Redenption Draweth Nigh – Greater Vision

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God Sees Ahead

GENESIS 22:14 YLT 14 and Abraham calleth the name of that place Jehovah-Jireh,’ because it is said this day in the mount,Jehovah doth provide.’
One of God’s names is Jehovah Jireh which is a compound name meaning the Lord sees ahead and provides.
“Jehovah-Jireh” means, “The Lord will see to it,” that is, “The Lord will provide.”
My car recently quit running when I was in another city. As I prayed and looked to God, He helped me to work things out.
While I didn’t actually complain to God about having car trouble — the thoughts were certainly there. (Thoughts like the repair money could have been put to a better use.)
I believe God spoke to my heart that He could have kept my car running perfectly. Or, He could have supernaturally healed it. But if He would have, then I would not have experienced Him as the One who sees ahead and provides, which He did.
It was not the first time God had provided for me, of course. But it is still always thrilling to know that God cares for you, and that He makes plans for your provision, even before you know you will need it.
Our God is mighty — and wonderful!

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God Is Not Your Problem

JAMES 1:17 ESV 17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.
We all face many problems in life, but God is not behind our problems.
God is your answer, not your problem.
Insurance contracts may call natural catastrophes “acts of God,” but they are wrong. They are not acts of the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, but acts of the god of this world, the devil.
2 CORINTHIANS 4:4 NLT 4 Satan, who is the god of this world, has blinded the minds of those who don’t believe. They are unable to see the glorious light of the Good News. They don’t understand this message about the glory of Christ, who is the exact likeness of God.
Jesus made a clear distinction between the work of God and the work of the thief in John 10:10.
JOHN 10:10 ESV 10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.
When terrible things happen, it is not unusual to find people saying “God, why did you do this to me?” This assumes God is responsible for every thing that happens. But the Bible gives us a different message.
1 JOHN 5:19 NLT 19 We know that we are children of God and that the world around us is under the control of the evil one.
The devil is behind the evil in the world. And people have allowed the devil to do his dirty work. So, ultimately, we humans are to blame. We cannot blame God. He has given us authority to stop evil, but we have failed to exercise our authority as we should have.
God gave mankind dominion on earth.
GENESIS 1:26 ESV 26 Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”
When Jesus redeemed mankind, He restored to us dominion through His Name. We are responsible for what we allow to happen on earth, because Jesus has given us His authority.
LUKE 10:19 ESV 19 Behold, I have given you authority to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall hurt you.
MATTHEW 18:18 NLT 18 “I tell you the truth, whatever you forbid on earth will be forbidden in heaven, and whatever you permit on earth will be permitted in heaven.
Heaven will back us, but we have the responsibility to stand against evil on earth, using our spiritual authority.
Anything that steals, kills, or destroys is not from God the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, but from our enemy, so it should be resisted.
Jesus Christ perfectly represented God and He went around doing good and healing people (Acts 10:38), not hurting people. Jesus was a giver, not a taker. And He is still the same today.

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Faith Is A Choice

LUKE 22:67 NASB 67 “If You are the Christ, tell us.” But He said to them, “If I tell you, you will not believe;
No one can force anyone to believe anything. Each one of us chooses whether we will believe something, based on our evaluation of the evidence presented to us.
Faith and belief may have different English meanings, but in the New Testament they are different forms of the same Greek word. Believe is the verb and faith is the noun for the same word. (Like think and thought are in English.)
JOHN 20:25 NASB 25 The other disciples therefore were saying to him, “We have seen the Lord!” But he said to them, “Unless I shall see in His hands the imprint of the nails, and put my finger into the place of the nails, and put my hand into His side, I will not believe.”
Note that Thomas said, “I WILL NOT believe.”
Many think seeing miracles would cause people to have faith. But the only ones who believe as a result of seeing miracles are those who choose to accept the miracle as sufficient evidence for them to believe. It is still a choice.
JOHN 12:37 NET 37 Although Jesus had performed so many miraculous signs before them, they still refused to believe in him,
I used to think faith was difficult to pin down with certainty — something like a feeling or state of being. But now I understand that once we make the decision to believe, we are in faith, no matter how we may feel.
At its heart, faith is always a decision. No one can force you to believe in anything. The choice is yours.
However, we cannot believe or have faith in anything without evidence. We must have evidence that convinces us before we can believe something.
The primary evidence God has given us so that we may have faith in Him is His Word. God is not a liar; He can be trusted. Whatever God says, always comes to pass.
So if someone says they don’t have much faith, the solution is for them to see the evidence from God’s Word on that subject, then choose to accept what God said as true. Then they will have faith. At that point they may not feel anything, but they have faith.
The primary action of faith toward God is speaking in agreement with God’s Word. Jesus said if you had faith you would say. So we express what we believe by the words we speak. And then we stand in that position of faith, regardless of feelings or circumstances.

