Anchor

Making Godly Decisions: Finding the Will of God
By Peter Amsterdam

free-bible-studies-online-anchorWe have not ceased to pray for you, asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God.
—Colossians 1:9–10 ESV

One of the traits of humankind, as beings created in the image of God, is free will, which includes both the ability to make decisions and the responsibility for the outcomes of our decisions. Learning to make decisions that will glorify God and fulfill His will for our lives can be very challenging at times, and can test and grow our faith, as we seek His will and wait on Him for answers and guidance.

Accepting Jesus as our Savior and receiving His free gift of salvation is the most important decision we ever face in our lives, as it determines our eternal standing in relationship to God and His kingdom. That all-important decision defines our present and our future, as well as redefines our past by canceling out the charges that “stood against us and condemned us, nailing [them] to the cross.” (Colossians 2:13–14 NIV)

The decision to accept Christ as our Savior is one that only we can make; it is a freewill choice to invite Jesus into our hearts and lives. However, salvation is not the end of the road, and once we’ve given our life to the Lord we are faced with numerous other decisions on a daily basis relating to the nurturing of our faith through studying His Word and living our lives according to His commands and guidance.

Decision-making for Christians is meant to be a relational process, involving ourselves and God, as we bring all our anxieties to Him, knowing that He cares for us. (1 Peter 5:7) He has told us to “come and let us reason together,” (Isaiah 1:18) demonstrating His desire to carry on a conversation with us. He wants to be present and to participate in the conversation as we make decisions, and has promised that His Spirit in us will guide us into all truth. (John 16:13)

Throughout our lives as Christians, we are faced with course-altering decisions that affect our future, whether they relate to what career to pursue, whom to marry, how to raise our children, what country to live in, or how to commit to our faith and participate in God’s work. One of the most important steps for finding God’s will and making good decisions is acknowledging Him and committing our ways to Him. “Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths. Commit your way to the LORD, Trust also in Him, and He will do it.” (Proverbs 3:5–6 NKJV; Psalm 37:5 NASB)

Learning to make decisions that will honor God and align with His will and commands is often accompanied by times of soul searching, desperate prayer, and testing. Sometimes it can be difficult to distinguish what God’s will is in a situation or what decision will produce the best outcomes. At such times, we can wish that a lightning bolt would light up the sky or that we’d be knocked to the ground like the apostle Paul to give us a precise, infallible sign. And yet, so often, the voice of God is so quiet that if we don’t calm our spirit and open our minds and listen, it can be missed.

The LORD said, “Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the LORD, for the LORD is about to pass by.” Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the LORD, but the LORD was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake came a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper.
—1 Kings 19:11–12 NIV

How do we play our part in the decision-making process, doing everything in our power to make right decisions, to hush our spirits to hear God’s voice, and to determine the best option in decisions that will alter the course of our lives in some way? God’s Word tells us, “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.” (James 1:5)

He created us in His image, as rational beings, capable of freewill decisions and of choosing to place Him at the center of our lives. This is one of the ways by which we love God with all our minds: by making conscious decisions to love God, to make Him the center of our lives and our desires, and by seeking to glorify Him in all our decisions and ways. As we love God in this way, rationally and decisively with our minds and with the commitment in our hearts to follow wherever He leads, we are positioned to test and discern the will of God, as Paul explained in Romans: “Be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” (Romans 12:2 ESV)

This verse indicates that often we may need to put something to the test to find out through experience whether it is the will of God. The decision before us may not be clear-cut enough to know with absolute certainty that it is the right path. Perhaps we need to decide whether to invest in a business venture, or start a new form of mission work, or place our children in a certain school, or move to a new neighborhood. We have sought the Lord for wisdom and guidance. We have weighed the pros and cons. We have done a thorough analysis of the situation. We have asked counsel of those who are in a position to give sound advice. Yet we may find that we are still not 100 percent sure of the decision, despite a looming deadline. In such cases, you may feel that God is nudging you to take a step forward to make a preliminary decision, while making allowance for the testing and discerning stage, and the ability to alter course if the proposed direction doesn’t prove to be the will of God in your situation.

As you take the step of making a preliminary decision, the Lord will often either confirm it or new factors will emerge that will shed new light on the situation. At each new junction on the road to the final decision, you may need to relook at things and pray further before taking the next step. You may need to make course adjustments, as you discover that the coordinates of your original decision, while pointing you in the right general direction, need to be fine-tuned as you zero in on your final destination. Decision-making is often a process involving many decisions, not just a single decision, and each decision lays the foundation for our next decisions.

Most of us would prefer to receive unambiguous direction from God. Yet it seems that often God wants us to do the work of wholeheartedly seeking His will, investigating, analyzing, assessing, and using every means at our disposal to make wise and godly decisions. As so often proves to be the case, God rarely seems to do things for us that we are capable of doing. I’ve often found that I make the best decisions when I work in conjunction with the Lord through doing the background work of analyzing the possibilities and the options, weighing the pros and cons of each one, while seeking His guidance and thoughts on the matter through prayer and hearing from Him.

Making decisions that bring honor and glory to God is one of the ways that we show God that we love Him with all our hearts, souls, and minds. While most of us struggle with the grave responsibility of making godly decisions, it is also an opportunity to glorify God through our choices. As we place Him at the center of our lives, acknowledging Him in all our ways, committing our lives and times into His hands, we can trust that He will guide us and help us to discern His will and to make wise decisions.

 

 

Copyright © 2017 The Family International.

Advertisements

Anchor

Becoming Your Best You—Part 2

From the Roadmap series

free-bible-studies-online-anchorThe dictionary defines a habit as an acquired pattern of action that is so automatic it’s difficult to break.

Our daily life is made up of habits and routine, which can greatly help us to be successful and accomplish our life’s goals, provided those habits are good ones. Positive habits are a great asset. Negative habits, however, are like a black hole sucking up productive, innovative, and beneficial assets in our life. We need to learn how to tell if a habit is positive or negative, and have a process for dealing with negative habits, to replace them with positive ones. Here’s a humorous account of how habits can become so engrained that they control our actions, sometimes without our noticing it.

Tiring of the drive from the airport to his country place, a man equipped his plane with pontoons so he could land on the lake directly in front of his cottage.

On the next trip, he made his approach down the runway as usual. Alarmed, his wife cried out, “Are you crazy? You can’t land this plane here without wheels!”

The startled husband abruptly yanked up the nose of the aircraft and narrowly averted certain disaster. Continuing, he landed the plane on the lake without mishap.

As he sat there, visibly shaken, he said to his wife, “I don’t know what got into me. That’s the stupidest thing I’ve ever done!” And with that, he opened the door and stepped out, falling into the water.

—C. Clarke Johnson

We all have habits, plenty of them. The question is, are they good habits or bad habits? Someone once said, “People don’t decide their future; they decide their habits, and their habits decide their future.”

 

The progress formula

When dealing with a mathematical problem, you simply follow the formula. Having predetermined formulas helps the process of resolving problems. Can you imagine trying to figure out mathematical problems if there were no formulas to follow?

What we need then is a formula to follow for crushing the bad habits that keep us from making forward progress. Here’s a pretty good formula for this. Let’s call this “the progress formula,” because it can help you when you are evaluating your habits, and help you formulate a plan and strategy for progress.

The elements of this formula are desire, believe you can, examine your surroundings, expose your excuses, create a plan, and monitor your progress.

 
Desire

Do you desire some change in your life? If so, how much do you want the change? Do you want it enough that you are willing to change your life to accelerate your success? Do you want it enough to ditch your negative habits and replace them with positive ones? Do you want it enough to sacrifice whatever is working against the particular change and progress that you desire?

A helpful tip is to imagine yourself where you want to be and imagine how you would feel if you reached that goal. Then ask yourself, “How much am I willing to pay to get there?”

Many people want to change any number of bad habits, but they don’t want the change enough to do what is necessary to get there; thus their desire is superficial and ineffective.

We each can ask ourselves: “How much do I desire the results of the change I seek, and am I willing to pay the price?” If the answer is yes, then we’ll be well on our way to reaching our desired destination.

 
Believe you can

You might desire a change and feel that you are willing to pay the price for that change, but deep in your heart you might be wondering if you can actually do it. You might feel that others can but you can’t, even though you want the change with all your heart. Or maybe you feel you don’t have the talent, the time, the physical strength, or the endurance to change.

