Sunday, March 26, 2017

Approaching the Labor?

“Then behold, at eventide, trouble! And before the morning, he is no more. This is the portion of those who plunder us, And the lot of those who rob us.”  Isaiah 17:14  NKJV

Did you know that labor pains, or contractions, are more likely to occur at night rather than during the day? Now don’t ask me why because I am not a doctor, but I do recall being awakened at night with those memorable words; “it’s starting”. Anyone familiar with what Jesus taught about the end of the age understands that He compared what many of us believe is about to occur with the onset of a woman’s labor pains. If you have followed my thoughts for any length of time, you probably understand that I believe the next major prophetic event on Israel’s calendar is the fulfillment of the Destruction of Damascus that we find in Isaiah 17.

“The burden against Damascus. “Behold, Damascus will cease from being a city, And it will be a ruinous heap.”  Isaiah 17:1  NKJV

This past week has seen several events unfold in that region which may, considering where I believe we are on God’s prophetic calendar, be signs that the onset of labor is fast approaching.  A successful Israeli air attack on an arms shipment intended for use by the terror organization Hezbollah was the first event that caught my attention.  That was followed by the intercept of a missile fired at the jets as they left Syrian airspace by Israel’s missile defense shield.  Days later a drone strike was attributed to the IDF and two more air raids were successfully carried out within the borders of Syria.  Israel’s ambassador was summoned by Russia to explain these actions and warned that violations of Syrian airspace would not be tolerated.

One cannot help but wonder if we are seeing the beginning of an escalation which will culminate in the events foretold in Isaiah 17.  If we consider the times we are living in, especially the presence of Russia in the Middle East, it would appear the stage is being set for all that the Word of God tells us will happen before the time of the end.  After all of this, you might be wondering if I believe that the destruction of the city of Damascus is the beginning of the actual labor, as opposed to just another sign.  Truthfully, I suppose I would have to confess that for quite some time I have thought exactly that. You see, while there are many signs for nine months or so that a woman is pregnant, it is the painful contractions which signal the onset of labor.  So the question we should ask is what event could be the first contraction?

If we were to take a poll, I am reasonably sure the vast majority would say that the attempted Gog, Magog invasion of Ezekiel 38,39 is the conflict which gives the antichrist his opportunity to assume power, and begin the seventieth week of Daniel.

“ ‘Thus says the Lord GOD: “On that day it shall come to pass that thoughts will arise in your mind, and you will make an evil plan: “You will say, ‘I will go up against a land of unwalled villages; I will go to a peaceful people, who dwell safely, all of them dwelling without walls, and having neither bars nor gates’—“to take plunder and to take booty, to stretch out your hand against the waste places that are again inhabited, and against a people gathered from the nations, who have acquired livestock and goods, who dwell in the midst of the land.”  Ezekiel 38:10-12  NKJV

Although Gog might have a plan in place, it follows that it would help him immensely if he were to be given an excuse to exercise it.  As I have studied both the Isaiah 17 and Ezekiel 38,39 prophecies over the years it has become my firm belief that the destruction of Damascus by Israel is the excuse Gog is waiting for to implement his evil plan.  So it has been with great interest over the past few years that I have watched Russia begin to move into the Middle East and assume a position from which it could easily fulfill what many believe to be its destiny concerning the future attempted invasion of Israel.

Of course, what I have found to be truly interesting is that Russia has done this by choosing to actively support the regime of Bashar Assad of Syria, and also the terrorist organization Hezbollah.  Why interesting?  Since Israel is foretold to be the instrument of Damascus’ destruction, they would certainly need a compelling excuse to do so.  I have read on more than one occasion the opinion that the last person anyone would want to play a game of chess with would be Vladimir Putin.  I would certainly agree with that sentiment, and it is with that in mind that I look at his moves in the region of the Middle East and especially Syria with great suspicion in regards to the future of Israel.

