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A Storm is ComingThese things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world. John 16:33

I have not heard “these are turbulent times” for quite some time now; perhaps because that description no longer does justice to our times. Chaos abounds! It has become normative.

One bit of comfort (if you can receive it): Tribulation is normal for the followers of Jesus. In fact, it is helpful. The Greek word for “transformed” in 2Corinthians 3:18 and Romans 12:2 is metamorphoō.

See what I mean? God uses tribulation to mature us into the very image of the glory of Jesus Christ.

The tribulation that has come to the church in America will continue to intensify. It will be felt by individuals and organizations of all kinds. Many are already suffering. Few know what to do, or how to help their neighbor.

Tribulation does not have to be a bad thing. God used tribulation to force the Gospel out of Jerusalem. The nation of Israel was formed out of the tribulation of WWII and Hitler’s genocide.

We do not have to be overcome by tribulation. There are ways to find – and help others find – the peace, joy and strength of God, in the midst of the chaos. There is a safe place. It is called “the center of God’s will”.

Of course, finding that place is easier said than done. Good intentions are not the same as being intentional. To find Him, we must seek for Him with all of our hearts.

So, where do we start? How do we find the center of God’s will? To find God’s will in any situation, we need to understand and commit ourselves to what He is trying to accomplish. I suggest we start with the three eternal purposes of God. Read the rest of this entry »

Bible with Cross ShadowThere are some sayings of Jesus that do not line up with the average person’s reality. It is at those times that Bible teachers are tempted to justify Jesus’ commands, and defend the word of God. I’m just saying… from personal experience.

My intention in this article is to take a different course. Instead of defending or explaining away, let’s simply try to understand how to do this saying. It is, after all, what the Master desires for us.

Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. Matthew 7:7-8

On the surface, this is not a difficult saying to do. Most Christians spend a lot of their prayer time asking God for things. Most human beings are seeking the truth; and many of them are knocking on the door of heaven, genuinely trying to get into the kingdom of God.

The problem we face in this saying is: Not everyone who asks receives; nor do those that seek find. Many are finding the door closed no matter how passionately they knock. So what is the problem here?

We know that Jesus is not a liar. There must be something more; something Jesus is assuming we understand in this saying. Hopefully, that understanding will help us be better doers; and help us appropriate His promises of getting, finding and entering. Read the rest of this entry »

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