Repent & Be Alert

 

Prepared Not UnpreparedThis book of Revelation is a challenge to understand. It is choked full of symbolism, tied together with truth. John didn’t have the luxury of having seen things like he’s seeing in these visons and in the revelation. I suspect that he had trouble sleeping at night after seeing these beasts and wild creatures.  I read to day about the 7 bowls of wrath – I’m wondering if these are huge mixing bowls. I’m wondering what they looked like. The Lord’s judgment is a part of Who He is. I’m thankful that His Grace comes before judgement. It’s hard to believe, but there are people who are stubborn and will not repent before the Lord. He is a God of Grace, but He is also a God of Justice. Check this out…

15 “Look, I am coming like a thief. Blessed is the one who is alert and remains clothed so that he may not go around naked and people see his shame.” (Revelation 16:15 CSB)

I talk to the Lord throughout the day every day. I want to make a routine out of repentance. In repentance, I’m humble and grateful for Who He is and the fact that He doesn’t punish me as my sins deserve. I have been forgiven much and He wants me to be alert to what He’s doing in my world as well as the fact that He is coming again. I won’t get off this earth alive unless He returns. My soul lives on either way. I want to lay down my pride and live in repentance and humility before Him. I want to notice what He’s doing and be ready when He returns.

I’m going to clothe my spiritual body with the Presence of God – His Spirit.

I’m going to prepare my physical body and be ready – Serving Him by serving others.

I’m going to live like I’ll die tomorrow;

Die knowing I’ll live forever. (Rich Mullins)

I want to be alert and filled with repentance before Him.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Heads Up

woman creating a frame from fingersI like it when I get a “heads up” that something is about to happen. I do realize that the element of surprise is gone with a heads up, but I can mentally prepare when something is going down that affects me and my family. Most recently we’ve had two storms come our way and the weather predictions have missed the mark significantly. My family was preparing for the worst with the wind, rain and possibly tornados that never came. I was thankful for the heads up from the meteorologist. I must say that it feels like they were a bit over dramatic with some of the predictions, but “better safe than sorry”.

The Apostle John is seeing things he can barely describe. These things are happening in a context that he can barely get his head around. He is hearing voices from heaven. He is seeing these massive angelic creatures. One particular angel had one foot on land and another foot on the sea. This angel made some declarations that were giving a “heads up” of sorts. Check this out…

Then the angel that I had seen standing on the sea and on the land raised his right hand to heaven. He swore by the one who lives forever and ever, who created heaven and what is in it, the earth and what is in it, and the sea and what is in it: “There will no longer be a delay, but in the days when the seventh angel will blow his trumpet, then the mystery of God will be completed, as he announced to his servants the prophets.” (Revelation 10:5-7 CSB)

When I look back at the Old Testament and how the prophets tell about the coming of Jesus – He comes. There is consistency with the Lord that comes through His Word and the words of the Apostles, prophets and servants of the Lord. I’ve heard of people predicting when the Lord will come again and they’ve been wrong. I’m not sure when He’s coming again, but the Word says that He’s coming. I think the theme of Revelation could be summed up in a couple of words: “Be Ready”. We don’t know when, but He promised to come. I look at the overall view of Revelation as a “heads up” of sorts. I need to be attentive and alert to the things of God. I need to be aware of His call upon my life. I need to make my life here count for eternity. I should live today like I’ll die tomorrow. I should live in complete surrender to His Will and His Way – I’ll be ready when He comes. I’m going to use this “heads up” wisely.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

A Different Code of Conduct

Moving escalator stairs, love hate signI recently returned to work after a time of vacation. I must say that I did have a relaxing time with my family. My work can sometimes demand my immediate attention and at other times it rocks on smoothly. The biggest challenge in most of our lives are not necessarily with technology or certain products – our challenge is dealing with people and the different personality and perspective of others.

I must say that I was really ticked off the other day when another agent and I were really trying to work through a misunderstanding of our clients. I was really frustrated and my blood pressure was up. After getting off the phone, I remembered that I somehow must display genuine love and not speak the things that were going through my mind. That doesn’t mean I back down from my position on behalf of my client – it does mean that I stay in control of “output mechanism” (aka my mouth!) when engaging the other person.

This morning I came across a short two verses under the heading of “Final Exhortations” in Paul’s first letter to the church at Corinth. Check this out…

13 Be alert, stand firm in the faith, be courageous, be strong. 14 Do everything in love.

(1 Corinthians 16:13-14 CSB)

I can be alert.

I can stand firm in the faith – most of the time.

I can be courageous.

I can be strong.

That part about “do everything in love” really pushed on me. I don’t want to love people who are being total jerks toward me or my client. I don’t want to love people who try to harm me in business. I don’t want to love people who talk negatively about me and don’t have the courage to speak with me personally. My flesh wants to take over my heart on this topic. There are some people who are hard to love and there are others who are so sweet, genuine and kind that are easy to love. Paul used that word “everything” which left no exceptions. I can’t “do everything in love” only to the people who are easy – I must learn to “do everything in love” to those who are hard to love as well.

