Are You Content?
John the Baptist created quite a stir in the first century by calling greedy people "a brood of vipers" and commanding them to repent. The crowd was told to share their extra tunics and food with the poor. The tax collectors were commanded not to collect any more than they were required to. When some soldiers asked him, "And what should we do?" he replied, "Don't extort money and don't accuse people falsely be content with your pay" (Luke 3:10-14).
A Study in Prophecy
As we near the new year, we can anticipate increased interest in the return of Christ. So we can find help in Mark 13, which records Jesus' teaching concerning the end of the age and gives important guidelines for understanding prophecy.
A study of Prophecy is valuable, so be teachable.
God has placed prophecy in Scripture for a definite purpose. It provides hope, stimulates study, and realigns priorities. Perhaps the greatest benefit of studying prophecy is that it motivates purity. Simon Peter wrote, "You ought to live holy and godly lives as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming" (2 Peter 3:11,12).
A study of Prophecy is deliberately vague, so be flexible.
When people pressed me about my views on the millennium, I responded, "I don't know. I'm not on the program committee - I'm on the welcoming committee!"
When Mary realized Jesus was alive, she was ecstatic. Mary's reaction was understandable. She wanted to retain that moment of ecstasy. But Jesus said, "Do not hold on to me, for I have not yet returned to the Father. Go instead to my brothers and tell them, 'I am returning to my Father'" (John 20:17). Mary was instructed to release her grip on Jesus and share what she'd learned with her friends. There are some experiences that are meant to be temporary, and we should not expect to retain them.
Don't feel guilty if you're not on one continuous high. Be realistic you can't stay on spiritual mountaintops forever. The test of our relationship with God is not emotion but obedience.
'Twas The Night Before Jesus Came'
'Twas the night before Jesus came
and all through the house
Not a creature was praying,
not one in the house.
Their Bibles were lain
on the shelf without care
In hopes that Jesus would not come there.
The children were dressing
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