As a boy scout, I learned the motto "Be Prepared" and I was prepared to have fun when we went camping. A lot of media attention recently has been given to being prepared for terrorists, floods, droughts, tornados, hurricanes, earthquakes, forest/grass fires, etc. Yes, we can be prepared economically for an economic meltdown that can provide temporary protection. We can take some protective measures for weather related disasters, like tornado safe rooms that can provide temporary protection. What about being prepared for a time affecting people obedient to God, that Jesus revealed to John when "no one could buy or sell". No economic or weather related disaster could be as difficult overall as being unable to buy or sell. This will be a wicked time when Jesus says, "the love of most will grow cold". 1
To understand ultimate preparation we must remember God provided food and clothes for the "Israelites ate manna for 40 years" and as Moses reminded the children of Israel "neither your clothes nor sandals wore out". God can provide. After telling us how God can provide for our basic needs like food and clothes, Jesus states, "The thing you should want most is God's kingdom and doing what God wants. Then all these other things you need will be given to you". We can work on the ultimate preparation by putting God first in our lives and trying to do what He wants us to do all the time like Jesus our example said, "I do exactly what the Father told Me to do".2
Over the years our society has changed from a time where people were openly assertive and proud of being a Christian to today when many Christians seem to be in the secret service. Today many seem to be openly proud of not being a Christian and some are openly proud of being an out of the closet sinner. Frequently there are lawsuits to help Christians be treated like others in our society where anti-Christian discrimination has taken place. . In the end times, Jesus describes how His followers will be mistreated legally, put on trial and required to testify. Jesus encourages us not to worry about what we will say because it will be "The Spirit of your Father will be speaking through you". There may be a way to prepare for that time. Many times people have said emphatically, "I do not hear God". One way to make the ultimate preparation for that time is to pray that you will hear God and get used to listening to His voice. Again Jesus gives us an example to follow when He says, "the Father who sent Me told Me what to say". Our greatest preparation will be to develop a relationship with God where He guides us in what we say and do.3
1. Rev 13:17; Mt 24:12 (NI)
2. Ex 16:35 Dt 29:5; Mt 6:33; Jn 14:31 (IC)
3. Mt 24:20; Jn 12:49 (IC)
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A Psalm for reflection "Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth... the God of Jacob is our refuge". Ps 46:10-11
Understanding the Teaching: What I share in the teaching is what I believe God wants me to share. All the direct quotes from God are highlighted in royal purple. Of course the words of Jesus are in red. Rather than follow some made up doctrine, remember that Jesus said that every thing He said (Jn 12:49) and everything He did (Jn 14:31) comes from God. All teachings and all opinions should be supported by what we learn from God or Jesus (see the scripture referred to in the footnote).
MARRIAGE WORKSHOP MOMENT
In our marriages, the first thing to go is being a friend. Friendship type activities and taking time to talk like friends. A friend listens without being defensive, respects their friend's opinion and doesn't offer an unwanted advice, unless asked. With a friend you feel safe to open up and often you develop mutual interests. It is important to set apart a time of friendship time together. It is good to protect that time together by eliminating issues and possible problems by having your weekly couples meeting in advance using the Speaker Listener Technique.
The Better Half "When your partner won't support your efforts to make your marriage better" Without your spouse's support to improve your marriage, you can still pray daily for God's will to be done in each of your lives and your marriage ("all things are possible with God", Mark 10:27 NIV).Even without you spouse's help you can be a good friend. Like doing friendship type activities and taking time to talk like friends. A friend listens without being defensive, respects their friend's opinion and doesn't offer an unwanted advice, unless asked. With a friend you feel safe to open up and often you develop mutual interests.
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