Posts Tagged ‘ 2012 ’

Expecting the Messiah

I would like, firstly, to offer a reminder to check out Proverbial Thought. Wisdom is always helpful, and especially so during a busy holiday season!

Secondly, happy first week of Advent! Regardless of whether you practice celebrating Advent, we must always remember the importance of the coming of our Lord, which leads to the post:

On the eighth day, when it was time to circumcise him, he was named Jesus, the name the angel had given him before he had been conceived.

When the time of their purification according to the Law of Moses had been completed, Joseph and Mary took him to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord (as it is written in the Law of the Lord, “Every firstborn male is to be consecrated to the Lord”), and to offer a sacrifice in keeping with what is said in the Law of the Lord: “a pair of doves or two young pigeons.”

Now there was a man in Jerusalem called Simeon, who was righteous and devout. He was waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him. It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not die before he had seen the Lord’s Christ. Moved by the Spirit, he went into the temple courts. When the parents brought in the child Jesus to do for him what the custom of the Law required, Simeon took him in his arms and praised God, saying:

“Sovereign Lord, as you have promised,
you now dismiss your servant in peace.
For my eyes have seen your salvation,
which you have prepared in the sight of all people,
a light for revelation to the Gentiles
and for glory to your people Israel.”

The child’s father and mother marveled at what was said about him. Then Simeon blessed them and said to Mary, his mother: “This child is destined to cause the falling and rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be spoken against, so that the thoughts of many hearts will be revealed. And a sword will pierce your own soul too.”

There was also a prophetess, Anna, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was very old; she had lived with her husband seven years after her marriage, and then was a widow until she was eighty-four. She never left the temple but worshiped night and day, fasting and praying. Coming up to them at that very moment, she gave thanks to God and spoke about the child to all who were looking forward to the redemption of Jerusalem.
Luke 2:21-38

I have fallen in with several different crowds in my life. Before this gets out of hand, I mean within Christianity. One of those crowds with which my history is long and varied is those expecting the soon return of Jesus Christ. I recently have been hearing people, due largely to last year’s predictions of the rapture and the coming of the “Mayan prediction” of December 21, 2012, being the end of the world (bunk), mocking people who expect His soon coming.

These people doing the mocking are mostly Christian.

Here is some food for thought about expecting Jesus:

Is it really so silly?

There was another time when many people were calling for the coming of the Savior, and many others mocked them. It was easy with so many other religions and pseudo-Saviors popping up to save the day … and failing. Some expecting the Messiah claimed God had revealed to them that His Messiah was coming soon. Others were astute enough from years of dedicated prayer and fasting to recognize what was going on around them.

And those few were right.

The story above relates how to elderly people were eagerly waiting for the coming Messiah. When others may have laughed, they knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that He was coming.

I am pretty sure, however, that few laughed. In fact, when we consider the thousands that later followed Jesus, there were many people who expected a Messiah. In this story, it says Anna “spoke about the child to all who were looking forward to the redemption of Jerusalem.” Do you realize that many of those who heard this may not have even been alive, let alone remembered this, by the time Jesus began His ministry 30 years later?!

Sometimes, God speaks through the craziest things

Many people today eagerly await the returning King of kings. This is good!

Sure, there are problems with some people claiming to know the date. Some people flat-out deny Christ’s return. Some people say it is not really that important.

Sometimes, we disregard a truth because of where it comes from.

Joseph and Mary easily could have disregarded what was being said about their infant son, but I am pretty sure their dreams and visions from only the previous six to nine months were vividly fresh in their minds. They were seeing an impossible baby being born to verify the visions and dreams! These prophecies were becoming run of the mill for them, by now!

Perhaps that is our problem.

How many Christians today regularly fast and pray? How often do you set aside time for seeking God through prayer and listening for Him?

Jesus could be coming this month (even as you read this). How could we know if we are not daily seeking time to talk with God. We do not believe in miracles or spiritual gifts, so why should we expect His return to be soon.

