~Ephesians 6:17-20 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: 18 Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints; 19 And for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel, 20 For which I am an ambassador in bonds: that therein I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.

We hear how the Christian must persevere – but just what does that mean? The word perseverance appears only once (in any of its forms) in Scripture.  Noah Webster’s 1828 Dictionary defines the word as:

PERSEVE’RANCE, n. [L. perseverantia. See Persevere.]
1. Persistence in any thing undertaken; continued pursuit or prosecution of any business or enterprise begun; applied alike to good or evil.
Perseverance keeps honor bright.
Patience and perseverance overcome the greatest difficulties.
2. In theology, continuance in a state of grace to a state of glory; sometimes called final perseverance.

Verses 17-20 speak of spreading the Gospel, watching, persevering, and praying for all the saints.  The spreading of the Gospel back in Paul’s day came with a cost – many times the saints died for their effort.  Is it any wonder that Paul encouraged them to persevere? Those were difficult days indeed.  Thirty years ago, it was easy to spread the Gospel.  People were more open to listening and very gracious.  However, those times are quickly coming to an end.  People are much less tolerant and consider those who spread the Gospel as “haters and intolerant.”

~Romans 12:12 Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer;

Today’s text on perseverance is, once again, becoming a “life lesson” to the believer. We can’t give up – not now after we’ve been through so much. We can’t give up telling others about Jesus Christ!  We can’t give up on someone’s soul!

~Luke 18:1 And he spake a parable unto them [to this end], that men ought always to pray, and not to faint;

We are in the end times spoken of in Matthew 24, friend.  As the end draws nearer, the saints are going to need to persevere.  Our tribulations are only the beginning of sorrows – we mustn’t give up or faint! I totally believe that our time is short to tell others about salvation through Jesus Christ. Given a few more years, the little bit of tolerance left will be totally gone.  In fact, it will probably be against the law to stand on the streets to share the Gospel.  Evangelists and soul winners in Michigan are experiencing that right now and being arrested for preaching on the streets because it offends Muslims.  In a few more years, this will be true all over our country.

As the world worsens as Matthew 24 warns, our testimony during trials and tribulations will speak volumes to the unbelieving world. Therefore, we must keep ourselves ‘fed’ in the word of God.  The Scriptures are filled with encouraging words to help us!  God’s spoken words are all there in one place, the Bible, ready to equip the saint and train them in perseverance (Ephesians 6:13).

The picture above was taken by a sweet Christian lady, Connie Wentworth and used here with her permission. Her pictures are mostly taken in the State of Maine and depict God’s glorious creation! Thank you, Connie, for allowing me this opportunity to use your work!

Gleaning Gold:

~2 Timothy 3:1-4, This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.  For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.

Nuggets of Truth:

As one reads today’s Gold, can we not fully see ourselves in the end times?  How frightening it is to see the end unfold before us.  Incidences we never dreamed would happen in our lifetime are happening before our very eyes!  I never dreamed that there would come a leader in our country who would literally swoop people off their feet during campaigning!  Women were fainting and screaming at the sight of our current President.  When I was first born again and reading about these end times in my Bible, I would ask myself how the antichrist could come into power with such force and control over the world’s population.  I now can see how the antichrist will control the world just by watching this past year’s presidential campaigns.

Am I afraid of what our future holds for us?  No, I’m not afraid.  I am, however, saddened that our beloved country has allowed herself to get to the place we now find ourselves.  The Word says that we are in for some very difficult times – times that have never been experienced before.  Times were rough during the Civil War.  Times were unbelievably difficult during the Great Depression when the stock market crashed.  Times were hard during the holocaust for the millions of Jews who were murdered by Hitler and his minions.  But the Word of God says that there is a time that is coming when the entire world will be affected by the great trials coming.  The believer does not need to be afraid.  We are the children of the King and He has promised us peace through our trials and tribulations.

~Matthew 10:26-30  Fear them not therefore: for there is nothing covered, that shall not be revealed; and hid, that shall not be known.  What I tell you in darkness, that speak ye in light: and what ye hear in the ear, that preach ye upon the housetops. And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell. Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? And one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father.   But the very hairs of your head are all numbered.

Unbelieving mankind, however, has every reason to be afraid.  He is battling the one who has the ability to destroy his soul.  The devil is very much alive and well on planet Earth, my friend.  He has control over the unsaved and they don’t even realize it.  Their minds are in a fog – they don’t see clearly.  Their hearts are hardened and all things morally good are becoming less and less prevalent in their lives.  In the end, they will be totally at the mercy of the antichrist and the devil will have won their souls.

The believer, however, is not in this predicament.  Yes, the believer can lose his physical life but his soul has been claimed, bought and paid for, by the blood of our precious Saviour, Jesus Christ!

Refining the Gold:

There are so many cares and burdens being carried by believers today.  Not only do we have our every day lives, but we see the predictions of God’s Word unfolding before our very eyes!  The believer could be afraid but we do not need to be.  The Lord has given us consolation in His Word so that we may find peace in tumultuous times.

~John 14:1-3  Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.  In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.

~Luke 12:22-32 And he said unto his disciples, Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat; neither for the body, what ye shall put on.  The life is more than meat, and the body is more than raiment.  Consider the ravens: for they neither sow nor reap; which neither have storehouse nor barn; and God feedeth them: how much more are ye better than the fowls? And which of you with taking thought can add to his stature one cubit? If ye then be not able to do that thing which is least, why take ye thought for the rest?  Consider the lilies how they grow: they toil not, they spin not; and yet I say unto you, that Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. If then God so clothe the grass, which is to day in the field, and to morrow is cast into the oven; how much more will he clothe you, O ye of little faith? And seek not ye what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink, neither be ye of doubtful mind. For all these things do the nations of the world seek after: and your Father knoweth that ye have need of these things. But rather seek ye the kingdom of God; and all these things shall be added unto you. Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.

Why fret when the One who is in total control of all things is there for us until the day we stand before Him?  Our Saviour gave His everything for us – why should He stop now?  You don’t stop short of providing for those you love, do you?  Christ certainly won’t!  He’s preparing a place for us and will take us there soon!  Look up, Christian.  Thy redemption draweth nigh!!

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