Friday, May 20, 2011

The End

It was 1988 and the rumor around school was that the rapture was going to happen that September day. What's more, God was going to come for His people, collecting us all in Noah’s Ark.


We’re still here. :)

Now, there’s a rumor that the Rapture will happen tomorrow, May 21, 2011. Haven’t people learned you can’t predict it?

For one thing, God cannot trust people with this kind of secret. Obviously. Look what happens when we try to figure it out. The only good coming of everyone hearing about this rumor is even atheists are considering what the Rapture (which is a true event) is.

So, what’s wrong with their predictions? (The lies are listed below with my comments.)

23 years of tribulation: Uh, no, the Bible says there will be 7. They'll occur AFTER the Rapture.

End of the church age happened in 1988: Uh, no, the Church is still on the earth. We are living in the church age.

God is no longer in His church: Uh, no. He visits us every week. At our church, we've seen people raised from the dead, healed, get out of wheelchairs, deaf ears opened, and blinded eyes opened. I know He’s still in the church. We experience Him every time we gather. And there are plenty of other churches who experience Him too. Not to mention the personal attention He gives His people. Prayer, worship, Bible reading are all pleasures!

Those are only a few of the misconceptions I noticed as I read their site.

Here’s what I know. God is good. He hasn’t left us. When the rapture happens, it will be unmistakable, unpredictable, and I believe most people won’t mock. (Because it will be devastating to those left behind. Not a laughing matter.)

And I thank God that He hasn’t given up on His church (the way they term it). He is with us and His Spirit is in the world, working, healing, bringing life. For now. And thank God.

I urge you to make sure your heart is right with God, to be ready for HIS timing. Being forgiven is the best feeling in the world. If you’d like to be saved, pray a prayer like this:

Dear Jesus, I recognize I need forgiveness. And I know you lived a sinless life, then died a sinner’s death so I could be saved. Please forgive me. Rescue me. Make me Yours. Help me live for You. Thank You for hope, for life, for freedom, and forgiveness. In Your name I pray, Amen.

If you prayed that prayer, get ready for some changes. God’s about to bring adventure and newness into your life. And relax. You’ve just made the best decision you’ll ever make. Rejoice! God is yours and you are His.

Monday, May 9, 2011

His Majesty

The first night we could barely make out the ocean view through the foggy, gray, misting rain. But the second day, the sky opened over us, now reflecting off the once-gray waters in blue. Oh, beautiful! We could see clear to the horizon all of a sudden. We still couldn't see the entire ocean, of course. We marveled as the expanse of blue dwarfed gigantic barges in its greatness.

Like the ocean views, we get clear glimpses of God sometimes.

I stood there with sand blowing in my face, trying to capture the magnitude of what I was seeing through the lens of my camera. Impossible. I had to settle for snapshots of this portion or that one. There is no way of capturing the ocean’s greatness in the frame of my camera. Even a panoramic image wouldn’t do it justice.

Same’s true with God.

There’s innate awe in viewing the ocean. You can’t gaze on it without feeling amazed. Or, at least, I can’t. And what of the other senses being overwhelmed? The sight is awesome, but what of the salty air, the roar? Can’t capture that with a photograph.

Same’s true with God.

You can’t capture all of God to then put Him on display. The entire earth cannot proclaim His goodness or greatness, so He expanded to the universe. Have you ever seen explosions in space? The colors! The power! And still God’s greatness isn’t contained or fully displayed.

But God does give us revelations of His greatness. He shows us facets of Himself here and there so we can experience Him in new ways. He’s so great, there’s no room for boredom in our relationship with Him. He wants to astound us and woo us, to soothe us and heal us.

People have said that going to the ocean is a healing experience. I agree. That’s definitely true for me. I’m very grateful. But greater than the ocean’s impact, is God’s. He created the ocean. He’s far greater.

So, like the sun filtering through the clouds, pray God’s light would illuminate another facet of Him to us—so we can see and enjoy, so we can be captivated, and we can marvel. Marveling at God brings worship to another level. Marveling in wonder recharges us and meets a need in our spirits.

Lord, I want to marvel at You. Show me what I haven’t seen—a new facet of Your majestic self.  Amaze me.

Be captured by Him. Be captivated. Be completely won over and undone by His goodness. There is no one like Him.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Call On His Name

I watched some extended news coverage of the tornadoes which swept through the southeast last week. Unbelievable footage. Amazing stories. I couldn’t help grieving with those who’d suffered such trauma. But thankfulness kept coming up. That and one other specific element: prayer.

Over and over through the testimonies, people spoke of praying throughout the story. While they huddled in bathtubs or covered their children, shielding them with their bodies, or waited it out somewhere; through the freight train-volume noise, the winds, the rain, the lightning and thunder, and the fear, they prayed.

And in every instance God got them through. Some were in the only room spared. And when the storm was over, as they stepped out of that room, and saw rubble all around, it was obvious God had heard and protected them.

Now, I’m not saying those who perished didn’t pray. Certainly not.

But what a testament to prayer. God hears. He answers. And more than that, He cares. He really cares.

Is there anything you could pray about again? More? Any fear you could turn over to Him? Any concern or need? Pray. God hears and cares.

“Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.” (Matthew 6:30-33, NKJV)