Peace!

Genesis 31:37   (NLT)   You have rummaged through everything I own. Now show me what you found that belongs to you! Set it out here in front of us, before our relatives, for all to see. Let them judge between us!

Laban was mad; Jacob was mad. Laban felt like he lost his daughters and grandchildren and his flocks all in one day. In addition, he lost one of his treasured graven images or idols. Jacob on the other hand felt like he was being very unjustly accused for something Genesis 31.37 - Peacehe did not do. The fact is: Laban really lost his idol, and that it was stolen from him—but not by Jacob. The fact too is: Jacob was innocent. They were both angry thinking they’re wronged by the other person. Laban could not come up with a proof regarding his lost idol. That gave Jacob more reasons to be furious.

This is so true to us. We fight because we believe we are wronged by another person.  Many times, the other person feels like we’re the ones who did them wrong. In many cases, there are areas where we’re both right, and in many cases, there are areas where both are wrong. And just because one party could not come up with a good or better argument or an obvious proof does not mean they don’t have a valid point. Just because we appear to be right doesn’t mean we are right—and vice versa. This is why we have to be very careful in jumping to conclusions.

We have to do everything to understand the other party. We have to put ourselves in their shoes. We have to see things from their perspective. The more truth we know, the more we’re able to make better judgment. If it’s at all possible, it is better to pursue peace; it’s better to avoid getting angry. It is not sinful to be angry, but we have to realize how easily it could lead to sin. Often, anger can blind us. It’s better to be understanding and to be more considerate of other people—

their feelings, their perceptions, and their reactions.  This does not mean we have to compromise; this just means we have to be more passionate about the truth and about loving others. We love peace; we pursue it as much as we can; we preserve it if it at all depends on us.

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Believers’ Natural Fruits

Ephesians 5:9   (KJV)   9 (For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;)

Ephesians 5.9 - Believers' Natural FruitsGod’s precious Holy Spirit living in us produces only good things—praise God for that. He efficiently bears in us what’s good, what’s right, and what’s true.

We willingly and humbly yield ourselves to the gentle leading and inner work of the Holy Spirit. Left to ourselves, we still have a strong tendency to listen to the destructive influence of our old way of living. But our loving God has lavishly given us wisdom; we quickly identify and resist what’s evil, wrong, and false. More so, we understand that ungodliness isn’t something to accommodate and excuse; it’s something to completely reject. Our sincere love for God and our proper understanding of God’s love don’t deny His anger—not only for disobedience but also for the disobedient: “Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience” (Ephesians 5:6).

We love God; He loves us infinitely more. We please the One we love, and we demonstrably do this by being Christ-like. This isn’t a laborious something we force ourselves to. We honestly enjoy living in unquestionable integrity and all-out faithfulness—in willing obedience to the Lord’s instructions. We’ve heard before: “Our lives are God’s gifts to us; what we do with our lives are our gifts to God.” Reality is: there’s nothing we can give God that He didn’t give us. Still, He kindly gives us the uplifting pleasure of choosing to thank Him by the way we live out this precious gift of life—both the physical and the eternal. It’s a deep joy yielding to the precious Holy Spirit—radiating goodness, righteousness, and truth. What an honor and privilege.

Rapture and Tribulation

Revelation 12:12   (KJV)   12 Therefore rejoice, ye heavens, and ye that dwell in them. Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea! for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time.

Two things are happening here simultaneously; there is rejoicing in the heavens and those who live there, and there is woe to the inhabitants of the earth. This may very well Revelation 12.12 - Rapture and Tribulationbe referring to the Tribulation or Great Tribulation period that will be coming to earth.

There are many reasonable theories presented and forwarded when it comes to the timing of the “catching away” of the church more familiarly referred to as the rapture. I’m aware that there are some very well-meaning Christians who take offense in the term “rapture,” but however we feel about it, it’s indisputable: the church will be caught up.

Prior to the unleashing the devil’s wrath here on earth, the Scriptures declare: “And she brought forth a man child, who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron: and her child was caught up unto God, and to his throne” (Revelation 12:5). The “she” here is often interpreted as the nation of Israel, and the “child” as the church. Clearly, the child will be “caught up” before the devil and his angels lose their battle against Michael and his angels, and gets thrown down to earth (see Revelation 2:7-11).

Whether or not the interpretation about the woman and the child is correct, the truth remains: during the unleashing of the devil’s wrathful tantrum here on earth because of his defeat, there will be rejoicing in heaven, and a catching away will happen first,

Let’s faithfully walk before the Lord, and diligently live out our mission—reaching out to the unsaved and discipling the saved, as we humbly and joyfully look forward to our Lord and His return.

One True Living God

Jeremiah 10:10   (KJV)   10 But the Lord is the true God, he is the living God, and an everlasting king: at his wrath the earth shall tremble, and the nations shall not be able to abide his indignation.

There’s only One true living God; a god among millions of gods isn’t God, a dead god isn’t God.  He’s the King of all Kings, Lord of all Lords. He is eternal, awesome, all-powerful. Jeremiah 10.10 - One True Living GodNo one and nothing can fight against Him and survive, much less, prevail.

We stand, walk, and live in awe of the LORD our God. There’s no one else like Him. No one else is all-powerful, all-present, and all wise. There’s no other Name greater. He rules over all people of all nations. Others fight against Him; but everyone will eventually bow before Him and acknowledge Him for who He is. He existed before time; He will exist after time.

We praise God that He gave us wisdom to understand. We don’t have to find ourselves fighting a sure losing battle. God is the very source of life; He’s the very force or being that created the entire universe, and is the One sustaining or preserving it. We’re on His side; we live for Him. We’re not of those who incur His wrath; we’re of those who receive His pleasure. We don’t look forward in fear to destruction; we longingly and joyfully anticipate His return and our ultimate salvation and glorification, abiding forever in His presence, power, peace, wisdom and love.

Hiding Scared

Revelation 6:15   (KJV)   15 And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains

People of all status, position, and power, even those who arrogantly and proudly oppose God will finally see and recognize the true and awesome power of God.

Those who challenge God now will cower before Him then.

Never equate God’s love to weakness.

Never think for a moment that the love of God reduces God’s essence and renders Him incomplete. His love doesn’t erase His ability to be angry.

Men’s most extreme hatred for God doesn’t scare Him a bit. It’s a totally different picture when God pours out His wrath.