Belief is an amazing thing, as the Bible says, “For as a man thinketh in his heart, so is he.” (Proverbs 23:7) Another verse reads, “The spirit of a man will sustain his infirmity.” (Proverbs 18:14)

These two Bible verses show us that the human will is a very powerful force. We are “wonderfully and fearfully made,” and the human spirit can survive and change in even the most adverse situations. The deciding factor is often our will and faith.

If you are having a hard time believing you can change, adopt a positive, full-of-faith attitude, even if you don’t “feel” it. Adopt an “I can” attitude. Start saying positive, change-reinforcing statements such as, “By the grace of God, I can change. I will change. With His help, I can do it.”

 
Examine your surroundings

Many times the desire to change is not enough to complete the change process. We have to honestly and practically look at our surroundings and identify the things we are doing on a day-to-day basis that are working against the progress we seek or that reinforce our negative habits.

We may find that with every habit we are trying to create or break, there are certain physical things that work for or against us. We need to find out what those are and change them or it will be frustrating and much slower for us to make the changes we desire.

 
Expose your excuses

We also need to take an honest look at ourselves and the excuses we have been using. Be honest with yourself and see what excuses come to mind. Write those down, and then formulate a counterattack. If your excuse for not getting up early is that you went to bed late, then formulate your counterattack of a reasonable cutoff time at night so you can get to bed earlier. If your excuse is that you like your late-night internet browsing, formulate a counterattack to remind yourself of what you will lose the next morning by not going to sleep on time. For every excuse, have a counterattack ready and keep it handy to remind yourself of it often.

Consider this concept: Great achievers create goals; underachievers create excuses.

Each of us might think this doesn’t apply to us, or that we are disadvantaged because our circumstances are difficult. However, there have been countless successful people who triumphed over obstacles, handicaps, or difficulties.

Here is one such example:

[This is] a story about a woman who truly understands what it means to prepare for success. The woman’s name is Laura Sloate, and she is the senior partner of a New York money-management firm that oversees half a billion dollars in assets.

Sloate is phenomenally successful, by the way. During one five-year span, the private accounts she managed averaged returns of 25 percent or more a year!

Needless to say, in Sloate’s line of work, her job is information intensive. She has to constantly monitor international markets, she must assess scores of financial reports every week, and she must stay on top of even the smallest global buying trends.

Sloate’s success comes as no surprise to people who know her, for, according to her friends and family, she has been preparing herself for success ever since she was a little girl.

Even as a child Sloate listened to tapes, attended seminars, and counseled with mentors. Since age six she has sought out every piece of new technology that could help her prepare herself for success. Amazingly, the only thing she did not do was read.

In fact, to this day, Laura Sloate does not read, despite the fact that information is the life blood of her business. That’s not to say that Laura Sloate is undisciplined. Or unprepared. On the contrary, Laura Sloate is a fountain of information on just about any subject you can think of. But as unlikely as it may seem, she didn’t get that information through reading.

You see, Laura Sloate has been blind since age six!

—Burke Hedges

 
Create a plan

Next, create a plan. Like that familiar saying, plan your work, work your plan. We need to document our goals and how we are going to get there. A plan is not a plan unless it is written down. And a plan is not an effective plan unless it is reviewed often. We might have the most organized plan in the world, but if it is tucked away, never to be seen again, then it was nothing more than a waste of time.

Often we use the excuse that we don’t have the time to stop and write down our plan, or to go back to our plan and monitor our progress. But if we don’t write it down, then we are not really planning; we only think we’re planning. It’s too easy to forget or compromise a plan in our head if it’s not formulated well on paper. Or worse yet, when we don’t write our plan down, we aren’t taking the time and brainpower needed to come up with a good plan, so our plan will likely be mediocre, and our follow-through even worse.

When making your plan, remember to be realistic, because if you are unrealistic, you will get discouraged too soon, and then you may quit and never reach your goal. It’s better to be realistic and reach your goal gradually than never get there at all.

And last of all, don’t allow yourself to get discouraged. We all have times when we slip or have a bad day. This is not a serious problem; in fact, we need to expect that there will be some setbacks and anticipate them so that we are not overwhelmed when they happen.

 
Monitor your progress

Last but not least,monitor your progress. Regularly evaluate your plan to see if it is working for you; if not, change it! Your plan is a tool for progress. If you find that your original plan was unrealistic, adjust it. If you were too lenient, tighten it.

With every plan we make in life, it’s helpful to have it broken down into three categories:

  1. Long-term goals (to be reached within two to five years)
  2. Short-term goals (to be reached within six months to a year)
  3. Immediate goals (to be reached within 30 days)

Using a fitness example, we could specify goals as follows:

  • Long-term goal: Reach my ideal weight and become more fit overall, with more muscle tone and endurance.
  • Short-term goal: I will lose 10 kilos over the next year, which is less than one kilo a month, and I will add a weight-lifting plan to my current exercise routine.
  • Immediate goals: I will monitor my calorie intake, I will drink more water, I will exercise five times a week, and I will cut down on snacks, alcohol, and sugar.

Having each plan broken down into long-term, short-term, and immediate goals gives structure to our plan and life. This also gives us a yardstick by which we can measure our progress. If our plans are vague, we will not know how to properly gauge our progress. But if we have our goals broken down into these three segments, our progress will be more easily noticeable and tracked.

We can make it a habit to revisit our plans every month. We can measure our progress according to last month’s immediate goals, adjust our plan, create new immediate goals, and then keep going.

If we are faithful to do this each month, we will see tremendous progress. If we take the time to apply the progress formula to our lives, we will know what to do each time a nonproductive hole appears in our day, and we will know how to fill it and what to fill it with because we have a plan!

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.

—Jeremiah 29:114

 

 

Copyright © 2017 The Family International.

Anchor

Becoming Your Best You—Part 1
From the Roadmap series

free-bible-studies-online-anchorOur lives are the result of the choices we make each day. Every day is a chance to make decisions that will guide our future. Every day is a chance to make decisions to perform the tasks before us with a commitment to excellence, or decisions to invest the minimal effort necessary and to settle for mediocrity.

We consciously make decisions each day whether to pursue life in a mediocre way, doing only the minimum necessary, or to rise to the occasion, work hard, and make our goals a reality. Every one of us can just sleepily live life half throttle, being content to drag ourselves through life, one lazy, uneventful day at a time. Or we can attain new levels of success by vigorously evaluating and improving our life, day by day, week by week, year by year.

Let’s explore how to deal mediocrity a lethal, below-the-belt blow, and in so doing, put ourselves in a better position for a life of fulfillment.

 
We each choose

We make many choices every day, one after the other after the other that ultimately set the course for our lives and future. The quality of our lives doesn’t just appear like magic. The magic lies in making good choices that will set us on the right course for the future. But not only that, it’s in realizing that our choices will ultimately shape what our lives become. Will they be full of passion, commitment, and determination, in spite of the bad stuff that comes our way? Will we take advantage of opportunities and progress, even if our resources and finances are limited?

Your choices will ultimately guide the path of your life. That’s a pretty amazing concept, but it’s true. We each determine how circumstances will affect us by the decisions we make in response to our circumstances.

This is sometimes a difficult concept to accept, as often we want the circumstances to change before we’re willing to make the right choices. Yet if we can embrace it, our lives can change regardless of our circumstances, if we choose to commit these to God and trust in His plan for our lives. We will begin to feel more empowered, less victimized, and that the Lord is in control of our lives.

When we feel trapped and as if we aren’t making our own choices, we feel like victims. From time to time, many of us fall into the trap of believing that our circumstances are entirely beyond our control, and that there is no use in attempting to change them. Taking responsibility for the choices that we can make, however, takes us out of the victim mentality and into an empowering “all things are possible with God” mindset.

Contrary to popular opinion, God does not usually choose for us. We have to choose for ourselves, find His will for ourselves, and seek Him diligently to know His will. This is why He put us here, this is what we’re here to learn, and the major part of our training: how to make the right decisions through our personal contact with Him, our knowledge of His Word and His will, and our love for Him and others. We must do what we know is right, and be willing to live and to die for what we know is the truth.

But as He says, “Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind.” Be sure you’re right, and then go ahead and do what you know is right, no matter what anybody says, and not because anyone has said it, but because you yourself are personally convinced it’s God’s will.

