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Archive for June, 2012

Bloom Where You’re Planted

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There’s an old familiar adage that says, “Bloom where you’re planted.”  This basically means that no matter what your situation is in life, make the most of it.

A good example of someone doing this quite well is Joseph – one of the twelve sons of Jacob (Israel) and the great-grandson of the patriarch Abraham.  Joseph was sold into slavery by his jealous brothers, falsely accused of attempted rape by the wife of a high-up Egyptian government official and as a result, imprisoned for many, many years.  However, in every instance of unjust circumstances that he found himself in, the Lord was with him and he prospered.  As a slave, he was made the head of his masters house; as a prisoner, he was put in charge of all the other prisoners; and after being released from prison, he eventually became governor of the whole land of Egypt, second only to Pharoah!

Joseph’s life is an amazing testimony of someone who “bloomed where he was planted.”  He could’ve curled up in a corner for years, severely depressed and crying, “Oh, woe is me!  Woe is me!”  But no, he made the best of all his bad situations.  He didn’t let them quench his God-given spirit to thrive and to prosper – in the good times and the bad.

We can all learn a lesson from Joseph.  No matter what our physical circumstances are, we should strive to do the best we can with what we have to work with until we’re able to move on to better things.  This is easier said than done, but with God’s help, we can overcome any adversity and flourish – just as Joseph did.

Just something to think about…

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Read about Joseph’s amazing life in Genesis 37 and Genesis 39-50.


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by Meshawn Senior

In “Hated by All Nations for My Name’s Sake” we discussed primarily how Israel as a whole would be hated during the Tribulation period because it was their lineage through which the Messiah came.  This hatred is not only of the heart but has deep spiritual roots going all the way back to the Garden of Eden and the fall of man.  In this new installment of the “Are We Living in the End Times” series, we’ll look at Matthew 24:10, which states, “And then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another.”

What does it mean to be offended?  When we hear this word in English, we usually think of someone getting their feelings hurt for one reason or another.  But the word translated as “offended” in the above passage of scripture has a slightly different meaning in the original Greek.  The word is “skandalizō” and according to the Blue Letter Bible search engine, the following are all the biblical usages for this word:

 1)  to put a stumbling block or impediment in the way, upon
……..which another may trip and fall, metaph. to offend
      .a)  to entice to sin
      .b)  to cause a person to begin to distrust and desert one whom
……………he ought to trust and obey
             i)  to cause to fall away
            ii)  to be offended in one, i.e. to see in another what I
…………………disapprove of and what hinders me from acknow-
…………………ledging his authority
           iii)  to cause one to judge unfavourably or unjustly of
…………………another
      c)  since one who stumbles or whose foot gets entangled feels
………….annoyed
             i)  to cause one displeasure at a thing
            ii)  to make indignant
           iii)  to be displeased, indignant

Also, the Amplified Bible translates Matthew 24:10 as follows:  “And then many will be offended and repelled and will begin to distrust and desert [Him Whom they ought to trust and obey] and will stumble and fall away and betray one another and pursue one another with hatred.”

So it appears this passage is indicating that people will stumble and fall away from the message of the Messiah of Israel, Jesus Christ, and will no longer trust His message as truth.  There are many Jews today who believe in Yeshua ha Mashiach (Jesus the Messiah) and of course, many more Gentiles.  So there is no contradiction here with Jesus speaking about people – Jews and Gentiles alike – who will turn away from Him during this time.

Interestingly, the Bible speaks about a “falling away” just before the return of Christ.  2 Thessalonians 2:3 tells us, “Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;(“That day” is speaking about the return of the Messiah and the term “man of sin” is speaking of the Antichrist.)

Not only will many stumble and fall away from their belief in the Messiah, Jesus said that they would betray one another.  To betray someone is to double-cross them or to turn them over to their enemy.  So during this horrible time of tribulation when many believers in the Messiah will be hiding for fear of their lives because of their beliefs, they will be turned in to the authorities by people whom they have always trusted – including family members. (“Now brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child; and children will rise up against parents and cause them to be put to death.” ~ Mark 13:12)

In the last part of the Matthew 24:10 passage, Jesus also said that many will hate one another.  In order to betray someone to the degree that we see above – especially a family member – there has to be a deep-seated hatred in one’s heart.  How could people hate others to such a degree just because of their religious beliefs?  There’s obviously an underlying supernatural component to this type of extreme emotion.

Even in the present year, 2012, there is hatred in the hearts of many against the followers of Jesus Christ.  Christians are being persecuted and killed on a global scale.  This is a highly underreported fact.  Here’s an article that shines light on this troubling state and deliberate cover-up of this worldwide problem.  It’s entitled “War on Christianity” and can be read here.