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Enjoy Your Salvation

HABAKKUK 3:18 NLT 18 yet I will rejoice in the LORD! I will be joyful in the God of my salvation!
To rejoice means to re-joy, or repeatedly en-joy. We are to repeatedly and continually enjoy God and what He has done for us.
PSALM 35:9 GWN 9 My soul will find joy in the LORD and be joyful about his salvation.
Enjoying God means being delighted with Him.
When we enjoy God, and what He has done, we also provide enjoyment for God. For God enjoys you being happy about what He has done for you.
DEUTERONOMY 26:11 ESV 11 And you shall rejoice in all the good that the LORD your God has given to you and to your house, you, and the Levite, and the sojourner who is among you.
Our response to God should not always be limited to just a rational, subdued little response. When we clearly recognize what our wonderful Lord has accomplished for us, at times it should cause us to be overwhelmed with joy!
ISAIAH 61:10 NLT 10 I am overwhelmed with joy in the LORD my God! For he has dressed me with the clothing of salvation and draped me in a robe of righteousness. I am like a bridegroom in his wedding suit or a bride with her jewels.
Don’t allow God’s great love and redemption to become boring, trivial, or unexciting. Stir yourself up occasionally. Allow yourself to act like you would hearing the Good News for the first time. Go ahead — jump and shout!

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We Are The Jury

1 CORINTHIANS 6:3 NKJ 3 Do you not know that we shall judge angels? How much more, things that pertain to this life?
This is a curious verse. It just says, “we shall judge angels” without giving any explanation. It does not say why we will judge angels, or which angels we will judge. (Nor do I find those answers elsewhere in the Bible.)
So this message includes some speculation on my part. I share it because it makes sense and helps to answer some difficult questions, such as why so much evil has been allowed on earth. But, of course, I could be wrong.
The word translated as angels in the New Testament means a messenger, or someone who is sent by another. This word is used 186 times in the KJV and is translated “angel” 179 times and “messenger” 7 times.
There are good “angels” and bad “angels.” Here are two verses that show clearly that the Bible speaks of bad angels. (I think these are the angels that rebelled against God with Lucifer.)
REVELATION 12:7 NKJ 7 And war broke out in heaven: Michael and his angels fought with the dragon; and the dragon and his angels fought,
2 CORINTHIANS 12:7 NKJ 7 And lest I should be exalted above measure by the abundance of the revelations, a thorn in the flesh was given to me, a messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I be exalted above measure.
While I suppose it could be possible that we would judge the good angels, and give out awards for all they did on our behalf, that does not really make sense to me. It seems more reasonable to guess that the devil and the rebellious angels would be allowed a “jury trial” and that we are the jury.
By imagining this scenario, it makes several things more understandable to me. One is why God allowed the devil access to Adam and Eve to tempt them. If mankind is the jury, then Lucifer (who we know as the devil now) would have to be allowed to present his case and have equal access to the jury.
Another is why God has allowed so much pain and misery to go on for so long in this world. If we are the jury, then God would be unjust to “tamper with the jury.” In the interest of fairness and justice for the evil angels on trial, God cannot just jump in and change things. We as mankind have been given freedom to make choices and to follow whoever we choose.
Eventually, the folly of following anyone except the Lord Jesus Christ will become plain to mankind and the rebelling angels will be judged. Then God will wipe away all tears and remove all the pain that was ever caused and make all things right. Because God will do that in the future, and everything will turn out right, then God will never be able to be accused of wrong-doing.
So, I predict in advance what the jury — that is, humanity — will decide.
1. God is NOT guilty!
2. The devil and his angels ARE guilty.

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God Cannot Lie

TITUS 1:2 NKJ 2 in hope of eternal life which God, who cannot lie, promised before time began,
It’s not just that God has decided He will not lie — He CANNOT lie.
God only speaks truth!
JOHN 17:17 NKJ 17 “Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth.
Whatever God says comes to pass. God cannot lie, because anything He says will come into being — even if it did not exist before He said it.
GENESIS 1:3 NKJ 3 Then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light.
So God’s Word is ultimate reality! More real, and lasting, than anything we can presently see.
God cannot lie because it is contrary to His nature. God’s nature is one of selfless love for others. His nature is not to deceive. It is natural for God to be truthful and never to deceive.
NUMBERS 23:19 NLT 19 God is not a man, so he does not lie. He is not human, so he does not change his mind. Has he ever spoken and failed to act? Has he ever promised and not carried it through?
HEBREWS 6:18 NLT 18 So God has given both his promise and his oath. These two things are unchangeable because it is impossible for God to lie. Therefore, we who have fled to him for refuge can have great confidence as we hold to the hope that lies before us.
This is what makes the foundation of our relationship with God so solid — God has given us His Word — which cannot fail. If we are ever presented with evidence contrary to what God says, we can know we are being presented with a lie. For it is impossible for God to lie.
God cannot lie because it is not His nature, and because whatever He speaks will happen.