—David Brandt Berg

If we accept that we are responsible for our own choices, then we won’t blame others or our circumstances for any difficulties or hardships that arise from those choices. We’ll take responsibility for our lives—how we live, how we fulfill the Great Commission, and how we make a living—which will ultimately be a reflection of the decisions we make each day.

 
The role of discipline

It’s pretty easy to decide that we want to be successful at whatever we choose to pursue in life and to set lofty goals for where we want to be in a few years. But it’s much more difficult to actually get there. Accomplishment is not just about thinking, wishing, hoping, or even planning. It’s about doing! Planning is important, but a great plan and a tremendous destination is not much help if we never get started, persevere, and work to reach that destination. It takes self-discipline to get to where we want to go and achieve what we want to achieve. We have to evaluate our life, our priorities, our schedule, our off-hours, and take a good, hard look at what we are doing that is not productive, so we can change what needs to be changed, and then commit to the self-discipline needed to reach those goals.

We each need to kick our own butt! What a concept! This means that if we want to achieve success in life, in any endeavor, it’s going to require self-discipline. Achieving our goals is not necessarily synonymous with just taking life as it comes. If we want to mature and grow and reach our goals, if we want to pursue a profession or career or field of study, or devote ourselves to the mission; if we want to be responsible and make a difference, then self-discipline will be an important quality to cultivate.

If you never seem to be reaching your goals, or worse, if you don’t have any goals, there is something you can do about it. You can kick your own butt.

This takes developing self-discipline. Self-discipline—a bad word? No. It might be a painful or uncomfortable word, but really, it’s a powerful word when you consider that discipline is a key to achieving success. Self-discipline is not easy. It can be hard, even grueling. But if you want to be all you can be, if you want to be your best you, that’s the price.

Discipline derives from disciple—disciple to a philosophy, disciple to a set of principles, disciple to a set of values, disciple to an overriding purpose, to a goal or a person who represents that goal.

In other words, if you are an effective manager of yourself, your discipline comes from within; it is a function of your independent will. You are a follower of your own deep values and their source. And you have the will, the integrity, to subordinate your feelings, your impulses, and your moods to those values.

One of my favorite essays is “The Common Denominator of Success,” written by Albert E. N. Gray. He spent his life searching for the one denominator that all successful people share. He found it wasn’t hard work, good luck, or astute human relations, though those were all important. The one factor that seemed to transcend all the rest [was] putting first things first.

“The successful person has the habit of doing the things failures don’t like to do,” Mr. Gray observed. “[Successful people] don’t like doing them either necessarily. But their disliking is subordinated to the strength of their purpose.”

—Stephen R. Covey

The good news is that the better you get at self-discipline, the easier it becomes.

No one who achieves greatness does so without discipline. [But] … when you discipline yourself to do the things you need to do, when you need to do them, the day’s going to come when you can do the things you want to do, when you want to do them. It’s also true that life is tough, but when you are tough on yourself, life will be infinitely easier on you.

Discipline yourself today so you can have a better life tomorrow.

—Zig Ziglar

Success is rarely luck. Sure, there is the rare case when someone just happens to be at the right place at the right time and stumbles onto a gold mine. But for most of us, success in whatever goals we set for ourselves comes as a result of self-discipline and methodical plodding, so that when an opportunity presents itself, we are in the position to reach out and grab hold of it.

In his book, The Life God Blesses, Gordon MacDonald tells a story about his experiences on the track team at the University of Colorado in the late fifties. In particular, he remembers the difficult workouts he did with a teammate named Bill. “To this day I have anguished memories of our workouts each Monday afternoon,” says Gordon. “When those Monday workouts ended, I would stagger in exhaustion to the locker room.” But Bill was different. When he was finished, he would rest on the grass near the track. But after about 20 minutes, while Gordon showered, Bill repeated the entire workout!

Bill didn’t consider himself to be an exceptional athlete in college. “I was not a great athlete,” observed Bill. “But I had a ‘bag of tricks theory,’ that is, there is no one big move you can make in your training or in competition, but there are thousands of little things you can do.”

Bill might not have made a great impact during his college years, but his discipline and desire paid off over time. Through disciplined effort and continual improvement, the unspectacular college athlete who had worked out with Gordon MacDonald became the world-famous athlete, Bill Toomey, the decathlete inducted into the Olympic Hall of Fame in 1984.

What elevated Bill to such high accomplishments was his discipline. Gordon MacDonald’s insight says it all: “The difference between the two of us began on Monday afternoons during workout. He was unafraid of discipline and did the maximum; I was afraid of discipline and did the minimum.”

—John C. Maxwell

 
“I don’t have time…”

One of our most common excuses is “I don’t have time.” We’ve all said that on numerous occasions. And at first glance, this might seem like a solid excuse. It’s true we are busy.

But how are we spending our time? Let’s look at an everyday example: watching TV. According to a recent survey, Americans now watch an average of five hours of television every day, 35 hours a week. The average American television viewer is watching more than 151 hours of television per month. If someone works 40 hours a week—the average American work week—that means they spend almost as much time watching television as working.

Okay, let’s say we don’t watch that much television. But what about computer games? Blogging and chatting online? Surfing the internet? If we add up those hours, how do we fare?

You’ve probably heard the concept that if you devote one hour a day to studying a topic, after about 10,000 hours, or in about five years, you’ll be a master or expert. What do each of us want to be an expert at? Does how we spend our time prove that?

Do we read and study to become the professional that we want to become? If we’re not reading and studying on our particular field of interest or what we’re hoping to excel in, then it’s likely we’re not reaching our full potential.

Consider this example:

Before becoming a full-time writer, John Grisham was a lawyer. Like most successful lawyers, he put in long hours at the office, often 60 hours a week, sometimes 80! Despite his grueling schedule, Grisham wanted more than anything to write a novel.

However, Grisham had countless ready-made excuses as to why he could NOT write a book, excuses like the fact he had no “creative” writing experience, that he had obligations to his wife and two kids, that he didn’t have time because he was working 10-hour days, six days a week, that he was under incredible stress at work.

But Grisham knew that he had a choice. He could either find reasons TO write a novel or he could find reasons NOT TO write a novel and then justify to himself why he couldn’t do it. Fortunately, Grisham chose to find reasons TO write his first novel.

He wrote his first book, A Time to Kill, by making one simple adjustment in his life. He started getting up at 5:00 a.m. and working on his novel. In effect, he didn’t have time to write. So he made the time by getting up a couple of hours earlier each day. Less than one year later, Grisham had a completed manuscript to send to publishers.

Only one problem. The first publisher said, “Thanks, but no thanks.” So did the second, and the third, and the fourth, and so on. But Grisham was determined, so he kept submitting his book until, finally, publisher number 26 said, “yes!”

The publisher had so little faith in the book that only 5,000 copies were printed. At the time it seemed like 4,000 too many! The book was a flop.

So Grisham made another choice. He bought 1,000 copies and decided to market the book himself. It took months before his habit of giving talks and signing books on weekends began to pay off.

Word of mouth kept building and building until, finally, after nearly a year’s worth of weekend personal appearances, John Grisham’s first novel, A Time to Kill, exploded onto the best-seller list, where it stayed for 100 weeks! To date there are more than 10 million copies of Grisham’s first novel in print.

Grisham was able to accomplish what he did because he changed his habits. … Grisham’s new habit of getting up at 5:00 a.m. allowed him to accomplish a lifelong dream. The habit of adding two productive hours a day can make a world of difference; over the span of a year, you could add 15 work weeks of productive time to each and every year of your life.

—Burke Hedges, adapted

Having self-discipline pays off over time. This can happen in our lives as well.

With self-discipline most anything is possible.

—Theodore Roosevelt

 

With God all things are possible.

—Jesus, Matthew 19:265

 

 

Copyright © 2017 The Family International.

