I think most of us would like to live surrounded by other believers, but the truth is that most of us are surrounded by those outside the faith. They, then, are the ones who watch us, who see our behavior, and who will end up judging us according to our hypocrisy or our faith. So how are we to live among the “outsiders” so that they cannot accuse us of hypocrisy or being “haters?” Here is what Scripture tells us: “Remind them to be submissive to rulers and authorities, to obey, to be ready for every good work, to slander no one, to avoid fighting, and to be kind, always showing gentleness to all people. For we too were once foolish, disobedient, deceived, enslaved by various passions and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, detesting one another. But when the goodness of God and His love for mankind appeared, He saved us – not by works of righteousness that we had done, but according to His mercy, through the washing of regeneration and renewal by the Holy Spirit. He poured out this Spirit on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that having been justified by His grace, we may become heirs with the hope of eternal life.” Titus 3:1-7 Right here in a couple of paragraphs, we have the guidance for living a Christ-like life. No, He doesn’t say what will happen to us when we live like this, for that is not important. If anyone wants to know what will happen to them if they live respectable lives, before they agree to do it, they have missed the point of faith. Our faith tells us that regardless of how we are treated, we treat others like Jesus would. Our faith tells us that the way we live will not be rewarded with kindness necessarily, at least on this side of eternity. This is a model for living without regard to how we are treated in return. Our faith is not dependent on that. We lived in a duplex in Hawaii, when I was in the Military, and when I became a believer, I told the people living next to us. From that point on, they treated us like we had leprosy. But several months later, the wife from next door knocked on our door. She was embarrassed to be there, but she had to reach out. She asked if we would pray for her and her family, which was falling apart. She may not have liked the fact that we became believers, but in need, she reached out because she knew our faith was real. We were not looking for admiration, but were living like Christ wanted us to live. He revealed to us that the “outsiders” were indeed watching, and at least one turned to God in the time of need, and asked us to pray for them. If you believe, You have been given the Holy Spirit, who He says, ‘He poured out on us abundantly.’ If you believe, you will desire to be the peace in the midst of “Outsiders”. They will see your peace, and they will not be able to call you hypocrite, when you practice these things. They may still persecute you, but at least you will have given them nothing but love and peace, gentleness, and kindness, avoiding being sucked into retaliation for the way they treat you. We will respond with love; we will respond with kindness and gentleness. I know it’s hard, but it’s the way of the true believer. Pastor Andy
I am writing to you dear friends and believers, those of you who call yourselves Christian. Yet often you doubt because you don’t think you are worthy of salvation, and it’s not about your faith in Jesus, but rather about your doubt in yourself. If you are like this today, I would ask that you read 1 John. Yes, the whole letter. For it is a letter to you, for it is written to believers. But you can see by the letter that John writes to caution all of us to watch out for pitfalls, for those who claim Christianity, but who practice otherwise. In the first 4 verses, we see the encouragement to believers, “We are writing these things so that our joy may be complete.” But then he writes that: My little children, I am writing you these things so that you may not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father – Jesus Christ the Righteous One.” (2:1) We need to understand that right away, because we all sin, and sometimes that sin makes us doubt our faith, because we expect more from ourselves. ( If we just had enough faith, we wouldn’t sin so much) While it’s true that our Lord wants us to walk like He walked, we also know that this flesh is corrupt, and until we reach eternity, we have to contend with a corrupt flesh. But when that happens, we should have the confidence that we have an advocate with the Father, and that is the very One who saved us by giving Himself as an offering for all our sins, past, present, and future. That doesn’t mean we are fine with sinning, but we should be always striving to live for Him. John writes in this letter: “What you have heard from the beginning must remain in you. If what you have heard from the beginning remains in you, then you will remain in the Son and in the Father. And this is the promise that He Himself made to us: eternal life. I have written these things to you about those who are trying to deceive you. The anointing you received from Him remains in you, and you don’t need anyone to teach you. Instead, His anointing teaches you about all things and is true and is not a lie; just as He has taught you, remain in Him.” 1 John 2:24-27 What is asked of us is that we become more like Jesus, and for that we don’t need teachers to tell us how to do that, but rather, rely on the Holy Spirit, who lives in us, to reveal truth to us. But it seems like there are so many who want to tell you how to live, and we learn to rely on those who seem more “righteous” than us for those answers. Yes, we need teachers, but teachers who remind us of what the bible says, not their own theology that takes us away from scripture, but rather points