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Spring will come, the grass will grow

Where yesterday was ice and snow.

The flowers will bloom, the birds will sing,

The sun will shine, warming everything.

Is anyone else looking forward to spring getting here? From my viewpoint, it seems like it has been a long winter. Compared to those living farther North, St. Louis winters are actually rather mild. Our unique “weather pattern,” however, gives us a rollercoaster of weather – from cold – to warm – to very cold. It first teases us then gives us a good, hard slap! Perhaps it’s my age, but it seems like there has been a lot of sickness this past winter (colds, flu, bronchitis, pneumonia, etc.). I guess we could all get together and have one big “Pity-Party.” But, we know winter is almost over and spring is just around the corner! It’s not only a time of “renewal” for nature, but also for us!

The Apostle Paul knew something about needing “renewal.” He had a long list of hardships, including being stoned, shipwrecked, snake-bitten, and imprisoned. He learned the secret of being renewed through the “winters of life!” This is what he had to say about it:

2 Corinthians 4:16-18 “For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal”.

These are wonderful verses. As we grow older, we sort of begin to die out as far as the body is concerned. However, we grow in grace and in the knowledge of Christ. I said to my wife no later than yesterday, “I wish that I were thirty–five years old and knew what I know now.” This old body that I have is dying. I can tell it all over. I'm ready to trade it in on a new model. It is beginning to waste away, but the inward man is renewed day by day. Down here we seem to have a lot of trouble and, my, it does seem to last a long time, doesn't it? It seems so hard. But, when we begin to measure it by the weight of glory that is coming someday, it is a light affliction compared to that weight of glory.

I remember reading a story about a dying man who insisted when they laid him in the casket to place a fork in his hand. He explained, “At the end of a meal when the dinner plates were being taken away, my mother would tell us to keep our forks, because something better was coming! I may be leaving this old world, but I know something better is coming!”

The thought of spring helps us to make it through the winter, but regardless of the weather or circumstances, we can always know “something better is coming!” In another scripture Paul says:

Ephesians_4:23 “And be renewed in the spirit of your mind;”

I’ve referred to it before as having a “Heavenly viewpoint” versus a “Worldly viewpoint!”

With a worldly viewpoint, we tend to focus on the “here and now” and end up having a pity party for ourselves. With a heavenly viewpoint, we know that whatever we are going through today is only temporary. “This too shall pass!” We have a blessed hope that we will experience glory with our Savior for eternity!

Colossians_3:10 “And having put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him:”

A person who hasn’t accepted Christ as their Savior doesn’t have the knowledge of this “eternal hope.” Therefore, they live in a “here and now” broken world where almost every hardship is a crisis! As Christians, we need to share our knowledge and demonstrate our faith as we pass on to others God’s peace that the world cannot give!

I love the “hope” the following scriptures give:

1 Corinthians 2:9: “But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.”

Isaiah 64:4: “For since the beginning of the world men have not heard, nor perceived by the ear, neither hath the eye seen, O God, beside thee, what he hath prepared for him that waits for him.”

Revelation 21:4-5: “And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful.”

This is the glory we have waiting for us! It makes whatever we are going through now trivial and temporary. Thank you, Lord, for this “Blessed Hope.”

I am writing this as an encouragement to anyone reading this—and to myself! Does all this mean that a Christian never gets discouraged, or weary of life’s problems? No, we are all human, with emotions and anxieties, but when we do start feeling sorry for ourselves, we need to read God’s word and “renew” our minds.

I know that spring will come, and I know someday I will have a “glorified body.” With that hope, I can look forward! “Because He Lives, I can face tomorrow, Because He lives, all fear is gone, Because I know He holds the future, and life is worth the living just Because He Lives.”

When spring does arrive, we won’t spend a lot of time thinking about the past winter. And, someday, all the ailments, trials, and anxieties of this world will all be forgotten!

Isaiah 65:17 “See, I will create new heavens and a new earth. The former things will not be remembered, nor will they come to mind."

I hope this is an encouragement to you. Writing it has helped me “renew” my mind and focus on God’s promises.

