Posted by: missionventureministries | July 8, 2020

IF WE LET GOD GUIDE HE WILL PROVIDE – Philippians 4:19

“My God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:19)

God is concerned with every part of our being: spirit, soul, and body. Just as the facets of His character are infinite, we can trust His goodness, guidance, and shepherding care to do more for us than we can ask or imagine (Ephesians 3:20). 

If we are willing, God provides a way for us to develop an intimate, obedient relationship with Him so that we can lead ourselves and others into a quality of life as seen in Psalm 23; because, those whose Shepherd is the Lord can say, “I lack nothing” (Psalm 23:1). 

In the Lord’s Prayer, Jesus teaches His disciples to ask for provision, and our dependence on God is affirmed each time we pray, “Give us this day our daily bread” (Matthew 6:11). In Matthew 6:24-25, Jesus tells His disciples not to worry about food or clothing. The Father knows our needs. He desires a covenant relationship with us, that involves trusting Him to meet our daily requirements, which seeks first His kingdom and His righteousness (Matthew 6:33). 

Psalm 84:11 states, “No good thing does He withhold from those who walk uprightly;” meaning those who live an obedient life obeying His commandments. 

Many passages about God’s provision relate to our need for food and clothing and the daily, physical needs of life. Others refer to the needs of our soul and spirit, our inner man. He provides us with peace (John 14:27), comfort (2 Corinthians 1:4), and “power, love and self-discipline” (2 Timothy 1:7). In fact, He “has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ” (Ephesians 1:3). Therefore, we should realize that in whatever physical state we find ourselves, we can be content when we walk with the Lord (Philippians 4:12). 

Passages such as Galatians 1:15 and Jeremiah 1:5 give us an assurance that God’s love and direction began even before conception. What a blessing it is to know that God has been involved in our lives from the very start! His love for us is encompassed in His desire for our greatest well being. He is truly our Jehovah-Jireh, the Lord Who Provides. 

However, we need to understand there’s not a day when we are not faced with challenges. The challenges come in different ways, but they come every day. How we deal with these challenges determines how we grow in our relationship with God. 

As we read the story of Abraham, we see that he was about to move into a new level of achievement greater than he could imagine. God put a test before him simply to bring him to a place where God could use him effectively. God had to test the faith, courage and obedience of Abraham as we read in Genesis 22:1-14. And He will test us also maybe not to the same degree as He did Abraham but He will test our loyalty and faithfulness to Him. 

In this day and age Satan is doing everything within his power to control the direction of every life on this planet. He is trying his best to place fear into people’s hearts because for many as soon as they open their eyes upon waking, they are vividly reminded that we live in dangerous times. He is doing this by weaving his ways into this world through the media as he portrays his evil, perverted plan by using his minions over the air-ways through Television, radio, the Internet and the false news controlled by satanic agents. 

Sadly, Satan has also found his way into the churches throughout our world, since many churches are filled with people and preachers who are total hypocrites putting on a show of religion and pretending to be real “Christians.”

We must be willing to be strong and be reminded that as Christians we belong to God and have greater power than our enemy as John tell us – you are from God and have overcome them, for He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world (1 John 4:4).

Remember, that with every challenge God will provide a solution or an escape (1 Corinthians 10:13). God will never ask us to do something that He will not enable us to do or provide the necessary way out. 

As with Abraham, when he and Isaac walked toward the mountain top Isaac asked his father where the sacrifice was; and his father responded, “God himself will provide the lamb for the burnt offering, my son” (Genesis 22:8). And God indeed provided a sacrificial ram that had his horns caught in the brush. So Abraham called that place The Lord Will Provide. And to this day it is said, “On the mountain of the Lord it will be provided” (Genesis 22:13-14). 

We can never see the hand of God move on our behalf until we step out beyond our own abilities and obey God’s Word and His commands. 

We can experience God’s gracious guidance and provision only when we are living a life of holiness and obedience and exercising great faith. 

There are so many examples of God’s provisions in the Bible here are only a few: 

  • When God led the children of Israel out of Egypt He gave them favor with the Egyptians to the point they loaded them down with precious things of great worth. (Exodus 12:35-36) 
  • While the children of Israel wander in the wilderness God provided for them daily bread, water from the rock and shelter from the cloud that followed them. (Exodus 16:4-5, Exodus 17:6) 
  • When the disciples had fished all night and caught nothing was not Jesus standing there on the seashore with the command to drop the net on the other side of the boat and they caught so many fish they could not pull them into the boat and needed help? (John 21) 

Another example of great provision was when in Nehemiah’s time the Israelites were giving up on re-building the wall in Jerusalem and he told them “Don’t be afraid of them,” he encouraged, “Remember the Lord, who is great and awesome, and fight for your families, your sons and your daughters, your wives and your homes” (Nehemiah 4:14). 

In Nehemiah’s day, each person / family / tribe took a portion of the wall to rebuild. Some took a small portion, others took large portions. Each did what they were able. The result was the walls were rebuilt in just 52 days. 

We need to understand that if we begin to rebuild what is on God’s heart, which is obedience to His directives He will step in and do His part. We will see revival in the church which we desperately need and also for justice to prevail in our land. 

So how do we do it? We take action and follow God’s word as Nehemiah did: 

  1. Fast and pray (Nehemiah 1:4).
  2. Repent (Nehemiah 1:6-7).
  3. Remind God of His Word to other faithful men (Nehemiah 1:8-9).
  4. Rally people to rebuild (Nehemiah 2:17).
  5. Do not be afraid of them – those who want to do us harm (Nehemiah 4:14).
  6. Trust in the Lord. Stand up and take action (Nehemiah 4:14). 

In times of fear and uncertainty, the best thing we can do is strengthen our faith with the reminder that God is with us. 

This is especially crucial for the times in which we’re living. There is so much turmoil, anxiety, and pain. But the circumstances in our nation and world do not control our lives or determine our futures, it is God who controls everything, and the Lord is the One who fights for us. 

Therefore, we are calling on all prayers worriers throughout the world to be obedient to God’s word, to pray and trust that: “If we let God, He will guide us and He will provide!”

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Posted by: missionventureministries | July 1, 2020

BEING OBEDIENT TO GOD’S WORD – Luke 11:28

“Blessed are those who hear the word of God and keep it!” (Luke 11:28) 

Obedience involves listening attentively with a heart willing to obey God’s word. 

From Genesis to Revelation, the Bible has a lot to say about obedience. In the Ten Commandments, God gives us laws that we should obey and in Deuteronomy 11:26-28 He sums it up like this: “Obey and you will be blessed. Disobey and you will be cursed.” And in the New Testament, we learn through the example of Jesus Christ that believers are called to a life of obedience. 

Today, we are not called to obey the Law of Moses, because that has been fulfilled in Christ (Matthew 5:17). We are to obey the “law of Christ,” which is a law of love (Galatians 6:2; John 13:34). Jesus stated the two greatest commands of obedience when He said: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself” (Matthew 22:36-39). 

If we love God, we will obey Him and will have a desire to submit to the Lord, and when we love God and obey Him, we naturally have love for one another. Obedience to God’s commands will make us light and salt in a dark and tasteless world (Matthew 5:13-16). 

Obedience to God proves our love for Him (1 John 5:2-3), demonstrates our faithfulness to Him (1 John 2:3-6), glorifies Him in the world (1 Peter 2:12), and opens avenues of blessings for us (John 13:17). 

