Monday, March 28, 2011

What Time is it?

In this fast paced world we live in there is one thing that all of us are consciously aware of—the clock. Our lives are dominated by it. We go to work, eat, keep appointments, watch TV and go to bed by the clock. This preoccupation did not begin with the first time piece. When we read the Bible we find out that thousands of years ago, the world was created according to a specific schedule. Also, we are told that God sent Jesus to earth at the “fullness of time.” While many events create interest within our chronological mindset, none causes more speculation or concern than what is called “the end time.” This is something Jesus alluded to when he used the phrase “in such an hour as you think not.” It is something that captured the thought of John when he wrote “little children it is the last time.” For all those readers who are familiar with this theme, you know it refers to the climatic age when Jesus will re-appear, the church will be taken up, the world refurbished and the devil judged. Also, having been made aware of these events we are admonished to “live soberly and to be watchful” as we see the day approaching. One cannot watch the news or read the paper without realizing that we are at that point. So “what time is it?” It is time that we learn, look, and listen for the day of the Lord is at hand.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

It's a Race To the Finish

I just got through listening to end of the race at Bristol Motor Speedway. The radio announcers know how to keep you tuned in and on the edge of your seat. There is a phrase they use in almost every race that for whatever reason caught my attention today. With thousands of listeners tuned in with their own special way they expressed, "Fans it's a race to the finish." I thought what a fitting statement for the world of racing but also for the church. Indeed it is a "race to the finish." With everything we have happening around us, we must fight for the finish. In the world of racing finishing and winning requires several things. It takes an experienced pit crew giving instructions; the proper amount of fuel in the tank; good tires; in certain races a draft partner; but most of all it takes focus on the part of the driver. When you think about it, these are the ingredients it takes to win the spiritual race. The writer of Hebrews must have attended one of the chariot races of his day, and although they used horses and Nascar horsepower the similarities cannot be overlooked. With this in mind, we read the author's admonition "and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith." Undeniably, the signs predicting that we are in the end times are before us. Knowing this, we must stay fueled up with the power of the Spirit; our feet must have the tread of the gospel; our ears must listen for godly instruction; and most of all we must be patient. In a day when so many are tempted to give up we must remain faithful, for we are in a "race to the finish."

Monday, March 7, 2011

The Holy Land

I am presently on my sixth tour in the Holy Land. It’s hard to describe how special this place is. Although I have been here several times, the atmosphere, sights, and spiritual intensity is always fresh and new. Over the last three days we have been in Turkey visiting the Seven Churches of Asia Minor. If you remember Jesus gave a special message to each of these churches in the book of Revelation. As we have continued our journey we have crossed over into Israel, taking in sights such as: Caesarea Philippi, Mount Carmel, and the Sea of Galilee. Tomorrow we head to Jerusalem. Each of these places holds historical as well as great spiritual significance. For instance, one cannot reflect upon these places and rehearse Christ’s words without feeling a sense of personal conviction. With each story it becomes apparent that we have an experience but yet lack the sacrifice of those who preceded us in the faith. Also, because of the state of the church today we realize that Christ is once again speaking to us as he did to the Seven Churches and we are seeing the fulfillment of the message. I find myself asking “which church am I a part of and how scraficial am I willing to be? While I fight the temptation to speak endlessly about these issues and my exciting journey, let me conclude. During the next few days we will wrap up our trip with Golgotha and the garden tomb. What a dramatic finish! Should not everything we do end with the cross. Should not every idea, determination and deed be placed on the cross? Should not everything we do stand the test of resurrection? In the words of Watchman Nee, “only that which can enter death, survive the tomb, and end in resurrection is truly worthwhile in ministry. May this be the test of our lives as we continue to serve him.