Signs of the Times

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Guest Post

by John Doyle

“The day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night… So then let us not sleep, as others do, but let us keep awake… putting on the breastplate of faith and Love, and as a helmet the hope of salvation.” 1 Thessalonians 5: 2,6, 8. 
 
Have noticed that many who are going through difficult times in Lockdown are searching for signs indicating “end times” and “rapture”. Its very prevalent on Social Media as people try to interpret the stories behind the Coronavirus told Globally.
 
So what do we know about the end of the world? Just as importantly, what don’t we know? And how should we live in light of this knowledge?
 
Let these Biblical truths guide you as you pray for God to give you wisdom and peace in these difficult times.
 
Understand the Truth About the End Times
 
How is the world going to end? Can anyone predict when it will happen? How bad will things get before Jesus comes back? We don’t have all the answers but I do have just 2 points that I trust will encourage you in these difficult times.
 
1. Make Sure You’re Ready
 
“Now I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse! And He Who sat on him was called called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and makes war” – Revelation 19:11
 
Jesus Christ came to earth as a suffering Servant, He will return as conquering King. A day of reckoning is coming, and we are invited in Gods Word to be Ready – Matt 24:44 “Therefore be ye also ready; for in such an hour as you think not the Son of man cometh”. As believers let’s remind the people out there to give their hearts to Jesus in repentance and faith knowing that the King of Kings will come one day and “capture His bride away” and so we do need to encourage people to become part of that Bride that they too will be ready for that Day.
 
The Bible says it’s not “if” but “when” Jesus Christ will come back to judge the earth. By choosing to follow Christ now, you can ensure you’ll have eternal life in Heaven. That’s the most important message we can give to the peoples of this Earth at this time.
 
Know the Signs by reading Gods Word. While the Bible makes it clear that no human being knows when the world will end, it also says there will be signs that Jesus’ return is approaching. The best source for understanding signs of the end times is the Bible itself. Take a careful look at some of the things Jesus said about His return.
  • Please read about signs of the end of the age in Matthew 24
  • Read about the coming of the Kingdom in Luke 17
  • Read about what Jesus foretold in Luke 21
Great passages of scripture that would be great reading for you at this time.
 
From the coronavirus pandemic to natural disasters, many people are asking whether specific events are signs of the end times. The short answer is we don’t know.
 
I am sure you know or have heard of Billy Graham. I was reading about the time he preached in his hometown of Charlotte, North Carolina, on the night of a total lunar eclipse. Rather than pointing to the eclipse as a specific sign from the Lord, he used the moon and stars to illustrate the incomprehensible vastness of the power of God.
 
Billy Graham, said he believed there are Biblical signs of the end times visible in the world. He wrote, “We see the storm clouds gathering and events taking place that herald the second coming of Jesus Christ.”
On the last night of the 1969 New York City Crusade, Billy Graham preached that there will be “scoffers” in the last days. In 2 Peter, chapter 3, the Bible describes these scoffers as people who will follow their own sinful desires while mocking the truth of Jesus return as though it will never happen.
 
We as Believers will also face these kinds of “Scoffers” in these days but let’s:
 
2. Choose Hope, Not Despair
 
In the same message from New York City in 1969, Billy Graham said people tend to react to the idea of the end of the world in one of three ways: with pessimism, activism or hope.
 
As Believers we belong to that group that has a theology of HOPE. Because our hope is not centered in this World or in what man is going to do or not going to do. Our HOPE is centered in the person of our Lord Jesus Christ, who the Bible says is going to come back someday and rule over us as King of Kings and Lord of Lords.
 
As a follower of Christ, we have HOPE, especially when it comes to end times. The idea of the end of the world may seem frightening, but those who are in Christ have nothing to fear. When events at home and around the world cause you to despair, remember that Jesus has overcome the world, and He will come back for His Bride. Billy Graham said “I have read the last page of the Bible. It is all going to turn out all right.”
 
God’s Word says “I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” John 16:33
 
Have a blessed day and don’t forget to sing this song with me.
In the Love of the Lord  Jesus.
John and Barbara
 
SIGN OF THE TIMES
Years of time have come and gone
Since I first heard it told
How Jesus would come again some day
If back then it seemed so real
Then I just can’t help but feel
How much closer His coming is today
Signs of the times are everywhere
There’s a brand new feeling in the air
Keep your eyes upon the eastern sky
Lift up your head redemption draweth nigh
Wars and strife on every hand
And violence fills the land
Still some people doubt He’ll ever come again
But the Word of God is true
He’ll redeem His chosen few
So, don’t lose hope for soon Christ Jesus will descend
Signs of the times are everywhere
There’s a brand new feeling in the air
Keep your eyes upon the eastern sky
Lift up your head redemption draweth nigh
Oh, keep your eyes upon the eastern sky
Lift up your head redemption draweth nigh (draweth nigh)
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The Importance of Physical Training

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by Luke Kincaid

Yesterday was my most physically active day in a LONG TIME as I have gotten quite lazy lately when it comes to exercising. Laziness was not an option yesterday as we saw the return of in person gatherings for KICS, our children’s ministry, and worship was comprised of about 80% jumping around!

