Who can guess what tomorrow will bring? Every day awakens new challenges. Your future depends upon you. You must face the future boldly. Don’t cling to the past. Don’t fear the next obstacle. Don’t try to avoid the next encounter with people who make you uncomfortable or insecure. You can be a person of peace and joy. Simply walk each day, each moment expecting that grace will be yours. Envision what you want to see in your life. Be gently bold. Give the benefit of the doubt to those you’d usually attribute negative motives to. Remember, you don’t know anyone’s motives. Give grace. Give generously of your favor and time.
NO SKIN IN THE GAME
Consider others better than you. Remember this: If you get your needs met by God, you will never have to use people to meet them. Then you can be truly generous to all without using them. Try to have no skin in the game when it comes to relating to people and you will be free. No skin in the game means there’s no hidden expectations you have on others. There’s nothing you’re trying to “get” from them. That way you’re free to commit and be “all-in” without being hurt or used. Can you think of anything better than being the kind of person this post describes? That would be peace of mind and freedom of conscience. You’d be FREE.
YOUR LIFE IS ABOUT TO CHANGE . . . DRASTICALLY
Every blessing as you apply what seems good to you from what you’ve just read. But . . . be prepared for life to change drastically for the better. Oh, and remember . . . it may get somewhat worse before it gets better. But you will press through that to the freedom and victory that comes from being courageously creative. You will be a rarity in our declining culture–a person of influence for good.
QUESTION: Why not take a second and share this post with a friend–that would be an act of grace and generosity. Please . . . Let us know how things turn out for you.
©2014, David C Alves All rights reserved.
The End of all things is at hand!
Try a little experiment here. Before reading this post, ask the Holy Spirit to take the veil off your heart and mind. Ask him to grant you revelation or illumination, that you might be able to see spiritual truth through spiritual eyes. Why is this important? Because according to the following Scripture text, unless God gives you his Spirit while you read, you will not understand. The result will be that you will consider all that follows “foolishness.” On the other hand, if God grants you the grace to read with understanding, it could transform your entire life in a moment of time:
1 Corinthians 2:14 (ESV)
14 The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned.
We are drawing closer to the end than most people imagine. God is reaching out to those who will humble themselves to seek him with a genuine heart. He is hardening those whose hearts and consciences are cold and seared.
Matthew 24:3–14 (ESV)*
Signs of the End of the Age
3 As he sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately, saying, “Tell us, when will these things be, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?” 4 And Jesus answered them, “See that no one leads you astray. 5 For many will come in my name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and they will lead many astray. 6 And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not alarmed, for this must take place, but the end is not yet. 7 For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and there will be famines and earthquakes in various places. 8 All these are but the beginning of the birth pains.
9 “Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and put you to death, and you will be hated by all nations for my name’s sake. 10 And then many will fall away and betray one another and hate one another. 11 And many false prophets will arise and lead many astray. 12 And because lawlessness will be increased, the love of many will grow cold. 13 But the one who endures to the end will be saved. 14 And this gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.
Think about this. God gives EVERYONE an invitation and opportunity to receive and accept the “Good News.” If Jesus is not more important to you than this world system, if he is not at the center of your life, if you are not “born-from-above,” (John 3) then Jesus will deny you before His Father in heaven. You will lose not only your life, but will forfeit your eternal destiny in his Kingdom. What in you would want to embrace an empty future instead of the future you could have as a beloved son or daughter of the Father?
It’s time to wake up from the Matrix.
Matthew 10:32–39 (ESV)
32 So everyone who acknowledges me before men, I also will acknowledge before my Father who is in heaven, 33 but whoever denies me before men, I also will deny before my Father who is in heaven.
Not Peace, but a Sword
34 “Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I have not come to bring peace, but a sword. 35 For I have come to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law. 36 And a person’s enemies will be those of his own household. 37 Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me, and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. 38 And whoever does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. 39 Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.
Intensity of relationship here is what Jesus is referring to. Having a nominal I-go-to-church mentality is a denial of Christ. When the hard times come, you will fall away if you are not a diligent follower of Jesus BEFORE hard times come. Those whom He will “acknowledge” before his Father are those who seriously love and follow Him . . . today. Once he re-invades his realm to set up his government, it will be too late to declare your loyalty. He given everyone an opportunity to recognize his reign on this side of His second coming. He is right at the door and is sending people to warn and call you.
Be careful before you reject someone who tries to reach out to you in the name of the Lord. Seek to understand that the reason the person is reaching out to you is because someone reached out to him or her, or because that person knows and loves you. God’s desire is for you to know him. Those who are his love what he loves and care about the people and values HE cares about.
The spiritual veil that covers our eyes can only be removed by the grace of Christ through someone who cares enough to bring the truth of the Good News, despite what it may cost them. Receive that person as an honored envoy of the “King of Kings.” In the following text, the King—Jesus—speaks to the crowd:
Matthew 10:40–42 (ESV)
40 “Whoever receives you receives me, and whoever receives me receives him who sent me. 41 The one who receives a prophet because he is a prophet will receive a prophet’s reward, and the one who receives a righteous person because he is a righteous person will receive a righteous person’s reward. 42 And whoever gives one of these little ones even a cup of cold water because he is a disciple, truly, I say to you, he will by no means lose his reward.”
If you treat God’s royal envoy with honor and dignity, rather than disdain, then Christ guarantees your reward. Even if you give someone who comes in the name of the Lord a drink of water–because he or she represents Jesus–you will not lose your reward. How much greater reward if you give Jesus your heart and life.
If you have not chosen to follow with all your heart yet, I implore you to invite him to be your King today.
QUESTION: Are you prepared for the end? Are you Christ’s disciple or the world’s?
©2012, David C Alves
*All Scripture unless otherwise stated is from the English Standard Version (ESV) of the Holy Bible published by Crossway.