Wednesday, October 13, 2021

There is still time?

We look around today  and we see amazing human accomplishments, and incomprehensible human suffering... we see rockets roaring- thrust into space, discoveries dreamed of for centuries that are now real… We witness volcanoes, earthquakes, title waves, hurricanes and unstoppable forces , famine, violence, and greed… We witness good and evil in the hearts of men each and every day.

Power, strength, might, we stand in awe at the natural and human made displays… Nothing though can ever touch the power of our omnipotent, omnipresent, creator of the galaxies, atoms, and natural laws… Our heavenly Creator, our sovereign Lord who rules over all there is and all there ever will be!
  How sad and dangerous to live without Him; how foolish to run and hide from Him… How ridiculous is it for us to disobey Him? And yet we do… 

Since Eden, we have strangely sought independence from God's control as though we are our own gods and could haphazardly plot our own destinies. God has allowed our rebellion. But soon the great and mighty day of the Lord will come! 

It is about this very day that the prophet Joel speaks about in his book… On this very day God will come and judge all unrighteousness and all disobedience –The gavel will come down and all accounts will be settled and all the crooked things made straight.

In the book of Joel we read his messages which are forebodings and warnings… But also filled with hope. Joel states that our loving creator, the omnipotent judge, is also very merciful and He wants to bless all who trust Him.

Joel describes terrible plagues of locusts that cover the land and devour the crops. This is a foretaste of the coming judgment of God...

"The great and mighty day of the Lord"

The day of the Lord is an awesome, terrible thing. Who can possibly survive?( Joel 2:11)

Joel urges people to turn away from their wicked sins and their evil and to turn back to God… Carved into his message of judgment and the need for repentance is the affirmation of God's kindness and the blessings He promises for all those who follow Him… 

For everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.. Joel 2:32

Like a destroying army of locusts, God's punishment for sin is overwhelming, dreadful and unavoidable! When it comes, there will be no protection and no escape… The day for settling accounts with God for how we have lived is fast approaching.

God stands ready to forgive and restore all those who would come to Him and turn away from their sins… God wants to shower his people with his love and mercy and restore them to a proper relationship with Him...

God is the one whom we all must reckon, not leaders, not the economy, not some foreign invader… We can't ignore or offend God forever. We must pay attention to His Word, His truth and His messages now or we will face His wrath later!

God's forgiveness comes by turning away from sin and turning towards Him.. it's not too late to receive God's forgiveness. God's greatest desire is for you to come to  Him… Joel predicts the time when God will pour out His Spirit on all people. It will be the beginning of the new and fresh worship of God by those who believe in Him as well as the beginning of judgment on all who reject Him.

God is in control, justice and restoration are in His powerful hands and in His hands alone! The Holy Spirit confirms God's love for us just as He did for the first Christians.

(Acts 2:17)
In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit upon all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy. You're young men will see visions, and your old man will dream dreams. In those days I will pour out my Spirit even on my servants, men and women alike, and they will prophesy. And I will cause wonders in the heavens above and signs on the earth below blood and fire and clouds of smoke. The sun will become dark and the moon will turn blood red before the great and glorious day of the Lord arrives. But everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.

We must be steadfastly faithful to our one and only true God… Call on the name of Jesus,  make him Lord and Savior of your life… Placing  our lives under His loving guidance and the mighty power of His Holy Spirit will be the greatest decision you could ever make!

That is why the Lord says, turn to me now while there is time. Give me your hearts. Come with fasting, weeping, and morning. Don't tear your clothing in your grief, but tear your hearts instead. Return to the Lord your God, for He is merciful and compassionate, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love. He is eager to relent and not punish (Joel 2:12-13)

Say to the nations far and wide, "Get Ready For War!"
Call out your best warriors let your fighting man advance for the attack. Joel 3:9

The words 'the day of the Lord' are used here as God's appointed time to judge the nations… Judgment and mercy go hand-in-hand. Joel states that if the people repented, the Lord would save them from judgment. In this day of judgment and catastrophe, some will be saved… God's intention is not to destroy but to heal and to save. However we must first accept his salvation or we will certainly perish with the unrepentant!

