The Salt And The Rotten

Sometimes at home I smell something not quite right. I’ll go to the refrigerator and hunt through it until I find something. It might be a Tupperware dish opened up. It was something else in another life; but it died. This food was transformed. So food is not transformed. So, I throw it away.

Well, what happened has much to do with you. You see, salt doesn’t go bad, and for the same reason it keeps other things from going bad or rotten.

Look at the world and what’s going on in the nation, the media, the television it doesn’t smell right, so you shut it up out of your house, out of your family. Good, but not good enough. Food goes rotten because it is untouched by any preservative and that’s what the preservative of the world is-You!

You are the salt of the earth, but if salt loses its saltiness, what good is it? Stop complaining about how rotten the world is. Start praying, fasting, share the Word, be part of the answer because it is your business. You are the salt and if you don’t do your job, the world will continue to become rotten.

What is one thing that we can do to be part of the solution today, to stop evil, to be the salt of the earth?

When Foundations Crumble

In the Lord I take refuge. How can you say to be flee like a bird to the mountains. For look the wicked bend their bows; they set their arrows against the strings to shoot from the shadows at the upright in heart. When the foundations are being destroyed, what can the righteous do? -Psalm 11-

This Psalm found equally by titled What can the righteous do? Or Panic and Stability. This psalm contains faiths response to fears counsel. The Psalmist is in danger from the wicked, who are bending their bows and shooting at him, and either his friends or his enemies are advising him to hide in the mountains.

Psalm 11:1. “How can you say to my soul, flee as a bird to the mountains.” This could have been advice David was hearing from his enemies or even more dangerous, well-meaning but erroneous advice from his friends, like Peter’s advice to Jesus in Matthew 16:22. “The plea to get away into hiding.”

One can understand why advisors might give David this advice, that is the mainstay of the people, the one man supposedly holding the nation together, his life must be saved at all cost.

Psalm 11:2. “To shoot from the shadows at the upright in heart.” An ambush is being set. Known enemies can be dealt with; it is the unknown who are so intimidating.” The longing for flight may come from fear. He is faced with the alternative that controls us all in crisis: make God your refuge or try to create your own. The ultimate issue is whether we will trust ourselves. Who will be the effective God in our lives? David looks up and sees the immense realities that overshadow these events.

Psalm 11:3. “If the foundations are destroyed, what can the righteous do?” This is a statement that may have been made by those giving David the advice to flee. David’s advisers we’re afraid because they saw only frightening circumstances and crumbling foundations.

What The Righteous Do When…

  • Morality is undermined and evil sweeps unchecked?
  • The Bible is attacked and its teachings are ridiculed and ignored?
  • Even professed Christians support the rising tide of unbelief?
  • Family values are crumbling and the tide of frequent divorce sweeps forward with increasing damage to children, parents, and society alike.
  • Everything around us seems to be giving way?

This is still a common question among God’s people. It’s frustrating to feel powerless in the face of crumbling foundations, and some become convinced that there is nothing we can do. Added to this, some follow the poor advice of “flee” or in modern times, “hunker down, get in the bunker, save yourself and your children and withdraw completely from society.” When the foundations are crumbling the temptation is to stop speaking, stop being the city set on the hill. “What can the righteous do? They can go on being righteous. And they can stand against the evil of their society… The one thing they must not do is “flee to the mountains.”

Psalm 11:4. “The Lord is in His Holy temple; the Lord’s throne is in heaven.” It is interesting that the questions being asked by those controlled by fear is “What can the righteous do? Yet the real question is, to when shall the righteous look? There is nothing they can do if they look to themselves, however there is a lot they can do if they look to the Lord. The Lord is the only one we can look when the foundations are being shaken, and He is the only one to whom we must look if we are to stand firm in unsettling times.

“I was glad when they said to me, let us go to the house of the Lord.” -Psalms 122:1- I no longer live in fear but in truth.

The Mark Of The Beast

Will you accept the Mark of the beast? Without it, you won’t be able to buy or sell. With it, you’ll suffer the plagues of Revelation. What should you do?

It seems that no subject has intrigued and baffled people more than this mysterious Mark spoken of in the book or Revelation. Many books have been written and many sermons have been preached about this subject. Scholars and theologians have offered many different ideas about it.

Some suggest it is a microchip implanted in one’s forehead or an invisible mark or a visible Mark. Some even think it could be one’s credit card or debit card.

But what does the Bible reveal about this puzzling mark?

