It doesn’t matter what Bible version you read… There’s a bright future ahead for the People of God!

A bright futureSome passages of Scripture are just like that… It really doesn’t matter what version of the Bible you read – Isaiah 35 is a wonderful description (a promise, if you please) of a wonderful future day for Gods people! I’ve chosen to post the New Living Translation (but any version would be uplifting, encouraging and comforting)! Read it, reflect on it, relish its words, respond to its message today! I did – today – in my time of “coffee with the Lord!”

“Even the wilderness and desert will be glad in those days! The wasteland will rejoice and blossom with spring crocuses! Yes, there will be an abundance of flowers and singing and joy! The deserts will become as green as the mountains of Lebanon, as lovely as Mount Carmel or the plain of Sharon. There the LORD will display his glory, the splendor of our God. With this news, strengthen those who have tired hands, and encourage those who have weak knees! Say to those with fearful hearts, ‘Be strong, and do not fear, for your God is coming to destroy your enemies. He is coming to save you!’

“And when He comes, He will open the eyes of the blind and unplug the ears of the deaf. The lame will leap like a deer, and those who cannot speak will sing for joy! Springs will gush forth in the wilderness, and streams will water the wasteland. The parched ground will become a pool, and springs of water will satisfy the thirsty land. Marsh grass and reeds and rushes will flourish where desert jackals once lived.

“And a great road will go through that once deserted land. It will be named the Highway of Holiness. Evil-minded people will never travel on it. It will be only for those who walk in God’s ways; fools will never walk there. Lions will not lurk along its course, nor any other ferocious beasts. There will be no other dangers. Only the redeemed will walk on it! Those who have been ransomed by the LORD will return! They will enter Jerusalem singing, crowned with everlasting joy! Sorrow and mourning will disappear, and they will be filled with joy and gladness!” (Isaiah 35 – the New Living Translation)

Oh, Praise the Lord! What a wonderful future day awaits the people of God!

Influencing Others for Christ… A Checklist

ChecklistHere’s a wonderful checklist to achieve maximum impact and influence as a Christ-follower in your neighborhood and within your culture… (Apostle Paul originally wrote it to believers in Rome, a pagan city fixated with “power politics” and “image consciousness” – but believe me, it’s good stuff for Christians who desire to influence their culture positively for Christ!)

Try it on for size… you might even want to make a list out of it and put it up somewhere in your office or home…

  • Exhibit real love to others: “Don’t just pretend to love others. Really love them! … Love each other with genuine affection.
  • “Hate what is wrong! Hold tightly to what is good.
  • “Take delight in honoring each other.
  • “Never be lazy, but work hard and serve the Lord enthusiastically.
  • “Rejoice in hope.
  • “Be patient in times of trouble,
  • “Keep on praying.
  • “When God’s people are in need, be ready to help them.
  • “Be eager to practice hospitality.
  • “Bless those who persecute you. Don’t curse them! Pray for God to bless them.
  • “Be happy with those who are happy, and weep with those who weep.
  • “Live in harmony with each other.
  • “Don’t be too proud to enjoy the company of ordinary people.
  • “And don’t think you know it all!
  • Don’t try to get even! “Never pay back evil with more evil…  Instead, If your enemies are hungry, feed them. If they are thirsty, give them something to drink.
  • “Do everything in such a way that others can see you are honorable.
  • Try to get along with others: “Do all that you can to live in peace with everyone.
  • “Don’t let evil conquer you but conquer evil by doing good.

Wow!  What a list!  I want to positively influence those around me for Christ, don’t you!  Give the list a title like, “How to Influence Your Neighbors for Christ” … Hey, I’m going to do it!

A Brighter Day is Coming – Praise the Lord!

A brighter day is comingThis morning during my time of “coffee with the Lord” my thoughts drifted to the plight of many of God’s people in the world today! Some experiencing trials of all kinds, difficulties, pressure, persecution, even poverty and pain – people of faith, good people, righteous people. The writer of Hebrews described them this way. “Some were tortured…Some were jeered at, their backs were cut open with whips, Others were chained in prisons. Some died by stoning, some were sawed in half, and others were killed with the sword. Some went about wearing skins of sheep and goats, destitute and oppressed and mistreated. They were too good for this world, wandering over deserts and mountains, hiding in caves and holes in the ground. All of these earned a good reputation for their faith!” (Hebrews 11:35-39 NLT)

That’s not just a description of what has happened to people of faith in the past – it describes some of the challenges godly, good people are facing today! Maybe even some of you who read this today (This morning I prayed for you!).

But I read a wonderful word of assurance in Isaiah… One day God will act! It’s a glorious day that we can all look forward to with joyful anticipation… Here it is right out of the Bible. May it encourage your heart, increase your hope, and inspire your praise!

“O LORD, I will honor and praise your name, for you are my God. You do such wonderful things! You planned them long ago, and now you have accomplished them… You are a tower of refuge to the poor, O LORD, a tower of refuge to the needy in distress. You are a refuge from the storm and a shelter from the heat… [One day] the LORD of Heaven’s Armies will spread a wonderful feast for all the people of the world… He will remove the cloud of gloom, the shadow of death that hangs over the earth. He will swallow up death forever! The Sovereign LORD will wipe away all tears. He will remove forever all insults and mockery against his land and people. The LORD has spoken! In that day the people will proclaim, ‘This is our God! We trusted in Him, and He saved us! This is the LORD, in whom we trusted. Let us rejoice in the salvation he brings!’” (From Isaiah 25:1–9 New Living Translation)

A brighter day is coming – God Himself has promised it! Praise the Lord!

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