But when Jesus returns will He find anyone standing faithfull?
Only a cheating and evil generation such as this would beg for a miraculous sign from heaven.
And then Jesus left them and went away.
For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of a huge fish, so the Son of Man will be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.
“Write this letter to the leader of the church in Laodicea:
“This message is from the one who stands firm, the faithful and true Witness of all that is or was or evermore shall be,
the primeval source of God’s creation:
“I know you well—you are neither hot nor cold; I wish you were one or the other! But since you are merely lukewarm,
I will spit you out of my mouth!
“You say, ‘I am rich, with everything I want; I don’t need a thing!’ And you don’t realize that spiritually you are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked.
“My advice to you is to buy pure gold from Me, gold purified by fire—only then will you truly be rich. And to purchase from Me white garments, clean and pure, so you won’t be naked and ashamed; and to get medicine from Me to heal your eyes and give you back your sight.
I continually discipline and punish everyone I love;
so I must punish you unless you turn from your indifference and become enthusiastic about the things of God.
“Look! I have been standing at the door, and I am constantly knocking.
If anyone hears Me calling him and opens the door, I will come in and fellowship with him and he with Me.
I will let everyone who conquers sit beside Me on my throne, just as I took My place with My Father on His throne when I had conquered. Let those who can hear listen to what the Spirit is saying to the churches.” (Revelation 3:14-22)
Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the LORD your God is giving you.
“Why do you call me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say?
“A son honors his father, and a slave his master. If I am a father, where is the honor due Ne?
If I am a master, where is the respect due Me?” says the LORD Almighty. “It is you priests who show contempt for My Name. “But you ask, ‘How have we shown contempt for Your Name?’ (Malachi 1:6)
If only you had paid attention to My commands, your peace would have been like a river,
your well-being like the waves of the sea.
Do you think all God wants are sacrifices—
empty rituals just for show?
He wants you to listen to Him!
Plain listening is the thing,
not staging a lavish religious production.
Not doing what God tells you
is far worse than fooling around in the occult.
Getting self-important around God
is far worse than making deals with your dead ancestors.
Because you said No to God’s command,
He says No to your kingship.
(1 Samuel 15:22-23)
And in the wilderness. There you saw how the LORD your God carried you, as a father carries his son, all the way you went until you reached this place. (Deuteronomy 1:31)
says the Lord;
“or will I who deliver,
close the womb?”
says your God.
You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus.
Christ in you, the hope of God’s glory.
The true riches which are in Christ Jesus.
So there is now no condemnation awaiting those who belong to Christ Jesus. For the power of the life-giving Spirit—and this power is mine through Christ Jesus—has freed me from the vicious circle of sin and death. We aren’t saved from sin’s grasp by knowing the commandments of God because we can’t and don’t keep them, but God put into effect a different plan to save us. He sent His own Son in a human body like ours—except that ours are sinful—and destroyed sin’s control over us by giving Himself as a sacrifice for our sins. So now we can obey God’s laws if we follow after the Holy Spirit and no longer obey the old evil nature within us.
Those who let themselves be controlled by their lower natures live only to please themselves, but those who follow after the Holy Spirit find themselves doing those things that please God. Following after the Holy Spirit leads to life and peace, but following after the old nature leads to death because the old sinful nature within us is against God. It never did obey God’s laws and it never will. That’s why those who are still under the control of their old sinful selves, bent on following their old evil desires, can never please God.
But you are not like that. You are controlled by your new nature if you have the Spirit of God living in you.
(And remember that if anyone doesn’t have the Spirit of Christ living in him, he is not a Christian at all.)
Yet, even though Christ lives within you, your body will die because of sin; but your spirit will live, for Christ has pardoned it. And if the Spirit of God, who raised up Jesus from the dead, lives in you, He will make your dying bodies live again after you die, by means of this same Holy Spirit living within you.
So, dear brothers, you have no obligations whatever to your old sinful nature to do what it begs you to do.
For if you keep on following it you are lost and will perish,
but if through the power of the Holy Spirit you crush it and its evil deeds, you shall live.
For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God.
And so we should not be like cringing, fearful slaves, but we should behave like God’s very own children, adopted into the bosom of His family, and calling to Him, “Father, Father.” For His Holy Spirit speaks to us deep in our hearts and tells us that we really are God’s children. And since we are His children, we will share His treasures—for all God gives to His Son Jesus is now ours too. But if we are to share His glory, we must also share His suffering.