Thousands upon thousands are waiting in the valley of decision. Do not be one of those people who are double minded… It's time to call on the Lord and be saved… The day will soon arrive… The Bible says that the sun in the moon will grow dark and the stars will no longer shine. But the Lord's voice will roar from Zion and thunder from Jerusalem, the heavens and the earth will shake. But the Lord will be a refuge for His people a strong fortress for the people of Israel. Billions of people have lived on earth, and every one of them, dead, living, and yet to be born will face judgment. Look around you… See your friends, family, neighbors… Those with whom you work and live… Have they received God's salvation, forgiveness? Have they been warned about sins consequences? If we understand the severity of God's final judgment we will want to take His offer of help to those that have not received Him.

The last word will be God's! The reply of the tongue shall come from the Lord ...His ultimate sovereignty will be revealed in the end. We cannot predict when the end will come… But we can have confidence in God's control over the world's events , the world's history, as well as our own pilgrimage, it is all in God's Righteous and powerful hands.. we can be secure in His love and trust Him to guide our decisions when we repent and turn our lives whole heartedly over to Him!

We never know when this day will come! Do you know Jesus as your Lord and Savior?

Call on the name of the Lord today… Repent and turn away from your sins, ask Him to forgive you and  to come into your heart and make Him your Lord and Savior! 

There is no greater love…! We give Him all praise and glory!

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Thursday, July 15, 2021

Doubt your Doubts by Nina Keegan

No more doubting! 

Mark 8:12-21

New Living Translation

12 When he heard this, he sighed deeply in his spirit and said, “Why do these people keep demanding a miraculous sign? I tell you the truth, I will not give this generation any such sign.” 13 So he got back into the boat and left them, and he crossed to the other side of the lake.

14 But the disciples had forgotten to bring any food. They had only one loaf of bread with them in the boat. 15 As they were crossing the lake, Jesus warned them, “Watch out! Beware of the yeast of the Pharisees and of Herod.”

16 At this they began to argue with each other because they hadn’t brought any bread. 17 Jesus knew what they were saying, so he said, “Why are you arguing about having no bread? Don’t you know or understand even yet? Are your hearts too hard to take it in? 18 ‘You have eyes—can’t you see? You have ears—can’t you hear?’[a] Don’t you remember anything at all? 19 When I fed the 5,000 with five loaves of bread, how many baskets of leftovers did you pick up afterward?”

“Twelve,” they said.

20 “And when I fed the 4,000 with seven loaves, how many large baskets of leftovers did you pick up?”

“Seven,” they said.

21 “Don’t you understand yet?” he asked them.

How many times have we all seen God do exceedingly abundantly more than we can ask or think? How many times has he been so faithful and shown up in our times of distress and trouble? But yet, when a trial arises… Do we go back and re-count the goodness and the faithfulness of God? Do we pray and then trust him, or do we instead panic, worry, fear,

and go straight into anxiety mode?

I'm always astonished at different parts of the Bible where whether it's the disciples, or the Israelites, that were literally seeing miracles on the daily… And yet they would worry and fret over the very things they saw Jesus do and provide!

In the scripture above we see the disciples arguing over not having brought enough bread to eat… Yet they were in the very presence of Jesus who multiplied loaves and fed the masses in front of their eyes! 

I often thought about the Israelites… Because of their grumbling and complaining and doubting , they spent 40 years in the wilderness on  what should've been a less than two week trek.

The Israelites literally had bread fall from the sky each and every day 'and yet'.....

How many "and Yet" moments are we going to allow to wreak havoc in our lives before we figure out that nothing goes unnoticed by God… That he is still the same sovereign God that wants to bless us, heal us, redeem us, restore us, vindicate us, and protect us… and provide all we need for life and godliness. When we pray all of heaven springs into action… The Bible says that God inclines his ear to hear us and if we know he hears us then we shall have what we ask… When we pray according to God's will, there is nothing that can stop what God wants to do in our lives!

We are doubting and we are living subpar in our faith… Faith is the substance of things hoped for, it is the evidence of things not seen and God longs to do exceedingly abundantly more than we could ever ask or think!

Is anything too hard for God? God owns it all ,has it all, created it all and He will always provide… 

It's time to change our mindset and come from a place that it's already ours… every thing we will ever need has already been bought and paid for by the powerful blood of Jesus and nailed to the cross in anticipation of every need we would ever have... God did not hold back his one and only son from us… Why then would he hold back anything else?… That would make those things more important to God than his only Son!

God wants us blessed… It's time for us to receive all that he has for us, it's time for us to know, that we know, that we know, that he has us in the palms of his hands and he will never let us fall!

