Why Missions?

Missions is a subject that is very close to my heart. Verna and I have been involved in missions ministry for most of our sixty years of service.

We have discovered that people DO missions for a variety of reasons. For us it is increasingly clear that missions is linked with LOVE, GOD’S LOVE. The message that I gave last Sunday at Sunridge Community Church in Temecula, California addresses this topic. There are three main points that I shared.

1. We have a message of Love.
2. We are motivated by Love.
3. God Fills us with His Love.

I invite you to watch this message and then send your comments to me.

God Bless and fill you with HIS LOVE.

-Mel

2011-6-12 from Sunridge on Vimeo.

Is Jesus Coming Back Again?

In the past few weeks we have been inundated with news that a certain self‐styled prophet in Northern California has predicted that the RAPTURE of the church will take place on May 21, 2011. He further prophesied that the world would be destroyed by fire on October 21, 2011.

His predictions have caused many people to use their life savings to share this message. It is now May 23, 2011 and the prophet and his followers, along with believers worldwide are still here. Many of this man’s followers are suffering greatly today with embarrassment. I truly feel sorry for them and their leader. I believe that they are all very sincere in their beliefs, BUT SINCERELY WRONG.

I do believe that Jesus is coming back for His church. I also believe that it could be very soon. The Bible is very clear in its teaching regarding the return of Christ and the end of the world as we know it. Unfortunately these folks in Northern California failed to read all of the words regarding Christ’s coming.

In Matthew’s gospel, chapter 24, Jesus shares with his disciples concerning things that will take place prior to His return to earth. His disciples responded in the same way that many people today respond. When will all this take place? And will there be any sign ahead of time to signal your return and the end of the world? (Matthew 24:3)

Jesus answers their question by giving them a list of signs that will take place before He returns. One of the signs is that many false prophets will appear and will lead many people astray (Matthew 24:11).

In my lifetime there have been many sincere, but false prophets. Notably there was a prophet who wrote a book titled, 88 reasons why Jesus will come in 1988. He didn’t come! In 1994 the same prophet who predicted Jesus would return this last week, set a date that didn’t come to pass. Jesus goes on to say something that all of the false prophets fail to accept. However, no one knows the day or the hour when these things will happen, not even the angels in heaven or the Son himself. Only the Father knows (Matthew 24:36).

Then Jesus says You also must be ready all the time. For the Son of Man will come when least expected (Matthew 24:44).

The Apostle Paul gives us more insight into the return of Jesus and the end of our world:

For the Lord himself will come down from heaven with a commanding shout, with the call of the archangel, and with the trumpet call of God. First, all the Christians who have died will rise from their graves. Then, together with them, we who are still alive and remain on the earth will be caught up in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air and remain with him forever. So comfort and encourage each other with these words (1 Thessalonians 4:1618).

In 1 Thessalonians chapter five Paul continues with these words:

For you know the day of the Lord will come unexpectedly, like a thief in the night (v2)

So encourage each other and build each other up, just as you are already doing (v11)

I think that it is fitting to end this post with the very appropriate words found in Deuteronomy chapter 18:

But any prophet who claims to give a message from another god or who falsely claims to speak for me must die. You may wonder, how will we know whether the prophecy is from the Lord or not? If the prophet predicts something in the Lord’s name and it does not happen, the Lord did not give the message. That prophet has spoken on his own and need not be feared (v20-22).

YES! Jesus is coming back again. He said, Don’t be troubled. You trust God, now trust in me. There are many rooms in my Father’s home, and I am going to prepare a place for you. If this were not so, I would tell you plainly. When everything is ready, I will come and get you, so that you will always be with me where I am (John 14:13).

When Jesus ascended into heaven in Acts 1:11, two angels appeared with this message to the disciples: Men of Galilee, why are you standing here staring at the sky? Jesus has been taken away from you into heaven. And someday, just as you saw him go, he will return!

YES! Someday He will return. I anticipate his return. Until he comes I am content to serve him with joy. I trust that you will do THE SAME.

-Mel

(Scriptures quoted are from the New Living Translation.)

RE-focus on the LORD

Today I want to look at another of my favorite passages of scripture. It is found in Isaiah 26.

You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, whose thoughts are fixed on you! Trust in the Lord always, for the Lord God is the eternal Rock. (v3-4)

The newspapers and telecasts are telling a story that doesn’t reflect much in the way of peace. It seems that we are in a state of WAR EVERYWHERE. Sometimes I am wondering if we are living the fulfillment of Revelation 6:4.