The Bible has much to say about obedience. In fact, obedience is an essential part of the Christian faith. Jesus Himself was “obedient unto death, even death on a cross” (Philippians 2:8). For Christians, the act of taking up our cross and following Christ (Matthew 16:24) means obedience. The Bible says that we show our love for Jesus by obeying Him in all things: “If you love Me, keep My commandments” (John 14:15). And when we do not obey – Jesus asks: “Why do you call me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say?” (Luke 6:46). 

When we look up the meaning of obedience it is defined as “dutiful submissive compliance to the commands of one in authority.” Using this definition, we will see the elements of biblical obedience.

  • Dutiful, means it is our obligation to obey God, just as Jesus fulfilled His duty to the Father by dying on the cross for our sin.
  • Submissive, indicates that we yield our will to God’s.
  • Commands, speaks of the Scriptures in which God has clearly delineated His instructions. And,
  • One in authority, is God Himself, whose authority is total and indisputable. 

For the Christian, obedience means complying with everything God has commanded, and we obey Him because we love Him (John 14:23) and should do so with a grateful and humble heart for what He has done for us. 

When we obey the Lord, we can live a life of joy, without shame, rooted deeply in the Lord and confident in our eternal hope. Because, “Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom” (2 Corinthians 3:17). Our obedience is actually part of our assurance that we truly know God because we keep His commandments (1 John 2:3). 

When God’s children obey their Heavenly Father, He is glorified. Jesus told us that the plan is for others to “see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven” (Matthew 5:16). Of course, to perform “good deeds” requires obedience to the One who calls us to do good deeds. 

A Christian’s testimony of holiness is a strong witness that God is at work in the world and the Bible tells us that God blesses and rewards obedience. Therefore, we are to listen to the word and do what it says (James 1:22). Because, “Blessed are all who fear the LORD, who walk in obedience to Him” (Psalm 128:1). 

We must always remember not to be like the Pharisees in Jesus’ time, which relentlessly pursued acts of obedience to the Law, but they became self-righteous, believing they deserved heaven because of what they had done. They considered themselves worthy before God, and expected Him to owe them a reward; however, the Bible tells us that, without Christ, even our best, most righteous works “are as filthy rags” (Isaiah 64:6). 

The Pharisees’ external obedience however lacked humility, honesty, sincerity and truth; and Jesus exposed their attitude of heart. Their hypocrisy in obeying the “letter of the law” while violating its spirit characterized their lives, and Jesus rebuked them sharply: “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs, which indeed appear beautiful outside, but inside they are full of dead men’s bones, and of all uncleanness. Even so you also appear righteous to men outwardly, but inside you are full of hypocrisy and iniquity” (Matthew 23:27-28). The Pharisees had an outward appearance of being obedient, but they “neglected the more important matters of the law—justice, mercy and faithfulness” (Matthew 23:23). 

We can never be prideful about how perfectly we are obeying God because He is continually asking us to move into new levels of growth. Nor can we go to the other extreme, saying “This is just the kind of person I am, undisciplined, un-changeable and un-teachable.” We have no excuse for not doing what we need to do when God says He will enable us to do it. All we need to do is to call upon Him for help. 

Therefore, we should say “Lord, help me to be disciplined enough to obey You the way You want me to, so that I can become the person You created me to be.”  God will hear our plea and will enable us to obey because, once we believe in Christ and are saved we are not the same people we once were; because, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new (2 Corinthians 5:17). 

Jesus told His followers about being obedient when He said: “He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me. And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and manifest Myself to him” (John 14:21). 

Please remember that, God “will repay each person according to what they have done.” To those who by persistence in doing good seek glory, honor and immortality, He will give eternal life. But for those who are self-seeking and who reject the truth and follow evil, there will be wrath and anger” (Romans 2:6-8). 

So which will you choose – temporal pleasures without obedience, or submission and eternal life?

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Posted by: missionventureministries | June 24, 2020

THERE ARE ACCEPTABLE AND DETESTABLE PRAYERS – Proverbs 28:9

“If anyone turns a deaf ear to my instruction, even their prayers are detestable.” (Proverbs 28:9) 

There are some prayers that God detests, strange as that may seem. In fact, our very prayers can even condemn us as Psalm 109:7 points out: “When he is tried, let him be found guilty, and may his prayers condemn him.” 

God wants us to always have an open and attentive ear towards His instruction. To have no hunger for God’s word or to turn a deaf ear to His instruction is a sign of willful spitefulness and rebellion. Pretending to speak to God from a disobedient heart will avail a person nothing because God is not going to hear or honor the one who neglects His word. 

When a person who deliberately turns “a deaf ear to His instruction”, and prefers to do thing his own way his prayer becomes worthless. God hates such prayers and those who pray them should not be surprised when He does not give them their request. Isaiah 59:1-2 says: “Surely the arm of the Lord is not too short to save, nor His ear too dull to hear. But your iniquities have separated you from your God; your sins have hidden His face from you, so that He will not hear.” 

The Bible states that, “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves” (1 John 1:8). Therefore, the obvious remedy is to ask the Lord, through His Word, to “see if there be any wicked way in me” (Psalm 139:24), and then to confess and forsake any sin that we are aware of, or that is revealed to us. Because: “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9). 

Then, having been cleansed from our unrighteousness, we are again made righteous, not only through Christ’s imputed righteousness, but also in righteous, daily living. It is only then that the promises of answered prayer can again become wholly effective, for “the effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much” (James 5:16). 

It is vital to know and obey the Word of God, and to recognize how dangerous it is to turn our ears away from it. For God will not be mocked for long! “Because, the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous and His ears are attentive to their prayer, but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil” (1 Peter 3:12). 

God wants us to pray. He has created prayer as a means by which we can enjoy Him (Revelation 3:20), confess our sin (1 John 1:9), ask Him to meet our needs (Psalm 50:15), and align our wills with His (Jeremiah 29:11-12; Luke 22:42). 

One kind of prayer is guaranteed to be granted ‘God, have mercy on me, a sinner,’ found in Luke 18:13-14, which describes the prayer of repentance. When we call upon the Lord in humble repentance, He is eager to justify and forgive us. 

On the other hand, when we choose to hold on to sin, rather than repent and change, God will not hear our prayers. “If anyone turns a deaf ear to my instruction, even their prayers are detestable” (Proverbs 28:9). For instance, you cannot be doing something that goes against God’s will, like living together in sexual sin, yet pray for God’s blessing on your union. 

Another way that God will not hear is when we ask according to our own selfish desires. “When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures” (James 4:3). 

When we pray we need to remember to ask with faith, trusting that He hears us and will grant every request that is in line with His will for us (Mark 11:24; 1 John 5:14–15). 

It is very important that we understand that God is holy and desires us to be holy as He is (Leviticus 22:32; 1 Peter 1:16). When He sees that we are seeking that holiness as well, He is delighted to answer our prayers in ways that continue our spiritual growth. Jesus said, “If you remain in Me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you” (John 15:7). 

The secret to prayer is abiding in Christ so that whatever we ask is in accordance with His will. “Take delight in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart” (Psalm 37:4). 

If you are a new believer or one that has know the Lord for many years the best way to pray to God is using His Word. There are many prayers in the Bible; here are some examples that you might want to use in your prayer time so that you can grow in passion, faith and obedience. 

