Daily Devotional for Tuesday July 15, 2008
Death, A Failing Economy, A Revival, and The Sign from God
Then some of the Pharisees and teachers of the law said to him, "Teacher, we want to see a miraculous sign from you." He answered, "A wicked and adulterous generation asks for a miraculous sign! But none will be given it except the sign of the prophet Jonah. For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of a huge fish, so the Son of Man will be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. The men of Nineveh will stand up at the judgment with this generation and condemn it; for they repented at the preaching of Jonah, and now one greater than Jonah is here. The Queen of the South will rise at the judgment with this generation and condemn it; for she came from the ends of the earth to listen to Solomon's wisdom, and now one greater than Solomon is here. Matthew 12:38-42
The death of FOX News Tony Snow, a failing economy, T. Boone Pickens, the Lakeland "revival," and THE sign from God. Only God could make sense out of 4 unrelated events and a passage of Scripture. If there was ever a sign from God Himself confirming the Jonah Project, it came this past weekend through a series of unrelated events and the words of Jesus. It is one of those things that only the Holy Spirit can show you. It is impossible to see such things in the natural. However, when God opens your spiritual eyes, all you can do is sit back in amazement and awe of how God works.
Saturday morning came the sad news that FOX News personality and former White House Press Secretary Tony Snow had died at the age of 53 from colon cancer. Snow fought his battle with cancer in the public, giving hope and strength to many who are in that same fight. He spoke often of his faith in Christ and understood this life was but for a season. Snow's death was simply a great reminder of how brief this life is. Sadly, I deal with death every single day here at Liveprayer. Death comes in many ways. One way I see often is a person who is in great health who wakes up one day and isn't feeling right. After tests are performed it is determined they are in some stage of cancer or other disease. For some, God still has much work left for them to do and they carry on at a high level for many years. For others, their work is finished and the Lord calls them home quickly.
The point is one I share with you often. Tomorrow is promised to none of us. Each day is a gift from God. We simply can't take this life for granted since it is over very quickly. One thing about turning 50 this past February was the reminder that a best case scenario is I have lived half of my life. It makes you very aware that the chances are real good you only have apx. 20 years left to live. You also become very aware that having made it to age 50, you can't be surprised when your body starts to break down. That is simply the reality of this brief journey we are on, and why we must make the most of each day the Lord blesses us with.
Tony Snow's death was simply another reminder that there is no time to play games or be distracted. It is time to focus on the work at hand and do everything I can to impact as many lives as possible before the Lord calls me home. Once this life is over, the only thing that will matter are those lives you influenced for Christ. Everything else passes with your life. It is those souls you touch along your journey that become your lasting legacy. You live on through them! If it is tomorrow, 6 months, a year, 5 years, or 30 years, I am as focused as ever on making the greatest impact on the greatest number of lives each and every day.
Late Friday afternoon came word that one of the nations largest mortgage lenders collapsed. IndyMac Bank is the first of many troubled financial institutions that could fail in this declining economy. Last week came word that General Motors, the bluest of the blue chip stocks there is, could end up in bankruptcy. The housing market continues to be a huge burden on the economy. Even Las Vegas, usually immune to dips in the economy, is in trouble with gambling revenues down, gaming stocks hitting record lows, and even 3 high profile strip clubs closing for lack of business. In a town know as "Sin City," this is a big indicator of how tight things have become financially.
I shared with you several months ago how I felt that God could very easily use the economy as a form of His judgment on this nation. Gas is heading to $5 a gallon, the stock market is at a 2 year low, and many key sectors are struggling. These are difficult days that are affecting tens of millions of people, and it looks like things are not going to get better any time soon. It is in these difficult times that many people will be looking for answers and hope greater than themselves. I see this economic downturn as being a catalyst that is going to lead many souls to Christ as they desperately cry out for help.
Over the weekend I saw over and over the commercial oil man T. Boone Pickens is airing regarding his plan to lead this nation away from fossil fuels to alternative sources of energy. Pickens, who made his fortune in the oil business, has spent $44 million dollars of his own money for this media campaign. He has obvsiouly committed much more of his resources to his plan to help solve our nation's energy crisis. It struck me that if a man can commit $44 million dollars of his own money for a media campaign around his plan to lead this nation out of its dependence on foreign oil, how many people out there would be willing to sacrifice to help lead this nation back to God and Biblical values?
