Life was filled with guns and war
And everyone got trampled on the floor
I wish we’d all been ready
Children died the days grew cold
A piece of bread could buy a bag of gold
I wish we’d all been ready
There’s no time to change your mind
How could you have been so blind
The father spoke the demons dined
The son has come and you’ve been left behind
You’ve been left behind
You’ve been left behind
Songwriters: Larry Norman
I Wish We’d All Been Ready lyrics © Ordure Blanc Music
As a kid I loved this song. It was sort of dark and moody and I liked that. As I grew older and the tune gave way to the words I still liked it for it’s powerful meaning, but now as 2022 has been in full swing for five months and we see how much worse things are getting this song breaks my heart, because I see it. I’m not saying Jesus is coming tomorrow or trying to prophesy end times, I am just saying we need to have eyes that are open. You might sound crazy if you mention the word apocalypse, until you are proven right. This might not be it. Jesus might not be returning for another two thousand years for all we know, but I wish we were all ready. I have heard the people call us Christians fanatics and Jesus freaks and other things I can’t say. I get it. We look crazy to some people, we talk about an all powerful God who takes away sin and makes us clean, a God who loves us as we are and is willing to help us be better. We talk about a paradise and a second coming and Heavenly beings. We sound a little crazy. But if you have met Him. Heart to heart, and found a true connection. If you have seen Him do amazing things, if you have been in darkness and then met His perfect light, you know that you aren’t crazy, you know that He is real and what He says is true.
Don’t get discouraged by the bribes and threats of the fallen world around us. Stay strong and continue to follow.
My Poppa who has been an evengelical minister for seventy some years said something really good the other day.
‘Those in the stands will always find criticism in those running the race, but those who have crossed the finish line will cheer you on.’
Those who aren’t aiming for Heaven will always find fault in those who are, but that doesn’t mean that those who are striving toward God are wrong, it means that the people in the stands aren’t running, they don’t understand the race and have nothing better to do then yell at the people who are down on the track sweating it out. But the people who have run the race and are watching from Heaven, they know what it’s like, they understand and are cheering you on. Don’t give up because the guy buying peanuts in row three seat A5 thinks that you should do something differently, is he running? No. So how does he know what you should do?
Look closer at that guy who is challenging you to give up, do you see the sneer and…is his toungue forked? Never doubt that the one telling you to stop being a Jesus Freak is the devil. It doesn’t matter whose voice he uses to dissuade you, it’s the deciver trying to make you give up. So keep going. And when you can’t run, walk, and when you can’t walk, kneel. Jesus is there beside you cheering you on too. I wish we’d all been ready, but just as much I pray that those who are ready don’t give up before the race is won.
Lent devotional 38
Today I was shoveling our steps to our house of the knee deep snowfall we had last night. Suddenly my shovel his something metal and I had a moment of that ‘I found treasure’ rush before fishing it out of the snow and finding it be the cross we have hanging on our door. The wind had blown it down in the storm. I put it aside, finished what I was doing and then took it around to the back of the house where I could leave it in a shelter to dry. I noticed that something was wrong with it as I inspected it for damage and soon realized that the ‘faith’ on the front of it was covered with snow, so I brushed it off and went inside.
Isn’t that so like life? We dig for something of value in this world and find a treasure of faith. Then a big storm hits and our faith gets blown around and beaten until it falls and becomes buried by the crushing weight of our problem. Then we start to clean up from our pain and problems little by litte, knowing that we need help, and there we find our faith waiting for us, just a little wet and a little buried by the snow. we pick it back up, dust it off, and place it back in our lives where it belongs. Storms are supposed to be conquered through faith, they aren’t supposed to win and knock our faith down. They aren’t supposed to, but sometimes they still do. But God is faithful to us and is ready to help us even when we lose our faith, even when we can’t take anymore, even when we fall asleep in the garden. It breaks His heart, but He gets it and doesn’t give up on us.
“Thank you Jesus for getting me even on days when my faith has taken a beating, I know you are always there and that though you may rebuke me, you will never stop loving me.”
Don’t be ashamed to face God and ask for forgiveness for falling asleep on watch, go to Him and reach for Him, He will hold you close and restore you, because even if you fail Him, He never fails you.
Lent devotional 37
Who is He?