The key passage reads: “He causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hand or on their foreheads, and that no one may buy or sell except one who has the mark or the name of the beast, or number of his name. -Revelation 13:16-17-

Verse 18 identifies the related “number of the beast” as 666.

If one does not have one of these identifying signs, he or she will not be able to legally transact business. This person will find it difficult to earn a living, to hold a job or to run a business.

What Or Who Is The Beast Of Revelation?

John, the one God chose to write down the book of Revelation, saw a vision of the future. Here is what he wrote concerning the beast:

“Then I stood on the sand of the sea. And I saw a beast rising up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and on his horns ten crowns, and on his heads a blasphemous name. Now the beast which I saw was like a leopard, his feet were like the feet of a bear, and his mouth like the mouth of a lion. The dragon gave him his power, his throne, and great authority. -Revelation 13:1-2-

If you are not a follower of God, this sounds unreal or from a science fiction novel. Before I was saved this is exactly what I thought. As a follower of God. I’ve have seen many things that have come to pass from reading the God’s word.

To understand what or who this beast in the book of Revelation is, we need to begin in Daniel 7:1-8, where we find imagery of four animals, representing the first great historical empires. These were a Lion (Babylon), a bear (Persia), a leopard (Greece) and the fourth beast (Rome).

It is the forth beast described by Daniel and recorded by John that would have “ten horns” and receive a “deadly wound” before rising again before the end of this age. -Daniel 7:7-8-; Revelation 13:3- This empire is the “beast” of the book of Revelation.

It should be noted that the human leader of this revived empire is also referred to as “the beast” -Revelation 19:20- The mark of the best is the mark or identifying sign if this empire.

The book of Revelation explains that the dragon gives the beast its power and authority. This dragon is Satan the devil (Revelation 12:9-; Revelation 20:2) uses this beast to rule and deceive the world.

A Second Beast Causes People To Receive The Mark Of The Beast.

Now let’s turn or attention to the word “he” in Revelation 13:16. The passage says, “He causes all… to receive a mark.” Who is “he”? Verse 11 says, “Then I saw another beast coming up out of the earth, and he had two horns like a lamb and spoke like a dragon.”

These characteristics indicate a false leader who “causes the earth and those who dwell in it to worship the first beast.” -verse 12- This second beast is called the “false prophet.” -Revelation 19:20- This mark or sign represents a final revival of the Roman Empire at the time of the end. The religious leader that supports the beast “causes” people to accept it.

The mark of the beast represents disobedience to God.

The mark of the beast will separate people into two groups. One will except the mark and the other group will reject it.

John writes, “Then a third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, “If anyone worships the beast and his image, and receives his mark on their forehead or on their right hand, he himself shall also drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which will be poured out full strength into the cup of His indignation. He shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb.” -Revelation 14:9-10-

This shows great suffering will come on those who receive this mark of the beast.

In verse 12 we seethe group of people who do not receive this mark. “Here is the patience of the saints; here are those who keep the commandments of God and faith in Jesus.” This is speaking of the saints of God-all those who are obedient and faithful followers of Jesus.

Throughout the Bible obeying God is a mark or sign of those who are God’s.

The book of Revelation says that those who receive the mark will be subject to the last seven plagues, while the obedient saints are described as having attained “victory over the beast.” -Revelation 15:2- These faithful people will be given eternal life and reign with Christ at his second coming.

It should be noted that there is one commandment of God that is often closely connected to one’s ability to do business and that identifies God’s people. Of God’s 10 Commandments, the forth Commandment is the one most likely to affect one’s ability to work, earn a living and do business.

The command says, “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord your God.” -Exodus 20:8-10-

Most people think it doesn’t make any difference what day one observes, but it does to God. In this age, it takes the “faith of Jesus” to avoid working on the Sabbath and keep it holy.

The Sabbath is called a “sign” between God and His people in the Bible. -Exodus 31:13, 17; Ezekiel 20:12- It identifies God’s people as being sanctified or set apart by God.

Jesus said, “The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath. Therefore the Son of Man is also Lord of the Sabbath. -Mark 2:27-28- The Sabbath today is still a commandment and an identifying sign of God’s people.

Bring Your Own Sunshine

Wherever you go, no matter what the weather always bring your own sunshine.

I believe that how we feel shouldn’t depend on our surroundings. It is all a question of perspective. Maybe you are going to play football outside, but then it starts raining. You might start to turn angry, or you might thing of the rain as a wonderful chance to learn to control the ball on the wet grass. And if you have ever played football, you should know it’s much funnier to tackle on wet grass than on dry grass.

