Has Harvest Passed??? Bible Ballistics: Vol. 16 No. 08

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Bible Ballistics: Vol. 16 No. 08  Has Harvest Passed???

 

I am still burdened over the subject from last week of the “harvest” and what that means to our nation and our world; much like Israel in Jeremiah’s day, we are living in a world gone mad with rejection of God, His Word and His ways. Regardless of any political situations going on around us, we must face the fact of our sins against God and either continue in the way we have gone or turn to God through His Son, Jesus in repentance and faith unto obedience.  I would like to consider a rather lengthy passage that God gave to Jeremiah.  I pray that we will hear “the word of the Lord” and respond in recognition of our own sin, repentance toward God/Jesus, and a broken heart for those around us.  Only God can make the changes that we need!

Why do we sit still?

 assemble yourselves,

and let us enter into the defenced cities,

and let us be silent there:

for the LORD our God

hath put us to silence,

and given us water of gall to drink,

because we have sinned

against the LORD.

15 We looked for peace,

but no good came;

and for a time of health,

and behold trouble!

16 The snorting of his horses

was heard from Dan:

the whole land trembled

at the sound of the neighing

of his strong ones;

for they are come,

and have devoured the land,

and all that is in it;

the city,

and those that dwell therein.

17 For, behold,

I will send serpents,

cockatrices,

among you,

which will not be charmed,

and they shall bite you,

saith the LORD.

18 When I would comfort myself

against sorrow,

my heart is faint in me.

19 Behold the voice of the cry

of the daughter of my people

because of them that dwell in a far country:

Is not the LORD in Zion?

 is not her king in her?

Why have they provoked me to anger

with their graven images,

and with strange vanities?

20 The harvest is past,

the summer is ended,

and we are not saved.

21 For the hurt of the daughter of my people

am I hurt;

I am black;

astonishment hath taken hold on me.

22 Is there no balm in Gilead;

is there no physician there?

why then

is not the health of the daughter

of my people

recovered?”  Jeremiah 8:14-22

May God’s people—you and I who are born again by the “blood of the Lamb” who was slain for us “before the foundation of the world” (See Ephesians 1:3-5 & Revelation 12:11)—see and acknowledge that our Lord is totally worthy of our devotion.  And devotion to Him is seen in our love for Jesus and His Word, as well as that Word being lived out in all we do and say.  James said it best:

Wherefore lay apart all filthiness

and superfluity of naughtiness,

and receive with meekness

the engrafted word,

which is able to save your souls.

22 But be ye doers of the word,

and not hearers only,

deceiving your own selves.

23 For if any be a hearer of the word,

and not a doer,

he is like unto a man

beholding his natural face

 in a glass:

24 For he beholdeth himself,

and goeth his way,

and straightway forgetteth

what manner of man he was.

25 But whoso looketh

into the perfect law of liberty,

and continueth therein,

he being

not a forgetful hearer,

but a doer

of the work,

this man shall be blessed

in his deed.

26 If any man among you

seem to be religious,

and bridleth not his tongue,

but deceiveth his own heart,

this man’s religion

is vain.

27 Pure religion

and undefiled before God and the Father

is this,

To visit the fatherless

and widows

in their affliction,

and to keep himself unspotted

from the world.”   James 1:21-27

What ‘spots’ do you/I have?  Our lives are to be a testament to the Lord Jesus Christ who has redeemed us and called us to do a work for HIM.

For by grace are ye saved

through faith;

and that not of yourselves:

it is the gift of God:

9 Not of works,

lest any man should boast.

10 For we are his workmanship,

created in Christ Jesus

unto good works,

which God hath before ordained

that we should walk in them.”   Ephesians 2:8-10

What have you and I done with the “good works” that God has “ordained” for HIS own?  Have we fiddled away our summer as the grasshopper, or have we been busy about “my Father’s business”?  Has my opportunity for harvest passed?  Have I been doing God’s work or my own?  Am I depending on Jesus strength, power and grace to do HIS work by abiding in HIM?  Jesus Himself gave us the key; abiding in HIM!  It’s all about Jesus—not me.  And the harvest will reflect my focus.

I am the true vine,

and my Father is the husbandman.

2 Every branch in me that beareth not fruit

he taketh away:

and every branch that beareth fruit,

he purgeth it,

that it may bring forth more fruit.

