Comfort For These Last Days :: By Grant Phillips

The United States of America has been so gloriously blessed by the one and only true God of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and the apostles Paul, Peter and John. Most of us in this country are probably more intimidated from fear in these last days than any other group of people in the world. The reasons for this are; we are probably softer in nature and have a great deal more to lose in general. What I mean by that is we are used to having life easy; i.e. big cars, big houses, big paychecks, great medical care, freedom to do as we please, everything at our fingertips. In other words, we are quite spoiled. Now I don’t know about you, but I like being spoiled. On the other hand, I also know what is of the greatest importance.

Most people in our country attribute their happiness to money and personal items, in other words material things of the world. It would be a catastrophic loss for them to lose it all. Unfortunately, those days are coming. Think about this also; those who have a lot and lose it all will hurt worse than those who have little and lose it all. However, in reality, do any of us really have anything? Name one thing we can take with us after we die. Get my point?

This article is supposed to be about ‘comfort.’ How can there be any comfort in these first two introductory paragraphs? Well, there isn’t any comfort apart from Jesus Christ and His Word we call the Bible. If our faith is in Jesus we have nothing to fear and everything to rejoice about. In the Bible we have the promises of God, Jesus, to provide the comfort we so desire.

Those who do not have Jesus as their Savior and Lord have only gods of their own making. These gods come from many different areas. Brief examples would be; dead men of the past, money, popularity, power, possessions, etc., and by the way, I really don’t believe in such a thing as atheism. Everyone has either false gods in their life, or the one and only true God. Those without God have everything to fear, but that can be changed if they will repent (change their mind) and put their trust in Jesus Christ and Him only. The only comfort for those without Christ is that they may be saved if they turn to Jesus.  “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16) So from here on I speak to those who are the family of God.

The Bible is replete with verses that can provide real comfort to a child of God. The only problem is; Ya gotta read it, and ya gotta believe it. Far too many Christians have so much dust on their Bibles they would choke if they were to blow it off. Allow me to provide just a few verses out of the many in God’s Word.

In this first verse Jesus lets us know that He knows of our burdens. He knows how weary we are, but even though we’re broken down from trials and tribulations, He will give us rest. He says for us to take His yoke, but how can toil provide us rest? When two oxen are yoked together, one is always the leader. Jesus says that He will lead and bear the load. Just walk with Him and He will take care of us. We know that to be true because He tells us that His yoke is easy and His burden is light. Why is that again? It is easy and light because we can lean on Him.

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30)

Jesus tells us in this next verse that He has overcome the world. Many of us today can only shake our heads at the mess our world is in and in particular our beloved country. We look around us and can only conclude that the world has gone mad.

There is an overwhelming degree of immorality, crime, hate and vindictiveness from our government leaders, apostasy from most churches, crime and illicit drug usage. The world is ready to blow itself up and we wonder who will be the first to push the red button. Jesus said that He has forewarned us of all this, and there is no need to worry. Even while the world falls apart around our ears, we are reminded of, “I have overcome the world.” It’s already a done deal. Jesus is in control. The enemy is already defeated. He just doesn’t know it yet.

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)

King David tells us in the following verse to cast all our cares upon Jesus, not just some of them, but all of them. David had a lot of problems. Some were of his own making and some were not, but if you have read the Psalms you know David cast all his cares upon the Lord Jesus Christ. We all have cares and sometimes they are so heavy they bow our backs from the load we lug around. Jesus wants us to let Him carry the load and He will hold us up and keep us strong.

“Cast your cares on the LORD and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous be shaken.” (Psalms 55:22)

Do you trust God? The Holy Spirit says through Nahum that He cares for those who trust in Him. Are you undergoing trouble in your life? Jesus is our refuge. In other words, He is our shelter where we can stay while the storm passes us by. Whatever is troubling you in your life, you are not alone. Jesus has already been there and He cares. (Hebrews 4:15) Jesus wants to cover us as a hen covers her chicks. Jerusalem was not willing. Are you? (John 23:37-39)

“The LORD is good, a refuge in times of trouble. He cares for those who trust in him,” (Nahum 1:7)

Now that big fisherman, Peter, reminds us to cast all our anxiety upon the Lord Jesus. It is interesting to note that “cast” means to throw, “all” means all, and “anxiety” means worries. So let us throw every single one of all our worries upon Jesus. Don’t keep any back! He can carry that load. We can’t. He wants us to trust Him with everything in our lives because He cares.

“Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.” (1 Peter 5:7)

We all suffer to one degree or another. Many of God’s children right now are suffering horribly. Many question God about that. Others turn their back on Him because they blame Him for all the suffering. Folks, I’ve pretty much had it when I hear people blaming God. There are two reasons we all suffer. First is primarily that snake in the grass Satan. Give him the credit for a change! He deserves it! Secondly we often bring suffering upon ourselves. God came down to earth, became a man just like us, and suffered with us. Then He died on a cross, and rose from the grave three days later to provide us the only way of salvation. Anything we suffer now on earth can never be compared to the glory that awaits us.