Any conflict with Syria could easily escalate to the point where the fulfillment of Isaiah 17 could take place.  Assad of Syria and Nasrallah of Hezbollah have made it perfectly clear that they would like nothing better than to see a world without Israel or the Jewish people.   An attack on the nation of Israel which threatens their existence would provoke an overwhelming response, thus putting into motion the evil plan of Gog by giving him the excuse he needs.  I believe too, that when it does occur (and we know it will), in hindsight it will be seen to be the beginning of the “labor” we are watching for. 

“And it will come to pass at the same time, when Gog comes against the land of Israel,” says the Lord GOD, “that My fury will show in My face. “For in My jealousy and in the fire of My wrath I have spoken: ‘Surely in that day there shall be a great earthquake in the land of Israel, ‘so that the fish of the sea, the birds of the heavens, the beasts of the field, all creeping things that creep on the earth, and all men who are on the face of the earth shall shake at My presence. The mountains shall be thrown down, the steep places shall fall, and every wall shall fall to the ground.’ “I will call for a sword against Gog throughout all My mountains,” says the Lord GOD. “Every man’s sword will be against his brother. “And I will bring him to judgment with pestilence and bloodshed; I will rain down on him, on his troops, and on the many peoples who are with him, flooding rain, great hailstones, fire, and brimstone. “Thus I will magnify Myself and sanctify Myself, and I will be known in the eyes of many nations. Then they shall know that I am the LORD.” ’    Ezekiel 38:18-23  NKJV

Only time will tell if what we are witnessing today is the lead up to the beginning of the labor pains Jesus taught about, but the one thing I believe all of us can agree upon is that the end is near.  The violence we are seeing on an almost weekly basis now, the moves nations are making, the alliances being made and the threats being offered, are simply too many to be explained away by any other reasoning.  We are at the point where the painful contractions which signal the onset of labor could occur at any time.

Keep watching.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

The Makeup of an Overcomer

“Therefore we make it our aim, whether present or absent, to be well pleasing to Him. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.”  2 Corinthians 5:9,10  NKJV

I’m sure that most of us, either by experience or observation, are familiar with the emotions a bride or groom feel when they first see each other as the bride walks down the aisle on her wedding day.  So much time and effort has gone into getting ready for that moment and the result is evident in the eyes of the groom as he sees his bride dressed and made up for the wedding.  The Church, as the bride of Christ, will soon be taken to heaven to be with Him forever and the question I cannot help but ask myself is just what will Jesus see when I appear before His judgment seat and He looks at me in light of what I have done for Him?

Fortunately for me, and anyone else who desires to please God, one way to know what is expected of us can be revealed by reading the letters to the seven churches of Revelation and what Jesus says He expects from those He calls “overcomers”.

“For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith. Who is he who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?”    1 John 5:4-5   NKJV

If we consider the extent to which many believers are beginning to feel persecuted, and combine that with the turbulence we see politically, economically, socially, as well as the ever increasing geological and astronomical events, is it any wonder many believe the word “overcome” is especially appropriate?  As difficult as our circumstances may be, as frightening as events around us may seem, as tempting it might be to consider stepping back from our witness, is it not reassuring to know that not only are we encouraged to overcome but can take heart knowing we have the promise of God that we can overcome this world because He already has.

“These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”   John 16:33  NKJV

The Greek word for overcome is nikaƍ, which means literally to conquer, or to be victorious.  In other words, we as believers are encouraged by the knowledge that God has already conquered this world, and because He lives in us, we too have already achieved the victory.  As funny as it may sound, we are running a race which, by God’s grace, we have already won.  For believers, the outcome of the race before us is predetermined and this knowledge is the source of the strength we need to battle whatever this world may throw in our way as we approach the finish line.

“I have written to you, fathers, Because you have known Him who is from the beginning. I have written to you, young men, Because you are strong, and the word of God abides in you, And you have overcome the wicked one.”      1 John 2:14  NKJV

All too often we as believers struggle with the feeling that we are failing in our attempts to live the life that God expects from us.  When life presents us with problems or struggles or persecution and we fail to react or perform in the manner we feel would be acceptable to God we often despair that we will ever get it right.  Those feelings come because we make the mistake of focusing on the problem facing us rather than the victory we already have by the grace given to us when we first believed.  You see, we have already won because our faith is in Jesus, and He has already overcome the world.

