For thus said the Lord unto me: ‘Go, station the watchman, That which he seeth let him declare.’Isaiah 21:6
We have heard the warning from prognosticators that change is coming to America. I became a believer when I went to the grocery store and saw the new prices. Talk show hosts and godly teachers alike have been telling us for awhile that we need to “stock up” for the huge inflation which is coming. It has already impacted many large cities in our nation and now it’s trickling down to Tennessee where I live.
Many of our GospeLines families in Zimbabwe will tell you that the next few years can become really ugly if we experience the kind of runaway inflation which attacked their economy. Because of their remarkable faith, the Zim Christians not only survived the crisis but came through it stronger than before.In a land where there exists a strong Christian base, bad times seldom last forever.
I received an email from a godly woman who migrated from Zimbabwe to South Africa.It’s quite long, but worth reading:
Thank you pastor-you know what I wish for is for you pastors in these so called developed countries to come and experience lack and need and waiting on God in some of these African countries.I am not saying it’s wrong to stay in these countries but you know what, there is no worship and waiting on God like there is from a place of want.
We have a small congregation-and of that small congregation very few are gainfully employed-most do menial work like domestic work and gardeners.The congregants have to pay rent from the giving.You know we live by faith because that’s the only way we know- we have no choice. A church member has no food , we pray, waiting for a job-we pray for the job to come.I really wish you had a chance to leave what I will call your comfort zones and be here where there is real need both physically and spiritually.We pray for healing and people get healing-it’s the only way out-sometimes migrants have no money or are afraid of accessing health delivery systems-we pray.So you know what pastor—it’s like that.We live daily on the Word of God-we stand on His word and make daily faith proclamations and declarations to strengthen faith.
If you haven’t started preparing for your family’s needs through at least buying and storing food for the future, you should if you are able. Some items have a long shelf life and will store very nicely. We are building shelves in places that can only be reached by ladder…top of the pantry, above the reachable shelves in the closets, next to the ceiling in the garage, etc. The next stage is to downsize the junk in the garage so we can use the existing shelves for food items, too. Why am I doing this:I Timothy 5:8 – “But if any provide not for his own, and especially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.”
The way I see it, prices will really start going up around March or April, maybe even before then. If you have not begun, NOW is a good time to initiate the process of saving and stocking supplies for tomorrow. So what if we don’t need it…what if inflation doesn’t come as warned? Hallelujah! We will have extra which we will share with others.
Why is this happening to America? Apart from the obvious, that we are getting a well-deserved spanking from our Heavenly Father, there are lots of reasons for it. For example, much of our food is imported from other countries and the dollar has taken a beating due to excessive borrowing by Washington D.C. So our money isn’t worth as much in those countries where we buy food for the population.Nations like the Soviets, China, Brazil are speaking out against the huge American debt and outlandish financial policies, warning us to quit spending what we don’t have.This practice of deficit spending has been going on by our government for many years. This is BOTH a Democrat and Republican problem because both major parties are guilty of spending more than we can afford. Some nations in Europe are now leading the way in austerity measures to get their spending under control…we should follow their example.
We are facing great challenges unlike anything this generation has ever experienced. My parents went through tough times and I remember a little about the things our family of six had to do just to get by. We grew up with cows, pigs, chickens and a garden.Most of us don’t really know what it means to “tighten our belts” and do without, but we will soon. Be prepared. Talk with your children. And pray that the riots and violent protests which occurred in other countries when they decided to balance their national budgets, will not overwhelm us in the USA.
Is there time to prevent this financial mudslide from destroying cities, churches and homes?Can and will God intervene on our behalf?Yes, disaster can be prevented and God CAN stop it from happening…but will He?Remember how much Jehovah loved Israel, His favored nation?Yet He allowed them to become slaves to barbarians, experience disgrace from their neighbors, and He let them lose their status in the world in order to discipline them for their transgressions.
Prayer can alter the course of history.I know that God has favored the USA because we were founded on His principles and, for the most part, we lived by His principles for much of our existence as a nation.But I also know that just as God punished His Hebrew children in the wilderness, He has every right to hold us accountable for our sins as well.
Some people would be glad to see this happen to America; they believe that it is time for America to taste bitter suffering because we are “privileged and arrogant.”I don’t believe that.If the light of prosperity goes out in this nation…if suffering invades our borders as it has in many parts of the world, we will not be punished because we are industrious and proud.We will be punished because we have lost our way spiritually.Beloved, we need to pray as though we honestly believe that God can and will prevent this from happening to us.But we should also prepare as though there is no tomorrow exactly like today because changes are coming to America.
