REDEEMING THE TIME: How to be an overcomer in the evil days ahead.(22 SEPT 2016)

My job assignment for the good Lord includes exposing evil while giving hope. Part of gaining maturity in Christ is His expectation that those of us with more experience will pass on our lessons learned (i.e. disciple those coming after us). And I would much rather share these learned lessons, than see you experience all the pain I went through to learn it. However, experience is at times the best teacher, so perhaps you will want to learn things the hard way. It’s your choice either way. There is a great deal of the spiritually blind leading the blind, and the spiritually immature leading the immature. The title to this message comes from: “See that you walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, redeeming the time because the days are evil.”(A) Simply calling them evil is almost an understatement, and we haven’t seen the worst yet! But Christ said, I have come to give them life, and for them to have it more abundantly.(B) This verse (JN 10:10) is one of my favorite…and it works well with the many other Scriptures that teach us that we can be overcomers, and God’s promises to us that He will provide us a way.

HOW DO WE REDEEM THE TIME? By doing something important. How do we get engaged in something worthwhile & important? By being part of something bigger than yourself, and doing something of eternal significance. And how does one be part of something bigger which has eternal significance? Love. I’m reminded of a mother who said her best years were raising her little ones–she cherishes the closeness they shared, like taking naps together. Your acts of love endure eternally. Love (which is an action word) is one of the few things of eternity. Give of yourself to others, build them up, help them, encourage them. Relationships are important to adding meaning to our lives. So the Word of God instructs us: “As each one has received a [special] gift, minister it to one another [use it, employ it], as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.”(C) So let us focus energy on what counts, especially what counts for eternity. One reason, I can power through all the evil around me, and walk through the Valley of Shadow of Death, is that I am busy investing in other people’s lives. I am at times so busy doing good things, the negative is merely a freak sideshow distraction.

WHY ARE SO MANY PEOPLE NOT OVERCOMERS?? I have gotten to know thousands of people, and have established a number of truths about people in general. The World in general has no meaning to their lives…they don’t believe in truth, they don’t believe life has meaning, and so they don’t bother to even seek “the truth” and they don’t take the time or bother to ponder that they lead meaningless lives. I spoke to many inmates while in prison, and it took a crisis in their lives, and being locked in a cell to get many of them to stop & think about their lives. For this reason, prisons are the best mission field there is…sadly there are few harvest workers. Try asking a 1,000 worldly people what the meaning of life is…& most will tell you they don’t know, or perhaps that there is no meaning to life. They are convinced humans are just smart but evil monkeys. They are sure Christians are intolerant & stupid. Occasionally, you will meet someone wise, who in spite of not formally knowing Christ, is busy doing acts of love & can articulate a purpose to their lives. So tell me Fritz, is it better with the Christians in general?? A little, but not as it should be. We need to discuss that.

“IF ANY MAN IS IN CHRIST, HE IS A NEW CREATURE”(D) We are to “recognize no man according to the flesh.”(E) The potential for the born-again Spirit-filled believer is incredible…but unbalance, immaturity, missing life skills, and the attacks of the enemy take a large toll. “Giving thanks unto the Father…who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of His dear son…”(F) So we are told to “walk as children of light”! We are delivered from the power of darkness. This gives us direct access to God through the Spirit,(G) and we can boldly approach the throne of God.(H) The sprinkled blood of the lamb allows us access to the Heavenly Holy of Holies. So we have a NEW LIFE, and a NEW IDENTITY and SPIRITUAL POWER. The new identity is as a saint…No you don’t have to die and wait for the Roman Catholic church to make you a saint…by God’s Word, the redeemed believer in Christ is already a saint.(I) And it says of Satan’s Beast: “And it was granted to him to make war with the saints and to overcome them. And authority was given him over every tribe, tongue and nation.”(J)…”Here is the patience of the saints; here are those who keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus,…’Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on.'”(K) To sum up what I am saying, We have a new life & a new identity & the opportunity to overcome…but Satan is going to do all he can to overcome us. The collapse of America as we know it will be one of those tests. Thinking about what is coming could cause a person’s heart to beat faster–it is trying to circulate more oxygen for the emergency it senses on the horizon. A person’s stomach may also get into the act by feeling sick with extreme anxiety. These are natural reactions of the Natural man. But the emotional tail-spin & feeling of anxiety & depression are both self-defeating & sinful. As the Word says, What is not of faith is sin.(L) “For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.” (M) The just shall live by faith.(N) It does not say we will live by knowledge–that is what the Satanists say: We need to be “cold demons of knowledge”.(O) In fact, we are warned, “Lean not on your own understanding, but in all your ways acknowledge Him.”(P)

