I don’t know about you, but I don’t spend a lot of time in the Old Testament book of Judges. Perhaps we should. I ran across this scripture the other day. You know when the Lord wants you to see something, how it kind of jumps off the page at you? That’s what this scripture did. It was a day or two after the nut job killed those fifty people in Las Vegas. See if these words stick to you like it did to me.
Judges 2:13-16 “So they forsook the Lord and served Baal and the Ashtaroth. And the anger of the Lord burned against Israel, and He gave them into the hands of plunderers who plundered them; and He sold them into the hands of their enemies around them so they could no longer stand before their enemies . . . they were severely distressed. Then the Lord raised up judges who delivered them from the hands of those who plundered them.”
When that judge died, they flopped right back into evil; into sacrificing babies to these foreign gods; into idol worship. That’s what the book of Judges is all about. I wonder if God isn’t trying to get our attention with all the hurricanes, earthquakes, and slaughter. Perhaps we should ask Him to show us what we need to repent of while there is still time.
And when I saw Him, I fell at His (Jesus) feet as a dead man. And He laid His right hand upon me, saying, “Do not be afraid; I am the first and the last,”
Can you imagine John’s astonishment when he turned to see Jesus whom he had not seen since He disappeared into the clouds many years before (Acts 1:9-11)?
This time, He was in a long white robe, with gold across His chest and around his waist. His hair and head were dazzling white, like looking straight into the sun, only whiter. His eyes looked like a flame of fire. His feet glowed like burnished bronze in a furnace. His voice sounded like a multitude of water. (Ever been to Niagara Falls?) No wonder John fell at His feet as a dead man!
Jesus, the first-born from the dead, preeminent ruler of all the kings of the earth, and the last sacrifice we’ll ever need to pay for our sins, bent down and put His hand on John and told him not to be afraid.
He told John to write what he had seen, the things which are, and the things that shall take place after these things (Revelation 1:19). John obeyed and we have a vivid picture in Revelation what will take place, perhaps in our lifetime.
Lord Jesus, thank You that You do nothing unless you tell us first.*
Open the eyes of our understanding so we may be well-equipped
for the days ahead.
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(Jesus said) “He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.”
One day, there will be a day of reckoning. A day when all men will stand before God. Those who have refused to put their faith and trust in Jesus, God’s only begotten Son, will be judged. They will hear Him say, “I never knew you; depart from me, you who practice lawlessness” (Matthew 7:23).
For those who have trusted and believe in Jesus, who have done the will of the Father, who have obeyed His leading, this will be a day of receiving rewards. For them, this is a day of great rejoicing. On this day, there will be a full disclosure of the inheritance which has been reserved in heaven for us (I Peter 1:3-4).
As long as a person is still breathing, they can still choose Jesus. After that time, there is no changing the inevitable. The dye is cast. There are no “do overs.”
For people to say, “God is going to save everybody,” is a false assumption. God’s word doesn’t support that belief. Read God’s word. Hide it in your heart. Share what God says with others while there is still time.
Lord Jesus, draw those unto You
whom You know will receive You.
Cause us to be bold in Your Truth
so others may not perish
but enjoy everlasting life
with You in heaven.
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The Lord will go forth like a warrior, He will arouse His zeal like a man of war. He will utter a shout, yes, He will raise a war cry. He will prevail against His enemies.
When all the nations of the earth gather around Jerusalem for battle (Zechariah 14:2), Jesus will descend with a mighty shout (I Thessalonians 4:16). God’s jealousy for His people will be awakened. His wrath will descend on His enemies. Those who have wronged His people will be avenged. The Bible calls this the great and terrible day of the Lord (Malachi 4:5).
God will shout in triumph over His enemies. Those who have blessed His people will be blessed; those who have cursed His people, He will curse (Genesis 12:3).
Are you counted among His people—His own family? Or are you only His creation?
While there is still time, become a part of His family by receiving the truth that Jesus came, died for your sins, and rose again, to provide a place for you to be with Him forever.
Have you made that transaction with the Lord yet? There is still time. Do it today.
Lord Jesus, I believe You came, died, and rose again from Your grave.
Forgive my sin. Cause Your death to count as payment for the times
I’ve missed the mark and fallen short of Your ideal plan for me.
Receive me into Your eternal family by Your grace and mercy.
Thank You Lord Jesus for Your provision for me.
Early last Thursday morning, I sat to write. This came tumbling out. The first lines are a quote from the Old Testament book of Isaiah.
Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil;
Who substitute darkness for light and light for darkness;
Who substitute bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter! (Isaiah 5:20)
Men call themselves women
and instruct us to accept
what God condemns.*
Abortionists pose as health-care providers
who reduce God’s unborn creation
to the brokerage of body parts.**
Politically correct atheists
the free exercise of religion.