How many reading this are surprised by this revelation?  We have all heard of Jewish persecution throughout the years, but I’m sure most had no idea how widespread Christian persecution is. You would think that this would be front page news – but it’s not.  And if it is reported, it has a totally different bend than that of religious persecution.  It’s mainly portrayed as “ethnic violence” or “warring factions.”  But it’s much deeper than that.  (To learn even more about the plight of persecuted Christians around the world, please visit The Voice of the Martyrs website. You will be shocked at what’s really going on in the world we live in.)

A logical question then would be, “Why is the world not being told about the violence against Christians?”  An even more logical question would be, “Why are the world governments allowing these atrocities to continue?”  Sensible reasoning would lead one to believe that they should be doing everything within their power to put a stop to it.  But that doesn’t seem to be the case.

As I mentioned above and also wrote about in the previous installment of this series, the followers of Judaism, the Jews, have also been hated and persecuted from their inception.  And most of us know that there is a common thread between Christians and Jews.  This thread, of course, is that both follow the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob – a God whom Satan, the devil, hates.  So it’s no surprise that he would spur the whole world to come against those who follow the one true God of the Bible – the One who defeated him ages ago and cast him out of Heaven.  Satan hates Christians and Jews and he influences the world to do the same.  Jesus Christ – a Jew and the founder of Christianity – said it perfectly when he stated, “If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first.” (John 15:18)  And as blatant as the anti-Christian and anti-Semitic sentiments are today, it will be even more intense during the tribulation period.

Yes, offense to the point of leaving one’s faith, betrayal of friends and family, and supernatural hatred will characterize this period that Jesus said would be a time of “great distress, unequaled from the beginning of the world until now–and never to be equaled again. ” (Matthew 24:21 NIV)  Hopefully all reading this are prepared to escape this terrifying time should it come in our lifetime.  If you’re not sure of how to prepare, please click here to get more information on this very important matter.

The next article in this series will center around yet another ominous element which will permeate this prophetic seven-year period in the not-so-distant future.  The verse which speaks of this is Matthew 24:11, and it states, ‘Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many.”  Unfortunately, it’s already happening today.

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If you have not read the previous installments in this series, they are listed below in chronological order:
  1. Are We Living in the End Times?
  2. Take Heed that No One Deceives You
  3. For Many will Come in My Name
  4. Wars and Rumors of Wars
  5. For Nation will Rise against Nation
  6. The Beginning of Sorrows
  7. Hated by All Nations for My Name’s Sake

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This is beautiful in so many ways…

Be blessed!

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The following is an older article from the “Our Daily Bread” devotional.  However, it contains such a poignant message that I felt a great need to share it on this blog.  May it touch and bless every reader in a special way.

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by Dave Branon

Just as her friends were doing, my daughter Melissa was busily preparing for adulthood.  At school, she was getting ready for college by taking the right courses and had signed up for the ACT college entrance test.

Outside of class, Melissa was learning the socialization skills it takes to get along with people by spending time with friends, classmates, and teammates.  At her job, she was learning the relational skills needed for a future career of work.  At home, Mell was preparing for future family life by experiencing the way a Christian family would interact.

Getting ready for life as an adult takes work, and Melissa was making good progress.

But none of that preparation was what she would need.  In 2002, when she died in a car accident at age 17, the only preparation that mattered was her readiness for heaven.

When the truest test of preparedness came so suddenly on that beautiful June evening—when eternity’s door opened for Melissa—she was prepared.  She had put her faith in Jesus and trusted His sacrifice on the cross for her sins (John 3:16; Rom. 5:8-9).

When she faced the ultimate test of being prepared, Melissa was ready.  Are you?

God’s time is now, for the days fly fast,
And swiftly the seasons roll;
Today is yours, it may be your last;
Choose life for your priceless soul! —Fithian
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If death comes today, will you be prepared to meet God?

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[A Song of degrees.]

1 Many a time have they afflicted me from my youth, may Israel now say:

Many a time have they afflicted me from my youth: yet they have not prevailed against me.

The plowers plowed upon my back: they made long their furrows.

The Lord is righteous: he hath cut asunder the cords of the wicked.

Let them all be confounded and turned back that hate Zion.

Let them be as the grass upon the housetops, which withereth afore it groweth up:

Wherewith the mower filleth not his hand; nor he that bindeth sheaves his bosom.

Neither do they which go by say, The blessing of the Lord be upon you: we bless you in the name of the Lord.

                                                                                       ~ Psalm 129

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