FROM THE HEART
Relevant blogs about living as a Christian in the world today.
Life seems to be getting more complicated and we seem to be hearing more and more bad news. There are so many things that could cause us to fear, that we must increase our efforts to rejoice and stay faithful. But the Lord knows best about whatever we are going through, and that is why there is so much encouragement in His Word, that is applicable, regardless of the historical period in which anyone lives. The verses below are timeless in such manner.
If we study God’s Word, we learn that God is love and He wants what is best for us, even more than we do. If we choose to live in obedience to the Lord, we can have the most beautiful life, because we can fulfill the plan that God created and equipped us for.
Because we are the Lord’s children and have His light, we can be sober and know what is happening not only around us, but also in our hearts and minds. In the first verses of 1 Thessalonians 5, we are warned that the Lord Jesus will come as unexpectedly and suddenly, “as a thief in the night,” the comparison referring to the element of surprise. Jesus said, “Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour in which the Son of Man is coming,” in Matthew 25:13, as well as in Matthew 24:32 and Mark 13:32. Based on the signs of the Lord's coming, which we read about in the books of Isaiah, Joel, and in the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke, we can know when the coming of the Lord is near, but no man will know the exact day, much less the hour when Jesus will appear on the clouds.
That is why we should be spiritually awake, always seeking to put on “the breastplate of faith and love," and to protect our minds with the "hope of salvation," as a helmet. Faith in God is the only shield that can stop the arrows of doubt and the lies of the devil. We are also the ones who choose to love God and people, and to receive the love that the Lord has for us. If we want to understand the love of our heavenly Father, the Holy Spirit will reveal it to us. A good way to get to know more about the dimensions and depths of God's love, is to pray as the apostle Paul prayed, in Ephesians 3:14-21.
Because our mind is a battlefield, in which the enemy can slip thoughts of doubt, discouragement, temptation, and more, trying to get us to fail and forsake the Lord, we need to continuously have “the hope of salvation" as a helmet to guard our minds. The helmet is meant to protect what we think. If Jesus is our true Lord and we are convinced that His sacrifice is enough for our salvation, then we are saved. The Lord will never leave or forsake us, as He has promised us in so many Bible verses. But, we can forsake the Lord, because He does not force us to become or stay His. Therefore, we must persevere and endure to the end.
The light exposes everything that is hidden and can harm us. We do not solve any of our problems when we try to "hide them under a rug" or ignore them, on the contrary, whatever we do not take care of will cost us later. We are the ones who must choose to take and protect ourselves with the “breastplate of faith.”
We know that that God's purpose for us is to succeed, and always remain His. Jesus chose to die for our sins so that we may be with Him forever. This truth is the most wonderful and powerful encouragement for every Christian. Let us not forget that God created man so that he will have a people to be with Him forever!
Therefore, let us not be afraid and never doubt the love of our heavenly Father and that He will always take the best care of us. Jesus chose to die for our sins, to redeem and reconcile us with God and He lives in the sincere hearts of those who made Him Lord and live to please God. We are never alone and no matter how hard the circumstances are at certain times; Jesus is always with us and will always see us through. If we can say like Paul, "For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain" (Philippians 1:21), we have nothing to fear. Physical death means instantly entering into the presence of the One for whom we have lived, and for Christians, the One is Christ.
Let us not forget that,