Verses and Advice for 2019
“Awake, O sleeper, rise up from the dead, and Christ will give you light.” (Ephesians 5:14b NLT)
My church is across the street from not only one of the top universities in the United States, but in the world. There are intellectuals and affluence surrounding the area. As I was walking around the church block one evening during this Christmas shopping season, I couldn’t help but notice the influx of people that were crowded into the stores scurrying to make sure they had those perfect gifts for Christmas. But did they? As I came up to our church, I couldn’t help but notice that the new LED lights that were installed on the church grounds, lit the church up in extremely noticeable brilliance……so much so that you couldn’t go by the church without your eyes being drawn to it. But after their initial glance, people kept on scurrying by in their busyness, appearing not to give it a second thought.
We often pray in the church for one last mighty revival before the Lord comes again, but I have to stop and say, “Could it be that it is much more of an ‘awakening’ that we need?” My prayer is that people will be awakened by an overwhelming conviction of the Holy Spirit that their judgment day is coming and that becoming right with the Lord is of the utmost importance. Shopping for those last-minute Christmas gifts doesn’t even touch the fact that as each second goes by, they are closer and closer to an eternity in hell without salvation in Jesus Christ. They would be missing the greatest gift of all which was freely given for everyone to enjoy.
It may be true that the gospel message is all around them, especially on the airwaves and internet. But let’s not forget that Satan has blinded them:
Satan, who is the god of this world, has blinded the minds of those who don’t believe. They are unable to see the glorious light of the Good News. They don’t understand this message about the glory of Christ, who is the exact likeness of God. (2 Corinthians 4:4 NLT)
Oh Lord, open their eyes and may they truly see! May they unwrap your most precious gift of salvation that has already been prepared for them!
Verses and Advice for 2018
“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” (Romans 12:2 NKJV)
First, let’s look at the word ‘conformed’. “How are you conformed to this world?” The answer is the three letter word ‘sin’. Many so-called ‘Christian Churches’ have just about blotted out the word ‘sin’ from their vocabulary. But, Cornelius Plantinga reminds us of this immutable truth: “For the Christian Church (even in its recently popular seeker services) to ignore, euphemize, or otherwise mute the lethal reality of sin is to cut the nerve of the gospel. For the sober truth is that without full disclosure on sin, the gospel of grace becomes impertinent, unnecessary, and finally uninteresting.”
Now notice the word ‘renewing’ which signifies a continuing process. So how do you keep on renewing your mind from day-to-day in 2018? The only way is by reading God’s Word, the Bible, and absorbing it. As each day goes by, the world shuts out God’s Word and is bent on evil more and more. This tells us as Christians that we must get deeper and deeper into God’s Word as each day goes by in order to survive this coming year of 2018. And if I were to give any chapter of the Bible for 2018, it would be Psalm 1, which testifies of the verse that I gave for 2018 because it tells of what can happen to those who do not delight in God’s Word daily.
“Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stands in the path of sinners, nor sits in the seat of the scornful; but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and in His law he meditates day and night. He shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that brings forth its fruit in its season, whose leaf also shall not wither; and whatever he does shall prosper. The ungodly are not so, but are like the chaff which the wind drives away. Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous. For the Lord knows the way of the righteous, but the way of the ungodly shall perish.” (Psalms 1:1-6 NKJV)
So, for 2018, let’s continually check our compasses and make sure we are always headed in the right direction:
“To place ourselves in range of God’s choicest gifts, we have to walk with God, work with God, lean on God, cling to God, come to have the sense and feel of God, refer all things to God” (Cornelius Plantinga)
Verses and Advice for 2017
“Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name (verse 10: Jesus Christ of Nazareth) under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12 NKJV)
“That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” (Philippians 2:10-11 KJV)
“For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.” (John 3:17-19 KJV)
Hostility against Christianity is greatly on the rise worldwide. This is why we as Christians must never forget that our faith is exclusive. There is absolutely no other way beside Jesus Christ of Nazareth. Not because we say so, but because our Father in Heaven says so. Those that went before us were willing to die for this firm fact. Are you?