Two people walked past the platform in the street market. Amid the shouting of the vendors and the bartering of the shoppers you could hear a single voice raising. It said As John was completing his work, he said: ‘Who do you suppose I am? I am not the one you are looking for. But there is one coming after me whose sandals I am not worthy to untie.’
Acts 13:25 NIV
“Who is he?” The one person asked the other.
“One of those followers of John I think.”
“Who is he speaking of?”
A shrug, “who knows, the man is crazy, he lives in the bush and rants about the Messiah.”
“Yes but, what if he is right?”
“And what if he is wrong?”
The two continue on and later find themselves arrested, each had stolen from the vendors as they passed through the streets. Their trial took several days and at last they were executed. While on the cross he had earned through his crime the man wondered again if his Messiah would truly return soon. He hoped ‘soon’ would be within the hour. Then he looked at the man next to him. His face, His eyes, they were not right, they did not belong next to him. His friend gloated and mocked the man in the middle. What was wrong? Why did He seem so out of place? So many mourned this man, so many seemed to hate Him, for what?
The man turned on his old companion and silenced him, deep down he knew that what he had heard was not the ravings of a man in the wilderness, it was the prophesy of one who believed he would see God. The man wanted that, even at this late hour while death stood waiting the man desired to see Heaven, to be free of guilt and shame. He turned to see sad eyes staring at him, “remember me when you come into your kingdom.”
The face smiled, “today we will be together in Paradise.”
We don’t know much about the two men who died with Jesus and though the scriptural parts are true the rest is an idea, an idea of how the man with Jesus whom Luke claims came to know God in his final moments might have felt, had he heard John or one lf his deciples speak of Christ? Had it simply been the presence of Jesus Himself that turned the man’s heart? Maybe he had been at the sermon on the mount? We don’t know. All we know is that Luke says he asked to come into God’s kingdom with Jesus and Jesus said ‘yes’. Was this man significant to the story? Yes. And God would have known that. We needed to see that it is never too late and you are never too far gone for God to save you. It is so important to remember that. He wants you with Him. That was the point of all this. So that you could come to know Jesus and be with Him forever.
Lent devotional 32
His head hung as the smile left his lips. This wasn’t right. Was it?
He took a deep breath and leaned in for the kiss.
This was wrong. Wasn’t it?
He looked into the eyes of the man before him. So filled with pain and sorrow. This is so very wrong. The other man just stared. Then his eyes moved past his betrayer to the soldiers behind.
What have I done?
The betrayer ran away, leaving his friend, no longer his friend. He ran and ran until he couldn’t run anymore as grief and guilt tore his soul.
What have we done?
What have we done?
How many of us have betrayed our Jesus at one time or another? Yet He still loves us. That has never changed.
His heart breaks as we betray Him. His heart loves us still and that is why it breaks.
What a paradox. What a mystery. That the king would leave His royal throne, to save a wretch like me. -Petra
We are all wretches, loved by a loyal king.
Reach out to Him today. He is reaching out to you.
If you have never accepted Jesus. Or feel a need to renew your faith. Please pray with me:
I am a sinner and I know I need salvation. Forgive me for my sins.
Thank you for coming to earth to save me.
I accept you into my life now. Guide me to know you more.
Lent devotional 26
I’m not faithless, just paranoid of being lost- Flyleaf
We become afraid, even paraniod of being left behind or lost.
But the Jesus who mourned in the garden, suffered in the flogger’s hands and died on the cross will never leave us behind. He died so we would never be lost. Jesus came for us, He found us, He goes after the one and never gives up until you are found. Feeling lost does not make you faithless, it makes you human. It’s easy to feel like you have lost your way when things are spinning and you can’t focus. They say you should work on you and that will help you help others, I’m not sure that that is true, but how do you work on you when you can’t find you? Life gets messy. The world is crazy and it get’s inside your head and causes stress. Things fall apart, people fail you, things pack on top of themselves and you feel like Atlas holding up the world. But the world is not yours to hold, that’s God’s job. The mess and crazy all around you is not your’s to deal with. The pile of things for you to do is not yours to bear alone. God arms me with strength, and He makes my path perfect Psalm 18:34
You are not lost just because you are spinning, God always knows where you are. He doesn’t need to find you again because He never lost you even if you have lost focus of Him.
