The life we live, as Christians, is not just about focusing on what we have received. It is also about what we give. We are not to selfishly sit on this free gift we have received and only be concerned about our selfish interests. We are commanded to exercise the love we have received, by being loving towards others as well. God expects us to reenact the love he expressed towards us, to the people we come across in our daily lives.
Dear God, I desire to express the love you have given me to my fellow brothers and sisters in the Lord. Father, help me to be attentive to their needs and their struggles so I can be a helping hand, ready to assist wherever I can. May I never be influenced or carried away by my selfish desires, Father. This I pray, in Jesus’ name. Amen.
Father, we look at Your plan and it’s all based on love, not our performance, and we pray that You’d help us to understand that. To be captivated by Your love. To come home to You in that beautiful path that You’ve already carved out for us.
“Fear God, and give glory to Him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship Him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the foundations of water.”
Second Angel’s Message: “Babylon is fallen, that great city, because she made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication.”
Third Angel’s Message: “If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand, The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of His indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimestone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb.” Revelation 14:7-10
Now unto God and our Father be glory for ever and ever. Amen.
When was the last time you encountered Jesus? No, I’m not talking about having visions – although I’m not ruling that out! Just as we often have the opportunity to be “Jesus” for others, we should expect others to be him for us – and often in the most unlikely people or places. Many years ago, I had an old station wagon that I had just used to haul more kids than I probably should have been hauling, and needed all the space I could find. That move included not bringing my jack – although I did have enough sense to hang on to my spare tire. I had dropped them off at the camp, but just off of the Maine turnpike I blew a tire. Tow trucks sailed by me. The State police did the same. Finally, two young men, driving a truck that looked worse than mine, stopped and changed my tire. These men were not well dressed, probably the type that I might ordinarily have held my breath while walking past them on the street. I offered to pay them, but they said that they just hoped that someone would do the same for their mother if she were stuck on the highway. I thanked God for sending me “Jesus” when I needed him. This is not the only time that my prayers have been answered in unexpected ways. Another time, I was working with a group of people who had gathered for scripture reflection. One woman suffered from both physical and mental issues, yet her reflections were so insightful I thanked God for putting her in our group. She taught me much. In this gospel passage, Jesus was rejected by his neighbors because they thought that they knew him. It is just as easy for us to overlook the gifts of those we think we know best. Jesus shows up in the most unlikely of places, but we still have to be open to seeing him. And so I repeat the first question, when was the last time YOU encountered Jesus? Because we have been shown extravagant love, we are called to love others. When we think of those society tends to forget (the widows, the orphans, the strangers, and the poor), it is up to us to extend love, mercy, and compassion. But, this verse also goes further than just helping those in need, we must also avoid even thinking evil against others in are heart. Our hearts should be brimming over with love and compassion because we are Christ followers.
We should always remember to end our prayer, as Paul does here, with praise to God. Sometimes by the time we have ended a prayer, we just say “Amen” and close it out. But we should always remember to recognize the glory of the One to whom we pray.
Father, I give You all the glory and praise for who You are. I honor You and worship You. You are my King and my Lord. Amen.
Righteous anger is not in itself wrong. The Bible tells us that God’s wrath goes out against all the evil and wickedness of all people, who because of their sinful nature continually rebel against Him. God’s wrath is His righteous anger toward all who despise His will. If we don’t learn how to control and deal with our anger positively, our enemies (including the devil) will use it to get exactly what they want. Read the following Bible verses and try to develop a positive strategy for dealing with anger.
This verse tells us that “all things work together for the good of those who love God.” If we love God, then we live in obedience. The “all things” refers to the providence of God and all the things that relate to him: his Holy Spirit, his love and his truths, etc. All of these things come together for our good if we love God and show that we do by our behavior. But it’s not only required that we love God, but that we are called according to His purpose. This refers to the purpose that God has set before us. He calls us to a specific purpose in this life. As long as we are obedient to this purpose, to his call, then all of his resources come together for our good. This is a very encouraging scripture to let us know that, if we follow the will of God, everything will be okay with us. More than okay, actually. They will be “good,” because God is on our side.