3 Now ye are clean

through the word which I have spoken

unto you.

4 Abide in me,

and I in you.

As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself,

except it abide in the vine;

no more can ye,

 except ye abide in me.

5 I am the vine,

ye are the branches:

He that abideth in me,

and I in him,

the same bringeth forth much fruit:

for without me

ye can do nothing.”  John 15:1-5

And in closing, Paul’s message to the Corinthians, reminds us that there is a day of accounting coming, and the only foundation we are to build on is the Gospel of JESUS!  What are you building on?  What with—gold, silver and precious stones; or wood, hay, and stubble?  It’s your choice but choose wisely!  There is a test (accounting)!

According to the grace of God

which is given unto me,

as a wise masterbuilder,

I have laid the foundation,

and another buildeth thereon.

But let every man take heed

how he buildeth thereupon.

11 For other foundation

can no man lay

than that is laid,

which is Jesus Christ.

12 Now if any man build upon this foundation

gold,

silver,

precious stones,

wood,

hay,

stubble;

13 Every man’s work

shall be made manifest:

for the day shall declare it,

because it shall be revealed

by fire;

and the fire

shall try every man’s work

of what sort it is.

14 If any man’s work abide

which he hath built thereupon,

he shall receive a reward.

15 If any man’s work

shall be burned,

he shall suffer loss:

but he himself shall be saved;

yet so as by fire.

16 Know ye not

that ye are the temple of God,

and that the Spirit of God

dwelleth in you?”   1 Corinthians 3:10-16

I pray that we each will heed the Word of God and pursue the harvest that counts!  Oh, to see a great harvest of souls before we have to cry with Jeremiah, “The harvest is past, the summer is ended, and we are not saved”!  May we stand in the gap for those who need JESUS!  Consider the fire’s affect on—gold, silver, gems-vs-wood, hay, stubble?

Amen and Amen!!!

Harvest May Not Be Fun??? Bible Ballistics: BBs #690

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Bible Ballistics: BBs #690  Harvest May Not Be Fun???

 

Be not deceived;

God is not mocked:

for whatsoever a man soweth,

that shall he also reap.

8 For he that soweth to his flesh

shall of the flesh

reap corruption;

but he that soweth to the Spirit

shall of the Spirit

reap life everlasting.

9 And let us not be weary

in well doing:

for in due season

we shall reap,

if we faint not.

10 As we have therefore opportunity,

let us do good unto all men,

especially unto them

who are of the household of faith.”   Galatians 6:7-10

I’ll have to confess; I don’t know if this article will be long or short!  As I sit here writing (typing) from the burden on my heart, I’m not sure where God will take us, but I pray that I’ll simply be a vessel for HIS truth, grace and the option of life or death that is given to every person on this earth.

Paul’s message to the Galatian church was a warning to choose wisely—with the facts in mind:

Don’t be deceived, which reminds us that deceit is abounding around us—

GOD won’t be mocked—HE keeps accurate accounts for all things, and all mankind–

What we choose to sow in our lives is our choice but—

The consequence is set to the choice, what you sow, you will reap

If you choose to hear and obey God’s Holy Spirit, in choosing Jesus, and His “narrow” way, then you will reap life—

If you choose your own way and follow your selfish, fleshly lusts and desires, you will reap the corruption, and destruction the “broad” way yields—

Paul also cautioned those of us who belong to Jesus to beware that it’s wearisome to be faithful to God in the evil day and world we live in, but we are to not let the weariness overcome us, but he warns us to “faint not” in doing the things of GodHis way!  Jesus Himself gave us this same warning, there are two options—two choices—which yield opposing results; and you might be surprised that He warned us that the right choice would not be the popular one!

Enter ye in at the strait gate:

for wide is the gate,

and broad is the way,

that leadeth to destruction,

and many there be

which go in thereat:

14 Because strait is the gate,

and narrow is the way,

which leadeth unto life,

and few there be

that find it.”   Matthew 7:13-14

Jesus’ warning is a message of great import to our nation and our world today—and what He said next is what we need to not only consider but be arming ourselves with The Word of God, that we will be able to discern between truth and error!  And believe me the “wolves” are howling right now!

