Tuesday, 12 October 2021

Make Your Paths Straight

 Scripture: Matthew 24 v 6 - 8: "And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.

7  For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places.
8  All these are the beginning of sorrows."

Mark 13 v 24 - 29: "But in those days, after that tribulation, the sun shall be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light,
25  And the stars of heaven shall fall, and the powers that are in heaven shall be shaken.
26  And then shall they see the Son of man coming in the clouds with great power and glory.
27  And then shall he send his angels, and shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from the uttermost part of the earth to the uttermost part of heaven.
28  Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When her branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is near:
29  So ye in like manner, when ye shall see these things come to pass, know that it is nigh, even at the doors."

Luke 21 v 25 - 26: "And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring;
26  Men's hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken."

In the last month we have seen volcanic eruptions in the Canary Islands, on Las Palmas, and heard of a new volcano caldera, very large base, that suddenly appeared between Mozambique and Madagascar.  It is growing rapidly and when it fully erupts it will be a disaster.  They discovered it after thousands of small tremors were detected in that region.

Every scripture above is the actual words of Jesus Christ telling His disciples of the signs of the end of this age.  He said there will be world wars but the end is not yet.  There will be famines, plagues and earthquakes and the powers of heaven will be shaken.

The powers of heaven are the demonic forces that surround this planet in an invisible barrier, which broke the moment He was baptized in the Jordan River by His cousin, John the Baptist.  And every time somebody obeys the Word and is baptized in water there is another hole in that satanic covering.

Isaiah 25 v 7 - 8: "And he will destroy in this mountain the face of the covering cast over all people, and the vail that is spread over all nations. 
8  He will swallow up death in victory; and the Lord GOD will wipe away tears from off all faces; and the rebuke of his people shall he take away from off all the earth: for the LORD hath spoken it."

He is going to destroy the face of Satan and pull down this stronghold of evil, hatred, war, disease, bondage, sin, poverty, famine and sexual sin.  He will remove the rebuke of His people off the earth.  He will dry our tears and comfort us.  But we must be ready and make our paths straight.

Nothing crooked will get through the pearly gates.  We have it all to do right here, but many are just happily avoiding any kind of issue because why go there and get stressed over things that God has forgiven.  Because He needs us to co-operate with Him and let Him heal our hurts and teach us how to handle them.

God has forgiven our sins, but the reason why we committed those sins needs to be dealt with.  It is the root that needs to be destroyed.  Perhaps there is bitterness in our souls from many hurts, rejection, feuds, rape, murder, violence to members of our family.  Or maybe there is a generational curse over our family that needs breaking.  Whatever our stumbling block may be its important that we don't bury our heads in the sand.

We need to forgive from our hearts those who have wronged us and that takes time, prayer and, very often, counselling.  We need to change into the likeness of Jesus.  Adam was created in the likeness of God, and he lost it, so God sent Jesus, the last Adam, and He is the firstborn of the New Creation, and we must be like Him.

People slavishly follow the hairstyle, clothing, lifestyle, music of their favourite artist or actress.  That is the way of the world and a counterfeit of the One we should be looking to be like-minded with.  This should line up with Galatians 5 v 22 - 24: "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,
23  Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.
24  And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts."

These 9 fruit are the very nature of Jesus and when we are close to Him they are reflected through us so powerfully that we need no placards, labels, objects, jewellery, tracts, symbols or any such thing, because His light, love, and peace will proclaim who we are.  We will be known as those whose paths are straight if we crucify our flesh with its lust for power, wealth, sex, alcohol, drugs, domination.

It's a process we must continue till the day we leave Earth.  Paul said, Be perfect as He is perfect.  It is not unattainable but it takes time and application of the Word of God.  The more we read and study the Bible, the closer we come to Jesus, and becoming more like Him.  The Bible is anointed by God to minister to the hearts and souls of every human being.  We can measure the amount of the Spirit of Jesus in our lives by the amount of time we spend in the Word and in prayer.

To avoid being deceived, be filled with truth.
To avoid the pitfalls of pride, be filled with humility.
To avoid the uncleanness of sexual sin, become pure of heart so that the very mention of it offends us.
To avoid the darkness of witchcraft, walk in the Light.
To avoid eternity in Hell, start living a life of holiness.

Many people believe and expect God to be merciful and forgiving of their evil ways without any repentance on their part.  No change.  No acceptance of God's ways.  They will be in for a severe shock when Jesus proclaims, I never knew you, your name is not in the Lamb's Book of Life, you will join Satan in the lake of fire for all eternity.  The Day of Judgment is terrifying to those who reject Jesus while they are alive.

People know Christians by their clean speech.  When Jesus was arrested Peter denied knowing Him 3 times.  Someone said, Your speech betrays you! Suddenly Peter started swearing like the fisherman he was.  That's when the cock crowed and Jesus looked at Peter knowing he had just betrayed Him.  Peter knew it too and it caused him great sorrow. 

Let our speech, our modest clothing, our gentleness and love, portray us as Christians.  Our light cannot be hid.  Jesus in our hearts must shine brighter than the Sun.  If we fear man and retreat from Jesus to fit in with our worldly friends, He may respond the same way on the Day of Judgment.  The Word says if we deny the Son of God, we are in danger of being treated with denial when it matters most.

We are resurrected with Him and must live the life of those to whom the world has no attractions.  The way of the world is not the way of our Lord.  We are in the world not of it, and we may be persecuted by it or even killed, but no matter what, it can never separate us from Jesus Christ.  Our goal is to reach Heaven, and bring as many with us who are willing to come.

Now is the time to make our paths straight.  We are redeemed, we are sanctified, we are holy, we are His!

Prayer: Heavenly Father, we stray off the path of life at enormous risk and when we become entangled again in the world its very hard to surrender.  Father to those who are struggling we pray that You will help them to make their paths straight.  In Jesus' name. Amen.