The Journey Thoughts

January 4, 2017

If the Lord returned today to receive His church, and to take her out of the
world, would you be ready to go?  It's amazing that when I read the Old
Testament, there are so many times that the behavior of the Jews was in a
continuing cycle. By this, I mean:  They believed the Lord, and all would
become well, this was followed by a time of apathy, when they forgot about
what the Lord was doing; apathy was followed by lethargy, which meant that
they no longer sought God, but occupied their minds with other gods, and
with other concerns of theirs for their daily wants.  This was then followed
by despair of not having God in their presence, and they started to plead
with God because their lives were becoming so miserable; this was followed
by repentance and calling out to God, who heard, and restored them to a
right relationship with Him, and so on and so on, the cycle would repeat.
But we are not called to that, and while they were dependent on the favor of
God through their good works, we have the favor of God through grace by
faith.  Yet, are we often found wandering in the places of
self-determination, and instead of seeking God, we seek self-fulfillment.
But self fulfillment doesn't give us peace, and soon we also are crying out
to God to save us, kind of like Peter, when he stepped out of the boat onto
the raging water, and started to walk on the water until he realized there
was choppy seas below him. Then he started sinking, and cried out to Jesus
to save him. Scripture says, "About the times and the seasons: Brothers, you
do not need anything to be written to you. For you yourselves know very well
that the Day of the Lord will come just like a thief in the night. When they
say, 'Peace and security,' then sudden destruction comes on them, like labor
pains come on a pregnant woman, and they will not escape. But you, brothers,
are not in the dark, for this day to overtake you like a thief. For you are
all sons of light and sons of the day. We do not belong to the night or the
darkness. So then, we must not sleep, like the rest, but we must stay awake
and be serious." 1 Thessalonians 5:1-6  When God left the Jews the
Commandments, they were to do good works, yet they failed, as we know we do
too. But His Spirit was given out to those He purposed to give.  With Jesus
dying for our sins, and His resurrection from the dead, we, who believe in
Him, have been given the Holy Spirit as a constant reminder, so we don't
have to wander off. He is always there with us, teaching us, guiding us, and
comforting us.  We are told not to sleep like those without Christ do, and
this is that we are not to fall into the thinking of self-determination
instead of relying on the Lord to give us guidance. When the angel of the
Lord spoke to John about the church at Philadelphia, he said: "Take note! I
will make those from the synagogue of Satan, who claim to be Jews and are
not, but are lying - note this - I will make them come and bow down at your
feet, and they will know that I have loved you. Because you have kept My
command to endure, I will also keep you from the hour of testing that is
going to come over the whole world to test those who live on the earth. I am
coming quickly. Hold on to what you have, so that no one take your crown."
Revelation 3:9-11 Keep the faith, trust in the Lord, and remember, you are
never alone, and even if it seems like it,  God did not appoint us to wrath,
but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ."  (Thess. 5:9)   So
he ends with: "who died for us, so that whether we are awake or 'asleep' we
will live together with Him. Therefore encourage one another and build each
other us as your are already doing." vv10-11

Pastor Andy

Heavenly Father, Thank You for Your Holy Spirit. Forgive us for the times we
tend to forget that, and draw us closer to You through the recognition of
the Spirit that lives in us.  Holy Spirit, I pray Your patience with us, and
thank You for Your presence.  Help us to stay "awake."   I pray today for
our brothers and sisters in this world, who are enduring suffering.  I pray
that You will comfort them during this time, and I pray that we will learn
to take their burden, and keep them lifted to You.  I pray Father, for those
who are suffering from Loss, health, circumstances of life, and failures.  I
pray Lord for loved-ones that don't know You, that You would draw them to
You, for we want them to be with us, when we go to You. I pray for: The
Schneider family, Dwight and Sammi, Clara, Cathy, Shannon, Roy, Brent's
grandfather, Starla's mother, Carol, Gene, Terry, Angie, Isabel, Pam,
William, Carrie, Ada, Rheba, Mary, Veronica, Douglas, Fritz, Dan, Dillon,
Tara, Kristena, Kristen, Don, Carolyn, Jackie Ann, Mike S., Barbara,
Candace, Meredith, Abe, Ramona, Ben, BJ, Ida, JV, Nada, Eva, Kelly and her
son, Corbin, Robert, Pat, Ryan, Fred, Dotty, Scott, April, Tracy, Abraham,
Elijah, Japheth, Matt, Liz, Matt, Bethany, Mike, Megan, Jeff, Laura, Tim,
Michele, Carmello and Kaitlyn, and bless their undertaking, Alex, Ken,
Lynette, Patrick, Kathy, Jennifer, Montella, Nancy, June, Pastor Berkey,
Harriet, Shelbi, Fisher, Marlaina, Cynthia, Loren, Mike, Pam, Jerry, Gary,
Diane. Lord, keep us awake, as we wait in the hope of our ultimate
resurrection, for I ask for all this in Jesus name.

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