Lent devotional 23
To love them with your whole heart.
We feel these days that to love them is to accept them, all of them, as they are in that moment. That is true in a sense but not in a whole. As Christians it is always a struggle to accept the whole of the person but to also fight against their sin. We forget that if we accept the sin and not simply the sinner then we aren’t truly loving them. To accept our whole selves and to accept our own sin is not truly loving ourselves either. There is the great truth that we all have a darkness to us, but when we claim that we love our darkness as part of ourselves we are hurting ourselves. When we claim that we love someone else’s darkness as part of themselves then we are condeming them to forever be trapped by that darkness. Our sin is not who we are, it is not part of us. Like a big chain holding down a wolf, that chain is not part of that animal, that free spirit, it is simply attached to him or her. Once someone loves the wolf enough to say, ‘that doesn’t belong on you, let me help you take it off,’ and the wolf is set free from it’s bonds it can finally return to the trees and run the way it was meant to run. These chains are not part of us, our sins are not part of us, we cannot lie down and simply accept them in ourselves and in others, we must stand up against sin and scream ‘no more!’ ‘No longer will this sin hold me down!’ ‘I want to be free!’
You are not defined by your chains. You are meant to be free.
Seek a good Church with a pastor you trust and can come to with your sin, seek good Christian people who will help you. I don’t mean as someone to confess to, I mean as people to pray with you. Trust me, they have sins too that they are fighting, you are not alone.
Jesus I love you, I love that you love me and fight against my sin becasue you want me to be free. Thank you that you are not condeming me when you condem my sin, but that you are saving me. Let me trust in you and your truth. Guide me to fellow Christ followers so that I might find people who will pray with me and fight with me.
Lent devotional 20
Jesus is devine
I can feel you all around me, thickening the air I’m breathing, holding on to what I’m feeling – savoring This heart that’s healed.-Flyleaf
The only way He can heal our Brokenness is if He is God. If He had been just a man and had died for the lives of his friends it still would have been amazing; but He died as God, for people who loved him, and for people who hated him. The only reason we are saved is because Jesus is divine. This reminds me of something Sherry Yuki said about the king who was her friend, whom she served in as a herbalist in his castle, ‘I shouldn’t even be permitted around a man of his station, the only reason I am permitted to go anywhere near him is because his authority puts him above reproach.’
The only reason we can go anywhere near God is because he chooses to permit us to be with Him, and because His authority makes it so no one can question Him. But because He lets us come to Him as God and He came to us as man we forget that He is divine, that He is God. When it came to the deity of Jesus no one ever said, ‘look! Jesus is God! Get that through your heads!’ Instead the disciples just naturally spoke of Jesus as God. In Revelation chapter 5, you hear about the Lion of Judah, then you look and see this Lamb who had been slaughtered, this signifies that Jesus- who is coming back- was just as powerful when He was dying on the cross as He is as a returning King. Jesus has the position of the first born, but God did not create Him. All things were created by Him and for Him. Jesus is one with God. Some say Jesus was simply an angel or a prophet but the Bible tells us that angels report to Jesus, nations are dust and will fade away, only Jesus matters. The Living Creatures sing ‘Holy is the Lord God Almighty,’ then the elders fall down before Jesus. The exact same worship that they gave God in chapter 4 of Revelation, they give Jesus in chapter 5. Jesus is consistently reminding us that He is God, because if He isn’t God then we are not forgiven. Oh yes, we would be forgiven by Him as a man, but unless He is God also that forgiveness can’t save us. But He IS God, so we are saved. Jesus Is God, don’t believe anyone who tells you different, and don’t forget that He loves us and welcomes us, but He is still the devine creator, the Author of life, the Alpha and Omega, the Key, the Door, the Blood, the Lion, the Lamb, the Shepherd and the returning King. He is God! Anyone who tells you otherwise is selling something.
Lent devotional 18
I will speak Jesus and the devil will flee because he knows that name and what it means for him.
