and faster than the other, making the less adept eagle very jealous. One day, the jealous eagle spotted a hunter and asked him to shoot the other eagle. The hunter said that he could, but needed a feather for his arrow. The jealous eagle was happy to oblige, plucking one of his own feathers.  The hunter missed and needed another feather, and then another and another. The jealous eagle supplied so many feathers that soon he didn’t have enough feathers to fly. The huntsman turned around and shot the eagle who could no longer fly or escape.

This story shows us how to avoid jealousy — by knowing deeply that it harms us most of all. When we feel jealousy beginning to grow and fester inside us, we must allow our hearts to be healing hearts, bringing life and joy to ourselves and those around us.

djs

Trim Your Lamps!

Trim Your Lamps!

Matthew 25:1-13 “Then the kingdom of heaven shall be likened to ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. Now five of them were wise, and five were foolish. Those who were foolish took their lamps and took no oil with them, but the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps. But while the bridegroom was delayed, they all slumbered and slept. And at midnight a cry was heard: ‘Behold, the bridegroom is coming; go out to meet him!’ Then all those virgins arose and trimmed their lamps. And the foolish said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.’ But the wise answered, saying, ‘No, lest there should not be enough for us and you; but go rather to those who sell, and buy for yourselves.’ And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the wedding; and the door was shut. Afterward the other virgins came also, saying, ‘Lord, Lord, open to us!’ But he answered and said, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, I do not know you.’ Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour in which the Son of Man is coming.

This parable in Matthew 25 is a warning to the entire body — be ready with your oil! Each of these virgins was anticipating the Lord’s return; none were atheists, or non-believers. They were all virgins who claimed to be awaiting the Bridegroom’s arrival. But notice carefully that only half of them were truly ready.

In the ancient Temple era the Aaronic priests were in charge of lighting the lamp of God and keeping it burning. Their main responsibilities included trimming the wicks, refilling the lamp constantly with fresh oil, and making sure it never burned out.

A clear parallel can be drawn between the Aaronic priesthood and the New Covenant priesthood of Melchizedek and Yeshua (Jesus). Both are responsible to keep the lamps burning!

Are you feeling burned out this Chanukah/Christmas season? Then trim your wick by getting rid of the useless things in your life and diving deeper into His Word. Are you feeling spiritually drained? Then wait on the Lord and ask Him for a fresh anointing. Bearing the light of God is the responsibility of all true believers; you are the bearer of that light; so be reignited today and keep your lamps burning bright for Him. Let’s be wise virgins, anxiously awaiting His return!

DJS