Yet what we suffer now is nothing compared to the glory He will give us later. For all creation is waiting patiently and hopefully for that future day when God will resurrect His children. For on that day thorns and thistles, sin, death, and decay—the things that overcame the world against its will at God’s command—will all disappear, and the world around us will share in the glorious freedom from sin which God’s children enjoy.
For we know that even the things of nature, like animals and plants, suffer in sickness and death as they await this great event.And even we Christians, although we have the Holy Spirit within us as a foretaste of future glory, also groan to be released from pain and suffering. We, too, wait anxiously for that day when God will give us our full rights as His children, including the new bodies He has promised us—bodies that will never be sick again and will never die.
We are saved by trusting.
And trusting means looking forward to getting something we don’t yet have—for a man who already has something doesn’t need to hope and trust that he will get it. But if we must keep trusting God for something that hasn’t happened yet, it teaches us to wait patiently and confidently.
Rend your heart not your garments. The veil is rent therefore let nothing come hinder you from drawing near to your Heavenly Bridegroom and Famous Father in purity reflecting His unfailing love that conquers all.
If you do these things, God will shed his own glorious light upon you. He will heal you; your godliness will lead you forward, goodness will be a shield before you, and the glory of the Lord will protect you from behind. Then, when you call, the Lord will answer. “Yes, I am here,” He will quickly reply. All you need to do is to stop oppressing the weak and stop making false accusations and spreading vicious rumors!
Feed the hungry! Help those in trouble! Then your light will shine out from the darkness, and the darkness around you shall be as bright as day. And the Lord will guide you continually, and satisfy you with all good things, and keep you healthy too; and you will be like a well-watered garden, like an ever-flowing spring. Your sons will rebuild the long-deserted ruins of your cities, and you will be known as “The People Who Rebuild Their Walls and Cities.”
If you keep the Sabbath holy, not having your own fun and business on that day, but enjoying the Sabbath, speaking of it with delight as the Lord’s holy day, and honoring the Lord in what you do, not following your own desires and pleasure nor talking idly— then the Lord will be your delight, and I will see to it that you ride high and get your full share of the blessings I promised to Jacob, your father. The Lord has spoken. (Isaiah 58:8-14)
And in the same way—by our faith—the Holy Spirit helps us with our daily problems and in our praying. For we don’t even know what we should pray for nor how to pray as we should, but the Holy Spirit prays for us with such feeling that it cannot be expressed in words. And the Father who knows all hearts knows, of course, what the Spirit is saying as He pleads for us in harmony with God’s own will. And we know that all that happens to us is working for our good if we love God and are fitting into His plans.
For from the very beginning God decided that those who came to Him—and all along He knew who would—should become like His Son, so that His Son would be the First, with many brothers. And having chosen us, He called us to come to Him; and when we came, He declared us “not guilty,” filled us with Christ’s goodness, gave us right standing with Himself, and promised us His glory.
What can we ever say to such wonderful things as these? If God is on our side, who can ever be against us?
Since He did not spare even His own Son for us but gave Him up for us all, won’t He also surely give us everything else?
Who dares accuse us whom God has chosen for His own? Will God?
He is the one who has forgiven us and given us right standing with Himself.
Who then will condemn us? Will Christ?
For He is the one who died for us and came back to life again for us and is sitting at the place of highest honor next to God, pleading for us there in heaven.
Who then can ever keep Christ’s love from us? When we have trouble or calamity, when we are hunted down or destroyed, is it because He doesn’t love us anymore? And if we are hungry or penniless or in danger or threatened with death, has God deserted us?
No, for the Scriptures tell us that for His sake we must be ready to face death at every moment of the day—we are like sheep awaiting slaughter; but despite all this, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ who loved us enough to die for us.
For I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from His love. Death can’t, and life can’t. The angels won’t, and all the powers of hell itself cannot keep God’s love away. Our fears for today, our worries about tomorrow, or where we are—high above the sky, or in the deepest ocean—nothing will ever be able to separate us from the love of God demonstrated by our Lord Jesus Christ when He died for us. (Romans 8:1-39)
As I looked, a great sign appeared in heaven: a woman came into view clothed in the radiance of the sun, standing with the moon under her feet, and she was crowned with a wreath of twelve stars on her head. She was painfully pregnant and was crying out in the agony of labor. Then a second sign appeared in heaven, ominous, foreboding: a great red dragon, with seven crowned heads and ten horns. The dragon’s tail brushed one-third of the stars from the sky and hurled them down to the earth. The dragon crouched in front of the laboring woman, waiting to devour her child the moment it was born.
