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Monthly Archives: June 2011

Broken Vessels (via Devotions of Grace)

I've written before and shared that my best friend sings with a southern gospel group, "The Drummond Family".  Initially, when I began going to sings where they were ministering, I was going to support my best friend…but as time passed I began to grow close to this family.  They are a huge blessing in my life.  God has used their ministry in His process of healing my once broken heart. This weekend I was able to attend all their sings.  There w … Read More

via Devotions of Grace

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Posted by on June 30, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

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LACK OF TIME : DOES IT BOTHER YOU ?

It was a class on Time Management. The teacher took a big bucket and filled it with stones. Once it was filled with stones, he asked; ‘Is it full?’ Students replied loudly, ‘Yes.’ But the teacher took some small pieces of stone and filled the gap between the stones. Then he repeated the question, ‘Is it full?’ The students were in a dilemma. They were silent. The teacher took some sand and filled it in the bucket again. The bucket was full and no space left. He asked the question again, ‘Is it full?’ They answered, ‘Yes.’ But the teacher was clever. He took some water and poured it into the bucket. The bucket contained the water too.

The professor asked the children about the message they received from the experiment. As it was a class on time management, one of the students understood the point and said, ‘Even those who complain of having no time, can find some valuable time left, if they try.’ The teacher interrupted and said, ‘the moral of this experiment is not so.’

It is because we filled the bucket with big stones first, that we could add more things into it. If you had gone with the small things first, you could have never filled it with big things.

Thus if you find time for important things first, then you could manage your time fruitfully and with ease. Time spent for unnecessary purposes, will take a lot of valuable time away from our life.

———————————————–

“I have no time to pray, love, speak with others or help others… not enough time to finish up my jobs. These are the complaints of the modern man. Even I had gone through this problem many times. But now I learn that God was not at the center of my life during those tough times. God is the most important factor in our life. Shortage of time is the result of God loosing importance in our life and less important matters finding more importance in our heart. In other words God has given us enough time to take over all the responsibilities that He has entrusted us.

When the Holy Spirit takes control of our life, we can find time for everything. The Holy Spirit helps us to accomplish more things in a short time. Sometime I find it difficult to write editorials for our periodicals. But when the Holy Spirit helps me I can do it even between the intervals of meetings or during a journey. The problem is not time, but the fullness of the Holy Spirit.

Busy schedules and lack of time will lead us to spiritual aridity. God is never busy with anything. If we tune ourselves with God in prayer, we could find enough time. If we are not to lose important time, spend time with the most important in our life. Spend more time with God, we will find time to do our responsibilities that He has entrusted us.

Useless reading, unnecessary conversations through mobile phone, fruitless journeys, spending time in day dreams and thoughts of despair… if we could be free from it, we would find enough time for useful and fruitful things. For this we need the help of the Holy Spirit. Let us pray: “Dear Lord, teach me to use my time fruitfully.”

– – – written by Benny Punnathara

 
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Posted by on June 30, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

THE COMFORTER

Jack Kinsella – Omega Letter Editor – http://www.omegaletter.com

I received an interesting email over the weekend containing another exposition of 2nd Thessalonians and how Chapter 2, in particular, is relevant to this generation.

This email focused its attention on the “great falling away” or the apostasia of 2nd Thessalonians 2:3.

“Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there comes a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition.”

In this exposition, the writer argues that the falling away, or the ‘apostasia’ does not refer to a departure from the faith, but instead is a reference to the Rapture.

It was an interesting take — I read the attached article several times, mainly because the author asked all the wrong questions but still came up with the right answers.

I tried really hard to follow his reasoning, and it wasn’t until I was on about the third re-reading that I was able to see how he got there.

“I could spend a lot of time presenting definitions of Greek words and quoting from learned scholars who have done much research on this section. But too much technical information can overburden the reader. So I shall distil the research and provide enough evidence to prove our conclusions are accurate and true.”

The rest of the article is filled with too much technical research, a lot of which was technically wrong.

The point that jumped out at me is that there are so many well-meaning Christians that believe the Bible can only be understood by a select few.

