Monday, November 10, 2008

Life of Learning, Humbly Offered to God

I have read a few chapters of Dr. David Jeremiah's new book "What In The World Is Going On?" It is excellent! So far, it is one of the best prophecy-matched-to-today's-political-headlines books that I have ever read!

You can get a glimpse of what the book is about by going to:

Lightsource: Turning Point Ministry and view the video sermons there.

Recent broadcasts include:

The New Axis of Evil
Sunday, November 02, 2008
When One Man Rules the World
Sunday, October 26, 2008
Is America In Prophecy?
Sunday, October 19, 2008
Arming for Armageddon
Sunday, November 09, 2008

I tend to have the bad habit of skipping around to different chapters when I read books on prophecy. So, I almost skipped Chapter 2 - "The Crude Awakening" - because I wasn't really interested in reading about "mankind's thirst for oil." However, it did get more interesting towards the end of the chapter. There, Dr. Jeremiah goes into "how does the oil situation affect our future?"

1. The emergence of prophetic alliances.
2. The emergence of petroleum alliances.

Dr. Jeremiah goes into the fact that oil can be used as a weapon against the West and Israel by the Arab nations that hate both of us. Since many of these oil rich countries would love to see the end of America and Israel, this does not bode well for us.

What are we to do?

The entire chapter, up to this point, contained very little good news. In fact, Dr. Jeremiah tells us - point blank - that what he had written in the chapter gave us "little reason to be optimistic - that is, if your outlook is entirely earthly."

We have been unusually blessed in this nation. And, we need to look beyond the past and the present and focus on the future. We are witnesses to the staging of events that will precede the ultimate coming of Christ to this earth. These events, written about in Scripture centuries ago, are unfolding right before our eyes.

As Christians, we know that Jesus keeps his promises! Our patient anticipation will soon be rewarded.

Dr. Jeremiah shares what Jesus told His disciples:

Keep on Waiting

Jesus told His disciples that just as you can tell that summer is near when the fig tree puts forth leaves, you can also tell that the Son of Man is returning by recognizing the signs given by the prophets (see Matthew 24:32).

We can't hasten His coming, so we are to be patient. "Therefore be patient, brethren, until the coming of the Lord. The farmer waits for the precious produce of the soil, being patient about it, until it gets the early and late rains. You too be patient; strengthen your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is near" (James 5:7-8 NASB).

Of course, we don't know the day nor hour (see Matthew 24:36), but we can discern the season of His coming.

Keep on Working

Dr. Jeremiah talks about those who wish to "passively wait" for Jesus' return - so they assume that they don't need to do anything.

No. That is NOT what Jesus meant by "waiting." In one of Jesus' parables, He said, "Blessed is that servant whom his master, when he comes, will find so doing [serving]" (Matthew 24:46).

Dr. Jeremiah:

It is a matter of working while we wait. Working hard. Working faithfully. Working in the power and joy and filling of the Holy Spirit.

Each Christian is equipped with gifts from the Spirit. Some are led to serve the poor. Others are led to be missionaries. Others are writers, preachers, lecturers, teachers - the list is endless.

When I was a "baby Christian" I often wondered (and worried) about whether I was working within God's will for my life. So, I studied the Bible diligently and "sat at the feet of Jesus" through my Bible study leaders and learned Jesus' teachings in God's Word. Next, I volunteered in several areas of ministry like our church's "Garden of Eatin" food preparation and serving team, AWANA - a club leader for two years and then a division leader for one year, a Bible study leader, and a special events volunteer. Each ministry experience helped develop the Christian woman I am today.

When I started this blog, I didn't know where it would lead. One day, my Christian friend and sister - Susan Smith - told me that Talk Wisdom was "my ministry." At first I thought...really? A blog can be a ministry? When Susan had mentioned that what I shared from God's Word blessed her, her words of encouragement blessed me right back!! (thanks so much Susan!) I have also been blessed by Susan's email newsletters!

In turn, I have found myself continually blessed by the writings of my Christian blog list friends (see sidebar!). They have blessed me with their excellent subject matter in their posts, the comments that are shared at their blogs, as well as the questions and answers provided - both here as well as at their own blogs. I am so thankful to God for finding every one of them!

We, as Christian brothers and sisters, are here to help inspire and encourage each other - as we wait in the joyful hope of the coming of our Savior, Jesus Christ! Amen?

Dr. Jeremiah writes:

Keep on Watching.

On numerous occasions Jesus told His followers to watch. He exhorted them to be full of anticipation, to look up and lift their heads up and realize that their redemption was drawing near (Luke 21:28). The apostle Paul continued the theme of watchfulness, telling the Roman believers to awake out of their sleep, for their salvation was nearer than when they first believed (Romans 13:11).

How infinitely wise is our Lord to encourage us to wait, work and watch for his return! It is true that our salvation is continually nearer than when we first believed. But not knowing the day nor the hour keeps us working! We are not supposed to just sit and wait. We are not supposed to just watch. We are to do all three - wait, work and watch!

I loved what Dr. Jeremiah shared next:

How can we gear up our wills and our emotions to keep on going in this era of church history when the future looks so ominous?