to the scripture. Instead of just wanting to hear what that person says, check out with what he/she says with scripture. Does it confirm what the scriptures tell you? If so, then you’re good. If it doesn’t line up with scripture, seek other believers who you trust, and who give an honest profession of the faith, to help guide you. Just like Philip, who helped the Ethiopian Official understand what he was reading. The Official said, “How can I’, he said, ‘unless someone guides me.” Acts 8:31 You will learn to understand the word, even if it takes “guiding”, but trust first the Spirit that guides you in Scripture. He will also guide you to the right people. So, If you call yourself a Christian, because of your belief in Jesus Christ, and Him alone for Salvation; that God sent Him for such a purpose, and after the cross, raised Him from the dead, to sit at His right hand, where He intercedes for us to the Father, then you are on the right track, and you can be assured of your salvation. Yes, you might not feel like you are good enough to be saved, but thank Jesus Christ, that He came to save those who were not good enough, and give them new life, by believing in Him. Do you trust Him fully with everything that you have inside? Do you know that He died for you? Do you believe that Jesus will come again? Do you believe that He sits beside the Father even now interceding on your behalf when you falter? Do you believe that He did not leave you alone but has sent the Holy Spirit to be with you and in you for the rest of your days on this earth? Then rest my friend, for our Lord is with you. And He will keep picking you up every time you fall, and I mean every time. There is no limit to His great love for you and me, and we can be secure in that, without doubt. Pastor Andy
As I was reading a book about the church last night before bed, I was struck with a word that seems to stand out, but seems to also have so many different meanings. This word is still with me this morning, and this word is “Truth”. There are so many who want to live the truth, but follow a truth told from man as definitive truth. So the question remains, “What is Truth?” Interesting when Jesus stood before Pilate, these same words resounded from the unbelieving lips of Pilate. Here is the Scripture: “Then Pilate went back into the headquarters, summoned Jesus, and said to Him, ‘Are You the King of the Jews?” Jesus answered, ‘Are you asking this on your own, or have others told you about Me?’ ‘I’m not a Jew, am I?’ Pilate replied. “Your own nation and the chief priests handed You over to me. What have You done?” ‘My kingdom is not of this world,’ said Jesus. ‘If My kingdom were of this world, My servants would fight, so that I wouldn’t be handed over to the Jews. As it is, My kingdom does not have its origin here.’ “You are a king then?” Pilate asked. ‘You say that I’m a king,’ Jesus replied, ‘I was born for this, and I have come into the world for this: to testify to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth listens to My voice.’ ‘What is truth?’ said Pilate.” John 18: 33-38 Today many still ask the same question, but the problem is that they are looking for truth among men, but the truth Jesus talked about is the truth of God. The truth is that He loved the world so much that He sent His Son, for this very reason to die for the sins of the world, so that the world might be saved through Him. Pilate couldn’t understand it; the Jews couldn’t understand it; many of the people couldn’t understand it, and all because of their hardened hearts, and their own desire to find truth among men, and not from God. I admit that when I read some of scripture, I don’t like the sound of it either, but I’m not going to change the truth because I want it to make me feel better about myself, if I change the truth of the word to fit my own narrative. Men want so much to have meaning to their lives, but they want it their own way, so they invent truths that make them feel better about themselves. That doesn’t change the truth that comes from God, for He is truth, and His word is truth. If only we would surrender our pride, our ego, our arrogance, and listen to the word, listen to the very scripture that I posted above, and see and truly listen to what Jesus was saying. He came to testify to the truth, and everyone who is of the truth listens to His voice. He is the truth. He said earlier in His walk, when talking to His disciples: “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” John 14:6 Jesus is the truth, because He came from Truth, from the very heart of God. He lived the truth, and He died for the truth, and He rose again in truth. Let’s not try to make a different kind of truth to satisfy any guilt we have of not being true to Him, but rather, let’s get right with Him, by listening to Him, for He is the truth, and we will see His glory on that day, and all will know the truth. Pastor Andy
1 Thessalonians 4:13–18
13 Brothers and sisters, we do not want you to be uninformedr about those who sleep in death,s so that you do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope.t 14 For we believe that Jesus died and rose again,u and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him.v 15 According to the Lord’s word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord,w will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep.x 16 For the Lord himself will come down from heaven,y with a loud command, with the voice of the archangelz and with the trumpet call of God,a and the dead in Christ will rise first.b 17 After that, we who are still alive and are leftc will be caught up together with them in the cloudsd to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lorde forever. 18 Therefore encourage one anotherf with these words.