Activated

Points to Ponder: Be Kind!

free-bible-studies-online-be-kind

Treat everyone with politeness, even those who are rude to you—not because they are nice, but because you are.
—Author unknown

*

Life is short, but there is always time for courtesy.
—Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803–1882)

*

Getting money is not all a man’s business: to cultivate kindness is a valuable part of the business of life.
—Samuel Johnson (1709–1784)

*

To err on the side of kindness is seldom an error.
—Liz Armbruster

*

How far that little candle throws his beams!
So shines a good deed in a naughty world.
—William Shakespeare (1564–1616)

*

How beautiful a day can be
When kindness touches it!
—George Elliston (1883–1946)

*

Kindness is the language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see.
—Mark Twain (1835–1910)

*

If you haven’t any charity in your heart, you have the worst kind of heart trouble.
—Bob Hope (1903–2003)

*

Always be a little kinder than necessary.
—James M. Barrie (1860–1937)

*

I always prefer to believe the best of everybody, it saves so much trouble.
—Rudyard Kipling (1865–1936)

*

A kind word heals, but a malicious word maims.
—Russian proverb

*

Don’t be yourself—be someone a little nicer.
—Mignon McLaughlin (1913–1983)

*

Don’t wait for people to be friendly, show them how.
—Author unknown

*

There is no greater loan than a sympathetic ear.
—Frank Tyger (1929–2011)

*

When I was young, I admired clever people. Now that I am old, I admire kind people.
—Abraham Joshua Heschel (1907–1972)

*

By swallowing evil words unsaid, no one has ever harmed his stomach.
—Winston Churchill (1874–1965)

*

Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.
—Leo Buscaglia (1924–1998)

*

You cannot do a kindness too soon, for you never know how soon it will be too late.
—Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803–1882)

*

A person who is nice to you, but rude to the waiter, is not a nice person.
—Dave Barry (b. 1947)

*

Beginning today, treat everyone you meet as if they were going to be dead by midnight. Extend to them all the care, kindness, and understanding you can muster, and do it with no thought of any reward. Your life will never be the same again.
—Og Mandino (1923–1996)

 

 

Copyright © Activated Magazine. All rights reserved.

 

Your New Life of Love!

David Brandt Berg

free-bible-studies-online-your-new-life-of-love

Have you ever wondered what life is really all about?–What you are here for, and if there is anything special that you are supposed to do? Well, the answer to these important questions can be found in the Bible, God’s loving Words to us all!

The Bible tells us that “God is Love!” (1John 4:8)–And that He loves you! He is your kind and loving Heavenly Father Who made this beautiful World as a home for you to live in, and He has given you a wonderful body, mind and heart with which to enjoy it!

God is not only Love, but “God is a Spirit!” (John 4:24) He is the great Spirit of Love Who created the entire Universe! He is so big and so great, that He is far beyond our simple human understanding! But because He loves us and wants us to know and love Him, He sent His Own Son to Earth in the form of a Man, Jesus Christ.

Jesus is like a picture of God to show us what God is like. Jesus talked about Love and showed Love to others and lived Love all the time.–And finally, He loved us so much that He gave His Own life to save us–you and me.

To receive God’s Love and Salvation in Jesus, all you have to do is confess that you re not perfect, that you have made mistakes and that you need God’s forgiveness. We have all done wrong, so we all need to be forgiven, because without forgiveness for our sins we will be separated from God’s perfect Love! (Romans 3:23; 6:23)

Jesus is our Big Brother, Who knows that we have done wrong and deserve a punishment. But He loved us so much that He offered to take our punishment for us, and God loved us so much that He sent Jesus, and promised to forgive us if we would believe in Jesus & accept His suffering for our sins.

Jesus wants to come and live with you as your very dear and close Friend. He says, “I stand at the door [of your heart] and knock: If you hear My voice and open the door, I will come in to you.” (Revelation 3:20) All you need to do is ask Him to come into your heart.

To receive Jesus and His everlasting forgiveness and Salvation is just that simple! There is nothing you can do to earn it or work for it, for it is the free Gift of God! The Bible says, “By grace [God’s Love and mercy] we are saved through faith, and not of ourselves or by our own good deeds. It is the gift of God!” (Ephesians 2:8,9)

If you have not yet received Jesus, you can ask Him to come into your heart right now by simply praying this little prayer:

Dear Jesus, I believe that You are the Son of God, and that You took my punishment and died for me. Please forgive me for all of my sins. I now invite you into my heart. Jesus, I know that I can never be good enough to save myself, so I ask You to please come in and give me Your free gift of Eternal Live! In Jesus name I ask, amen.

Jesus not only saves you, but He keeps you saved. The gift of God is Eternal Life (Romans 6:23), and once you have received Eternal Life, you cannot lose it!–If you could, it wouldn’t be eternal! Even if you fall and make mistakes, Jesus promised, “Whoever has come to Me, I will never cast him away!” (John 6:37) He may have to spank you if you are naughty and disobedient, but you will always be His saved child, for He says, “I will never leave you nor forsake you!” (Hebrews 13:5)

When Jesus comes into your heart, your whole life is changed, like a newborn baby born into a whole new World! Jesus even said that Salvation is like being born again, that you are now a new and different person! (John 3:3; 2Corinthians 5:17)

Of course, like all new babies and small children, you have a lot to learn and a lot of growing to do!–And the way to grow in faith and understanding is to, like a newborn baby, hunger and thirst for the pure milk of the Word of God, and you will grow! (1Peter 2:2)

If you prayerfully read God’s wonderful Word in the Bible, you will find that it is a lamp for your feet and a light for your path, a living guide to you in your new life! (Psalm 119:105)

God’s Prophet, Jeremiah, exclaimed, “I found God’s Words and I did eat them! And His Word was to me the joy and rejoicing of my heart!” (Jeremiah 15:16) God’s Word is food for your soul, and if you wish to grow spiritually, you must feed and read from it faithfully!

The four Gospels of the New Testament, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, give us the beautiful story of Jesus life on Earth. If you read the fourth Gospel first, the Gospel of Saint John, you will find that it is one of the easiest to understand and contains the most Words of Jesus and His loving plan for your life!

Another great help to you in your new life will be the wonderful power of God’s precious Holy Spirit! When Jesus comes into your heart, you are born again of the Spirit (John 3:8), so you have God’s Spirit living in you already. But you can also overflow with the Holy Spirit, if you simply ask the Lord to fill you with His Power.

We are all like jars or glasses. When we receive Jesus, we are no longer dry and empty glasses, we have received a wonderful portion of God’s living waters! (John 7:38,39) But when we ask the Lord to fill us with His Holy Spirit, He then pours so much of His Heavenly Spirit of Love and power into us that we are filled up to overflowing!

When the Lord fills us with the Holy spirit, we also receive the extra power and strength to boldly tell others about Jesus and God’s Love, to witness to them of the wonderful new life we have found! Jesus promised, “You shall receive power after the Holy Ghost is come upon you, and you shall be witnesses unto Me!” (Acts 1:8)

The Bible also says that the Holy Spirit is the Comforter, Who, like a loving mother, tender and gentle with a little baby, hovers over the newborn child of god, waiting, comforting, nursing and caring for us.

To receive this wonderful power, all you have to do is sincerely pray and ask Jesus for it! Ask and it shall be given unto you, seek and you shall find, knock and it shall be opened unto you!–For your Heavenly Father shall give the Holy Spirit to all those who ask Him! (Luke 11:9-13)

Just as every healthy newborn baby cries for his mother when he needs her comfort, help or nourishment, so crying out to the Lord in prayer is something that comes naturally to every born-again child of God.

Prayer is not just a religious ritual or tradition, but it is personal living communication between a child of God and his Heavenly Father! It is the royal telephone that keeps you in touch with Heaven!

Jesus is your closest and best Friend, and will always hear when you cry to Him for help. He says, “Call unto Me, and I will answer you and show you great and wonderful things that you know not!” (Jeremiah 33:3)

Prayer is not just a one-way communication in which you do all the talking and God does all the listening. God speaks to His children today just like He always has! If you sincerely ask Him for answers, He will speak to your heart, and open your eyes to see wonderful things out of His Word as you prayerfully read it. (Psalm 119:18) He will also answer your prayers by supplying all your needs for help, healing, guidance, material needs, etc. (Philippians 4:19)

Another important part of a newborn child of God’s spiritual life is fellowship with other Christians who also know and love the Lord. Jesus said, “Where two or three are gathered together in My Name, there am I in the midst of them!” (Matthew 18:19,20) So there is great power and blessing in spiritual unity!

Real Christian fellowship is not just sitting in church listening to someone speaking from the pulpit. It is joining together with others to pray and read and study God’s Word. “If we walk in the light, as He is in the light, then we have fellowship with one another!” (1John 1:7)

If you don’t know anyone else who has asked Jesus into their heart, and you don’t have any other spiritual brothers and sisters nearby that you can fellowship with, don’t despair!–You can personally lead other folks into God’s Heavenly Kingdom by simply telling them how they can ask Jesus into their hearts, and then inviting them to pray with you to do so!

