The Word of Their Testimony

Revelation 12:10-11  And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night.  11  And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.

Satan does a great job of making accusations against us. For me, he has plenty to make to the Lord. I cannot even begin to imagine what he is saying about me. Sadly, it is one of the few times where he is not making up lies. I am going to go out on a limb and say most of it is probably true. What are we to do when the accusations made against us by Satan are true? What do we do with accusations? How do we live in such a way that accusations have no footing to grow into a nightmare?

The way they overcome the accusations is two fold: The blood of the Lamb and the word of their testimony. Eternally speaking, the blood of the Lamb is how accusations lose their footing before God. The accusations made by Satan are most likely true but what he fails to see is that the blood has been applied. Yes, we are sinners. Yes, we are full of mistakes. The blood applied erases the record of the mistakes. Satan comes around looking for all the darkness in our life, but God only sees the blood of Jesus Christ in our life. Thank God for the blood of Jesus. It is the blood that cleanses. When God sees a Christian, all he sees is the royal righteous blood of His Son, Jesus Christ. The application of the blood completes the story. Satan may be making accurate accusation, but he is not giving the complete story. His accusations fail because the blood applied erases the record of those accusations. Now, it gets more convicting. They also overcame by the word of their testimony. I think we have forgotten the power of a personal testimony. There will be accusations against us in this lifetime. We will be accused of so much. The question is whether or not we will have to defend ourselves, or will the word of our own personal testimony speak for itself? If accusations were made against us would we be able to sit still and quietly allow our testimony to speak for itself. Would we be required to provide an explanation for our actions or would our own testimony speak for itself? God does not want us nullify the work of the blood in the realm of eternity. God wants us to live in such a way that our testimony speaks for itself. God sees the blood applied, but can this world see the blood of Jesus applied to our lives? May God help us have a life that allows the world to see a life where the blood of Jesus has been applied.

Today, we need to concentrate on our life in Christ. With that being said, we can also concentrate on making sure our testimony is intact. Pray today that God will allow the world to see overcoming power of the blood applied in our lives.

Week 16 Discipleship – The Overcoming Life

The world has a very distinct pull. Satan strategically utilizes the world’s systems, philosophies, and ideologies to deceive, draw, and ultimately destroy us. It is method that appeals to the flesh. In this world we will face tribulation, but the Lord offers each one of us peace in the midst of this tribulation. Through the resurrected life of Christ as well as the crucified life of Christ we are given the power to overcome the appealing draws of the world. This week we will further study the ability to overcome the world, the flesh and Satan.

Week 14 Discipleship – The Resurrected Life

We just celebrated Easter. The celebration of a risen Savior is what set Christianity apart from everything else. Between the death and resurrection Jesus Christ defeated Satan, sin, death, hell and the grave. Together the cross and the resurrection combine for some major victory. One of our challenges this week is not to just look at the resurrection as a future blessing, but also look at it as present victory. We all need to learn that there is victory in Christ. I hope and pray this week will help you.

Make Each Day Count

Psalms 90:12  So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom.

We have to learn to make each day count. Time is the one thing we experience that gives zero second chances. Our days here on earth are truly numbered. We clock in each day not knowing if this day will be our last. Personally, this is very convicting because I look back and wonder if I have made my days count for something worthwhile. Making each day count is a learning process. We must learn to order our days and then attack them with the realization that we may not get another day.

We tend to approach life with a sense of carelessness. We live our lives thinking that each day is a guarantee. One of my personal problems is the thought of putting things off for another day. We say things like “I will get to that later”, or “I will tackle that in a few days.” The reality is that we are numbering our days. We are assuming we have a few days or that “later” is some God given guarantee. The reality is that we are not promised anything. We have to approach our days with purpose.