God Bless, Dan

Posted by Dan Hubbell with 1 Comments
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STOP THE WORLD, I WANT TO GET OFF!

Is it just me?  I am really tired of this old world.  I’m tired of hearing every day how many people have been shot and killed the previous night.  I’m tired of hearing about suicides, and people overdosing on opioids.  I’m tired of the protests, violence, looting, and police ambushes.  I’m tired of the political fighting—calling each other liars, searching through records for something to smear the other candidate, collecting millions of dollars for “campaigning” while there are so many in our country that can’t afford a meal. I’m sick and tired of the lawlessness, immorality, corruption, materialism, greedy, jealous, hateful society we refer to as “civilized.”  To put it in one word, I’m tired of SIN.

We were told these things would happen.

2 Timothy 3:1-4  This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. 

For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, without self-control , fierce, despisers of those that are good, Traitors, heady, high-minded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; 

And, it appears we’ve arrived!

So, as Christians what are we to do living in such an evil world?  Well, the Bible has an answer for that as well.  In writing to the churches in the Book of Revelation, Jesus said:

Revelation 3:21  To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne. 

The word “overcometh” means to “prevail,” “have victory over.”  Another scripture says:

Matthew 10:22   And ye shall be hated of all men for my name's sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved.

I know some may consider all this very “negative.”  We’d all like to think that things will get better, and if we all do our part we can bring about a peaceful, loving, sharing “utopia” on this earth.  So, I hate to drop this on you, but “it ain’t gonna happen!!”  This world we live in is headed for a time of wrath, retribution, and judgment from our Creator.  There won’t be “peace on earth” until the Lord of Lords and King of Kings sets up His Kingdom here on earth.  In the meantime, we are “occupiers” in this land with a mission.   Our mission is to follow the commands Jesus gave us: Love God, Love people!!

So, now I quote the title of a book by Charles Colson, “How now should we live???”  Should we be involved, and engaged in being good citizens?  Absolutely, but always remember you have “dual citizenship.”  As the old song says: “This world is not my home, I’m just a passing through, my treasures are laid up, somewhere beyond the blue”!!

I know the mid-term elections are here and I believe as citizens of the USA we should go to the polling booths and vote for candidates we believe uphold the Christian values.  That would not include killing unborn babies, transgender education, homosexual/same sex marriage endorsement, disobeying the laws of our land, or attempting to overthrow or undermine our government.  Vote for those who will protect religious freedom, and love and support Israel.  It’s not a matter of “party politics” for Christians—it’s good versus evil!  At the same time, have your hearts prepared for negative results.  We are not in control.  God uses people and situations for His purposes and to fulfill His plans.  Remember we are to “overcome,” not be defeated.

I feel I can hear you saying, “But it’s so hard!”  Don’t I know it!  As I started off saying in this article, I’m so tired of the evil going on around me.  But, I have the Word of God to sustain me.  I learn from Paul:

1 Thessalonians 5:14-23:

Now we exhort you, brethren, warn them that are unruly, comfort the feebleminded, support the weak, be patient toward all men. 

See that none render evil for evil unto any man; but ever follow that which is good, both among yourselves, and to all men. 

Rejoice evermore. 

Pray without ceasing. 

In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. 

Quench not the Spirit. 

Despise not prophesyings. 

Prove all things; hold fast that which is good. 

Abstain from all appearance of evil. 

And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. 

Ephesians 6:10-13   Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.  Put on the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. 

I don’t want to leave you with a fear of the coming “day of God’s wrath and judgment.”  If you believe in Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, you can be reassured by the following scripture.

1 Thessalonians 5:9-11  For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us, that, whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with him.  Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also ye do.

John 14:1  Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also. 

Luke 21:28  And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh. 

Yes, I believe our “redemption” is very near, so be encouraged.  I leave you with a blessing:

Numbers 6:24-26  The LORD bless thee, and keep thee: The LORD make his face to shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee: The LORD lift up his countenance upon thee, and give thee peace. 

God Bless,

Dan

Posted by Dan Hubbell with 1 Comments

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