This author attempted to prove the Rapture is pre-Trib (I agree) and that the falling away does not refer to believers falling away from Christ due to eternal security (with which I also agree.)

But his case is built entirely on the premise that the Scriptures themselves aren’t clear enough to sustain his argument.

Let’s review the relevant Scriptures. Paul says the “Day of Christ” will not come until first there is a falling away, followed by the revealing of the antichrist.

The next verse confirms his identification as the antichrist.

“Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.”

Paul says that this revelation is being witheld by a Power Paul assumes the Thessalonians recognize without too much elaboration.

“And now ye know what withholdeth, that he might be revealed in his time. For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only He who now holdeth back will hold him back, until he is taken out of the way.(2nd Thessalonians 2:7, NKJV)

At this point, many scholars believe they have to launch into a complicated dissertation about what the ‘mystery of iniquity’ REALLY means, instead of the obvious — the baffling power of sin is already at work blinding the world.

For many, that is too simple.

Then, there is a debate about who He is that holdeth back. Some argue that the one that “holdeth back” isn’t the Holy Spirit, but the antichrist himself.

One could save oneself a lot of skull sweat by simply reading it for what it actually says.

It says that the antichrist will not be revealed until He that ‘holdeth back iniquity’ is ‘taken out of the way.’ The antichrist doesn’t ‘hold back’ iniquity, he personifies it.

One doesn’t have to research the original Greek or cherry-pick scholars that support a particular view. One need only read the Scriptures prayerfully for what they say.

Is it POSSIBLE for the antichrist to be revealed while the Church is still here? According to Scripture, only if one can find a way to take away the Holy Spirit, while leaving behind the vessels He occupies.

And if that is possible, then Jesus lied and His promise is meaningless.

One of the most definite, and therefore, most controversial verses in Scripture is John 14:6:

“I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by Me.”

Why is that controversial? It is THAT verse that gives Christianity a bad name among the religions of the world.

If no man can come to the Father, except through Jesus, then it means only Christians can go to heaven. To the world, that is hateful, since it excludes anybody who isn’t a Christian.

Which brings us back to the ridiculous argument that Christianity is hateful because it won’t admit people that don’t believe in it into a heaven that they also don’t believe in.

Like claiming that the toothfairy is hateful because you have to lose a tooth first. If you don’t believe in the toothfairy, what do you care?

In point of fact, what it really proves is that Christianity is real and Jesus is alive and heaven is a real place.

That is why it is so upsetting to the lost. They KNOW there is no toothfairy.

On the other hand, Jesus says, “Believe Me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me: or else believe Me for the very works’ sake.”

One can believe in Him by faith, or one can believe because of His works. But the fact is, He is still at the center of the debate 2,000 years later.

The world may not accept Him, but they can’t help but believe, even when they deny Him.

If they didn’t believe, somewhere deep down inside, then heaven wouldn’t matter anymore than the tooth fairy. But it does.

It is in this context of explaining to His Apostles Who He really is that Jesus confirms both the Rapture and the timing of it. One needn’t have a degree in classical Greek or Hebrew to understand His meaning.

“And I will pray the Father, and He shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you forever.”

Let’s look at the context. Jesus has just revealed that He is in the Father, and the Father is in Him. (John 14:10)

Then He promises another Comforter He says will “abide with you forever.” Who is this Comforter?

“Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth Him not, neither knoweth Him: but ye know him; for He dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.” (John 14:17)

Again, one needn’t be a Greek scholar to identify the Comforter as the Holy Spirit. And if the answer is still unclear, one need only read down a few more verses:

“But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in My name, He shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.” (John 14:26)

Jesus not only promised to send the Holy Spirit, He promised that; “I will NOT leave you comfortless: I will come to you.” (John 14:18)

Now, we return to 2nd Thessalonians Chapter 2 and knowing the Greek antecedents and dangling Greek participles and citing learned scholars seems less necessary.

Jesus promised that He will come to me before He will leave me without the Comforter. The Comforter is the One that teaches and reveals all things to the Church.