2 Timothy 2:15 – Fill me with the desire to do my very best to present myself to You Lord as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed. Grant me understanding and discernment to rightly read and share Your Word. 

2 Thessalonians 3:3-5 – Because You Lord are faithful, I pray you strengthen me and guard me from the evil one and cause me to be confident in You so I will continue to do the things You command. May You lead my mind into a full understanding and expression of Your love and the patient endurance that comes from Jesus Christ. 

Philippians 1:9-11 – I pray that Your love will overflow more and more, and that I will keep on growing in knowledge and discernment. May I understand what really matters, so I may live a pure and blameless life. Cause me to be filled with the fruit of Your salvation, may Your righteousness be seen in my life as I walk with Jesus to bring You glory and honor. 

Psalm 139:23-24Search me, O God and know my heart, try me and know my thoughts and see if there be any wicked way in me, then lead me to You in repentance and in Your way everlasting. 

2 Corinthians 5:17-19 – Help me to see the new creation You are making me to be. Thank you that I am reconciled to You Lord and may I take the ministry of reconciliation to those around me. May I be worthy of this task You have given me. 

Ephesians 5:2 – Help me to be an imitator of Jesus in all my thoughts, words and deeds. 

Galatians 2:20 – Cause this verse to be true of my life, my desires and my attitudes: “I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.” 

Philippians 2:3 – Let me do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than me. May You Lord be seen in me in all my ways. 

And as you pray for the lost you can use these verses: 

Romans 10:9-10 – Father please bring (name of person) to the place where (he or she) can confess that Jesus is Lord and believe in their heart that You raised Him from the dead. Bring (name of person) to salvation, Your peace and love. 

Acts 4:12 – Grant (name of person) the knowledge and belief that salvation is found in no one other than Jesus, for no one can come to You Father, except through Jesus Christ. As Jesus said: “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me” (John 14:6). 

And finally always remember, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6-7).

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Posted by: missionventureministries | June 17, 2020

ROCK AND ROLL – THE GREAT EVIL IN THE CHURCH TODAY – 2 Corinthians 6:14-17

This week, we have came across articles about rock and roll music in the church and feel the urgency to share the danger it presents, with the pastors and lay people that follow our blog. The contents of this writing describe the deceit and evil of entertainment vs. honest, humble worship in the Church. 

The great evil in the church today is that they think they are in the entertainment business. 

A.W. Tozer believed this already to be true back in the 1950s and 60s. Church members “want to be entertained while they are being edified,” he said this in 1962. Tozer grieved, that it was “hardly possible in most churches to get anyone to attend a meeting where the only attraction was God.” 

More recently, David Platt has asked: “What if we take away the rock music and the comfortable chairs? What if the screens are gone and the stage is no longer decorated? What if the air conditioning is off and the comforts are removed? Would His Word and worshiping Christ still be enough for His people to come together?” 

Would it be enough? 

Tozer got it right: “Deceitful methods and false music is as deadly as deceitful messages.” 

HOLY LIVING AND HOLY WORSHIP VERSUS SUPERFICIAL, FALSE WORSHIP

Like Tozer, we should be concerned that so many people in our churches want to be entertained while they worship another god. We should be concerned when people no longer recognize the difference between the holiness and worldliness. And we should be alarmed by the growing belief that adding more entertainment to worship is necessary for the church to accomplish its mission. 

We are saddened when we see the so-called cults characterized more by props, performances, with disco atmospheres than by divine sacredness that shows humble, holy respect for God. These people are controlled by phony worship, and influenced emotionally by demons who are from hell and controlled by Satan-inspired deceivers. 

Please understand that this is not about worship styles. The issue is not traditional versus contemporary worship. It’s not about organ versus worship band. That kind of discussion misses the point completely. What we are talking about is the focus and intention of worship that comes from the heart. The real issues are these: 

  1. Who or what is the spotlight really on? 

If the center of attention focuses more on the human performance than on the gospel of Christ, it is not worship. If anyone other than Jesus is receiving our adoration, it is not our Creator that people are worshiping. 

Many churches have started dancing where their whole congregation turns what should be a humble worship service into a disco club performance. 

These dancers pretend to be more spiritual with their show, than the honest, humble people who want to worship God in the beauty of His Holiness. 

In their pride, these people try to make their dance and gymnastic moves look super spiritual by calling it “Davidic dancing” or “dancing before the Lord.” Some call it Messianic dancing, this title is deceitful and brings great dishonor to our wonderful Creator and Savior. Remember, the Messiah condemned all proud, deceitful religious shows and show offs. 

Many people condemn us for bringing this to their attention, they say that times have changed and that we are legalistic, when there is no where in the Bible where dancing is preformed in either the Temple, in the Synagogue or in the New Testament church. 

  1. So what message are we communicating? 

The message that the world needs to hear from the church is NOT, “Come and have a good time,” “Come and be entertained,” or “Come and find your best life now.” 

Tozer said: “Christ calls men to carry a cross; however, today the church draws people to come and have fun in His name.” 

The message of the church is the message of the cross. Lest we forget, Jesus’ cross was a source of entertainment only for those who mocked Him as He hung on it. 

Worshiping our Creator God is not about being entertained and getting euphoric. Worship is laying down our lives, honoring the God who died for us, and receiving His grace. 

  1. Are lives really transformed? 

Some will say, “But our methods are attracting and winning people!”  

Tozer responded to that comment by asking: “Attracting and winning them to what? To true discipleship? To carrying their own cross? To self-denial? To separation from the world? To crucifixion of the flesh? To holy living? To nobility of character? To a despising of the world’s treasures? To self-discipline? To love for God? To total committal to Christ?” 

THE WORD DOES THE WORK  

David Platt and the church he leads, at McLean Bible Church, decided to try to answer the question, “Is His Word still sufficient for His people to come together?” They eliminated all entertainment and invited people to come simply to study God’s Word and called it Secret Church. They set a date—on a Friday night—when they would gather from 6:00 in the evening until midnight, and for six hours they would do nothing but study God’s Word and pray. People came; a thousand people came the first time and the church grew from then on. Soon, they had to start taking reservations because the church was packed full. Secret Church now draws tens of thousands of people via simulcast in over 50 countries around the world—with no entertainment, or any other distractions. 

Why do they come? Platt explained in an interview: “People are hungry for the Word. There’s really nothing special or creative about it. It’s just the study of the Word …. The Word itself does the work!” 

People are hungry for a diet that has substance. They want more of the Word; and to delve deeper into its content; and they don’t want what Tozer called “religious nonsense and unimportant matters.” 

JUDGMENT IS COMING ON RELIGIOUS ROCK AND ROLL

This is a warning to anyone involved with Satan’s inspired religious rock and roll, which is an abomination to God. By listening to “religious rock and roll” you are harming not only yourself but God’s children as well, who are ignorant to the truth behind this music. 

Therefore, we need to be aware of the Lord Jesus’ warnings: “But whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to sin, it would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were drowned in the depth of the sea” (Matthew 18:6). 

If you truly love the Lord Jesus and have the Holy Spirit living in you, you will forsake this evil music. If not God will judge those who are rebellious, because He has always judged sin and rebellion in the past, and He is going to do it again; do you want God’s judgment in your life? 

