Waiting for the Trumpet

Our text for today will be from first Thessalonians chapter 4 verse 16.  For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:

In this day and age we are troubled by death, famine, terrorism, war, and fatal diseases and pestilences.   One can only pick up the newspaper or watch the newscast and know that we are living in difficult times.

People have problems whether they’re mental, spiritual, or physical but thank God there is some good news in these awful times in which we live.  In the first place the Bible tells us of these difficult times and by that we know we are living in the last days.  In the second place knowing that is a comfort in itself, knowing that we don’t have that much longer to go.  And finally it’s good to know that regardless how bad it gets we won’t be around for the absolute worst.  That is a comfort in itself as well.

From our text we see that the Lord himself is going to come down one day and take us home.  That is, our home for a period of time will not be here on this planet.  It will be with Jesus Christ in Heaven while this planet will go through the worst times in human history.

Our home is in Heaven and one day we will be going about our usual daily business and according to the Scriptures the Lord is going to come back preceded by the sound of a trumpet, called, “The trump of God.”  Whether are driving in a car, riding in a bus, flying in a plane, walking on the street, or traveling by boat across the ocean; when the Lord comes we will hear the sound of his trumpet and we will hear our name and he will call us forth up to the clouds.   That is the day that I’m waiting for.  All this will it be initiated by the sound of the trumpet and this will be something to look forward to and something to listen for.

May God help you to listen and wait for the sound of the trumpet.

 

Posted in Devotional | Leave a comment

Better to be a Doorkeeper

Our text will be drawn from Psalm 84 verse 10.  For a day in thy courts is better than a thousand. I had rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God, than to dwell in the tents of wickedness.

Over the ages men and women have built castles, great houses, and mansions of every size, shape, and dimension.  In America there are houses that range from a few thousand like the popular and contemporary ‘tiny homes’ to the lavish mansions of the rich and famous that cost hundreds of millions. In my home state there is one house that was built by the founder of a pizza company that cost I think, 28,000,000 dollars.

The point is there have been some great and beautiful houses built.  Some with gold trimmings, pools indoor and out, huge kitchens that many ladies would only dream about, closets bigger that many living rooms, bathrooms that are bigger than some complete houses, beach fronts with tennis courts and boat docks out back, huge columns at the entry way, fountains in the middle of the living room, skylights that you would see in state capitals,  chandeliers that are worth more than most homes, and on and on.  You name it and someone has it some where.

From our text the author says that he would rather be a doorkeeper of the Lord’s house than to dwell in the tents [houses] of the wicked.  Why did he say that?

For several reasons.

  1. He knew all this stuff down here on earth is going to burn up one day and nothing will be left.  It is only temporary stuff that will over time deteriorate, rot, perhaps be stolen or confiscated, repossessed, burned down, or destroyed through some natural catastrophe, and possibly left behind for the family to fight over.
  2. He was trying to live right and he knew that God would bless him in the end.  He knew that some things have to wait and that we don’t get everything here and now.
  3. He knew some things obtained are by unethical means and he had better character than that.  He wanted no part of that.
  4. He knew that doing right is better that doing wrong and in the end it will pay off.
  5. He knew that in order to get a return on any investment you have to invest first.
  6. He knew peace of mind and spirit means more than junk that you have to make payments on, worry about, insure, protect, take care of, and pay for upkeep.
  7. He knew happiness does not come with things.
  8. He knew that there is safety in the Lord’s house and nothing down here can guarantee that.
  9. And finally, he knew that the Lord’s house is more beautiful than any thing imaginable down here.  Do you know anyone who owns a house made out of solid gold?  How about the foundation being made out of precious gemstones from rubies to amethysts.  How about the doors being one solid pearl?  Absolutely pure water that run from this house and no dirt of any kind either.  The air will be absolutely clean. And one more thing; no sin will be allowed in the house.

I’m with the author of the text.   I had rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God, than to dwell in the tents of wickedness.

 

Posted in Devotional | Leave a comment

What Really Matters

Our text will come from Luke 16:22.   And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham’s bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried

You should read the rest of the story but for our devotional thought for today only one verse is utilized.

This is the famous story about the rich man and a beggar named Lazarus.

Two men.  One rich.  One poor.  They both die.

What really matters— after all is said and done?

After you lived your whole life the best that you could and done what you could, now what?  After you helped folks out, gave to charities, were popular with people, saved lots of money, worked at a job for 40 years, had great insurance, was in the limelight numerous times, went everywhere you wanted to go, did what you wanted to do, so now, the big question; what really matters?

According to the Lord Jesus Christ—from the list so far, nothing matters. He put it this way.  For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?  Mark 8:36.

Life comes down to one simple and yet difficult question to answer. Are you ready for eternity?

Why simple?  It has either a yes or no answer.  Why difficult?  It is not easy to answer this question if you have bypassed the one and only way to Heaven which is Jesus Christ.  In John 14:6 he put it this way.  Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. 

You see, if you have been counting on efforts of your own to make it through, you will not make it through and you will not be prepared for eternity and it makes no difference what your accomplishments were or what your status is.

What really matters?  The Lord Jesus Christ. You either will get to Heaven through him or you won’t get to Heaven.