Beware of false prophets,

which come to you in sheep’s clothing,

but inwardly

they are ravening wolves.”  Matthew 7:15

We must arm ourselves with God’s Word, so that we will recognize the error, even within the church.  Jesus warned us of that also and reminded us that even those who may fool men regularly, our God knows and there is a day of reckoning coming where every man will receive that which his own choices have yielded.  (See Revelation 20:11-15)

Another parable put he forth unto them, saying,                                    The kingdom of heaven is likened unto a man

which sowed good seed in his field:

25 But while men slept,

his enemy came

and sowed tares

among the wheat,

and went his way.

26 But when the blade was sprung up,

and brought forth fruit,

then appeared the tares also.

27 So the servants of the householder came

and said unto him,

Sir, didst not thou sow good seed

in thy field?

from whence then

hath it tares?

28 He said unto them,

An enemy hath done this.

The servants said unto him,

Wilt thou then that we go

and gather them up?

29 But he said,

Nay;

lest while ye gather up the tares,

ye root up also the wheat with them.

30 Let both grow together

until the harvest:

and in the time of harvest

I will say to the reapers,

Gather ye together first the tares,

and bind them in bundles

to burn them:

but gather the wheat

into my barn.”  Matthew 13:24-20

One of Jesus’ most powerful words of warning is one that we all need to consider.  And as I share it in closing for today, my question is, “If Jesus called you out of this world, or if He returned today, what would you hear from HIM?”  And just FYI, the “day” He’s referring to is His time of judging that will come upon all men, and for the lost that will be at The Great White Throne. (See Revelation 20:11-15)

Not every one that saith unto me,

Lord, Lord,

shall enter into the kingdom of heaven;

but he that doeth the will

of my Father which is in heaven.

22 Many will say to me in that day,

Lord, Lord,

have we not prophesied

in thy name?

and in thy name have

cast out devils?

and in thy name

done many wonderful works?

23 And then will I profess unto them,

I never knew you:

depart from me,

ye that work iniquity.

24 Therefore whosoever

heareth these sayings of mine,

and doeth them,

I will liken him unto a wise man,

which built his house upon a rock:

25 And the rain descended,

and the floods came,

and the winds blew,

and beat upon that house;

and it fell not:

for it was founded upon a rock.

26 And every one that

heareth these sayings of mine,

and doeth them not,

shall be likened unto a foolish man,

which built his house upon the sand:

27 And the rain descended,

and the floods came,

and the winds blew,

and beat upon that house;

and it fell:

and great was the fall

of it.”  Matthew 7:21-27

I pray that these words of warning will speak to your heart and that we each may take heed to our lives, our choices and the effect that we have on others.  It truly is a matter of “life and death”—for what you “reap” is dependent on what you “sow”—Jesus or?  Will your harvest bring joy or sorrow?

I’m praying for you.

Amen and Amen!!!

You Don’t Always Know??? Bible Ballistics: BBs #689

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Bible Ballistics: BBs #689  You Don’t Always Know???

 

Those of you who follow my blog know that I often close with a couple of phrases, “It’s your choice!  Choose wisely, there is a test!” (I borrowed this from a Pastor Friend, Bro. Scott Wright).  I often use this in regard to the final test at Christ’s coming, or our facing HIM at our death, but there are other tests.  I’d like to talk about them.

We don’t always know when the tests may come, but we can know how to handle them!  We handle our trials and tests by keeping our eyes on Jesus not the world.  Much like Daniel.

Then these men assembled unto the king,

 and said unto the king,

Know, O king,

that the law of the Medes and Persians is,

That no decree nor statute

which the king establisheth

may be changed.

16 Then the king commanded,

and they brought Daniel,

and cast him into the den of lions.

Now the king spake and said unto Daniel,

Thy God

whom thou servest continually,

he will deliver thee.

