Jeremiah 16:20-21 They Will Know In The End

“Do people make their own gods? Yes, but they are not gods!” “Therefore I will teach them–this time I will teach them my power and might. Then they will know that my name is the LORD.” Jeremiah 16:20-21

The Israelites had chosen to follow their own gods or the gods of the nations around them. Despite the fact of seeing God at work in their nation, time and time again, they chose not to follow Him alone. Since they had made that choice, God decided that He would teach them who He really is. They will see His power and might, and that He is the One who is in control. The method of revealing Himself was through the punishment they would have to go through.

Skip forward several thousand years, and things have not changed a whole lot. People are constantly making their own gods. They do not call them idols as they did in the biblical times, but they are idols and false gods none-the-less. Today they are the gods of doctors, scientists, ‘experts’, the government, leaders, media, famous people, and the list goes on.

People are trusting everything but God in their lives. They believe that doctors will find the cure for sickness and death; that the government will keep the economy going strong; that the media will bring joy and satisfaction; and many more beliefs.

None of these things can truly satisfy and will fall short. God will reveal Himself in the punishment upon the people and nations. Disasters are set to draw people back towards Him, to cause them to look to Him for salvation.

His power is revealed in the control that He yields in this world. When disasters occur, one can see how powerful God is. When God does a healing, when doctors cannot, one can see His power.

As you look out on this world each day, see God as the One Who is in control, not those of this world. People in this world can only do so much, then they will fail. Do not allow yourself to be caught up in the belief that the things of this world can save you, or provide for all your needs.

Trust God now, and not when He has to knock you down. God is there for you, not against you, if you will just trust Him.

I pray today that you will know God’s power in your life; that you will not have any idols in your life; that God will not have to punish you for false beliefs; and that you will be a witness of God’s love and power in this world.

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Spiritual And Physical Storms

Last month my wife and I had made it to our 25th anniversary. As a couple the journey has been great! However, during that journey there have been many challenges along that way, though not with each other. As we hit that anniversary date, we wanted to celebrate it in some special way. We did not want to just go out for a dinner date and a movie. It needed to be a get away for at least two or three days.

Our children pulled their money together and gave us a gift of a 3 day, 2 night getaway of our choice. With a lot of searching my wife and I finally chose a location to go to and things to do that would be relaxing and new for us. It would be several weeks after our anniversary, but at a time when we could both be gone. This time would allow us to be away when our older children could be home to watch the younger ones, and at a time we would not miss any church. It would also be the first time we have been away for a vacation alone in several years.

As we prepared to go on this trip, things started to rise up that threatened to prevent the trip from occurring. The Sunday night before the trip was to begin, our house had two trees fall on it, doing a significant amount of damage to the house. You can read about that here: God’s Protection And Favor. At the time this occurred, we seriously considered canceling the trip, much against our desires.

Along with this disaster that had occurred, I also found out that the job I had planned to work at during the summer would most likely not happen. I work during the school year as a teacher and so I do get paid during the summer, but it is not very much. I wanted to work a another job just to help boost the pay some. It was a job I have worked at the last three summers. Now I did not have that job and it did not look like I would get it.

Our house had a huge hole in the ceiling and a wall was missing, and I did not have a summer job yet. Do we leave or not? With a lot of prayer, we chose to continue with the trip, though somewhat nervous for the sake of the children at home.

On the morning of the trip, we had loaded our vehicle and proceeded to leave. As I started to drive down the road, immediately after leaving our driveway, I noticed the suburban was pulling fairly hard to the right. This was new and unusual.

I drove for about two miles and the pull kept up. There was some wind, but not enough to push the vehicle like that. I chose to pull over and see what might be the problem. It was the front passenger tire that was causing the problem, it was flat.

We live about 15 miles from town and did not have a working jack to be able to change the tire ourselves. I prayed that God would give me favor in driving into town to the tire shop we use. The tire was still under warranty. He did give us favor and we made it all the way there safely. In about 45 minutes our vehicle had been brought in and the tire was repaired. All that was wrong was a screw had somehow lodged into the tire. The shop pulled it out and put a plug in place.

We were back on the road for our trip, though about one hour later than expected.

On this trip a lot of what we were planning to do was located outside. The weather was supposed to be fairly nice with only a slight chance of rain.

As we got closer to our location we were headed to, the sky had some dark storm clouds that had formed. The thing that I caught as interesting was that the dark clouds were on one side of the highway, while the other side was nearly completely cloudless.

