Sunday, February 12, 2017

Endures Forever


For great is His steadfast love toward us, and the faithfulness of the Lord endures forever. Praise the Lord!  Psalm 117:2

stacked papers: Brrr! by Kristmess Designs

Heavenly Father, Forever seems like such a long time to us and we usually see it in a negative light, as in when it seems suffering lasts forever--but we look forward to the day when we will be so glad that forever never ends, to the time when we will worship you perfectly with all we have in us and all that we are, in never-ending harmony with each other.  We are grieved when we look around us now and see so many things happening that shouldn't be and think of all of the things that should be, but aren't.  But then there will be only perfection in our pure motives, the way we serve, honor, exult and glorify you, in our love for each other and most importantly, for you.  Please help us to fulfill your purposes for us while we wait for the time when our spirits will return to you who gave us life.  We love you.  In Jesus' precious, beloved, glorious name, Amen.

“For at that time I will change the speech of the peoples to a pure speech, that all of them may call upon the name of the LORD and serve him with one accord.  From beyond the rivers of Cush my worshipers, the daughter of my dispersed ones, shall bring my offering.  “On that day you shall not be put to shame because of the deeds by which you have rebelled against me; for then I will remove from your midst your proudly exultant ones, and you shall no longer be haughty in my holy mountain.  But I will leave in your midst a people humble and lowly. They shall seek refuge in the name of the LORD,  those who are left in Israel; they shall do no injustice and speak no lies, nor shall there be found in their mouth a deceitful tongue. For they shall graze and lie down, and none shall make them afraid.” Zephaniah 3:9-13

“I will purge out the rebels from among you, and those who transgress against me. I will bring them out of the land where they sojourn, but they shall not enter the land of Israel. Then you will know that I am the LORD.  As for you, O house of Israel, thus says the Lord GOD: Go serve every one of you his idols, now and hereafter, if you will not listen to me; but my holy name you shall no more profane with your gifts and your idols.  For on my holy mountain, the mountain height of Israel, declares the Lord GOD, there all the house of Israel, all of them, shall serve me in the land. There I will accept them, and there I will require your contributions and the choicest of your gifts, with all your sacred offerings.  As a pleasing aroma I will accept you, when I bring you out from the peoples and gather you out of the countries where you have been scattered. And I will manifest my holiness among you in the sight of the nations.  And you shall know that I am the LORD, when I bring you into the land of Israel, the country that I swore to give to your fathers.” Ezekiel 20:38-42  

...and the dust returns to the earth as it was, and the spirit returns to God who gave it. Ecclesiastes 12:7 

Therefore we do not lose heart, but though our outer man is decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed day by day.  For momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison,  while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal. For we know that if the earthly tent which is our house is torn down, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.  For indeed in this house we groan, longing to be clothed with our dwelling from heaven,  inasmuch as we, having put it on, will not be found naked.  For indeed while we are in this tent, we groan, being burdened, because we do not want to be unclothed but to be clothed, so that what is mortal will be swallowed up by life.  Now He who prepared us for this very purpose is God, who gave to us the Spirit as a pledge.  Therefore, being always of good courage, and knowing that while we are at home in the body we are absent from the Lord—for we walk by faith, not by sight—we are of good courage, I say, and prefer rather to be absent from the body and to be at home with the Lord.  Therefore we also have as our ambition, whether at home or absent, to be pleasing to Him.  For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may be recompensed for his deeds in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.  Therefore, knowing the fear of the Lord, we persuade men, but we are made manifest to God; and I hope that we are made manifest also in your consciences.  We are not again commending ourselves to you but are giving you an occasion to be proud of us, so that you will have an answer for those who take pride in appearance and not in heart.  For if we are beside ourselves, it is for God; if we are of sound mind, it is for you.  For the love of Christ controls us, having concluded this, that one died for all, therefore all died; and He died for all, so that they who live might no longer live for themselves, but for Him who died and rose again on their behalf. 2Corinthians 4:16-5:15