God has gone to the ends of the earth to make sure that you will always know that, no matter what, He has got you covered. He will keep you at rest, He will strengthen you, and He will see you through the tough times. In everything you do, every trial that you face, and in every challenge, that comes your way, you should know that you have no reason to fret or worry. God is with you.
In this passage, God gives us several examples of how he protects us: both in fire and flood. These are two of the most destructive elements on earth, yet God promises to keep us safe from the harm of both the “sweeping waters” and the “flame.” He promises that we will not be overcome, even in the midst of danger. What a mighty God we serve! What a Savior is this!
Father, You are always working for my good. All You ask is that I follow the purpose You have set out for my life. How can I go wrong with that? You only want what is best for me. I love You for that. Thank You, Lord. Amen.
Dear God, I thank you that I can trust in you totally, never becoming anxious when troubling times come my way. Help me to remain at peace, O Lord, fully knowing that all will be well because you are with me. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.
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Is One Day in Heaven Literally 1,000 Years on Earth?
- Barbara LattaCrosswalk.com Contributing Writer
- 202218 Feb
Our lives depend upon planners, calendars, and alarms. Activity is governed by minutes, hours, and days. Electronic devices and printed pages tell us when we should attend a specific event or complete a certain task.
Earth is controlled by the phases of day and night as God directed at creation.
Because of the passage in 2 Peter 3:8, opinions differ as to whether this means each day of creation took one thousand earth years:
But beloved do not forget this one thing, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. (NIV)
The scriptures in Genesis state that after each event of creation evening and morning was a day. God didn’t change the definition of evening and morning after He created the solar system.
Genesis 1:5 states that He called the light day and the darkness night. According to Strong’s #3117, one of the definitions of the word that was translated as day is a twenty-four-hour period as defined by evening and morning in Genesis 1.
The globe we live on turns on its axis with the same revolution now as when the Creator formed it. Light and darkness divide the 24-hour period we use to determine calendars.
Earth Time Is Not the Same as a Heavenly Dimension
To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven. (Ecclesiastes 3:1)
This scripture speaks of planetary moments. The cycles the Lord created for men to live by. Seasons indicate phases for the production of crops.
As long as the earth endures, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night will never cease. (Genesis 8:22)
But the Almighty lives outside our physical limitations. He lives in a spiritual dimension where clocks don’t exist.
Eternity Cannot Be Measured
Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. Also there was no more sea. (Revelation 21:1)
When the Almighty recreates the cosmos, the ticking of the physical clock as we know it will stop.
Since the sun and the moon regulate moments that pass on this planet, we have no need of them in paradise.
The city had no need of the sun or of the moon to shine in it, for the glory of God illuminated it. The Lamb is its light. (Revelation 21:23)
Since there will be no night, we will live in perpetual light. No sunrise or sunset to indicate another day is gone. So, one day in heaven cannot be measured. It is always day.
There shall be no night there: They need no lamp nor light of the sun, for the Lord God gives them light. And they shall reign forever and ever. (Revelation 21:5)
God’s View Is Not Our View
“For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways,” says the Lord. (Isaiah 55:8)
Because of our limited brains, we think in human perspectives. Our Father’s ways are higher than ours and when we try to figure out how He does things, we can be perplexed. Only through approaching the Almighty in spirit and truth can we see our world and our lives through His eyes. (John 3:12)
Joshua called for the sun to stand still, and for one point in history, terra firma’s revolving stopped (Joshua 10:13). This shows us that the measurements we live by don’t mean anything in God’s purpose. He stopped the solar power’s movement to establish His plan. (Psalm 104:19)
The Millennial Reign Is Literal
If what happens in heaven could take place on our big blue marble, those events may take literally an abundance of years. Or because of the infinite properties of eternity, the opposite could be true. What takes 1,000 years here could only be moments in heaven if a celestial clock existed.
We do know that Jesus will return physically to sit on His throne in Jerusalem for 1,000 years of righteous rule (Revelation 20:4). After the millennial reign, we enter the spiritual dimension of the new heaven and new earth (Revelation 21:3).
John, the Apostle, wrote the book of Revelation based on His vision of Jesus. He was given insight into future events. Revelation 8:1 states that there was silence in heaven for about half an hour. Since John was still on the earth when he received these visions, we can assume this period was what John could measure based on his current location. There could have been a half-hour interval between the visions John received.
