Friday, March 31, 2017

Happy New Year!!!

For it will come as a snare on all those who dwell on the face of the whole earth. – Luke 21:35

 I’m a couple of days late with this. Yes, I meant to say days.

On God's calendar, the New Year,  and the first month of God's year, just began with the sighting of the first sliver of the moon on the evening of Wednesday, March 29th. According to God's calendar, we just began the New Year.

This is significant because in the Jewish law, on the 10th day of the first month, the Jews were to bring a spotless lamb into their homes. This lamb was to be the symbolic sacrifice that celebrated their deliverance out of Egypt. It was the blood of this lamb on the door posts which caused the Angel of Death to Pass Over them. To make things very clear that He was the perfect sacrificial lamb, Jesus rode into Jerusalem (Israel's home) on a donkey on the 10th day of the first month. Later in that week, He was sacrificed in the same way and for the same purpose as the sacrificial lambs of the Passover.

It is likely that few of those who are reading this post are Jews. As Christian, we are called by the name of Jesus, but we share two feast days with the Jews. Both of which are extremely significant. The first feast we share with the Jews is the Passover, though we look at it a little differently with the triumphal entry on Palm Sunday and then Jesus' death and resurrection. For Christians, this is our feast of deliverance out of bondage, because our sacrificial lamb, Jesus, was slain for us and we were covered by His blood so that death will not come to us.

The other feast we share with the Jews is Pentecost, which is the Jewish Feast of Weeks or Shavuot. This was a celebration of the bringing of the covenant and the first fruits of the wheat harvest for the Jews. For Christians, Pentecost was the arrival of Jesus' covenant of the Holy Spirit to dwell in us, the New Covenant, but the significance of the first fruits of wheat shouldn’t be lost on us either, as Jesus often refers to the planting and harvesting of wheat in parables about the Kingdom of Heaven. (This is incidental to my post, but in Daniel's counting, Shavuots had extreme significance and are regularly misunderstood when people discuss End Times prophesies.)

While everyone's focus is on the fall festivals of the Jews, especially those setting dates for the rapture, the beginning of the tribulation, etc., we Christians need to focus on OUR festivals, because we are not a part of the Jewish covenant. We are a part of the NEW covenant of Jesus. Though we cannot know the exact day and hour of Jesus' return, we can know the SEASON. I believe that the next 60 days or so, are HIGH times to be looking for His call to us to come away to Him. At the same time that I am eagerly looking forward to that event, these are also times when it is easy for us to be deceived by a false messiah or a false prophet.

Be careful with any celebration or teaching which exalts anything EXCEPT Jesus, His sovereignty, His glory, His grace and His work in salvation.

Among the false teachings to look for are individuals standing up and declaring themselves to be the Messiah, Christ, Jesus or the Savior… seems like a no brainer, right? Believe it or not, there are those who, "hearing flattering words," will turn aside and follow a false teacher or a false messiah, because their words smack with honey. Beware of teachings that exalt freedom, peace, safety, security, unity, tolerance, the environment, health care and new world order. (Environmental and health care are political objectives that tend to go beyond their stated objectives and are focused on gaining complete control over how people live, work, buy and sell.)

Yes… I did list freedom above.

Apart from God’s righteousness, freedom is rebellion against God and is a MAJOR stumbling block. It is better to be bound to and abiding in Jesus as a slave than to be free apart from God’s righteousness. (I will take up this topic in a different blog someday.)

The signs and season of Jesus’ return are here and we should be anticipating His return. Jesus tells us how to anticipate His return after explaining what the End of the Age would look like in Luke 21. He said:

“But take heed to yourselves, lest your hearts be weighed down with carousing, drunkenness, and cares of this life, and that Day come on you unexpectedly. For it will come as a snare on all those who dwell on the face of the whole earth. Watch therefore, and pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man.” – Luke 21:34-36

Do not be a dweller of this earth who are concerned with the snares and cares of this earth!

We are dwellers of heaven who are on a missionary trip to the earth. If your heart and your hope rest in the things of the earth, then you need to ask Jesus for a change of perspective. If you continue as a dweller of the earth, then you are putting yourself at risk to be deceived. Return to Jesus, focus on abiding in Him and being a dweller of heaven whose hope is in heaven and not upon this earth.

Today, Saturday, Sunday and Monday are four critical days in the Quail Songs and Canciones de Codorniz devotionals. Their purpose is to draw you into a deeper abiding with Jesus as your true Lord and Savior. I’m asking three things of everyone who reads this post:

1.  I am calling you to pay attention, read and apply the words of scripture that are being shared these four days to your lives. Whether you agree with me or not is not important. Apply the words of scripture that I am sharing to your life.
2.  Share these devotionals to family, friends and acquaintances that need Jesus in their lives or need to experience renewal in Him.
3.  Pray that Jesus will be exalted in the lives of your friends, family and acquaintances throughout these four days and throughout the coming season.

Exalting Jesus above ourselves and all other things is the best defense against deception.

Here are the links to the English and Spanish versions of the Quail Songs Daily Devotionals:

Quail Songs

Canciones de Codorniz

May God bless each of you in this New Year.

No comments:

Post a Comment