On 8/20/22, the world lost a good man and a patriot and I lost my dad. My dad never attended church when I was growing up. My mom raised us Catholic (I always tell people, “I just wasn’t any good at it!”), but I came to faith in Christ in 1986. I have had conversations with my dad over the years, but with little response. My dad was devastated when my mom had a couple of minor strokes and her short-term memory was affected. He so desperately wanted his wife back. More recently when we talked, and as I heard from my sister, my dad became somewhat depressed over all of this. But, he called me a few months ago and as we talked he said, “Ya know my boy? (he’s very Southern) I’ve been talking a lot with God and I was wonderin’ about all of this that’s goin’ on. And God told me that I am here to take care of your mom because I can and because no one loves her the way I do.” He proceeded to tell me how beautiful she was and how much of an honor it was for them to still be together to care for one another. I told him that God can use him in some mighty ways, when you are his child! He assured me right then that he was a child of God!
My dad grew up very poor by a very hard father and was career military! He as very strict and didn’t show emotion … other than when I messed up and he was mad! But … I NEVER questioned if he loved me (even though he is not my biological dad and adopted me when my mom remarried).
Many of you are probably wondering why all of this is in a devotional. I understand. What I want to encourage everyone with is, that person who you think will never accept Christ is only one prayer, one testimony away from seeing the light! Never quit praying … never quit living an example of a godly life and never give up on someone’s salvation!
My dad will be buried with full military honors and, God willing, a fly over during his burial on 9/6! Please pray for good weather and God’s favor as we lay this hero of mine to rest!
In honor of Chief Master Sergeant Gary Wetherington!
“The earth and everything in it, the world and its inhabitants, belong to the Lord; for He laid its foundations on the seas and established it on the rivers. Who may ascend the mountain of the Lord? Who may stand in His holy place? The one who has clean hands and a pure heart, who has not set his mind on what is false, and who has not sworn deceitfully. He will receive blessing from the Lord, and righteousness from the God of his salvation. Such is the generation of those who seek Him, who seek the face of the God of Jacob. Lift up your heads, you gates! Rise up, ancient doors! Then the King of glory will come in. Who is this King of glory? The Lord, strong and mighty, the Lord, mighty in battle. Lift up your heads, you gates! Rise up, ancient doors! Then the King of glory will come in. Who is He, this King of glory? The Lord of Hosts, Heis the King of glory.” Psalm 24 Who is this King of glory? He is the Lord, our Savior. He is Jesus the victorious! Jesus, who calms the storms, and makes the demons flee, He is the Lord. Jesus, who makes the lame to walk and the blind to see, He is the Lord. Jesus, who feeds the multitudes with just a few fish and bread, He is the Lord! Today is a day to reflect on the Lord, and His majesty. Honestly, what He does to care for us, and how He walks with us through the trials that life brings our way. We may have to walk through the fire at times, but He will walk with us through it. He is right there comforting us when we are alone and lost. He is the One who gives us the strength to wake and to walk every day. He is the Lord. When I fail Him, He is faithful to forgive, when I once again come into the sanctuary to seek His face and plead my case before Him. His love is so far above my own concept of love that often I cannot understand it, yet He has given us the ability to reveal His love through the Holy Spirit who lives in us. How can we not love One like Him? How can we not follow Him? How can we not choose Him over the flesh that desires to compete for our time? For He is the Lord! So today Lord, I will look at what is around me, and I will seek Your face once again. I will praise You for the blessings You have poured out over Your children. I will look at nature differently today and see that it, too, desires Your presence. I will try hard to be the light that You shine to those around me, so open up the doors to my heart, and Rise up the gates of my own confinement, and help me to surrender to Your will, so that I may praise You with all I am. For You are the Lord of Hosts, You are the King of glory, and You complete us. “Lord, my heart is not proud, nor are my eyes fixed on things around me. In the quiet, I have stilled my soul, like a child at rest, on his mother’s knee, You have stilled my soul, within me.” Psalm 131 Ps. Andy
