Attempting to obey God and follow Jesus Christ our Lord

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Getting Ready to Go

Some of you may be aware that this past week I was in Lynchburg, VA at Liberty University participating in an intensive for the degree I am working on. The trip was a long one that entailed considerable planning. I did not simply go on the trip on the spur of the moment. The decision was not a sudden spontaneous act that I thought might be a good idea one morning. Instead, a lot of preparatory work went into not only the physical trip but also the work that had to be done prior to my arrival.

Preparation was key to the success of my trip. For instance, there was great need for lodging so I reserved a hotel room no less than a month in advance. This allowed me to get a good rate as well as guarantee a hotel room. A car was also needed so one was reserved well in advance. Not only were these major things reserved but also the financing for the reservations as well as gasoline, food and other incidentals. I also had to study and otherwise prepare for the intensive in order to be successful.

My trip to Liberty is a parallel to the things Christians need to do in anticipation for the return of Christ. I Thessalonians 4:15-17 reads, “15 For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. 16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: 17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.”

Attention is drawn to verse seventeen where the phrase “alive and remain” points to those who have prepared for the inevitable return of Christ. The indication is that these are those that chose to put on the whole armor of God. They have cleansed their hearts and laid aside the works of the flesh. Moreover, these that seek the return of Christ have built relationships with Him by prayer, Bible reading, church attendance and the like. They wait with anticipation while doing all possible to do the will of the Father.

Matthew 24:44 admonishes its audience with the words, “Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh.” Mankind is to be ready at anytime. In order to be ready preparatory things must take place. Among the very first things in getting ready to go with Jesus when He returns is to receive Him and Lord and Saviour. This is not a mere belief in His existence. Instead, it is turning away from those things that offend Him in return for a life that seeks to please the resurrected One. Getting ready to go means the old man has been discarded in exchange for a new person in Christ.

There is no doubt that Christ will return and it is certain that no man knows the day or the hour. Yet it is encumbered upon all looking to His coming to get ready to go.

The Outsiders

Originally posted on The Road:

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This is from the blog Homeward Bound:

I’ve been doing more praying than writing lately. I’ve been doing more praying than pretty much anything else if I am to be perfectly honest, and I think anyone seeing the world for what it has become, and watching the chess pieces moving on the chessboard with lightning fast speed can do nothing less.

We knew these things were coming, for long and long we knew. Seeing them up close, however, does make one catch their breath and realize these are just the outlying storm clouds. The brunt of the storm itself and the true fury thereof has not yet arrived.

My heart breaks as I watch more and more people tether their hopes to the church, thinking it a place of refuge and safety, only to have their hopes shattered at the revelation that the church is full to the rafters…

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Seek and Surround

During times of great stress, temptation rears its ugly head. Our busyness beckons us to take shortcuts or to skip that which matters most, in order to get things done. Despite a willing spirit, we have weaknesses that require the strength of our Savior to successfully stand in the ways in which we are called. That may seem all well and good, but how are we to do this practically? Jesus gave specific directions to the disciples whom He had called to join Him in the garden at Gethsemane. Jesus said to them: “Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the body is weak.” – (Mark 14:38)

 

The example that Jesus gave to us in Gethsemane, is one that is still applicable today. For us to successfully resist temptation, we need to: (1) pray to God, (2) seek the support of friends and loved ones, and (3) focus on the purpose God has given us. – (paraphrased from NIV footnotes) Our go to first and foremost, must be to call on the Lord. He is our help and our hope in all things and at all times. Thankfully, God created us to be in community and does not expect us to tackle trials alone. Surrounding ourselves with those whom we can trust and rely on, is something that even Jesus did. Often we need the tangible and audible to be present in order to help us to clearly focus on the very purpose that God has placed before us. Both prayer and people He places in our lives, can point us back to our purpose and keep us on the path that He has planned for us. May we seek Him and surround ourselves with those who do likewise, so that when stress and struggles come, we may not be steered off course.

 

Temptations shall come,Seek and Surround

in times of great stress;

for we are weakest,

in the midst of mess.

We need our Savior,

our strength to stand strong;

to resist tempting,

in truth, carry on.

To stand strong in Christ,

first we’re meant to pray;

and seek the support,

of friends on the way.

Our focus must be,

on God and His plan;

so we aren’t deterred,

and by faith, we’ll stand.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that though we are vulnerable to temptation, especially in times of stress and busyness, we can overcome in You. Thank You that when we pray to You and seek the support that You provide, we are able to stand firm and focus on the purpose that You have planned for us. Forgive us for allowing the stresses of life to steer us off course or to turn our eyes away from You. Teach us to trust You more, so that our immediate response in times of turmoil will be to pray and seek support that will fix our eyes back on You and the purposes that You have placed before us. Lead us to love others as You so lavishly love each of us. May many come into a lasting relationship with You, Lord. Be exalted O God, as we do as Jesus did to resist temptations and pursue the purposes that You have planned for each of us. Amen.

© Shannon Elizabeth Moreno and Revelations in Writing, May 2011 – present.

When times are good, be happy. – Ecclesiastes 7:14

Mother Prepares To Meet Man Who Received Son’s Heart

loopyloo305:

This is my niece, please keep her in your prayers!

Originally posted on 5NEWSOnline.com:

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OZARK (KFSM)- A local mother is preparing to meet the man who now has her son’s heart after he was killed in a motorcycle wreck.

Kevin Keech’s mother, Kelli Cox, said he died after running into another vehicle at an intersection on March 1, 2014 in Franklin County.

“He had a huge heart,” Cox said. “He always said he wanted to help people.”

Cox said emergency crews took the 19-year-old by ambulance to a Fayetteville hospital.

“They took us to a room and we thought we were going to discuss how we’re going to treat him and they told us he didn’t make it,” Cox said. “Just reliving that day, it’s pretty hard to deal with that.”

Cox said she’s been in touch with the man who has her son’s heart by email.

“He is a 55-year-old man,” Cox said. “He’s from Nebraska.”

Cox said it’s amazing…

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