Stay in Love

How easy would it be for you to love someone whom you know will betray you?

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John 6:64 – But there are some of you that believe not. For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were that believed not, and who should betray him.

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Let me begin by encouraging you NOT to take one referenced from Scriptures to build a statement of faith until you have researched it properly.  In our Text for Today, “For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were that believed not, and who should betray him.”  That statement does NOT mean Jesus knew all things.  He had made Himself of no reputation, emptying Himself of divine privilege.  For instance, He did NOT know the fig tree had no figs on it.  I did NOT know the name of the possessing demon in the demoniac of Gadara.  I say this because He ministered as a prophet under the Law of Moses, and prophets only know what Holy Spirit reveals to them.

However, my point for today needs to be clearly revealed to our hearts.  In this case, Jesus DID know from the moment He called Judas Iscariot that he would betray Him.  Yet He loved him, He used him, He assigned him to ministry work, and assigned ministry work to him.  Jesus never spoke of what He knew to His disciples or any of His followers.  Writers of the Gospels ONLY spoke of the matter AFTERTHEFACT.  What kind of love and faith does that require?  I tell you, my friend, that is the same faith and love Father expects of us.  Jesus knew Judas would betray Him.  Jesus also knew it would be that betrayal that would lend itself to Father’s ultimate plan or redemption.  And Jesus also knew that what Judas did would in no way halt, delay, or interfere with the implementation of the New Covenant.

But what of today?  There are times when we believers need to keep our mouths closed, and speak only of a matter to our Lord.  Yet so often, what a Christian knows about another person becomes the fodder of gossips.  This ought not be.  The Scriptures give us guidelines for what to do if we offend someone, or if someone offends us.  Gossip is NEVER part of the remedy.  There are Biblical guidelines when we see a brother sin.  Gossip is NEVER part of the remedy.  Stop the gossip!  Stop it today!  Stop it now!  Lives are hanging in the balance, and that includes the life of the gossiper.  Walk in love and keep His Commandments. 

Manna for Today – John 6:60-71; 1 John 5:3; John 13:35; Galatians 5:6; John 14:12-17; 1 John 5:16;              Matthew 18:15-20

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Spiritual Origin

The ultimate source of all human life elements arises from the spiritual realm.

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John 6:63 – It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.

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Taka a moment and read our Text for Today once again.  Note the Lord’s words; “the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and theyare life.”  Now take a moment and read Proverbs 4:20-23.  Note closely the words that we are commanded to “Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.  every issue of the human life comes out of the human spirit.  Therefore it becomes paramount in our life, if we are to live a truly productive, long, healthy, and prosperous life that we give priority to attending to our human spirit.  While that is a simple command, it requires daily diligence and constant focus on our part.  As with almost every element of human existence, the more we do a thing, the more proficient we become at it, especially if we are doing it the right way.  When a baby is born, it cannot walk, but in time it does.  Ultimately we come to the place that walking is no longer a struggle that requires us to be consciously aware of balance.  It just seems to happen.  But as one ages, and as one’s physical activities diminish, for whatever the reason, you will see the older person; whose mobility becomes somewhat reduced, having to apply more and more conscious effort to issues like balance.  I believe that is, in part due to a natural aging process, but also to our general failure as believers to realize that a strong and fully functional physical and soulish life (mind, will, intellect, and emotions) have the basis for their life arising out of our spirit man.

Jesus said that His Word is “spirit and life.”  The Word of God is the food the human spirit needs to survive, grow, become, and remain strong.  There are times when greater demands are placed upon our soulish and physical existence.  All the life force to feed those times arise from our spirit.  Too much draw on the spirit man by the soul and body, without proper spiritual nourishment will begin to weaken the spirit man, and will ultimately affect and weaken the soul and body.  My friend, I offer you this counsel I believe to be purely Biblical.  Go to the Word of God; go daily, go frequently, read it, meditate upon it, hear it, allow Holy Spirit to guide you in it, obey it, and speak it to yourself.  At all times, filter natural input through the shield of faith, and when necessary, shut it out.  Maintain purity of heart and thought with all your heart and soul and with help of Holy Spirit.  Control your thought and speech life under direction of Holy Spirit and always within the guidelines of God’s Word.  This feeds your spirit and helps you maintain your spirit, the real you, in strength and health.  When the issues of life from your spirit are healthy and strong, it helps keep the rest of you healthy and strong.  Put this to work in your life. 

Manna for Today – John 6:60-71; Matthew 25:14-30; Romans 8; Proverbs 4:20-23

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Increase the Profit Margin

What is your personal profit margin in life?  You CAN increase it.

