Bountifully Blessed

Acts 26:18   (NLT)   18 to open their eyes, so they may turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God. Then they will receive forgiveness for their sins and be given a place among God’s people, who are set apart by faith in me.’

A lot of great things happens to us when we place our full dependence on Jesus for our salvation and surrender our lives to Him. For one, our blind eyes are opened. God’s love, our need, our spiritual poverty, God’s answer to our spiritual need, our appropriate Acts 26.18 - Bountifully Blessedresponse—all these are elucidated in our minds and hearts by God’s precious Holy Spirit. That’s why we humbly, gratefully, and readily call on Him and receive Him into our lives.

There’s so much more: we no longer live in darkness, we now live in the light—we are children of light, lights of the world. Whew—awesome descriptions of our identity. Satan, as powerful as he may be, no longer has a hold on us because we’re now under God’s Almighty protection. Satan has got nothing on God. Oh, what joy to know He who gives us life, and life way more abundantly, is infinitely more powerful than the one who tries to steal, kill, and destroy.

We’re also forgiven of all our sins. That’s big. Our sins separated us from God—spiritually dead, that is. That’s serious. Without His forgiveness, it leads to eternal death. That doesn’t sound good; that’s horrible. To spend eternity apart from God, void of love, joy, peace, freedom, and bliss is more than horrible; it’s indescribably agonizing. But we’re forgiven. We’re now, in a saving sense, God’s children—a part of His spiritual family—His people. We’re different; we’re separated from the rest; we’re unique—wonderfully unique.

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Heavens Proclaim God’s Glory

Psalms 19:1   (NLT)   The heavens proclaim the glory of God. The skies display his craftsmanship.

Psalm 19.1 - Heavens Proclaim God's GloryWe are inundated by testimonies of God’s reality, existence, love, power, and wisdom. We look up to the heavens and we see greatness there. We look up to the sky and we see precision, order, beauty, skillful work of art. Not everyone comes to the same conclusion, but I can’t help but see glory and majesty behind them all.

Creation is a silent yet very visible evangelist pointing us to God. We have to just be more observant and more conscientious of the beauty and the marvels surrounding us. If God could create such awesome wonders, and sustain them throughout all ages, how can He not take good care of us? He is more willing and able to care for us than we think.

Dear God and heavenly Father, God of creation, thank You for leaving us more than sufficient proofs and demonstrations of You. I pray that we’ll be more aware of Your constant presence, of Your immense and tremendous power, of your unfailing love, your inscrutable wisdom, and the universe-size billboard flashing those truths continuously—in Jesus’ Name, amen.

 

Speaking of Repentance

Luke 3:3   (KJV)   3 And he came into all the country about Jordan, preaching the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins

Luke 3.13 - Speaking of RepentanceOne act—repentance—causes such immeasurably great results: forgiveness of our sins, assurance of eternal destiny in the presence of our dear precious Lord. It’s a message everyone needs to hear.

We don’t cower or withdraw from preaching the message of repentance. Although it’s not a popular subject, we don’t turn our backs on it. It is an essential message for an indispensable experience: salvation.

Others don’t like to be told to repent; it suggests sin and sinfulness. Although it’s a common knowledge that all sin, that nobody’s perfect, others would rather not be told about it. But we’re not moved by people’s words or reactions. We’re moved by God’s Word and His Spirit. We do what God says we do.

Delivered from Every Evil Work

2 Timothy 4:18 (KJV)   1And the Lord shall deliver me from every evil work, and will preserve me unto his heavenly kingdom: to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.

The Lord always delivers us from every attack of the enemy. We’re very confident about our safe journey to our heavenly home. It’s not because we’re strong, it’s because our God is. That’s why all glory, honor, and praise belong to Him.

2 Timothy 4.18 - Delivered from Every Evil WorkThe apostle Paul had a huge share of attacks, persecutions, troubles, and hardships in his Christian journey. We could have expected him to say “And the Lord shall deliver me through every evil work.” He didn’t. It’s possible that in his perception, even in worst attacks from those who don’t like us as believers, even in most difficult of circumstances, God is delivering us from evil. Meaning to say, the situations God allows us to go through aren’t necessarily evil.

There are many ways to see it. What we may see as God delivering us through is actually God delivering us from. That may be hard to understand. One thing is sure though, through it all—we may not even fully understand the theological and/or practical meaning and implications of Paul’s words—God will get us home. So we bear and persevere through life. Now, we have a little adjustment in our mindset. No matter how trying the situations are, God is delivering us from every evil work.

Blessedness of the Watchful

Luke 12:38   (KJV)   38 And if he shall come in the second watch, or come in the third watch, and find them so, blessed are those servants.

Luke 12.38 - Blessedness of the WatchfulServants who will be found expectantly and readily waiting for the Lord’s return will be blessed.

The Lord will and can return any moment. Although others believe differently regarding the notion of imminence—that no one knows the day or the hour except the Father—we all believe that He’s coming again. As surely as His return is, He also wants us to be prepared.

The Kingdom of God is our preoccupation. We lay up eternal treasures. We’re free from greed, from love of money, from materialism. We understand the value of life is more than the entire world itself. And God is infinitely greater than anything and anyone. We seek Him first—His Kingdom and righteousness. We may not have thousands in our bank deposit, but we have a rich relationship with our Father.

We serve Him gladly—our lamps continually burning, with extra flask of “oil.” We see the ever-increasing appearances of the signs of His return; we don’t neglect them; we pay serious and careful attention. When He comes like a thief, we won’t be caught in surprise.

 

Works Matter

Revelation 14:13   (KJV)   13 And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Write, Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; and their works do follow them.

Revelation 14.13 - Works MatterSalvation, death, resurrection, rest, works—these are indispensable truths and experiences in the lives of believers.

Being “in the Lord” is the most important experience anyone can ever have here on earth. It’s the only experience that changes and secures our eternal destiny—from an eternal destiny apart from Christ to an eternal destiny in His presence. All of us, except those alive when our precious Lord returns, will experience death. For us believers, it is a most welcome transition to the most glorious state we’ll ever enjoy in our entire existence—a life of rest, love, joy, peace multiplied a gazillion times greater.

In as much as often undermined in teaching the wonders of grace, works matter. They matter now, they will matter in eternity. It’s worth repeating: we’re not saved by works, but we’re saved unto good works.  For believers, it’s not “either-or” between grace and works; it’s both. Grace is God’s part and He does wonders with it; works is our part and we strive to do well in it.

Greatest Surprise Awaits

Revelation 10:1   (KJV)   10 And I saw another mighty angel come down from heaven, clothed with a cloud: and a rainbow was upon his head, and his face was as it were the sun, and his feet as pillars of fire

Revelation 10.1 - Greatest Suprise AwaitsAn angel clothed with a cloud, rainbow over the head, face shining like the sun, feet like pillars of fire—this is definitely a different picture compared to the images of angels commonly portrayed.

We need to be ready to be pleasantly surprised by still so many things that will be revealed to us when our eyes are finally and completely opened to the supernatural world. We’ve seen angelic beings painted or drawn as babies, toddlers, warriors, some have two wings, some have six. But there have not been a lot of times when we’ve seen depictions of angels as majestic as the one we see here.

That’s an angel. When it comes to God, we’re already out of words to describe our infinite, eternal, omnipotent, omnipresent, omniscient, immutable, loving, holy, just God. As free as our imaginations are, they still fall short of grasping the glorious reality of our God and of the supernatural and eternal sphere. We’re already absolutely fascinated by the surface truths we know.  Oh, what an indescribable and unimaginable delight it will be when we see Him face to face.