The Bible warns: “Now upon you I will soon pour out My fury, and spend My anger upon you; I will judge you according to your ways, and I will repay you for all your abominations. ‘My eye will not spare, nor will I have pity; I will repay you according to your ways, and your abominations will be in your midst. Then you shall know that I am the Lord who strikes” (Ezekiel 7:8-9). 

“But when a righteous man turns away from his righteousness and commits iniquity, and does according to all the abominations that the wicked man does, shall he live? All the righteousness which he has done shall not be remembered; because of the unfaithfulness of which he is guilty and the sin which he has committed, because of them he shall die” (Ezekiel 18:24). 

“Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; who put darkness for light, and light for darkness; who put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!” (Isaiah 5:20). 

“Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God” (James 4:4). 

As we read these verses, we notice that it’s our choice to obey or rebel. 

A WARNING TO PASTORS

 “And He (Jesus) said to them, “It is written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer,’ but you have made it a ‘den of thieves’” (Matthew 21:13). 

This verse has real meaning today in light of “religious rock music”. God’s temple was not intended to become a den of thieves. This verse says: “but you have made it “, referring to the fact that it was the religious leaders that allowed the temple to go from a house of prayer to a den of thieves. 

Church leaders and pastors have an awesome responsibility and they will give an account as to how they pastored the church under their care. If the pastor allows foolishness and evil to come in, it will affect God’s people in a negative way by causing a love for the world and carnality. 

So if you are not familiar with this passage read it carefully. This I what God said to Ezekiel: “I have made you a watchman for the house of Israel; therefore you shall hear a word from My mouth and warn them for Me. When I say to the wicked, ‘O wicked man, you shall surely die!’ and you do not speak to warn the wicked from his way, that wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood I will require at your hand. Nevertheless if you warn the wicked to turn from his way, and he does not turn from his way, he shall die in his iniquity; but you have delivered your soul” (Ezekiel 33:7-9). 

If pastors keep out evil and concentrate on building up God’s people with the Word of God, the church will grow and mature. “Therefore take heed to yourselves and to all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood” (Acts 20:28). 

The tragedy of the religious rock craze is that this demonic music would never have made it into the churches if pastors and church leaders had obeyed God and closed the door to this evil. 

Pastors, when you indulge in ungodly entertainment and compromised living then demonstrate your “freedom” by speaking about it from the pulpit, referencing the latest unclean movie in your “oh-so-cool sermons”; you are causing damage on those whom Jesus has cleansed, encouraging them to follow in your footsteps and going even further. Remember the verse we have already used. “But whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to sin, it would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were drowned in the depth of the sea” (Matthew 18:6). 

For those pastors and church leaders that take their job lightly and are not committed to building up and protecting God’s church should repent and remember that “we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad” (2 Corinthians 5:10). And if you do not repent you will have to appear before the Great White Throne Judgment and you will be cast into the Lake of Fire forever. 

To the sheep who are being misled, we urge you in the fear of the Lord; run for your lives and get into a church where the Word of God is being taught and true worship exists. Study and get familiar with the Word, and don’t let yourself be deceived by every doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting (Ephesians 4:14). 

It is the pastor’s duty to review what kind of music is allowed in a God fearing church. Therefore we say to godly leaders, be strong and be faithful. 

HERE ARE SOME DANGEROUS WAYS OF THINKING

ARGUMENT #1 – Christian rock can’t be wrong. Look at all the people who get the message during these religious rock and roll concerts. Look at how popular God has made these bands. 

ANSWER: So-called results do not mean God is behind it. The Lord Jesus said, “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves” (Matthew 7:15). 

And He continues “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’” (Matthew 7:21-23) 

The Lord Jesus also said that many will be deceived by false prophets and false christs. “Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many. And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold…..for false christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect” (Matthew 24:11-12, 24). 

ARGUMENT #2 – We have to use Rock Music because this is the only way the youth of this generation can be reached. 

ANSWER – We are told by the religious rockers that we must look and sound like the world in order to reach the youth of this generation. They say, many young people will not listen to the gospel or come to church so we must meet them on some common ground. That common ground is rock and roll. In other words, they are saying that preaching from the Word of God is no longer sufficient for both young and old. 

If this is true, then we should open bars in order to reach the multitudes of drinkers. We should open porno-shops in order to reach those who engage in this abomination. Shouldn’t we go to their level so we can bring them to the Lord Jesus Christ? So, what does it matter if we do wrong, if the end result is good? What does a slight deviation from God’s standards of holiness matter if it results in the salvation of souls? 

This type of reasoning is one of the doctrines of demons that Christians are accepting. Does it not make sense that the Bible that has worked successfully throughout the centuries, will continue to work for both the young and the old? How many Christians that love God’s people would be courageous to say, “Enough, no more! Throw this satanic filth out of the church and back into hell where it belongs?” 

Do you understand that just a few years ago this evil music would not have even remotely been considered as a suitable method to sing and praise God? That type of music would have been immediately thrown out of the churches. What we are witnessing today is the spiritual and moral degeneration that is affecting Christians to the degree that many no longer have any discernment between good and evil. 

In case you did not know, the term “rock and roll” means fornication. It is a street name for sexual immorality. It has wrecked the lives of many teenagers through suicide, drug abuse, immorality, perversion, Satanism, etc. 

Sadly, we live in a time where many Christians and church leaders are allowing this demonic music into their churches, claiming that the music is holy and sanctified because the lyrics are changed to include some ‘religious’ words. Where is the discernment in the church? Are Christians losing their ability to discern the difference between good and evil? The fact that this demonic music even made it into the church is proof of the moral and spiritual decline affecting the church today. 

The Bible tells us: “Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness? And what accord has Christ with Belial? Or what part has a believer with an unbeliever? And what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For you are the temple of the living God . . . Therefore “come out from among them and be separate, says the Lord. Do not touch what is unclean, and I will receive you” (2 Corinthians 6:14-17). 

Most importantly, the Word of God does not say we are to go out and acquire the evil ways of the world but on the contrary, we are commanded to come out and separate ourselves from evil. 

WARNING TO EVERYONE

Today we have “churches” playing: Christian Rock, Christian New Wave, Christian Heavy Metal, Christian Punk and Christian Rap to name a few. What are they going to come up with next?  

Please become aware that “Christian Rock” or any variety thereof is destructive to the Church as it leads God’s people into sensuality and to compromise God’s Word. If you sincerely love the Lord Jesus Christ and you are involved with this kind of music, then obey the Lord and forsake it, unless you are a part of those who “profess to know God, but in works deny Him, being abominable, disobedient, and disqualified for every good work” (Titus 1:16). 

Our mission is to bring God glory and honor through our words, actions, and our commitment to serving others and to making disciples. As Jesus said: “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’  This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself’” (Matthew 22:37-39). 

The kind of worship that God desires happens outside of the walls of a church that employs a rock and roll performance. True worship it is about obedience, discipleship and expressing our admiration for God’s holiness that brings Him honor and glory every day of our life. 

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Posted by: missionventureministries | June 10, 2020

HOW TO INTERACT WITH DIFFICULT PEOPLE – Romans 12:18

When Jesus Christ lived as a human on earth, He had to deal with many difficult people. But Christ dealt with these difficult people in the right way. His examples, along with other instructions in God’s Word, teach us how to handle those who cause strife. 

