I’ve read the end of the book and I know who wins! There are benefits to knowing the rest of the story! We can all live in that victory! We don’t have to live lives of defeat! We can live each day with our heads held high because we are on the winning team! All we need to do is be on Jesus’ team! We just need to be in Jesus’ camp!
Today’s reading speaks on victory, so let’s get reading…
Victory over the World
25“I have used figures of speech to tell you these things. But the time will come when I will not use figures of speech, but will speak to you plainly about the Father. 26When that day comes, you will ask him in my name; and I do not say that I will ask him on your behalf, 27for the Father himself loves you. He loves you because you love me and have believed that I came from God. 28I did come from the Father, and I came into the world; and now I am leaving the world and going to the Father.” 29Then his disciples said to him, “Now you are speaking plainly, without using figures of speech. 30We know now that you know everything; you do not need to have someone ask you questions. This makes us believe that you came from God.” 31Jesus answered them, “Do you believe now? 32The time is coming, and is already here, when all of you will be scattered, each of you to your own home, and I will be left all alone. But I am not really alone, because the Father is with me. 33I have told you this so that you will have peace by being united to me. The world will make you suffer. But be brave! I have defeated the world!”
–from John 16
Will it be easy? No! Will it be worth it? Yes! Remember that in this world we will face trouble, but we can take heart because Jesus has overcome the world!
We want and need to be on Jesus’ side early! I recommend this so that you won’t have to deal with the extra pain and sorrow that will come in the end times. I recommend this so that you don’t have to suffer through the judgment and pain that gives people one last chance to choose the right team! Join Jesus now! Join not out of being told to, but out of wanting to have that relationship with Him! Why do we have freewill? Because God didn’t want us to just be robots, but rather He wanted to have a real relationship with us!
1Then I saw the Lamb break open the first of the seven seals, and I heard one of the four living creatures say in a voice that sounded like thunder, “Come!” 2I looked, and there was a white horse. Its rider held a bow, and he was given a crown. He rode out as a conqueror to conquer.
3Then the Lamb broke open the second seal; and I heard the second living creature say, “Come!” 4Another horse came out, a red one. Its rider was given the power to bring war on the earth, so that people should kill each other. He was given a large sword.
5Then the Lamb broke open the third seal; and I heard the third living creature say, “Come!” I looked, and there was a black horse. Its rider held a pair of scales in his hand. 6I heard what sounded like a voice coming from among the four living creatures, which said, “A quart of wheat for a day’s wages, and three quarts of barley for a day’s wages. But do not damage the olive trees and the vineyards!”
7Then the Lamb broke open the fourth seal; and I heard the fourth living creature say, “Come!” 8I looked, and there was a pale-colored horse. Its rider was named Death, and Hades followed close behind. They were given authority over one fourth of the earth, to kill by means of war, famine, disease, and wild animals.
9Then the Lamb broke open the fifth seal. I saw underneath the altar the souls of those who had been killed because they had proclaimed God’s word and had been faithful in their witnessing. 10They shouted in a loud voice, “Almighty Lord, holy and true! How long will it be until you judge the people on earth and punish them for killing us?” 11Each of them was given a white robe, and they were told to rest a little while longer, until the complete number of other servants and believers were killed, as they had been.
12And I saw the Lamb break open the sixth seal. There was a violent earthquake, and the sun became black like coarse black cloth, and the moon turned completely red like blood. 13The stars fell down to the earth, like unripe figs falling from the tree when a strong wind shakes it. 14The sky disappeared like a scroll being rolled up, and every mountain and island was moved from its place. 15Then the kings of the earth, the rulers and the military chiefs, the rich and the powerful, and all other people, slave and free, hid themselves in caves and under rocks on the mountains. 16They called out to the mountains and to the rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the eyes of the one who sits on the throne and from the anger of the Lamb! 17The terrible day of their anger is here, and who can stand up against it?”
–from Revelation 6
Where will you put your trust? Put your trust in God! Don’t be so proud that you are setting yourself up for the fall! Choose to do what is right even if it is the harder option!
24I have never trusted in riches 25or taken pride in my wealth. 26I have never worshiped the sun in its brightness or the moon in all its beauty. 27I have not been led astray to honor them by kissing my hand in reverence to them. 28Such a sin should be punished by death; it denies Almighty God. 29I have never been glad when my enemies suffered, or pleased when they met with disaster; 30I never sinned by praying for their death. 31All those who work for me know that I have always welcomed strangers. 32I invited travelers into my home and never let them sleep in the streets. 33Others try to hide their sins, but I have never concealed mine. 34I have never feared what people would say; I have never kept quiet or stayed indoors because I feared their scorn. 35Will no one listen to what I am saying? I swear that every word is true. Let Almighty God answer me. If the charges my opponent brings against me were written down so that I could see them, 36I would wear them proudly on my shoulder and place them on my head like a crown. 37I would tell God everything I have done, and hold my head high in his presence. 38If I have stolen the land I farm and taken it from its rightful owners—39if I have eaten the food that grew there but let the farmers that grew it starve—40then instead of wheat and barley, may weeds and thistles grow. The words of Job are ended.