Darkness is inevitable, there will always be darkness in this world because it is dying. People cling desperately to things that don’t matter, trying to make it feel like they aren’t about to be consumed. But there is a name the darkness knows and flees from. Speak Jesus. The devil will lie to you. He will try to make you feel lost, left behind, confused, worthless. Speak Jesus. He will show you that you are found, accepted, loved, wanted, valued. Jesus is coming back to take us home. The darkness of this world will not haunt us in the presence of Jesus. Where Jesus is there is no fear. He is light. Brilliant light. When this world dies we won’t be with it. Imagine seeing Jesus coming and picking us up in his arms and laughing and smiling, holding us close and saying, ‘come on precious, let’s go home.’
Jesus drives away darkness, present darkness and eternal darkness.
Lent devotional 13
The black haron circles it’s wings around it’s body and makes a canopy to imitate shelter and create shade. This way fish swim under it, thinking it is safe, when really it’s a trap.
The devil is like the black haron. He creates things, places and people that look safe, they look like a shelter, but in truth they are a trap to draw you in. The common lie the devil uses is the lie of acceptance. Christians are becoming more and more accepting; not of people, accepting people is not a new thing, Jesus has always required and encouraged that, but of accepting sin. We do the ‘I have to accept their sin to accept them’ dance, and all we end up doing is opening ourselves to cause the same sins. The people are not their sin, we are not our sin, Jesus accepts us with open arms and a heart full of love, but He does not accept our sin to come with us. He doesn’t accept the sin, He accepts us despite the sin. We do not have to accept the sin to accept the person, we do not have to act like the sin is okay to love the sinner. Saying that the sin in okay is simply a way to not be faced with the anger of a person who doesn’t want to stop sinning but does want to go to Heaven, you can’t have both. We are all sinners and people who fall short of Christ, but we repent of our sins- sometimes we repent of the same sin a thousand times a day- but we acknowledge that it is wrong, we ask for forgiveness and we try to not do it again. You can not cling to sin and claim it as okay and be a Christian, but the devil wants us to fall into being tolerant so that we let darkness slip in without realizing it. Be tolerant of the person yes, but not of the sin that binds them. If we became tolerant of the sin that binds us we would not be a new creation in Christ, our lives would not be changed, we would be the same person we were before we accepted Jesus into our lives and what point would there be in that? Now, coming to Jesus will not immidiately change you so your sin is no longer pestering you, and we may even fall back into that sin after coming to God. Sin looks like a safe place sometimes. It’s the devil trying to hold us down and keep us back from God, and he doesn’t want to give up his hold on us, so don’t be discouraged if you find yourself in a battle against your sin and don’t seem to be winning, hang in there, persistance will drive the devil away. If everytime you sin you choose to confess it to God the devil will get uncomfortable, if everytime you feel like you are about to sin and start to pray you will defeat the devil’s hold in your life. We all sin. Everyday. The differnence is when we confess our sins and start new with Jesus, each time, no matter how many times that is. We cannot be tolerant to sin and say it’s okay because that is like saying the devil is okay, but we must always be loving and accepting of the people, because those people are us too. Turn away from the sin chains that hold you down and know that Jesus loves you, He sees that you are trying, and doing your best- even when you fall back and have to try again- and He is fighting with you, and He always loves you. He doesn’t love our sin, He can’t, but He always loves us.
Breathing. Have you ever considered breathing? I don’t mean doing it, that’s required, I mean the action of breathing. Breathing is one of the few things that absolutely everything alive does. Bugs breathe, plants and flowers breathe, animals breathe, fire breathes, we breathe, I have heard it said that water breathes- though don’t ask me how. Everything-that is alive-breathes. Why? No idea. There is no reason that the human body should require air to breathe except the fact that God decided that that was how it should work. Truly. Scientists say:
“Breathing is part of a process called respiration. During respiration, a living thing takes in oxygen from the air and gives out carbon dioxide. This process gives animals and plants the energy to eat, grow, and live life!” -10 interesting facts about air-NASA
That is correct, obviously, but that doesn’t explain why that is necessary. Why do we need a respiratory system? Why does the body need to take in oxygen to produce energy? Why not make it produce energy without air? ( Let’s not get into the energy produced by the sun or this post will be too long.) You may ask my point for this line of questioning, here it is. What is the most constantly ignored and taken for granted function of life, until it is gone? Breathing. God made a complex and masterful design when creating the living organism and we need to remember just how amazing our bodies are. So how about right now we sit for 10 seconds and focus on breathing, and just how amazing breathing is.