In the scripture above the final verse 21 says 

"Don't you understand yet?"he asked them..

It's time for us to believe it's time for us to never have to have God ask us this question… 

Do you understand yet..?

God bless you all!

Psalm 37:4 

Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.

Jeremiah 29:11 

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.

Malachi 3:10 

Bring the full tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. And thereby put me to the test, says the Lord of hosts, if I will not open the windows of heaven for you and pour down for you a blessing until there is no more need.

Psalm 1:1-6 

Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers. The wicked are not so, but are like chaff that the wind drives away. Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous; ...

Matthew 6:33 

But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.

Philippians 4:19 

And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus

Ephesians 1:3 

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places,

Tuesday, July 6, 2021

What will you choose? by Nina Keegan

This is such an important story and I love how the Bible is so relevant today...

The vision of the prophet Nahum 
The Lord’s Anger Against Nineveh

Nahum 1:1-5
2 The Lord is a jealous and avenging God;
    the Lord takes vengeance and is filled with wrath.
The Lord takes vengeance on his foes
    and vents his wrath against his enemies.
3 The Lord is slow to anger but great in power;
    the Lord will not leave the guilty unpunished.
His way is in the whirlwind  and the storm,
    and clouds  are the dust of his feet.
4 He rebukes the sea and dries it up;
    he makes all the rivers run dry.
Bashan and Carmel wither
    and the blossoms of Lebanon fade.

The mountains quake before him
    and the hills melt away. 
The earth trembles at his presence,
    the world and all who live in it.

This passage is concerning the state of the world at the time ..The world had lost boundaries and rules for living an established by God life… But men and women regularly flaunt these regulations, hiding their interactions or overpowering others and declaring that "might makes right"!
God calls this sin, he calls it willful disobedience and rebellion against his control or empathy. At times it certainly does seem as though the violators succeed.. it's like no fouls are being called and individual dictators, and an evil agenda rule. The truth is, however, that ultimately justice will be served in our world… God ultimately will settle all accounts!

Nineveh was a city in Assyria which was the most powerful nation on earth at the time. They were very proud in their self-sufficiency and haughty in their military might. They plundered, they oppressed and slaughtered their victims. But it was only 100 years earlier that Jonah had preached in the great city of Nineveh and  the people received God's messages and turned from their evil ways… But then, generations later, evil was again reigning and the prophet Nahum pronounced judgment on this wicked nation…

In the Word, Nineveh is called a city of murder, a city of cruelty, and the Assyrians are judged for their pride, Idolatry, murders, lies, treachery and social injustices .He predicted that this proud and powerful nation would be utterly destroyed because of its sins and because of their turning away from God and the end   most assuredly came within 50 years.

In this declaration ..God is judging a sinful world. The message is clear, disobedience, rebellion and injustice will not prevail but will be punished severely by a righteous and holy God who rules over all the earth. I Love that as you read the book of Nahum you sense God's wrath as he avenges sin and brings about justice.
There is ultimately a turn around and they decide to live under God's guidance and within his rules, commands and secure guidelines for life.

God would ultimately judge the city of Nineveh for it's Idolatry, arrogance, and oppression although Assyria was the leading military power in the world, God completely destroys  this" invincible" nation
.. it's important to understand that God allows no person or power to scoff at or mock his authority!

Anyone who remains arrogant and resists God's authority will ultimately face his anger. No ruler or nation will ever get away with rejecting God. No individual will ever be able to hide from God's judgment…those who keep trusting God and seek his will first in all things will be kept safe forever.

Remember it is God alone that can truly rescue us from any fears and oppressions ..We must place our confidence and trust in him because he alone rules all of history, all of the earth,and all of the world .
 Ultimately it will be His will that will be done.

God will not allow sin to go unchecked forever. When people wonder why God doesn't punish evil immediately, we must all remember that if he did, none of us would be here. We can all be thankful that God gives people time to turn to him that he is merciful and a just God!

Nahum 1:1-7 , 13, and 15

7)The Lord is good, a strong refuge when trouble comes. He's close to those who trust him. But he will sweep away his enemies in an overwhelming flood. He will pursue his foes into the darkness of night.

13)Now I will break the yoke of bondage from your neck and tear off the chains of Assyrian oppression.

15)Look, a messenger is coming over the mountains with good news! He is bringing a message of peace for your wicked enemies will never invade your land again .