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John 6:63 – It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.

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In 21st century America, most churches, and even many religious organizations, are considered to be “non-profit” organizations.  That is a legal status that says other than those people who are paid employees or contract employees of the religious organization, the assets, or financial increase of the organization cannot be inured for or retained by members of the organization.  And if properly established, those who give to such a “non-profit” organization may receive a tax deduction for their contributions.  That may be the legal terminology, but in the realm of the Spirit in the kingdom of God, there is no such custom.  Yes, God will bless those who tithe and give to the church, but He also expects His church to make a profit on all that He has invested in His people.  I’m not talking about money, but the anointing (talents, abilities, & giftings) the Lord has placed in the life of each of His   saints.  What has been placed in the saints is different for each saint.  To whom much is given, much is required; to whom little; less.  But Father still expects what He has placed in us to turn a profit, to increase in value, to multiply if worth and effectiveness.

Natural, temporal matters are not issues the Lord seeks to profit and increase.  But He DOES expect spiritual elements to increase, and that without exception.  What has our triune God placed in you?  Holy Spirit quickens, makes alive, the things of the spirit, and so long as even the physical is used as a tool for the work of the kingdom, Holy Spirit is present to quicken even the mortal body.  Once again, what has been placed in you by Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.  Each member of the God-head has gifts peculiar to His position, and they are placed in us for His purpose.  When we obey, yielding to Him, they multiply in value, worth, effectiveness, and fruitfulness.  This is the profit to the kingdom, and Father fully expects what is placed in you to increase.  Take time to discover what He has placed in you.  Get the teaching you need to discover your gift(s), develop them, use them for the glory of the kingdom, allow them to grow and help shape your life and ministry.  Yield them to the Lord.  There is a great profit to be made for the glory of the Lord, and as one person has said, when you work for the Lord, the pay is great, and the retirement is out of this world.  Just a thought. 

Manna for Today – John 6:60-71; Matthew 25:14-30; Romans 8; Romans 12; 1 Corinthians 12; Ephesians 4:11-16

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Be the Preserver

The church: preserver or contaminator?  A tough question, but it must be answered.

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John 6:57 – As the living Father hath sent me, and I live by the Father: so he that eateth me, even he shall live by me.

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From the onset today, let us establish some very clear boundaries.  First, you and I are NOT the Bread of Life; that is Jesus, the Wordmade flesh.  You and I ARE the salt of the earth.  Bread is for nourishment; salt is for preservation and seasoning.  Jesus, the Word made flesh. is our salvation; we, the body, preserve it.  Jesus, the Word made flesh is our healing and health; we, the body, preserve it.  Jesus, the Word made flesh, is our provision; we, the body, preserve it.  I believe you see the pattern.  As to the seasoning element, your testimony from your mouth will impact the flavor of the Bread of LifeMilk of the Word, and Meat of the Word, that flows from your life’s experience as it aligns with God’s Word.

Now remember the Old Testament Law regarding meats, clean and unclean.  Meats that were clean came from animals that chewed the cud and had a cloven hoof.  That represents to us today the vessels through which the Word of God is given to us.  And we, the salt of the earth, are the preserving element.  We must learn to keep the message pure.  While one’s personal experience is generally considered valuable to the individual, we must NEVER allow experience to overrule the Word of God.  If one’s experi-ence is contrary to the Word of God, one’s experience becomes invalid.  When we allow our experience to overrule God’s Word, we, as salt, lose our savor.  Beware!  There is an end to that.  Think on that and be wise in the words you speak, teach, preach, and testify.

Now to the meat.  To receive the Word and then live a life not representative OF the Word is to lose one’s savor.  That is a dangerous place for any believer to be found.  As salt, your work is to preserve the integrity of God’s Word, thus making it safe and profitable for those who hear you (the consumer).  Oh that polluted messages could be pulled from the shelves of Gospel ministry as contaminated products can be pulled from the shelves of an American business, thus keeping the public safe.  The charge to you and me, as the salt of the earth, is to preserve.  If we’re not preserving, we should not be allowed to serve contaminated product to those who hear us.  How about you?  Is your message pure, accurate, and unpolluted?  Examine it to be sure, and by so doing, judge yourself, thus preserving yourself from judgment.  When you properly preserve the message you bring, you also bring preservation to help those to whom you speak.  When you don’t preserve the message, you fail to preserve the hearer.  Serve well; be a preserver in the kingdom of God. 

