Where Are We?

Where Are We?

The invader will do as he pleases; no one will be able to stand against him. He will establish himself in the Beautiful Land and will have the power to destroy it. He will determine to come with the might of his entire kingdom and will make an alliance with the king of the South. And he will give him a daughter in marriage in order to overthrow the kingdom, but his plans will not succeed or help him. Then he will turn his attention to the coastlands and will take many of them, but a commander will put an end to his insolence and will turn his insolence back on him. After this, he will turn back toward the fortresses of his own country but will stumble and fall, to be seen no more. “His successor will send out a tax collector to maintain the royal splendor. In a few years, however, he will be destroyed, yet not in anger or in battle. “He will be succeeded by a contemptible person who has not been given the honor of royalty. He will invade the kingdom when its people feel secure, and he will seize it through intrigue. Then an overwhelming army will be swept away before him; both it and a prince of the covenant will be destroyed. After coming to an agreement with him, he will act deceitfully, and with only a few people he will rise to power. When the richest provinces feel secure, he will invade them and will achieve what neither his fathers nor his forefathers did. He will distribute plunder, loot and wealth among his followers. He will plot the overthrow of fortresses—but only for a time. “With a large army he will stir up his strength and courage against the king of the South. The king of the South will wage war with a large and very powerful army, but he will not be able to stand because of the plots devised against him. Those who eat from the king’s provisions will try to destroy him; his army will be swept away, and many will fall in battle. The two kings, with their hearts bent on evil, will sit at the same table and lie to each other, but to no avail, because an end will still come at the appointed time. With flattery he will corrupt those who have violated the covenant, but the people who know their God will firmly resist him. “Those who are wise will instruct many, though for a time they will fall by the sword or be burned or captured or plundered. When they fall, they will receive a little help, and many who are not sincere will join them. Some of the wise will stumble, so that they may be refined, purified and made spotless until the time of the end, for it will still come at the appointed time. “The king will do as he pleases. He will exalt and magnify himself above every god and will say unheard-of things against the God of gods. He will be successful until the time of wrath is completed, for what has been determined must take place. Daniel 11:16-29, 32-36 NIV  (Read the entire book of Daniel)

The Word of The Lord, Our God!

Ashamed No More!

“For I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Jesus Christ:  for it is the power of God unto salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jews (the chosen nation) first and then to the Greeks (those who chose to believe by faith)” (Romans 1:16 paraphrased).

This declaration made by Paul lets us know that even though he had been a persecutor of those who believed in Jesus and those who promoted the good news, once Jesus revealed himself to him, he became a believer and a promoter of the good news, openly.  Paul understood the law and knew that God had chosen the nation of Israel for His own, but when they chose to reject Him, He opened the door to any who chose to believe Him and abide by His commandments.  First God chose, then we chose–He has always given us the power of choice.

God revealed Himself to the nation of Israel in mighty works so they would know how much He loved them.  He reveals Himself to us, still by doing mighty works in our lives when we allow Him to do so.

I remember a time when I persecuted anyone who tried to get me to believe in the Bible.  I challenged them to explain how they “knew” whether or not the words were interpreted accurately, who was the witness that could confirm it, and on and on.  When I reached a place in my life where I had nothing else to read in my house, but the Bible, I read it.  I have always been an avid reader of almost anything, but at the time I read my bible, I was in financial straits and could not purchase books the way I once had.  I worked hours that curtailed my ability to get to a library and so here I was–wanting something to read and the Bible was there.  It took me two months to read (starting with the Gospel of John) through the New Testament and then I worked my way back through the Old Testament to get a better understanding of what was said in the New.  God’s plan worked!  I now understood why things had happened the way they did.  When I received the gift of salvation and speaking in tongues, I knew I had been wrong and was so ashamed, I wished I could go back and find those people I had taunted.  But God in His infinite wisdom (and sense of humor) used me to promote the Gospel by encouraging people to read the bible for themselves and then open themselves to hear Him, revealing understanding of His Word.

Though I never had anyone tortured for their beliefs, I can certainly relate to Paul’s words.  I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Jesus Christ because it is the power to renew life, retain joy in the midst of trials, the avenue to having a personal relationship with God and ability to have communication on a brand new level.  I am ashamed of my behavior and conduct to those I once taunted for their beliefs, but I am not ashamed of who I am or whose I am and I will tell it–from the valley to the mountain-tops–and if people do not receive it; that is not my responsibility.  My job is to tell it, their job is make a choice to receive what I say or not, the end result is on God!  Hallelujah!