Each Day…A Gift From God

With the recent death of my friend Hugo…and seeing my beloved Pastor, Chuck Obremski in his ongoing battle with cancer…I’m more cognizant that each day that we are given, is a gift from God.

Not too along ago when Chuck began his recent series “Living Life in the Light of Eternity” we prayed that God would grant Chuck the time to preach the message which God had laid upon his heart. God has been faithful and merciful and answered our prayers abundantly. He has given him the strength each week…to preach a powerful message from His Word. Chuck in turn has been obedient to God and faithful to use the gifts God has given him.

Each day is gift from God. None of us is granted another hour…much less another day. We should examine ourselves and ask, what am I doing with the gifts that God has given me? Am I faithful and obedient to do that which He has asked me to do? Do I seek His will and plan for my life? Am I doing that which is pleasing to God?

While none of us is guaranteed another day here on earth, each one us can receive that guarantee of an eternal future secure in heaven…with God our Father…His Blessed Son and the Holy Spirit dwelling within us.

As you lay your head on your pillow tonight…ask yourself if your eternal future is secure? If not…remedy that right now…and receive Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior. The Lover of your soul…has gift waiting just for you.

Amazing Grace by John Newton

Amazing grace! How sweet the sound
That saved a wretch like me!
I once was lost, but now am found;
Was blind, but now I see.

’Twas grace that taught my heart to fear,
And grace my fears relieved;
How precious did that grace appear
The hour I first believed.

Through many dangers, toils and snares,
I have already come;’
Tis grace hath brought me safe thus far,
And grace will lead me home.

The Lord has promised good to me,
His Word my hope secures;
He will my Shield and Portion be,
As long as life endures.

Yea, when this flesh and heart shall fail,
And mortal life shall cease,
I shall possess, within the veil,
A life of joy and peace.

The earth shall soon dissolve like snow,
The sun forbear to shine;
But God, Who called me here below,
Shall be forever mine.

When we’ve been there ten thousand years,
Bright shining as the sun,
We’ve no less days to sing God’s praise
Than when we’d first begun.

Sometimes God Says "No"

Today I received sad news that my friend Hugo passed away this weekend. It followed Hugo’s heroic struggle to live..and much prayer uttered on his behalf. It was on the heals of some promising news that Hugo had been approved for a lung transplant. With the focus on a transplant…the news of Hugo’s death was sudden.

Just last week I was talking with Dan…about Hugo’s amazing will to live. I found it to be somewhat of a mystery and a great testament to life and love. Hugo endured so much suffering during the course of this illness. Many would have given up and died long ago. But Hugo sought life…and remained hopeful that God’s healing hand might rest upon him. I am certain that Hugo’s passion and hope for life was motivated by the love for his wife and family.

I do remember the first time I met Hugo…almost a year ago. While Hugo had worked for our company for many, many years…I had never met him. His name was well known as was his reputation…but this was my first time meeting him. Hugo was amazingly open about what he was going through…and as such invited me to share and speak freely with him. Even while so gravely ill…Hugo was caring and encouraging to everyone he encountered. He was disarmingly honest and would freely speak his mind.

Because of his openness I was able to share what had helped me during some difficult times especially with my mom’s Alzheimer’s…and that was the Word of God. Specifically my Pastor, Chuck Obremski’s straightforward, no nonsense preaching. Hugo willingly accepted some CD’s and…his hunger for the Word of God grew…and his love for God increased daily. He received a peace that passes all understanding…and knew with certainty that when that day came…and Jesus called him home…he would be there with his Lord and Savior.

So while I grieve at Hugo’s loss especially for his wife, family and friends…I am greatly comforted to know that he is home…and eternally secure. I am comforted and relieved to know that he is no longer suffering.

