Prophecy and Mites – 7-29-22

“Therefore settle it in your hearts not to meditate beforehand on what you will answer; for I will give you a mouth and wisdom which all your adversaries will not be able to contradict or resist.” Luke 21:14-15 NKJV

RELATIONSHIP:

Do you already have a relationship with a powerful God who cares about your every need because He loves you? Did you know my God can communicate with you and protect you – He has a plan for you to prosper if you just submit to His will and let His plan play out in your life!!! God wants a relationship with you and has already made a plan for your life. He loves you so much He sent His son to this world, to die as a sacrifice for your sins and rise from death with victory over sin and the ability to have a personal relationship with you.

Do you want to know truth? Be able to discern lies? Know how to figure it all out in these confusing times and have peace? The Bible says Jesus is the truth. I have experienced it and it has changed my life. I was once a hot mess of sin, promiscuity, drug and alcohol use and so much more. But I was lost and when I could not find my way, or find a truth, I numbed it with bad choses. When I found Jesus, and truth – I found peace and deliverance from those things.

If you want a relationship with God without truth you will get the counterfeit, hypocritical Christianity that has kept some of you away for too long. You need truth and relationship. You need to be honest with yourself and God (including honest repentance) and God will reveal truth to you. It becomes the two way, interaction that your relationship with God is built on. This is why Jesus is called the truth, because he is our only way to the Father. 

“If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.” Romans 10:9-10 NIV
Here is a prayer for you to pray:
Jesus, I believe you are the way, the truth, the life, and the only way to the Father. I believe you are the son of God, you came to Earth and lived. That you died on the cross as a sacrifice for my sins, and rose again so that I may be saved from my sins and be able to get to know you. I declare: Jesus, you are Lord!
Therefore, I confess that I am a sinner and I ask that you forgive me of my sins and come into my life. Help me to turn away from my sins and transform me into what you have lovingly created me to be. Help me through a real personal relationship grow and accept your will for my life – that I may live in your blessings. Please walk with me, and talk with me – I accept a relationship with you and with our Father God, through you. In the name of Jesus I pray ~ Amen

BIBLE READING:

Dear Heavenly Father – Please give us the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of who you are, who Jesus is, and who the Holy Spirit is. Open the eyes of our understanding, please, so we may know the hope of our calling and the vast sovereignty and power of the grace of the cross. Please do not let us miss out on what you want and need from us today. Lord, I pray that your word prepares us and not scares us! We forbid the works and influences of fear over your word and our sound mind. And please keep us and bless us and shine your face upon us and pour out grace over us and give us peace! And we pray for the peace of Jerusalem! Thank you! – In Jesus name we pray, Amen

Today’s reading is the Book of Luke chapter 21 (embedded below for your convenience in the NKJV). 

The Widow’s Two Mites

21 And He looked up and saw the rich putting their gifts into the treasury, and He saw also a certain poor widow putting in two mites.[a] So He said, “Truly I say to you that this poor widow has put in more than all; for all these out of their abundance have put in offerings [b]for God, but she out of her poverty put in all the livelihood that she had.”

Jesus Predicts the Destruction of the Temple

Then, as some spoke of the temple, how it was [c]adorned with beautiful stones and donations, He said, “These things which you see—the days will come in which not one stone shall be left upon another that shall not be thrown down.”

The Signs of the Times and the End of the Age

So they asked Him, saying, “Teacher, but when will these things be? And what sign will there be when these things are about to take place?”

And He said: “Take heed that you not be deceived. For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am He,’ and, ‘The time has drawn near.’ [d]Therefore do not [e]go after them. But when you hear of wars and commotions, do not be terrified; for these things must come to pass first, but the end will not come immediately.”

10 Then He said to them, “Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. 11 And there will be great earthquakes in various places, and famines and pestilences; and there will be fearful sights and great signs from heaven. 12 But before all these things, they will lay their hands on you and persecute you, delivering you up to the synagogues and prisons. You will be brought before kings and rulers for My name’s sake. 13 But it will turn out for you as an occasion for testimony. 14 Therefore settle it in your hearts not to meditate beforehand on what you will [f]answer; 15 for I will give you a mouth and wisdom which all your adversaries will not be able to contradict or [g]resist. 16 You will be betrayed even by parents and brothers, relatives and friends; and they will put some of you to death. 17 And you will be hated by all for My name’s sake. 18 But not a hair of your head shall be lost. 19 By your patience possess your souls.