C.S. Lewis answered that question almost seventy years ago in another time when extreme danger loomed on the horizon. In an address to Oxford University students shortly after the English declared war with Germany, Lewis stated well the attitude Christians should have in times like his and ours:

This impending war has taught us some important things. Life is short. The world is fragile. All of us are vulnerable, but we are here because this is our calling. Our lives are rooted not only in time, but also in eternity, and the life of learning, humbly offered to God, is its own reward.

WOW! Is that an awesome statement or what?

Dr. Jeremiah continues:

In his speech, Lewis asserted that an impending crisis makes no difference to the nature of our duty and our calling. The truth is that danger is always part of our environment in this fallen world; the presence of an obvious and immediate danger merely intensifies our awareness of this reality that we tend to ignore. Any one of us could meet death at any moment through an accident, an invisible blood clot, or by an act of a deranged gunman. An impending battle that may be in our own future changes nothing. Our task as faithful stewards to God's calling is to keep to our duty - to be patient and watch, but also to keep on working.

We need not despair. As children of the living God, we live with continual hope. We work, we love, and we laugh and find joy because we always know that an end is coming. Whether the battle does or doesn't come in our lifetime changes nothing about the way we should live. Our own "end time" will come, and it could arrive at any moment. So our task is to keep on plugging along, faithfully fitting into the place where God put us as productive members of society.

I am convinced that God puts each one of us exactly where He wants us and gives each of us a task that advances His eternal plan in a particular way. Remember the words of Queen Esther's guardian Mordecai when she was afraid to face the deadly danger of appearing uninvited before the king to plead for her people: "...If you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance will arise for the Jews from another place...And who knows whether you have not attained royalty for such a time as this?" (Esther 4;14 NASB). God raised up Esther at a particular time for a particular purpose. Today is the time God has ordained for you and me to be alive, and we are placed in our time and place with no less purpose than Esther. Your task may not be as grandiose as hers; you may not be called on to save your nation. But as Lewis said elsewhere in his speech to the Oxford undergraduates, "The work of a Beethoven and the work of a char-woman become spiritual on precisely the same condition, that of being offered to God, of being done humbly 'as to the Lord.'"

You may wonder, What 's the point in keeping on doing my little insignificant job when such doom hangs over the world? The point is that you are filling your role as an agent of God in this particular time, and your work may have a greater effect than you imagine. Few of us see the ultimate result of our actions. But by the power of the ripple effect, what you do either as a CEO or a salesclerk may join the current of God's intent and bring about His will in enormous ways you would never dream of. So it is vital that each of us takes our God-given tasks seriously. We must stick to our work, remain watchful, and patiently wait on the timing of the Lord.

Southern evangelist Vance Havner gives us the real key to keeping to our task and finding joy in the face of impending doom: "We are not just looking for something to happen, we are looking for Someone to come! And when these things begin to come to pass, we are not to drop our heads in discouragement, or shake our heads in despair, but we are to lift our heads in delight."

HT: Dr. David Jeremiah


thekingpin68 said...

I listened to Dr. Jeremiah's series on Revelation awhile back and he had some good insights and is a good speaker.



satire and theology

Susan Smith said...

Christine said: “We, as Christian brothers and sisters, are here to help inspire and encourage each other - as we wait in the joyful hope of the coming of our Savior, Jesus Christ! Amen?”

Amen, my “little” sister. Much love to the West coast from the East in this one nation under God. (ss)

jeleasure said...

"Oil can be used as a weapon"...

Yup, I posted a comment to a hostile visitor on this blog a few days ago. In that comment, I explained to the person that the war in Iraq is not a failure. That Sadam Hussein's intent was to gain as much control over the oil in the middle east as he could. This would have been his weapon for control of the world.

Christinewjc said...

Hi Kingpin68 -

I agree. Dr. Jeremiah is one of my favorite Christian preachers and authors. His steadfast faith comes shining through as he diligently adheres to Scripture in his sermons and books. I have always been very impressed with his ministry.

Christinewjc said...

Hi Susan -

I don't know if you had the time to listen to the series of sermons at the "Lightsource" website. When you have some time, I would encourage you to hear them. Dr. Jeremiah's teaching from the Bible is terrific!

Love to the East coast from the West!

Christinewjc said...

Hi Jim -

Yes - Saddam wanted control of the oil. He also wanted land that didn't belong to his nation (Kuwait). He was actively seeking WMD's. He was a dangerous, brutal dictator who killed, gassed and buried hundreds of thousands of his own people for "disloyalty." He supported terrorism and sent money to suicide bombers to go into Israel and blow themselves up. Their reward? Their families would get $10,000. There were so many reasons why (including ignoring the 17 U.N. Resolutions) he needed to be stopped.

The people who claim that the Iraq war "is a failure" often get their talking points from the liberal left. The liberal left will NEVER mention the word "victory." Even Senator Obama would never say it. It seems to me that their own hatred of Bush and their "rank and file" ideology trumps all else in the world of politics.

A father whose son died in Iraq appeared on Hannity and Colmes tonight. He expressed worry about Obama's policies towards our troops and his lack of continuing financial support. The dad expressed the desire to win victory there before bringing troops out. Many, many military families are worried about Obama pulling out troops too soon. To much has been sacrificed over there, and this dad doesn't want his son's death to be in vain because Obama lets campaign rhetoric trump all else in the war on terror.