Today is a new day! I’m thankful to recall a passage from the prophet Jeremiah, the author of Lamentations. Check this out…

22 Because of the Lord’s faithful love
we do not perish,
for his mercies never end.
23 They are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness! (Lamentations 3:22-23 CSB)

I will love even when it’s hard because Jesus loves me even when I’m an idiot or jerk. I don’t deserve the love and kindness of the Lord, but He gives it. I really want to learn to love like Him.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Watch Out!

Stop HandI enjoy being outdoors and walking around in the woods. I am not a fan of snakes at all. I usually kill the snake and then see what kind it is. I apologize to any “snake lovers” who make take offense but they simply freak me out. I remember being in Zambia, Africa when I was a sophomore in college and two deadly snakes where killed near the church where we spent a lot of time. One of the snakes was killed on near the path leading to the bathroom, which you can imagine didn’t involve running water or electricity. I have learned to be very careful and attentive when walking in the woods or simply walking outside in the yard.

Paul was warning about people who were a bit less obvious than a snake. There are people who appear helpful, genuine and kind, but they may be looking for an opportunity to pounce and bring harm. I think it’s important to watch carefully where we walk, who we walk with and where we go. Check this out…

17 Now I urge you, brothers and sisters, to watch out for those who create divisions and obstacles contrary to the teaching that you learned. Avoid them,18 because such people do not serve our Lord Christ but their own appetites. They deceive the hearts of the unsuspecting with smooth talk and flattering words.

19 The report of your obedience has reached everyone. Therefore, I rejoice over you, but I want you to be wise about what is good, and yet innocent about what is evil. 20 The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet. The grace of our Lord Jesus be with you. (Romans 16:17-20 CSB)

I simply want to walk with the Lord. I want Him to help me watch every step I take and every move I make. I don’t always see the obstacles or the dangers in the path ahead, but He does. He will crush the enemy on my behalf. He will make me aware of people who are self-centered and deceptive.  I want the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart to be pleasing, good, and honorable to the Lord. I want to be well-spoken but not deceptive or manipulative in any way. I want be persuasive and passionate but not naïve to the enemies schemes. I should also stay aware and alert to every situation. I want to listen to the prompting of the Lord when He gives me a signal. I need my spiritual eyesight to be enhanced by His Presence.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Notice

 

Word on yellow wallI think of this word when advising someone of something I know or a deadline that is just ahead. I also see that this word means I’ve become aware of something. I noticed something. I think it’s very wise to pay close attention to my surroundings. I think it’s wise to pay attention to what others say or don’t say; do or don’t do. In noticing things, it can sometimes alter my response to the situation. I think it’s important to be alert and aware. Jacob was aware of his situation changing. Check this out…

1 Jacob heard that Laban’s sons were saying, ‘Jacob has taken everything our father owned and has gained all this wealth from what belonged to our father.’ 2 And Jacob noticed that Laban’s attitude towards him was not what it had been.

3 Then the Lord said to Jacob, ‘Go back to the land of your fathers and to your relatives, and I will be with you.’ (Genesis 31:1-3 NIV)

When I notice a change in condition or change in relationship, I can often ask the Lord and He reveals the next step or the solution. I can hardly imagine what it would be like to wander through life without Him. He gives me a wise and discerning heart to make me aware of my situation. I am constantly working at being aware of His Presence in me and in my situation. He loves to help me. He loves to give me direction and wisdom. I am a clueless idiot without His Presence in me. I’ve noticed what a Difference Maker He is in my life.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Be Alert!

Red alert buttonBe Alert! I remember one of my friends from college had a shirt that read “B a Lert – the world needs more lerts!” The silly little phrase stuck in my brain for some reason and I was reminded again of this morning when I read the Word where Jesus is telling His disciples to be alert and watch. Jesus is near the end of His earthly ministry and He is giving His disciples some final instructions and information. Some of the stuff He’s telling them is probably blowing their minds. He is trying to prepare them for what is to come. Check this out…

42 “Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come. 43 But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what time of night the thief was coming, he would have kept watch and would not have let his house be broken into. 44 So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him. 45 “Who then is the faithful and wise servant, whom the master has put in charge of the servants in his household to give them their food at the proper time? 46 It will be good for that servant whose master finds him doing so when he returns. 47 Truly I tell you, he will put him in charge of all his possessions. (Matthew 24:42-47 NIV)

I realize that Jesus was giving these instructions prior to His death and that some of this information was time sensitive to His era. I do believe that there is some wise council contained in this passage. Some of these words were spoken and have not happened yet. I do believe it’s wise to pay close attention to my surroundings and certainly keep check my lifestyle and my behavior. I think that my lifestyle should reflect what I believe about the Lord. I do believe He’s coming back. I do believe that I will spend eternity in Heaven with Him one day. I do believe that it matters how I live and love while I’m here on earth. I need to be alert for His return!

Pressing On!
Dwayne