The Destruction of Jerusalem

20 “But when you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then know that its desolation is near. 21 Then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains, let those who are in the midst of her depart, and let not those who are in the country enter her. 22 For these are the days of vengeance, that all things which are written may be fulfilled. 23 But woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing babies in those days! For there will be great distress in the land and wrath upon this people. 24 And they will fall by the edge of the sword, and be led away captive into all nations. And Jerusalem will be trampled by Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled.

The Coming of the Son of Man

25 “And there will be signs in the sun, in the moon, and in the stars; and on the earth distress of nations, with perplexity, the sea and the waves roaring; 26 men’s hearts failing them from fear and the expectation of those things which are coming on the earth, for the powers of the heavens will be shaken. 27 Then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. 28 Now when these things begin to happen, look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption draws near.”

The Parable of the Fig Tree

29 Then He spoke to them a parable: “Look at the fig tree, and all the trees. 30 When they are already budding, you see and know for yourselves that summer is now near. 31 So you also, when you see these things happening, know that the kingdom of God is near. 32 Assuredly, I say to you, this generation will by no means pass away till all things take place. 33 Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away.

The Importance of Watching

34 “But take heed to yourselves, lest your hearts be weighed down with [h]carousing, drunkenness, and cares of this life, and that Day come on you unexpectedly. 35 For it will come as a snare on all those who dwell on the face of the whole earth. 36 Watch therefore, and pray always that you may [i]be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man.”

37 And in the daytime He was teaching in the temple, but at night He went out and stayed on the mountain called Olivet. 38 Then early in the morning all the people came to Him in the temple to hear Him.

Footnotes

  1. Luke 21:2 Gr. lepta, very small copper coins
  2. Luke 21:4 NU omits for God
  3. Luke 21:5 decorated
  4. Luke 21:8 NU omits Therefore
  5. Luke 21:8 follow
  6. Luke 21:14 say in defense
  7. Luke 21:15 withstand
  8. Luke 21:34 dissipation
  9. Luke 21:36 NU have strength to

MEMORY VERSE CHALLENGE:

Romans 6:1-2-

“What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it?”

STUDY/DEVOTIONAL:

We are still in Passion Week, with today’s reading and it is still full of some of Jesus’s strongest most difficult teachings – and today, prophecies. We have heard some of these in part earlier in the book and now they are expanded on and if God repeats it, then it must be important.
And today is FULL of extremely important passages!

Some have argued that the widow’s mites, story should not be grouped together with these other extremely important prophecies. However, if we look back at the series of teaching where “The Kingdom of Heaven is Like…” we see that a poor widow, generous giving, pouring yourself out to God, and trusting God for your provisions without worry (because you know He cares for you) are many of the things Jesus said make up the kingdom of heaven.
And Passion Week is one of the times in the history of the world where heaven and earth collide and the earth manifests in God’s glory!
Prophecy also often over laps earth and heaven. So it is fitting and powerful to have this poor widow listed with the prophecies Jesus speaks.

1 And He looked up and saw the rich putting their gifts into the treasury, and He saw also a certain poor widow putting in two mites. So He said, “Truly I say to you that this poor widow has put in more than all; for all these out of their abundance have put in offerings for God, but she out of her poverty put in all the livelihood that she had.”

It is the end of the week as well, and time to start thinking about the fact that this weekend we will be going into the house of the Lord and receiving a word from God and giving to Him in worship.  I know I need to receive from God greater things than just a word. I am praying for BIG things! Big things! God be glorified, kind of things – Things that will have eternal impact and transform lives forever, kind of big things. As we studied, if we want God to be generous with us, we must be generous with Him. Not because we have to, and not because we are doing it out of duty, AND not because we are expecting.
Do not tithe as a financial insurance policy. I recently heard a few preachers call it that. And I am not mad at them for grabbing part of this concept but not the whole. Yes, if you tithe there is a blessing that is promised and God never lies. It is true. But the word is very clear that we should give out of love – our love should compel us to worship in giving.
God has shown us over and over the amount that we give means nothing to him – he has all the silver and gold. He can take it. The percentage of our offering like here with the widow and the lady with the alabaster box of oil – he takes note of because where your treasure is, there is your heart. These women gave from their hearts!

Then, as some spoke of the temple, how it was adorned with beautiful stones and donations, He said,”

First of all, when we read the word Temple – we can immediately pull all temple passages together into this. As well as the tabernacle.  In Jesus’s day it was the second temple, not as magnificent as Salomon’s Temple. But it is was still adorned with beauty and art work. I say this because as a Christian women, I dress modestly and NOT with and obsession of the styles and cares of this world. However, I am the temple – you and I are temples. If God adorn and made beautiful the first (the Garden of Eden) and the second (the tabernacle), and Solomon’s Temple and the temple of Jesus’s day, and the temple in Ezekiel…  AND IF, Jesus clothes the lilies and fields with beauty and splendor – how much more should we care for and make our bodies beautiful for Him. Not in vanity, but in worship. And finished with a warning: NOT IN VANITY or you will be distracted and miss the deep things of God – ONLY in WORSHIP!