As Christians we should follow Jesus’ example and try to get along with people around us. Romans 12:18 tells us, “If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.” This verse does not say it will always be possible, but we should at least try. 

God wants us to be peacemakers. By striving toward peace and not conflict, we can handle difficult people. Even difficult people like to be treated well, and that’s why treating them with the respect as we want to be treated, helps towards making peace. And learning more about God’s commandments will help us with our relationships with all kinds of people. 

No matter where we are in life, chances are we have regular contact with difficult people. They could be customers, co-workers, our boss, neighbors, acquaintances, church members, or even strangers. No matter who they are, when someone in our life becomes hyper-critical or spiteful or surly, we should take time to pray and ask God to help us in the given situation. 

We read in the Bible that Jesus told us to love our enemies and pray for those who persecute us, but by being human that can be tough some times. As some said, “How can I demonstrate love to someone who is sending my blood pressure through the roof? Fortunately, when we study the Bible it will give us practical instructions on how to achieve something that at times seems impossible. 

 Here are a few principles, taken from the New Testament, for dealing with difficult people: 

  • James 3:1-12 teaches us how to tame our tongue, because words that explode from our mouth in moments of anger or frustration are rarely helpful. Instead, they generally do great damage. Therefore, we need to take a deep breath, get control, and take time out for a few minutes to cool off and ask the Lord for help. Keep in mind, that the same tongue that speaks words of division can also speak words of reconciliation. Instead of allowing our tongue to speak in a way that we will regret, we need to use it to transform the moment into something that will honor the Lord. 
  • In the book of Philippians, Paul gave a glimpse into some dysfunction inside of the early church. Apparently, a group of Christian teachers did not like Paul, and they used his imprisonment as an opportunity to simultaneously slander his reputation and advance their ministry. Paul was obviously not happy to see this, but he kept his eyes on something bigger. While these preachers criticized Paul, they continued to preach the Gospel. In light of that, Paul wrote, “The important thing is that in every way, whether from false motives or true, Christ is preached. And because of this I rejoice” (Philippians 1:15-18). 
  • Matthew 5:43-48 tells us to love your enemies; and in order to really focus on loving others, we have to constantly be aware of how much Jesus loves us by how He laid His life down for us on the cross. When we understand and are thankful for what He did for us, we can express the love needed to plant the seed of peace and harmony into a difficult person’s heart. 
  • We need to watch out for pride and instead imitate Christ’s humility. If we think about it, we are the only ones that can control conflict with others. We cannot control others but we can control our attitude. That is why Paul writes to the Philippian church, suggesting that the key to unity is humility. “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus” (Philippians 2:3-5). 
  • God calls us to be channels of grace, mercy, forgiveness, and reconciliation. When we understand what Christ did for us, we should do the same for others. As Jesus shows compassion for us, we must show the same to others. He grants us mercy, forgiveness and reconciliation. Should we not do the same? As Paul said to the Philippians, “Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from His love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind” (Philippians 2:1-2). 

In Romans 5:8-10, Paul reminded the Romans that while they were enemies of God, Christ died for them. He loved His enemies. He prayed for those who persecuted Him. He demonstrated restraint and mercy, and in doing so, gave us an example to follow as we deal with those difficult people in our own life. 

We need to be patient and kind, remembering that God alone is the one who changes hearts. 

Paul gave Timothy a wonderful teaching which we should also follow: the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful. Opponents must be gently instructed, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth, and that they will come to their senses and escape from the trap of the devil, who has taken them captive to do his will” (2 Timothy 2:24-26). 

If we are willing to surrender our right to be angry and our right to be “right”, we can diffuse any difficult situation . . . and with faith and obedience we can transform it for good. 

We should never treat someone in a way we would not want to be treated. Just because someone mistreats us, we have no right to mistreat them. God says vengeance is Mine (Romans 12:19), because He alone can carry out righteous justice. In fact, when we overcome evil with good, it makes a positive impression on those who mistreat us! 

Remember, we can’t change people; only God can. What we can do, by God’s grace, is cultivate a kind and gentle heart that is ready to listen, able to teach, quick to forgive, and prepared to direct difficult people to the Savior.

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Posted by: missionventureministries | June 3, 2020

SEEK THE LORD WHILE HE MAY BE FOUND – Isaiah 55:6-7

Seek the Lord while He may be found, call upon Him while He is near. Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; let him return to the Lord, and He will have mercy on him; and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon. (Isaiah 55:6-7) 

Our heavenly Father cares for us and loves us. He wants us to seek Him and draw near to Him with confidence and faith.

Not seeking and failing to call upon the Lord while He is near, means we miss the opportunity to get to know our awesome God and miss out on the blessings He promises. The writer of Hebrews tells us that, without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him, (11:6). 

Isaiah impresses the need for repentance among God’s people. Repentance is turning around from doing things our own rebellious way, and turning to God to do it His way. It clearly means forsaking our own manner, because the Lord’s restoration work is through repentance.  

We need to understand that the battleground for a righteous walk with the Lord is often found in our minds and in our thoughts. Just as Paul wrote: “for the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:4-5). 

Paul also stated that we are not to be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God (Romans 12:2). 

When anyone turns to the Lord and forsakes their sinful way and thoughts, the Lord will have mercy on them and will pardon then. Peter writes: “The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9). 

If you are being drawn to seeking God that is the work of the Holy Spirit because as Scripture tells us: “And when He has come, He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: of sin, because they do not believe in Me” (John 16:8-9). 

To become a God fearing person takes more than external behaviors; it is the continual seeking after God’s heart (Isaiah 55:6-7). To seek and become a godly person refers to having an inward devotion for God that is outwardly displayed. So a godly person is one who has received Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross as payment for His own sin and has accepted the righteousness purchased for him (2 Corinthians 5:21). 

With God’s Spirit inside their being (1 Corinthians 6:19-20), the seeking person is able to understand the deep things of the Spirit (1 Corinthians 2:9-10). They begin to see life differently. Life is no longer about pleasing themselves but about pleasing the Lord (Hebrews 12:28). They realize that they will still stumble as they strive toward holiness (James 3:2), but their goal is to be holy as the Lord is holy (1 Peter 1:16). 

Those who are seeking learn early that their fleshly attempts at holiness only result in pride and failure. They learn that as they surrender their will to the Holy Spirit and rely upon Him for strength to overcome temptation, they can withstand more temptation and accomplish greater eternal goals than they ever thought possible (Philippians 4:13). 

Those seeking the Lord rely on the power of the Holy Spirit to help them say “no” to the flesh and “yes” to the Spirit (1 Corinthians 10:13; Galatians 5:16). And as the person regularly opposes sin, they find that their spirit grows stronger and temptation becomes easier to resist (Hebrews 10:23).

If you want to establish a personal relationship with Jesus Christ you must invite Him into your heart as your personal Savior. As Christ comes into your life your faith grows; and as you repent and ask Him to forgive and cleanse you, He will. And as you submit to Him and ask Him to take total control of your life, He will do it if you allow Him.

And finally when Christ lives in our heart, He expects us to willingly let Him reign, recognizing that Jesus Christ is Lord of all.

If you have not already done so, we invite you to receive the Lord Jesus Christ into your life. Let Him be your Savior and cleanse you of your sins. Give Him control of your days while you are still able to do so. Remember that once your life ends, you have sealed your fate; therefore, seek the Lord while He may be found.

