~Galatians 5:22-23 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.

If I were to neatly arrange my spiritual fruit in a showcase, would I be displaying many trophies of good fruit?

The Apostle Paul explains to us that we have evidence of the Holy Spirit’s work in our lives by the fruit that we bear. Just reading about the fruit of the Spirit brings peace to my heart. Every believer has some trophies to display in his spiritual showcase. Some more than others. We each grow at our own pace but each of us has some.

As I was looking over these wonderful fruit, I found myself lacking. I even found some of my fruit was spotted. I had to ask myself, “Have I been as long suffering as I should have? How am I doing with my temperance (self control)? How’s my faith during times of testing?”

Thank God that He isn’t finished with me yet! As we see a spotted fruit messing up our trophy case, let’s allow the Holy Spirit to work in our lives and work toward producing beautiful fruit for the Lord!

~Philippians 3:13-14 Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.

Pity parties – the devil absolutely loves them! How do these pity parties come about in our lives? I truly believe it is because we dwell on what has happened in our lives and not what is going to happen. The Lord knows our future – He has been there and is most qualified to guide us. To depend on Him to take care of what is going to happen is what we must train ourselves to do.

Dwelling on past sins, mistakes and life’s hardships is not going to help us press toward our Heavenly reward. In fact, it causes us to take our eyes off that mark. Ole slew foot knows what he is doing. He knows that if he can get us to focus on our daily circumstances then we will be useless for the cause of Christ. The unbeliever will see us struggling and will not want what we have. The believer will see us struggling and will not be challenged by our testimony. But our Father knows our trials and our past. If we allow Him, He will mold us into the image of His Son, Jesus Christ! Let’s allow Him and be yielded to His Hand!

~Job 23:10 But he knoweth the way that I take: when he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold.

I asked God to take away my pride.
God said, “No. It is not for me to take away, but for you to give it up.”

I asked God to make my handicapped child whole.
God said, “No. Her spirit was whole, her body was only temporary.”

I asked God to grant me patience.
God said, “No. Patience is a by-product of tribulations; it isn’t granted, it is earned.”

I asked God to give me happiness.
God said, “No. I give you blessings, happiness is up to you.”

I asked God to spare me pain.
God said, “No. Suffering draws you apart from worldly cares and brings you closer to me.”

I asked for all things that I might enjoy life.
God said, “No. I will give you life so that you may enjoy all things.”

I asked God to help me LOVE others, as much as God loves me.
God said… “Ahhhh, finally you have the idea!”

“There’s a time and place for everything, for everyone. God works in a mysterious way.”
Just trust in God.

~Author Unknown

There once was a little boy who wanted to meet God. He knew it was a long trip to where God lived, so he packed his suitcase with Twinkies & a six-pack of root beer, and he started his journey.

When he had gone a few blocks from home, he met an old man. He was sitting in the park near the water just staring at some birds.

The boy sat down next to him and opened his suitcase. He was about to take a drink from his root beer, when he noticed that the old man looked hungry, so he offered him a Twinkie.

The old man gratefully accepted it and smiled at him. His smile was so incredible that the boy wanted to see it again, so he offered him a root beer.

Once again, he smiled at him. The boy was delighted! They sat there all afternoon eating and smiling, but they never said a word.

As it grew dark, the boy realized how tired he was, and he got up to leave, but before he had gone more than a few steps; he turned around, and ran back to the old man, and gave him a hug. The old man gave him his biggest smile ever,

When the boy opened the door to his own house a short time later, his mother was surprised by the look of joy on his face. She asked her son: “What did you do today that made you so happy?”

The child replied: “I had lunch with God.”

But before his mother could respond, he added: “You know what? He’s got the most beautiful smile I’ve ever seen!

Meanwhile, the old man, also radiant with joy, returned to his home. His son was stunned by the look of peace on his face and asked: “Dad, what did you do today that made you so happy?”

He replied: “I ate Twinkies in the park with God.”

But before his son responded, he added: “You know, He’s much younger than I expected.

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 make someone’s day a very special one, or even turn someone’s life around.

~Author Unknown

A young man was at the end of his road , seeing no way out, he dropped to his knees in prayer.

“Lord, I can’t go on,” he said. “I have too heavy a cross to bear.”

The Lord replied, “My son, if you can’t bear its weight, just place your cross inside this room.