Telling others about Jesus, explaining god’s simply plan of Salvation to them, is called witnessing. Just as every child should grow up to become a useful member of his family or useful citizen of his country, so the newborn child of God can prove himself a useful and grateful member of God’s Kingdom by witnessing to others!–This is the most important and wonderful job in the whole World, telling other folks the Good News about God’s Love in Jesus! (Mark 16:15)

You can start out by telling your friends and family how happy you are since you asked Jesus into your heart. You can share this comic with them to help them understand how they too can receive Jesus.

God will greatly bless you, inspire you and reward you as you step out and share His Love with others and tell them how they can find Jesus and a new life in Him too!

The Bible not only gives us spiritual nourishment, but it even tells us the future! It is full of many predictions and prophecies written by God’s Prophets thousands of years ago that describe events happening in the World right now! We are now living in the period which the bible calls the Time of the End, the very last days of evil Man’s selfish and cruel rule!

The Bible warns us that a powerful One-World government will arise in these very last days, ruled by a Devil-possessed dictator known as the Antichrist, or Red Beast, who will try to force all of the World’s people to worship him for 3-1/2 years! (2 Thessalonians 2)

–And be branded like cattle with his credit mark or number–666–in their foreheads or hands! The Antichrist’s reign of terror will bring on the world the worst time of trouble it has every known! (Revelation 13 & Matthew 24)

But during this darkest night of world history, the brightest Dawn will suddenly occur!–For at the end of the Antichrist’s reign, Jesus Christ Himself will return, in the clouds of Heaven with power and great glory to rescue His children from the Red Beast’s persecution! (Matthew 24:29-31; 1Corinthians 15:51,52; Revelation 14:14-16)

All of the Christians who have already died will receive new immortal, indestructible, resurrection bodies! Those of us who are still alive on Earth will be instantly changed as we receive new miraculous super-bodies also!–And we’ll all sail up into the sky to meet the Lord in the air! (1Thessalonians 4:14-17)

After a great Party in Heaven, the Marriage Supper of the Lamb, we will all return to Earth with the Lord, to crush and defeat the evil forces of the Antichrist in the supernatural Battle of Armageddon!! (Revelation 19)

Then Jesus and all of His resurrected children will take over this World to organise it, rule it and run it the way it should have been run all along!–The Kingdom of God on Earth! (Revelation 20:4)

After a thousand years of this wonderful reign of Christ on Earth, God’s great Heavenly City, 1500-miles high, wide and long will descend onto the beautiful recreated Garden-of-Eden-like New Earth where we will all live with Him forever!

In God’s Heavenly City, we will enjoy more beauty, pleasure and excitement than we have ever before imagined!–And we will be challenged and thrilled with the task of spreading God’s Love throughout the whole Universe!

Those who have been the most faithful to the Lord now will receive the greatest rewards and blessings then! (Revelation 2:10; Daniel 12:2,3)

So be faithful to love Jesus, and to try to help others to find Him here, so that they too can enjoy His wonderful Heavenly City of the Future!

REMEMBER!:
For a wonderful New Life of Love, all you have to do is:

  1. Be born again!
  2. Read God’s Words!
  3. Be filled with God’s Spirit!
  4. Pray!
  5. Fellowship!
  6. Tell others!
  7. Know that Jesus is returning soon!

If you would like to know more about your New Life and how you can live for Jesus, please write us today! God bless you! We love you!

 

 
 
Source: http://freebiblestudiesonline.org/your-new-life-of-love/
 
 

 

Treasures. Copyright (c) The Family International

You Can Have Freedom from Fear!

free-bible-studies-online-you-can-have-freedom-from-fear

David Brandt Berg

Fear is today’s No.1 killer! Believe it or not, fear causes more sickness and more mental illness and more premature deaths than anything else on Earth! Doctors have discovered that heart muscle is actually DESTROYED when people are subject to great fear. Dr. Marilyn Cebelin, writing in the General Practitioner’s newspaper, “Pulse,” says the hormone, adrenalin, literally DESTROYS heart muscles when people are subjected to intense stress and fear.

Canadian medical circles also report that WORRY increases chances of infectious disease, in that it weakens the body’s ability to fight off germs. A recent study of cases of streptococcal infection, according to Dr. Robert Haggerty, revealed that one out of four cases of such infections occurred after prolonged trauma and anxiety. Heart trouble, high blood pressure, arthritis and stomach ulcers are all basically caused by worry, tension, stress and fear!

Jesus said that in the Last Days “men’s hearts would be failing them for FEAR.”–Luke 21:26. Doctors say that there’s more heart failure today than ever in the World’s history because there’s more FEAR. In 1982, heart attacks caused 554,900 deaths in the U.S. alone, while hypertensive diseases caused 31,500 deaths!

People today are afraid! They’re afraid of the future, they’re afraid of what’s going to happen in the World, they’re afraid of each other, they’re afraid of social pressures, afraid of failing in school or work, afraid of being unemployed.–Afraid that they won’t have enough money for their families. They worry about so many things!

MUCH of this type of fear, believe it or not, stems from selfishness, from being overly concerned about one’s self, one’s self preservation, self-image, what the future holds for one’s SELF. The Apostle John wrote, “Perfect LOVE casts OUT fear, for fear has torment.”–1John 4:18. When that “perfect love” that comes from Jesus fills our lives, it crowds out this type of selfish worry and fear, and when our hearts are filled with love for others, then we don’t think and worry about ourselves so much.

There are many different types of worries and fears, and two of the most common concern the past and the future: Regret over the past and fear of the future.

A lesson on how to keep such fears from affecting us can be learned from modern ocean liners: They are constructed so that the captain can press a button and lower steel doors that separate one watertight bulkhead (compartment) from another, so if the hull is pierced in a disaster it can be sealed off and the ship can stay afloat. So it should be in the “ship” of our own lives; we have to learn how to make doors come down and shut out our worries about yesterday with its mistakes and failures, and also lower another door that shuts out our needless fears of the future, so we can live for just this day alone.–Otherwise our worries may cause us to go under!

Jesus said, “Do not worry about tomorrow. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”–Matthew 6:34. But too many people are like a man in the insane asylum whose chief trouble was his fear that he wouldn’t get his next meal. As soon as one meal was finished, he immediately began to worry about the next, and most of his time and strength were spent worrying!–How ridiculous! It just doesn’t make sense to worry about the future. Why open an umbrella when it’s not raining anywhere near you? Besides, have you noticed that it’s the things that never happen that seem to worry us the most? Like the famous writer, Mark Twain, said towards the end of his life, “I’m an old man, and I’ve had many troubles–most of which never happened!”

I read recently about a businessman who drew up what he called a “Worry Chart”, in which he kept a record of his fears. He discovered that 40% of them were about things that, in all probability, would never happen; 30% concerned past decisions that he could not now unmake; 12% dealt with other people’s criticism of him; and 10% were worries about his health. He concluded that there were valid reasons for only 8% of his worries!

Of course, as CHRISTIANS we don’t have to fear or worry about ANYTHING, because we know that “ALL things work together for GOOD to them that love the Lord!”–Romans 8:28. The famous evangelist, Dwight L. Moody, used to say, “You can travel FIRST or SECOND class to Heaven! SECOND class is, ‘What time I am AFRAID, I will TRUST.’–Psalm 56:3. And FIRST class is, ‘I will trust, and NOT be afraid.’–Isaiah 12:2. So why not buy a first class ticket?”

That’s one of the greatest of all liberations for a Christian, to be free from fear!–EVERY type of fear: Fear of the unknown, fear of the dark, fear of enemies, fear of failure and fear of death. We have COMPLETE FREEDOM from fear in JESUS! If you trust GOD, then you have FAITH and not fear. You know your Heavenly Father loves you and is going to take care of you and yours–your family, your future, your job, your wife, your children, your EVERYTHING, if you do your best to love, obey and follow Him!

It’s FAITH in Jesus that keeps us from fear. Faith in God is the best cure for fear in the World! “The LORD is my LIGHT and my SALVATION; WHOM shall I FEAR? The LORD is the STRENGTH of my life; of WHOM shall I be AFRAID? God has NOT given us a spirit of FEAR, but of POWER and of LOVE and of a SOUND MIND! For perfect LOVE casts out ALL fear!”–Psalm 27:1; 2Timothy 1:7; 1John 4:18.