Those bent on destroying
God’s chosen people and their nation
are encouraged and aided
by a government gone awry,
through treaties that will empower
the antichrist and his minions
issuing in the great and terrible day
of the Lord.***
(Daniel said) “And by smooth words he will turn to godlessness those who act wickedly toward the covenant, but the people who know their God will display strength and take action.”
Days are coming on earth and may well be here when this prophecy will see fulfillment.
The Antichrist will speak “smooth words” which means “flattery and fine promises” to godless ones who are irreverent and have contempt for the things of God and for God Himself. The Bible calls these godless ones “wicked,” which means “guilty, condemned.”
The people who know their God—those who are in relationship with him—His kinsmen, His sons and daughters through Jesus’ sacrifice, will grow strong. They will continue to encourage others and be strengthened in their faith through God’s grace.
God will use them mightily, even when they are persecuted. To which group do you belong?
Lord Jesus, may I always revere You and Your word.
May I follow in Your footsteps, even to the end,
honoring You with my words and actions
until the day You appear in the sky.
And by smooth words he will turn to godlessness those who act wickedly toward the covenant, but the people who know their God will display strength and take action.
“Smooth words” here means, “flattery, smoothness, fine promises.” This portion of Daniel has not come to pass yet. This is a description of the Anti-Christ. This person will pollute those who act wickedly (in civil, ethical, or religious relations). These people will be corrupt, godless and defiled in their covenants between God and man.
The other people spoken of in this scripture are kindred who know God by experience. They have Godly knowledge and are wise. They are instructed by the Lord and declare His name.
They will prevail; they will be strong and courageous, resolute and secure. They will be bold, and support the truth. Above all they will withstand the wiles of the enemy by their relationship with God.
When this time comes we must be ready. We must have God’s word hidden in our hearts. Our ears must be practiced at hearing God’s whispers and acting in obedience in order to stand firm.
Lord Jesus, cause us to be ready
for the evil days ahead.
Sharpen our ears to hear,
our hearts to obey,
and our hands to act
in accordance with Your will.
I Corinthians 4:20
For the kingdom of God does not consist in words, but in power.
In this scripture, Paul writes to those in Corinth who are arrogant. He tells them he will come soon for a visit if the Lord wills. He’s going to look at their fruit to see if they are spouting empty words or if their ministry is accompanied with signs following.
Those signs could be anything from people being healed of various diseases, delivered from demons, or having their life turned around by the power of the gospel. In a later book Paul refers to people like this as “Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away” (II Timothy 3:15).
We need to behave with an eye on this passage. Are we bringing people to Christ? Are we operating in the power of the Holy Spirit to minister to their needs? Do we see fruit from our labor or do we simply spout an empty doctrine devoid of the Holy Spirit’s power?
These are important questions to ask ourselves because one day we will stand before our Lord and give an account for the days He gave us.
Lord Jesus, please fill my days with Your presence
so that I may see as You see,
hear with Your ears,
and operate in the power of Your Holy Spirit.
I John 2:20
But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and you all know.
The apostle John writes this letter to believers to warn them of deceivers in their midst who he calls anti-christs; ones who professed to be believers but who had gone away from them and the faith.
Those false believers said only a select few had on inside track to God through special knowledge. They were called Gnostics.
John tells the believers they have a special anointing given them by the Holy Spirit—the only anointing they will ever need. They are to stay closely connected to the Spirit and to each other through the truth of who Jesus is. He is the promised Messiah—the Christ. He is the only way to eternal life.
We have antichrists today. They say there are many ways to salvation; that Jesus was a good teacher, but not the Son of God who takes away the sin of the world.
But we have access to the same Holy Spirit; the same anointing as the people in John’s day. May we ever listen to the Spirit and draw close to Him and one another in genuine faith in Christ as we see the day of the Lord draw near.
Lord Jesus, may we never forget who You are
and whose we are as we come to the end of this age.
May we long for Your appearing with each new day.
Galatians 1:4 “Who gave Himself for our sins, that He might deliver us out of this present evil age according to the will of our God and Father.”
As the day of Jesus’ appearing in the sky draws nearer, we see a more definable difference in those who truly have Jesus as their Lord, and those who don’t.
For those who have put their faith and trust in Jesus, there is special protection in this scripture even in calamity and a promise of deliverance in the future to meet with Jesus in the air and to ever be with Him in eternity (I Thessalonians 4:17).
This is God’s will for each of us, to be with Him and enjoy Him forever.
Will you receive His sacrifice for yourself?
I rejoice there is a heaven to have
because You offered Yourself in our place.
(This devotional has been taken from my co-authored book, Daily Walk with Jesus, a 366 daily devotional by Sally Jadlow and Ardythe Kolb, available here from Amazon.com.)