Devotional for November 18, 2020

Greetings in Christ,

  When we think of the end times and all the chaos which will prevail as it unfolds, it can be scary.  The selected readings give us some details from the past, the present, and the future.  It also gives a look at things that were done, need to done, and prepare ourselves to be done. 

  We wonder if God will bring judgment to the earth like He has in the past.  Amos gives us a glimpse of what God was going to do the Judah, Israel, and the surrounding nations for their willingness to disobey Him.  God clearly gave details as to how He was going to bring destruction to the nations.  It sounded like God Himself was going to do all the work of the destruction, but in reality it was done by other nations overtaking the judged nations.  You can say God allowed this destruction to take place because He removed His hand of protection to the nations.  He no longer sent His angels to protect them from the evil lurking in the shadows.

  Paul writes about the instruction for the caring of widows in 1 Thessalonians.  He is very detailed in his instructions the widow has to be a good worker not lending herself to being idle or having a tendency to gossip.  The widow must display signs of being a Christian working all the time caring for her children or other widows.  They must have displayed past efforts to care for others and having given hospitality to others in need.  They must continue in their efforts to be diligent in their efforts to receive care from the church, or they will be cut off. 

  Paul goes on to say it is in the effort of staying busy the widow will not have time to wander into evil ways while receiving support from the church.  It would be counterproductive to support a widow doing evil by the members of the church.  It is something which should be checked on a regular basis so the church would remain unblemished.  The church has a responsibility to support righteousness not unrighteousness.

  Luke records Jesus speaking about the future in regards to the events taking place.  He speaks of earthquakes and famines, family turning against family, persecution, and hatred running rampant against the Christian.  People will be jumping on the bandwagon to side with the most popular thing taking place just to avoid being prosecuted for being a Christian.  The world will not be the same when all these things start taking place.  It will be as if the evil is coming out from all the hiding places it once occupied.

  We sometimes forget just how effective God’s prevenient grace covers us.  It is in this coverage of grace it subdues the evil which lurks in the shadows.  It is the removal of the prevenient grace evil begins its chaotic approach to destroy all mankind.  It is in the removal of the prevenient grace judgment occurs because the people get what they have been asking—for God not to be present in their lives.  Just as Paul writes for the church not to support the unwilling widow to obey, God cannot support the evil practices of mankind.

  We will not be able to change all of the circumstances in our lives, so we must remain righteous doing His work so God will keep His grace upon us.  Jesus gave us instructions on just what to do when those circumstances of persecution arise, “But before all these things, they will lay their hands on you and will persecute you, delivering you to the synagogues and prisons, bringing you before kings and governors for My name’s sake.  It will lead to an opportunity for your testimony.  So make up your minds not to prepare beforehand to defend yourselves; for I will give you utterance and wisdom which none of your opponents will be able to resist or refute.”  May God’s grace continue to be upon us as we walk this earth. 

  “The works of His hands are truth and justice; all His precepts are sure.”  Psalms 111:7

  “Light arises in the darkness for the upright; He is gracious and compassionate and righteous.”  Psalms 112:4

  “I will praise the Lord while I live; I will sing praises to my God while I have my being.”  Psalms 146:2

  “Great is our Lord, and abundant in strength; His understanding is infinite.”  Psalms 147:5

  Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread.  And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.  And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil.  For Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever. Amen.


  Mark Johnson

  Psalm 111, 112, 146, 147; Amos 1:1-5, 13-2:8; 1 Thessalonians 5:1-11; Luke 21:5-19

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