ENDURING TO THE END

One morning, I was reading Psalm 100:5 in the ESV Bible translation. The verse includes the phrase: “His steadfast love endures forever.” His love is steadfast. That means it is firmly fixed in place and not subject to change. God will love you forever, no matter what. Nothing can change that.

The word endures was the word that grabbed my attention. Perhaps because we have all been enduring so much this year. I looked at other verses using the word. It excited me to discover it used sixty-six times in the ESV translation along with the word forever. I looked up some of those verses and saw that, not only does God’s love endure forever, but whatever God does endures forever. (Ecclesiastes 3:14)

Out of your own curiosity, look up some of these verses yourself.

  • Psalm 100:5
  • Psalm 111:3
  • Psalm 111:10
  • Psalm 117:2
  • Psalm 119:160
  • Psalm 135:13
  • Ecclesiastes 3:14
  • Lamentations 5:19
  • Daniel 4:3

All of these things endure forever as it relates to God in the Old Testament. Then, in the New Testament, the focus shifts to Jesus and what endures forever for humanity. Matthew 10:22 tells how endurance applies to you. “The one who endures to the end will be saved.”

The word saved in this verse means, in part, delivered, healed, and preserved. We are delivered from evil, healed from sin and preserved for eternity. The one who endures to the end will be preserved forever in the presence of our Savior, Jesus Christ. Can I get an Amen!

Endurance is about eternal life. It is running the race of life without giving up, no matter how difficult the circumstances. It is the ability to walk through every hardship, rather than trying to side-step the difficulty. Our labor for God is simple. Believe in Jesus. Trust Him through every situation.

Hebrews 12:3 tells us to think about what Jesus endured so we do not become weary of the struggles we go through. The endurance of Jesus is our example for withstanding hardship and adversity. If we fix our eyes on Him, we can endure. The way we endure any hardship should be done with an attitude toward God’s eternal purpose. It is part of being an ambassador for Christ.

One day we will live in His presence, having endured to the end. We cannot give up. We must not give in. Keep on trusting that God has an eternal purpose in mind for you. Everything He does endures forever.

(This is an excerpt from the Bible Study Living Your Glory Story by Donna Skell and Virginia Grounds available on Amazon and also on my author page.)

Lord of All Creation

 

As I was looking back through my journal this morning, I found this poem I wrote on January 3rd of this year without knowing what the year would bring, personally and nationally. Today I find it very appropriate as a prayer for those who do not yet know the Lord of all creation that they would seek Him. His name is Jesus.

LORD OF ALL CREATION

Lord of all creation

humbly I bow at your feet

seeking your hand of mercy

to touch and give me strength.

To the weak and the weary

Your grace you have shown

to fill our hearts with hope

as we await our heavenly home.

Thank you for mercy and grace

in the sacrifice you made

that we could experience your presence

and from your free gift, be saved.

And now, O Lord, I ponder

how it can be so

that we receive such great love

and out of your wisdom, we can know…

The Loving Savior, Jesus!

“And it shall come to pass

that whoever calls on the name of the LORD

shall be saved.”

Acts 2:21 (NKJV)

Tent Living

 

Have you ever been camping? Things seem so peaceful when you are out in the sunshine in the woods or by a lake. But all that can change in a moment when the storms come. Life is like that. When things are running smoothly, there is peace. Yet, heavy burdens can weigh us down and we struggle for peace.

But when life seems to be a burden, be encouraged knowing your body is like a tent set up on a camping trip. The campground is only a temporary place you go on weekends or vacations. But eventually you will take down the tent and go home. The tent is your place of refuge while at a place of unknowns. However, while in the tent, storms may come. They may batter and blow the tent and hail may beat holes in the fabric until the tent collapses. That is when you will pack up and go home to a place that is safe.

Our bodies are like that. The Bible tells us we have a house not made with hands; one that is eternal in the heavens. Our earthly body is like the tent that wears out. But as believers in our Lord Jesus, we are guaranteed a permanent home with God for eternity.

In the meantime, we are to live courageously on earth enduring every storm. We are to live by faith knowing we cannot see the future, but believing what God has promised to us through our Savior Jesus. Therefore, we strive to please the Lord in all we say and do as we await our permanent home in heaven.

We find the truth of this illustration in God’s Word:

1For we know that if our earthly house, this tent, is destroyed,

we have a building from God,

a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.

5Now He who has prepared us for this very thing is God,

who also has given us the Spirit as a guarantee.

So we are always confident, knowing that while

we are at home in the body we are absent from the Lord.

7 For we walk by faith, not by sight.

8We are confident, yes, well pleased

rather to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord.

9Therefore we make it our aim, whether present or absent,

to be well pleasing to Him.

2 Corinthians 5:1, 5, 7-9 (NKJV)

Knocking on Heaven’s Door

In 1965 Bob Dylan wrote a song called Knocking on Heavens Door. It was later recorded by a group called Guns and Roses. I can’t say I was ever a Guns and Roses fan, but a strange thing happened this morning.  When I woke up, the chorus of that song was going through my mind. What it says repeatedly is ‘knock, knock, knockin’, on Heaven’s door.’  So when I got out of bed, I looked up the lyrics and found them to be rather dark. The song is apparently about someone in law enforcement who is dying and feels he is knocking on Heaven’s door. Yet, he talks about ‘that cold dark cloud coming down’.

When I opened my Bible study for the morning, I was amazed that my lesson for the day was about the Kingdom of Heaven. What I read in Colossians 1:13 is that God has “rescued us from the domain of darkness and transferred us into the kingdom of the son he loves.” Did you see that? God has rescued us from darkness. There is no darkness when we knock on Heaven’s door and enter in.

In heaven there will only be light – there will be no darkness. We are told in Revelation 3:20 that Jesus stands at the door and knocks. The verse says, “If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come into him and have dinner with him and he with me”. Then John, who wrote the Revelation, said this: “After this I looked, and behold, a door standing open in Heaven! And the first voice, which I had heard speaking to me like a trumpet said, ‘Come up here, and I will show you what must take place after this.” (Revelation 4:1)

From this we learn that Jesus knocks on the door of our heart, and we knock on the door of Heaven. When Jesus knocks, we are to answer with faith, believing in who He is and invite Him into our lives. Then, when the time comes for us to knock on Heaven’s door before passing into eternity, there will be no darkness, and the doors will be thrown wide open for us to enter in. When we knock, Jesus opens the door.

For the Christian, the message of ‘knock, knock, knockin’, on Heaven’s door’ is not a message of death, but rather of life eternal!

Once we have opened the door of our heart when Jesus knocks, not only are we assured of eternity with Him as we knock on Heaven’s door, but we are promised an open door of response from Him on earth. Matthew 7:7-8 says, “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks find, and to the one who knocks it will be opened.”

In this passage, Jesus was teaching His disciples to be persistent in prayer for daily needs, confident that their Father in Heaven would provide whatever was best for them according to His gracious will. The same is true for believers today. After we invite Jesus in as personal Savior, He throws open doors for us that have been closed. The door opens to spiritual wisdom, opportunity, power to accomplish what He asks of us and so much more. Ask, seek, knock that we may find, receive, and know all that is needed for life and godliness.

Jesus is the Light of the World. In Him, there is no darkness at all. As believers, we have a call to action. We are to let His light shine through us to the world around us. The shield of His light dispels the darkness.

“The night is far gone, the day is at hand.

So then let us cast off the works of darkness

and put on the armor of light.”

Romans 13:12 ESV