Written and submitted by: Stephen A. Brown, Marketplace Ministries, inc
J. Greham Machen wrote, “Nothing surprises God; all things that happen are absolutely certain from all eternity because they are all embraced in God’s eternal plan.” I don’t understand why things happen the way they do; but I’m glad to know the One who does. Regardless of what’s happening with government, the stock market, or terrorism, we know He has a personal plan for each of us. Claim God’s promise as written in Jeremiah 29:11, “For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.”
Revelation 1:7, “Behold, He is coming with clouds, and every eye will see Him, and they also who pierced Him . . ” Rev. Billy Graham wrote, “Bible teaching about the Second Coming of Christ was thought of as doomsday preaching. But not anymore. It is the only ray of hope that shines in a dark world.” It’s getting darker; Jesus is the true Light (John 14:6).
Professional Boxer Cassius Clay changed his name to Muhammad Ali. He loudly stated, “I’m the greatest.” Ali died with dementia tremors. In Mark 10:43, Jesus taught to be great you must be a servant. One of the best examples of this was Mother Teresa of Calcutta. Jesus demonstrated His teaching during the Passover when He took on the role of a servant and washed the feet of His disciples. In His words, “Let him who is great be the servant of all.”
Ezekiel 36:26, “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you . . .” When we confess Christ, we have a heart transplant. Paul writes that we are a new creation set apart to glorify God. A Barna study of American adults claiming to be Christians, revealed 47% feel no responsibility to share their faith; 57% had not read the Bible in the last week; and 33% had not attended a Christian church in the past year. How this must grieve God.
Country music artist Tim McGraw recorded a song, Live Like You Were Dying. That’s thought provoking. To live like that would change the character of most people. In 1896, Christian author Charles Sheldon wrote a novel, In His Steps, where we find the first use of WWJD? (What Would Jesus Do?). The answer is found in his teachings and example. As His followers, we seek to be Christlike to glorify Father God. As for dying, Thomas Fuller said it best, “He that does not fear the future, may enjoy the present.”
In the novel, The Count of Monte Cristo, Edmond Dantes is unjustly arrested and thrown in a dungeon prison. After years there he lost his faith in God. He told an inmate, “I don’t believe in God.” Abbe Faria replied, “It doesn’t matter, He believes in you.” James 4:8, Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Charles Stanley wrote, “Faith makes certain the driving motivation of life is influenced by God and not your adversary.” The armor of God includes the Shield of Faith: defense against the firey spears (lies) shot by satan.
NBC News reported that scientists issued a warning that Earth faces a climate emergency. According to the journal of BioScience, human activities have impacted the planet. The report states that harmful greenhouse gas emissions are rapidly rising, and scientists have an obligation to warn humanity of this catastrophic threat. We have an obligation to warn unbelievers of a pending disaster: those left-behind to suffer super-natural storms and plagues during of the time (7 years) of tribulation (Matthew 24:21).
Home security has become a billion dollar industry. Theft by taking is on the increase according to law enforcement reports. While serving in jail ministry, I learned that 90% of these crimes are committed to fund drug addiction. Electronic security systems and cameras can help stop unlawful invasion. In the same manner we can protect our soul against evil by activating the Holy Spirit as a security shield. Paul wrote in Ephesians 6:12 that we don’t fight against flesh and blood, but against rulers of darkness. Let the security light of Jesus shine as a No Trespassing Sign.
Pastors who follow the teachings of Jesus are actually sub-shepherds of the Good Shepherd. Sheep are inherently dumb and need a leader to keep them safe. A few church pastors have chosen to disregard government orders, conducting services that expose members to a deadly disease. Jesus cared deeply for people and warned them of pending dangers. WWJD? I believe He would shelter his sheep. Psalm 91:3, “Surely He shall deliver you from . . . the perilous pestilence.”