And another horse appeared, a red one. Its rider was given a mighty sword and the authority to remove peace from the earth. And there was WAR AND SLAUGHTER EVERYWHERE.

The suffering that we hear about and see in our world brings great anxiety to the hearts of caring people. If I am not careful I find myself looking despair in the eyes. Despair brings sadness and depression and ultimately feelings of HOPELESSNESS. That’s why I turn my thoughts to Isaiah 26. This is a passage expressing praise to the Lord in the form of a song. I find myself coming back to these verses almost daily. In almost every counseling session I do I cite these verses. This is the TRUE Positive Confession. The emphasis is on THE LORD. YOU (the Lord) will keep in perfect peace! At the end of the fourth verse we see the WHY OF IT. For the Lord God is the eternal ROCK. The longer I live the MORE I am convinced that I must sharpen and enlarge my concept of God. I need to see HIM as my ETERNAL ROCK. I must see HIM as my only hope in this life! The statement you will keep in PERFECT PEACE is not only comforting, but reassuring as well.

The one thing that remains is MY FOCUS. The passage is clear when it says that His peace comes to those who 1. TRUST IN HIM. 2. WHOSE THOUGHTS ARE FIXED ON HIM! The news reports on what is happening in Africa, the Middle East and all around me tend to blur my focus and trust. So every day, every morning I need to refocus on the Lord. I need to SEE Him for who He is and what He does. Then I need to thank Him that He is still right here with me giving me the assurance of HIS PEACE.

I pray that you will be able to identify with me today and FIX YOUR THOUGHTS on the Lord. Shalom – PEACE everyone!

-Mel

Knowing God

“But the People who know their God will be strong.” Daniel 11:32

Last month I shared the number one verse on my list of verses that have deeply touched my life. Today I want to share with you the second verse on that list. It is the verse that I quoted above. Many years ago I was challenged when I read A.W. Tozer’s books THE PURSUIT OF GOD and THE KNOWLEDGE OF THE HOLY. Let me share with you some of the things I learned.

FIRST, I was amazed to understand that to KNOW God was more than to acquire knowledge about Him. The word that Daniel used in the above passage was the same word used in the book of Genesis where it says that Adam knew Eve and that she conceived a child. The word KNOW as used here talks about a deep and intimate relationship. We can know people on many levels, but God wants us to KNOW Him intimately. I discovered that this takes time and experience.

SECONDLY, I discovered that God wants us to KNOW Him. He desires a close and loving relationship with us. In Exodus 34:14 Moses makes this very clear to the children of Israel. “You must worship no other gods, but only the Lord, for he is a God who is passionate about his relationship with you.” Throughout the whole Bible we see that it is God who pursues man. If we are honest with ourselves we are able to see that God is pursuing us. In every experience of life, HE IS THERE trying to get our attention so that we can come close to Him.

THIRDLY, I saw that there was great value in knowing God intimately. I know that there is great value to God. He made us for relationship with Himself. When we come close to Him, He loves it. BUT there is also great value for me.

- In Daniel 11:32-33 we are told that KNOWING God gives us STRENGTH. It helps us to do extraordinary things through His power. Our lives will minister to others.

- In 2 Peter 1:2-4 we receive Grace and Peace through our knowledge of God. We are also told that we will have all that we need for life and Godliness and we will be partakers of His divine nature.

- In Romans chapter eight we find great STABILITY for our lives. He INTERCEDES for us. In all things He works for our good. God is for us and NOTHING can separate us from His love.

You can search the scriptures and find many more benefits that come to those who truly KNOW God.

FINALLY, because of Jesus and what he has done for and in me I have been born into the family of God and I have God as MY FATHER. That is an incredible thought for me today. I am part of God’s family. Jesus not only gave us this privilege, but also sent HIS SPIRIT to live in us. We have His spiritual genes in us.

I can say today, that THE PEOPLE WHO KNOW GOD ARE STRONG! How about you? He is WAITING for us to respond to His pursuit.

-Mel

New Book – A Thought For Your Day, Everyday

It’s finally here! I’m pleased to announce that my new book is back from the publisher and I’m very excited about it!

Here’s a brief description. You can click on the image below to download the flier and read more. Or click here to buy the book.

A Thought For Your Day Everyday
This book is not meant to be a traditional devotional book. Rather it is just what the title indicates: a thought for your day – EVERY day.