Our final victory is already assured by the saving grace of Jesus Christ, and all who have accepted that gift are overcomers.  The word overcome, used to describe those who have made this choice, is found throughout the New Testament but primarily in the letters to the seven churches found in the Book of Revelation.  In these seven letters we find seven spiritual sins the churches are guilty of, and the overcomers are those who stay true to the gospel.  It is here where Jesus reveals the rewards overcomers will receive when the race is finally over and we join our Father in Heaven.

The letters to the seven churches spell out seven things that believers are encouraged to overcome, and if you read them they seem to be incredibly appropriate to the world we live in today, especially as we see the finish line approaching.

“Nevertheless I have this against you, that you have left your first love.
“He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes I will give to eat from the tree of life, which is in the midst of the Paradise of God.” ’Revelation 2:4,7  NKJV

To the church in Ephesus believers are warned not to forget their first love, which was sharing the Gospel with an unbelieving world.  This church was caught up in doing works, which while good, is not the primary purpose for which the Church was created.

“Do not fear any of those things which you are about to suffer. Indeed, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested, and you will have tribulation ten days. Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life. “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. He who overcomes shall not be hurt by the second death.” ’  Revelation 2:10-11  NKJV

The believers from the church in Smyrna were to be tested and suffer for their faith, many to the point of death.  Although tempted to renounce their faith, they are told they have nothing to fear from death because overcomers who die in faith, receive eternal life.

“But I have a few things against you, because you have there those who hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balak to put a stumbling block before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed to idols, and to commit sexual immorality. “Thus you also have those who hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitans, which thing I hate. “Repent, or else I will come to you quickly and will fight against them with the sword of My mouth. “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes I will give some of the hidden manna to eat. And I will give him a white stone, and on the stone a new name written which no one knows except him who receives it.” ’  Revelation 2:14-17  NKJV

The overcomers in Pergamum were believers who stayed true to the Gospel and were not taken in by doctrines which taught practices which were unbiblical, and obviously pagan.  The sword of his mouth Jesus speaks of is the Word of God, by which all teaching should be examined.

“Now to you I say, and to the rest in Thyatira, as many as do not have this doctrine, who have not known the depths of Satan, as they say, I will put on you no other burden. “But hold fast what you have till I come. “And he who overcomes, and keeps My works until the end, to him I will give power over the nations-“   Revelation 2:24-26  NKJV

Overcomers in Thyatira were believers who were not taken in by teaching which tried to add traditions or non-biblical practices or works as parts of the Gospel.  Here believers are told to reject what some in the church might try to add as part of salvation, and live by faith alone.

“And to the angel of the church in Sardis write, ‘These things says He who has the seven Spirits of God and the seven stars: “I know your works, that you have a name that you are alive, but you are dead. “Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die, for I have not found your works perfect before God. “Remember therefore how you have received and heard; hold fast and repent. Therefore if you will not watch, I will come upon you as a thief, and you will not know what hour I will come upon you. “You have a few names even in Sardis who have not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with Me in white, for they are worthy. “He who overcomes shall be clothed in white garments, and I will not blot out his name from the Book of Life; but I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels.”   Revelation 3:1-5  NKJV

Satan’s plan for the Church has always been to weaken it by watering down the true Gospel.  Just as he did in the Garden of Eden, he attacks the authority of God’s Word and soon the church is teaching there are no absolutes. Overcomers in Sardis are those who watch for false teachings and strengthen the true Gospel.

“I know your works. See, I have set before you an open door, and no one can shut it; for you have a little strength, have kept My word, and have not denied My name. “Indeed I will make those of the synagogue of Satan, who say they are Jews and are not, but lie—indeed I will make them come and worship before your feet, and to know that I have loved you. “Because you have kept My command to persevere, I also will keep you from the hour of trial which shall come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth. “Behold, I am coming quickly! Hold fast what you have, that no one may take your crown. “He who overcomes, I will make him a pillar in the temple of My God, and he shall go out no more. I will write on him the name of My God and the name of the city of My God, the New Jerusalem, which comes down out of heaven from My God. And I will write on him My new name.”   Revelation 3:8-12  NKJV

The best promise of all is given to those overcomers of the church at Philadelphia.  These are true believers who hold fast to the true Gospel of grace through faith by the sacrifice of Jesus Christ for our sins.  Here those who have persevered are promised that they will be delivered from the tribulation period which will come to test the whole world.