I guess in some respects…I was very aware that Hugo might die before he received the transplant…or even during surgery or recovery. So to that degree…I wasn’t shocked and overwhelmed. At the same…while aware of the risks Hugo was facing…I was grateful to God that he did answer our prayers and allow Hugo to be accepted in the transplant program. In some way…I think it was an affirming outward sign that God loved Hugo.

While the world seems a little bit colder these days…heaven seems more and more inviting. As people whom I love proceed me to heaven…I look forward to a reunion one day. That day, in which we will see clearly what God’s plans were for our lives and why sometimes he says “No”.

Hugo…I look forward to that day in which I will see you again. Be well my friend…and enjoy some time with Jesus.

Jesus From A to Z

Please click on the above link…and see this new posting from David Fisher. This one touched me in particular. When I find it hard to pray…one thing that helps me to focus is to think upon/dwell on the attributes of God…or his different names or titles. It quiets my mind…and help me to better focus. From there it’s easy to offer praise and thankgiving to my great God and Savior, Jesus Christ.

Words of Wisdom…Chuck Obremski

Satan is on a mission, looking for people weak in their faith, not in the Word of God or praying. We need to be immersed in the Word of God so we can be better prepared for the days we will be attacked. How much time do you spend in the Word of God? Studying, memorizing it, meditating on it?

If you are not happy with God’s plan and timing…get use to it. We have to adjust to God’s way of thinking and God’s timing. He is God…and we are not.

How long will it be when looking at the books of your deeds before you say, “Guilty as charged.”?

Flee to the Grace of God. The Bible warns us of the terrible judgment to come. Now is the time for some self evaluation. Are you ready for that day?

On Earth As It Is In Heaven

On Earth as it is in Heaven
Revelation 20:1-15

Notes from Chuck Obremski’s Sermon 6-26-05

The millennium is 1,000 years in length. Jesus will establish his kingdom. It’s a literal 1,000 year period…mentioned 6 times in Rev 20:1-6.

1. The Binding of Satan (vs. 1-3)

It’s wonderful and even comforting to know that there will come a day when Satan will not be able kill, devour and destroy. 1 Peter 5:8 – 8Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.

Satan is on a mission, looking for people weak in their faith, not in the Word of God or praying. We need to be immersed in the Word of God so we can be better prepared for the days we will be attacked. How much time do you spend in the Word of God? Studying, memorizing it, meditating on it? Only one way to discern it…know God’s Word.

1 Cor 4:3-4 3 – And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. 4The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.

Satan seeks to blind unbelievers…he deceives them. They are blinded by our enemy. Satan does not want people to hear the gospel message, to repent, receive Jesus Christ, or worship and praise God the Father. We should be in prayer for unbelieving family and friends. That God would remove the blinders and put a hedge of protection around them. We are engaged in a spiritual battle and Satan will not give up.

2 Cor 11:13-15 – 13For such men are false apostles, deceitful workmen, masquerading as apostles of Christ. 14And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light. 15It is not surprising, then, if his servants masquerade as servants of righteousness. Their end will be what their actions deserve.

Those who reject Christ will be judged according to their deeds.

Satan…the slander, accusing us before God. During the 1,000 year reign Satan will be bound, thrown into the abyss. He will be shut up in the pit…no one will be able to hear what he has to say. Why will God do this, so Satan will not be able to deceive the nations during this time. God is in total control. Satan will then be released for a short period of time. Yet…God is still in total control. It must happen this way…for it is according to the scriptures. This will happen until God is through using him for his purposes.

Nothing can happen to God’s people without God being absolutely involved. It is comforting to know that nothing can happen in our lives without it being used for God’s purpose and glory.

If you are not happy with God’s plan and timing…get use to it. Make the best use of the time. We have to adjust to God’s way of thinking and God’s timing. He is God and we are not. If you approach it this way…you will have a peace you never thought possible. Just chill out and relax. Trust in God.

2. Blessings that believers will experience. (vs. 4-6)

When we see thrones mentioned…the thrones represent those responsible for judgment. Thrones = Judgment.

