I have always been fascinated with the book of Revelation. I guess mainly because I know it is a prophecy of what is to come in this life. Or, as I have come to believe, what is happening right now. I have read it multiple times in hopes that I can make some sense out of it, but always come away scratching my head. What about you? Have you ever read it and wondered what in the heck John is talking about?
Revelation is chock-full of symbolic meaning. But, how do you interpret it? I remember asking others about this and no one had very good answers. And, ultimately, it was just something I let slip into my rearview mirror.
However, since March, when COVID-19 came into our lives and started us on this roller coaster ride of craziness, I have been turning my eyes back to God and His Word. Throw in all the insanity of our world with corrupt politics and race relations, and well, I couldn’t help but think of Bible prophecy again.
Then, at the end of June, I stumbled across a book that was soon to be released called Tipping Point The End Is Here by senior pastor of Gateway Church, Jimmy Evans. Maybe I shouldn’t say stumbled, I honestly think God sent it my way on purpose.
Upon reading that pastor Evans has studied Biblical end times prophecy, known as eschatology, for forty-five years and that the book is an analysis of Scripture, I bought it right away.
When I received it in the mail last week, I dove right in! What with everything that is going on in our world right now, it was like I was dying of thirst and this book was a keg of fresh, ice-cold, refreshing water.
Tipping Point opened my eyes to not only the book of Revelation, but to all of the prophecies of the Bible.
Did you know that 30 percent of the Bible is prophecy? Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Daniel, Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Habakkuk, Nahum, Zaphaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, and Malachi were all prophets. Not to mention Jesus himself.
I finished the book in less than 24 hours. And, I keep opening it back up to re-read it. I am blown away at what Jimmy had written. Hence, why I am here to share the book with you.
The end times can be a very scary thing; especially if you don’t know God as your Lord and Savior. If you think the times we are living in right now are bad, I have news for you, it is nothing compared to what is coming. Once the Tribulation gets here, it will truly be hell on earth.
That is why I am pleading with you today, get to know the Lord. He loves you so very much. You are His child and there is nothing you can do or have done that will make Him turn away from you. I would be overjoyed and honored to introduce you to Him. Please just reach out to me, or someone else you know who is a true Christian and you feel you can trust. Go visit a church and talk to the pastor there. Go online to any one of the following sites and listen, read, and learn: David Jeremiah, Max Lucado, or Joyce Meyer. It’s not too late. But, the time is NOW.
However, if you are a Christian and believe in God and are in a right relationship with Him, this book will give you solace and comfort. It shows you how to have hope and peace in the midst of all of our current turmoil.
This book is the proof in the pudding that God is real. It is definitive and awe-inspiring—just as God is.
Plus, honestly, no matter what you believe, Tipping Point is incredibly fascinating just from a historical and current events' standpoint.
Jimmy walks you through Israel and her history and the vital importance of her role.
Jimmy turns our eyes skyward to explain what the sun, moon, and stars have to say.
And, Jimmy gives us a play-by-play with critical insight into how we are the final generation and how we have seen every end times event fulfilled. He tells us that while every generation has seen some signs of the end times, the final generation will have every sign.
This is it folks. We are the final generation. We are living at the end of the end times.
I pray that you will not be here for the Tribulation that you will instead be with Jesus in heaven, celebrating, as I will be. It is something I am looking forward to.
But, please note that no one knows the day or time when Jesus will return. It could be today or seven years from now. As Jimmy tells us and I will end sharing with you; Plan as though Jesus in not returning for a hundred years and live as though Jesus is returning today.
Much like my last post, I woke up this morning and something just popped into my head--seemingly out of nowhere. (Although, I am learning to discern the voice of the Holy Spirit.) And, the thought was this: hue man beings.
As you probably well know, there is a great deal of turmoil bubbling and running rampant in our country right now. The problem is racism. And, as I am now getting accustomed to doing, I decided to look in my Bible for the answer to this problem.
What does the Bible say about racism, anyway? Well, from my reading and research, nothing. Which, in turn, speaks volumes.
The first thing we need to understand as Christians, is that there is only one race--the human race. Caucasians, Africans, Asians, Arabs, and Jews are not different races. Rather, they are different ethnicities of the human race. We all have the same physical characteristics, with minor variations, of course. More importantly, we have all been created in the likeness and image of God. (Genesis 1:26-27) God so loved the world that He sent His son, Jesus, to lay down His life for us. (John 3:16). And, the "world" obviously includes all ethnic groups.
And, while I can't find any references to race or racism in the Bible, I can find plenty of verses that tell us to love one another. Jesus commands us to love one another as He loves us. (John 13:34) We are to love our neighbors as ourselves. (James 2:8) Jesus teaches us in Matthew 25 that whatever we do to the least of His brothers, we do to Him. Ephesians 4:32 tells us to be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.