17 And a stone was brought,

and laid upon the mouth of the den;

and the king sealed it

with his own signet,

and with the signet of his lords;

that the purpose might not be changed

concerning Daniel.”  Daniel 6:15-16

I love Daniel and he stands in such contrast to our day’s politics, for Daniel was a godly man serving in an ungodly society—but his integrity was undeniable, even by his enemies who had to seek alternate ideas to discredit him.  Yet even when Daniel was set up, caught and accused of “civil disobedience” because of his faithful service to his God, his enemies were seen for what they were.  But, Daniel still wound up in the “den of lions”, yet even the king knew that Daniel’s God would take care of him.  What would God think of us—you and me—as we face opposition, false accusation, or just plain hate that is so rampant in our culture today.  You and I don’t always know when or where the test may come, but we can always be assured that, like Daniel, we can trust to our Lord God and King—Jesus!  And because of Daniel’s faith (not his doubting, pouting or dropping outing—also borrowed my former pastor Brad McCoy!—just giving some credit where credit is due!), accompanied by a life of faithful, continual service to God and others, he was openly acknowledged by his God.  My question of us is, “Do others see Jesus IN us?  IN our actions?  IN our speech?  IN our attitudes?  IN our work?  Has your test come and you failed it?  Today is a new day!  Let’s pursue the excellence that Daniel did—consider the results!

Then the king arose very early in the morning, and went in haste unto the den of lions.

20 And when he came to the den,

he cried with a lamentable voice unto Daniel:

and the king spake and said to Daniel,

O Daniel,

servant of the living God,

is thy God,

whom thou servest continually,

able to deliver thee

from the lions?

21 Then said Daniel unto the king,

O king, live for ever.

22 My God hath sent his angel,

and hath shut the lions’ mouths,

that they have not hurt me:

forasmuch as before him

innocency was found in me;

and also before thee, O king,

have I done no hurt.

23 Then was the king exceeding glad for him,

and commanded that they should take Daniel

up out of the den.

So Daniel was taken up out of the den,

and no manner of hurt was found upon him,

because he believed in his God.”  Daniel 6:19-23

God showed up for HIS glory, Daniel’s good and the increase of The Kingdom—God’s Kingdom, that is!  And if you want to see what happened to his enemies you can read the rest of the chapter!  Just remember that real faith/belief is always exhibited through obedience!

So, my encouragement for us today is a challenge for each of us to walk in faithful integrity before our God and others.  God is ready to be real in your life if you’ll but trust Him and be willing and diligent to live a life (like Daniel) of faithfulness to God, to His Word and to His ways!  It’s then that the tests won’t cause you to stumble or try to “fix it yourself”!  Daniel relied upon HIS God to take care of his enemies—it isn’t easy, but with God’s help it’s doable!

I can do

all things

through Christ

which strengtheneth me.”   Philippians 4:13

That’s all folks!  Blessings on you and yours!

Amen and Amen!!!

Does Choosing Matter??? Bible Ballistics: Vol. 16 No. 07

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Bible Ballistics: Vol. 16 No. 07  Does Choosing Matter???

 

This will be another short post this week, as I really feel like we need to all be called to prayer—for our own relationships, for the state of our homes, cities, states, nations, and even our world.  I hope that this will be a word of encouragement to you and me to “fix” our eyes on Jesus.

Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about

with so great a cloud of witnesses,

let us lay aside

every weight,

and the sin

which doth so easily beset us,

and let us run

with patience

the race

that is set before us,

2 Looking unto Jesus

the author

and finisher

of our faith;

who for the joy that was set before him

endured the cross,

despising the shame,

and is set down

at the right hand

of the throne of God.”   Hebrews 12:1-2

It’s all about Jesus—I have to keep my eyes on HIM—for it is HE that bought our salvation on the cross and gives us the new birth.  It is by His substitutionary, atoning sacrifice that I can be “born again” into the kingdom of God.  And when I am born into God’s kingdom, I can make a difference in the worldly kingdom in which I reside.  How?  The same way that Joshua did, by standing for Jesus and the truth of HIS Word!

Now therefore

fear the LORD,

and serve him

in sincerity

and in truth:

and put away the gods

which your fathers served

on the other side of the flood,

and in Egypt;

and serve ye the LORD.

15 And if it seem evil unto you

to serve the LORD,

choose you this day

whom ye will serve;

whether the gods

which your fathers served that were

on the other side of the flood,

or the gods of the Amorites,

in whose land ye dwell:

but as for me and my house,

we will serve the LORD.”  Joshua 24:14-15

And one of my favorite men of scripture, Daniel, made a choice in the midst of a hostile environment; a choice that made him one of the most important prophetic writers of all scripture.  All beginning with a choice to “fix his eyes” on God and His Word!

