Glimpses of grace seen in the everyday

Posts tagged ‘end times’

Living in an Insane World

If you want to get depressed, just read the headlines.  Horrible diseases, old and new enemies invading and terrorizing, environmental catastrophes, incredible violence inflicted by individuals on one another—and more! 

How can we who know the Lord live sanely in this insane world?  I found a four-fold plan in 1 Peter 4:7-10 that can keep our hearts at peace and our lives profitably occupied:

“The end of everything is near.  Therefore…”

1.  Practice self-control. (v. 7)

A healthy balance in all things; wise use of time and resources; curbing sinful & selfish impulses; being controlled by the Holy Spirit

2.  Keep my mind clear so I can pray. (v. 7)

Prayer is priority.  Shut out distracting “noise.”  Ask God to help me think about what is true, pure, and worthy.  Remember that prayer taps God’s power to accomplish His amazing purposes.

3.  Love other believers warmly. (v. 8-9)

Delight in serving them unselfishly.  Remember they are my brothers and sisters, much loved by our mutual Father. 

4.  Use the abilities God has given me to serve others and glorify God. (v. 10)

What are my gifts?  Speaking?  Showing kindness?  Helping?  Mentoring? Writing?  Music?  What about yours?

Focusing on these priorities will keep me too busy to worry and wring my hands.  For us who belong to the Lord, this life is a journey to heaven.  The destination brings hope and meaning to the trials along the way.

Here’s a beautiful song that I have come to love recently:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zEy018wXZI4

“Jesus Draw Me Ever Nearer”

Jesus draw me ever nearer
As I labour through the storm.
You have called me to this passage,
and I’ll follow, though I’m worn.

May this journey bring a blessing,
May I rise on wings of faith;
And at the end of my heart’s testing,
With Your likeness let me wake.

Jesus guide me through the tempest;
Keep my spirit staid and sure.
When the midnight meets the morning,
Let me love You even more.

Let the treasures of the trial                                 
Form within me as I go –
And at the end of this long passage,
Let me leave them at Your throne.

Music by Keith Getty; Words by Margaret Becker
Copyright © 2002 Thankyou Music

The Christmas Promise

While other houses around here are sporting fall and Halloween decorations, we got a jump on them and put up Mom’s Christmas tree already!  This is something I thought I could do for her during my short visit, but it does bring a sense of excitement to see it shining there in the dark of the early morning.  Another part of Christmas that I look forward to is listening to Handel’s “Messiah,” even if it’s only on a CD.

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Part of that musical work is based on Isaiah 9 which I read this morning.  The light shining in darkness is even more poignant as the world grows dark around us and we long for the light at the end of that tunnel. 

The people who walk in darkness will see a great light.
For those who live in a land of deep darkness, a light will shine…
For a child is born to us, a son is given to us.
 

In my Bible I have written “Jesus!” in the margin.  It’s a very familiar passage which we associate with Christ’s birth at Christmas.  But the next lines have definitely not yet been fulfilled:

The government will rest on his shoulders.
And he will be called:
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
His government and its peace will never end.
He will rule with fairness and justice
     from the throne of his ancestor David for all eternity.
The passionate commitment of the LORD of Heaven’s Armies
     will make this happen!

Oh, how I long for this part of the prophecy to be fulfilled!  Jesus Himself will rule singlehandedly with true peace, justice and righteousness.  No more scam, scandal, selfishness, secrecy, oppression, violence, deception and all the other things that characterize government and society today.    I am committed, by God’s grace, to stay the course.  Not to give up in despair or to give in to the forces of evil (even those in sheep’s clothing).  It will be worth it all when that glorious kingdom arrives!

Maranatha!  Come Lord Jesus!

While Waiting—How to Live

I keep puzzling over how God’s people should live in this world that’s falling apart at the seams as we wait for His kingdom to arrive in all its power and put it all right.  This morning I read Matthew 24-25 which answers this very question.  Here is what Jesus says:

Don’t be alarmed when terrible things begin to happen.  24:6

Don’t be deceived by false messiahs (or teachings, etc.) 24:5-26

Hang in there, enduring faithfully to the end even when persecutions come. 24:9-13

Keep alert and be ready to meet him whenever He shows up (like a householder on the guard for burglars).  24:42-44

Keep working faithfully, not getting careless about sin (like an abusive manager). 24:45-50

Be wise; don’t slide into apathy or laziness (like the 5 foolish virgins). 25:1-13

Wisely use the resources God has entrusted to us during His absence. 25:14-29

Care, share, & serve others in need, as if they were Christ Himself!  25:31-45

With these assignments, there won’t be time for fussing, fretting, or fear!

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