We are not only human beings, but we are hue man beings. The dictionary defines hue as a gradation or variety of a color. or colors, or complexion. Humans come in all different colors. Our complexions and skin tones are as varied as our personalities. Much like all the beautiful plants and flowers God created, God created us humans to be colorful and unique. Could you image a world with only red roses? Don't get me wrong, red roses are lovely, but if they were the only flower in the world--well, how boring! Instead, God not only created red roses but purple irises, yellow sunflowers, blue hydrangeas, green hellebores, orange daisies, pink tulips, white gardenias, and, well, you get the idea!
We need to end racism. All forms of racism, prejudice, and discrimination are affronts to the work of Christ on the cross. God does not show partiality or favoritism, and neither should we. No, indeed, as the children's song says, "Red and yellow, black and white, they are precious in His sight." We are the "they" in this song. And, we all belong to one race--the human race.
As I was waking up this morning, I started thinking, what day is today? Do you ever do that? Have trouble keeping up with what day it is? I know I do sometimes! Today was one of those days.
As I was gathering my thoughts right after that, I noticed the beautiful pink sunlight streaming through the blinds in our bedroom. And, it dawned on me (pun intended) that it was Sunday. Then, something odd popped into my head, "Son Day."
We can think of Sunday as Son Day. It is a day when we normally recognize the Son of God. Sundays are typically a day of worship, a day in which we Christians honor the Lord--Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. We love and exalt a triune God. So, why not start thinking of Sunday as Son Day? The Son of God Day!
It's just a little twist that can give you a new, fresh perspective on Sundays. And, for as much as the Lord has graciously given us, it is a very small thing that we can do to remind ourselves who this day is truly for!
Have you ever needed to do a “hard reset” on one of your electronic devices? Your mobile phone? A tablet? Maybe even your computer? You know, because it is frozen and won’t work anymore? I know I certainly have. It’s as if that device is saying, “Ok, I have had enough. I can’t take anymore. I need a break.” Thus, you have to shut it down, give it some time, and do a hard reset to get it to function again.
Well, as human beings, I believe we all need to take breaks, too. And, right now during this coronavirus pandemic, we are getting our chance. Maybe this is God’s way of giving us the ability to do a “hard reset” on our lives and ourselves.
Even though this pandemic is scary in a multitude of ways, we should be using this unexpected time at home to our advantage. If we just change our perspective a bit, we can look at this as an opportunity to better ourselves, our lives, and maybe even the world we live in. This is our moment to create some beauty out of the “ashes” of this Covid-19 mess. (See Isaiah 61:3)
Below are just a few ideas I have on using this time wisely.
Yet, more often than not, these are the first things that get pushed aside in our daily lives. We don’t necessarily mean to, but we get busy just living life. We have jobs and kids and chores. And, yes, these are all important too. But, we get so occupied with all of these other things, we forget our greatest concerns should be looking towards the Lord and then taking care of each other.
I pray that during this unforeseen season where our lives have slowed down to a snail’s pace, that we will all turn the tables to our benefit. Let’s do a hard reset on our lives and put the focus where it should be—God and others. After all, God’s commandment is to love Him first and second to love one another. (See Mark 12: 30-31)
We are smack dab in the middle of something I have never experienced before, and pray that I never experience again - a two-week quarantine. This is all thanks to the coronavirus, better known as COVID-19. And, while the quarantine in Georgia is mostly self-imposed at the moment, at the suggestion of White House officials, there are other parts of the world where they are not so fortunate. And, by fortunate, I mean that they are in a mandated quarantine.
Currently, Italy is having an extremely rough time. I would like to ask for all of you to be in prayer for this country and it's people. Of course, you should be praying for everyone here in the U.S. as well. Especially, our doctors, nurses, emergency responders, and anyone working in the medical community and nursing homes.
And, while the present situation is scary because we don't know as much about COVID-19 as we would like, I wanted to take some time today to remind you that the Bible tells us not to worry about anything. This includes COVID-19. And, yes, I know this is easier said than done.
So, to help calm our fears and worries, I thought I would share with you 18 Bible verses about NOT worrying.
As you can see, there are many verses in the Bible that we can turn to and take comfort in when it comes to worrisome situations. These are just 18 verses that I found in my initial search, I am sure there are a lot more that I am missing. But, these 18 are a good place for us to start.
And, the key is for us start--start reading our Bibles, start praying to God as often as we can, start believing in His love for us, and start trusting in His promises. He truly does love and care for us and wants the best for us.
