Hope In God

Matthew 24:3
“Tell us, when will these things be? And what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?”

2015/01/img_1369.jpgThe Psalmist, in a time of great despair, wrote, “Why are you cast down oh my soul, and why are you in turmoil? Hope in God…” (Psalm 42:5).  Hope serves as an anchor when the storms of life seem as though they are going to overwhelm us. As a child of God, we have the hope that His Word is eternal, and while circumstances may change, His promises remain trustworthy. We have the hope that in the midst of life’s hardships, He will never leave us, but will walk through the fires with us, even carrying us. Perhaps our greatest hope, is that Jesus has promised He will return for us. There is a time coming, perhaps in the very near future, when “as the lighting comes from the East and flashes to the west, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be.” This great hope was foremost in the minds of the disciples, as the events of Matthew 24 unfolded, and the chapter is Jesus’ answer to the question, “when.”

Instead of giving a date, Jesus begins with a warning, “Take heed.” Essentially, He is exhorting His followers to be on the lookout for the events that foreshadow His return.

He begins with a description of the world:

Many false christs
Wars
Famine, pestilence, earthquakes in various places
Persecution – “then they will deliver you up . . .”

After answering the initial question about the signs, Jesus gives a series of warnings:

Be familiar with the Word of God, vs 15
Be a person of prayer, vs 20
Know Jesus well, so as not to be deceived, vs 23
Pay attention to the signs of the times, vs 32
Be ready – parable of the faithful servant (vs 45-51). Notice he is faithful when the master finds him “so doing.” We are ready when we are getting orders from the Master and doing them. When we lose sight of Him, that is when we begin to misbehave.

Perhaps you are cast down. Perhaps life is beating you down. Take time today to sit at the feet of the Master and get your orders from Him. He not only has a plan for your life, He also wants to use you for the furtherance of His Kingdom, in preparation for His return.

Pastor Jim

 

Famine In The Land

Genesis 12:10
“Now there was a famine in the land, and Abram went down to Egypt to dwell there, for the famine was severe in the land.”

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/b9a/30989304/files/2015/01/img_1299.jpgLife is filled with ups and downs. Sometimes, it seems as if we are living under the sunshine of God’s favor, while other times, we seem to be under a dark cloud of difficulty. Abram and his family were facing a dark time. They were living as sojourners in the land of Canaan when famine struck. This was, no doubt, caused by lack of rainfall. They soon realized, their only course of action, was to head to Egypt. As they journeyed, Abram was gripped with fear. He knew the danger they were stepping into and feared for his safety. Believing that once the rulers of the land saw his wife, they would kill him, and take her. He devised a plan that would keep him safe. He would convince Sarai to claim she was his sister. It seemed as though the plan was working, until the Lord uncovered the sin of Abram.

As time went on, this would prove to be a low spot in the life of Abram, and one with some very heavy consequences. I think it would do us good to consider why this happened. What caused the father of faith, a man who left his home in obedience to the Lord, to lose faith and fail so badly? I think the answer has something to do with perspective. Instead of being led by the promises of God, Abram allowed his circumstances to guide him. It was the Lord who led Abram to Canaan, but it was circumstances that led him to Egypt. Whenever we are facing difficulties that are casting a shadow of doubt upon the promises of God, we should not flee from the promises, but cling to them more tightly. Whatever you are currently facing, no matter how difficult it may be, the solution will never be found in wandering from the Lord, but will be found in drawing nearer to Him.

Pastor Jim