Through His occupation of the Church, He restrains evil. I don’t think there is any way to logically dispute that.

Paul says the Comforter is taken out of the way, which allows for “that Wicked” to be revealed. (2nd Thessalonians 2:7-8)

All the Greek and Latin gymnastics in the world can’t reinterpret the Promise that we will not be without the Comforter unless He (Jesus) has come for me. I can’t speak for you. But I know what He promised me.

He can’t take His Holy Spirit from me and leave me comfortless without breaking His Word to me.

The Comforter is taken out of the way before the antichrist is revealed at the beginning of the Tribulation Period and the Second Coming of Christ doesn’t take place until the end of the Tribulation Period.

So unless the Holy Spirit can be ‘taken out of the way’ while still indwelling me until the 2nd Coming, I must be taken out of the way at the same time.

“For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only He who now holdeth back will hold him back, until He is taken out of the way. . .

“And THEN shall that wicked one be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of His mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of His coming.”

One doesn’t need to speak Classical Greek to understand the Comforter. Or the identity of the “wicked one”. Or the Promise.

The antichrist cannot be revealed while the Comforter indwells the Church, since He must be taken out of the way.

And the Comforter cannot be taken out of the way, leaving us comfortless, because Jesus said He would come for us, first.

It really doesn’t get confusing UNTIL one starts quoting classical Greek, learned scholars and long-winded expositions.

“But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty.” (1st Corinthians 1:27)

It’s really not that complicated. The Bible wasn’t written to scholars in some kind of mysterious multilingual code.

“Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child shall in no wise enter therein.” (Luke 18:17)

Because it was written so a little child could understand it.

 
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Posted by on June 30, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

DOES MATHEW 24 : 14 MEAN THAT THE GOSPEL NEEDS TO BE PREACHED TO THE WHOLE WORLD BEFORE THE RAPTURE CAN OCCUR ?

Nathan Jones – http://www.lamblion.com

Dr. David Reagan and I recently had the pleasure of asking this question of our old friend Evangelist Don McGee on the show Christ in Prophecy. Don is the founder and director of Crown & Sickle Ministries (Rev. 14:14) based in Amite, Louisiana. Don travels all over the Unites States preaching about the soon return of Jesus Christ and speaking at Bible prophecy conferences.

Nathan Jones: Matthew 24:14 reads, “And this Gospel of the Kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.” How do you interpret that verse?

Don McGee: That verse has been taken out of context so many times. Many take that verse to mean that the Gospel has to be preached to everybody in the world before Jesus can come back, but in reality that verse is talking about the Second Coming. It is not meaning that the Gospel has to be preached to the whole world before the Rapture of the Church.

After the Rapture, the world will hear the Gospel from the Two Witnesses and the 144,000 Jewish evangelists. Then there is this angel during the Tribulation who preaches the Gospel to the whole world. Revelation 14 tells us the Gospel angel circumnavigates the globe, preaching the Gospel to every person before the final pouring out of God’s wrath. If you want a precedent for that, look at what happened in Egypt when the death angel moved across the land destroying the first born of the families. This is going to be totally different, of course, because it is going to instead be the preaching of the Gospel. God can move His messengers as He wills.

Nathan Jones: So, we don’t have to reach every little tribal group in some Brazilian mountain or somewhere with the Gospel? This reaching the whole world is totally something after the Rapture?

Don McGee: That’s right. Since the Rapture could happen at any time, Matthew 24:14 has nothing to do with the Gospel going out to the whole world before the Rapture.

Dr. Reagan: I can think of a couple of other things that would bring people to the Lord, in fact, there are three others that come to mind right now. The first would be that the Rapture itself might convince some people, although there is going to be a lot of deception concerning the Rapture. Secondly, there are going to Bibles everywhere. In fact, in the front of my Bible I have written down what you must do to be saved. I have given people who may find my Bible this because they are not going to have a lot of time. So, there will be Bibles around. Thirdly, there will be the very pouring out of God’s wrath. You know, our God is an amazing God. Even when He pours out His wrath, His fundamental purpose is not to punish. His fundamental purpose is to bring people to repentance so that they might be saved. It says in Isaiah when God plows the earth He does so for the purpose of bringing people to salvation.