Please read the following PDF. Jonathan Cahn’s wisdom of words delivered on January 20, 2017 to Obama and Trump sums things up better than anything I could ever deliver of what has taken place and what we need to do as we forge ahead in 2017:
Verses and Advice for 2016
Matthew 5:6 – “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled.”
Luke 6:21-23 – “God blesses you who are hungry now, for you will be satisfied. God blesses you who weep now, for in due time you will laugh. What blessings await you when people hate you and exclude you and mock you and curse you as evil because you follow the Son of Man. When that happens, be happy! Yes, leap for joy! For a great reward awaits you in heaven.”
Psalm 90:17 – “May the Lord our God show us his approval and make our efforts successful. Yes, make our efforts successful!”
My advice for 2016 is to stay hungry my friends. Stay hungry spiritually, for far too many Christians have allowed their surroundings and circumstances rob them of their blessings. Do not let the world dictate your outcome. Rise above it as we are commanded, and only this way will our godly efforts become successful!
Verses and Advice from 2014 and 2015
Just like 2014, I have to start off by asking the same question for 2015:
Has the Lord breathed things into you that have not come to pass yet?
May 2015 be the year they are fulfilled. Grab a hold of these three verses and see what the Lord will do both for you and with you in the days ahead:
Isaiah 50:4 – “The Lord God has given me the tongue of the learned, that I should know how to speak a word in season to him who is weary. He awakens me morning by morning, He awakens my ear to hear as the learned.”
Jeremiah 33:3 – “Ask me and I will tell you remarkable secrets you do not know about things to come.”
Habakkuk 2:2-3 – Then the Lord said to me, “Write my answer plainly on tablets, so that a runner can carry the correct message to others. This vision is for a future time. It describes the end, and it will be fulfilled. If it seems slow in coming, wait patiently, for it will surely take place. It will not be delayed.”
In addition to 2014, I need to add two more verses for 2015. This is because I believe this past year saw unprecedented hardness set in at such an accelerated rate like never before. People no longer want to hear the truth. But we need to stay focused on spreading truth and the Gospel in a very clear and loving manner, no matter what:
Amos 5:10 — “They hate the one who rebukes in the gate, and they abhor the one who speaks uprightly.”
Ezekiel 3:9 — “Like adamant stone, harder than flint, I have made your forehead; do not be afraid of them, nor be dismayed at their looks, though they are a rebellious house.”
The best advice I heard for the coming year is from Gary Wilkerson from The Springs Church:
The truth is, persecution will always grow worse because the gospel keeps frustrating those who walk in darkness. God continually subverts their anti-Christ efforts, and that just makes them angrier. Thus John writes, “Let the one who is doing harm continue to do harm; let the one who is vile continue to be vile; let the one who is righteous continue to live righteously; let the one who is holy continue to be holy” (Revelation 22:11). John is prescribing our response to the world as it grows filthier and angrier toward us. His words echo those of Jesus: “God blesses those who are persecuted for doing right, for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs” (Matthew 5:10).
I emphasize this because the church’s response today seems to be the opposite. Very few among us seem willing to accept being persecuted without fighting back. Many believers want to retaliate politically, saying, “If you get angry because we say homosexuality is a sin, we’ll just speak out louder. Our numbers will prove we’re right.” That attitude only builds more contention. And when it seems the church is losing ground, fear creeps in rather than faith.
I say to you—let the whole world be furious—but let your own heart be ruled by the love of Jesus Christ. All our power rests in his love. Indeed, the power of our witness is in preaching his Word with mercy, and in remaining holy amidst a corrupt generation. This witness will provoke those in darkness to turn to the light, saying, “I want the peace and joy those people seem to have in these troubling times. I want to know their God.”