My wife, in her great wisdom, looked at the sky and saw something about them. She saw it as a visual representation of what was going on in the spiritual realm of life. The spiritual forces of this world was trying to attack us and discourage us. God had a plan for us, and the forces of the world wanted to stop it. Satan wanted to get us to lose faith in God and complain.

It would have been easy to complain to God about what had been happening. It would have been easy to say that God was against us. It would have been easy to give in and give up.

However, that is not what God wants to have happen. He wants us to trust Him and lean on Him in times of trouble.

Looking at the sky, there was clear sky on one side, and dark clouds on the other. It appeared to be a spiritual sign of what was going on. The dark forces fighting against the forces of God.

We continued on the trip and had a great time. During those few days, we did not get one drop of rain on us at all, though it appeared several times as though it may rain. Neither did it drop any rain on our house at that time.

Although it was a bit scary to leave our children home alone after such a great disaster, God did take care of them and blessed all of us. They were also able to get out and have some fun and relaxation.

God had blessed all of my family during this time. He had overcome the dark forces that work against us. He overcame our fears and strengthened us.

My wife and I are looking forward to the next 25 years of our great marriage!

I remember the verse in the Bible: For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Ephesians 6:12

I want to encourage you that when you are going through struggles in this life, remember that the dark spiritual realm is against you. That is who you are fighting against. God is on your side and has already won the battle. Trust Him. Do not be discouraged.

Just as the weather was fighting for either clear skies or for a storm, so there is a battle going on for your life. God and His angels are fighting for you, not against you.

As you go into the battle for your soul be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Ephesians 6:10.

Revelation 9:20-21 Hardened Hearts

“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

In this vision John has God is pouring out His wrath upon mankind for refusing to follow Jesus. He has had the angels pour out plagues upon all mankind destroying a third of them. One third of the number of people on the planet were just killed by God through various disasters and plagues, yet, those who were left refused to repent. They continued to live in their sins.

Many believers believe that if there was a great disaster many people would turn to God. Yes, there are some who will turn to God and stay with God, but the majority will not.

Remember back to 9/11 when a major disaster hit the United States. For a short month or two, many people were filling the churches. It looked like a revival may occur. Then after everything settled down, people went back to their old ways. They left the churches and went back into their selfish sinful living.

The same thing occurred when the major hurricanes hit the nation. Most people started to follow God for a moment, but then went back into sin.

Today the world worships many different idols. These are idols of fame, fortune, looks, prestige, position, sex, violence, and much more.

God is constantly trying to get their attention. He uses a variety of methods to get their attention. Some start to follow God for a moment, usually only until the disaster is over, then go back to their old ways. A very few turn completely to God and stay there.

Where is your heart with God?

Are you following God all the time? Or are you just like the world, calling out to God in a moment of disaster, then going back to your old ways?

Do not allow your heart to be hardened into one of stone against God. Do not allow sin to be your master. Seek God today while you may. Allow God to change you and make you more like Jesus. Do not make God pour out His wrath on you because of sin.

I pray today that you will follow Jesus with all of your heart; that you will turn away from all sin; that you will not worship any idols in your life; and that you will worship and serve only God.

Revelation 9:20-21 Rebellion

“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 worshipping 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 sixth angel to blow the trumpet brought about great plagues on the earth. These plagues killed off a third of the people still on the earth.

Imagine for a moment how many people who would be. Today there are about six billion people on the earth. If a third were killed, that would be about two billion killed. That is about the population of both China and India together. It is enough to wipe out North America and South America together. That is a lot of people!

When such great death would occur, you would expect people to get the message as to what is going on. Yet, in these verses, you see the people refused to change their ways.

At times I have heard Christian speakers state that God should strike nations with destruction to get their attention. That if God would take everything from a person, he would begin to follow after God.

This is not what usually happens. Most people when struck by God refuse to believe it came from God. They state it was just bad luck or other people caused the problems. Or they follow God for a day or two, then go back to their old ways.

There have been several major disasters in America involving many people: major hurricanes, earthquakes and 9/11. For a while the people of the nation turned to God. Within a matter of a few weeks, however, the people turned back to their old ways: not going to church, not praying, and not talking about God.

Do not allow yourself to be found in this way. Turn from your sins and follow God. If you harden your heart a little now, it will be stone cold against God when Jesus returns. Keep your heart alive for God. Do not play with sinful ways.

I pray today that you will keep your eyes on Jesus; that you will turn from sinful ways; that God will help you keep your heart pure; and that you will follow God with all of your heart, soul, mind, and strength.