–from Job 31
We all have a purpose! We all have a future! God has prepared in advance the good work He has for us to do! Choose to be obedient! Choose to serve! Choose servant leadership as your leadership style! Choose to love! Choose to prepare yourself! Choose to put on the full armor of God! Choose to not try to do it all on your own! Choose to be a good steward of what God gives you!
1People of Israel, listen to this message which the Lord has spoken about you, the entire nation that he brought out of Egypt: 2“Of all the nations on earth, you are the only one I have known and cared for. That is what makes your sins so terrible, and that is why I must punish you for them.”
The Prophet’s Task
3Do two people start traveling together without arranging to meet? 4Does a lion roar in the forest unless he has found a victim? Does a young lion growl in his den unless he has caught something? 5Does a bird get caught in a trap if the trap has not been baited? Does a trap spring unless something sets it off? 6Does the war trumpet sound in a city without making the people afraid? Does disaster strike a city unless the Lord sends it? 7The Sovereign Lord never does anything without revealing his plan to his servants, the prophets. 8When a lion roars, who can keep from being afraid? When the Sovereign Lord speaks, who can keep from proclaiming his message?
The Doom of Samaria
9Announce to those who live in the palaces of Egypt and Ashdod: “Gather together in the hills around Samaria and see the great disorder and the crimes being committed there.” 10The Lord says, “These people fill their mansions with things taken by crime and violence. They don’t even know how to be honest. 11And so an enemy will surround their land, destroy their defenses, and plunder their mansions.” 12The Lord says, “As a shepherd recovers only two legs or an ear of a sheep that a lion has eaten, so only a few will survive of Samaria’s people, who now recline on luxurious couches. 13Listen now, and warn the descendants of Jacob,” says the Sovereign Lord Almighty. 14“On the day when I punish the people of Israel for their sins, I will destroy the altars of Bethel. The corners of every altar will be broken off and will fall to the ground. 15I will destroy winter houses and summer houses. The houses decorated with ivory will fall in ruins; every large house will be destroyed.”
–from Amos 3
Give it all up and over to Jesus! Nail everything that is holding you back to the cross! There is no condemnation and no shame for those who are in Christ Jesus! We have been changed! We are a new creation, the old is gone the new has come! The chains are broken and we have been set free! Don’t let the lies and deception of the devil keep you from being and doing what God is and has called you to do!
1Listen to this, you women of Samaria, who grow fat like the well-fed cows of Bashan, who mistreat the weak, oppress the poor, and demand that your husbands keep you supplied with liquor! 2As the Sovereign Lord is holy, he has promised, “The days will come when they will drag you away with hooks; every one of you will be like a fish on a hook. 3You will be dragged to the nearest break in the wall and thrown out.”
Israel’s Failure to Learn
4The Sovereign Lord says, “People of Israel, go to the holy place in Bethel and sin, if you must! Go to Gilgal and sin with all your might! Go ahead and bring animals to be sacrificed morning after morning, and bring your tithes every third day. 5Go on and offer your bread in thanksgiving to God, and brag about the extra offerings you bring! This is the kind of thing you love to do.6“I was the one who brought famine to all your cities, yet you did not come back to me. 7I kept it from raining when your crops needed it most. I sent rain on one city, but not on another. Rain fell on one field, but another field dried up. 8Weak with thirst, the people of several cities went to a city where they hoped to find water, but there was not enough to drink. Still you did not come back to me. 9“I sent a scorching wind to dry up your crops. The locusts ate up all your gardens and vineyards, your fig trees and olive trees. Still you did not come back to me. 10“I sent a plague on you like the one I sent on Egypt. I killed your young men in battle and took your horses away. I filled your nostrils with the stink of dead bodies in your camps. Still you did not come back to me. 11“I destroyed some of you as I destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah. Those of you who survived were like a burning stick saved from a fire. Still you did not come back to me,” says the Lord. 12“So then, people of Israel, I am going to punish you. And because I am going to do this, get ready to face my judgment!” 13God is the one who made the mountains and created the winds. He makes his thoughts known to people; he changes day into night. He walks on the heights of the earth. This is his name: the Lord God Almighty!
–fro Amos 4