Don McGee: That’s right! God is not a tyrant. He’s not some deity up there who wants to smash people. His grace and His mercy spring from His love, and He loved the whole world. The whole purpose behind this pouring out of God’s wrath is to work with the Jewish people to help them come to salvation.

Dr. Reagan: I am glad that you mentioned that point because there is a fellow on MSNBC which is notorious for being liberal. Lawrence O’Donnell has a nightly program where he once said something like, “Anyone who believes the book of Revelation is nuts. It’s a work of fiction. It reveals a horrible God who is worse than Hitler.” What do you have to say about that?

Don McGee: I would say He is not the God that I know. Secondly, it sounds like O’Donnell doesn’t know anything about the book of Revelation. I think he is probably parroting something that some heretic said years ago and still are saying today. I think that a person can read the book of Revelation with a prayerful attitude and understand exactly what the Lord wants us to see there. Dr. Henry Morris once said, “Revelation is not hard to understand, it is just hard to believe.”

Dr. Reagan: The purpose of God’s wrath is also to deal with rebellion, with hardcore sin. He has given people plenty of time to repent, but there comes a time when by His very justice He must deal with sin.

Don McGee: The precedent for that can be found in the book of Judges in that cycle of sin, if you remember. When you read about that cycle of sin you will see that every time the people came under persecution from the Philistines then they would repent and come back to God. That’s the whole idea behind God’s wrath.

 
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Posted by on June 30, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

EMBRACE WHAT IS GOOD

There are many good things in this world. Our world is not that bad as many suppose. Since God created it and is ruling it, it does have so many good things to offer us.

The Scripture exhorts us to think on what is good, pleasant and noble. Why? Because there are so many good, pleasant and noble things in this world to think about!

What you expect as you wake up in the morning has a tremendous impact on you that day. If you expect good things, you will experience it at different times and situations all through the day. Even when you face bad stuff, since you are expecting God’s goodness, you will be able to overcome the bad.

Embrace what is good. See the good side of people. Enjoy your work. See goodness in your present state.

When busy, it’s easy to lose sight of the good things in life and give in to stress and pressure. Find time to relax and enjoy good stuff. The Scripture notes that during the time of creation, time and again God enjoyed all that He created.

Enjoying what is good is a decision that you make daily. It is your act of praising God for all that He created. It is also your act of thanking God for His goodness.

– – – written by Joe Abraham

 
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Posted by on June 30, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

WHERE ARE WE IN THE PROPHETIC TIMELINE ?

– Nathan Jones – http://www.lamblion.com

Dr. David Reagan and I recently had the pleasure of asking this question of our old friend Evangelist Don McGee on the show Christ in Prophecy. Don is the founder and director of Crown & Sickle Ministries (Rev. 14:14) based in Amite, Louisiana. Don travels all over the Unites States preaching about the soon return of Jesus Christ and speaking at Bible prophecy conferences.

Don McGee: I believe that we are at the point where the return of Jesus for the Church — commonly called the Rapture — is imminent. I don’t think that we can say any longer, “Well, it is going to come soon.” Although I understand what people mean when they say that, I believe that imminent is a better word because it could happen at any moment. Imminent means it could happen right now. There is no delay. There is no prophecy that must be fulfilled and no event that must happen. It could easily happen today before sundown today.

Dr. Reagan: The signs of the times do not necessary point to the Rapture, but they do point to end time events like the Tribulation and the Second Coming, right?

Don McGee: There are two kinds of signs that you could look for in the Scriptures. You can go to Matthew 24 and read about events that Jesus said would happen during the Tribulation period. We are living in the shadow of those events right now, even today. All you have to do is look around and see what is happening in the world.

Secondly, you can go to 2 Timothy 3 where Paul describes to Timothy how people will be living in the last days. I believe Paul was talking about the last days of the Church Age.