Moreover, the modern church building is a symbol of God’s temple and we come into it to worship Him. We care for it and used to adorn it – although more and more sanctuaries are painted black and more and more darkness creeps in. And more people are showing up “as they are” – which is great if you are just coming to the Lord… But if you are entering into worship the Bible says to clean yourself. If you are entering into worship, dress for the Lord out of respect for Him. I was told it is an old fashion concept. But it is Biblically sound. We disrespect the house of the Lord – both the church building and our bodies and expect that God will accept our worship of cries and vain words and money?! He wants our Love and respect.
And if we do not give it to Him, after grace abounding and multiple chances for us to get it right, HE WILL TAKE DOWN THE TEMPLE. If it is the glorious one Solomon built, lost to time by the Lord’s hand in the siege by the Babylonians – or if it is the loss of the temple of Jesus’s day, destroyed by Rome in the year 70.  Even our local churches – disrespect God long enough and not repent, God will take them down. It might be in the people, it might be the building. But God will not let you disrespect Him forever and call yourself His church. And finally – we are the temple, but if we also disrespect God and fail to love Him but get carried away with other things – He’ll take us down as well. Pride and sin do come before a fall and death.

“These things which you see—the days will come in which not one stone shall be left upon another that shall not be thrown down.”

So Jesus prophesies the destruction of the temple, because Jerusalem rejected Him. And the final symbol of the temple is Jesus Christ, Himself. As he said you tear it down, He will rebuild it – and He did, He rebuild it in us – who believe.
In Lot’s time God said He would spare the city if he found a handful of righteous people. There were a handful of righteous people in Jerusalem when Jesus prophesied this, when he died AND when Rome tore it down and conquered the city.
Something the United States of American should consider, if they think God will spare American based on a repentant remnant, maybe they should read the scriptures more carefully. The USA was raised up once as the church to the world, sending out missionaries, feeding the poor and spreading the kingdom of heaven. No church, not in right standing with God, will stand through the judgments and shaking that God is performing. Those of us who believe must pray more fervently and with fasting. 
And all of us around the globe must pray for the USA – its fall will impact the world (if the world likes it or not). Now we know there is no USA in the end time wars and prophecies and we know it will fall eventually. But so many lives are still unreached – let us pray and hold back the evil one and pray for ALL nations.

So they asked Him, saying, “Teacher, but when will these things be? And what sign will there be when these things are about to take place?”
And He said: 
“Take heed that you not be deceived. For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am He,’ and, ‘The time has drawn near.’ Therefore do not go after them. But when you hear of wars and commotions, do not be terrified; for these things must come to pass first, but the end will not come immediately.”
10 Then He said to them, “Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. 11 And there will be great earthquakes in various places, and famines and pestilences; and there will be fearful sights and great signs from heaven. 12 But before all these things, they will lay their hands on you and persecute you, delivering you up to the synagogues and prisons. You will be brought before kings and rulers for My name’s sake. 13 But it will turn out for you as an occasion for testimony. 14 Therefore settle it in your hearts not to meditate beforehand on what you will answer; 15 for I will give you a mouth and wisdom which all your adversaries will not be able to contradict or resist. 16 You will be betrayed even by parents and brothers, relatives and friends; and they will put some of you to death. 17 And you will be hated by all for My name’s sake. 18 But not a hair of your head shall be lost. 19 By your patience possess your souls.”

And every last one of those has come to pass. Jesus never said it would be immediately after these thing – but He just said after. He said back then we were in the end time, and it is so much later now. But is it the end of the age? No, much still needs to happen.
Are we close to the Rapture? In Thessalonians we read about the righteous being caught up by Jesus in the sky and we call it the rapture. And since no man know the day or hour of that we are always very close to it and should be ready.
Be ready – because verse 16 says: some of us will be put to death. 10 disciples were put to death. John was boiled in oil, but did not die – later died of old age. (and Judas killed himself). That makes a track record of 100% died for Him.  Paul also died for him – they did not touch a hair on his head, but they removed his head.
You and I may not die for Him – lucky, aren’t we? But dying for Him IS WHAT WE ARE SIGNING UP FOR. How quickly we forget in our world of psychological attacks and lacking in physical attacks. Despite the growing violence.
I am not ignorant – I see you all peaking at this blog and in some of your countries – Christians are already getting killed for the gospel. It is sadly not often spoke of. I see you – you are in my prayers. And I beseech all of you to also pray fervently for our brothers and sisters in the Lord, suffering and struggling everywhere. It often seem so silly that I type out my struggles in finances and obedience comfortably from my living room, blessed with a laptop and internet, so I can reach you – while some of you struggle for your life. God forgive me when I whine about my struggles – they are nothing compared to what is coming over the earth.