Then, open that other door and pick out any cross you wish.”

The man was filled with relief and said, “Thank you Lord,” and he did as he was told.

Upon entering the other room, he saw many crosses; some so large the tops were not visible. Then, he spotted a tiny cross leaning against a far wall.

“I’d like that one, Lord,” he whispered. The Lord replied, “My son, that is the cross you just brought in.”

When life’s problems seem overwhelming, it helps to look around and see what other people are coping with. You may consider yourself far more fortunate than you imagined.

YOUR CROSS

Whatever your cross
Whatever your pain
There will always be sunshine
After the rain

Perhaps you may stumble
Perhaps even fall
But God’s always there
To help you through it all

~Author Unknown

 

~Psalm 3:3-4 But thou, O LORD, art a shield for me; my glory, and the lifter up of mine head. (3) I cried unto the LORD with my voice, and he heard me out of his holy hill. Selah. (4)

As we’ve been going through this series, we have been learning about God’s attributes. Today’s verse teaches us that God does hear us when we cry to Him. I can’t begin to tell you how many times someone has told me that they do not feel as though God hears them. They continue to say that their prayers seem to stop at the ceiling. Does that sound familiar to you? Don’t believe it for a minute. God tells us that He does hear us and that He stands ready to help us. David said he cried with his voice and God heard him. God hears us as well!

The weary believer gets to a point in his life that he is overwhelmed and feels as though he has been totally abandoned. However, our God stands ready to shield us from total despair if we allow Him. Sometimes we just cannot see His shield in our lives because we are so absorbed in our circumstances. That is why it is so important that we stay in the Word. Reading brings life to our down heartedness. Reading brings to light God’s promises and comforting words. One can hardly read Psalms without walking away with a ray of hope. Why is it that we fail to go to the place where healing can occur when we need it the most?

The best part of the verse is that God is the lifter of the weary believer’s head! Whether your head is stuck on a pillow because you’re exhausted or your head is drooped because of depression, God WILL lift it. He is there waiting and willing to do this. Read the Word and envelope yourself within the pages of encouragement. God will wrap His arms around you and bring you that much needed comfort and peace.

 

~Isaiah 40:28 Hast thou not known? hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? there is no searching of his understanding.

In the Old Testament times, people were not as blessed as we are today to have God’s Word available at any given time. They had to depend on hearing God’s Word from their prophets and high priests. After hearing, they had to keep what they had heard in their hearts so they could pull from it when they needed refueling.

Isaiah exhorted them by trying to help them to remember what they had been taught. Don’t you know? Haven’t you heard? It’s as if he is trying to jolt their memories:

Come on, people! We’ve taught you this before. Why don’t you remember?  Why don’t you draw from what you have been taught and encourage yourselves?

When the believer is weary, it’s so vital that he remember what God has taught him. When we look back at how God has been there for us in the past and what He has done to bring us through a particular trial, we feel encouraged that He will do it again!

Today’s verse points out that God is not man and He does NOT grow weary. God never tires of helping His child. He is NOT weary of helping you, dear Christian. We may grow tired of helping the immature believer because he does not seem to learn from his mistakes. But God is not like this at all. He is the ultimate Parent. He has perfect love, perfect patience and perfect mercy! This perfection is wrapped around the fact that He never gets tired. My friend, does this not encourage you?

~Isaiah 40:31 But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.

Our perfect God is wanting to to help us. He stands ready and He is waiting to renew the strength of the weary believer. When we allow Him to work in our lives, we are promised that He will renew our strength.  Not only will He renew our strength, but He will do it in such a way that we will feel as though we are flying!  We will come above our circumstances rather than be overwhelmed and covered by them.

God is not human and does not have the weaknesses that we have. His compassion allows Him to understand what we are going through. It is His perfect love that drives this compassion. Any parent can relate to this love and compassion. The love we have for our children is what motivates us when we discipline them – when we try to comfort them when they are hurt – when we try to teach them what is right.

God is perfect and, therefore, this perfection spills forth when He wants to encourage us. Isaiah captures this in Isaiah 40:31, doesn’t he? He says that in our weariness, if we wait upon God as He ministers to us through His Word, He SHALL renew our strength and we will be able to run (spiritually speaking) and not grow tired or faint. We will be able to go through our trial without falling apart.  In fact, Isaiah takes it a step further and says that we will rise above our circumstances.

