Monday, September 30, 2013

People will have an itch for novelty



"If we are true Christians, we must not expect everything smooth in our journey to heaven. We must count it no strange thing, if we have to endure sicknesses, losses, bereavements, and disappointments, just like other people. Free pardon and full forgiveness, grace by the way and glory to the end – all this our Savior has promised to give. But He has never promised that we shall have no afflictions. He loves us too well to promise that." ~ J.C. Ryle

For behold, I create new heavens and a new earth; and the former things will not be remembered or come to mind. But be glad and rejoice forever in what I create; for behold, I create Jerusalem for rejoicing and her people for gladness. I will also rejoice in Jerusalem and be glad in My people; and there will no longer be heard in her the voice of weeping and the sound of crying. (Isaiah 65:17-19)

Things will one day be the way they were before the Fall!

God said the same thing to Isaiah as He said later to the Apostle John in greater detail: “Behold, I am making all things new” and “there will no longer be any curse” (see Revelation 21:5 and 22:3).

The world will no longer be a place of grieving, pain and tears. Instead it will be a place to “be glad and rejoice forever”. Everything about life in that day will bring joy, happiness and peace. Things will be the way God designed them to be in the first place, before the sin of the first man and woman brought brokenness and fallenness into every facet of life.

Today God is encouraging us to look into the future. Our hope is not in this world and this life. God will destroy this fallen world one day and create a new heaven and a new earth, where things are right. I can’t wait!

Meanwhile....

Our Father may ask us to do something that seems illogical—perhaps to accept more responsibility when we were hoping to reduce our workload, to leave a position that He provided just recently, or to take on an assignment for which we feel ill-equipped. His plan might feel unrealistic in view of our age, stage of life, or health concerns. We must press forward in obedience, regardless of how impractical the request may appear.

What I'm talking about then, are instances of heavenly intervention in the lives of believers that impact what we would consider "minor" areas of our existence, the things that cause us to make statements like: "It showed me that God cares about even the small things in our lives," always as if that's a profoundly shocking proclamation. Nobody ever responds by saying, "Well, duh…"

I think that's because it never stops being a mind-blowing concept - the Creator of the universe, who hears the prayers and praises of billions simultaneously and loves each one the same, provided, perhaps, just the right amount of money for a struggling single mom to buy her child a pair of shoes. It's not the parting of the Red Sea to preserve for Himself a people, or the resurrection of His son to purchase the redemption of humanity. It's, for lack of a better term, a mini-miracle.

A sign of the end times will be people turning from the truth: “For a time is coming when people will no longer listen to sound and wholesome teaching. They will follow their own desires and will look for teachers who will tell them whatever their itching ears want to hear. They will reject the truth and chase after myths” (2 Timothy 4:3–4).

Friend, that time has come. This is not just happening in our culture. It is even taking place in some of our churches where people are looking for teachers who will say things that will satisfy them. What the apostle Paul was saying in 2 Timothy 4 was that people will have an itch for novelty. They will want someone to come along who will say something that will soothe them and pacify them—but not something that will challenge them or, even worse, confront them.

This turning away from the truth is something the Bible said would happen in the end times. As preachers of the Word, we have a job to do: it is to preach the Word and not compromise on it, even if it isn’t politically correct.

Remember...

The devil is on the attack.

Every morning as soon as you wake up the enemy is there to tempt you, discourage you, and he will do everything to make you feel weak, grumpy, and lonely.

He'll remind you of all the regrets, fears, and guilt.

When you look at the image in the mirror, the enemy will emphasize every wrinkle in your face, your failing health, and how you are aging fast.

That's how the devil works every single day.

He takes no break. No holidays. No vacations. No time outs.

Also we need to remember that  every opportunity is not sent from God. We may want something so much that we assume any opportunity to obtain it is of divine origin. An opportunity to do something against God's will can never be from God because God does not tempt us. When opportunities come your way, double-check your motives. Make sure you are following God's desires, and not just your own. Rather than trying to find God's will after the fact or having to ask God to undo the results of our hasty decisions, we should take time to discern God's will beforehand. We can hear him speak through the counsel of others, his Word, and the leading of his Spirit in our hearts, as well as through circumstances.

What does God want us to do until He returns? As Christians we are called to serve Him willingly and obediently to whatever He calls us to do. We are to witness to those who do not follow Christ, lovingly warn them of the coming judgment and joyfully share of God's love and plan of salvation. We are to equip and encourage our fellow believers so that they may also go forth and further God's kingdom.

What will you do with the opportunities that God has given you? Will you turn your back on them? Or will you joyfully give back to God in tithes, offerings, service, and praise to Him? We cannot out-give God. Whatever rewards we receive in this life are infinitesimal compared to what we will receive in the glory of heaven.

Blessings,

Raj Kosaraju

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