After much physical activity at KICS our little family met up with some good friends who also have children. And so begun more running around! Moments after these two occasions I realized that I wasn’t as tired as I thought I would be. I was strangely energized and feeling good! And then I was reminded of the following Scripture:

For the training of the body has limited benefit, but godliness is beneficial in every way,
since it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come.
– 1 Timothy 4:8 CSB

I have spent more than one occasion contemplating the second half of this Scripture. The importance of training for godliness has always been the main focal point for me. But while my physical body was benefiting from exercise yesterday – the first half made all the more sense.

While the training of the body has limited benefit in comparison to our spiritual growth – it still has many benefits for our health, right here, in the present. Paul is not saying that we can only have one and not the other. It seems as if godliness should be our main priority but not at the expense of our physical bodies and health:

Don’t you know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought at a price. So glorify God with your body. – 1 Corinthians 6:19‭-‬20 CSB

While these two verses from 1 Corinthians are in the context of Paul addressing sexual immorality I think they can also be applied to looking after our bodies in general. It is good for us to be reminded that we are not our own. That we belong to God and this body of ours now belongs to Him as we have been redeemed, paid for, by the blood of Jesus. So we are to glorify God, make much of Him, through how we use our bodies.

This has all been the much needed motivation I have required for some time to begin exercising again and eating healthier. In all honesty I haven’t been glorifying God through my unhealthy choices and this is something that I am aiming to rectify going forward – so please help keep me accountable!

And while exercise can simply become another idol in my life if it is not done with the right motivation – I would like to conclude today’s blog with this final quote from Got Questions:

“Our goal in exercise should not be to improve the quality of our bodies so that other people will notice and admire us. Rather, the goal of exercising should be to improve our physical health so we will possess more physical energy that we can devote to spiritual goals.”

Let’s go out into this week looking for ways to look after our bodies so we can even more energy to devote to our spiritual goals!

Much love,
Luke
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Sharing is Caring

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by Calven Celliers

Last Sunday as I drove home from Church, I witnessed a small, seemingly insignificant, act of kindness that really touched my heart. One of the local homeless guys at a nearby intersection was given a loaf of bread by a motorist. He immediately opened the packet and I thought he must be really hungry. But then, much to my surprise, he took out a piece of bread, put the remainder of the loaf down on the sidewalk, and walked over to a stretch of lawn on the verge, where he proceeded to crumble the slice of bread for the birds to eat. How kind.

I thought of Christ’s words in Matthew 6, 26Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them…” (Matthew 6:26NIV) and how our Heavenly Father had used this homeless man to do just that. Out of the little he had, he chose to share it some way. Even though it was only a slice of bread, and it was only for the birds, it spoke to me of generous stewardship.

The scene that played out before me at that intersection got me thinking about what we read about the early Church in the book of Acts, and how their example of godly living, that involves sharing, sets a precedent for us as believers living in community to this day. Sharing is not just a preschool principle, and it is not only about money or things, we can share in all sorts of ways, and when we do it honours God.

We read in Acts 4 that 32 All the believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of their possessions was their own, but they shared everything they had. 33 With great power the apostles continued to testify to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. And God’s grace was so powerfully at work in them all 34 that there were no needy persons among them. For from time to time those who owned land or houses sold them, brought the money from the sales 35 and put it at the apostles’ feet, and it was distributed to anyone who had need.” (Acts 4: 32 – 35NIV)

This is a beautiful glimpse of what life was like in the early church. This was not a forced distribution of goods, or sharing. It was by no means an attempt to make everyone give up their material things and redistribute them to others. No, it was a change of attitude, saying, ‘Nothing that I possess is mine, for my exclusive use, but everything that I possess is God’s, and therefore it is available to anyone who needs it.’ To fully appreciate the generosity of the early church, we need to think about the makeup of that church. Both Jews and Gentiles who had the courage to confess Jesus as Messiah were often ostracized by their family. Christianity was considered to be a dangerous and blasphemous cult. The survival of early believers was often dependent on the generosity of their new family, the Church. People living in that community with their shared both their lives and their good fortune with each other.

Sharing is caring!

We too are truly blessed to be part of a community of generous stewards. I know we say it every Sunday, but as a leadership we stand amazed at the continued support for the ministry at New Harvest, despite it being a time in world history when many are feeling the pinch in one way or another due to the ongoing pandemic and the resultant economic strain. We are so grateful to be able to continue to bless those in need, in both our local congregation and the surrounding community, thanks to your generous giving and sharing of what you have.

 

God bless you,

Calven

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An Afternoon Prayer

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Breath

“…the LORD God formed the man from the dust of the ground
and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.”
(Genesis 2:7 NIV)

I stop and breathe
Slowly in, sighing out
Every breath essential for life

From the moment of my birth
Breathe in
To my dying day
Breathe out

From the dawn of creation
Breathe in
Until the end of time
Breath out

I praise You Lord for the breath of life you gave me
Let me give thanks with every breath I take

Amen

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