Faith and fear cannot totally occupy your mind and heart at the same time.–It’s just impossible! It’s like the natural law of physics that states, “Two bodies cannot occupy the same place at the same time.”–And the same holds true in the spiritual. Faith is the opposite of fear, and when you have faith, you cannot fear!

Turning on the FAITH in your HEART is like turning on the LIGHT in a ROOM! If you go into a room and it’s dark, how do you get RID of the darkness? Do you try to SHOO the darkness out? Do you go in with your fists and FIGHT it? No, when you don’t want darkness in the room you just turn on the light, right? You just let the light in!–And the darkness turns tail and runs! “Chase away the shades of night, by letting in God’s love and light!”

And that’s how you get rid of fear!–By turning on faith! And how do you get faith?–From reading the Word of God in your Bible and Daily Food! The Bible says, “Faith COMES by hearing the WORD of GOD!”–Romans 10:17. Faith comes and grows as you faithfully read and hear God’s Word! It’s the WORD that will strengthen you and give you more faith. So the more you read the WORD, the MORE FAITH you will have and the LESS FEAR you will have!

On the other hand, believe it or not, SOME kinds of fear are healthy! It’s good to fear–or at least have a healthy RESPECT for–fire, electricity, lightning and anything that can cause accidents and do us or others damage and harm. God has placed within us beneficial automatic reactions, protective instincts, that make us react quickly and instinctively to danger!

The most healthy fear of all is to fear GOD! The Bible says, “The fear of God is the BEGINNING of WISDOM.”–Proverbs 9:10. A part of our LOVE for God should be a healthy RESPECT and FEAR of Him, like a child respects his father, especially if he’s been naughty and done wrong and knows that he deserves a spanking! Fearing God is a form of worshipping God. It’s giving Him the reverence and respect that He deserves.

However, in like manner, fearing the DEVIL is another example of the WRONG kind of DESTRUCTIVE fear that tears you down and brings you under stress and spiritual bondage. To fear the Devil and his powers is really worshipping the Devil!–So DON’T do it!–Not for a fraction of a second! “Thou shalt worship the LORD thy God and HIM ONLY shalt thou fear!”–Matthew 4:10. “This,” the wise King Solomon said, “is the whole duty of Man, to fear God”–only God–“and keep His commandments”!–Ecclesiastes 12:13. If you pin your faith in God, and fear God, all other fears will disappear!

Of course, we must recognise that the Enemy, the Devil, does have certain power. In fact, almost the Devil’s total power is in fear. He’ll often say “Boo!”, and say all kinds of terrible things to try to frighten you! But you don’t have to listen to him. Jesus called him, “A LIAR from the beginning.”–John 8:44. The Devil is a liar and is usually bluffing and hardly ever able to accomplish his threats!–Especially to a child of God who is protected by the Lord’s Holy Spirit and Angels!

The Devil reminds me of an ugly little Pekinese dog that I encountered while shopping the other day. For no reason he started barking and yapping at me like crazy. Its owner, an old lady, picked him up and actually said, “Oh, don’t worry! He’s just a little DEVIL!” And that struck me as a good lesson on what the Devil is like!–He makes such a big noise, when actually he’s so little and powerless compared to the LORD!

So you don’t ever have to worry or fear Satan’s power, because God is much bigger than any devil!–Or even Satan himself! The power of the Lord is much, much greater! “GREATER is He that is in YOU (Jesus), than he that is in the WORLD (the Devil).”–1John 4:4. In other words, God is saying, “My power in you is much greater than the Devil’s power in the World’s children!–MUCH greater!” In fact, all the devils of Hell, including Satan himself, are subject to your power, because you have the power of CHRIST! Jesus said, “ALL power is given unto ME in Heaven and in Earth!”–Matthew 28:18. YOU’RE not stronger than the Devil, but JESUS is!-And you have Jesus and His power, and the Devil and his demons have to do what you tell them to when you COMMAND them to do it in Jesus’ name!

If you feel the Devil is attacking you with fears, worries, anxiety etc., you can pray in the Name of Jesus and resist and overcome him!–Jesus said, “Behold, I give you power over all the power of the Enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you.”-Luke 10:19. This power is YOURS if you believe His Word, claim His promises and pray in the Name of Jesus! In fact, if you are filled with faith and His Holy Spirit, you have the authority to resist the Devil directly, just like Jesus and His early disciples did.

I’ll never forget when I was a kid about 12 years old, delivering newspapers, and I had to go into a certain yard to get to a house in the rear. Suddenly, out from the back yard came this huge Great Dane dog, barking and growling furiously, coming at me full speed, leaping and bounding! I thought, “Oh, no!–I’m a goner! This is IT!” But I knew I didn’t dare turn my back on him to run or he would bite me for sure. Yet, on the other hand, he was too big for me to face, and I was invading HIS territory! He was just too big for me!

I thank God that I remembered to cry out to the Lord, and I did something that I’d never done before, but which I’ve since done to the Devil many times when he’s tried to attack and frighten and scare me!–I suddenly jutted my hand out toward him and I yelled, “I REBUKE YOU IN JESUS’ NAME!”–And, boy, did he put on the brakes! He skidded to a stop and looked absolutely STARTLED!–And turned tail and ran away!

The Devil is just like that dog, a coward!–And if you face him down and RESIST him in Jesus’ name, he’ll run! You don’t get the victory over the Enemy by running FROM him! You get the victory by standing your ground and making HIM run!

Some fears are imaginary, and others, like that big dog, really exist. But whether real or imaginary, you have power over your fears to REBUKE and get RID of them in Jesus’ Name! You have to fight fear and fight the Devil! You have to face your fears, recognise they’re there, decide between the real fears and the unreal ones, the truth and the lie, and then go to the attack to dispel the vaporous fiction of the fairy tale and to drive away the genuine reality of real threat!

Praising the Lord and quoting God’s Word out loud is an excellent way to attack your fears! Memorise faith-building Scriptures like Psalm 23, “The Lord is my shepherd…I will fear no evil.” Put all other thoughts out of your mind and just think about Jesus and His Love and His power. “Thou wilt keep him in PERFECT PEACE whose mind is stayed on Thee.”–Isaiah 26:3.

There are also some fears that you may need HELP in fighting. Some people have deep-rooted fears that are actual phobias.–For instance, some people almost panic when they’re shut up in a closed place. Others fear to go outside. Others fear heights, tunnels, the dark, snakes etc.–If you feel terrified by some extreme fear that you don’t feel strong enough to overcome just between you and the Lord, then it helps greatly to have someone else pray WITH to be delivered from that fear! The Bible says, “ONE can chase a THOUSAND, but TWO can put TEN THOUSAND to flight!”–Deuteronomy 32:30. “If any TWO of you shall agree on Earth as touching anything that they shall ask, it SHALL be done for them of My Father which is in Heaven!”–Matthew 18:19. Often, deep-rooted irrational fears are caused by bad SPIRITS, demons, and–as mentioned before–these spirits of fear can be commanded to depart in the Name of Jesus!-And they HAVE to obey! “SUBMIT yourselves to GOD, RESIST the Devil and he WILL flee from you!”–James 4:7.

So don’t be afraid of the Devil, HE’S afraid of you! “The Devil flees each time he sees the weakest saint upon his knees!” There’s nothing to be afraid of when it comes to the Devil!–He was defeated 2,000 years ago!–When Jesus Christ, the Son of God, won the victory for our souls on the Cross of Calvary!

“And though this World with devils filled,
Should threaten to undo us!
We will NOT fear, for God hath willed,
His TRUTH to TRIUMPH through US!

The Prince of Darkness grim,
We tremble NOT for him!
For lo, his doom is sure,
One little Word shall fell Him!”–JESUS!

You have power over the Devil and all fears through JESUS and His WORD!–Pray and believe and be freed from fear today!–In Jesus’ name! Amen?

 

 

Treasures. Copyright (c) The Family International

Would You Like to Know Your Future?

free-bible-studies-online-would-you-like-to-know-your-future

David Brandt Berg

The Bible and the Words of God’s Prophets are actually the only real NEWSpapers, or NEWSbooks, in the World!–All other newspapers tell you what ALREADY happened YESTERDAY, so they’re not really NEWS papers, they’re HISTORY papers! But the BIBLE tells us what is GOING to happen TOMORROW! It is full of thousands of detailed PROPHECIES, actually describing specific people, places, times, situations and events thousands of years before they came into being! (Isaiah 34:16; 42:9; 2Peter 1:19-21.)

