Staying In The Moment

Many years ago someone told me how alcoholics stop drinking. They do it one day at a time. They tell themselves, “Tomorrow I am going to drink as much alcohol as I want. But I’m not going to drink today.” They stay in the day. They stay in the moment.

This knowledge of how alcoholics stay sober was a great benefit to me in 1985 when I attended the US Army Officer Candidate School (OCS). It was a stressful environment. One of the goals of OCS was to weed out people who couldn’t take pressure, and many who started with me did not graduate. But I applied the one-day-at-a-time principle and discovered that each day taken by itself was bearable. If I had been worrying about tomorrow’s and next week’s stresses I may not have graduated!

Sometimes life seems to throw many things at me, and I get tempted to fret about the future. But I make myself think about Jesus’ words. I just need to keep my priorities in order and stay in the day.

31 “Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. 33 But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.
Matthew 6:31-34 NKJV

Let your manner of life be without covetousness, being satisfied with the present; for He Himself has said: “Never will I leave you, never will I forsake you.”
Hebrews 13:5 BLB

Are you following God's plan for your life?    
You should.
Your plan sucks.
It really, really sucks.
Suckage Maximus.

Most people are WRONG! WRONG! WRONG!

Jesus is coming.
Are you ready to meet Him?
Give your life to Jesus Christ.
Time is running out.

Staying Ready to Meet Jesus

God has a simple standard. Perfection.

Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.
1 Peter 1:16 KJV

But I can’t attain that perfection in my flesh. I understand what Paul was writing about here:

18 For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. 19 For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. 20 Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.
Romans 7:18-20 NIV

So these are some of the Scriptures I remember every day. Jesus is the author and finisher of my faith.

Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.
Hebrews 12:2 KJV

God is still working on me. He hasn’t given up, and He won’t quit.

And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.
Philippians 1:6 NLT

I often remind God that He is the potter, I am the clay, and He can change me however He wants.

Yet you, LORD, are our Father. We are the clay, you are the potter; we are all the work of your hand.
Isaiah 64:8 NIV

I often think about the wonderful deliverance promises from Psalms 107.

Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble,
And He saved them out of their distresses.
14 He brought them out of darkness and the shadow of death,
And broke their chains in pieces.

For He has broken the gates of bronze,
And cut the bars of iron in two.

20 He sent His word and healed them,
And delivered them from their destructions.
Psalms 107:13-14, 16, 20 NKJV

I pray for forgiveness at least twice a day, using the Lord’s Prayer as a pattern.

In this manner, therefore, pray:

Our Father in heaven,
Hallowed be Your name.
10 Your kingdom come.
Your will be done
On earth as it is in heaven.
11 Give us this day our daily bread.
12 And forgive us our debts,
As we forgive our debtors.
13 And do not lead us into temptation,
But deliver us from the evil one.
For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.
Matthew 6:9-13 NKJV

And I pray every day that I will be counted worthy to escape!

34 “But take heed to yourselves, lest your hearts be weighed down with carousing, drunkenness, and cares of this life, and that Day come on you unexpectedly. 35 Forit will come as a snare on all those who dwell on the face of the whole earth.36 Watch therefore, and pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man.
Luke 21:34-36 NKJV

Being counted worthy is not about my filthy-rags righteousness.

But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.
Isaiah 64:6 KJV

Being counted worthy is because of Jesus’ righteousness!

It is because of Him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God: our righteousness, holiness, and redemption.
1 Corinthians 1:30 BSB

He is righteous and declares righteous the one who has belief in יהושע.
Romiyim (Romans) 3:26 TS2009

Are you following God's plan for your life?    
You should.
Your plan sucks.
It really, really sucks.
Suckage Maximus.

Most people are WRONG! WRONG! WRONG!

Jesus is coming.
Are you ready to meet Him?
Give your life to Jesus Christ.
Time is running out.

On Your Mark, Get Set, GROW!

The last verse Peter wrote is a pretty good summary of both of his letters: Grow!

But grow in grace and in knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen.
2 Peter 3:18 BLB

Earlier in that letter Peter a list of areas in which to grow.

His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.

For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love. For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But whoever does not have them is nearsighted and blind, forgetting that they have been cleansed from their past sins.

10 Therefore, my brothers and sisters, make every effort to confirm your calling and election. For if you do these things, you will never stumble, 11 and you will receive a rich welcome into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
2 Peter 1:3-11 NIV

Did you notice the ramifications of growing or not growing?

For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.But whoever does not have them is nearsighted and blind, forgetting that they have been cleansed from their past sins.

2 Peter 1:8-9 NKJV

So growth is important, eh? It is the difference between being productive and being blind.

I like how the TS2009 translates some of these passages.

And for this reason do your utmost to add to your belief uprightness, to uprightness knowledge, to knowledge self-control, to self-control endurance, to endurance reverence, to reverence brotherly affection, and to brotherly affection love.
Kĕpha Bĕt (2 Peter) 1:5-7 TS2009

For this reason, brothers, all the more do your utmost to make firm your calling and choosing, for if you are doing these matters you shall never stumble at all, for in this way an entrance into the everlasting reign of our Master and Saviour יהושע Messiah shall be richly supplied to you.
Kĕpha Bĕt (2 Peter) 1:10-11 TS2009

So grow! Smith Wigglesworth felt that if you weren’t growing and going forward, you were actually going backward!

