Thursday, September 4, 2014

The Second Coming

Luke 17:36
36Two men will be in the field: the one will be taken and the other left.
I had been studying the scriptures yesterday morning and later shared with a co-worker. The Lord wouldn't let this rest in my spirit until it was written.  Jesus talked about the coming kingdom. He talked about the separation between the righteous and the unrighteous at His return as the NKJV Study Bible explains. Remember Jesus told the disciples He would come back for His sheep. Some may think this is just another parable because Jesus taught in parables. However, if you go back to Genesis, you will find that a man was taken up by God while still alive, Enoch. Enoch was a righteous man and "walked with God" as the scripture says. Enoch did not have to suffer physical death before going to be with God. The same is true of the great prophet Elijah. He also "walked with God." Elisha witnessed Elijah being taken up to God. He received a double portion of Elijah's anointing/mantle which he asked for because God allowed him to be present when Elijah was taken.
I recall the first time I became acutely aware of 1Corinthians 15. It was during the eulogy for my great grandmother in March 1999. I knew her death was coming because God showed me something different about the dream I had regarding her. I warned my mom that her death was coming. See, grandma was a very resilient woman. She survived so much including being shot, several strokes, one of which I witnessed and a host of illnesses. But something was different in my spirit. I had been to other memorial services before but it was the first time I was not overtaken by grief so much that I could not receive the message. God's warning to me gave me time to be at peace. In 1Corinthians there is a verse that says, "Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed." It is often heard or referenced during many eulogies. Sleep in the context of this scripture means death. That's right, not everyone will have to see death before meeting the Lord. So again, this go back to the scripture above. Jesus said there would be many signs that time was nearing.  "The change" referred to in 1Corinthians references the righteousness His people will be clothed with. The apostle Paul talks of how we cannot see God face to face in the flesh that we are in so we must see Him in our "incorruptible" selves. In the book of Mark, Jesus was transfigured or changed into His pure form while meeting with Moses and Elijah, the great prophets who had gone to be with the Lord. Moses had died in order to go be with the Lord but Elijah had not. Remember Jesus had to die a physical death for our sakes but arose again and walked the earth then was taken up to be with the Lord. They were each preparing Him for what He had to face. Peter, James and John again were witnesses to this awesome moment.
Yes, this is deep and a lot of information but the belief as followers of Christ is not a fairytale and not to be taken lightly. Let your yes be your yes as Jesus said. Be who you claim to be in Him and follow Christ if you have already said yes. Did you say yes to making Him Lord of your life? If you are not a follower of Christ, do you desire to be saved?

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

His Strength

Psalm 21:1
21The king shall have joy in Your strength, O Lord; and in Your salvation how greatly shall he rejoice!
King David wrote the psalm on the "joy in the salvation of the Lord." How powerful is it for a man to rule over an entire kingdom? Many would be beside themselves with arrogance with such a position. Some would let it go to their heads a little bit too much. My pastor calls it "the watermelon or balloon head." But a man who ruled over an entire kingdom realized the strength of his body was nothing compared to the strength of the Lord. The NKJV Study Bible gives the translation, "the triumph of faith is portrayed." David had a lot of authority as a king but what he had was still no match for the Lord. Delighting in the Lord's strength to overcome battles, illness, enemies and even "frenemies" (those who pretend to be your friend but do not like or truly respect you). David took joy in knowing no matter what he may suffer temporarily, the Lord still had the victory. The translation of the verses talks of how Jesus uttered a psalm of victory in Matthew 27 which we went over before in, "Victory Song." David too had a victory song. His victory song consisted of joy.
Are you recognizing His strength is greater than yours? Are you recognizing that only the Lord can fight your battles? Are you recognizing the joy in having faith in Him?