Monthly Archives: December 2016

December 31 – Worship

Revelation 19-22

I can hardly wait. John’s description of the last and best eternal worship service has my soul eagerly looking forward to being a part of it all. God, sitting on His throne right there in front of me. Me, a sinner in this lifetime, clothed in Jesus’ righteousness and bowing before my Holy God, holy myself because of His Son.

Angels and saints and hymns and psalms and joy and light and perfect love. Forever. No more tears. No more disease or heartache. Just me and Jesus (and a few million other souls washed by the blood of the Lamb) hanging out with the Father.

Holy! Holy! Holy! Worthy is the Lamb!

As I look forward to 2017, I want my life to be an act of worship. I don’t have to wait until I get to heaven. This same Jesus is worthy of my worship today. God is on His throne in all His majesty. And even though I can’t see them at the moment, they are as real as they’ll be when I get there.

I want my eternal worship of God to be a seamless transition from this life to the next, because I’ve learned to worship Him the way He deserves. He is Holy. He is Powerful, Almighty, Sovereign, Perfect, and full of love. I, who cannot look on His face in and of myself, can go boldly to Him because I have accepted His gift of grace through Jesus’ work on the cross. I can stand before Him, without any good thing in me, yet dressed in Jesus’ righteousness, holy because of Jesus, acceptable because of Jesus.

Holy God, I worship You. I adore You. I bow before You unworthy, yet made worthy, sinful, yet made sinless because of Jesus. I want to worship You today and every day in a way that pleases You, because You deserve it. Thank You for preparing a place for me to be with You forever. I worship You. I adore You.

_____________

Thank you for visiting my blog this past year. I hope that I was able to encourage you to read God’s Word every day, to cherish it, and learn from it. I hope your walk with the Lord is closer today than it was a year ago.

I have been reading through the Bible every year for several years now. But this year I found myself frustrated a bit with having to read so fast through these precious verses in order to finish Revelation by today. So I’m going to do things a bit differently next year.

I’ll begin tomorrow with Genesis 1:1. But I’m going to let God dictate how much I read of His Word every day. I want to devour each verse, to pray over it, meditate on it, learn from every sentence. My goal will not be to get through the whole book in a year, but to make this precious book more a part of me than it is today.

I don’t plan to share a post every day. I’ll let God nudge me in that area, too. But I will let you know what I’m learning and how I’m doing as I read the Bible slowly, intentionally, and carefully this year.

I hope you’ll open its pages every day, too. Let’s determine together to be children of God’s Word, and continue to let it guide and strengthen us to maturity.

God bless you in 2017, my friend.

Because He love us,

Connie

December 30 – Doomed

Revelation 12-18

The Book of Revelation is a book of hope for Christians. In His revelation to John, God tells us to hold on to Him. Life will be hard. But if we remain on God’s side – we win.

But reading these chapters also makes me sad for those who reject Him. Oh, they might appear to have some victories here and there during this lifetime. But they are doomed.

It makes me sad that, as I read the imagery of the seven bowls of wrath, people continue to reject God, even when His power and authority are demonstrated in undeniable ways. Read chapter 16 and see them scorched with fierce heat, and blaspheming God. Or gnawing their tongues because of pain, and refusing to repent. Or blaspheming God even when hundred pound hailstones are falling on their heads.

Over and over God reveals Himself: nature declares His glory, Jesus reveals God in the flesh, changed lives, strength in weakness, joy in sorrow.

God nudges, and woos lost people. He also disciplines and pours out His wrath to get their attention. I see a God who is not willing that anyone die without Him, and who will go to any lengths to win each and every one while they still draw breath.

But, hear me. Those who take that last breath without accepting what God offers through His Son are doomed. There are no do-overs, no second chances in eternity. What you choose in this lifetime makes all the difference.

Christian, as you read the book of Revelation with me, let’s rejoice in the truth that God is the ultimate authority. That Satan’s defeat is inevitable. And that God is preparing a place for us to spend eternity with Him in more glory and splendor than we can imagine.

But if you don’t know Jesus as your Savior, I pray that you will begin the new year on the winning side. God is going to be true to His Word. One day, at the name of Jesus EVERY knee will bow.. That means you, dear one. EVERY tongue will confess that Jesus is who He says He is. Like it or not, you will recognize that you are doomed without Him. Please don’t let that happen.

Holy God, thank You for giving this revelation to John. We can see that the war between You and Satan is played out here on planet Earth. And we can see that You are the victor! God, I am so glad I am counted as Yours, that You are fighting my battles right this minute, and that one day I am going to heaven to be with You. Father, I pray for those who don’t yet call You Lord. May they humble themselves, repent of sin, and accept your gift of Grace through Your Son, Jesus. I pray that no one reading this blog will meet you in eternity doomed.

December 29 – Trust

Revelation 6-11

Today as I read these chapters in Revelation the Lord seemed to be asking me a question. Do I trust Him? The events of John’s vision are frightening. War, sickness, storms, earthquakes, devastation.

Satan.

Do I trust God with the events of my life? All of them?

A W Tozer said, “God is looking for people through whom He can do the impossible. What a pity we plan only things we can do by ourselves.”

Life is hard. And sometimes God wants to do great things in and through us during our darkest moments. Sometimes He wants to reveal Himself through our storms, our diseases, and our wars. But He can’t if we hold on to control, not believing He really can do the impossible.

As John is telling the horrible things that occur in his vision, one thing stood out to me.