Manna for Today – John 6:22-59; Matthew 5:13

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Heavenly Diet

Before traveling to a foreign country, if possible, familiarize yourself with its dietary customs.

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John 6:53-56 – Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you.  Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day.  For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed.  He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him.

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Jesus said He did not come to destroy the law, but to fulfill it.  in the Old Testament, the law said the only meat that was clean for the Israelite to eat had to “chew the cud,” and had to have a “cloven hoof.”  Does that mean that for the New Testament believer that we cannot enjoy pork or many elements of wild game?  Certainly not.  That law, however, was not destroyed; it has been fulfilled.  That is, it has been given a true spiritual meaning that still speaks to the heart of the New Testament believer.  I am not limited to physical attributes of the meat I would eat, but my spiritual meat needs to be critically examined.  My spiritual meat comes through those who proclaim the Word of God to me.  Do they have the Word of God in their mouth (chew the cud), and do they clearly follow after the Lord (have a cloven hoof)?  If those I would allow to speak into my life do not, then I am allowing that which is unclean to enter into my spirit man.  In the Old Testament, fish an Israelite could consume had to have scales.  When I consume the Word of God as my spiritual food, is it delivered to me by a delivery vessel that is clothed in the “whole armor of God?”  You see, Jesus did not destroy the law, but rather He fulfilled it.

My heavenly diet that feeds my spirit man is the Word of God.  It is that same Word of God that became flesh and dwelt among us, and it was He Whose glory we beheld, the glory of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.  When we eat of the Bread of Life, or of the meat of the Word, or of “His flesh,” it is not that natural body He wore while in the earth, not is it is current glorified body He wears as He sits on the right hand of Father.  When we consume His flesh, we are consuming the Word of God.  You do that when you hear His Word, read His Word, study His Word, meditate upon His Word, or hide His Word in your heart.  And when we partake of Communion, the bread does not become His natural body, nor does the cup become His natural blood.  They are symbols of remembrance that Jesus became the Word of God made flesh, and though His body was broken, His Word will NEVER be broken, for God and His Word are one.  Let us live daily to partake of the Heavenly Diet of His Word, knowing that is made possible by His blood that paved the way for us to come into the divine presence of our Holy God. 

Manna for Today – John 6:22-59; John 1:1 & 14; Matthew 5:17, 6:11, & 16:26; Mark 7:27; James 1:17; Ephesians 5:26; Proverbs 4:20-23

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Who Ever Heard of Such a Thing?

I’ve met people who are repulsed by the concept of Communion; seems they want bloodless religion.

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John 6:52 – The Jews therefore strove among themselves, saying, How can this man give us his flesh to eat?

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When our Lord said that to commemorate His redemptive work, one must eat of His body, an intellectual and emotional shock wave rolled through the crowd. It was so powerful that even His mother and brothers pulled away from Him and went back from following Him.  His words were strong indeed.  Still, He said    them, and still, He stands by them.  They are yet true to this day, and will continue to be true throughout this church age.  I write NOT today to discuss or argue for or against theological terms like transubstantiation or consubstantiation.   In fact, I find it difficult to understand why, except for the purpose of trying to hide some truth from the body of Christ, that such terms would need to be used.

Jesus paid the full cost of my redemption.  He has redeemed me from the curse of the law, spirit, soul, and body.  I belong to Him completely.  He has already paid all He is ever going to pay for the redemption.  He has NO desire that we go back in any way to re-live all of that through which He went, the pains He suffered, the price He paid, His separation from Father, and His war against Satan.  What He DOES desire is that we remember that work and keep our minds clearly focused on His love for us, the debt we owe Him, and a mindset that is willing to obey Him in whatever He says or desires of us.  He has given us His Word to make that clear, Holy Spirit to lead and guide us into the truth of that Word, angels to help keep us along the way, and the authority (exousia) and ability (dunamis) to live that life successfully.

My friend, I do not even remotely think I understand all Jesus paid for me, but this I choose to do.  I choose to believe His Word.  He said that when I partake of Communion, I am doing so in remembrance of Him and the work that He has done.  A memory of something is NOT the thing remembered occurring again.  It is just what it says; a memory.  Thank God for that.  What I put in my mouth is a piece of bread that should evoke the memory of what His Word declares.  I was not there to see Him suffer, but I am present now for Him to live THROUGH me and me to live IN Him.  It is when He lives in your remembrance that He can more clearly direct your future.  Don’t complicate it.  Just believe. 

Manna for Today – John 6:22-59; Matthew 26:26; Mark 14:22; Luke 22:19; 1 Corinthians 11:24; Hebrews 9:22

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Heaven’s Bread

Is it not wonderful to dine on heaven’s Bread daily, and consume all you want?