No person on earth can safely defy God the Almighty Creator of the entire universe.. to the people who refuse to believe, God's punishment is like an angry fire. To those who love him, his mercy is a refuge, supplying all their needs without diminishing his supply… The relationship we have with God is up to us. What path will you choose?

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Wednesday, June 30, 2021

A Lying Spirit by Nina Keegan

Praying against evil and a lying spirit! 

Micaiah Prophesies Against Ahab

18 Now Jehoshaphat had great wealth and honor, and he allied himself with Ahab by marriage. Some years later he went down to see Ahab in Samaria. Ahab slaughtered many sheep and cattle for him and the people with him and urged him to attack Ramoth Gilead. Ahab king of Israel asked Jehoshaphat king of Judah, “Will you go with me against Ramoth Gilead?”

Jehoshaphat replied, “I am as you are, and my people as your people; we will join you in the war.” But Jehoshaphat also said to the king of Israel, “First seek the counsel of the Lord.”

So the king of Israel brought together the prophets—four hundred men—and asked them, “Shall we go to war against Ramoth Gilead, or shall I not?”

“Go,” they answered, “for God will give it into the king’s hand.”

But Jehoshaphat asked, “Is there no longer a prophet of the Lord here whom we can inquire of?”

The king of Israel answered Jehoshaphat, “There is still one prophet through whom we can inquire of the Lord, but I hate him because he never prophesies anything good about me, but always bad. He is Micaiah son of Imlah.”

“The king should not say such a thing,” Jehoshaphat replied.

So the king of Israel called one of his officials and said, “Bring Micaiah son of Imlah at once.”

Dressed in their royal robes, the king of Israel and Jehoshaphat king of Judah were sitting on their thrones at the threshing floor by the entrance of the gate of Samaria, with all the prophets prophesying before them. 10 Now Zedekiah son of Kenaanah had made iron horns, and he declared, “This is what the Lord says: ‘With these you will gore the Arameans until they are destroyed.’”

11 All the other prophets were prophesying the same thing. “Attack Ramoth Gilead(E) and be victorious,” they said, “for the Lord will give it into the king’s hand.”

12 The messenger who had gone to summon Micaiah said to him, “Look, the other prophets without exception are predicting success for the king. Let your word agree with theirs, and speak favorably.”

13 But Micaiah said, “As surely as the Lord lives, I can tell him only what my God says.”(F)

14 When he arrived, the king asked him, “Micaiah, shall we go to war against Ramoth Gilead, or shall I not?”

“Attack and be victorious,” he answered, “for they will be given into your hand.”

15 The king said to him, “How many times must I make you swear to tell me nothing but the truth in the name of the Lord?”

16 Then Micaiah answered, “I saw all Israel(G) scattered on the hills like sheep without a shepherd,(H) and the Lord said, ‘These people have no master. Let each one go home in peace.’”

17 The king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat, “Didn’t I tell you that he never prophesies anything good about me, but only bad?”

18 Micaiah continued, “Therefore hear the word of the Lord: I saw the Lord sitting on his throne(I) with all the multitudes of heaven standing on his right and on his left. 19 And the Lord said, ‘Who will entice Ahab king of Israel into attacking Ramoth Gilead and going to his death there?’

“One suggested this, and another that. 20 Finally, a spirit came forward, stood before the Lord and said, ‘I will entice him.’

“‘By what means?’ the Lord asked.

21 “‘I will go and be a deceiving spirit(J) in the mouths of all his prophets,’ he said.

“‘You will succeed in enticing him,’ said the Lord. ‘Go and do it.’

22 “So now the Lord has put a deceiving spirit in the mouths of these prophets of yours.(K) The Lord has decreed disaster for you.”

23 Then Zedekiah son of Kenaanah went up and slapped(L) Micaiah in the face. “Which way did the spirit from[a] the Lord go when he went from me to speak to you?” he asked.

24 Micaiah replied, “You will find out on the day you go to hide in an inner room.”

25 The king of Israel then ordered, “Take Micaiah and send him back to Amon the ruler of the city and to Joash the king’s son, 26 and say, ‘This is what the king says: Put this fellow in prison(M) and give him nothing but bread and water until I return safely.’”

27 Micaiah declared, “If you ever return safely, the Lord has not spoken through me.” Then he added, “Mark my words, all you people!”

Ahab Killed at Ramoth Gilead

28 So the king of Israel and Jehoshaphat king of Judah went up to Ramoth Gilead. 29 The king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat, “I will enter the battle in disguise, but you wear your royal robes.” So the king of Israel disguised(O) himself and went into battle.