Are you following God's plan for your life?    
You should.
Your plan sucks.
It really, really sucks.
Suckage Maximus.

Most people are WRONG! WRONG! WRONG!

Jesus is coming.
Are you ready to meet Him?
Give your life to Jesus Christ.
Time is running out.

Humility

I thought a long time about an appropriate topic for this my 700th post and decided Humility is its topic – perhaps because I can always use some reminding. 😉

Jesus is humble.

Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.
Matthew 22:29 BSB

So was Moses.

(Now the man Moses was very humble, more than any man who was on the face of the earth.)
Numbers 12:3 NASB

Both Jesus and Moses accomplished much while they were on the earth, so I think it is safe to conclude humility is a requirement for being used of God. For example, it takes humility to acknowledge and embrace weakness.

But He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is perfected in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly in my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest on me.
2 Corinthians 12:9 BSB

We are to consider others above ourselves.

Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves.
Philippians 2:3 ESV

Perhaps even to the point of giving up our lives.

By this we know what love is: Jesus laid down His life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers.
1 John 3:16 BSB

Here are just a few of many, many relevant Scriptures.

But He gives us more grace. This is why it says: “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.
James 4:6 BSB

Likewise, you who are younger, be subject to the elders. Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility toward one another, for “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.
1 Peter 5:5 ESV

For though the LORD is exalted,
Yet He regards the lowly,
But the haughty He knows from afar.
Psalms 138:6 NASB

He mocks the mockers, but gives grace to the humble.
Proverbs 3:34 BSB

Humility is the key to promotion.

Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.
James 4:10 KJV

For whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.
Matthew 23:12 BSB

A man’s pride will bring him low,
But a humble spirit will obtain honor.
Proverbs 29:23 NASB

You have to be humble to know you can’t save yourself, that you need Jesus to have eternal life. Are you that humble?

Are you following God's plan for your life?    
You should.
Your plan sucks.
It really, really sucks.
Suckage Maximus.

Most people are WRONG! WRONG! WRONG!

Jesus is coming.
Are you ready to meet Him?
Give your life to Jesus Christ.
Time is running out.

Your Father Knows What You Need

Jesus taught about prayer in the Sermon on the Mount. This part jumped out at me.

7 And when you pray, do not babble on like pagans, for they think that by their many words they will be heard. 8 Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask Him.
Matthew 6:7-8 BSB

The Father knows what I need. I know what I want, but do I know what I need? No, I don’t know what I need. See, we are His sheep.

Know that the Lord, He is God;
It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves;
We are His people and the sheep of His pasture.
Psalms 100:3 NKJV

We had sheep while I was growing up, and I know for a fact that while sheep know their wants, they are notoriously poor at judging their needs. Left to themselves, sheep will eat so much alfalfa or grain that they will actually bloat and die! Sheep really can’t take care of themselves. Sheep need a shepherd! It is the shepherd’s job to provide what the sheep need, and protect them. Fortunately, we believers have The Good Shepherd!

1 The Lord is my shepherd;
I shall not want.
He makes me to lie down in green pastures;
He leads me beside the still waters.
He restores my soul;
He leads me in the paths of righteousness
For His name’s sake.

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil;
For You are with me;
Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.

You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;
You anoint my head with oil;
My cup runs over.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
All the days of my life;
And I will dwell in the house of the Lord
Forever.
Psalms 23 NKJV

My part is to listen and obey.

My sheep listen to My voice; I know them, and they follow Me.
John 10:27 BSB

This insight is less than a day old, but it has increased my joy and confidence when praying this:

Your kingdom come.
Your will be done
On earth as it is in heaven.
Matthew 6:10 NKJV

I know that He is giving me what I need!

P.S. Having put the 23rd Psalm in this post, I have to provide a link to my all-time favorite photo series: Grandma and the 23rd Psalm

Are you following God's plan for your life?    
You should.
Your plan sucks.
It really, really sucks.
Suckage Maximus.

Most people are WRONG! WRONG! WRONG!

Jesus is coming.
Are you ready to meet Him?
Give your life to Jesus Christ.
Time is running out.

Taking Every Thought Captive

I received more understanding on this passage.

For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. 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, and being ready to punish all disobedience when your obedience is fulfilled.
2 Corinthians 10:3-6 NKJV

In the past I knew this applied to thoughts that would lead to obvious sin, like lust or gossip, but now I understand it applies to every thought contrary to the Bible’s promises.

When a thought of lack occurs, I can choose to think in my mind, “It is written, ‘My God supplies all my need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.'”

If I begin to wonder if I’m on the right track I can choose instead to think, “I am one of His sheep and I hear His voice and follow Him,” “He who began a good work in me is still working, perfecting it until the day of Christ Jesus,” and, “He is causing everything to work together for my good.”