This is relevant for how we live our lives today. What we do today, will determine what we will be doing during the 1,000 reign. Those who die for their faith during the tribulation they will be raised and reign with Christ during that 1,000 year reign. Believers will be resurrected…we’ll be alive during the 1,000 year reign…ruling and reigning with Christ.

Luke 19:11-27 – parable about the 10 minas and the three servants. Jesus tells this parable about the kingdom of heaven. Rewards…obedience is what leads to rewards.

Are you faithful to use what God has given you? What will you be doing during the 1,000 year reign? What we do today…will determine what we will do then. It’s easy for us to get bogged down when we loose the eternal perspective.

The servant who had one mina and hide it was disobedient to what God had given him. Now is the time to think and ask yourself…will you be disappointed because of what you failed to invest and use faithfully…that which God has gifted you with?

There is a difference between the servant with the one mina who is like a believer who does not submit to Jesus ruling in his life and an unbeliever who rejects Jesus altogether.

What will you be doing during the 1,000 year reign? It will be based on what you are doing today. How is that day that stacking up for you now? Obedience now will determine what happens then.

3. The battle that reveals the hard heart of man. (vs. 7-10)

When Satan is released following the 1,000 years…he will be allowed to go to the four corners of the earth and deceive people once again. This will show the depth of depravity of man. For 1,000 years man has lived under the rule of God in a perfect world…with everything that is needed. Yet these people will still reject Christ after those 1,000 years. Man has a heart that is deceitfully wicked above all things.

Inward faith and commitment is different than an outward submission in which we do what we are told to do. Do you have a heart for God? Without a heart transplant…you will never be right with God.

Vs. 9…God will destroy all. God will do what he says he will do. Following the 1,000 years…Satan, the beast and the false prophet will be thrown into the lake of fire will the will be tormented forever and ever…for eternity.

4. The books that judge the dead. (vs. 11-15)

Great White Throne Judgment. Judgment of all unbelievers. They will finally see Jesus for who he really is…holy and perfect…righteous, fair and just. It will be a just judgment. There will be no place to flee. Doesn’t matter what you’ve accomplished or who you are. Unbelievers will be judged.

How long will it be when looking at the books of your deeds before you say, “Guilty as charged.”?

Believers are judged for rewards…for works done after coming to Christ. Unbeliever are judged…their deeds determine the level of their punishment. Judged according to their deeds. Can’t escape the judgment. Life continues on after you die…what you believe now…determines where you will spend eternity.

If anyone’s name is not written in the Lamb’s Book of Life…they will be thrown into the lake of fire.

Flee to the Grace of God. The Bible warns us of the terrible judgment to come. Now is the time for some self evaluation. Have you committed yourself to Christ? Are you ready for that day?

Celebrating 50 Years…Congratulations

Congratulation to Mr. and Mrs. Egan on their 50th wedding anniversary.

This weekend my friend Joe Egan’s parents are celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary.

That is truly amazing…and Congratulations seems wholly inadequate for such an accomplishment. They are parents to twelve children. Of whom I am privileged to know their son Joe. If Joe is any reflection on his parents…they are wonderful indeed.

This weekend Joe is back in Boston visiting his family and joining in the celebration. I love to hear Joe tell stories about his family, parents, sisters and brothers…and about past adventures.

One of Joe’s favorite treats are his Mom’s homemade biscuits. After a visit back home…he speaks fondly of his mom’s cooking. If fact the dear boy…has got me hooked on biscuits. I have no doubt that they pale in comparison to Mrs. Egan’s homemade version…but there’s nothing like a warm biscuit with a little butter and honey. In fact my two kitties, Nathan and Moss…like to partake as well.

I don’t get to see or talk to Joe too much these days…he’s one busy dude…and too far away in Boise. But I wish Joe a wonderful visit with his family…may they have a wonderful weekend celebrating their parent’s tremendous accomplishment of 50 years of wedded bliss.