Daily Devotional for Saturday April 19, 2014
It's Our Time to Make History . . . Eternal History
(Hebrews Chapter 11)
**ASK BILL: Pastor Bill, if the anti-Christ is alive today, does he know he's the anti-Christ or will this not become apparent to him until later?
ANSWER: Great question. I honestly am not 100% certain, though, I have a feeling someone who has the incredible abilities to bring together a one-world government, a one-world-economy, and a one-world religion, may even feel they are inspired by God! Never before have all of the pieces to make this a reality been more available than today. Another thing, none of this will be possible simply through brute force, so the anti-Christ will be an incredibly charismatic, incredibly intelligent, incredibly gifted person to bring together the world under one single banner. However, once in control, the evil of one human being controlling the entire world will become apparent. Very scary.
I have always enjoyed history. Two of my favorite television channels are the History Channel and ESPN Classic. In school I loved American History. The incredible stories of how our nation was founded. All of the various wars we have been engaged in throughout our nearly 238 years. Being a sports fan, I enjoy reading about those who pioneered the games of football, basketball, and baseball. So I guess it was natural for me to love the great stories in the Bible, the greatest history book of all time. I love to read the writings of the Jewish historian Josephus. Studying the history of the church throughout the years has been a passion of mine.
What makes history most exciting though is not just the great events, but the men and women who were responsible for, and made those great events happen. Only God knows how many billions of people have lived throughout human history. The fact is, we each make this journey called life just once. It is a very brief journey, measured by an average of only 50 some years. Whatever opportunity we may have to put our stamp on this world we are living in, to contribute to history happens in those few years. Should Christ tarry in His return, the history those in future generations will read about is being made each and every day right now!
With the understanding that this is a brief journey we are on, we should be motivated to get the most out of each and every day. Our focus each day should be on fulfilling our reason for being alive, and that is to serve and glorify the Lord through our lives. I have written previously that the greatest legacy we can leave is the lives we have influenced for Christ throughout our journey. We will live on in those God has brought across our path during our years here on earth. In serving Him, we should not be afraid to dream big. You see my friend, we have a big God. He is only limited by our faith. The Bible says, "Where there is no vision the people perish". What God needs in these last days more than ever is a people sold out to Him, not afraid to dream big dreams, and have total faith in Him.
Every day people die, and will be forever separated from God because they do not know Christ as their Savior. Every day people all over the world are dealing with the trials and tribulations of every day life, hurting, without hope because they do not know Jesus. God has called us to be the light to this dark world. We must allow Him to use our lives to be that light in the midst of the darkness so many live in. That is what He asks me to do each day, and what He asks you to do each day. As we are faithful over a little, "He makes us ruler over much." He will use our lives to whatever degree we allow Him to use us.
Our motivation is critical. The Bible teaches in many places that we set our desires on the things of heaven, not on earth. You can spend your entire life trying to be the best athlete, the best businessman. the most successful actress, the recording artist who sells the most records, the top military man in your country, a scientist who makes many wonderful discoveries, or the best at whatever profession you want to name, and you may succeed.
But unless you were doing it for the Lord, allowing the Lord to use your success to bring His message of hope and love through Christ to people, the best you can hope for is a paragraph in history books that one day will no longer exist. That means your lifetime accomplishments are temporal at best. That is why when our motivation is Heaven-bound, the accomplishments have an eternal significance in the changed hearts and eternal souls of people.
I love you and care about you so much. I realize many of you are being buried with the cares of this world today. I work hard each day to encourage you, pray for you, try to help you overcome these distractions since they keep you from fully focusing on all God has planned for your life. It is a tactic of the enemy to keep us so distracted that we aren't able to be all God calls for us to be. I am praying for you today to see victory over these battles in your life, knowing that God has more for you to do before your journey here is over.
The fact is, there will always be battles in our life, always be distractions. We must deal with those battles but never lose sight of the fact God has a plan and purpose for our life. Many say I'll serve God when my life is straight. Guess what, your life is never going to be 100% straight, and you are giving the enemy a victory he doesn't deserve when you do that. Every great man and woman of God fought the daily battles in their personal life. That is part of the human condition. The difference was they didn't let those battles stop them from being all God called them to be, and serving Him with their life.
It is no accident that you are reading this message today. It is no accident that we are living at this very moment in human history. We can either just live out our time, or we can use this precious gift God has given us to serve Him and glorify Him. I want to personally challenge you today to take 15 minutes during the next 24 hours. Get alone with God, just you and God, and pray this prayer:
"Dear God, here I am. You know all about me. You know my weaknesses, my strengths. You know the battles I am facing in my life right now. But I believe that you have a perfect plan for my life. I want to surrender myself to you this very moment so that your plan for my life might be fulfilled. It is NOT my life, it belongs to you. Show me what you want me to do, and I will do it. Today is the day. Now is the time. Guide me and direct me to do your will. IN Jesus' name, AMEN".
Now spend some time with the Lord, and I promise you the Holy Spirit will begin to speak to you, and God will open doors in your life, and He will reveal to you through the Word, through prayer, through other people, through the circumstances in your life what it is He is asking you to do. He will start small, and as you are faithful in a little, He will give you more. TODAY IS THE DAY AND NOW IS THE TIME! It is our turn to make history, eternal history in the lives of hurting and lost people!!!
In His love and service, Your friend and brother in Christ,