Psalm 117:1-2 KJV
O praise the Lord , all ye nations: praise him, all ye people.
For his merciful kindness is great toward us: and the truth of the Lord endureth for ever. Praise ye the Lord .
I can remember that day 25 years ago like it was yesterday. My memory of about a 45-minute time span appears in my mind as a video from another perspective. It is like it was filmed by someone who was not even there and I was nothing but an actor. I could see it all as though I was about 15 feet above the unfolding drama.
I have had many things in my life prior to this moment that were very despairing and although they had a great impact on my life, they each almost made my heart or my attitude harden. I used each thing that hurt me deeply to build a wall so that would not happen to me again! What I did not realize was that hardening of one’s heart does not make one stronger. My heart was deceiving me. I would rise up and say…never again.
This day was different. This moment in time felt as though it destroyed me. It felt like someone reached inside of me and turned me inside out!
That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ: 1Pe 1:7 KJV
Faith? I have to ask myself as I look back on that time. How much faith did I have? At the same time it was perfect timing for God to allow this.
Have you heard the saying “be careful what you ask for because you just might get it”?
It had only been maybe 4 or 5 weeks or so before, I had been up late and as I turned the channels on TV I stopped on a channel of a man preaching. I felt convicted deeper than in the past. I fell to my knees in front of the couch and prayed so hard. Tears streamed down my face and I said change me, change my life, whatever it takes. I want my life to be yours. I meant it. I had said this before and meant it before but it felt deeper this time.
I remember the very next day I went to the mailbox and there was a letter written to me from my husband. (Yes, we were still living together he was just always working.) You can imagine my puzzlement. Why would my husband have mailed me a letter? It was thick and certainly not a one pager. I remember going to my bedroom and sitting on the bed and opening this and began to read it. My husband had been what I now call the CON-MAN. He was an excellent liar! Not something one usually wants to list on a resume’. I always caught him in lies. I would question him several ways so as not to end up thinking I was making more of something than I should be. I would ask it in so many ways that it would be clear and he would only hang himself. So, this was literally a suicide letter. (or was it really?) He was working for an insurance company and he began to tell how he had been embezzling from it, he had been scamming the system.
He also went all the way back to the beginning when we met. He came clean with lies he had told me. Things he made up about his life before he met me. I suppose these things were supposed to make me fall for him more? Those things would not have changed that I fell for him. But, at that moment they changed everything. WOW, I did not even know this man. We had a son together. Yet EVERYTHING that I still had thought was true about him was ALSO A LIE. Who was this man I was married to?
I remember crying out to the Lord God, sort of tears and laughter. “What God? I said to change my life but what is this??? What on earth do I do with this?”
Shortly after my mother and father in law came to my door. They had also received a letter. His boss had received a letter. (Personally, I think it was one more con because he knew he was about to get busted and so he was going to play on the emotions of those closest to him in order to get the sympathy to get him out of the hot water he had created for himself. You see his boss was also very close friends of his mom and dad and that is how he got the job in the first place. So, a letter to him would make sense. He would only fire him and charges for embezzlement would not happen.)
That is not what happened on June 11th. That was a few weeks before. He was supposed to be going to counseling and our marriage was totally over. This was all just a prelude to June 11th.
June 11th. It was only myself and my two sons at home in our small apartment that morning. I had a weight lifting bench set up between the kitchen and the living room. The phone rang and my oldest son (from a previous marriage) answered the phone. He was 9 and his little brother was 3. My son told me it was grandma (my mom). I was living in Michigan and my parents lived in Arkansas where I was born and raised. I get on the phone and my mom tells me she has bad news. Your daddy died this morning. WHAT?
I dropped the phone to the floor. I fell to the floor and just kept crying and screaming NO…NO…NOOOO. It was loud. Phone still laying in the floor where I dropped it, I was just screaming and ran through the living room and into my bedroom and fell onto the bed and cried and screamed until I got it all out. Then I just stopped. It was not real. I will never see my daddy again? Not him, God, why not mom….not my dad. (mom and I had always had issues…mom and daughter issues). I got up and went back to the phone. She told me she would let me know about arrangements. My two little boys had just sat down on that weight bench. They were sitting there when I ran into the bedroom. I can see them from the memory of that moment. They had to have been scared. They knew something horrible had to have happened. They had never seen me react like that. They were afraid to move, to say a word.
What was God doing? I asked Him to take my life a few weeks before and my life seemed to spiral even more out of control.
So, what do the scriptures say before this one I put at the beginning of this blog about trials?
