Will you step up to take care of it? Will you step up and help take care of it? Will you see the need and take care of it? Will you be aware of what is going on and take care of it? Are you taking care of it?
This morning shows how Joseph and Nicodemus were taking care of it…
The Burial of Jesus
(Matthew 27.57-61; Mark 15.42-47; Luke 23.50-56)
38After this, Joseph, who was from the town of Arimathea, asked Pilate if he could take Jesus’ body. (Joseph was a follower of Jesus, but in secret, because he was afraid of the Jewish authorities.) Pilate told him he could have the body, so Joseph went and took it away. 39Nicodemus, who at first had gone to see Jesus at night, went with Joseph, taking with him about one hundred pounds of spices, a mixture of myrrh and aloes. 40The two men took Jesus’ body and wrapped it in linen cloths with the spices according to the Jewish custom of preparing a body for burial. 41There was a garden in the place where Jesus had been put to death, and in it there was a new tomb where no one had ever been buried. 42Since it was the day before the Sabbath and because the tomb was close by, they placed Jesus’ body there.
–from John 19
Do you realize what is yet to come? Are you prepared? Are you helping others be prepared? Are you letting others hear or know about what you have learned? Are you sharing the wisdom you have heard so that they can decide? Consider if people knew what was coming and the impact it may have on their decisions. If they make the right choice they won’t have to go through or deal with the ultimate challenge, struggle, and pain.
The Bowls of God’s Anger
1Then I heard a loud voice speaking from the temple to the seven angels: “Go and pour out the seven bowls of God’s anger on the earth!” 2The first angel went and poured out his bowl on the earth. Terrible and painful sores appeared on those who had the mark of the beast and on those who had worshiped its image. 3Then the second angel poured out his bowl on the sea. The water became like the blood of a dead person, and every living creature in the sea died. 4Then the third angel poured out his bowl on the rivers and the springs of water, and they turned into blood. 5I heard the angel in charge of the waters say, “The judgments you have made are just, O Holy One, you who are and who were! 6They poured out the blood of God’s people and of the prophets, and so you have given them blood to drink. They are getting what they deserve!” 7Then I heard a voice from the altar saying, “Lord God Almighty! True and just indeed are your judgments!” 8Then the fourth angel poured out his bowl on the sun, and it was allowed to burn people with its fiery heat. 9They were burned by the fierce heat, and they cursed the name of God, who has authority over these plagues. But they would not turn from their sins and praise his greatness. 10Then the fifth angel poured out his bowl on the throne of the beast. Darkness fell over the beast’s kingdom, and people bit their tongues because of their pain, 11and they cursed the God of heaven for their pains and sores. But they did not turn from their evil ways. 12Then the sixth angel poured out his bowl on the great Euphrates River. The river dried up, to provide a way for the kings who come from the east. 13Then I saw three unclean spirits that looked like frogs. They were coming out of the mouth of the dragon, the mouth of the beast, and the mouth of the false prophet. 14They are the spirits of demons that perform miracles. These three spirits go out to all the kings of the world, to bring them together for the battle on the great Day of Almighty God. 15“Listen! I am coming like a thief! Happy is he who stays awake and guards his clothes, so that he will not walk around naked and be ashamed in public!” 16Then the spirits brought the kings together in the place that in Hebrew is called Armageddon. 17Then the seventh angel poured out his bowl in the air. A loud voice came from the throne in the temple, saying, “It is done!” 18There were flashes of lightning, rumblings and peals of thunder, and a terrible earthquake. There has never been such an earthquake since the creation of human beings; this was the worst earthquake of all! 19The great city was split into three parts, and the cities of all countries were destroyed. God remembered great Babylon and made her drink the wine from his cup—the wine of his furious anger. 20All the islands disappeared, all the mountains vanished. 21Huge hailstones, each weighing as much as a hundred pounds, fell from the sky on people, who cursed God on account of the plague of hail, because it was such a terrible plague.
–from Revelation 16
Where are you headed? Where are you going? Where will you turn? Will you turn to God and be transformed? Or will you keep going the other way and deal with the consequences?
1Then out of the storm the Lord spoke to Job.
2Who are you to question my wisdom with your ignorant, empty words? 3Now stand up straight and answer the questions I ask you. 4Were you there when I made the world? If you know so much, tell me about it. 5Who decided how large it would be? Who stretched the measuring line over it? Do you know all the answers? 6What holds up the pillars that support the earth? Who laid the cornerstone of the world? 7In the dawn of that day the stars sang together, and the heavenly beings shouted for joy. 8Who closed the gates to hold back the sea when it burst from the womb of the earth? 9It was I who covered the sea with clouds and wrapped it in darkness. 10I marked a boundary for the sea and kept it behind bolted gates. 11I told it, “So far and no farther! Here your powerful waves must stop.” 12Job, have you ever in all your life commanded a day to dawn? 13Have you ordered the dawn to seize the earth and shake the wicked from their hiding places? 14Daylight makes the hills and valleys stand out like the folds of a garment, clear as the imprint of a seal on clay. 15The light of day is too bright for the wicked and restrains them from doing violence. 16Have you been to the springs in the depths of the sea? Have you walked on the floor of the ocean? 17Has anyone ever shown you the gates that guard the dark world of the dead? 18Have you any idea how big the world is? Answer me if you know. 19Do you know where the light comes from or what the source of darkness is? 20Can you show them how far to go, or send them back again? 21I am sure you can, because you’re so old and were there when the world was made!