Now this next section is specific to the year 70 and Jerusalem – but also specific to the end of the age and Israel. Neither of which is where we are at. Israel is surrounded by enemies and the armies are mobilizing and starting to get into position. We are either close or the enemy is trying to scare us.

20 “But when you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then know that its desolation is near. 21 Then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains, let those who are in the midst of her depart, and let not those who are in the country enter her. 22 For these are the days of vengeance, that all things which are written may be fulfilled. 23 But woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing babies in those days! For there will be great distress in the land and wrath upon this people. 24 And they will fall by the edge of the sword, and be led away captive into all nations. And Jerusalem will be trampled by Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled.”

Next Jesus speaks on His second Coming. Obviously we are reading about the first time He arrived. The rapture is not considered a coming. Some believe the rapture it will happen before the tribulation discussed in Revelations. Some believe it will happen during. Some believe the rapture will happen with the second coming.

25 “And there will be signs in the sun, in the moon, and in the stars; and on the earth distress of nations, with perplexity, the sea and the waves roaring; 26 men’s hearts failing them from fear and the expectation of those things which are coming on the earth, for the powers of the heavens will be shaken. 27 Then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. 28 Now when these things begin to happen, look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption draws near.”

At risk of confusing you all, I did try to give you an overview of some of the believed timelines.
The truth is, that over and over in history the enemy has tried to reproduce these signs to get us as Christians to give up, because it was the end. We are to occupy until He comes. So it doesn’t matter if the end is now or if it is later. If we are ready, and we are doing His will – that is all that matters.

Let’s take another look at these signs – they are happening. Men are so fragile that just with the unknown of covid and locking us all down, man’s hearts failed and they killed themselves. So I ask God, How can man handle worse, without you? And he is said and shows us – man cannot. We must tell people about Jesus! We must! How will they know there is a way to endure?

29 Then He spoke to them a parable: “Look at the fig tree, and all the trees. 30 When they are already budding, you see and know for yourselves that summer is now near. 31 So you also, when you see these things happening, know that the kingdom of God is near. 32 Assuredly, I say to you, this generation will by no means pass away till all things take place. 33 Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away.”

Which generation? Here is a point of much contention among theologians and believers. The disciple’s generation saw all of it except Jesus’s return. But they thought they would see His return so they had an urgency and a zeal. Sadly, we do not think we will see the return of our king and we are complacent.
Don’t we know we could be the generation? Many thought it would be the generation who survived the holocaust – well, they have not all died yet. But again – people also speak of the second coming as if it is the rapture. And they are two events – which may happen together or separate.
So much to consider.  But the second coming is after the Anti-Christ reign, that we know for sure. So we know we have time before the second coming.

But the rapture? We could be raptured today – are you ready? Have you told your family and neighbors? Are you watching and studying and looking for Jesus?! Are you seeking first the kingdom of God in both obedience and watching for these things?

34 “But take heed to yourselves, lest your hearts be weighed down with carousing, drunkenness, and cares of this life, and that Day come on you unexpectedly. 35 For it will come as a snare on all those who dwell on the face of the whole earth. 36 Watch therefore, and pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man.”
37 And in the daytime He was teaching in the temple, but at night He went out and stayed on the mountain called Olivet. 38 Then early in the morning all the people came to Him in the temple to hear Him.”

Today we have some soul searching to do. Are we willing to die for Jesus? If not yet, Lord make us ready! And are we worthy to stand before the Son of Man? Oh Lord these are hard words. Because to become worthy, we must be counted worthy by our repentance, humility, and love for Him which is shown through our faith. (Back to Roman’s one – where our righteousness is counted to us by our faith!)

Let us think on these things and Jesus’s words over the weekend.

This weekend please join me for the last wisdom readings from Psalms (yes, we finish reading through the Psalms this weekend)! And I’ll be back with commentary of the Book of Luke on Monday – if the Lord tarries.  We will jump right in with the last supper and finish the book of Luke next week!

Have a blessed weekend.

***

Thank you for reading in 2022 – a Year of Wisdom and Salvation
May the God of peace keep you and bless you. May you stay focused on Christ and covered in grace.
Maranatha ~ Come Lord Jesus!

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