“I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot. “So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth.”   Revelation 3:15,16 NKJV

“Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me. “To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne.”   Revelation 3:20,21  NKJV

Finally we come to the apostate church.  Rather than believers, they call themselves “Christ followers”.  Rather than teaching the gospel of grace through faith, they teach good works and service.  Unfortunately for them, Jesus tells them quite plainly that He is outside knocking to get in.  Overcomers are those who hear His knock and invite Him in.

Seven letters to seven churches and the message is, for the most part, exactly the same.  Although it is important to live our lives as a witness for Christ, and that our behavior reflects the attributes taught by His Word, overcomers are those who guard the true Gospel of Christ in a world that desperately wants to see it go away.  Satan’s plan has always been to somehow introduce false doctrines and teachings which turn people away from the true gospel of grace through faith in the blood of Jesus Christ, and that has never been more evident than what we see today in the seeker friendly, Christ follower, service oriented, emergent church.

So prevalent has this apostate church become that those who choose to be overcomers and stand by the true Gospel of Christ will most certainly, in one way or another, suffer persecution for their faith.  The reason we are called overcomers is that not only must we overcome the false teachings of the church; we must also overcome the abuse we will be subjected to because we choose not to conform.  We can overcome because Jesus already has.  When I stand before my Lord my prayer is that He will see me as an overcomer.

“Behold, I am coming quickly! Hold fast what you have, that no one may take your crown. “He who overcomes, I will make him a pillar in the temple of My God, and he shall go out no more.” I will write on him the name of My God and the name of the city of My God, the New Jerusalem, which comes down out of heaven from My God. And I will write on him My new name.”   Revelation 3:11,12  NKJV

Keep watching.

Sunday, March 12, 2017

The Follow-through

Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure.    Philippians 2:12-13  NKJV

I don’t believe that I have ever mentioned that I have a younger brother, who, if you are in any way interested in the game of golf, possesses a handicap so low as to make ninety-nine percent of golfers turn green with envy.  I have had the opportunity to caddy for him in tournament play as well as play alongside of him and can readily attest that his skills are quite impressive.  These are even more so if you compare his game to mine, which more often than not resembles outtakes from any number of comedies about golf.  Of course, as an expression of brotherly love, he has often tried and failed to help my game improve which I will readily admit is a reflection of my limitations and not his teaching skills.

One of the basics of the perfect golf swing, as well as in other sports, would be what we call the ‘follow-through”.   This describes the motion of the body after impact, in order to not only complete the transfer of maximum power to the ball to achieve distance, but also direct it to where you want it to go.  This was one of the first things my brother tried to help me work on with my swing but as you might expect, after much analysis and instruction, my first attempt to follow- through in a manner that would reflect my newfound knowledge resulted not in a beautifully long drive down the center of the fairway but rather a long and protracted visit to my chiropractor.  Such is my golf game.

As believers, it could easily be said that our decision to accept the saving grace of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ is our personal point of impact.  It is the point in time where our lives are eternally changed and our standing before God the Father and our eternal destiny is forever guaranteed.  We are given the gift of the Holy Spirit as a source of power and wisdom to help guide us as we live the new life that the Father has chosen for us according to His purpose.  Yet from this point onward, much like a golf swing, our follow-through will determine and reflect the quality of our service to God.

In the passage from Paul’s letter to the Philippians, believers are admonished to “work out”.  This is the Greek word "katergazomai", which means “to work out”, or “to do that from which something results.” When Paul tells the Philippians they need to "workout" their salvation, he is simply telling them that as believers, it is time for them to stop relying on his (Paul's) help since he has left them, and to begin to rely on God's help through the power of the Holy Spirit to live their lives in such a way as to glorify God. Of course, the passage begins with the word “therefore” so we know he is referring to the previous verse where he is talking about being like Jesus.

