A very timely, wise post from a fellow blogger and friend!
Wonderful post from a fellow blogger who has been living with ALS!
Ice Bucket Challenge Donations Top $100 Million in 30 Days compared to $2.8 million during the same time period last year (July 29 to August 29).
Mary looked at me like I was crazy when I told her that I wanted her to dump a bucket of icy water over my head.
“You might gasp and breathe in water and choke,” she warned. But after a few days of prodding she finally agreed to play her roll in the Ice Bucket Challenge. I was hoping that the ice cold water being poured over my head would cause me to jump out of my chair and run, like my Australian friend, Phil, but (SPOILER ALERT) unfortunately that didn’t happen.
Seventeen years ago, almost a year after being diagnosed with this horrible disease known as ALS, I was asked by MDA to participate in the local portion of the Labor Day…
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Earlier this week I was sad to I read about American journalist, James Foley being beheaded by ISIS. It is tragic what this group is doing around the world! We hear not only of ISIS but of multiple terrorist groups armed and determined to wipe out anyone that does not follow their radical beliefs. They target Jews, Christians and fellow moderate Muslims with abandon. We are living in some pretty dark times. With wars, rumors of wars, great persecution, natural disasters and an overall increase in sin we don’t have to look too hard to believe that we are living in the end times. How long things will go on for before Jesus returns, we don’t know but it sure is closer than it was but a few years ago.
Let’s take a look at just some of these signs from the book of Matthew.
Matthew 24:1-14 NIV
24 Jesus left the temple and was walking away when his disciples came up to him to call his attention to its buildings. 2 “Do you see all these things?” he asked. “Truly I tell you, not one stone here will be left on another; every one will be thrown down.”
3 As Jesus was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately. “Tell us,” they said, “when will this happen, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?”
4 Jesus answered: “Watch out that no one deceives you. 5 For many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am the Messiah,’ and will deceive many. 6 You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. 7 Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom.There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. 8 All these are the beginning of birth pains.
9 “Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of me. 10 At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other, 11 and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people. 12 Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold,13 but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved. 14 And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.
Does any of this sound familiar? All it takes is for us to turn on our tv news channel or open a newspaper and we can see each and every one of these things happening right now in our time. We have brothers and sisters in Christ worldwide that are dying for their faith at the hands of their persecutors, all because they will not renounce the name of Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. Wickedness is everywhere. We hear daily of family members killing other family members, adultery, sexual sin, murders happening in each and every one of our neighborhoods. Famines and earthquakes are at an all time high along with other various natural disasters. Nations are definitely rising against nations and kingdoms against kingdoms. There are too many cults and cult leaders to list here preaching a false gospel that denies the Lordship of Jesus Christ and the need for salvation rather promoting themselves and their false ideology. With modern technology and the ease of travel, the gospel is now being spread in countries that would never have had access to the gospel before. The message of salvation is being preached throughout the world!
Though the Word of God tells us that no man knows the day or hour when Christ will return, we do know from the signs that the time is getting closer. With that in mind, God does not want us to walk in fear or trepidation. Jesus said, “See to it that you are not alarmed,” instead we are to walk in peace knowing these things must come to pass before we see our beautiful Lord and King face to face. It is so important that we use the time God has given us to share the gospel to those who need to hear! We need to daily demonstrate the love of Christ to a world looking for answers. People are wondering what on earth is going on in this crazy world of ours right now and we have the answers. We don’t need to be caught off guard. Our Bible tells us what must happen before Jesus returns.
It is imperative that each follower of Christ live each day knowing that the Lord could return at any time. Jesus tells us in Matthew 24:36-44 NIV
36 “But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. 37 As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. 38 For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark; 39 and they knew nothing about what would happen until the flood came and took them all away. That is how it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. 40 Two men will be in the field; one will be taken and the other left. 41 Two women will be grinding with a hand mill; one will be taken and the other left.
42 “Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come.43 But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what time of night the thief was coming, he would have kept watch and would not have let his house be broken into. 44 So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.
I want to be ready when He returns! I want to be busy doing His will! I want to be excited, and without shame, to see Him face to face!
Father, I ask that you prepare our hearts for the days we are living in. Please keep our hearts tender before You. Let us be sensitive to the chastening of Your Spirit and let us repent of those things that are holding us back from following You with abandon. Give us wisdom to be able to read the signs of the times and to live our lives accordingly. Give us a deeper love for the lost so that we won’t hesitate to share the gospel with them. Give us a deeper love for You Jesus so that we will walk intimately with You as we wait on Your return. We ask it all in your precious name, the name of Jesus. Amen
Take courage. We walk in the wilderness today and in the Promised Land tomorrow.~Dwight L. Moody
I just finished reading a book by Nabeel Quereshi called, “Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus”. What an fascinating book. I was drawn to this book due to the saturation of Islam in the news. Sadly we are seeing radicals rise up and destroy the lives of followers of Christ, Jews and anyone who does not follow their ideology, all over the world right now.
Nabeel’s story provides a glimpse into the life of a moderate Muslim who was not bent on destroying others. It takes the reader from his early years to his journey into become a follower of Christ. I read this book hoping to understand the ideology of Islam a little better and to understand the Muslim people a little more. I believe it accomplished both. I don’t want to share much here about the book in hopes that many of you will read it for yourselves.
Though I speak out against the slaughter of Christians, Jews and non radicals, sign petitions and support those ministries helping those suffering at the hands of radicals, I now have a better understanding of what they believe and why they do some of the things they do. I am now more than ever determined to continue to pray for their eyes to be opened to the truth of Jesus Christ. It is only through Christ that they will ever truly discover peace and be able to lay aside their indifference to hatred of anyone that does not follow their ideology.
Though the atrocities being committed today in the name of Islam are horrific, we must pray for the persecutors. There was a time when Apostle Paul persecuted the Christians and we all know how God was able to turn him around to not only follow Christ but to become one of the greatest followers of Christ to date! It is critical that we speak out against the atrocities but it is also imperative that we pray for the Muslim people to have a revelation of Christ.
Nabeel’s story illustrates the importance of Christians not hardening their hearts to non believers but instead, to pray for and sensitively speak the truth whenever the opportunity presents itself. I was so encouraged by his Christian friend David, who continued to pray for him and share the gospel with wisdom and sensitivity over the course of several years. Too few of us are willing to invest the time and prayer into those who don’t quickly convert.
We are all called to share the gospel. We may or may not see quick results. We may never see the results but we who are redeemed have the answer to those seeking! We are called to share the good news with others! My prayer is that we will be willing to invest the time it may take to get to know others and speak truth into their lives. To pray and continue to pray for those who are blind that they may have their eyes opened to the truth of the gospel. The good news is the only solution to what ails the world! Without each of us praying and sharing the gospel, multitudes will be eternally lost!
Acts 4:12 NKJV 12 Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.”
Matthew 28:18-20 NKJV 18 And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen
Mark 16:15-18 NKJV 15 And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. 16 He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned. 17 And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; 18 they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.”
Lord, please help each of us to serve you with abandon. Help us to use each opportunity you provide to give the good news to people desperate to know You. Remind us to hold in prayer those whose eyes are blinded by deceit that they may have their eyes opened and their hearts opened to the gospel. Give us the perseverance we need to not give up easily on those who you have put in our lives to share the gospel with. We ask it all in the beautiful name of Jesus, our Savior and Lord, Amen.
Thank you “Our Dot on the Map” for sharing this wonderful offer from Beth Moore!
Favorite colour? Blue
Favorite animal? Lions