She gave birth to a male child, who is destined to rule the nations with an iron scepter. Before the dragon could bite and devour her son, the child was whisked away and brought to God and His throne. The woman fled into the wilderness, where God had prepared a place of refuge and safety where she could find sustenance for 1,260 days.
A battle broke out in heaven. Michael, along with his heavenly messengers, clashed against the dragon. The dragon and his messengers returned the fight, but they did not prevail and were defeated. As a result, there was no place left for them in heaven.So the great dragon, that ancient serpent who is called the devil and Satan, the deceiver of the whole world, was cast down to the earth along with his messengers. Then I heard a great voice in heaven.
A Voice: Now the salvation and the power
and the kingdom of our God
and the authority of His Anointed One have come.
For the accuser of our brothers and sisters,
who relentlessly accuses them day and night before our God,
has been cast down and silenced.
By the blood of the Lamb
and the word of their witnesses,
they have become victorious over him,
For they did not hold on to their lives, even under threat of death.
Therefore, rejoice, all you heavens;
celebrate, all you who live in them.
But disaster will befall the earth and the sea,
for the devil has come down to your spheres,
And he is incredibly angry
because he knows his time is nearly over.
When the dragon realized he had been cast down to the earth, he pursued the mother of the male infant.
In order to escape the serpent, she was given the two wings of the great eagle
to fly deeper
into the wilderness to her own special place
where she would find sustenance for a time, and times, and half a time.
Then from his mouth the serpent spewed water like a raging river that chased after the woman, trying to sweep her away in the flood. But the earth came to her rescue. It opened its gaping mouth and swallowed the river that spewed from the dragon’s mouth.
As a result, the dragon was enraged at the woman and went away to make war on the rest of her children—those who keep the commandments of God and hold fast to the testimony of Jesus.
And the dragon stood waiting on the sand of the seashore.
The royal line of David will be cut off, chopped down like a tree; but from the stump will grow a Shoot—
Yes, a new Branch from the old root.
And the Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon Him, the Spirit of wisdom, understanding, counsel, and might;
the Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord.
His delight will be obedience to the Lord.
He will not judge by appearance, false evidence, or hearsay, but will defend the poor and the exploited.
He will rule against the wicked who oppress them.
For He will be clothed with fairness and with truth.
In that day the wolf and the lamb will lie down together, and the leopard and goats will be at peace.
Calves and fat cattle will be safe among lions, and a little child shall lead them all.
The cows will graze among bears; cubs and calves will lie down together, and lions will eat grass like the cows.
Babies will crawl safely among poisonous snakes,
and a little child who puts his hand in a nest of deadly adders will pull it out unharmed.
Nothing will hurt or destroy in all My holy mountain, for as the waters fill the sea, so shall the earth be full of the knowledge of the Lord. (Isaiah 11:1-9)
FOR FLESH AND BLOOD CANNOT INHERIT THE KINGDOM OF GOD. YOU MUST BE BORN AGAIN FROM ABOVE.
The Vine and the Branches
“I am the Real Vine and My Father is the Farmer. He cuts off every branch of Me that doesn’t bear grapes.
And every branch that is grape-bearing He prunes back so it will bear even more.
You are already pruned back by the message I have spoken.
“Live in Me. Make your home in Me just as I do in you. In the same way that a branch can’t bear grapes by itself but only by being joined to the vine, you can’t bear fruit unless you are joined with Me.
“I am the Vine, you are the branches.
When you’re joined with Me and I with you, the relation intimate and organic,
the harvest is sure to be abundant.
Separated, you can’t produce a thing.
Anyone who separates from Me is deadwood, gathered up and thrown on the bonfire.
But if you make yourselves at home with Me and My words are at home in you,
you can be sure that whatever you ask will be listened to and acted upon.
This is how my Father shows who He is—when you produce grapes, when you mature as My disciples.
“I’ve loved you the way My Father has loved me. Make yourselves at home in My love. If you keep My commands, you’ll remain intimately at home in My love. That’s what I’ve done—kept my Father’s commands and made Myself at home in His love.
“I’ve told you these things for a purpose: that My joy might be your joy, and your joy wholly mature.