Why is this important?  Simply because Jesus chose to be obedient to the Father, even to the point of death.  He wasn’t forced to do it but rather did it out of love.  Personally, what really strikes me as being most important in this passage is the last four words; “for His good pleasure”.  I often hear the question “how can I please God?”  Paul tells us here it is by being obedient to His commands and working and striving always to reflect the presence of God in our lives.  In order to achieve greatness in any endeavor you must make the commitment to work hard at it every day.  Paul’s advice to the Corinthian believers explains the level of this sort of commitment.

Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may obtain it. And everyone who competes for the prize is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a perishable crown, but we for an imperishable crown.   1 Corinthians 9:24-25  NKJV

Do you look at your life as running a race?  While my golf game leaves a lot to be desired, as a runner in college I learned quite a bit about just how much planning goes into running a race in order to win.  My approach was unconventional, and often confusing to my coaches and opponents, but ultimately successful.  I ran to win and I can assure you that you can never stop training or take a day off if you want to succeed.  When Paul says to live our lives as if we were running a race, he is telling us that not only are we to run with the total effort it takes to win, the race is not over until we receive our crown in heaven.

Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.  Philippians 3:12-14  NKJV

As believers, we should always be thinking about our follow-through.  Are we committed to living in a manner that pleases our Father in Heaven?  Is our priority living according to the example Jesus set for us?  Do we daily remind ourselves that we are to be a shining example of God’s love in the darkness of this present world?  Paul makes it clear that it will be a struggle that will last as long as we are part of this world, but he also makes it clear that we have the power to overcome living inside of us.

Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.  Romans 12:21  NKJV

The apostle John uses the word “overcome” more than anyone else in describing believers and the power we have available to us. 

I have written to you, fathers, Because you have known Him who is from the beginning. I have written to you, young men, Because you are strong, and the word of God abides in you, And you have overcome the wicked one.  ! John 2:14  NKJV

You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.  1 John 4:4  NKJV

For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith. Who is he who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?  1 John 5:4-5  NKJV

I may not have what it takes to overcome the deficiencies in my golf swing, but as a believer I have all the power I need to overcome this world and follow-through on my desire to live according to the example Jesus set for me.  In so doing I run the race as if to win, and please my Father in heaven.  What could be more satisfying than that?  How hard are you working on your follow-through?

Keep watching.

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Are You Ready for the Wedding?

“For I am jealous for you with godly jealousy. For I have betrothed you to one husband, that I may present [you as] a chaste virgin to Christ.”   2 Corinthians 11:2 NKJV

We have often talked about the rapture of the Church, and just how close to occurring many seem to believe that it is. The picture we are given in the New Testament of Christ returning for His Church is one of a bridegroom coming to receive his bride. In this passage from his letter to the Corinthians, Paul tells us the Church is “betrothed” to Christ just as a bride to her future husband, and in other places in scripture this analogy of the Church as a bride waiting for her husband is repeated.  We have been looking lately at the subject of the Church as a bride, and that in itself reminded me of some thoughts I have shared in the past concerning our future wedding with Christ.

Now I may have mentioned a time or two that I was blessed with three daughters, so as you might expect, I know a thing or two about a wedding, and all that goes into preparing for one. Especially noteworthy, however, is just what is involved in the bride preparing herself to meet her future husband on the day of the wedding. Although I thought I had some idea of what went on, it was enlightening to see just how many hours are expended in the process of taking a shower, getting the hair done, having the makeup applied, putting on the wedding dress, and finally arriving at the point where the bride is ready to meet her groom.

As I thought about the subject of Christ returning for His bride, I couldn’t help but think back to my daughters’ weddings and wonder if maybe we as members of the body of Christ should be a little more concerned with the state of our spiritual appearance than we possibly are? Could we honestly say we are as prepared to meet the bridegroom as we should be, or is there room for improvement? If Jesus were to return for His Church today, could we honestly say we personally were as spiritually attractive as we could be?  As I thought about these things, I remembered that Paul uses an interesting word in this passage from his letter to Titus and it is the word translated “adorn”.

