Wednesday Word: Three thoughts and a video
Persisting in Prayer
Are you praying for the lost? Do you have a burden for the lost? Do you live your life as a witness, a poem, a hymn, to the strength and power of the grace of Jesus? No? Now is the time to start. If you are, thank you. May you not dwell in a spirit of fear but of confidence, sure of His promises and the glories to come. For as His witnesses when we see Him smite the armies at Armageddon with a single word, (Revelation 19:14) and the blood floods to valley 180 miles long, to heights of the horses' bridles, you will be glad that you spent all the time you could in worship of Mighty Jesus. Meek servant in first Incarnation, Mighty Warrior of Enemies in His second Coming, this rapidly dwindling time we use for His purposes, one of which is persisting in prayer. We were put here for just such a time as this. I hope we pray with an urgency for the lost like no other time in our lives.
Author Ayn Rand said in her famous book, Atlas Shrugged, in 'The Money Speech',
When you see that trading is done, not by consent, but by compulsion - when you see that in order to produce, you need to obtain permission from men who produce nothing - when you see money flowing to those who deal, not in goods, but in favors - when you see that men get richer by graft and pull than by work, and your laws don't protect you against them, but protect them against you - when you see corruption being rewarded and honesty becoming self-sacrifice - you may know that your society is doomed.Jesus and the Bible writers said quite a bit about money. We know the famous line, that love of money is the root of all evil. (1 Timothy 6:10). We know we cannot serve Jesus and money (Matthew 6:24). This page lists many other verses about money.
Money is the invisible infrastructure to any culture. It helps define who we are as a society. Where the money goes and what we do with it brings light to our morals. During the Tribulation, which Jesus states would be the worst time on earth that ever was or will be, (Matthew 24:21), the antichrist will control the global economy by gaining control of the money. He converts the financial system into a one currency system and unless one chooses to participate in it (by taking his Mark, Revelation 13:16-17), one cannot buy nor sell. In other words, those who opt out will starve. It is a time where God will be allowing sin to come nearly to the full. Money figures prominently in that mixture of rampant sin and corruption and oppression.
What Rand described, though likely she did not know it and was perhaps thinking of communism, is a picture of what is to come in the Tribulation with how the world handles money.
The Amos scripture below is representative of the character and nature of God, who wants His children to turn to Him. In the verse's case, it was speaking directly about Israel. However in concept it's the same for any nation, like, America. The US has for too long refused to return to Him, and may be suffering the consequences of that decision, in many ways, one of them being as Amos describes, a wet harvest in one area and drought in another.
Rain is a common grace, not thought of while it's there, thought of quite a bit when there isn't any, or when there is too much. Here is what Amos prophesied to Israel of God's activity-
Amos 4:7-9 And also I have withholden the rain from you, when there were yet three months to the harvest: and I caused it to rain upon one city, and caused it not to rain upon another city: one piece was rained upon, and the piece whereupon it rained not withered. So two or three cities wandered unto one city, to drink water; but they were not satisfied: yet have ye not returned unto me, saith the LORD. I have smitten you with blasting and mildew: when your gardens and your vineyards and your fig trees and your olive trees increased, the palmerworm devoured them: yet have ye not returned unto me, saith the LORD.As Roy Gingrich says in his Amos outline, in this reproof of Israel, "note that God times and directs the rain." How comforting to know that everything has a purpose, and that God is sovereign, even in reproof.
The Story of Flowers
Speaking of common grace, let's enjoy flowers for a moment. I love botanical illustrations, those 19th century drawings of flowers and fruits. When I bought a new-to-me couch, I bought a new piece of art to go over it.
Here is a 3-minute animation in botanical illustration style that extols flowers, the pollination process, and perennial rebirth of our flora. It's a common grace, and we should praise the Lord for it.
Here is the animator's blurb:
Many different flowers are growing beautifully and strongly in this world. Taking their roots in the earth, sprouting, blooming, pollination by birds and insects, living on in spite of rain, wind and storms. They pass on the baton of life, rebirth and decay. Everything is so in a continuous, endless cycle. This is the story and message of this animation.
Have a wonderful rest of the week everyone!