I believe these two kinds of signs are a synergistic thing. When you take what Paul said about the events that would occur at the end of the Church Age and combine those with the events that Jesus said would happen during the Tribulation, then you have an increase in intensity and in volume of a world that has gone haywire and so requires the return of Jesus.

Dr. Reagan: Well, certainly, as you begin to look at the prophecies concerning the Tribulation and the Second Coming of Jesus and the signs that indicate those happening, we can look around and see those signs all over the place today. We can know for certain that the Rapture has to be right around the corner. And, moreso than ever before, right?

Nathan Jones: Two lessons that we as Christians should learn concerning an imminent Rapture is what Paul (2 Cor. 7:1) and John (1 Jn. 1:9) taught — that this should purify our lives. If we really believe that Jesus could come back at any moment for the Church, then that should be reflected in how we live. It should be reflected in our zeal for evangelism and it should be reflected in our living holy lives.

Dr. Reagan: As many know, I grew up in and attended a church for almost 30 years and never once during those 30 years did I ever hear the word Rapture. In fact, after 30 years of going to that church, if you had asked me what the Rapture was I would have said it was a sensation you feel when you kiss your girlfriend. So, tell me, just what is the Rapture?

Don McGee: I was very fortunate that the church group that I was raised with talked about the Rapture all of the time.

What the Rapture means is that Jesus is going to come back in the air. That event will be heralded by a trumpet and the voice of the Archangel. Death will release its hold upon Christians in that there will be a resurrection of Christians. This is a family affair and not a general resurrection that includes the unsaved. Christians shall be raised up and united with their immortal, glorified bodies to meet the Lord in the air. Then we are going back to Heaven for a period of seven years. That is the Rapture.

Two groups of believers will be caught up to Christ. Those who are alive at the event will be caught up, and also those who had already died will be caught up. The dead will be caught up first, then those who are alive will be caught up second. But, the catching up of both groups of believers is all going to happen in a period of time that is so fast it is just so hard to imagine.

Dr. Reagan: So, you are saying the Rapture then is an event that is separate and apart from what we usually refer to as the Second Coming?

Don McGee: They are totally separate and apart. They are not associated whatsoever. Now, they are both the return of Jesus, but it is going to occur in two stages. That’s how a lot a people would put it, anyway. First to occur is the Rapture before the Tribulation, and then Jesus’ victorious return thereafter.

We could have the Rapture happen even right now, and then when that happens afterwards at some point there will be a seven year period of time in which Jesus is going to deal with the Jewish people to bring them back to a saving knowledge of Him. Then, at the end of that seven year period we have the Second Coming of Christ.

There are no events that have to occur before the Rapture, but there are certainly events that have to occur before the Second Coming. For example, after the Church is taken out a man is going to arrive upon the scene. This guy is going to be a world ruler who is commonly called the Antichrist, in fact that is what God calls him in His Word. This man is going to have the answer to the world’s problems, and again all you have to do is look around you and see that we have plenty of them already. If any man comes upon the scene and says, “I can fix that. I can give you peace and security and prosperity,” then you can be sure the whole world will go for him. That’s going to happen. This man is going to sign a document with Israel which also protects him, too.

Also, the Temple in Jerusalem is going to be rebuilt because we know that at the three and a half year mark in the middle of the Tribulation this Antichrist is going to go into that Temple and declare himself to be God.

Dr. Reagan: The moment we start talking about the return of Jesus I can imagine people just tuning out because they are thinking, “Oh, here is one of those crazy guys that sets dates. He is going to tell us the date Jesus is going to return.” When we talk about the season of the Lord’s return, we are not talking about a date, are we?

Don McGee: No, no, students of Bible prophecy have been accused of date setting. Most of the world is familiar with Harold Camping who was predicting that the return of Jesus would happen on a very specific date last May. Sadly, date setters have been around for a long, long time. The press always focuses on them, especially when their dates come and go.

People use these failed predictions to make fun of Christ and His return. People say, “Uh-huh, look at those Pre-Mil, Pre-Trib people out there. They are a bunch of crazies. The season of the Lord’s return, why we are living in it right now.”