“[Exhort] bondservants to be obedient to their own masters, to be well pleasing in all [things], not answering back, not pilfering, but showing all good fidelity, that they may adorn the doctrine of God our Savior in all things.”   Titus 2:9-10 NKJV

In the Greek, the word for adorn is “kosmeo” which means “to put in order, arrange, make ready, prepare, to ornament, adore, to embellish with honor, gain honor”. If the word sounds familiar, it is because this is where we get our English word cosmetic. So knowing this, when we look more closely at this passage, it would appear Paul is telling Titus, as well as all other believers, that we have a responsibility to examine ourselves closely to see if we are reflecting the doctrine of God in our personal lives so that others might see and find attractive the relationship we have with Jesus Christ.

Now I can honestly say that I have looked in the mirror often enough to realize I have, appearance wise, good days and bad days. I also can’t help but recall occasional articles that regularly appear in the media showing famous people with and without their makeup on, (and noticing just how obvious the difference is). To me, this gives this passage of scripture, and this particular verse, a whole new meaning. Yet there is another part of this admonition we need to notice, and that is what we are told that we need to adorn ourselves with is the “doctrine of God”.

In the Greek, the word for doctrine is “didaskalia”, which is translated as “teaching, instruction, that which is taught, doctrine, teachings, precepts”. Now how do we as believers “adorn” ourselves with the “doctrine” of God? Well I believe the obvious first step is to study and learn what God has revealed to us in His Word.

“Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”    2 Timothy 2:15 NKJV

Just as a bride is “diligent” to apply her makeup correctly and attractively, so we too should be diligent to study the Word.  When believers begin to study the Word of God and commit to memory the “teachings and precepts” that we find there, we begin the process of putting on our spiritual makeup. Why a process? Because it appears that what Paul is telling us here is that when we take the first step of learning what God has revealed to us through His Word, it has an effect on our outward appearance. How so? The obvious answer from this passage is that our actions, what others see us do and say, begins to change.

One thing I have noticed after raising three daughters is that no one ever puts on their makeup without looking in the mirror to see if it is being applied in such a way as to be attractive. If we look back at the first chapter of Titus, we see that Paul has written this letter to him because there are obvious problems in the Church. How obvious? Read how Paul chooses to describe them to Titus.

“For there are many insubordinate, both idle talkers and deceivers, especially those of the circumcision, whose mouths must be stopped, who subvert whole households, teaching things which they ought not, for the sake of dishonest gain. They profess to know God, but in works they deny [Him], being abominable, disobedient, and disqualified for every good work.”        Titus 1:10-11,16 NKJV

Sadly it would appear that many were not examining themselves to be sure they were putting on their makeup the right way! How do you know if your makeup is on right? Your actions, what others see you do and say, will reveal your understanding and application of His teachings. Paul makes it pretty clear, however, that we can put our makeup on wrong. Just as you can look at someone and tell if they are wearing makeup or not, you can also look at someone’s actions and tell if they are “adorning” the doctrine of God. Paul’s advice to Titus concerning those who were having a little trouble with their “kosmeo” was this;

“Remind them to be subject to rulers and authorities, to obey, to be ready for every good work, to speak evil of no one, to be peaceable, gentle, showing all humility to all men. For we ourselves were also once foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving various lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful and hating one another. But when the kindness and the love of God our Savior toward man appeared, not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior,”       Titus 3:1-6 NKJV

The bridegroom is coming. How does your spiritual makeup look? Could your appearance use a little touch-up?  How often do you look in the mirror of the Word to see if you are adorned with the doctrine of God correctly and attractively?  When others look at your actions and listen to your words, do they see a reflection of the Father?  Without a doubt, the closer the day of the wedding came, the excitement and activity of my daughters, as well as everybody involved, changed dramatically.  The anticipation and preparation had a profound effect on our daily lives. The bridegroom could return for His Church today!  Examine yourself to see if you are truly ready for the wedding.

Keep watching.