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 1Pe 1:3 KJV
To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you, 1Pe 1:4 KJV
Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. 1Pe 1:5 KJV
Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations: 1Pe 1:6 KJV
We see in verse 6 it says we BECAUSE OF verses 3-5 we will GREATLY REJOICE! BUT…now for a season (or a period of time…long or short), IF NEED BE, we will be in HEAVINESS (in the Greek means, sadness, sorrowfulness, distress, grieve).
Heaviness of what? Verse 6 says through manifold temptations. What does that mean?
Manifold – Of uncertain derivation; motley, that is, various in character: – divers, manifold. (Means many different; many different colors; many different things.)
Temptation- From G3985; a putting to proof (by experiment [of good], experience [of evil], solicitation, discipline or provocation); by implication adversity: – temptation,
So, we during this time before Jesus Christ returns for His children we have a big chance of being saddened and distressed by many different temptations or trials. Temptations are as stated above trial by putting to proof by experiment of good or experience of evil. Solicitation, discipline or provocation by implication adversity…temptation.
As I said at the beginning of this blog, I had taken bad experiences and built up a wall saying NEVER AGAIN. Never again will someone hurt me like this. Never again will I be taken advantage of. Never again will I love someone to that degree. Never again will I be walked out on but I will walk out first. NEVER AGAIN.
After my dad died I began to learn I HAD NO CHOICE BUT TO TRUST AND LEAN ON GOD, JESUS CHRIST AS MY SAVIOUR. Faith would begin to grow. My life forever changed that day. It was a sad day but I would not change it for anything. I lost my daddy but I was truly beginning to be introduced to my eternal Father in Heaven!
Preaching for this generation.
1 Peter 2:9-10
But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light; Which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy.
Hearing that you are chosen, and “God’s special possession” (NIV), should bring courage and peace to your heart. As we consider the impossible move from no mercy, to mercy; the gospel is designed to ignite a response of praise and worship to God, glorifying Him among all people. Matthew 28:18-20 (NLT) says, “Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”
Verse/Commentary courtesy of ‘Verse-A-Day’ android app.
Prepare to be blessed!
Guest Speaker Amir Tsarfati: Are You Ready?
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.
Across our 5 translations, this verse refers to Jesus as the pioneer, perfecter, author, finisher, and champion of our faith. Jesus is worth whatever perseverance, whatever challenge, whatever struggle or hardship we must face. Jesus did not allow the difficulty of going to the cross to stop Him from going there for our sake. This picture is to encourage us in our trials and struggles, to be strengthened in Him who is with us and who has provided us help via the Holy Spirit of God. Do not give up! Jesus is with us and He is no stranger to the roads we are on.
Verse/Commentary courtesy of ‘Verse-A-Day’ android app.
Billy Crone – (Personal Testimony) – Las Vegas 2012 Sunrise Baptist Church
I am afraid that no matter what I say here I could have an argument with many. Why? I suppose because so many are lost and confused. That is because of the evil that is in this world. Not all lost people are evil people. Not all unbelieving people are evil people. All lost people are unsaved people.
Some will agree with me and some will say, “saved from what?”
Truth to me may not be truth to another. In that case then just what is truth? Is there even such thing as truth?
6 I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting him who called you in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel— 7 not that there is another one, but there are some who trouble you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. 8 But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed.
31 To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. 32 Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
33 They answered him, “We are Abraham’s descendants and have never been slaves of anyone. How can you say that we shall be set free?”
So, I say to seek the Lord with all your heart and soul and He will reveal the truth to you. The evil one has come to steal and kill and to destroy. Don’t be fooled by smooth words. Measure everything by the word of God. When you hear those who lead this world and say that we are all following the same God and we should all come and worship together I pray that you will really look at and listen to what is being said. One group may believe Jesus was a man and a prophet but not believe that He is God and that He came and He died for you and me and for our sins so that we might have life. So that cannot be the same god that I worship and believe in. We must be on guard. We must seek truth. Be careful and be not deceived.
I will end with what I know to be my truth.
6 Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
13 “Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it. 14 For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it.
15 “Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves.
Something that most of us have felt here in the good old United States of America. We have always had a terrific military we could count on to fight for our freedom and to keep us safe. We were always far enough from all those we deemed as lunatics and we (until we hit a certain age?) usually felt like we could trust our government to do the right thing for us. Ok, so I felt that way until a few years ago.
So what has changed? Well besides EVERYTHING…I suppose a better question to ask is why has everything changed?