Knowing that a key component to the Jonah Project is the $12 million we need to raise by the end of September for the launch on October 6th of the nationwide TV and radio programs on secular networks, the driving force behind the Jonah Project, it looks like an impossible amount of money to raise. However, along comes the sign from God thru Pickens media campaign that all it takes is one man committed enough to his beliefs to cover that entire amount! If a man is that committed to solving the energy crisis this nation is facing, I KNOW there are men out there committed to solving the spiritual crisis this nation is facing!!! (Please forward this Devotional to anyone you know who God has richly blessed financially. This may be how the Lord speaks to their heart about getting involved with the Jonah Project.)
Numerous people continue to email me daily about the Lakeland "revival." You can go to the Devotional archives on my website and type in keyword Lakeland to read the two Devotionals I did in the first month of what has now deteriorated into a circus. From the emails I get every week about churches who have been split due to what is going on, demonic activity that has been brought back by people who have attended these meetings, I have been telling people point blank to stay away. The crowds every night are the same people who were in Brownsville and Toronto. It is the hyper-Charismatic experience seekers. The Bible is rarely preached. Each night it is simply about the signs and wonders.
I emailed the host pastor of this event after hearing about their claims that 27 people have been resurrected from the dead during this "revival." I asked him to supply me with the name and contact info of simply ONE. Not all 27, just one. I would interview that person on my TV program, do a Devotional on that person, and it would give what they were doing a significant amount of credibility since even their claims of people being healed haven't been substantiated in any meaningful way. He sent me numerous emails explaining why they couldn't do that, with a whole litany of excuses. The sad fact is, the people going to Lakeland are looking for signs and wonders when God already gave us THE SIGN!
In today's passage of Scripture from Matthew, we hear Jesus telling the people that they were a wicked and adulterous (not meaning the sin of adultery but that the people were apostate) generation, and that the only sign they would get was the sign of who?.....JONAH!!! God gave the world the only sign it needed....JESUS! People need to quit looking to the supernatural, but look to the Savior! Yes, signs and wonders, the miraculous will follow the preaching of the Word. We see God's miracle working power in people's lives daily here at Liveprayer. We simply preach the Truth of the Bible and God soverignly moves. You can't manipulate the power of God. God gave the most supernatural and greatest sign of all to this lost world when He sent Jesus. My friend, there is no other sign needed. JESUS IS THE SIGN FOR THIS GENERATION!!!
I love you and care about you so much. It is pretty amazing how the Lord can take 4 unrelated events and tie them all together as a way of confirming His plan for the Jonah Project. The death of a well known person to demonstrate how brief the time we have really is, a sagging economy that is going to cause many people incredible hardships and force them to look elsewhere for their hope, a man of great means who is willing to sacrifice his fortune for his beliefs, and people looking for a sign from God when God has already provided the greatest sign of all in His Son Jesus Christ!
I didn't need any more motivation, but after this weekend, I have zero doubt that the Jonah Project is a true move of God to lead this nation back to Himself and Biblical values, to make that same call to the other nations of the world, and in the process see millions of souls won to faith in Jesus Christ while amassing an army of true followers of Christ to end of some of the social ills that plague our land. All I can do is once again encourage you to become part of the Jonah Project and do what you can to bring as many people on board as possible. This will take a move of millions of God's people. This is the opportunity for the true remnant to come together as one and to make our stand for Christ and for His Truth in this world.
Know that I will be praying for you as God gudies you each day. The problems in our lives will always be there, as will the problems in this sin-filled world. However, through Christ we can see victory over the challenges we each face every day, and through Christ we can see victory over the challenges our nation and world face. Jesus said that in these last days the only sign given would be the sign of Jonah! May we be faithful to bring that sign to this wicked and apostate generation and let them know that their only hope is in Jesus!
In His love and service, Your friend and brother in Christ, Bill Keller