“I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.” (Romans 8:18)

Are you comforted yet? One of those many glories mentioned in the verse above is told to us by Jesus in our next passage. He is preparing us a home in Heaven where we will reign with Him for eternity. Think about this now. He is preparing a place for me, Grant Phillips, and He is preparing a place for you, __________________, (enter your name on the line). Now He isn’t finished. He also says that He is coming back to snatch us up from this earth in the blink of an eye and take us home before the really nasty stuff starts with the Tribulation. (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18)

“Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me. My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.” (John 14:1-3)

This next passage has always been one of my favorites. Jesus says through the apostle Paul; (1) don’t worry about anything, (2) but in everything, (3) present your requests to God. How do I do that? I present my requests to Him by just talking to Him, presenting my need and thanking Him. And then He says that we will receive peace that comes from Him that we won’t be able to explain, because it is beyond our understanding. Yes folks, it is true. That peace from God does come, and even though it is hard to understand how we can have peace in the fiery furnace, it is real. Our whole person is in the shelter of His wings.

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:6-7)

I would ask that you notice the question God presents to us. It demands the answer of, “No, nothing is too hard for God.”  Most everything that comes our way is too hard for us to deal with, but it is not too hard for God. If we can just remember that and trust Him, maybe our problems won’t seem so big after all.

“I am the LORD, the God of all mankind. Is anything too hard for me?” (Jeremiah 32:27)

Well I feel comforted. How about you?

 

Grant Phillips

Email: Phillip5769@twc.com

Pre-Rapture Commentary: http://grant-phillips.blogspot.com

Rapture Ready: https://www.raptureready.com/featured/phillips/phillips.html

Measure Twice, Cut Once :: By Grant Phillips

Anyone who has worked in construction has faithfully practiced the old adage of “measure twice, cut once.” Not taking this advice is a recipe for disaster, eventually.

Several years ago I wanted to do some carpentry, so I gathered what I needed and got busy making a few basic odds and ends. At first I measured with the greatest diligence, but as I gained confidence in my work, I relaxed my diligent measuring. Once was all it took. “Rats! Too short! Got to start over.” From then on, I did not relax my measuring standards of “measure twice and cut once.”

The logic behind measuring twice and cutting once is to make sure I get it right, so the end result is what I want. For example, I need to cut a 24 ¼ inch board down to 20 inches long. Obviously, I need to cut off 4 ¼ inches, but did I measure 4 ¼ inches on the end or was it 4 ½ inches? Measure twice, cut once. Get it right the first time.

Those who are contractors, carpenters, cooks, seamstresses, etc. are good at what they do not just because they are talented, but also because they pay attention to their work. There is another saying, “Anything worth doing is worth doing right.”

And then there are those who don’t care about the details and haphazardly proceed with a “lick and a promise.” Unfortunately, most people are just as reckless with their soul.

So what does “measure twice, cut once” have to do with spiritual matters? It is simply to say that I need to be sure of my relationship with Jesus Christ and not assume anything. I need to hold the measuring tape of God’s Word against my life.

Eventually, every single person who has ever lived will have to give an account to God for their life, their soul, the real person under that layer of skin and bones.

“For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God. So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God.” (Romans 14:11-12 emphasis mine)

Notice the emphasis in these two verses of “every knee,” “every tongue,” and “every one of us.” There will be no exceptions, but the majority of us will live our lives frivolously, never once considering that someday there will be a payday. I can, through my own negligence, cut a board the wrong length and be forced to start over. I have that option in carpentry, but there will be no second chance to start over once we are face to face with God, if we ‘measured’ incorrectly.

When you cut through all the religious jargon, there are only two groups of people in the world; those who belong to God and those who do not. Those who belong to Him will be welcomed with open arms. Those who do not belong to Him will be condemned.

Most people assume they have lived a good enough life to please God when their time comes to meet Him. Others don’t even believe He exists, but if He does, they will be alright, because, let’s face it, they’re no worse than anyone else and probably better than most. I seriously doubt if these same people have ever opened up a Bible and actually listened to what God has to say about it. No, they’ll listen to everyone else and form their own opinions, but listen to God!?

God says none of us are worthy to be in His presence. “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;” (Romans 3:23)

God says the best we have to offer Him is not worthy of Him. “But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.” (Isaiah 64:6)

God says that our sins, no matter how good we think we are, will condemn us. “For the wages of sin is death;” (Romans 6:23a)

God says He has provided one remedy that will remove all our sins and make us righteous, so we may be with Him forever. “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.” (Romans 10:9)

God says we cannot save ourselves. Only He can save us. “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.” (Ephesians 2:8-9)

God has a lot to say. If you would like to hear more, read His Word. It’s called the Bible. By the way, He also says in His own way, “measure twice, and cut once.”

“Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?” (2 Corinthians 13:5)

In other words, be sure of your salvation. Scratch all the opinions and double check with God. Be sure right now how we measure up with Him by reading what HE has to say. Obviously, we will never be right with God apart from Jesus Christ, but if Jesus is in us, we have nothing to fear because He clothes us in His righteousness and we will spend eternity with Him.

Grant Phillips

Email: Phillip5769@twc.com

Pre-Rapture Commentary: http://grant-phillips.blogspot.com

Rapture Ready: https://www.raptureready.com/featured/phillips/phillips.html