30 Now the king of Aram had ordered his chariot commanders, “Do not fight with anyone, small or great, except the king of Israel.” 31 When the chariot commanders saw Jehoshaphat, they thought, “This is the king of Israel.” So they turned to attack him, but Jehoshaphat cried out,(P) and the Lord helped him. God drew them away from him, 32 for when the chariot commanders saw that he was not the king of Israel, they stopped pursuing him.

33 But someone drew his bow at random and hit the king of Israel between the breastplate and the scale armor. The king told the chariot driver, “Wheel around and get me out of the fighting. I’ve been wounded.” 34 All day long the battle raged, and the king of Israel propped himself up in his chariot facing the Arameans until evening. Then at sunset he died.(Q)

This is an amazing passage of scripture… What stands out to me the most is when it says in verse 22 the Lord has put a deceiving, lying, spirit in the mouths of your prophets for the Lord has pronounced your doom...

When you want to please or impress someone, it is tempting to lie to make yourself look good. His 400 prophets did just that, they were always telling Ahab only what he wanted to hear. They were then  rewarded for making Ahab happy. Micaiah, however, ALWAYS told the truth and then he was promptly  arrested. Obeying God doesn't always protect us from evil consequences. Obedience may in fact, provoke them. But it is always so much better to suffer from people's displeasure then from God's wrath Matthew 10:28

Matthew 10:28, ESV: "And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. ... Fear only God, who can destroy both soul and body in hell."

If you are ridiculed for being honest, remember that this can be a sign that you are indeed doing what is right in God's eyes. 

We must remember that the truth will set us free and we should not back down from it… In this age where it seems that everything evil is good and everything good is evil… It seems that evil is winning and that the truth is nonexistent… But we know that God has plans for the wicked… And that God knows the truth… 

We should not obsess over the seemingly "winning" of evil!  We must not back down from the truth.  The gates of hell shall not prevail! 

I believe we will be held accountable for the things we do and the things we don't do.

We must stand firm! 

As a Christian we have big shoes to fill… People are watching to see if we will cave under pressure or back away from the truth because it's not popular.

We must test the spirits and we must do our own research… Ask the Lord to show you the way… The truth… He will always make a way for us not to be snared in sin and evil. He always gives us a way out. The lying spirit is a picture of the false prophets entire way of life. Many things that are happening in our world today are lives built on lies, coverups scandal… And allowing people to only hear a one-sided skewed, manipulating agenda.

We know that lies will eventually catch up to you. Leaders will be certainly troubled if they surround themselves with advisers whose only thought

Is to please them…  eventually all who spread malice  will be caught in their own snares.

We are in the world but not of the world!

We must continually live lives steeped in  integrity and following God's word… Persecution is real.. 

We must know the truth about God's word and its relevance to the narratives being played out.

God fulfills His will despite the defenses people try to erect. As in the above biblical account, God can use anything even an error, to bring His will to pass. This is very good news for God's followers because we can trust Him to be faithful to work out his plans and keep his promises no matter how desperate our circumstances are or how bad things look in the natural…

We are God's believing believers… We will speak truth!

Fear the Lord and judge with integrity for the Lord our God does not tolerate perverted justice, partiality or taking bribes

2 Chronicles 19:7

Yes indeed God will hold us accountable for the authority that we exercise.. realize that you are not doing the judging for God, be impartial and honest, be faithful and act only out of fear of the Lord not man… The fear of man is a snare.

Let God's word be truth and every man a liar… We will see the goodness of the Lord here in the land of the living… We will not grow weary in well doing and we must remember to give God praise… Give thanks to the Lord because his faithful love will endure forever! I love the scripture that says at the very moment they begin to sing and praise, the Lord caused the enemy armies to start fighting among themselves. Not a single one of the enemy had escaped!

God is our vindicator… When we do what is right the Lord himself will fight for us and bring us victory and rest on every side!

Live a life steeped in integrity and truth!  God honors truth! 

Truth always wins in the end! 

2 Chronicles 20:30

So Jehoshaphat's kingdom was at peace, for his God had given him rest on every side.

Proverbs 12:22 – The Lord detests lying lips, but he delights in people who are trustworthy.

Luke 16:10 Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much.

Proverbs 10:9 – Whoever walks in integrity walks securely, but he who makes his ways crooked will be found out.