How would a person make each day count? For me, I struggle because my “to-do” list is longer than my day. It is hard to me to find a starting point as well as a finishing point. There is always something that needs to be done. Here are some thoughts I am personally considering in order to make my day count:

  • Make my relationship with God a priority: Will I purposely and passionately pursue the Lord today?
  • Consider my family: When I became a parent, I truly relinquished my own rights and made a decision to personally invest into the next generation.
  • Be Unselfish: My day will have a greater impact if I do not make it about me.
  • Make a List: If I know what I need to do, then it helps me prioritize my daily task.
  • Rest: One of the most spiritual things we can do is rest.
  • Be Healthy: It is going to be impossible to make the day count if I do not have the energy to finish it.

Maybe you can add to this today. How would you make your day count?

Falling Into God’s Hands

Hebrews 10:31  It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.

There are a lot of ways to approach the thought of falling into the hands of a living God. The key to this is understanding that God does not want us to be afraid of Him. God does not intend for us to read such a verse and not desire His presence in our lives. When we consider falling into the hands of the Living God we must understand it an attitude of reverence and respect. It is something that should not be done with carelessness. I remember one time getting on a four wheeler when I was in high school. It was a racing four-wheeler. I had never been on anything like that before. I remember getting out on that back road and catching 3rd gear doing about 50mph. 50 mph does not sound that fast but I still had two more gears left. That machine would flat out fly. It was so much fun but at the same time I got off and told my buddy, “If you are not careful, that thing will kill you.” You see, this four-wheeler could be enjoyed if handled with care and respect. However, operating such a machine with carelessness and fearlessness would be dangerous. Our relationship with the Lord is much the same. We do not have to avoid the Lord because we are scared of Him. Our relationship with the Lord has the ability to be enjoyed if we handle it with caution, care, and respect. When people approach God with a sense of carelessness is when things become eternally dangerous.

We all need to approach God in the same manner. He is a God that should be experienced and enjoyed, but He is a God that should be respected and reverenced. When we live our lives with carelessness and recklessness,there is potential danger on an eternal level headed our way. God loves us, but at the same time we have to realize what He is capable of doing with us.

Judgement Day

Romans 14:11-12  For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God.  12  So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God.

There is a pay day some day. There is coming a time when every one of us will have to stand before God, bow before God, and confess to God. All of us are going to have to answer for ourselves before God. We will not have to imagine what we will be doing when we get before God. While I understand that God already knows the answer to everything, I have often wondered what questions will be asked before the Lord and how the answers will be revealed. The exposure of our entire lives both public and private will be open before the throne of God. There will be total exposure, and we will have to give an answer for each moment of our life. I am not even sure how this process is going to happen. Here are some of my thoughts regarding this event:

  • The internal thoughts and motives of my heart will play as everything in my life is exposed before a Heavenly throne. There have been a lot of times people have been fooled by actions while they never knew the matters of the heart. The intentions, the internal thoughts, and the motives of the heart will be played out loud throughout each event.
  • Nothing will be hid from God. We seem to want to play a dangerous game of roulette with God, each moment taking chances on whether or not we will have another moment to live. We have to understand the reality of having to answer to God. It is inevitable, but at the same time it is going to be brutal. Nothing will be hid. There is no small compartment within the heart where we will be able to hide our secret sins.
  • What will I be able to say? Seriously, in the midst of total exposure there will be no excuses. We will not be able to pass blame, and we will not able to talk our way out of it. I can imagine something in my life getting exposed and just having nothing but shame because I failed in my relationship with my Heavenly Father.
  • How long will this last? Everyone is going to be bowing and confessing. It may last for only a moment, it may last for an extended period of time. Operating in eternity may not be something that will have time attached to it. That alone is hard to comprehend, but it is completely possible.
  • What will happen next? This is where things get serious. We will be judged. Actions, motives, and intentions will all be judged by God. This is a point where even our own salvation experience will be judged. I foreshadow a lot of weeping, sorrow, and genuine confession during this time. To stand before a perfectly holy God completely exposed. Maybe the holiness of God’s presence will be what brings total exposure to our public and private lives. I truly believe that it will be then that God will take those who have been saved and wipe away their tears. I cannot imagine a greater time of grace and mercy. He will also cast those who are lost into the lake of fire. Rather than having no memory, those people will live throughout eternity with a constant memory of what could have been if they had not allowed pride into their lives.