We can decide what kind of mood we bring with us into a room. It might be grey weather all around us, but we have the possibility of bringing sunshine into the room. We have the chance to make a change in our surroundings. It’s incredible what a smile might do to the people you meet. And it is incredible what a smile might do to yourself.

Don’t let the weather destroy your mood today. Bring your own sunshine with you and let the sun rays coming from you hit everyone you meet today.

Withstanding The Storm- You Are Stronger Than You Think

Have you ever watched a tree withstand a strong thunderstorm? The branches quiver, the leaves flap backwards in the wind, and the top sways from side to side. As lightning flashes and thunderclaps sound, the tree trembles and roils in the downpour of heavy rain. However, when the storm ceases and the clouds roll away, the tree still stands. Yes, there may be some vulnerable places of stripped bark, so branches may be missing; and a smattering of leaves may rest on the ground below; but the tree still stands.

Nature often offers hints to the principles of living as nature is itself alive. When we consider a tree outlasts a storm, we often give credit to the roots for its survival. Solid wood, thick roots, and an unmovable trunk are the key features that make up the essence of a tree tree. Planted deeply and firmly in the ground, a tree is a tree because it’s roots and does not move from where it first blooms. By withstanding a storm, a tree merely lives up to its

We, like a tree, have amazing features, an essence that defines who you are all of your capabilities. Though we may not always feel it, or fully understand it,it is our nature to be strong. Consider all the you have been through-and you are still here! You are strong. Just as a tree was meant to last through storms, so have you been designed to withstand the elements to stay upright, to remain rooted and grounded where you’ve been planted. You are stronger that you think. Yes, there may be some vulnerable spots where you bark has been stripped down, and there maybe some missing and some torn leaves during the changing seasons of your life, but like a tree that can weather the harvest storm, you, by nature, have been created to be strong.

What keeps our strength from showing? What convinces us that we are weak? Our misconceptions can come from two places: external influences and internal lies. Challenging circumstances are the external elements. The storms we face in life that we cannot control can be excessively harsh and capable of wearing us down. Whether these downpours are initiated by so called love ones, workplace issues, health concerns, or economic conditions, we can find ourselves feeling battered and weak and left with poor esteem, dashed hopes, and brokenness. However, strength presents the opportunity for light to shine. Even a single lit match can remove the blackness from a room, proving that a simple show of strength, however slights, is still enough to overpower a storm. Don’t let the elements fool you. You are still strong.

Internal lies try to convince us that we are weak. Listen to your self-talk. Is your mind focused on messages of defeat and compromise? Are you continuing convincing yourself that you don’t matter, that you are not worthy, that you have no place or right to be where you are? You are strong. Tell yourself that and believe it. If you don’t think you are strong, ask yourself why you think that you are not. Where did the idea that you are weak come from! Is that belief really true? Why are you holding on to it? What truth about yourself, about your strength, can you now believe?

Don’t be afraid to assert your strength. It is okay to do so. Know that strength does not have to growl or roar, beat or batter. Consider again the tree. It makes no noise by itself. It remains quiet unless the elements dictate otherwise. It stands steady and still when at peace. Like a tree, exist in your strength. Recognize when to make noise and when to bend with the breeze, but don’t be easily moved. You are strong.

Not Sure What To Pray For?

Talking to God doesn’t always feel easy, but if we want to know God more, then we need to know how to talk humbly and honestly with Him.

Here are three things that might encourage you as you draw near to God through prayer.

Pick one or two points that stand out to you, and use them to create a Prayer in your own version.

God isn’t concerned about how eloquent your words sound. He just wants to spend time with you. Some of the best conversations with God happen when you simply share what’s on your mind and then give Him the space to respond.

Try Asking:

God, what should I do about….?

God, what do you think about….?

God, would you…?

God, why did this…?

Keep it real

God isn’t going to get mad at you for being honest, so be authentic when you pray. Remember, nothing can separate you from God’s love. So if you’re not sure what to say, tell God that. If you’re frustrated about a situation, say so. He wants you to approach Him with confidence and boldness.

Talk to God about a concern you might have right now.

Try saying:

I’m struggling with..

I need help with…

I don’t understand why…

I’m frustrated because…

Keep showing up

Praying might feel awkward at first, but the more you do it, the easier it becomes. This week continue to make prayer a habit by having at least 5 minute conversation with God every day.

Here are some conversation starters:

I’m hoping for…

I’m thankful for…

I’m excited because…

Today, I noticed…

You will be surprised when God starts showing up for your life. Pleasantly surprised.

Beauty in your life- change your thoughts for a positive outlook