Friend, our weariness can be compared directly to the amount of time in the Word. The Lord promises to renew our strength in time of weariness. The wearier we are, the more we need the Word to cleanse us – to encourage us – to lift us up.  I know that the last thing I want to do when I am sick is to open my Bible – but this is when I need to open my Bible.  God has a promise there waiting for me if I do!

 

~Psalm 39:7 And now, Lord, what wait I for? my hope is in thee.

Misplaced Hope

When we get to the point of weariness, we tend to look for relief in the wrong places or in the wrong people. When I have been to this point, I have felt that God wanted me to go through this and wasn’t going to give me relief from the situation I was in. It is then I would look for help – but not from the Lord. Friends were there for me and were a blessing – but they could not take the trial away. They could encourage my heart but they could not change my attitude about the trial. It is the same when believers are stricken with an illness that is pretty serious. They turn to their doctors and place their hope in the doctor to heal them. As good as that sounds, the hope is truly misplaced.

Hope Eternal

The weary believer gets to a point in his life that he is overwhelmed and feels as though he has been totally abandoned. When we place our hope in God, the hope will not be misguided. That hope will be eternal and He will sustain us. As I close this devotional series for The Weary Believer, I pray that it has impacted you in such a way that you will turn to the Lord rather than to anyone or anything else in your time of need. I have tried to convey the importance of seeking God’s face and turning to His Word for encouragement. The Word heals the broken believer. When you have filled yourself with the water from the Word, you will look at your trial with different eyes. The overwhelming feeling will be replaced with the attitude that you can live through this.

~Psalm 146:5 Happy is he that hath the God of Jacob for his help, whose hope is in the LORD his God:

 

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~Psalm 1:1-3 Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. (1) But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. (2) And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper. (3)

In the Bible, God gives us a wonderful recipe on how we can be blessed.

Don’t:

  1. … take counsel from the unsaved
  2. … hang around predominantly with unbelievers
  3. … hang around those who hate God

DO:

  1. DO delight yourself in God’s Word
  2. DO meditate on what you read

Results:

  1. You will grow spiritually and grow closer to God
  2. You will bear the fruit of the Spirit
  3. Your spiritual fruit will not wither away but will be everlasting
  4. What you do for the Lord will prosper

God’s Word has all we need in life!  Praise the Lord!

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~2 John 10 If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed.

With today’s way of thinking, one may think that this verse is intolerant.  However, it goes to show us how important it is to recognize false doctrine and to stay away from it.  How many times I have been “scolded” by others for exposing anti-biblical people.  

One cannot recognize what is false without first knowing what is true.  It is said that bank tellers are trained to recognize counterfeit money by having them handle real money.  The longer they touch and look at real money, the more likely they are to be able to pick out a counterfeit bill.  It is the same with false doctrine.  The more a believer is in the Word of God, reading it and studying it, the more he will be able to recognize when someone is spreading false doctrine.  He will be able to recognize the devil’s lies.

What is false doctrine?  It is anything that denies the virgin birth of Jesus Christ, His deity, His death, burial and His resurrection.  False doctrine can also come in the way of “adding” to the Gospel of Jesus Christ by saying that His death on the cross was not enough but more is needed.

Don’t be left in the dark.  Study your Bible and read it daily so you are able to recognize what is right and what is wrong.  Our world is not getting better and you will need to be armed with truth.

~2 Timothy 2:15  Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

~Acts 17:11  These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.

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~John 13:34 A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.

God’s love is entirely different than the love that we feel for our families and friends. His love goes beyond what we mere mortals comprehend the meaning to be. So much so, that He sent His Son to die for us before we could “clean up our acts.”

~Romans 5:8 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

Love is a word of “action.” God showed His love toward us by sending Jesus to die for us while we were yet sinners! He did not wait for us to do better. His love demanded action and He showed His love by dying for us so that we would not have to pay the penalty! Oh what love! Christ died for those who hated Him. He loved them despite their hatred of Him. And so He commands us to do the same.

~Luke 6:35 But love ye your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be the children of the Highest: for he is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil.

I have seen an increase in Christ haters as well as haters of those who follow Him. Therefore, we are all the more accountable to this verse. Let’s show whose children we really are today!

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~James 1:17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.