Join with others in following my example, brothers, and take note of those who live according to the pattern we gave you. For, as I have often told you before and now say again even with tears, many live as enemies of the cross of Christ. Their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach, and their glory is in their shame. Their mind is on earthly things. But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body. Therefore, my brothers, you whom I love and long for, my joy and crown, that is how you should stand firm in the Lord, dear friends!
Philippians 3:17-4:1

This Christmas, and always, expect the Messiah to return soon. He may not, but we should live as though He is coming tonight but may wait another thousand years. Of course, we must praise Him always!

Voting, Elections and God

Here is another guest blog by Jesse Walker. I am enjoying my time away from the blog, watching some movies and playing some video games with my wife, actually relaxing a little, getting several weeks worth of homework done in an afternoon (because it is so much easier than what I have done … ever in college!), and working on other theological and ministerial things.

I do not usually get too into politics on this blog, but that does not mean my guests have to shy away from it! For this election season, here is an early post (instead of my usual Tuesday schedule). May it help you in making a decision on how to vote (and, please, vote!). Pray, pray, pray! Listen to all advice and weigh it by the your convictions, what the Bible says, and how you feel the Lord leads.

Many blessings until later! Your brother in Christ, Daniel

If you’re like me, you probably have had questions about the candidates, the party’s and which candidate might possibly have God’s endorsement (since, of course, His is the only one that matters).

While there are many issues that are important to each of us, be it the economy, immigration, the second amendment, or a plethora of others, I believe that there is one that will not only last for eternity, but is near and dear to God’s heart. It’s not that the other issues aren’t important, but that only one involves eternal souls. You see, God is a protector of the innocent and a defender of the weak, and the issue that is on His heart, the only one that will last for eternity, is preserving the life of the innocent un-born. As Christians it is vitally important that we vote for the pro-life candidate who can win. I say, “who can win” because many of us would like to vote for a third-party candidate. Unfortunately, the truth of the matter is that our system of government, a democratic republic (NOT a democracy), is a two-party system, which makes it very hard for a third-party candidate to win. I almost registered as an Independent, because I felt that elected officials from both sides of the aisle had let us down, but as I researched the party lines, I began to see that all of my principles and convictions were already laid out in one of the two main parties.

But no matter you’re political persuasion, as a Christian it is your responsibility to vote pro-life. Please take a moment to listen to a radio program I did here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9tP22TwZbvk

Based on this information, I had a lot of peace about who to vote for, and then God gave me confirmation through a great man of God, Lou Engle. Here is an email I received from Lou this past week:

Can I vote for Romney?

Over the last year I have wrestled greatly with this question. I have been mostly silent, waiting on the Lord for understanding. Prior to TheCall Detroit I’ve felt a strong calling to pray for President Obama, that he would be a Lincoln-type President who (through the dealings of God) would be changed into another man on the issue of life. Should he win the election, I will still hope and pray for this outcome. However, many people have misconstrued my statements and even twitter’d that I intend to vote for President Obama. Quite the contrary! My clear and pointed statement has been that I cannot vote for anyone who by legal decree supports the shedding of innocent blood, believing such a vote would make me an accomplice to the act.

In recent years I have further refined my position to include no exceptions for rape and incest, understanding that life begins at conception, therefore all life is sacred. My position has been to reject the compromise of simply voting for the  lesser of two evils, believing that my allegiance is given to a higher King and a higher kingdom, therefore my  No  vote actually becomes a prophetic act” a vote of conscience, not abdication. I have believed that if the church would stand on principle, and also require the same of our candidates, that we could actually shift our political climate from confidence in man to confidence in God for the healing of our nation, and that God, in response, would answer with the fire of revival on a people who refused to bow (via a compromised vote) to the image of Caesar. Jesus said,  Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s and give to God what is God’s.  How can I stoop to surrender the image of God in marriage to Caesar (Gen. 1:26″ 28)? How can I forfeit God’s image in the unborn through abortion to Caesar, when Scripture clearly warns against the shedding of innocent blood? (Gen. 4:10, 9:6; Deut. 19:13; Psa. 72:12-14; Ezek. 35:6)