Now–what really matters to you?

Posted in Devotional | Comments Off on What Really Matters

American Idols

Our text is from Deuteronomy 28:14. And thou shalt not go aside from any of the words which I command thee this day, to the right hand, or to the left, to go after other gods to serve them.

Other Gods? Yes, even in America. We have so many. What is a god here in America? I’m glad you asked. Aside of the fact that we as a nation worship other people that have been famous for their singing and talents, political accomplishments, scientific discoveries, sports feats, and religious beliefs, Americans have many gods that they worship.

You see, a god is anything that you spend your time with and think about. That’s anything that consumes your thoughts, speech, and time. It becomes a god when you put it before the Lord. In a since we are all idolaters. We either worship God or a god, even if it is ourselves which some do while claiming to be atheists. God made us that way. We will worship something.

I am amazed at the people, even very young children that spend most of their waking time with their so called phones. No, they are not always calling people. They are going on line playing video games, doing people searches, downloading movies or music, or maybe even watching movies. They are reading what someone else has said to or about them on facebook, another god for many. They can’t even do their job for being on their phones. I suspect millions of dollars are being lost by workers across the country using their phones instead of doing their jobs. I see it at my place of employment. People have walked into pools at the mall not paying attention to where they are going because they are worshiping their gods. Millions of dollars are lost for auto accidents that have happened due to some worshiping their god, the phone. How sad we have become.

We have money, sex, drugs, alcohol, TVs, MP3 players, Ipods and Ipads, computers, phones, e-books and e-tablets, cameras, cars, boats, sports and sporting equipment, houses, tools, trees, bushes and various plants and flowers. We have as many gods as we have streets and cities.

The devil has us occupied with all kinds of gods so we don’t have time to focus on spiritual things and eternity. We don’t think about death and being prepared to meet the Lord. One day we will die and then being not prepared for eternity we will wish we had spent more time with the Lord rather than other gods.

What a waste and a total loss if you die without the Lord in your heart. Your god won’t be able to deliver you then.

May God help you to spend time with Him and not with other gods.

P.S.  What are you going to be doing this Sunday?

Posted in Devotional | Comments Off on American Idols

Discouragement

Today our text is from 1st Samuel 30:6. And David was greatly distressed; for the people spake of stoning him, because the soul of all the people was grieved, every man for his sons and for his daughters: but David encouraged himself in the LORD his God.

We live in discouraging and distressful times. Lawlessness, sin, ungodliness, selfishness, and iniquity on every side not to mention war, tumbling stock markets, famine, terrorism, and the news cast that is only bad news. What more could you ask for?

In these times it is difficult not to get discouraged. The apostle Paul said 2nd Timothy 3:1 that in the last days perilous times would come. He wasn’t just kidding.

In our text, after being sent away by the king of the Philistines, David and his men returned to Ziglag where the families of he and his men resided and found the city burnt with fire and all residents taken captive. The men that were with David were upset and discouraged to the point of stoning David. As far as they were concerned, it was David’s fault. That’s people for you. One minute they are for you and the next minute they are ready to stone you.
“But David encouraged himself in the LORD his God.”

There may come a time where you will have to do that.                                                            You know that you are trying to do the right thing and that you are doing what God wants you to do, but there are those that are complaining about you and blaming you for something you may have no control over. Some of those complainers and criticizers may be members of your own family or close relatives. They may be members of your church or co-workers.  In either case, it may be just you and the Lord, but if the Lord is pleased with you, you are in the majority and God will bless you. Just keep doing right.

May God help you when the time comes to… encourage yourself in the Lord.

 

Posted in Devotional | Comments Off on Discouragement

No Regrets

Our text is taken from Acts 20:36-38.   36 And when he had thus spoken, he kneeled down, and prayed with them all.  37 And they all wept sore, and fell on Paul’s neck, and kissed him,  38 Sorrowing most of all for the words which he spake, that they should see his face no more. And they accompanied him unto the ship.

Just this week I heard about a co-worker that lost her loved one. I don’t know what the detailed circumstances were but the man was just in his 50’s. He was talking to someone and then turned, walked away, and just dropped. Out into eternity he went.

Life can end so suddenly and your world turned upside down. It’s then when you will be glad that you have no regrets.

In our text the Apostle Paul is getting ready to leave the church of Ephesus. He prays with them and says his final good-byes. They never see him again. No doubt after he was a great way off, out to sea, there were those that said “I wished I had told him this” or “I wished I had done this for him.”

While you and those around you are alive a kind word, a kind deed, a show of appreciation, a prayer for them, or just a word of encouragement may be the last thing that you will do with or for them. Make it good because it may be the last time you have with them and then, you will have no regrets.

You don’t want to have to say to yourself or others, “I wished I hadn’t said that to them” or “I wish I would have said that to them” or “I wish I had done that for them” etc. You get the drift. Just a simple “Thank you” may be cause for no regrets if you never see that person again.

No regrets. That’s having a clear conscience knowing that you did what you could for someone while they were around.

You never know when it will be the last time with someone so remember…no regrets.

 

Posted in Devotional | Comments Off on No Regrets