This is My command: Love one another the way I loved you.
This is the very best way to love. Put your life on the line for your friends.
You are My friends when you do the things I command you.
I’m no longer calling you servants because servants don’t understand what their master is thinking and planning.
No, I’ve named you friends because I’ve let you in on everything I’ve heard from the Father.
“You didn’t choose Me, remember; I chose you, and put you in the world to bear fruit, fruit that won’t spoil.
As fruit bearers, whatever you ask the Father in relation to Me, He gives you.
“But remember the root command: Love one another.
“And as for the outsiders who now follow Me,
working for Me, loving My name,
and wanting to be My servants—
All who keep Sabbath and don’t defile it,
holding fast to My covenant—
I’ll bring them to My holy mountain
and give them joy in My house of prayer.
They’ll be welcome to worship the same as the ‘insiders,’
to bring burnt offerings and sacrifices to My altar.
Oh yes, My house of worship
will be known as a house of prayer for all people.”
The Decree of the Master, God Himself,
who gathers in the exiles of Israel:
“I will gather others also,
gather them in with those already gathered.”
Whoever Becomes Simple Again
At about the same time, the disciples came to Jesus asking, “Who gets the highest rank in God’s kingdom?”
For an answer Jesus called over a child, whom He stood in the middle of the room, and said, “I’m telling you, once and for all, that unless you return to square one and start over like children, you’re not even going to get a look at the kingdom, let alone get in. Whoever becomes simple and elemental again, like this child, will rank high in God’s kingdom. What’s more, when you receive the childlike on My account, it’s the same as receiving Me.
“But if you give them a hard time, bullying or taking advantage of their simple trust, you’ll soon wish you hadn’t.
You’d be better off dropped in the middle of the lake with a millstone around your neck.
Doom to the world for giving these God-believing children a hard time!
Hard times are inevitable, but you don’t have to make it worse—and it’s doomsday to you if you do.
“If your hand or your foot gets in the way of God, chop it off and throw it away.
You’re better off maimed or lame and alive than the proud owners of two hands and two feet,
godless in a furnace of eternal fire.
And if your eye distracts you from God, pull it out and throw it away.
You’re better off one-eyed and alive than exercising your twenty-twenty vision from inside the fire of hell.
“Watch that you don’t treat a single one of these childlike believers arrogantly.
You realize, don’t you, that their personal angels are constantly in touch with My Father in heaven?
For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders.
And He will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in You.
Teach a child how to follow the right way;
even when he is old, he will stay on course.
Heavenly Father, bless each of us, the works of Your Hand, as we flow in the role as Your partner in bringing others
to wholeness, fulfillment and fruitfulness in Your Kingdom today. Bless as we do Your Will that the “wealth of the
nations like a flooding stream” flow into the true riches in Christ Jesus in glory, honor and praise to Your Name
on earth as it is in heaven, Amen.
Her children rise up and bless her.
Her husband, too, joins in the praise
I’ll pour robust well-being into her like a river,
the glory of nations like a river in flood.
You’ll nurse at her breasts,
nestle in her bosom,
and be bounced on her knees.
As a mother comforts her child,
so I’ll comfort you.
You will be comforted in Jerusalem.”
There the LORD will be our Mighty One.
It will be like a place of broad rivers and streams. No galley with oars will ride them, no mighty ship will sail them.
Father, I pray that the flow of Your Holy Spirit will ebb and flow through me as I face every obstacle as an opportunity to know and grow up in Your image. By the power of Your Holy Spirit lead and guide me every step of the way back home to You in spirit and in truth. Help me to function productively bearing fruit that will last forever–in all that I think, speak and do.
For Your Name’s sake, that it bring all glory, honor and praise to You my Father in heaven, in Jesus’ Name, Amen.
All your children will be taught by the LORD, and great will be their peace.
Grandchildren are the crown of grandparents, and parents are the glory of their children.
“Lift up your eyes and look about you: All assemble and come to you; your sons come from afar, and your daughters are carried on the hip. (Isaiah 60:4)
From the west, people will fear the name of the LORD, and from the rising of the sun, they will revere His glory.
For He will come like a pent-up flood that the breath of the LORD drives along.
The glory of this present house will be greater than the glory of the former house,’ says the LORD Almighty.
‘And in this place I will grant peace,’ declares the LORD Almighty.” (Haggai 2:9)