If you are ready to turn you life over to God you can talk to the Lord and sincerely tell Him: “Dear Lord, I know that I am a sinner. I accept the fact that Christ died upon the cross to save me. I now open my heart’s door and receive you as my personal Savior. Please forgive me of all my sin. I also receive you as my Lord and willingly give you full control of my life. Thank you for helping me to be the kind of person you want me to be. Guide and direct me from this day forth so that I will serve you faithfully in everything I say, think and do.”

Always remember to seek God with all of your heart, your soul, and your mind!  Put God first in everything and in everything give Him thanks and praise.  Keep your mind on the things of heaven, not on carnal pleasures and lusts; because the Lord is faithful and righteous, never-changing, always the same; loving, kind, merciful, forgiving, and true.

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“This is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.” (John 17:3) 

In order to truly know God, we must first receive Him into our life as our Lord and Savior. Because, “as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name” (John 1:12). 

There is nothing of greater importance than understanding this truth when it comes to knowing God. Jesus makes it clear that He alone is the way to heaven and to a personal knowledge of God: “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but through Me” (John 14:6). 

As we see, Scriptures was given to us by God so we could know Him; and in order to know Him and be transformed we must read the Word and apply what it says to our lives. 

Every born again believer should have the desire to read Scripture and learn from it. We need to learn to meditate on God’s Word, and not just read the words written there in. 

It is vital that we do not twist God’s Word and commands to try to make a rebellious spirit and sinful lifestyle conform to our desire to receive approval for sin in our life. 

Meditation is the process by which we learn to focus and listen to the Lord through His Word; applying the learned biblical principles to our life, and then watching God work. 

When we do not comprehend, we must ask God to reveal to us what we are reading and clarify for us through His Holy Spirit what we do not understand. 

The Lord has divinely preserved His Word throughout history so that every generation can read, hear, and apply it. However we must understand that faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God (Romans 10:17). 

God’s Word gives us wisdom, insight, understanding, and protection from sin and every false direction we might take if we don’t consult with Him first. It is a lamp to our feet and a light to our path to guide us through life (Psalm 119:105). 

Whatever we choose to put into our mind influences our behavior, and that is exactly what the Scripture will do if we tune our hearts toward it rather than the world. 

When a person trusts Jesus Christ as their Savior, the Holy Spirit comes to indwell and seal us as children of God, empower us to live righteously, and teach us to believe and understand His Word. As we meditate on Scripture, the Holy Spirit applies its truths to our lives according to our needs, giving us the right perspective and direction for every circumstance we face. 

People without Christ lack God’s guidance and are like a person drifting in the ocean without a compass or map. However, as believers we have access to divine direction for life, because, in meditation we think about what God has said and plead as David did: “Teach me Your way, Lord, that I may rely on Your faithfulness; give me an undivided heart, that I may fear Your name” (Psalm 86:11). 

Meditation requires time alone with the Lord in His Word and prayer without external distractions; and as we quietly seek to understand the Word, God brings truths and insights to mind that we need to consider before making any decision. 

Jesus is our greatest example. After feeding a multitude of over 5,000, He sent the crowds away, and made His disciples go ahead of Him across the sea, and went up on the mountain by Himself to pray for an extended time as we read in Matthew 14:21-23. 

On another occasion, He rose early in the morning to find a place of solitude in which to pray (Mark 1:35). If the Son of God needed time alone with His Father, we certain do as well. 

When we are troubled we should be wise by taking time to seek the Lord; because, God’s Word calms our hearts, assuring us of His faithfulness, love and sovereignty over our lives. In the process of speaking to us thru His Word, He gives us a sense of peace, confidence and trust. 

When we are weak, we find strength in God’s Word if we let Him guide us instead of the world, because, He knows exactly what we need and will provide it according to the riches of His glory in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:19). 

Meditation on Scripture reveals aspects of His nature that we may not have seen before. His love in saving sinners, His capacity to forgive those who don’t deserve it, and His care and interest in every detail of our life assure us that He is trustworthy and good. And as our view of the Lord is enlarged, we will realize how dependent we become of Him and how much we need to humble ourselves before Him rather than walk in pride. And our trust in God grows as we learn of His faithfulness and experience it in our life through answered prayer. 

When you read the Bible, do you take time to think about what it says and how God wants you to apply it to your life? If not, why not start now by turning to God’s Word, because “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:16-17). 

One of the first things Jesus instructed believers after His resurrection was, “As the Father has sent Me, I also send you” (John 20:21). Christ commissioned us to continue His work here on earth, to encourage people to read His Word and to teach about His atoning death and how to have a relationship with the Father. 

Remember that as long as there are unbelievers, we face the unfinished task of leading them to Christ. We are salt and light on this earth (Matthew 5:13-14), intended to bring God’s flavor and to serve as a shining light to a darkened world. Not only must we read and understand God’s Word, we must apply it obediently and remain faithful (Hebrews 12:1-3). Jesus Himself placed the greatest importance on loving God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself’ (Matthew 22:37-39). This command is impossible to keep without the commitment to reading and applying His truth revealed in His Word.

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Posted by: missionventureministries | May 21, 2020

DEVELOPING AN ATTITUDE OF GRATITUDE – 1 Thessalonians 5:18

…in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. (1 Thessalonians 5:18) 

While life has many challenges, we must not allow persistent and dominant fear and anxiety to destroy our peace of mind; because we can find God’s peace in face of the storms of life. Instead of being overwhelmed with worries, we can receive God’s peace each day. Then we can truly say that the joy of the Lord is our strength! (Nehemiah 8:10). 

As we identify the factors that cause us to be anxious, we must change the way we respond to these stressors. Instead of being overwhelmed we can pray and meditate maintaining a strong relationship with God by starting each day with an attitude of thankfulness. 

There are many things we can be thankful for, and the greatest is God’s love that He grants us every single day. And by having this kind of grateful attitude we experience a more satisfying life. 

Here are some steps we can take to cultivate this attitude of thankfulness. 

  • Spend time each day in thanking and praising God for His goodness.
  • Remind yourself of past blessings and how they have enriched your life.
  • Recognize the things that God has entrusted you with and express appreciation for them.
  • Connect with people who love Christ and have a positive outlook on life.
  • Express thanks to someone each day, text them a short note to bless their day.
  • Try to help others, through volunteer work. This gives us a sense of satisfaction and well-being when we touch the lives of others. 

Get familiarized with God’s Word and help others during difficult times. Here are some Scriptures that we need to be familiar with and should memorize: 

  • Cast all my cares, worries, and anxieties on God because He cares for me (1 Peter 5:7)
  • When I am afraid, I will put my trust in You. (Psalm 56:3)
  • Be strong and courageous! Do not tremble or be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go. (Joshua 1:9)
  • Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. (Philippians 4:6).
  • Do not let your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me. (John 14:1)
  • The Lord is the one who goes ahead of you; He will be with you. He will not fail you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed. (Deuteronomy 31:8)
  • I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. (Philippians 4:13)
  • The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the defense of my life; whom shall I dread? (Psalm 27:1)
  • My God’s grace is sufficient for me, and His power is made perfect in my weakness. (2 Corinthians 12:9) 

We have to trust God at His Word, and when we do we replace fear and anxiety with faith. The Bible tells us that God’s “perfect love drives out fear” (1 John 4:18). We have to make the choice to believe in God’s Word instead of the situation we are facing; because, believing and standing on God’s Word should be our way of life.