I know much of it is me who has changed. I have a different idea of what is good and right than maybe I did when I was younger. As I have grown closer to the Lord much of my views have changed. I used to not be any better than the younger generations today at watching the things happening in the world. I get frustrated with them now. I think….dear Lord, and they are voting? Yikes….that is scary when they are voting because of the color of someone’s skin and they want to just be able to say they were a part of it. Next will be they just want a woman president and want to be a part of that. I have nothing against either view as long as they are voting because they agree with the issues. The thing is that most of the youth or a lot of the youth are not any different than I was at that young age. They are young adults that are clueless and only want to know who might put more money in their pockets. Thing is that I did not vote then. Glad I did not.
So, back to my point.
Oh yes….we can sleep soundly at night because we are in America. We are surrounded by big bodies of water and we have a big military. We can sit and play video games all day and teach our children to do the same. We can legalize pot and tell everyone it is no big deal. Don’t smoke a cigarette though….(really? think about it…good grief). Then lets let out thousands of felony drug dealers and say, it is no big deal. Then lets bring in 100,000’s of refugees, not the Christian ones, but the ones who would love nothing more than come here and have many children and over power us and or simply just kill us from the moment they arrive. After all, how hard is it to kill a nation that is high on legal pot and while stoned they sit and play video games.
What about the so called Church? Not saying I am much better, but we all are such push overs. This group that runs this nation has us so afraid to open our mouths for fear we will be called bigots or that we might offend someone or that we are on a watch list because we believe in one true God! We believe in Jesus Christ! Our King of Kings! Because we believe in the word of God and that it is the TRUTH! We are against this new “we all should unify, after all we all believe in the same god.”
When will we stand? When will we say enough is enough? When will we stop saying it is ok because we don’t want to ruffle any feathers. What should we do? I don’t know all the answers, I know if we do not begin to do something we may find ourselves wishing we had of after it is toooooo late.
So, in light of everything how well should we be sleeping at night? How safe are we really? I cannot remember a time when we were hated more and respected less in the world than we are right now.
Climb out of bed! Wash your face! Let’s pray! We cannot fix this thing, but maybe God will hear our prayers and give us more time, give our children and family more time to open their eyes before it is too late.
God have mercy on us all….God please watch over us even though we as a nation have told you to leave….many of us want you hear with us. Guide us Lord God. Walk with us and teach us your ways and show us the light on the path to you. Help us not to be frightened by the sounds we hear that are created to distract us and to take our eyes off of the one and only true God that can save us. Thank you for loving us and for forgiving us. Thank you for not forsaking us. Help us to stand firm and to hold on to You and Your word and the hope that lies within our faith in our Savior, our King. In the name of Jesus Christ I ask these things and I give thanks.
Thank you Pastor JD Farag!
The song at the end was posted by “RevelationNow101”.
1 And he showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding from the throne of God and of the Lamb. 2 In the middle of its street, and on either side of the river, was the tree of life, which bore twelve fruits, each tree yielding its fruit every month. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. 3 And there shall be no more curse, but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it, and His servants shall serve Him. 4 They shall see His face, and His name shall be on their foreheads. 5 There shall be no night there: They need no lamp nor light of the sun, for the Lord God gives them light. And they shall reign forever and ever.
The Time Is Near
6 Then he said to me, “These words are faithful and true.
7 “Behold, I am coming quickly! Blessed is he who keeps the words of the prophecy of this book.”
8 Now I, John, saw and heard these things. And when I heard and saw, I fell down to worship before the feet of the angel who showed me these things.
9 Then he said to me, “See that you do not do that. For I am your fellow servant, and of your brethren the prophets, and of those who keep the words of this book. Worship God.” 10 And he said to me, “Do not seal the words of the prophecy of this book, for the time is at hand. 11 He who is unjust, let him be unjust still; he who is filthy, let him be filthy still; he who is righteous, let him be righteous still; he who is holy, let him be holy still.”
Jesus Testifies to the Churches
12 “And behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to give to every one according to his work. 13 I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End, the First and the Last.”
14 Blessed are those who do His commandments, that they may have the right to the tree of life, hand may enter through the gates into the city. 15 But outside are dogs and sorcerers and sexually immoral and murderers and idolaters, and whoever loves and practices a lie.
16 “I, Jesus, have sent My angel to testify to you these things in the churches. I am the Root and the Offspring of David, the Bright and Morning Star.”
17 And the Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” And let him who hears say, “Come!” And let him who thirsts come. Whoever desires, let him take the water of life freely.
18 For I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: If anyone adds to these things, God will add to him the plagues that are written in this book; 19 and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part from the Book of Life, from the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.
I Am Coming Quickly
20 He who testifies to these things says, “Surely I am coming quickly.”
Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus!
21 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.