Noah Webster defines the word gift as:

A present; any thing given or bestowed; any thing, the property of which is voluntarily transferred by one person to another without compensation; a donation. It is applicable to any thing movable or immovable.

No matter how hard you try to add something to salvation, you have to argue with the word “gift.” God chose this word for a reason. I find it interesting that the word “gift” appears 33 times in the New Testament – which happens to be the age Christ was when He died. Is this a coincidence? Jesus Christ is the perfect gift. He paid the price – He paid it all – we cannot add or take away from this gift.

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~James 1:12 Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him.

What will happen when you are tried for your life and what you did with it? I was tried on April 1st, 1980. That is the day when in my heart I stood before God, my Judge, and admitted to Him that I was a sinner in need of salvation. I accepted Christ’s perfect work on the cross, His death, His burial and His resurrection. In return, Christ’s blood covers my sin and I am now a child of the King! Christ is now my Advocate, my perfect Attorney, and I am no longer on trial for my sins because He has paid the price for my punishment.

On that wonderful day, I earned the crown of life, which Christ promised to me now that I love Him. I thought I loved Him before my salvation but I did not know Him.

It reminded me of the parable that Jesus preached:

~Matthew 7:21-27 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity. Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock.) And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it.

Notice the underscored portion of this text. Many will tell Jesus that they prophesied in His name, cast out devils, and done many wonderful works in His name. However, Jesus says they are workers of iniquity! One must ask himself who these people are and why they are not good enough to enter Heaven! They appeared to do the right things, however, those things were obviously not good enough.

The verses afterward talk about the person who builds his house on the rock! The rock is in fact Jesus Christ:

~1 Corinthians 10:4 And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ.

~Deuteronomy 32:4 He is the Rock, his work is perfect: for all his ways are judgment: a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is he.

How does one build his house on the Rock? The Word is revealed to us at the hour of our salvation. God sees to it:

~Romans 10:8-13 But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach; That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.

It is not joining a particular church – it is not keeping rules and laws. God says in verse 8 that the Word is near us – He puts it in our hearts (the desire). That is faith – when we believe the Gospel sincerely, and confess it with our mouths, then we are saved. The Word says that whosoever (that means me) calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. It is not a little prayer-ette, but a sincere calling upon the God of salvation! When this is done, then your house (your faith) is built on the Rock, Jesus Christ, and your faith is solid!

77508_10151935547354077_1857118933_o~John 3:3 Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.

Thirty-four years ago, I made a choice in my life that would forever change me. My life was a mess and my marriage was a mess. My solution was cowardly and selfish – I wanted to end it all. As nice a person as I was, I was most miserable.

My dear friend came to visit me on a holiday and she was used to alter the course of my life forever. I didn’t know it at the time but God would use her to draw me to Him. It was this day that I discovered my religion was in vain. It was this day that I learned a new phrase, “Ye must be born again.” My sinful nature was brought to the forefront and I stood guilty before God. I knew that I could not enter Heaven on my own efforts as I had made quite the mess of my life. When I wrapped my head around Christ’s work on the cross and His shed blood for my sin, I finally understood His saving power. It was at that moment that I repented of my ways, sought forgiveness of my sins, and started my new life in Christ.

~John 3:7 Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.

How grateful I am to be called a child of the King! How grateful I am to be counted as one who will enter Heaven, without a shadow of a doubt, when I die! How grateful I am to have God’s Word to read and guide me down this path of life!

A child of God should be a visible beatitude, for joy and happiness, and a living doxology, for gratitude and adoration. Charles H. Spurgeon

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~Psalm 42:1 As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God.

This morning, let’s meditate on our relationship with God and define it in our lives.  Start off by asking yourself some questions.  Can you speak the words in this Psalm and mean it?  Do you thirst after God with the same intensity as a deer would seek water after running through the woods?  Do you desire a close relationship with Him with such intensity?

When I was a child, I absolutely loved being with my parents.  I felt a sense of security when my Dad was home from work.  When he entered the house, it seemed as though nothing could harm me.  When I became a child of God, the day I was born-again, I felt this same sense of security.  I now had the same type of relationship with the Heavenly Father as I did with my own father.  There was nothing that could happen to me that the Father couldn’t handle.

The child of God can run to the Father with the same confidence and assurance as he would to his earthly father.  As we grow in Christ toward spiritual maturity through the convicting power of the Holy Spirit, we desire a closer fellowship with God than before.