The question remains: Are we ready to meet God?

All Will Be Judged

2 Corinthians 5:10  For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.

There is a judgement coming upon all of us. Whether we are guilty in sin or innocent through the blood of Jesus, we will all appear before the Lord and be judged. The thought of this judgment should make us all be very careful as to whether or not we are in right standing with God. We definitely should approach this moment with a sense of fear and trembling. We are going to be judged according to what we have done, but also the intentions by which they were done.

There are many that live their lives with a sense of carelessness because they assume salvation is going to prevent this coming judgment upon their lives. Many will say they are not worried about such a judgment because salvation gives the free entrance to Heaven. Does that sound like a salvation experience that has established a relationship with Jesus Christ? Are you seriously going to have this kind of mindset and trust your salvation experience to push you through such a judgment. Keep in mind, your salvation experience, whether true or false will be judged as well.

God will judge the intention of the heart. That means the salvation experience will be judged by the intention and motive of the heart. It is absolutely vital we make our election and calling of God very sure. This is going to be a very intense experience. We will stand before the judge and our actions will be judged, our intentions will be judged, and our motives will be judged before the Lord.

Are we ready to be judged? Do we have anything outstanding that needs to be covered in confession and the blood of Jesus Christ? Please do not take this lightly.

An Unavoidable Appointment

Hebrews 9:27-28  And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:  28  So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.

An appointment is a prearranged meeting. When an appointment is set then it means that two parties have arranged a date and time in which they will meet. Appointments are really a blessing because we can prepare ourselves for what is coming. The appointments we set in life can be altered or changed. Throughout my life there have been times where I have had to reschedule appointments. There have been times where I have had to cancel appointments. However, there is an appointment that has been determined by God which cannot be rescheduled, canceled, or altered. It is an appointment with death and judgment.

We all have an appointment with death. Death is a reality that we are all going to have to experience at some point and time throughout our lives. The only way death will not be experienced is if Jesus decides to return and take us home. Either way, both events kind of send a sense of fear and trembling throughout our spirits. The thing about death is that it is a final appointment. All bets are off once it occurs. Once it happens we will immediately stand before God and face judgement. That means every one of us. Regardless of our spiritual condition we will stand before God. Regardless of what or how we believe we will stand before God. The appointment is inevitable and there is nothing we can do about it.

We have a tendency to live our lives as if death is never going to occur or as if we have been promised some allotted amount of time. It would be awesome if we would allow some reality to set in and start living as if our life could end at any moment, because it truly can end at any moment. Once death occurs there are no second chances, there are no negotiations, and there are no more opportunities to get things right. It is a final appointment that will determine whether we live forever for eternity in a place called hell or whether we live forever in a place called heaven. Make no mistake, every person will live forever in eternity.

This scripture teaches us to really make sure we make the most of each day of our lives. If there are goals to be achieved then start achieving them. If there are conversations that need to be had then start having them. If there are plans to be made then start making them. If there is time to be spent then start spending it. If there is a life to be lived then start living it. Once the appointed time of our death occurs we must realize that there are no more opportunities. It is important that we live our lives with no regrets and no reserves.

Seize the moment. Live life knowing that each moment is precious. Time is the one thing that does not give us refunds. Do not waste your life being lost. Do not waste your life being lukewarm. Do not waste your life being lazy. The pathway to hell is paved with a lot of good intentions. Please do not live as if this appointment does not exist.

Week 13 Discipleship – “After This”

What happens after a person dies? There are many opinions about life after death or even if there is life after death. However; the Bible teaches exactly what to expect when we die. We all need to realize that death and life are ordered by God and that we need to approach both with a sense of fear and trembling. Make no mistake, we all will stand before God and give an account of ourselves. I hope this week will help all of us approach life with a sense of urgency and purpose.