The Lord uses metaphors all through scripture to paint mental images for us. Pharoah in Egypt dreamed about cows and ears of corn that Joseph interpreted to show the nation the future famine (Genesis 41).
Daniel interpreted the dreams of Nebuchadnezzar to reveal future events of history, some of which are yet to come to pass (Daniel 2).
This verse in Psalms can be an example of a metaphor to reflect to us that counting days and years are not an issue with the Creator.
A thousand years in your sight are like a day that has just gone by, or like a watch in the night. (Psalm 90:4)
Scriptures referring to measured cycles can be to show us the limitless character of Jehovah. We are controlled by minutes, days, and hours. We have appointments to keep, meetings to attend, employment expectations, and school days for children.
We won’t live this way in the Lord’s presence. We will exist in eternal worship to the King of kings. We will have no stress or schedules to rush us into doing something.
Our Life Span Compared to Eternity
We make our plans, but we also need to put those plans into the hands of our Creator.
Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.” Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. (James 4:13-14)
We shouldn’t take our life span for granted (Psalm 31:15). We have assignments to complete while in our physical bodies. But we still need to commit ourselves to the Lord and follow His direction for the proper use of our days here.
Near-death experiences have been shared by many people. Testimonies from their out-of-body-travel have revealed they felt as if they had been in the presence of God for long intervals, but upon returning to their bodies, the clock showed only minutes.
We Will Know as We Are Fully Known
We can debate the 1,000-year issue and all have different thoughts about what this scripture in 2 Peter means. But we do know that once we are translated out of this present universe, we will be able to have all our questions answered.
For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known. (1 Corinthians 13:12)
We can rejoice that once we enter the pearly gates, we will not age and years will not matter.
We won’t need alarms because we won’t need to sleep. We won’t tire so we won’t need to rest.
Food will not cause weight gain and exercise will be non-existent. Aren’t we glad?
Clocks will be a thing of the past and all that matters will be the never-ending presence of the Lord.
Barbara Latta is a true southerner and is transplanted from Arkansas to Georgia. She writes a monthly column in her local newspaper and contributes to devotional websites, online magazines, and has stories in several anthologies. She is the author of God’s Maps, Stories of Inspiration, and Direction for Motorcycle Riders. She enjoys traveling with her Harley-riding prince on his motorcycle taking in the creativity of nature. Drinking coffee on the patio while the sun comes up is her favorite time of day. Barbara shares about walking in grace and thriving in hope on her blog, Navigating Life’s Curves, at www.barbaralatta.blogspot.com. She cherishes her role in life as a wife, a mom to two grown sons, and Mimi to one granddaughter.
As small children we were all taught to say please and thank you, but as adults we sometimes forget. This psalm reminds us that we owe God a thank you for everything we have. Gratitude is so important but we often forget that it is God who provides us with what we need. When things go wrong, or when we want something, we have no problem asking God to intervene and provide us with what we want. We sometimes get upset with God when things don’t go the way we wanted, when God says no or maybe later, but how often do we remember to say thanks? When things are going smoothly, we also can forget about God. Do we ever think that things going smoothly is a result of God’s goodness? I try very hard to remember to say thanks every night before going to sleep. I find it a habit I have developed over the years thanks to my grandmother and if I forget, I wake up later as if she’s prompting me from heaven! God is not going to strike me with lightening if I forget, but I know that my life is more peaceful when I remember. Gratitude is a habit we should all develop and it helps us recognize how much more we have than how much we lack. It helps us focus on the positive rather than the negative and that leads to a more joyous life. We all know that God has saved us, but do we also think about the small gifts he gives us each day? Let’s always remember to say thank you.
For the LORD is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations. God is good and that will never change. It who He is. Time and time again we are reminded in the Bible, God’s Word, that his mercy is everlasting. It will never expire. It will never forsake us. God’s mercy is there for us every single day. It is because of God’s mercy, we have the confidence in Him that we have. God’s word will always reign supreme for an eternity to come.
Dear God, in this world there are so many people, organizations and corporations the enemy is trying to use to speak against you and who you really are. But I know the truth and I know that no other word, apart from yours, will last for ages to come. As much as the enemy will try, he will never be able to successful breed doubt about who you are, in the minds of every man. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.