Many of these prophecies are about the FINAL period of World history, just before Jesus returns to stop all of today’s wickedness and to set up His Own Kingdom of Love and Peace on Earth. These last final days of Man’s kingdoms on Earth are known in the Bible as the “TIME OF THE END”, the “LATTER DAYS”, the “LAST DAYS”, etc.–the time in which YOU and I are NOW living! (Daniel 2: 28; 8:23; 12:4.)

When Jesus’ Disciples wanted to know the future and asked Him, “What shall be the SIGN of THY COMING and of the END of the World?”, He didn’t reply with only one sign, but with DOZENS! In fact, the Bible gives us HUNDREDS of “signs of the times”, signs and signals that we are to look out for so that we can know exactly HOW close to the very End we are! (Matthew 24:All)

These signs include: A dramatic upsurge in “famines, pestilences and earthquakes in diverse places” (Matthew 24:7), “the Gospel being preached in ALL the World for a witness to ALL nations” (Matthew 24:14), a drastic increase in international travel, with “many running to and fro, wandering from sea to sea, as knowledge is greatly increased”. (Daniel 12:4; Amos 8:11,12)–A great “falling away” (2Thessalonians 2:3) from the Lord as “evil men and seducers grow worse and worse, deceiving many”. (2Timothy 3:13)–“The love of many growing cold” (Matthew 24:12), resulting in “distress of nations upon the Earth and men’s hearts failing them for fear”! (Luke 21:25,26)–Signs which are all obviously being fulfilled TODAY more than ever before!

One of the most important and final signs of the VERY END that many Prophets predicted is the rise of a totally Godless ANTI-CHRIST WORLD GOVERNMENT led by a demonic dictator who will be possessed by SATAN himself! This man will come to power with a 7-YEAR AGREEMENT, a COVENANT (which COULD be in effect secretly already!) in which he will promise the World peace and religious freedom, and will settle the Mideast crisis, working out a compromise between the Jews and the Arabs to enable the Jews to reinstitute their traditional Temple worship in Jerusalem. (Daniel 8:23-25; 2Thessalonians 2:1-4; Daniel 9:27) Also, the World is ABOUT to go through a great ECONOMIC CRASH!–And HE will promise to RESTORE the economy!

For awhile, most of the World is going to think that this man, the Antichrist, is wonderful, as he will have brought peace, restored the World’s economy, solved the Mideast crisis, etc. But suddenly, toward the end of his reign, after having BROKEN the Covenant, he will INVADE ISRAEL from the NORTH, and will forbid and abolish all traditional religious worship, declaring that HE himself is GOD and demanding that all the World worship HIM! (Daniel 9:27; 8:9-12; 11:21-24,28-31,36; 2Thessalonians 2:3,4,8,9)

At this time he will place an idol, an IMAGE of HIMSELF, in the Temple, an “ABOMINATION OF DESOLATION” which could very likely be some kind of a computerised robot or telecommunications system for his Antichrist regime, as it will SPEAK and somehow even cause those who refuse to worship it to be KILLED! Jesus Himself said that when you SEE this Image, this Abomination of Desolation, standing there in the Temple, THEN would begin a time of “GREAT TRIBULATION”! (Daniel 11:31; 12:11; Matthew 24:15-21; Revelation 13:14,15.)

During the last part of the Antichrist’s reign, people won’t use paper money any more because the Antichrist government is going to set up a ONE-WORLD-CREDIT SYSTEM, and all members of the System who reject Jesus and worship this Antichrist will be issued a credit number, marked in their HANDS or FOREHEADS! The Antichrist government will use this new credit system to try to force everybody to either worship the Antichrist or starve to death, because no one will be able to BUY or SELL without this number or “MARK of the BEAST”!–But GOD’S CHILDREN will REFUSE to worship him or receive his Mark!–And the LORD will take CARE of us, even if He has to drop manna from Heaven to feed us! (Revelation 13:16-18; 12:6,14)

And while the Antichrist and his followers are persecuting and trying to get God’s children, God is going to let loose PESTILENCES and PLAGUES and even strange MONSTERS which will ATTACK these wicked people of the Devil! These days of the Tribulation will be like the last days of the children of Israel in Egypt!–God’s prophets will be doing great and mighty SIGNS, WONDERS and MIRACLES to defend the Gospel and God’s children! (Revelation 7:3; 9:1-11; 11:3-6.)

Near the END of the Tribulation period, 10 “KINGS” will join the Antichrist and together they will DESTROY and “devour with fire BABYLON, the GREAT WHORE”.–A final judgement which, according to many Scriptures, sounds like the 10 leading nations of EUROPE, such as we find in the EUROPEAN ECONOMIC COMMUNITY, uniting with RUSSIA and turning on AMERICA in a nuclear first-strike that will destroy her in ONE HOUR! (Daniel 11:38,39,43; Revelation 17:12,16,17; 18:1-10,17-19.)

The Antichrist’s worldwide suppression and persecution of all who refuse to worship him, plus the horrific Nuclear War, will make this Great Tribulation period a time of TROUBLE such as the World has never known! In fact, Jesus said, “Except those days be shortened (come to an end), there should no flesh be saved. But for the elect’s (Christians’) sake, those days shall be shortened (come to an end).” (Matthew 24:21,22)

Right at the END of the Last 7 Years, just when the fiendish Antichrist thinks he has the World in his grasp, then suddenly–BOOM!–Like a bolt from the blue, JESUS will RETURN and snatch all of His children out of this World! Just after that DARKEST NIGHT in World History we are going to have the BRIGHTEST DAWN!–Jesus is going to come back and rescue His Own, His Church, His people, EVERYONE who loves Him and knows Him and has Him in their hearts! (Matthew 24:29-31)

All of the Christians who have ALREADY died and gone on to be with Jesus will come back with Him to pick up their new, resurrection bodies!–And “the Earth shall cast out her dead!” (Isaiah 26:19) Then we who are alive and remain, having miraculously survived and kept witnessing for Jesus throughout the Antichrist’s reign of terror, will instantly be changed, TRANSFORMED, as we receive our new, miraculous, powerful, supernatural, resurrection bodies–just like JESUS’ body after HE was resurrected!–And up we’ll sail towards the sky, “to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we EVER be with the Lord!” (1Thessalonians 4:14-17; 1Corinthians 15:51-57; Philippians 3:21.)

All of our anti-Christ enemies will be SHOCKED as they see the Lord coming in the clouds of Heaven with power and great glory, lighting up the whole sky like permanent lightning!–The powers of the Heavens shaken!–The Lord descending with a great shout!–A terrific blast on the trumpet of God!–Graves of the Saints bursting open as the dead are raised!–And all of God’s children who are still alive transformed before their eyes, flying upwards to meet Jesus! “EVERY eye shall SEE Him and ALL the kindreds of the Earth shall WAIL because of Him!” (Matthew 24:27-31; Revelation 1:7.)

Jesus will come back to catch His Bride, His Church, out of the evil clutches of the Enemy and then whisk us away to the grandest, most glorious and thrilling wedding party that’s ever been held, the great MARRIAGE SUPPER OF THE LAMB in Heaven!–At which time we will feast our eyes upon the spectacle of God’s Judgements being poured out upon the unrepentant, wicked World below! Right after the Lord has rescued and raptured us to be with Him, the horrific Vials of the great WRATH OF GOD are going to be poured out upon the Antichrist and his people in horrible, terrible PLAGUES such as the World has never known! (Revelation 19: 6-9; 14:14-20; 16:11-21.)

God’s going to pour out His Judgements and horrors and Wrath upon the Antichrist and his forces to punish and sock it to them with what they deserve!–Until the FINAL Wrath of all, when the wicked gather together at ARMAGEDDON in Israel to try to fight the remaining nations of Earth, who though unsaved, are still trying to resist his evil rule! Then JESUS HIMSELF, along with His resurrected, glorified, Heavenly forces, will return to Earth again on majestic white chargers out of Heaven to utterly defeat and destroy the Antichrist and utterly annihilate his forces in the supernatural, catastrophic BATTLE OF ARMAGEDDON, and to rescue the unsaved people who were opposing him! Though they were never saved, Jesus will mercifully allow them to live on into the coming Golden Age of the Millennium so they can have a chance to know Him and believe on Him! (Revelation 9:13-21; 16:12-16; 19:11-21; 17:14; 16:12-21; Daniel 12:12.)