Here are some steps to take to increase our faith.

  • Spend a designated time each day in prayer and meditation on God’s Word to build your faith.
  • Practice the presence of God throughout the day, and talk to Him and seek His counsel because He is your best friend.
  • Spend time thanking and praising God for His goodness even during difficult situations; because, God is well able to meet all our needs.
  • Share with other believers, in an atmosphere of mutual support and encouragement, and our faith will be built up.

No matter what circumstances come into our life, we can always count on God to be with us. Circumstances change, but God’s presence is constant. Psalm 139:7 asks, “Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence?” and then describes how God is with people anywhere they could ever go. 

Therefore, we must always remember that if we obey Him our greatest reason to be grateful is that God is always with us! 

The more we develop an attitude of contentment, the less changing circumstances will affect our emotional stability. Learning to be content – no matter what’s happening in our life – helps us learn to be grateful in any situation because we are acknowledging that God will accomplish good purposes even through the bad circumstances in our life. Just like the apostle Paul wrote: “…I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am.” (Philippians 4:11). 

In other words, no matter what is happening in our life, we can be thankful. The Bible gives us a long list of things we should be thankful for; here are some of them: 

  • That God is good (1 Chronicles 16:34)
  • That His love lasts forever (Psalm 106:1)
  • For God’s amazing grace (Hebrews 4:16)
  • For the wonderful things God does (Psalm 107:8)
  • Because God answers prayers (Psalm 118:21)
  • Because God gives us wisdom and reveals His truth to us (Daniel 2:22-23)
  • For other believers (Philippians 1:3) 

Please remember that thankfulness and trust are bound together. If we are trusting God, we are thankful. If we are not thankful, then we are not trusting God. Therefore, we need to develop a habit of trusting God, especially in trials, and to thank Him for the opportunity to see Him work in our time of need. For that reason we are to, “Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” (1 Thessalonians 5:18)

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Posted by: missionventureministries | May 14, 2020

WILL YOU BE ASHAMED BEFORE HIM AT HIS COMING? – 1 John 2:28

And now, little children, abide in Him, that when He appears, we may have confidence and not be ashamed before Him at His coming. If you know that He is righteous, you know that everyone who practices righteousness is born of Him. (1 John 2:28) 

Abiding means that we have come to know Jesus through faith in His word (Romans 10:17), and as we trust and obey our Lord and Savior we need not be afraid or ashamed when He returns; because, we have confidence at His coming. 

Many however, will be afraid when Jesus returns, because they have never known Him. And among those who know Him, many will be ashamed when He appears and will become aware that they were living a worldly, unfruitful and undisciplined life and did not abide in Him as they should have and could have. 

There are many that have worked for Christ out of selfish, prideful motives, and if they are truly born again they will be saved, but fire will test the quality of each person’s work. This is what Paul told the Corinthian church, “If anyone builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw, their work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each person’s work.  If what has been built survives, the builder will receive a reward. If it is burned up, the builder will suffer loss but yet will be saved—even though only as one escaping through the flames” (1 Corinthians 3:12-15). 

Verse 15 speaks of those who are “barely saved,” they are the ones who will suffer loss and will be ashamed at His coming. 

The key scriptural prescription for preparing for His coming is to, ‘abide in Him;’ following His example, studying His word and remembering that “Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust” (Psalm 91:1-2). The clear teaching is that for believers to appropriate any of God’s promises they must live in unbroken fellowship with God, never acting in self-will but doing only what God directs in His word. They must be totally yielded to the authority of Jesus. 

When we abide in Him, we are ready for Jesus to come at any time. Because everyone who practices righteousness is born of Him (1 John 2:29); and born again means that we have changed our lives from a tendency to sin to a determination to righteousness. We need to understand however, that while we will not achieve perfect righteousness until we are glorified with Jesus; we can practice righteousness right now, as born again Christians. 

Living righteously is a lifelong process of growth in obedience to God’s Word. It does not happen instantly or without setbacks and struggles. But if we are born again, we will be learning to evaluate every thought, motive, and attitude by God’s Word. The fruit of the Holy Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23) will be growing and molding our character; and we will be disciplining ourselves for the purpose of godliness (1 Timothy 4:7). Of course, all of this is done in dependence on the Holy Spirit, but we must be actively involved in the process by walking by the Spirit, and not gratifying the desires of the flesh (Galatians 5:16). 

Believers are commanded to abide in Him. When we trust in Jesus Christ as our Savior and Lord, God blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. Paul uses this phrase often to describe our permanent position of identification with Christ and all of the blessings that He bestows on us by His grace (Ephesians 1:3). 

The position of being in Christ comes to us through the new birth, when we are born into God’s family. If you wonder how you can know if you’ve been born again, look for signs of new life. Have you truly trusted in Jesus Christ alone for salvation? Have you repented and are you continuing to repent when you sin? Do you love God and the things of God? Is Jesus the center of your attention? These and many more are signs that you have been born again; and if you have been born again, you are in Christ because, the one who says he abides in Him ought himself to walk in the same manner as He walked (1 John 2:6). 

Please keep in mind that when a person has truly been born again the intense desire of his or her life is to live a holy life that pleases God and honors our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. 

So, are you ready for the most amazing event in world history; the return of Jesus Christ? Are you abiding in Him? The answer to that question depends on whether you are saved or not. 

If you have not accepted Jesus as your Lord and Savior why not do it right now? Talk to the Lord and tell Him that you want to be His child that you do not want to be ashamed when He returns. Confess all known sin to Him. Repent and accept His gracious forgiveness; and as you do, you will grow in confidence as you anticipate His coming. 

1 John 5:13 tells us, “I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life.” God wants us to understand salvation. God wants us to have the confidence of knowing for sure that we are saved. So let us go over the key points of salvation:

(a) We have all sinned. We have all done things that are displeasing to God (Romans 3:23).

(b) Because of our sin, we deserve to be punished with eternal separation from God (Romans 6:23).

(c) Jesus died on the cross to pay the penalty for our sins (Romans 5:8; 2 Corinthians 5:21). Jesus died in our place, taking the punishment that we deserved. His resurrection proved that Jesus’ death was sufficient to pay for our sins.

(d) God grants forgiveness and salvation to all those who place their faith in Jesus – trusting His death as the payment for our sins (John 3:16; Romans 5:1; Romans 8:1).

That is the message of salvation! If you have truly placed your faith in Jesus Christ as your Savior, you are saved! All of your sins are forgiven, and God promises to never leave you or forsake you (Romans 8:38-39; Matthew 28:20). Remember, your salvation is secure in Jesus Christ (John 10:28-29). If you are trusting in Jesus as your Savior, you can have confidence that you will spend eternity with God in heaven! 

Remember, the key is that if you are truly born again, your life will be transformed by the Holy Spirit who will dwell in you and your deepest desire will be to please God and live a life that honors Him.

Jesus assured His disciples a few days before being crucified: “Do not let your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you. If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also” (John 14:1-3). 

And forty days after Jesus’ resurrection the disciples watched the risen Christ ascend bodily into heaven; and while they were watching two angels appeared to them and said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will so come in like manner as you saw Him go into heaven” (Acts 1:11); assuring them once more that Jesus will return. 