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John 6:51 – I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.

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One of the greatest pleasures I enjoy in this life is to sit at a table with true friends, brothers and sisters of like precious faith, and engage in open conversation about the character and attributes of our God, and enriching discussion of the Word of God.  Few things in this life bring me equal joy.  It is at such places and times that there is in my spirit man a keen awareness that I am dining on Heaven’s Bread; the Bread of Life, the Healing of God for His children, the Heavenly Manna, my daily Bread.  There is life in that Bread.  There is healing and health in that Bread.  There is refreshing in that Bread.  There is cleansing in that Bread.  This is Heaven’s Bread.

With such precious substance as all that found in Heaven’s Bread, why would anyone who knows that not seek constant diet of that bread.  Why would not every believer diligently see after that Bread that comes down from above, that “good and perfect” Bread that brings into one’s life all one could need, and ultimately make available all that one could desire?

Now take a moment and read our Text for Today once more.  If one eats this Bread, he shall live forever.   I urge you to read Isaiah 28:9-14.  Who is it that the Lord has said would be taught the wisdom, under-standing, and knowledge of the Word.  It will be given to the believer who has been “weaned from the milk and drawn from the breast.”  That speaks of a certain level of maturity.  Once again, with all that we need or could want being made available to us through the Word (Heaven’s Bread), why would not anyone who calls him/herself a disciple of the Lord, not diligently seek a steady feast of Heaven’s Bread to grow thereby, build up his/her faith, receive deeper and greater revelation, and to be one of those chosen vessels to whom the Lord will teach (revelation) knowledge?  I long for that, and I believe you do, too.  So seek the Bread, order up more Bread, feast on the Bread, and meditate in the Bread so you may become known as one of Heaven’s Bread dispensers.  Oh that we could all become divine dispensers of Heaven’s Bread. 

Manna for Today – John 6:22-59; Matthew 6:11; Matthew 16:26; Mark 7:27: James 1:17;          Ephesians 5:26; Proverbs 4:20-23

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NEVER Against the Word

Jehovah will not always comply with your will, but He will NEVER violate His Word.

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John 6:40 – And this is the will of Him that sent Me, that every one which saith the Son, and believeth on Him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.

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I cannot recall all the times in my life and ministry that I have heard these words; “Where do I begin?  Or “Where do I go from here?”  Or “What do I do now?”  As long as we live and face life’s elements, there will be people, good people, Christian people, strong Christian people, who encounter a battle that provokes these kinds of questions.  Well, dear reader, I have a definitive answer.  Start with the Word, bathe the question and your life in prayer, have faith partners standing (if possible) with you, obey Jehovah in whatever He says or reveals, always have an attitude of gratitude.  I have offered you five elements of the answer to the questions posed.  But today I only want to look at the first – “Start with the Word.”

Regardless of who you are, where you find yourself, what you face, or when you face it, you first step in planning something new, dealing with current situations, preparing to offer aid to others, or responding to the things you face in life should be “consider the Word.”  What does Father have to say about the issue you are facing?  God and His Word are ONE.  There is no separation.  Jesus was the Word made flesh.  He still is the Word of God.  God never changes.  The wisdom, knowledge, and light of God are revealed in and through His Word.  Study the Word of God.  Read the Word of God.  Meditate upon the Word of God.  Memorize the Word of God.  Learn the Word of God my heart.  Keep the Word of God before your eyes at all time in all matters.  Examine all you do in the light of God’s Word.  There are many things you will do in this life that are not directed for you in the Word of God; things like where you live, where you go to school, where you work, what organizations you join, or what you do in your leisure time.  While Father is certainly interested in your decisions in these matters, and may in fact have a plan for you in them that you should follow, the answer to such questions are NOT in the Scriptures.  However, what you are to do to get those answers from the Lord IS in the Word.  What you are to do as you live where you live, work where you work, and engage in daily life IS in the Word.  Your attitude adjustment begins in the Word of God.  Your healing is in the Word of God.  Your general financial strategy is in the Word of God.  Go to the Word FIRST AND FOREMOST.  Things will change; the Word will not.  You will change; the Word will not.  Go to the Word.  It is your anchor.  Go TO the Word, NEVER against it. 

Manna for Today – John 6:22-59; Joshua 1:6-9; Proverbs 4:20-23; Proverbs 6:20-22; Psalm 107:20; Romans 3:4; Psalm 119:89; Hebrews 1:3

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Be Sure It is His Will

There is more to rightly dividing the Word of Truth than is casually observed.