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God Cares

1 PETER 5:7 AMPLIFIED 7 Casting the whole of your care — all your anxieties, all your worries, all your concerns, once and for all — on Him; for He cares for you affectionately, and cares about you watchfully.
EXODUS 3:7 NIV 7 The LORD said, “I have indeed seen the misery of my people in Egypt. I have heard them crying out because of their slave drivers, and I am concerned about their suffering.
ISAIAH 63:9 NIV 9 In all their distress he too was distressed, and the angel of his presence saved them. In his love and mercy he redeemed them; he lifted them up and carried them all the days of old.
JOHN 11:35 KJV 35 Jesus wept.
Of course, the question arises, “If God cares, why doesn’t He do something?”
The answer is that God has already done something. Now it is our turn to act. God has redeemed mankind and set us free from the dominion of darkness by the sacrifice of Calvary. Now we must believe God’s Word and act on it.
The truth, which you may find hard to accept, is that God is already doing all He can to help you. But often, we are blocking God’s help in our lives by our unbelief and acting contrary to the instructions of God’s Word.
The solution is to ask God to help us see the truth and act on it. We should ask God to show us how we can stop hindering Him from blessing us as He desires.

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Life Is Good

God says that all He made is good.
GENESIS 1:31 NKJ 31 Then God saw everything that He had made, and indeed it was very good. So the evening and the morning were the sixth day.
The devil wants us to believe that life is bad.
(One way he tries to accomplish this is through all the bad news reported daily. Feeding too much on bad news is not good for you. You can get the top news stories without spending hours every day listening to the bad things the devil is trying to do in the earth.)
If you think life is bad, you will be depressed, or maybe even bitter.
If you think life is good, you will be thankful.
No matter what your circumstances are, there are always things to enjoy and rejoice about. If we focus on the goodness and greatness of God: all He has created and all He has done for us, life will seem good. If, instead, we focus on our pains and problems, we will not enjoy life much.
Even the bad things of life — which are all the result of sin, not what God did — can benefit us IF they cause us to draw nearer to God and act on His Word.
God’s main purpose is to prepare us to be fit companions for Himself for eternity. (See Romans 8 — we WILL be conformed to the image of Jesus Christ.) What God wants you to do is submit to Him, feed on His Word, be thankful, walk in faith, and let Him make you like Jesus Christ.
God’s plan is good.
Marriage is good. If we disobey God by husbands not loving their wives, and wives not respecting their husbands — it can be bad. But only because we make the wrong choice, to disregard God’s instruction.
Work is good. It is satisfying to do a job well and accomplish something. But when we don’t do our work as unto the Lord, or try to make our jobs our source, worshiping and serving money instead of God — work can be bad.
Family is good. Being surrounded by those you love and care for, and who love and care for you, is a wonderful blessing. But, when we fail to walk in love, and allow strife into our relationships — it can be bad.
If your life is not good, then you need to make adjustments based on the Bible.
When you see your cup as half full, instead of half empty — life will be better for you. Take time to smell the flowers, and rejoice in all the goodness of God. Rejoice in all the beauty of God’s creation — life.

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Live Long And Strong

DEUTERONOMY 34:7 NIV 7 Moses was a hundred and twenty years old when he died, yet his eyes were not weak nor his strength gone.
Old age should not be a time to dread. We can look to God and receive strength, health, and provision for a full and enjoyable life.
God’s plan for you is NOT an old age full of sickness, poverty, and loneliness.
Moses and Caleb are examples for us.
JOSHUA 14:10-11 NKJ 10 “And now, behold, the Lord has kept me alive, as He said, these forty-five years, ever since the Lord spoke this word to Moses while Israel wandered in the wilderness; and now, here I am this day, eighty-five years old. 11 “As yet I am as strong this day as on the day that Moses sent me; just as my strength was then, so now is my strength for war, both for going out and for coming in.
GALATIANS 3:13-14 NKJ 13 Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us (for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree”), 14 that the blessing of Abraham might come upon the Gentiles in Christ Jesus, that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.
Galatians 3 tells us we are to receive the blessing of Abraham — through faith — because of what Jesus has done. Now, read the following verses about Abraham.
GENESIS 13:2 NKJ 2 Abram was very rich in livestock, in silver, and in gold.
GENESIS 25:8 NASB 8 And Abraham breathed his last and died in a ripe old age, an old man and satisfied with life; and he was gathered to his people.
Because Jesus has redeemed us from the curse, we also should believe God for a long, enjoyable, and productive life. And we should resist the devil who would try to steal it away from us.
We have the promise of God that He will satisfy us with life. (If you are not satisfied with your life, make some changes. God intends for you to be satisfied.)
PSALM 91:16 NKJ 16 With long life I will satisfy him, And show him My salvation.”
PSALM 103:5 NKJ 5 Who satisfies your mouth with good things, So that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.
God made our bodies to repair and renew themselves. As we walk and talk in faith, looking to the promises of God, the life of God will renew our bodies. (We should also allow God to guide us in the things we take into our bodies — only putting good things into our mouths.)
PSALM 92:14 NKJ 14 They shall still bear fruit in old age; They shall be fresh and flourishing,
ISAIAH 46:4 NIV 4 Even to your old age and gray hairs I am he, I am he who will sustain you. I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you.
God is faithful. He will always be our wonderful Father, our great Provider, Helper, and Healer — no matter how old we are, or what we face.

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