And, once we start doing all of these things, we will realize we truly can STOP worrying--just like the Bible tells us.
When you were a kid and had trouble sleeping, did your parents ever tell you to count sheep to help you fall asleep? I don’t actually remember my parents telling me that per say, but I have heard of that saying since I was a little kid. And, I recollect trying to count sheep to fall asleep.
Fast forward to being an adult. Well, first, allow me to take a minor side-step. I LOVE old movies. I can sit and watch TCM for days on end. The movies from the 1940’s and 50’s are my favorite. There is just something about old movies that speak to me in a way that current ones don’t. Anyway, one of my all-time favorite Christmas movies is White Christmas. In it, Rosemary Clooney sings this beautiful song called “Count Your Blessings Instead of Sheep.” Now, maybe you can see where I am going with this.
As we enter into the month of November, the month in which we set aside one day as nation to give thanks, I think it is the perfect time to remind each of us that we should be thankful to God and counting our blessings each and every day. (And, I mean each and every day of every year—not just on Thanksgiving Day or for the month of November!)
God gives us so many amazing and wonderful gifts each and every day. Many of these gifts are simple things that we take for granted and often forget about. The gift of life, the gift of being able to get out of bed, the gift of having a bed, the gift of a gorgeous sunrise and/or sunset, I could go on and on.
In your Christian life, have you ever heard, “Seek the Giver, not the gift?” That is to say, we should be seeking God, not what God gives us. I certainly agree with this sentiment. We should be seeking God. We should be seeking God as much and as often as we possibly can. However, I learned a new saying just yesterday that I think we should all take to heart, that is a step above this statement. This new maxim I came across is, “Seek the Giver through the gift.” (I must give a shout out to Randy Alcorn and his Bible study “Happiness” for this little gem.)
Isn’t this just an extraordinary way of both seeking the Giver and of being thankful for the gift? I think it is! The example that Randy gives is that of a delicious meal. As we enjoy the meal, we can be thanking God for the ingredients, the hands that prepared it, and our taste buds for being able to taste it. These are all gifts from God! And, these are all things we should be thankful for!
In Psalm 50:23, Jesus tells us, “Giving thanks is a sacrifice that truly honors Me.” However, I don’t think that giving thanks is a sacrifice. On the contrary, I see this as an easy way to honor God. Especially when you compare it to what Jesus did for us by dying on the cross for our sins. Giving Him thanks for His gifts is the least we can do.
Have you ever thought that much about the words you speak, hear, and use each day? Have you ever put any thought into how nuanced your words are? Or, how nuanced the English language is? Or, honestly, is NOT? While I have pondered on this from time to time, I never gave it any real, considerable thought. At least, not until recently.
(As a side note, the reason I say our language is not very nuanced is because we tend to use the same words for many things. For instance, did you know that Eskimos have 50 different words for snow? Or, that the Tamil people of India and Sri Lanka have more than 50 words that mean variations of the word love? Isn’t that awesome?! I think so!)
I am doing a Bible study on happiness and it has brought all of this to the forefront for me. And, it is fascinating to me. Which, of course, means that I must share it with all of you.
How about the word word? Dictionary.com says that it is a unit of language. Which is true. But, thanks to my Bible study, I now think of words as containers that carry meaning. Isn’t that cool? A word is a container that carries meaning!
Now onto some words that are new to me, and one that I have been defining incorrectly.
Let’s start with the word blessed. Have you ever thought about what the true meaning of the word blessed is? I have always thought of it as meaning being gifted with something, or having something nice bestowed upon you, that you didn’t ask for or deserve. And, I have always associated it with being a Christian. Basically, I think of being blessed with gifts from God. (Gifts such as life, a home, food, etc.)
But, as we all know meanings of words can change over time.
Did you know that, in the Bible, blessed often really means happy? I had no clue! Blessed is the word that I mention above that I have been defining incorrectly.
Here are some new words for you. The Hebrew word for happy is asher. The Greek word for happy is makarios. So, both asher and makarios mean happy. And, many translations of the Bible use blessed for asher and/or for makarios. When the KJV translators rendered asher and makarios as blessed, their audiences knew the words meant happy. Happy was a synonym for blessed at that time.
Now though, no one seems to associate these two words--blessed and happy, happy and blessed. What a shame! God wants all His children to be happy. He wants all of us to be blessed. God has hard-wired all of us to want happiness. God, our Father, is a happy and generous Father, and He created us in His image.
Finally, before I go, I must share with all of you the word makarios doesn’t just mean happy, but it refers to deep, true happiness in God. Isn’t that beautiful?
I am so glad you are here! I am Erica Strickland, a girl who loves God. My goal here is to simply share His love and light.