The Middle East and Bible Prophecy

There’s such a lot going on in the Middle East at the moment. For Bible readers, times are interesting and exciting as events are moving towards the return of the Lord Jesus Christ to the earth.

Please take the time to read this booklet to see where events in the Middle East are leading.

Or take a look at this video which outlines the events leading up to the establishment of God’s Kingdom on earth:

Read first, then pray

Solomon made a startling statement that will surprise a great many people who do not regularly read their Bible. He tells us, “Don’t bother to pray if you don’t have time to read the Bible.” This is admittedly a very loose translation. His exact words were, “One who turns away his ear from hearing the law, even his prayer is an abomination.”

It is possible to give long prayers to God without moving one step nearer to Him. Prayer is a wonderful blessing that God has given whereby we may approach Him with our innermost thoughts. Yet Jesus also told us about a man who simply prayed with himself. He was so wrapped up in his own cleverness that he spent his entire prayer telling God what a wonderful man he was, and Jesus indicated that this man was only praying with himself and not to God.

God wants us to communicate to Him, but He also wants to communicate with us. He has made this possible, “For prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.”

Our Heavenly Father obviously expects us to read His word. In fact, we are to meditate upon it day and night. It is a love letter, a message He caused to be written and preserved for our learning and our salvation.

What does it mean if a person does not read the Bible? How can he be in harmony with the mind of God when he prays? First of all, he has not shown respect for God by making it a priority to read His word. And secondly, a spiritual mind cannot be developed if it is not in contact with the mind of God, and the only way that can happen is by hearing His word. Paul tells us, “So then faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the word of God.”

There are many people who are quite willing to pray and pray and ask God for all the things they want, but they never have time to read the Bible to learn what God wants to tell His children. Those people are simply praying with themselves, not to God, and their prayers are an abomination to Him.

The language is strong — Solomon, moved by the Holy Spirit, has given us God’s opinion in language we would not have dared to use otherwise.

The lesson is to make our conversations with God a balance of prayer and reading His word so that the dialogue is truly two-sided. When we seek God’s help, we should search the scriptures for passages relating to our problem, prayerfully seeking guidance from His word. We can meditate on memorized portions of scripture when driving or waiting.

Balancing our prayers with scriptural meditation will help us to heed the instructions to, “Be not rash with thy mouth…to utter any thing before God: for God is in heaven and thou upon earth, therefore let thy words be few.” Prayer is an awe-inspiring privilege, an opportunity to approach the Creator of all the earth, an honor we should not treat casually. To develop the faith without which it is impossible to please God and have our prayers heard, we need to hear the word of God. Prayer is a wonderful blessing, “for the effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much,” says James. Let us get our priorities straight and listen to God. And then let us be thankful He will hear our prayers.

Robert J. Lloyd

How to face the storms of life

The wise man in the storm prays to God, not for safety from danger, but for deliverance from fear. It is the storm within that endangers him, not the storm without. – Ralph Waldo Emerson.

It is our fear of the storm that paralyzes us, not the storm. Our reaction to a crisis is what determines whether we sink or swim with it. Franklin Delano Roosevelt said, “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself,” which is the reason why General George Patton said, “I never take counsel of my fears.”

The problem with so many is that they listen to their fears. The brave man is also afraid, but his fear does not paralyze him into inaction. In a little boat in a storm, the Lord was sound asleep in the back and the disciples were afraid. They woke him up. They were panicky and he was not. “And he said unto them, Why are ye so fearful? how is it that ye have no faith?” Their lack of faith produced the fear. This is the reason why Emerson said that the wise man prays for deliverance from fear. It is the fear within us that causes the problem, not the storm outside.

How do we react to the storms in our lives? We all have storms, but we do not all react in the same way to the same storm. The storms in our lives show whether we trust in the Lord or rely upon our own resources. By ourselves, we really are powerless against mighty storms, just as the disciples knew their efforts were futile to prevent the boat from sinking from the violence of the waves. They were doomed and did not know what to do. They needed to turn to God for help. When Christ awoke, he immediately called upon God’s power to calm the sea.

David said, “I sought the LORD, and he heard me, and delivered me from all my fears.” Notice God delivers us from our fears, not necessarily from the thing of which we are afraid, but from our fear of it. The storm may continue to rage, but we now are supported by the power of Almighty God.

If God be for us who can be against us? Again David said, “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.”

We sometimes have to walk though the valley, but we do not need to fear when the Lord is with us. If we truly believe, “The angel of the LORD encamps round about them that fear him, and delivers them,” then we can face the storms of life with confidence and not with fear. We so often sing, “With Christ in the vessel we smile at the storm.”

The Lord told his disciples, “There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear: because fear has torment. He that fears is not made perfect in love.” So what casts out fear? Perfect love and faith do. Why are we so fearful? Could it be our lack of faith, or lack of love for the Lord?

So we need to pray, as Emerson suggested, for deliverance from fear, from the storm within that endangers us. Jesus was calm within regardless of the storms around him. Even as he stood on trial for his life, the taunts of the crowd and the blows from the soldiers did not disturb his inner peace. Our Lord was living out in practice what Isaiah had said the Lord would do for us. “You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on you: because he trusts in you.” Christ’s prayers in the Garden of Gethsemane sustained him so that he resolutely fulfilled the will of God.

We can live in perfect peace in spite of the storms swirling around us. We need to keep our minds stayed on the One who is able to deliver us. We need to pray without ceasing so that God is involved in every aspect of our lives. Our God is able to deliver us from fear of the storms that arise in our lives. Our God is bigger than any storm we will ever face.

Isaiah tells us that our God is “a strength to the poor, a strength to the needy in his distress, a refuge from the storm, a shadow from the heat, when the blast of the terrible ones is as a storm against the wall.”

Believing in the power and love of our almighty and merciful Heavenly Father, we can say with David, “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for you are with me; your rod and your staff they comfort me.”

Robert J. Lloyd

Exodus: Gods and Kings – exploring the biblical background

If you hadn’t heard, there’s a film coming out in the UK, entitled “Exodus: Gods and Kings”. It’s a Hollywoodisation of the Exodus story, so it might be a useful conversation starter with friends, family and neighbours.

 

A website has been put together at http://www.exodusgodsandkings.org which explores some of the Biblical context.

There are sections on:

* Did the Exodus happen?

* Jesus and the Exodus

* Read the book – links for people to read the chapters covered in the film

* The film vs the book – differences

* The message of the Exodus

Life’s big questions

Why do we suffer?

Does life have a purpose?

Should we fear the future?

Is there a God?

See good reasons to trust the Bible’s answers.

We would like to help you answer life’s really important questions that affect you and your long-term future.

Maybe you are sceptical about organized religion?

Perhaps you are unsure about the relevance of the Bible.

We want to show you that there are very good reasons to believe that the Bible is no ordinary book.

See the website for further details: here

 

What’s happening in the world?

On the surface, it looks as if the world is in chaos – anarchy and worry.
But for some good news.
We are promised that this sort of thing will happen before Jesus Christ returns to restore the world to peace and justice.

Take a look at this link to see what has happened during the last week and see how it was foretold in the Bible long ago.

http://weeklyworldwatch.co.uk/

The main message is:
Don’t worry.. God has not forgotten about us. He is to send His Son, Jesus back to the earth whatever. Whether we do something about this and try to turn our lives to God is our bit.