What is in us that makes us not want to draw closer to Jesus? Yes, we say we want to, and we learn and read the truths that will take us there, but we have paralysis when it comes to making a move, when it comes to taking that first step. Where is the excitement in following the Lord, and making Him first in our lives? Where is the fire that once burned within us? We are told in Scripture to “Hold on to the pattern of sound teaching, and we are to guard, through the Holy Spirit who lives in us, that good thing entrusted to you.” 2 Timothy 1:13-14 But somewhere along the journey we tend to slide off the pattern of behavior that once electrified us in the faith, and the joy that accompanied being in the word. In this same letter to Timothy, Paul would write: “So don’t be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord, or of me His prisoner. Instead, share in suffering for the gospel relying on the power of God. He has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace, which was given to us in Christ Jesus before time began. This has now been made evident through the appearing of our Savior Christ Jesus, who has abolished death and has brought life and immortality to light through the gospel. For this gospel I was appointed a herald, apostle, and teacher, and that is why I suffer these things. But I am not ashamed, because I know the One I have believed in and am persuaded that He is able to guard what has been entrusted to me until that day.” 2 Timothy 1:8-12 Have we become ashamed of calling ourselves Christians to keep from persecution or harsh reactions from the world around us? Is it easier to just keep silent, and not be found out so that we can fit in? Surely we believe, or I hope that our belief has not grown cold. But how do we get others to open their bibles, to learn the life of the believer; to assist them in their daily walk, if we don’t open ours? Maybe it’s gotten too easy to NOT take our bibles with us, because we “have them on our phones” even though we never open the app, except on Sunday morning. Is it possible to become so complacent with our faith, that we start to “walk away from it?” The Lord has placed on my heart the mission of these devotionals to stimulate people to read the word, but have I failed and many have used these in place of the word? I know that in my heart, I am to use Scripture to try to stimulate people to stay the race, to stand when others around them are falling, and failing. My prayer is for all who read this to open their bibles, to see what God has for them for the day, or to be strengthened for the passage ahead of them. But I wonder at times whether I am failing my Lord, by giving people a simple replacement for the word, which I would never want to do. But when I go to Scripture this morning, I know in my heart that, “I am not ashamed, because I know the One I have believed in and am persuaded that He is able to guard what has been entrusted to me until that day.” How I long to share that love of Christ with you, and share the excitement of knowing Jesus, and drawing closer to Him every day. Let me challenge you all: Are you reading the word daily? Not just this journey, but the word of God to find out what He has for you, to draw closer to Him, and to hear what He speaks through the Holy Spirit. It will line up with Scripture! Then, as you listen to Him, don’t be ashamed to put into practice the things He places on your heart, for He is still with you, and perhaps you will reawaken the fire that once burned brightly within you. Pastor Andy
Lately, I have noticed that there seems to be an increasing amount of talk concerning spiritual matters that don’t have a basis in Scripture. It makes me think that some are searching for things of a spiritual nature, but neglecting the story of faith that already exists. I wonder if it means that some think they need new things to tickle their ears? I don’t know, but I am touched by scripture this morning that addresses such things. I want to share with you. We can all get everything we need for Salvation and living in the Scriptures. They have served the people of the earth for many years and even centuries, and there has never been a need for change or deviation from them. So the need for something new always makes me wonder where are these things coming from: This is what we are told from Scripture: “As I urged you when I went to Macedonia, remain in Ephesus so that you may instruct certain people not to teach different doctrine or to pay attention to myths and endless genealogies. These promote empty speculation rather than God’s plan which operates by faith. Now the goal of our instruction is love that comes from a pure heart, a good conscience, and a sincere faith. Some have deviated from these and turned aside to fruitless discussion. They want to be teachers of the law, although they don’t understand what they are saying or what they are insisting on.” 1 Timothy 1:3-7 I would like to urge every one of you today, to stick with Scripture. With the Word of God, you don’t need “more” of anything, and when you read the scripture above, listen to what the Spirit is teaching us today: a. Not to pay attention to different doctrines; or myths, or endless genealogies. b. pay attention to God’s plan which operates by faith. c. The goal of instruction is love that comes from a pure heart. That is a heart that is focused on the Lord and not on things from others that deviate from scripture. Should we all be teachers? We are in a sense because we are always put in place, in front of others that will benefit from our testimony. This testimony needs no addition to it from the love of Christ that is in you, and the One who brought you to Salvation. We know that in this same letter, Paul would write to Timothy, and the Spirit shares with us today: “Now the Spirit explicitly says that in later times some will depart from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and the teaching of demons, through the hypocrisy of liars whose consciences are seared. They forbid marriage and demand abstinence from foods that God created to be received with gratitude by those who believe and know the truth. For everything created by God is good, and nothing should be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving, since it is sanctified by the word of God and by prayer.” 1 Timothy 4:1-5 So I urge you, and encourage you today, to read the Word; let the Spirit teach you; let your heart overflow with love that comes from a pure heart toward others, and stick with the truth of the word. If you focus on Christ, you won’t be led astray by people. If we focus on people, you won’t be listening to the Spirit. Now is the time to remain strong in the faith, trust in Jesus, and stay focused on the Word of God, and listen to the Spirit as He teaches you truth. Pastor Andy