But Daniel purposed in his heart

that he would not defile himself

with the portion of the king’s meat,

nor with the wine which he drank:

therefore he requested

of the prince of the eunuchs

that he might not defile himself.”   Daniel 1:8

If you’ll take note here, Daniel wasn’t concerned about what others would do, but what he would do to keep his relationship right with HIS God! (His 3 friends also apparently made the same decision by what we see of them in Daniel)!  The question is what will we do to keep our eyes on Jesus?

Here are some verses to ponder this week as we pursue our Lord and His Word; I hope this will encourage you and me as we seek to make a difference wherever God has placed you or me!

Being a living sacrifice unto our Lord Jesus!

I beseech you therefore, brethren,

by the mercies of God,

that ye present your bodies

a living sacrifice,

holy,

acceptable unto God,

which is your reasonable service.

2 And be not conformed to this world:

but be ye transformed

by the renewing of your mind,

that ye may prove

what is that good,

and acceptable,

and perfect,

will of God.”  Romans 12:1-2

To “prove” is to show to the world the work of God in me—not I but Christ!

I am crucified with Christ:

nevertheless I live;

yet not I,

but Christ liveth in me:

and the life which I now live in the flesh

I live by the faith of the Son of God,

who loved me,

and gave himself for me.”  Galatians 2:20

The question was addressed by Jesus and we’ll take that as our closing thought, and I pray that we will all heed HIS words!

Then said Jesus unto his disciples,

If any man will come after me,

let him deny himself,

and take up his cross,

and follow me.

25 For whosoever will save his life

shall lose it:

and whosoever will lose his life

for my sake

shall find it.

26 For what is a man profited,

if he shall gain the whole world,

and lose his own soul?

or what shall a man give

in exchange for his soul?

27 For the Son of man shall come

in the glory of his Father

with his angels;

and then he shall reward

every man

according to his works.”    Matthew 16:24-27

I pray that you have a blessed week, and that God will move in a mighty way in our nation, and our world!  It’s all about JESUS!  For regardless of what we “see”—God’s still in charge!  (See Revelation 19:6)

…Alleluia: for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth….

Amen and Amen!!!

There’s Still Time??? Bible Ballistics: BBs #688

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Bible Ballistics: BBs #688     There’s Still Time???

 

I believe in “putting on” the “armor of God”!  I don’t think it was an attempt at a frivolous metaphor by Paul, but an urgent reminder that we recognize that spiritual warfare is real.  And as we put on that armor, there is a part of that Ephesians 6 passage that I simply want to remind us of again, because it is imperative that we, God’s children—followers of Jesus Christ The Lord— “withstand in the evil day”!  I want to share a few scripture passages with you and ask that you “think on these things” and do your civic duty, exercising good stewardship of our freedoms!

For though we walk in the flesh,

we do not war after the flesh:

4 (For the weapons of our warfare

are not carnal,

but mighty

through God

to the pulling down of strong holds;)

5 Casting down imaginations,

and every high thing

that exalteth itself

against the knowledge of God,

and bringing into captivity

every thought

to the obedience of Christ;”  2 Corinthians 10:3-5

And a part of Daniel’s prayer in Daniel chapter 9:

O my God,

incline thine ear,

and hear;

open thine eyes,

and behold our desolations,

and the city which is called by thy name:

for we do not present our supplications

before thee

for our righteousnesses,

but for thy great mercies.

19 O Lord, hear;

O Lord, forgive;

O Lord, hearken and do;

defer not,

for thine own sake,

O my God:

for thy city

and thy people

are called by thy name.”  Daniel 9:18-19

May God hear our prayer (and may HIS people be faithful to be praying—and not depending on our own wisdom!) and guide us in the right way!

Search me, O God,

and know my heart:

try me,

and know my thoughts:

24 And see if there be any wicked way

in me,

and lead me

in the way everlasting.”  Psalm 139:23-24

Even as Paul gave us instruction to “put on the whole armour of God”, there is a part that we often forget, and I challenge you to read through Ephesians 6:10-19 noting verse 18, regarding our attitude as we “suit up”!

Praying always

with all prayer and supplication

in the Spirit,

and watching thereunto

with all perseverance and supplication

for all saints;”  Ephesians 6:18. Amen!