Tag: deliverance

When These Things Begin to Take Place


“And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up and lift up your heads, for your redemption draws near.” Luke 21:28 Jubilee Bible

“Why do you look for the living among the dead?” -Luke 24:5 NASB

Inexplicably, we’re drawn to the life-and-death struggles.

The cars lie mangled in the middle of the highway. Red and blue lights pulse on the wet asphalt as an ambulance slowly backs up to the carnage. A woman stands weeping next to a solemn officer. Traffic crawls past the wreck in funeral procession as a policeman impatiently motions for the line to move on. His eyes plead, “Please, don’t make it a spectacle.”

But we can’t help it. We have to look.

Inexplicably, we’re drawn to the life-and-death struggles. I don’t know if it’s curiosity or fear that feeds the need for people to watch disasters unfold. This appetite for the macabre may just be a reflection of the world in which we live, a culture that spends millions of dollars to be entertained by the most perverse images Hollywood can conjure up. Death compels us to look. In the process, we lose the respect for life that once helped preserve society.

This world is trapped in a race toward perdition.

Every act of rebellion feeds the engine. Every time we spit in the face of God we turn a new corner that threatens to send us hurling into the abyss below.

The Christians worry about it. We argue on Facebook about what is happening and why. We lay claim to opposing views of His truth. We watch with fascination and a sick stomach as this planet plunges toward a fearsome end. We pass by each injustice in procession, eyes glued to the gore as we shake our heads in disgust.

Unlike us, He’s not wandering through the tombs.

Then a still, small voice speaks to the one who believes in Jesus Christ: “Why do you look for the living among the dead? When these things begin to come to pass, then look up and lift up your heads, for your redemption draws near.” Jesus told us plainly that when certain signs begin to come to pass on the earth, it is time to look up. Unlike us, He’s not wandering through the tombs. He’s actively engaged in our welfare and extending deliverance to all who ask.

Christians are suffering, and we will continue to suffer as we journey alongside those intent on destroying themselves and others. We may be trapped on the same planet, but we have a different destination. Our Captain has commanded we keep our eyes off what is happening around us and instead look to Him. In a moment, any moment of any day, He could return for us. We’re not supposed to be watching those around us; we’re supposed to be watching for His beautiful face.








The Perfect Gift


For the Lord our God, the Almighty, reigns.
-Revelation 19:6

It’s another Christmas Eve.

The tree sits in multicolored splendor in our living room, guarding the presents lovingly set under its branches in readiness for tomorrow’s festivities. It’s not quite ready, though. I still have one more run to town to run that last errand. There’s also one more gift I’m mulling over today as I sit here with you.

What do I give a king?

Kings must be the hardest people to buy for. They can have whatever they want. A person who possesses enough money and power can get pretty much all his needs and wants satisfied. He can even buy the feigned loyalty of those around him. There’s only one thing a king can’t buy:


Oh, he can get affection. He can get “like.” But I’m talking about passionate love, the head-over-heels adoration that sees no fault in its beloved; a love that gives sacrificially and completely and with a full heart.

A love like God’s.

This season commemorates Love Incarnate, the total giving of God’s best and highest and most adored treasure: His own Son. In this Son, He didn’t give us a half-hearted gift. He bestowed upon us – the undeserving and uncaring – the most valuable thing He had to offer:

Eternal life.

Not just in eternity. Life now, on this earth, every day.

What a gift! What a God! What awe it should inspire in us every moment of every day!

What do we dwell on?

Humans have a bad habit of minimizing the good others do for us while inflating perceived wounds. In the course of a normal day, which event are we more likely to replay over and over in our minds, the kindness from another, or an insult?

We especially do this with God. Most of us awaken each morning (Miracle #1) in a warm bed (Miracle #2) and never even once remember to be grateful for each gift of life, health, and provision God gives us. Day in and day out, we accept these gifts without so much as a simple “Thank you.”

Forget the love.

But let something go wrong. What is our first reaction? If we’re honest, we’ll admit our first thought is usually to shake our fist at heaven and shout, “Why me, God?” Did we arise that morning and raise our hands to heaven and shout with equal fervor, “You are so good to me, God!“? It’s easy to take for granted that which hasn’t cost us anything. Until we hurt. Then we miss what we didn’t realize we had.

This Christmas, the King asks for only one gift. It won’t cost much. But it must be extravagant.

Give Him your heart.

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