The rest of mankind who were not killed by these plagues still did not repent of the work of their hands; they did not stop worshiping demons, and idols of gold, silver, bronze, stone and wood–idols that cannot see or hear or walk. Nor did they repent of their murders, their magic arts, their sexual immorality or their thefts. Revelation 9:20-21
The world loves to live the way that it lives. They do not see bad situations as warnings as to how they are to change their bad patterns of living.
Most people live with the here and now attitude, not realizing the future dangers that are awaiting them.
John sees a vision of the future judgements of God being poured out upon the earth. After a world-wide plague kills many people and animals, the people still refuse to repent of their sinful ways.
Throughout history God has used disasters to attempt to get people to turn towards Him. Some of those disasters are direct judgements upon the people for what they are doing. Instead of seeing those disasters as a calling card to repent, most people continue to live in sin.
God never wants to destroy people, but wants them to turn towards Him, trusting Him and having a loving relationship with Him. He is willing to do whatever it takes to make that happen, including plagues and disasters.
Across America and the world, more and more people are living in more and more sin, and promoting those sins to a greater extent. They worship their golden idols and sexual immorality, with no apparent consequence. Regardless of the plagues that come, people continue to live in sin.
People need to repent of all sins and turn away from their sins before God chooses to pour out judgement upon them.
God may be using disasters in your life to get your attention upon Him. He has good plans for you, but you must be willing to turn from sin and follow Jesus with all of your heart, rejecting all sin.
Do not be like the world, embracing sin, but flee temptation to sin. Be holy as God is holy. If you choose to live in sin, as the world does, there will come a day of God’s final judgement upon you that will last for the rest of eternity.
Repent of your sins and turn from those sins while it is today.
Today I pray that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that God will reveal to you sins that you need to repent of; that God will give you strength to resist temptations to sin; that you will see God’s hand at work in every disaster; and that you will live for God.
The smoke of the incense together with the prayers of God’s people, went up before God from the angel’s hand. Revelation 8:4
People make requests of those in high level authority, but often wonder if they were heard or if anything will be done with the request. Most often many of those requests are completely ignored, they are not important enough to deal with.
Those in authority will usually hear the requests of certain very important people. When they speak, the authorities listen. These are usually the big donors or supporters, not just everyone.
In John’s vision of what is occurring in heaven, he sees angels come before God with seven trumpets. With those angels is one who brings the prayers of the people before God. The trumpets release some of God’s judgement and wrath upon the people of the earth.
Just as it is with asking authorities on earth for something and not getting an immediate answer, so it often occurs with believers praying to God. Believers go through persecution from those in the world and they pray to God for strength and relief. Sometimes that relief is immediately provided, but many times there does not ever appear to be an end in sight.
For the praying believer, this can be frustrating to pray and not be heard. Yet, God does hear every prayer. Every prayer is being collected and stored for a time for God to deal with it.
Ultimately in end times, God will answer those prayers with His judgement upon the earth. He will destroy a third of the earth and everything in it as He answers those prayers.
God will never leave a prayer completely unanswered. It may take some time to answer, but He will answer it. In the end the world will be judged for the persecution against His people that was and is being done.
As you are going through struggles and hardships, do not stop praying to God. Know that God hears every prayer that you have prayed and going to answer them at the perfect time. These prayers may be answered immediately, or they may be answered in the end during the final days of judgement.
Either way or time that God answers your prayers, rest in the peace of knowing that God hears you, is in control and will answer. God will take vengeance upon those who have attempted to harm you.
Today I pray that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that you will bring to God your every need; that you will know God hears your prayers; that you will know God will answer your prayers; and that God will give you strength to endure until the end.
The smoke of the incense, together with the prayers of God’s people, went up before God from the angel’s hand. Revelation 8:4
Incense is something that can bring a sweet smell to an area. It can push out bad smells of other things. The smell of the incense will overpower a negative smell.
Sometimes certain chemicals are used for incense that can also brings a calming to the body, peace or comfort. These can sometimes be mind-altering drugs, changing how a person feels, covering up a bad situation in one’s life.
John describes a picture of an angel in heaven bringing before God some incense with the prayers of God’s people.
Everyday people around the world are worshipping God and praying to God. With all of the negative things happening in life on this earth, those words of worship and prayer can often appear to be worthless sounds in this noisy world. It can feel as if the prayers are only reaching the ceiling and bouncing back down, useless.
The world wants a believer to think that his worship and prayers are worthless, but God thinks differently. That worship is rising before God as an incense, a sweet smell coming out of a dark and dying world, full of sin.
The prayers of believers brings God great comfort and peace. Those prayers are showing God that His people are believing in and trusting Him to meet their every need. It gives God the ability to work in the lives of His people to meet their every need.
God hears every prayer that a person makes. He is not so far away that He cannot hear them. In the end, if not sooner, God will remember all of those prayers and get His vengeance upon the wicked for the wrongs that they did to His people.
You may wonder about the value of your prayers or if God even hears those prayers. Know that your every prayer is brought up before God as a sweet smelling incense before Him.
Do not withhold your prayers and worship from God. They enable God to do things that will be for your benefit. God is collecting those prayers to be used at the right time, in the right way to build you up and to build His kingdom up.
Do not get discouraged when your prayers appear to not be answered, God is already working on it.
Today I pray that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that you will pray daily to God; that you will trust God as you pray; that you will know God hears your prayers of faith; and that God will smell the sweet incense from your life of worship and prayer.