–from Job 38
Ever been prompted to do something by that still quiet voice? Ever battled against the wisdom and instruction? Ever had to get to the point where it needed to get louder? What will it take to get your attention and your obedience to what God is calling you to do? God doesn’t need you to be perfect. He doesn’t call the perfect or the equipped, He calls the obedient and equips them to complete the work He has for them to do! God wants a relationship with you, so have conversations with Him. Allow Him to lead you and guide you every step of the day. Will you go His way or do you really want to have to deal with the consequences of disobedience?
1This is the message that the Lord gave to Zephaniah during the time that Josiah son of Amon was king of Judah. (Zephaniah was descended from King Hezekiah through Amariah, Gedaliah, and Cushi.)
The Day of the Lord’s Judgment
2The Lord said, “I am going to destroy everything on earth, 3all human beings and animals, birds and fish. I will bring about the downfall of the wicked. I will destroy everyone, and no survivors will be left. I, the Lord, have spoken. 4“I will punish the people of Jerusalem and of all Judah. I will destroy the last trace of the worship of Baal there, and no one will even remember the pagan priests who serve him. 5I will destroy anyone who goes up on the roof and worships the sun, the moon, and the stars. I will also destroy those who worship me and swear loyalty to me, but then take oaths in the name of the god Molech. 6I will destroy those who have turned back and no longer follow me, those who do not come to me or ask me to guide them.” 7The day is near when the Lord will sit in judgment; so be silent in his presence. The Lord is preparing to sacrifice his people and has invited enemies to plunder Judah. 8“On that day of slaughter,” says the Lord, “I will punish the officials, the king’s sons, and all who practice foreign customs. 9I will punish all who worship like pagans and who steal and kill in order to fill their master’s house with loot. 10“On that day,” says the Lord, “you will hear the sound of crying at the Fish Gate in Jerusalem. You will hear wailing in the newer part of the city and a great crashing sound in the hills. 11Wail and cry when you hear this, you that live in the lower part of the city, because all the merchants will be dead! 12“At that time I will take a lamp and search Jerusalem. I will punish the people who are self-satisfied and confident, who say to themselves, ‘The Lord never does anything, one way or the other.’ 13Their wealth will be looted and their houses destroyed. They will never live in the houses they are building or drink wine from the vineyards they are planting.” 14The great day of the Lord is near—very near and coming fast! That day will be bitter, for even the bravest soldiers will cry out in despair! 15It will be a day of fury, a day of trouble and distress, a day of ruin and destruction, a day of darkness and gloom, a black and cloudy day, 16a day filled with the sound of war trumpets and the battle cry of soldiers attacking fortified cities and high towers. 17The Lord says, “I will bring such disasters on the human race that everyone will grope about like someone blind. They have sinned against me, and now their blood will be poured out like water, and their dead bodies will lie rotting on the ground.” 18On the day when the Lord shows his fury, not even all their silver and gold will save them. The whole earth will be destroyed by the fire of his anger. He will put an end—a sudden end—to everyone who lives on earth.
–from Zephaniah 1
Have you read the end of the book? There are two sides? There is a way out! There is a winning side and a losing side! How long will you choose to wait before joining up with Jesus? How much do you want to have to go through and deal with on your own? In this world we will all have challenges and trials, however, when we have Jesus have hope because we know that He has already overcome the world and that He is coming back fro us! It’s not too late, so will you turnaround and turn back to God? Before it is too late…
A Plea for Repentance
1Shameless nation, come to your senses 2before you are driven away like chaff blown by the wind, before the burning anger of the Lord comes upon you, before the day when he shows his fury. 3Turn to the Lord, all you humble people of the land, who obey his commands. Do what is right, and humble yourselves before the Lord. Perhaps you will escape punishment on the day when the Lord shows his anger.
The Doom of the Nations around Judah
4No one will be left in the city of Gaza. Ashkelon will be deserted. The people of Ashdod will be driven out in half a day, and the people of Ekron will be driven from their city. 5You Philistines are doomed, you people who live along the coast. The Lord has passed sentence on you. He will destroy you, and not one of you will be left. 6Your land by the sea will become open fields with shepherd’s huts and sheep pens. 7The people of Judah who survive will occupy your land. They will pasture their flocks there and sleep in the houses of Ashkelon. The Lord their God will be with them and make them prosper again. 8The Lord Almighty says, “I have heard the people of Moab and Ammon insulting and taunting my people, and boasting that they would seize their land. 9As surely as I am the living Lord, the God of Israel, I swear that Moab and Ammon are going to be destroyed like Sodom and Gomorrah. They will become a place of salt pits and everlasting ruin, overgrown with weeds. Those of my people who survive will plunder them and take their land.” 10That is how the people of Moab and Ammon will be punished for their pride and arrogance and for insulting the people of the Lord Almighty. 11The Lord will terrify them. He will reduce the gods of the earth to nothing, and then every nation will worship him, each in its own land. 12The Lord will also put the people of Ethiopia to death. 13The Lord will use his power to destroy Assyria. He will make the city of Nineveh a deserted ruin, a waterless desert. 14It will be a place where flocks, herds, and animals of every kind will lie down. Owls will live among its ruins and hoot from the windows. Crows will caw on the doorsteps. The cedar wood of her buildings will be stripped away. 15That is what will happen to the city that is so proud of its own power and thinks it is safe. Its people think that their city is the greatest in the world. What a desolate place it will become, a place where wild animals will rest! Everyone who passes by will shrink back in horror.
–from Zephaniah 2