Our hearts should pant/desire a closer relationship with God just as that deer desires a nice cool drink from the brook after an exhausting run through the forest.

101_1314Prayers are awesome.  They are the Christian’s wonderful connection to God.  But just think about it for a moment.  How would you feel if you knew that Jesus Christ was praying to His Father for you?  If anyone knows you inside out, it’s Christ.

I don’t know about you, but I would rather have my Saviour praying for me than a thousand people!!

~John 17:9 I pray for them: I pray not for the world, but for them which thou hast given me; for they are thine.

~Romans 8:34 Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.

I love this quote:

If I could hear Christ praying for me in the next room, I would not fear a million enemies. Yet distance makes no difference. He is praying for me.
Robert Murray M’Cheyne

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~Psalm 37:4 Delight thyself also in the Lord: and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.

Delighting ourselves in the Lord may sound strange to some people. However, to the believer, it is an important part of worshiping God! Noah Webster defines “delight” as:

1. To affect with great pleasure; to please highly; to give or afford high satisfaction or joy; as, a beautiful landscape delights the eye; harmony delights the ear; the good conduct of children, and especially their piety, delights their parents.

Do my actions affect the Lord with great pleasure? Do I please Him highly? Do I give or afford God high satisfaction and joy? Do my actions speak volumes and glorify God? These are all excellent questions to ask ourselves when we do moral inventory of our lives. Keeping our spiritual life and walk with God in check keeps us out of trouble. Even better, we have a promise that the Lord will give us the desires of our heart when we do so. Will our desires always be our “wants”? No! But they will definitely be exactly what we need.

“I know of no better thermometer to your spiritual temperature than the intensity of your prayer.”
Charles Haddon Spurgeon

<~1 Corinthians 1:18 For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.

Those who do not have a relationship with God cannot understand the concept of God loving His creation so much that He would be willing to die for us. Therefore, when we tell others about Christ and His life, death, burial and resurrection, they think we are crazy. They think we are religious nuts with no common sense.

But to the believer, Christ’s sacrifice for us is so significant that we are brought to tears! To think that Someone would die for me despite my sinful life – despite how much I hurt Him! It shows us just how much God truly loves us!

~Romans 5:6) For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly.

~Romans 5:8 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

Christ died for us while we were sinners – there is nothing we can do to make ourselves “good enough” for His wonderful gift of salvation! It is free – it is priceless – it is eternal!

My son took this picture above when visiting Monticello, Virginia. As I saw the sun’s rays piercing through the rain clouds, it reminded me of God’s precious love reaching down to man through His Son, Jesus Christ. There is no place that God’s hand cannot reach – His loves reaches down to the deepest depths!

~Jeremiah 23:24 Can any hide himself in secret places that I shall not see him? saith the LORD. Do not I fill heaven and earth? saith the LORD.

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~Matthew 22:37-40 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.

 

~Joshua 22:5 But take diligent heed to do the commandment and the law, which Moses the servant of the LORD charged you, to love the LORD your God, and to walk in all his ways, and to keep his commandments, and to cleave unto him, and to serve him with all your heart and with all your soul.

The law in the Old Testament was no different that the law which Christ left for us to follow.As a born-again Christian, our desire should be to nurture our relationship with our Heavenly Father and become more like Christ. In so doing, our actions will speak and reflect this relationship. As we draw closer to the Lord, we have a desire to share that love with others. One who loves will not lie against another – one who loves will not steal from another. As a result, we are fulfilling the law that Christ spoke of: We draw closer to God and, in turn, reflect that relationship through our actions.

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~Psalm 22:27 All the ends of the world shall remember and turn unto the LORD: and all the kindreds of the nations shall worship before thee.

There will come a day when everything will be said and done. There won’t be any opportunities to live life again. There won’t be any second chances. Because of this, we should live our lives the right way the first time around.

The only way to know if your life is going right the first time around is to know where you will spend eternity after you leave this earth. Settling one’s salvation is the most important decision there is in life. Once this is settled, the Christian is able to serve the Lord, tell others about the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and look forward to the day when Christ reigns and rules this earth!

What a great time to look forward to for the believer! We long for the day that we can see our Saviour, the King of Kings, sit on His rightful throne and rule! All the nations of this earth will have to submit to His power. No longer will the devil have dominion!

~Philippians 2:11 And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.