I can’t tell you what will be the hottest day of the year. I just can’t predict that date. But, I can tell you the hottest day of the year is going to be in the summer time. Likewise, I can’t tell you what day Jesus is coming back, but I can tell you that we are living in the season of it.

Dr. Reagan: The Lord wants us to know the season of His return. He certainly does. He does not wish that any should perish. He always, always warns before He pours out His wrath, and there is going to be great wrath poured out by God after the Rapture during the Tribulation. God does not want any to perish, so certainly He is going to give us signs to watch out for.

Don McGee: That is absolutely correct. One of the greatest signs of the Twentieth Century was the re-establishment of Israel. That was the pivot point. That’s where you go first and then begin looking at the other signs such as the signs of nature and the signs of technology.

If you look at the world you can agree that we are now a becoming a world-wide citizenry. People don’t even want to talk about borders. That is an indication that the whole world is coming together in a situation when the Antichrist can say, “I’ve got the answers and solutions, not just in your geographical area, but for the whole world.”

Dr. Reagan: Nathan, you are on the Internet every day talking to people all over the world. Do you sense that people feel like we are living in the season of the Lord’s return?

Nathan Jones: Especially among the people on the Internet who I talk to, there has been a great awakening due to all of the natural disasters afflicting the world lately. There’s no doubt that we’ve been having a great increase in natural disasters. Before all the destruction the weather’s caused people were not paying much attention, but now they are paying attention.

Dr. Reagan: It is amazing how natural disasters can get people’s attention. When I was a kid living in Waco, Texas, in 1953 they had the worse tornado in the entire history of the state even to this day. Over 100 people were killed and the town was completely devastated. We had standing room only at all the churches, and it didn’t matter whether they were Episcopal, Presbyterian, or whatever. We had standing room only for about six months, and then people started forgetting and drifting away again. But, there is something about God speaking through nature which He has done all through history that gets people’s attention.

Don McGee: I think one of the reasons what is happening in nature gets our attention is because what happens in Japan for example affects what happens in America. We’re all tied together. Look at the impact of Japan’s earthquake and tsunami. It’s not just a weather situation or a seismic situation, but it also affects the economy. It effects the provisions like the supply of food and clean water. Also, the radioactive clouds that moves across the earth affects us all. These are forces that we have no control over. Just look at what the volcano is Iceland did. It pretty much shut down Europe.

Dr. Reagan: These things are definitely increasing in frequency and intensity.

Nathan Jones: God does this to make sure the people like in Waco don’t fall asleep again, or like we did after 9/11. God is constantly reminding us to stay in our relationship with Him and be watchful for His Son’s soon return.

 
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Posted by on June 30, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

DEATH IS ONLY A SHADOW

By Sheila Schuller Coleman

“Yeah though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death I will fear no evil, for You are with me.” Psalm 23:4
When I was a little girl, I loved to play shadow games whenever Dad had a slide show. After the screen had been erected and the projector turned on, we loved to put our childish little hands in the light and try to make dogs, cats, bunnies – shadows on the screen.

Shadows! They can’t hurt you! They can frighten you. If you are walking in the light of the Lord as your Savior, then you can know beyond a shadow of a doubt that death will not hurt you any more than a shadow can.

Shadows! They are fleeting! They don’t last long. As soon as the light source changes directions, the shadows change or go away altogether. My son Nicholas, who is in graduate school for architecture, when he was in junior high he used to say to me as we drove onto the Crystal Cathedral campus, “Mom, I didn’t realize the shadows on the cathedral appeared this beautiful this time of day. The shadows are constantly changing on buildings, you know. Architects study shadows from all angles when they design a building.”

Shadows! You can’t have them without a light source! Jesus is the light source for you when you die if you let Him. He will stand between you and death and then death is only a shadow for you! What a promise! Hallelujah!

Prayer:
Dear Lord, I give You thanks, in advance, for my future circumstances because You are working in them for my good! Amen.

* * *

Are you afraid of death? Do you know where you are going? How about your loved ones? Are they walking in the light of the Lord?

Share your thoughts…

 
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Posted by on June 30, 2011 in Uncategorized