If I start to regret past bad decisions I can choose instead to think, “Forgetting the past I am pressing forward towards the goal to win the prize.”

For several days I have been more aware of the beginning of thoughts that lead away from God’s truth, and have been interrupting them with “It Is Written” thoughts based on Scripture. It is making a difference for good! I think that by doing this, I’m making better use of the helmet of salvation.

Are you following God's plan for your life?    
You should.
Your plan sucks.
It really, really sucks.
Suckage Maximus.

Most people are WRONG! WRONG! WRONG!

Jesus is coming.
Are you ready to meet Him?
Give your life to Jesus Christ.
Time is running out.

On The Rapture(s)

Enoch and Elijah never died, but instead went straight to heaven.

Enoch walked with God, and then he was no more, because God had taken him away.
Genesis 5:24 BSB

As they were walking along and talking together, suddenly a chariot of fire with horses of fire appeared and separated the two of them, and Elijah went up into heaven in a whirlwind.
2 Kings 2:11 BSB

So there have already been two raptures. Both were small, just one person in each, but they happened. Twice people have gone to heaven without dying.

Therefore, I don’t know why so many people seem to have their under ware all bunched up, insisting that there is only one rapture, be it pre, mid or post tribulation. I see two separate raptures in the book of Revelation. The first is in chapter 3.

Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth.
Revelation 3:10 KJV

Clearly, being kept from the tribulation means this rapture is pre-tribulation. I greatly desire to catch this bus. 🙂

Then chapter 14 discusses the grape harvest right before and during the battle of Armageddon. I believe the grapes harvested by Jesus are not co-mingled with the grapes harvested by the angel, but are raptured out of harm’s way.

14 Then I looked, and behold, a white cloud, and on the cloud sat One like the Son of Man, having on His head a golden crown, and in His hand a sharp sickle. 15 And another angel came out of the temple, crying with a loud voice to Him who sat on the cloud, “Thrust in Your sickle and reap, for the time has come for You to reap, for the harvest of the earth is ripe.” 16 So He who sat on the cloud thrust in His sickle on the earth, and the earth was reaped.

17 Then another angel came out of the temple which is in heaven, he also having a sharp sickle.

18 And another angel came out from the altar, who had power over fire, and he cried with a loud cry to him who had the sharp sickle, saying, “Thrust in your sharp sickle and gather the clusters of the vine of the earth, for her grapes are fully ripe.” 19 So the angel thrust his sickle into the earth and gathered the vine of the earth, and threw it into the great winepress of the wrath of God. 20 And the winepress was trampled outside the city, and blood came out of the winepress, up to the horses’ bridles, for one thousand six hundred furlongs.
Revelation 14:14-20 NKJV

Therefore I see Revelation 3 and 14 as different raptures. One is before the tribulation, and the other is at the end of the tribulation.

But wait! There’s more! In recent months I have been slowly coming to the opinion the pre-tribulation rapture might consist of several different rapture events. 1 Thessalonians 4 has the “classic” rapture Scripture:

15 For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep. 16 For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord. 18 Therefore comfort one another with these words.
1 Thessalonians 4:15-18

I want to talk about verse 17.

Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord.
1 Thessalonians 4:17 NKJV

For years, this is how I understood that verse.

Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up (all at the same time, in one group) together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord.

I now admit the possibility this might be the correct understanding.

Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up (in several groups over several days) together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord.

The 144,000-14 might go in their own firstfruits rapture.

Then I looked, and behold, a Lamb standing on Mount Zion, and with Him one hundred and forty-four thousand, having His Father’s name written on their foreheads. And I heard a voice from heaven, like the voice of many waters, and like the voice of loud thunder. And I heard the sound of harpists playing their harps. They sang as it were a new song before the throne, before the four living creatures, and the elders; and no one could learn that song except the hundred and forty-four thousand who were redeemed from the earth. These are the ones who were not defiled with women, for they are virgins. These are the ones who follow the Lamb wherever He goes. These were redeemed from among men, being firstfruits to God and to the Lamb. And in their mouth was found no deceit, for they are without fault before the throne of God.
Revelation 14:1-5 NKJV

There are many YouTube channels with videos on the possibility of the pre-tribulation rapture consisting of several rapture events. I suggest you start with these two: timfoster405, L LOTT. Note – I don’t agree with everything on these channels, but eat the cherry and spit out the pit. No one on earth has everything 100% figured out.

I don’t know if the pre-tribulation rapture is one or many events. But if it is many, I would see that as God’s great mercy. I’m not the judge, of course, but I know many people who don’t seem to be quite ready to be raptured. They seem to be primarily interested in this life. But if the 144,000-14 and/or all the children in the world suddenly leave, they would be ready for the next rapture!

Are you following God's plan for your life?    
You should.
Your plan sucks.
It really, really sucks.
Suckage Maximus.

Most people are WRONG! WRONG! WRONG!

Jesus is coming.
Are you ready to meet Him?
Give your life to Jesus Christ.
Time is running out.