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A Change in the Air

There is a change in the wind. There is a shift happening right now. Can you feel it?

I know some will say it’s all part of getting older. You know, the more years you live, the more often people will let you down. With age, you learn some people simply ruin things. As you get older you discover some of your friends are fake. You realize it is exhausting dealing with people's drama and you begin to withdraw.

Those might all be legitimate reasons for change, but I would counter it is more than that. I believe it is significant. I believe it is a sign of the times.

Merriam-Webster defines a sign of the times as a noun phrase and “something that shows the kinds of things that are happening, popular, important, etc., in a culture at a particular period in history”

I want to be even more specific. I believe it is a sign of the end of time.

Paul nailed it when he wrote to Timothy saying, “This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God;” 2 Timothy 3:1-4 KJV

Do you see that today?

People love themselves more than they love others if they love others at all. They love money and will do anything to get it.

Do you see people who are boastful and proud? I do. Abusive? It’s all over the news. Do you see children out of control and being disobedient to their parents? Oh my goodness, don’t get me started.

Do you see an ungrateful attitude? Unholy? Without love? I do.

Have you experienced an unforgiving heart? Have you been the victim of something slanderous? Do you see a world without self-control? Do you see brutality? Do you see many that are not champions of good, but instead are treacherous, rash, and conceited?

I do. Sadly.

Do you see a world that loves party and pleasure instead of their Creator God? I do. I see it everywhere. I see it in people I have known for decades. I see it in the streets and on the faces of strangers in the stores...our world is changing, but why?

Personally, I believe God has begun to withdraw His Spirit and influence from the earth. We are told it will happen. Genesis 6:3 tells us that God’s Spirit will not always stive with man.

“Everything in the world is in agitation. The signs of the times are ominous. Coming events cast their shadows before. The Spirit of God is withdrawing from the earth, and calamity follows calamity by sea and by land. There are tempests, earthquakes, fires, floods, murders of every grade (Desire of Ages, p. 636).

Attitudes are shifting. I can see it; hear it; feel it.

Matthew 24:10 gives a rather ominous depiction of end times: “And then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another.”

Do you see betrayal? Do you see hatred? Do you see a severe lack of tolerance, even from the ones that demand it the most? I am amazed, simply amazed, at the attitudes unfolding around me. What does God see?

What does God want to see?

1 Timothy spells out for the church what we are to pursue, how we are to behave, and what we are to be about.

“People talk all the time about what they are looking for in a church, but what is God looking for in a church? This is the question that we should be asking.

“Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.” 1 Timothy 2:1-4 NKJV

Supplications. Prayers. Intercessions. Giving of thanks. Living a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence. That is what the Lord wants from His church. That is what God wants from us.

Paul also wrote to Timothy saying, “And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord who has enabled me, because He counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry, although I was formerly a blasphemer, a persecutor, and an insolent man; but I obtained mercy because I did it ignorantly in unbelief. And the grace of our Lord was exceedingly abundant, with faith and love which are in Christ Jesus. This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief. However, for this reason I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might show all longsuffering, as a pattern to those who are going to believe on Him for everlasting life. Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, to God who alone is wise, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen.” 1 Timothy 1:12-17 NKJV

Paul was no better or worse than you or me. If God’s grace was enough for a former blasphemer, a persecutor, an insolent man; it’s enough for us.

The world may be falling apart around us. Our personal world may feel like it is falling apart, but here is a trustworthy saying that deserves our full attention:

Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners.

That is the truth and a truth you can take to heart and depend on: “Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners. I’m proof—Public Sinner Number One—of someone who could never have made it apart from sheer mercy. And now he shows me off—evidence of his endless patience—to those who are right on the edge of trusting him forever.” The Message Bible

So, in a world that is becoming more greedy, more angry, more unforgiving, let’s vow to become more faithful, more engaged with Jesus, more joyful, more hopeful. Jesus is the author and finisher. Keep your eyes on Him.

This world, in its current condition, is not our home. There are much better days ahead. Keep your eye on the prize and run with determination.

1 Timothy 6:12 tells us to fight the good fight, to take hold of the eternal life which we were called to. If it was easy, it wouldn’t be called a fight. If it was a walk in the park, it wouldn’t be called a race.

“Dear Heavenly Father,

Thank you for offering peace and courage during my trials. I am reminded that the troubles I am facing did not catch you by surprise, nor are they outside your control.

Help me be calm during my trials by keeping my eyes on You and Your Son’s finished work on the cross. I know this world can be painful, I know also that it will not separate me from your love.

Thank you for loving me so much that you sent your Son to take my place; to suffer and die on my behalf. I don’t understand it, but I am so eternally grateful.

You are a good and faithful Abba, and I praise you for giving me an incorruptible, unfading inheritance.

Help me to place my hope, not in the things of this world or the people of this world, but in You and You alone.

In the name of Jesus, I pray. Amen

by Jeanette Stark – Monday, February 13, 2023

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