Friday, November 15, 2013, 5:07 a.m. – The Lord Jesus woke me with the song “He Keeps Me Singing” playing in my mind. Speak, Lord, your words to my heart. I read 1 Thessalonians 2 (ESV). Shamefully Treated When we commit our lives to Jesus Christ, to follow him wherever he leads, to share his gospel, and to be his servants and witnesses, we will meet with much opposition from the enemy. He often uses human beings to do his dirty work, and many times through lies and deceptions. In other words, if the enemy can convince people that Christians are somehow evil, or that scripture is false and misleading, or that “God didn’t really say that, did he?” or if he can convince them to dilute the gospel to make it more comfortable, appealing and less threatening, then all of a sudden, those who preach the full (true) gospel are treated as though they are the enemy, and so they are persecuted, shunned and cast aside. As well, the enemy loves gossip. He will use gossip to try to destroy the reputations of Christ’s true servants and messengers in hope that people will close their ears to them, and it works. Yet, even though we may be treated with such contempt for preaching the full gospel message, and even though many throughout the world are being severely persecuted and even killed for their testimony for Jesus Christ, we should not let this discourage us. We should persevere in sharing the truth of the gospel even in the face of strong opposition, because we know that the gospel of Jesus Christ contains the only life-saving message that is able to transform human lives from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God. We need to throw off Satan’s lies and hold fast to the truth of God’s word. And, we need to make it our goal to please God, not to please human beings. If we are trying to please humans, we can’t be true servants of Christ. We need to give our reputations over to God, and trust him with our lives, and continue to obey him in spreading the truth of the gospel, even if we are hated and persecuted and rejected in return. God knows our hearts. Exhortation and Encouragement People have their own ideas of who we are supposed to be and what we are supposed to do in this life, and they will often hold us to their own standards, which are based upon culture, tradition, training, upbringing, or their own human thinking and reasoning. Yet, as servants of the Lord God, we answer to a different standard – that set down for us by Jesus Christ and his word, and that is what we are to follow. This will not usually jive with the world or even with the worldly church, who will think we are somehow strange. They may even accuse us falsely of wrong motives because they are judging us by themselves, which is not wise. It amazes me how many Christians in America will read the stories of the heroes of the faith in scripture and will think how wonderful, and yet if one of us exercises similar faith and commitment to Jesus Christ in today’s culture, those same Christians may think we are peculiar, maybe even crazy, hyper-religious, addicted to Jesus, egocentric, and the like, and they may feel as though we are not acting “normal.” Funny, how that works. Yet, scripture sets a different standard for us, and that is the one we are to follow. The idea of us being like a nursing mother caring for her children, or like that of a father, exhorting and encouraging one another to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord is exactly how we should be with one another. So many people are so concerned with everyone liking them that they are afraid to love their fellow humans or their brothers and sisters in Christ with such love as that of a parent caring for his or her children, which puts their true needs above us and our own reputations. We get this idea that we are just supposed to hang out and have fun, make jokes, play games, and go away happy all the time, but if we did that with our real children all the time, they would end up spoiled rotten, with no respect or honor of authority, with no sense of values, and with no sense of right and wrong or of what is pleasing or displeasing to God. Balance is very important. And, we are taught the correct balance in scripture. We need to love others as our Father God loves us in every way. They Drove us Out When we make a commitment with our lives to live for Jesus Christ and to allow him to live his life out through us, we can expect to be treated just like he was. He said so. And, we may even suffer such rejection and/or abuse from those within our own families, our own communities, our own countries, or even from those within the family of God. And, we may even be driven out of the church (or our homes, jobs, countries, et al) because we hold to the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ, and so we serve as a threat to them, and they want to keep us from speaking the true gospel of salvation. As well, we may be forced to go out into the highways and byways of life because even the church has rejected us. Or, we may be forced into hiding because of such severe persecution from our fellow countrymen, or even from foreign entities coming into our countries. Yet, it is all worth it to see people come to faith in Jesus Christ and to see them commit their lives to follow him, even if it means persecution and death for the sake of his name. It is awesome to see people grow in their faith and to love their Lord Jesus and to take him and his word seriously. Amen! I know that many of the leaders of my country have been involved in the persecution and murdering of innocents and of believers in Jesus Christ throughout the world, because the Lord Jesus has shown me this, i.e. he spoke these words into my heart. I believe our president, his cabinet and many leaders in Congress are part of this New World Order which is going around the globe murdering innocents, raping, looting, destroying, and taking over the nations and governments of the world in order to bring us underneath one rule of law, alias the Beast of Revelation. I believe they are giving the world the message, “Bow to the New World Order or pay the consequences,” and this includes Christ’s true servants and witnesses being told that they must stop proselytizing their faith in Jesus Christ or else they will be killed. I believe this “Global Climate Change” conference is really about the political climate change of the N.W.O. sweeping across the globe, and that the nations of the world are being threatened into compliance. I have seen this over and over again. Yet, God will judge them for their sins. He will visit them in wrath, and I believe that is not far from us. In summary, there are many lies being told by our government leaders, by our church leaders, and by those who live among us, and for many of them it is for the sole purpose to deceive us into believing things to be true which are not true at all, oftentimes to cover up for what they are really doing, i.e. to cover up greed, murder, et al. If we are preaching the true gospel of salvation, we may serve as a direct threat to them, because many are truly followers of Satan, and not of God, by the things they do, believe, and purpose to deceive. So, we need to pray, and we need to inquire of our God, and we need to ask him to reveal to us what lies we are believing. We should ask him to show us what is true so that we are not listening to lies and therefore blocking our ears from hearing the true gospel. Time is running out. We don’t have time to just keep playing games and thinking life is to be about entertaining ourselves and us indulging in self-pleasure. We need to commit our lives to Jesus Christ to do his will, and to allow him to live his life in and out through us. Amen! He Keeps Me Singing / Luther B. Bridgers There's within my heart a melody Jesus whispers sweet and low: Fear not, I am with thee, peace, be still, In all of life's ebb and flow. All my life was wrecked by sin and strife, Discord filled my heart with pain; Jesus swept across the broken strings, Stirred the slumbering chords again. Though sometimes he leads through waters deep, Trials fall across the way, Though sometimes the path seems rough and steep, See his footprints all the way. Soon he's coming back to welcome me Far beyond the starry sky; I shall wing my flight to worlds unknown; I shall reign with him on high. Jesus, Jesus, Jesus, Sweetest name I know, Fills my every longing, Keeps me singing as I go.