God.

At the end of it all, God will still be standing in all His holiness, power and majesty. And not just at the end of time. At the end of my battles in this life, God is still on the throne.

I think of my nephew, encouraging his four-year-old son to jump into the pool and into his waiting arms. I see the little one, frightened and cold, shivering poolside. But then I see determination in those young eyes as he fixes his gaze on his daddy’s face, and jumps.

Do I trust God? Absolutely.

Now to take that leap.

Dear God, I do trust You. But I have to confess there are times when a little doubt creeps in, or I tell myself I should be able to handle things on my own. Forgive me. Help me to pray like Jesus prayed, Not my will but Thine, and mean it. I want to face whatever life hands me firmly holding Your hand, completely trusting You, and obeying You. And, God, accomplish the impossible in me today if You want to. I’ve got my eyes on You. And I’m diving in.

December 28 – Intentional

Revelation 1-5

Whenever I read John’s Revelation, I always pray that my focus would not be on the horizontal, but on the vertical. Not on the material pictures painted here, but on God Himself. And when I do, I can almost join that worship service I read about and sing with the angels, “Holy, Holy, Holy! Worthy is the Lamb!”

God speaks to us Christians through John about the role of the church; the pitfalls, and the promise. I hear Him tell us not to just go through the motions, but to serve Him with the same love we had when we first believed.

I hear Him tell us to stay true to Scripture and reject Satans’ lies. I hear Him say it won’t be easy, that persecution will effect Christians all over the world.

Don’t accept false teaching, He tells us. Wake up and live this Christian life intentionally. Hold on. Be passionate and effective for the kingdom.

God tells us He will discipline the disobedient Christian in order to save them.

And, for those of us who overcome, we will receive the best prize ever – God Himself: the crown of life, the power and authority, the Word, the morning star, JESUS!!

Reading Revelation and not thinking it’s a history book, or a futuristic prediction, makes it alive and personal today. God wants us to be active Christians, obedient, loving, and alert so that others can know Him, too. I don’t think the book of Revelation is so much a book of the future. I think it’s a book for today, right now, with important lessons for us to follow.

My intention is not to offend those of you who study this book and look for material interpretations. I certainly don’t intend to criticize you if God is directing you in that way. I am telling you how He is directing me. And I don’t want us to miss the messages He has for us for today, to make us stronger and more effective workers in His Kingdom. I think we can all agree that  all Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for instruction, correction,  so that we are equipped to do what God wants us to do as we live out our salvation at the end of 2016 and into the new year.

Today, as I read His Word, I believe God is asking me to be intentional in my walk with Him. And He promises it will be worth it, when I realize He Himself is my prize!

December 27 – Walking In Truth

2 John; 3 John

John uses the term, “walking in truth,” several times in his last two letters. So I’ve been sitting here thinking about my own walk, the truth I live by. Here are some things that came to mind:

In the beginning God created… (Gen 1)

The virgin shall conceive and bear a son… (Isaiah 7:14)

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God… And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us… (John 1)

Jesus said, “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life, and no one can come to the Father except through Me.” (John 14:5)

All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. (Romans 3:23)

The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. (Romans 6:23)

If we confess our sins He is faithful and just to forgive our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.  (I John 1:9)

For we believe that Jesus died and rose again… (I Thess 4:14)

If I go to prepare a place for you, I will come again… (John 14:3)

That’s the Truth I’m walking in. It’s the Truth that defines me, strengthens me, encourages and blesses me. It’s the only Truth by it’s very nature. I pray you’ll be walking with me in Truth today.

 

December 26 – No Time To Sin

I John

Can you be a Christian and still hold on to a sin or two? Does being a Christian involve accepting Jesus, then putting Him on a shelf and continuing life as usual? I would suggest you read John’s first letter and ask yourself what Scripture has to say about that.

This is serious business. I’m afraid we’ve come to believe Christianity is something you put on on Sundays. But John tells us No one who abides in Him sins; no one who sins has seen Him or knows Him. (3:6)

The key to Christianity must be abiding in Christ. So how are you doing?

Do you pursue Jesus by spending time with Him in His Word, and by praying? Are you aware, and do you welcome, His Presence every minute of every day? Do you love Him above all, and share His love with others? Are you more like Jesus than you were yesterday?

I think if those things were true in each of us, we wouldn’t have time (or the desire) to continue to sin.

December 25 – Grow In Grace

2 Peter; Jude

We celebrate the birth of Jesus today. I pray you’ve enjoyed going to church, singing the beautiful Christmas songs, reading Luke 2, and opening gifts with those you love. It’s a magical day. It’s a holy day.

God Himself took on the form of a needy newborn, and perfectly grew to become the Sacrifice for all of us. God, in flesh and blood! It’s beyond wonderful.

Peter reminds us this same Jesus is coming again. Not as another baby, but with power and glory. The heavens and earth that we enjoy today, will melt away, and we who know Him will see a new heaven and a new earth where righteousness dwells.

Meanwhile, the apostle encourages us to “be diligent to be found by Him in peace, spotless and blameless,” to be on guard, and to “grow in grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.” (2 Peter 3:18a)

My prayer on this Christmas Day is that you will allow this baby whose birth we are celebrating to do what He came to do. May you know the peace that comes from bowing to the Savior. May you love and serve Him who loved you all the way to the cross.

To Him be the glory, both now and to the day of eternity. Amen. (3:18)