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John 6: 40 – And this is the will of Him that sent Me, that every one which saith the Son, and believeth on Him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.

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On numerous occasions, I have heard the term “blind faith.”  My friend, faith is not blind.  In fact, faith, true faith, as better eyesight than an eagle, for faith sees the unseen.  Still, there are many believers who read the word blindly, and hear what ministers of the Gospel say, accepting it without reservation.  Jesus said we should “take heed” HOW and WHAT we hear.  It is so easy for the believer to build his/her belief on statements either spoken in error or accepted without knowing contextual setting.  Examine the following statements . . .

  1. Every word in the Scriptures is truly recorded, but not every word is true. (Samson lied at least two times to Delilah about his strength.  The lie is truly recorded, but it is still a lie.)
  2. When reading the Scriptures, identify correctly to whom it was spoken or directed. (Not every command in Scriptures is for everyone; sometimes the Lord gave specific instructions to an individual.)
  3. Who said it? (Was it Father, Son, or Holy Ghost, or one of God’s anointed? Or was it Satan or one of his vessels?  Often, words spoken by a man that are not doctrinally correct are recorded.  To attempt to build a doctrine on that is dangerous. Example – Job saying, “The Lord has given; the Lord has taken away.”  He made that statement because he believed his servant, but his servant was wrong.)
  4. To whom was it spoken? (Was it a command to all, to one, or a particular group?
  5. Is a statement given as the will of God, or does it flow from Father’s foreknowledge and come forth as a word of wisdom? (We know that God is not a destroyer and wants everyone to be saved, yet He tells us that in the last days there will be a great falling away.  That doesn’t make it Father’s will.  He is simply giving us warning.)

There are far more elements than I have shared that are important in making sure our understanding of the will of Father is correct.  We MUST NEVER discount the direct leadership of Holy Spirit, but ALWAYS be aware that Holy Spirit will NEVER violate the integrity of the Scriptures.  I shared these elements today because more and more I am hearing people who love the Lord being gravely mistaken in what they consider to be the will of the Lord, and being so causes them to lean toward saying things that would only confuse a baby Christian, or an unbeliever who may be on the verge of being saved.  We truly should seek with all that is in us to be accurate in our words.  Lives hang in the balance.  Our words impact eternity.    

Manna for Today – John 6:22-59; Romans 12:1-2; Philippians 2:13; 1 Thessalonians 5

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He Is Coming

If God said it, that settles it.  A resurrection and rapture IS coming.  Be ready!

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John 6:40 – And this is the will of Him that sent Me, that every one which saith the Son, and believeth on Him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.

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The will of God; now there’s a subject that needs our attention.  While Father’s general will is clearly stated in the Scriptures, there are many elements of His specific will for individual members of His body, for families, churches, and even businesses that are not stated.  These require prayer and waiting on the Lord to reveal His plan, purpose, direction, and strategy for them.  I am speaking of things such as who to choose for doing contractual work on your house, or what college to choose, or who to choose for your doctor or lawyer.  Father does not tell us in His Word whether to buy Ford or Chevrolet.  That’s your choice, though one CAN through prayer seek wisdom from Father about choices.  But if Father has stated something as His will in His Word, that establishes His will for whatever He states….end of story.  For instance, it IS His will that all be saved and that none be lost.  Yet people leave this life and enter eternity without Christ daily.  Whether people believe it or not, that is His fixed will, and the truths such as there is a heaven and hell DO exist and are fixed.

One of those fixed truth groups is this; there WILL BE a resurrection and a rapture of the church; Jesus IS coming for His church; the dead in Christ shall rise first, and we that are alive and remain shall be caught up together to meet Jesus when He comes for His church.  These truths are fixed.  Regardless of what anyone thinks, be he/she the scholarly elite, high government official, doctor, or lawyer, or uneducated, common worker, having no distinct professional status, Jesus IS COMING FOR HIS CHURCH.  This is not just a statement in the Word of God, and it is not just the description of something that is coming.  This is the will of our Father.  He wants us to be with Him.  He wants us to follow and obey Him now so we will be found ready to be with Him after the resurrection/rapture, and therefore be with Him throughout eternity.  Are you ready, my friend?  I pray you are.  If you’re not, you have NOW as the time to need to become so.  Take the NOW you need to make sure you are ready to meet our Lord when He comes for His church.  That is my prayer for you today.  Get ready!  HE IS COMING! 

Manna for Today – John 6:22-59; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18; Matthew 24-25

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