The Christian song’s chorus goes like this: “Oh, I say the measure of a man is not how tall you stand; How wealthy or intelligent you are. Cause I’ve found the measure of a man, God knows and understands; For He looks inside to the bottom of your heart. And what’s in the heart defines, “The measure of a man.” We have a tendency to evaluate a man by how tall he stands, what he dresses like, how much money he has, what his education is, and the way he speaks, and the way he is built. Even the kind of car he drives. We do this because we evaluate men by what we see, instead of looking into the heart of a man. The same can be also said of women. But we also add their weight and beauty to the evaluation. But I’m so happy to say that God evaluates us totally from the heart. In my reading this morning, I read this: “He personally gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, some pastors and teachers, for the training of the saints in the work of ministry, to build up the body of Christ, until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of God’s Son, growing into a mature man with a stature measured by Christ’s fullness. Then we will no longer be little children, tossed by the waves and blown around by every wind of teaching, by human cunning with cleverness in the techniques of deceit. But speaking the truth in love, let us grow in every way into Him who is the head – Christ. From Him the whole body, fitted and knit together by every supporting ligament, promotes the growth of the body for building up itself in love by the proper working of each individual part.” Ephesians 4:11-16 Now he lists some of the gifts from the Lord for assigning positions, but He gave gifts to all who come to him. So that when the church leadership does its work of building up the body of Christ, it is for the purpose of unity. It is for the purpose of displaying the knowledge of God’s Son, and therefore growing into the person measured by Christ’s fullness, not the intelligence of man. We put so much emphasis on education, and in some respects this is good, but not when it produces harm instead of good. We are finding out that many colleges have become recruitment centers for secular humanism, and purposefully depart from the recognition of God as our heavenly Father. They are developing the minds of our young so much so, that our young are being swayed to the ways of the world, and against Christianity. For this reason, among others, it is imperative that we develop the Church of Jesus Christ to shine in that darkness, to be the light, even when it looks like some are being swayed to the darkness. We have been given the wonderful opportunity to be ambassadors for Christ, that representation of truth in a nation that truth is being deceptively hidden. But it starts with us. Legislation cannot change the hearts of man, but God can, and God will, if His people will become unified and stop the division that keeps us believers so ineffective. Now is the time to come together for the sake of our children and their children. Now is the time to fight this spiritual battle with Christ as our head, going against the spiritual forces of darkness growing so quickly in this world, and especially in this nation. So what kind of man or woman are you? Will you stand in the full measure of a man or woman as God prepares you, and not as the world might see you. When we surrender totally to Him, we can become what He desires us to be: His worker, not needing to be ashamed, but united for His work, and for His glory. I pray that our hearts become changed to be more like Christ, and that we willingly become the men and women He wants us to be for Him. and in Him. Will we be measured by the world’s standards, or by the fullness of Christ in us? pastor Andy
I learned an interesting thing this past week! I have always had the thinking that when we witness, our first duty to Christ was to make disciples. In doing so, we work to get a person saved, then start to disciple them. That’s the process! Get a person to understand and accept Jesus, then start to disciple them. But I was approached with a different concept, which seems to be biblical. For instance, in the calling of the disciples, Jesus asked the disciples to follow Him. Listen to what He tells Matthew: “As Jesus went on from there, He saw a man named Matthew sitting at the tax office and He said to him, ‘Follow Me!’ So he got up and followed Him. While He was reclining at the table in the house, many tax collectors and sinners came as guests to eat with Jesus and His disciples. When the Pharisees saw this, they asked His disciples, ‘Why does your Teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?’ But when He heard this, He said, ‘Those who are well don’t need a doctor, but the sick do. Go and learn what this means: I desire mercy and not sacrifice. For I didn’t come to call the righteous, but sinners.” Matthew 9: 9-13 If we look at the calling of all the disciples, Jesus called all of them to follow Him, but didn’t say they first had to believe in Him. He was going to train them about who He is. Why do we think that we have to get people saved before they are worthy of training? Why don’t we invest ourselves in the lives of the lost that the Lord puts in our midst, and be a teacher, be a light, be a source of information that they will soon be asking for. I wonder if by thinking that a person has to be saved first, how many we turn away just because we didn’t invest ourselves in their lives, and become the teacher. I can see the way we train our children, we train them up in the environment of the Christian home, hoping that one day they will accept Jesus. We don’t wait for them to accept Jesus, then start to train them. Why aren’t we involving ourselves in others’ lives, to meet them where they are, and involve ourselves as the teacher of all that is right, And let them know where our hope comes from. It’s interesting, when Jesus gave the disciples their commission, He said: “Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe everything I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” Matthew 28: 19-20 I have met so many who proclaim Christ to others, push them to a prayer, then leave them alone, to falter, or to find out for themselves what this new faith is all about. I wonder what would happen if we invested ourself into the life of another, all for the glory of God, and let Him be the One who works on the heart of the person we are teaching all about this faith. Interesting, just like a child! I wonder! Pastor Andy
Have you ever wondered what we will look like when we reach heaven? I do all the time, and there are some glimpses in the bible of what that might look like. Let’s take a look: John tells us in his first letter: “Dear friends, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet been revealed. We know that when He appears, we will be like Him because we will see Him as He is. And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself just as He is pure.” 1 John 3:2-3 Here he says two things: One, is what we will be has not been revealed. But this is revealed. That we will see Him. We will know it is the Lord Jesus, and we are also told, we will be like He is. That’s some good stuff, but what does He look like? For that, we go to the book of Revelation. John was on the Island of Patmos, as he was sent there for his testimony about Jesus, and his belief. He was in the Spirit, and the Lord approached him. This is what he saw:
“I turned to see whose voice it was that spoke to me. When I turned I saw seven gold lampstands, and among the lampstands was One like the Son of Man, dressed in a long robe and with a gold sash wrapped around His chest. His head and hair were white like wool – white as snow – and His eyes like a fiery flame. His feet were like fine bronze as it is fired in a furnace, and His voice like the sound of cascading waters. He had seven stars in His right hand; a sharp double-edged sword came from His mouth, and His face was shining like the sun at midday. When I saw Him, I fell at His feet like a dead man. He laid His right hand on me and said, ‘Don’t be afraid! I am the First and the Last, and the Living One. I was dead, but look – I am alive, forever and ever, and I hold the keys of death and Hades.” Revelation 1:12-18 When Jesus walked the earth, He often had to tell His disciples, Don’t be afraid!” He states that He was dead, but He is now alive, forever and ever. When we meet Jesus, and we who belong to Him will see Him for we will be like Him. I have to tell you, I get a little excited about the thought of even remotely looking like that. We know we will be changed, but there is that which we will recognize. And I think of the loved ones that have gone before me, and I try to imagine them looking something like this, and I am in awe. What a wonderful thing to look forward to. I think so many of us fear death because we have a hope but it is the unknown that makes us a little apprehensive about leaving what we know, to become like that which we don’t have a good picture of. But these verses reveal quite a bit. John only wrote what he saw. To me, he wrote a great picture of what our Lord is like, and because we will be like Him, we should look like this also. So, if you have any apprehension of the hope that awaits us, let it go! Let the joy of the Lord permeate your life and your soul, so that the comfort of the Spirit will give you confirmation of that glimpse of eternity, that glimpse of heaven. Paul would get a glimpse of something he could not expound on, but he does say this: “I know a man in Christ who was caught up into the third heaven 14 years ago. Whether he was in the body or out of the body, I don’t know, God knows. I know that this man – whether in the body or out of the body I don’t know, God knows – was caught up into paradise. He heard inexpressible words, which a man is not allowed to speak. I will boast about this person, but not about myself, except of my weaknesses.” 2 Corinthians 12: 2-5 So, when you’re feeling weary and alone, and the uncertainty invades your soul, look to the word, look to Jesus, and see. Look to the Spirit who leads you in your comfort during these times, for these words are true, and I know the Holy Spirit will confirm the truth within you. Know that this journey is but a moment in time and the real journey begins when this temporary journey ends. I’m sure the Israelites thought they would never get out of the desert, wandering for 40 years, the generation that rebelled against God. But they came to the Jordan, and finally crossed over to home. Look to your future with excitement, and it will make the mundane days a little more exciting. Pastor Andy