Jesus is coming again for those who are His. Are you ready for Jesus’ soon return for His saints? We are. Maranatha! Even so, come, Lord Jesus! The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen. (Revelation 22:20-21)

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“But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only.” (Matthew 24:36) 

With the global corona virus pandemic that has led to governments enacting strict shutdowns across the world, Christians are naturally wondering whether this could be a precursor to the events the apostle John writes about in the Bible’s final book of Revelation, which details a global governance led by a leader called Antichrist, the worldwide tribulation, and the long expected return of Jesus Christ with His raptured saints (Revelation 19:14). 

Jesus said, “Watch therefore, for you do not know what hour your Lord is coming.… for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect” (Matthew 24:42, 44). 

Those who study Bible prophecy are not surprised by the events that have been triggered by the Covid-19 pandemic. The Lord Jesus Christ gave us signs that would precede His second coming, and one of the many signs that we are seeing today is “pestilence” (Luke 21:11). Pestilence is defined as a “deadly or virulent epidemic disease.” The Lord Jesus said the signs will arrive like “birth pains” (Matthew 24:8), meaning they will increase in frequency and intensity prior to His return. 

It is true that we have seen devastating plagues and pestilences throughout history, but none of them have had the global impact of Covid-19. Could it be that our sovereign Lord is giving a merciful warning of more devastating pestilences that awaits those who do not seek Him as their Savior? 

During the tribulation, one fourth of the world’s population will perish by plagues (pestilence) and the sword (Revelation 6:8). And more plagues will follow that will kill one third of the remaining world’s population (Revelations 9:18). 

Another one of the prophetic signs is that a global government will arise, that will be ruled by a dictator who will have “authority over every tribe and people and tongue and nation” (Revelation 13:7). And he forces all, to be given a mark on their right hand or on their forehead, and no one will be able to buy or to sell without having the mark (Revelation 13:16-17). 

This present world-wide pandemic has been a catalyst for globalists to centralize and digitize data on a growing segment of the world’s population. The ultimate goal of the globalist agenda is widespread surveillance and control over people’s lives, including our jobs, our religious activities, our medical care, our travel, and our buying and selling. Historically, we have seen that every serious crisis has brought about new opportunities for government control. This crisis may eventually diminish, but “the government” will never forget how easy it was to take control of our lives. 

The World Health Organization is proposing a cashless society because cash may be spreading the corona virus. To prevent the spread of the disease, they claim we need to use the latest technology to buy and sell. And an invisible quantum dot tattoo implant is now in the works that is anticipated to track who has been tested for and vaccinated against Covid-19 before you can go about your “new normal activities.” 

Countries like Singapore and China are using cell phone-based tools to identify and monitor people who might have been exposed to someone with Covid-19. Google and Apple have partnered to build a Bluetooth-based tracking system that can automatically log people’s interactions. The push for a global government, coupled with the necessary tools for surveillance technology, will one day enable the Antichrist to introduce his mark that will control a global economy. 

Over 180 countries throughout the world have been dealing with the devastating effects of this suspected virus, enforcing lock-downs and stay-at-home orders that have produced angry protests, rising unemployment, and a world wide economic collapse. 

The inflated death count along with all the fear-mongering and misinformation produced by the liberal media is inciting the flames of hysteria and causing growing confusion and hopelessness; and worldwide mandatory vaccinations are being proposed. Doctors are being commanded to report many normal respiratory, complications and other diseases as COVID-19 deaths. 

As we see, the whole world may be being primed for a man to rise up with all the solutions for a new world order of peace and prosperity. The apostle Paul described him as the man of lawlessness, the son of destruction, who oppose and will exalt himself over everything that is called God or is worshiped (2 Thessalonians 2:3-4). And, “The coming of the lawless one will be in accordance with how Satan works. He will use all sorts of displays of power through signs and wonders that serve the lie, and all the ways that wickedness deceives those who are perishing. They perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved” (2 Thessalonians 2:9-10). 

Hence, we need to always be ready to stand before the Lord, because as Jesus said no one knows the day or the hour when He will appear, because His appearance will be according to our Sovereign Lord’s prophetic time clock. But, when the “beast” does appear, the whole earth will marvel as they follow him (Revelation 13:3). 

We have seen how God disciplines His people who go astray and how He judges godless nations with pestilence, war and famine. Therefore, the wisest response to God’s judgment has always been repentance, faith and obedience to the one true God and Savior. 

Christians, who have been called out of darkness into the glorious light of our Savior, are not to be troubled or afraid. Our Lord is with us no matter how hopeless the situation or circumstances appear to be. He is sovereign and controls everything in His creation, including Covid-19. 

We do not know what the future holds, but we do know Who holds the future. Therefore, “let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for He who promised is faithful. And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching” (Hebrews 10:23-25). 

Satan is waiting his time and he can read God’s Word just like we can. He knows his time to take over the entire earth is getting closer, and he is putting people and actions into place to use after the rapture has taken place. 

So when we hear references to a future global government, universal currency, a single worldwide economic system, a one world religion and the micro chips that are already voluntarily being implanted into people, we should be very alert because these are precursers to what biblical prophecies reveal to us. 

Satan will eventually get 3 ½ years on earth just like Jesus had 3 ½ years during His ministry. But where Jesus brought healing, love and freedom, Satan will bring just the opposite; sickness, hate and bondage. But true Christians will not be here to suffer the wrath of God. 

Keep in mind that while the Holy Spirit, the One who restrains is still present on earth and indwelling believers, Satan does not have complete control over the earth. 

As Bible prophecies teach us, it appears that we are presently living at the very end of the Church Age. And when this dispensation period concludes, there will still be the 7-year tribulation followed by the Millennium, the 1000-year reign of Christ, before the earth is burned up (2 Peter 3:10). Then all things are made new and there will be a new heaven and a new earth because the first heaven and the first earth had passed away (Revelation 21:1). 

So even though we do not know the day or the hour of Jesus’ return for His bride, which we refer to the rapture of the church (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18), our focus should be on how we can bring the Gospel to those who so desperately need to hear it. Remember that Paul said that when the last gentile is saved (Romans 11:25), which signifies that the Church will have a predetermined number of members and when that number is reached all true Christians will be removed from this earth. 

Please understand that there will be many, perhaps millions, of Jews and gentiles saved during the Tribulation that did not believe or did not think it was important to accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior of their life. And the Holy Spirit is the only one that can accomplish this. Those left behind will have to endure terrible times and many will be martyred for their faith and others will survive to help re-populate the planet during the Millennium. Therefore, being saved before the rapture takes place is a much wiser commitment and decision. 

If you are a true born again believer remember what Jesus said to the church of Philadelphia who was a true church and kept His word: “Since you have kept my command to endure patiently, I will also keep you from the hour of trial that is going to come on the whole world to test the inhabitants of the earth” (Revelation 3:10). 

God’s word tells us that no true believer will have to go through the tribulation. But we must be always ready, because Jesus is going to call His bride to meet Him in the air during the imminent rapture of the Church, at an hour we do not expect. 

As we see, we should live each day with an eye on that future day when “the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet of God” (1 Thessalonians 4:16). And we will be blessed if the Master finds us ready when He comes (Luke 12:37-38).

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