God bless you in your joy and your tribulation, in your victory and your defeats…and may God continue to bless the USA by bringing us back to our spiritual roots!
Do you know the difference between “Doing Church and Being the Church?”That was the discourse recently by Rev. Dr. Stansell as he brought the message for our church’s 42nd anniversary.Whether we gave it thought previously, there is a big difference.
My definition of “doing church” is being in the building each Sunday, filling up the pews…“spiritual shoplifting,” if you will…
If we are hungry enough to “be the church” there is one ingredient that needs to be eliminated – pretense.As our preacher witnessed, one doesn’t have to represent something that he or she isn’t.If we followed that path (pretense), we’d miss the mark of what God wants us to be.
Rev. Dr. Stansell also reminded us not to play with God either as HE knows all.We need to be our authentic selves.The people in the pews make the church and each will create their own story, journey and therefore, testimony!
Any one of us can demonstrate the power of miracles.Rev. Dr. Stansell’s definition of a miracle is the “supernatural intrusion into the natural; an act of God contrary to laws of nature.”
He also emphasized that it’s not the size of the church that matters, it’s who comes with authenticity.God doesn’t work in pretense and neither should we.God may have to bring us low, so HE can bring us up.
There are seven principles that a spirit-filled church has to be –
1.Must be Unified
2.Must Fellowship (not a meet and eat; but honest, inclusive and caring)
3.Must be Worshipful
4.Must be Evangelistic
5.Must be Loving
6.Must be Submissive
Are you “doing church or being the church?”Be careful when you answer.Remember, God knows all.We are called to be HIS children and HE has an expectation.Take off the airs, the pretense and be authentic.
Prayer:Father, help us take off the mask, to be Your child with authenticity.Help us to minister to those who need to know You.Each of us, in a unique place, is on a journey according to Your plan for us.No two gifts are exactly alike, but by Your perfect design.We needn’t question why our paths are different; why our strengths and struggles are different; because we know that all will work together for the good of Your Kingdom here on earth.
Thank You, Father for Your blessings for each and every one of us.And, for the many miracles that are right in front of our eyes and for not forsaking us when we have only “done church.”
We want to serve You by “being the church.”
In His Love,
≈ Devotional for Wednesday, November 24, 2010
Six years ago today, I talked to my Dad.He was 84 years old and in my mind he would live forever.My wife spoke with him and one of my daughters as well.The conversation lasted almost an hour and ended with the usual statements of: "I love you”; “We'll talk again soon”; and, “Let's get together real soon."
The next day my Step-Mom called to say Dad had gone home...
However, when I think back to that Thanksgiving Day, the memories are far more about God’s love than of sadness.I remember how God wiped away the tears and poured joy into my life.
On the way to Dad's funeral, Dr. Tommy called and invited me to become one of GospeLines writers.That gift has allowed me to serve God in ways I never dreamed of before; and, it has been a blessing to my family and me that continues to this day.
Since that fateful day, my younger sister and I have become closer than we ever imagined possible.We have been drawn together by this common bond of earthly grief and Heavenly love.
God’s hand was in everything that happened during those days six years ago and those events drew me closer to my family, closer to my friends and closer to Christ.
Paul’s words in 1st Thessalonians 5:16-19 give both direction and reason for times such as those: "Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.Do not put out the Spirit's fire..."
No matter what our earthly circumstances, we are blessed by our Heavenly Father in ways beyond description.We have eternal life with Christ Jesus.We have the favor of God and the joy and peace He gives us.We have His grace and His forgiveness.Most of all, we have His love.What more could we want?What circumstances could possible take away from the joy given to us by the Lord?
This year, as you mark another day of Thanksgiving, go into a private place and share with the Lord your wonder, your joy and your thankfulness for the many blessings He has given you.Most of all, thank Him for the Holy Spirit which burns brightly inside each of His children with a fire that cannot be quenched by the darts and arrows of this world.
"When you have eaten and are satisfied, praise the Lord your God for the good land he has given you." (Deuteronomy 8:10 - NIV)
“…I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father,but byMe.”
- John 14:6 (KJV)
Thanksgiving Week - No devotionals Wednesday, Thursday and Friday