GET A GRIP ON YOUR FUTURE; WE TUNE OUR CARS UP–MAYBE WE NEED A SPIRITUAL TUNE UP. Many Christians are allowing distorted negative thoughts to take control. When we get into this mode, our minds begin filtering out the positive & what God is doing, and by “selection abstraction”, the negative thinking becomes self-fulfilling prophecy as the mind begins seeing only the negative. We see many examples of that in the Bible…for instance, the people Moses was leading out of captivity. They became so negative they were unable to recall all the great things God had done for them, or see what God was doing for them at the moment. What kind of soil are we for God to plant good seeds?? Of course, big Pharma, controlled by the Illumanati, love it when they can sell us anxiety meds, antacid tablets, & sleeping pills. Again, I will go back to a simple concept–when our lives have meaning, it helps prevent burnout and feeling overstress from overwork. It is up to you to make choices in line with God’s purpose for your life. One highly successful sister was still feeling unfulfilled, because she was not doing what God had clearly called her to do. Finally, when she quit making excuses & did it, she was amazed at how much joy & fun she was having. But the mature follower of Christ will do it unto God, don’t count on the world or even Christians to be supportive or care about what you are doing.

WE NEED TO TAKE THE GOOD WITH THE BAD: A DISCUSION OF SOME OF THE PITFALLS CHRISTIANS FALL INTO. I watch a lot of Christians who can’t take the good with the bad. Get real to get right. Bad things happen to good people. A single failure does not mean you are a failure. A single drink of beer does not make you an alcoholic. A single sin does not change your identity in Christ. You are an American, if you visit Canada, you are still an American. Your identity is in Christ, you can visit worldliness & sin, and still not lose your identity. But you can lose your identity…if you want. An American can become a Canadian. If you want to reject Christ, you can. But you are not a soulless body (i.e. a zombie) so many who reject Christ, find the hurting hole in their heart can only be satisfied by Him and they return to Christ. Hey, he hugs prodigal sons. “See how great a love the Father hath bestowed upon us…”(Q) But let’s face it, if your faith is off, your walk will be off. Again it comes back to tuning up that faith. “Discipline yourself for the purpose of godliness…since it holds promise for the present life & also for the life to come.”(R) Faith and godliness hold promise for the present life. You want to do something of value, then do like Paul, who could say, “I have fought the good fight…I have kept the faith.”(S)

FINAL THOUGHTS. Dear brothers & sisters, if you move forward in faith doing what God has called you to do, and can sense that you’re accomplishing things for a higher purpose than yourself—it will be much easier for you to live through the evil times that are coming. As the Word says at ESTHER 4:14, “Who can say but that you have been elevated to the palace for just a time as this?” You were planted where you are, now BLOOM! Turn your passion for Christ on and find your purpose in life, and fulfill your calling–quit existing and start living in Christ. Be part of something bigger & important. Transmit your energy by the Spirit into positive prayers. God will bless you for your intercessory prayers for others. “Help us remember those who suffer more than we do, and help us to reach out to them in compassion. Amen.”

(A) EPH 5:15-16 (B) JN 10:10 (C) 1 PTR 4:10 (D) 2 COR 5:17 (E) 2 COR 5:16 (F)COL 1:12a,13 (G)EPH 2:18 (H) HEB 4:16 (I) I count 61 times in the NT that we are called saints! (J) REV 13:7 (K) REV 14:12-13 (L) ROM 14:23 (M) 1 JN 5:4 (N) ROM 1:17 (O) Nietzche (P) PRV 3:5-6 (Q) 1 JN 3:1-3 (R) 1 TIM 4:7-8 (S) 2 TIM 4:7


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