Then we, the Saints of God, along with our King Jesus Christ, will TAKE OVER the World and ORGANISE it and RULE it and RUN it the way it SHOULD have been run if Man had yielded to God! We’re going to set up the Kingdom of God on Earth and restore the Earth to the beauty of the Garden of Eden again! This amazing period will last for ONE THOUSAND YEARS and therefore it is known as THE MILLENNIUM! (Daniel 2:44; 7:18,26,27; Revelation 20:4)

He says, “Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the FIRST Resurrection (the Rapture): On such the second death hath no power, but they shall be PRIESTS of God and of Christ, and shall REIGN with Him a THOUSAND YEARS!” (Revelation 20:6) Jesus also promised to His faithful ones, “He that OVERCOMETH, and KEEPETH My works unto the End, to him will I give POWER over the NATIONS (of surviving unsaved people): And he shall RULE them with a ROD OF IRON (authority).” (Revelation 2:26,27)

The DEVIL will be BOUND and cast as a prisoner into the Bottomless Pit for this Thousand Year period, and GOD is going to be SUPREME and JESUS will REIGN from shore to shore and WE will rule and reign WITH Him!–And those who live on into the Millennium will be FORCED to do what’s right and forced to obey for a thousand years! Then and ONLY then, under the supreme and powerful rule and reign of Christ and God’s children, will all wars finally cease and the World will at last be governed fairly and well with TRUE justice, liberty, peace, plenty and happiness for ALL! (Revelation 20:1-3; Isaiah 2:2-4; Psalm 22:27,28; 42:2,3,7,8)

The CURSE will be partially LIFTED, which will mean a lot of different and better conditions.–The Earth will be like it was during the days of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden! “And NOTHING shall HURT nor DESTROY in all His holy Kingdom!”–No more stinking automobiles belching fumes, nor big smokey smoke-belching factories! The World is going to go back to animal transportation and carriages and wagons and beautiful, majestic, wind-powered sailing vessels! (Isaiah 11:6-9; 65:2O-25)

During the Millennium, WE–the born-again, saved, resurrected Saints–will be in our new SUPERNATURAL BODIES, with amazing miraculous powers such as indestructibility, no pain, sickness or death, but power to destroy enemies at a thought or a glance or a motion, the abilities to appear and disappear, fly, change our appearance into inscrutable disguises to spy on our enemies and invade their most secret hideouts and even their very thoughts with our mind-reading ability and x-ray eyes to see through walls and across vast stretches of distance to detect their plans and operations! Meanwhile we can communicate with each other by mental telepathy without speaking a word, even over great distances, etc., whereas our enemies will have none of these advantages, so it will be fairly easy to rule over them with the wisdom, power, justice and love of Jesus and His personal leadership!

But the REST of the World, those who have been spared and blessed enough to survive into the Millennium, are going to still be in their old NATURAL bodies. EVERYONE on Earth will SEE His glorious power and Kingdom and EVERYBODY will believe THEN! So there won’t be any UNBELIEVERS, but I’m afraid there will still be some UNRECEIVERS who won’t yield and won’t obey and will STILL be stubborn and rebellious and defiant! These wicked rejectors will probably move to distant corners of the Earth in order to live independent of Jesus’ benign rule, and as long as they do not bother the receivers–the GOOD citizens of Jesus’ Kingdom–we will leave them to their own devices. (Habakkuk 2:14; Isaiah 29:18, 19;32:1; 4O:5)

Then, as a final TEST and a final SIFTING, at the end of the Millennium, Satan is going to be RELEASED from his prison in the heart of the Earth for a “little season”, just long enough to deceive the unconverted wicked who have rejected Christ’s Kingdom of Love. These rebels will again follow him to the full, in open rebellion against the Lord and His Government, and will attack “the Camp of the Saints”, the normal Earthlings who are citizens of Jesus’ Millennial Kingdom. This will result in the catastrophic BATTLE OF GOG AND MAGOG, at which point God is so fed up with them that He just sends down FIRE out of Heaven to DEVOUR them COMPLETELY! (Psalm 2:All; Isaiah 26:9-11; Revelation 2O:7-1O.)

In fact, He will cause SUCH a horrible fire to come down that it will completely wipe out the entire Earth and the heavens shall be rolled back like a scroll and depart with a great noise! It’s all going to explode and be burned up, and the entire surface of this planet is going to be completely melted. After the World has been totally cleansed, it will be RECREATED into a beautiful NEW Earth! (2Peter 3:1O-13)

After this climactic Battle of Gog and Magog, all the UNsaved of all ages will be resurrected for the final GREAT WHITE THRONE JUDGEMENT! All of the UNSAVED DEAD will finally be raised to stand before God Himself in the final Judgement in which “the books are opened”, and they will all be given their final sentences according to their works and will be assigned to their final places in the hereafter. (Revelation 2O:11-15) God’s great Heavenly SPACE CITY will then DESCEND from above to the beautiful, recreated, Garden-of-Eden-like NEW EARTH!–And God Himself will dwell WITH us right here on Earth! It will be like God taking over the World by invading it from Outer Space–bringing down His Heavenly City and restoring Himself as the King of kings forever! This great Space City is 1,5OO MILES LONG, 1,5OO MILES WIDE and 1,5OO MILES HIGH!–The greatest space vehicle ever created, the most wonderful Spaceship ever conceived, built by the LORD and on its way down to Earth now! (Revelation 21:All!)

The ENTIRE “CITY is PURE GOLD, like unto CLEAR GLASS”! (Revelation 21:18) It’s like clear golden-colored glass, a beautiful CRYSTAL GOLD! So you’ll be able to see out of the City through those transparent walls, out onto a beautiful, fully-restored and recreated New Earth which will be populated by NEW NATIONS and kings and peoples who will then learn the righteousness, goodness and love of God, even though they will be OUTSIDE the Golden City and its jewelled walls! (Revelation 21:1,24-26)

It will be a BETTER WORLD then with BETTER PEOPLE who will have learned their lessons of the law of the Love of God and will be happier than ever before, because at last they will be purged and purified of their sins of rebellion against Him and healed by the LEAVES of the TREES OF LIFE which WE shall minister to them from where they grow by the RIVER OF LIFE within the City! (Revelation 22:1,2)

Only the MOST wicked of all, such as Satan, the Antichrist, his False Prophet and their most ardent Christ-rejecting followers, will have been sent to the Lake of Fire to be punished and purged of their diabolical rebelliousness! If they repent even there, perhaps they may be released and allowed to live on the surface of the New Earth. But if they do NOT repent, God may see fit to just completely DESTROY them! (Revelation 21:8; 22:14,15; Philippians 2:1O,11; 1Timothy 2:4; Ephesians 1:1O; 2Peter 2:12)

Some of this may be a shock to you, but it’s the TRUTH of GOD’S WORD! You can read it in the Bible for yourself if you wish, if you truly want to know the things that will shortly come to pass and if you hunger for the righteousness of God and thirst for His living waters that bring Eternal Life through His Love and the sacrifice of His Son, Jesus Christ! For He has promised that if you DO, you TOO shall be filled and satisfied to overflowing upon others who need Him also! Hallelujah! (John 5:29; Acts 17:11; Matthew 5:6.)

So if YOU want a NEW WORLD and a NEW LIFE under a new GOOD GOVERNMENT by GOD HIMSELF and would even like to help run it with peace and plenty and happiness for all, why not ASK JESUS into YOUR HEART today and JOIN US NOW and work with us to tell the World of His Love and show them what a wonderful World it’s going to be from the Bible and your own happy smiling face and heavenly living together in love, a present-day sample of the Heaven to come! (John 1:12; Revelation 3:2O; Matthew 5:16.)

Prepare for the future TODAY by receiving Jesus NOW! Simply pray,

“Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and forgive me for all my sins. Help me to love and live for You, to hunger for Your Truth, to learn Your Word and to tell others about Your Love.–In Jesus’ name, amen.”

 

 

 

Source: Would You Like to Know Your Future?

 

 

 

Treasures. Copyright (c) The Family International