These are not small questions, driving me in great consternation to much dialogue with my Christian brothers and sisters across the nation. I found myself challenged by a simple question: Can you be sure that if you don’t vote for Romney you aren’t still accountable for the shedding of innocent blood, similar to a sin of omission? After all, abortion could greatly proliferate under Obamacare. Furthermore, though Romney allows for the exceptions clause, with which I disagree, he remains opposed to all other cases, and this statistically represents 98.5% of current abortion procedures. Successfully overturning 98.5% of abortions would represent a massive shift in our national blood guilt. In this view, voter accountability becomes more complex, and the answers not so clear.

Bringing further challenge, I was given a scenario, a true moral conundrum. If I had been a Christian conservative in pre-Nazi Germany, as the nation floundered in moral and economic woes, and there I heard the rousing moral clarity of a leader promising a strong economy, who was also pro-family, pro-marriage, anti-debauchery and drunkenness, etc., could I have actually made the mistake of voting as a matter of conviction for Hitler (who in fact adopted those many  good  positions). Could principles in fact blind me to the moment, such that I would support the raising of a king whom Christ Himself would want torn down? Whoa! This is a deeply troubling thought. To me it seems clear that if I had made my stand on principle alone I would have missed God and joined in the destruction of 6 million Jews. This is why we must submit ourselves to the governance of the Holy Spirit, for the wrong application of right principles can cloud even the discernment of the righteous.

At about this time of crisis in my own thought processes, my closest friend (and a true prophet in my life) had a compelling dream concerning Romney s viability as a candidate. In the dream, Romney was clearly favorable from a divine perspective. After this, the substance of my friend s dream was immediately confirmed by another prophetic encounter from another well known prophetic voice. Now hear me, this election is not about Romney being the great answer to America s problems. Rather, these prophetic experiences seemed to indicate that Romney was a sort of window of mercy to America on several fronts, but chiefly the dividing of Jerusalem. The thought of protecting that ancient covenantal bond of God shifted my paradigm dramatically. I found myself having to peer into another biblical principle that I heretofore had not pondered with the same intensity as I had the life issue.

As I sought the Lord concerning these various biblical truths and prophetic words, it was as if a light began to shine into my heart. I sensed the Lord saying,  Will you stand with Me in my covenantal faithfulness? Will you stand for my ancient covenant with My people? A deep abiding ‘Yes’ began to conquer my arguments.

Therefore I now make this statement for the sake of both my own conscience and for the clearing of any misconceptions or questions currently circulating in the body. I remain to this day a no exceptions voter, though very challenged by lingering questions regarding the practical application of a principled vote. I am committed to the highest, best moral and faith response to the political issue of abortion. I seek its ultimate end, and its progressive end. But I refuse to castigate any well-meaning believers who come to a different conclusion than mine. It seems to me there is room for great Christian understanding and patience with one another in the journey.

With that said, I am declaring my best, personal understanding of the Lord’s heart in this hour: that in this election, America’s future is on dangerous ground, facing judgment not only over abortion and other key issues, but most definitely over the high possibility of breaking faith with God’s covenant with Jerusalem, the land of Israel, and His covenant people. President Obama has publicly called for the return of the land of Jerusalem and Israel to the pre-1967 boundaries. I can’t go there. I won’t. My heart had been opened to another great theme:  The Life of the unborn has called me and God’s covenant to the Jewish people restrains me .

I am voting for Romney.

In clean conscience,

Lou Engle”

I challenge and encourage you to vote for the pro-life candidate, Governor Romney.

With all Sincerity and Love in Christ,

Jesse Walker