2005-11-19 - Birth Pains
Devotional from Mark 13
Have you noticed that the world is experiencing "birth pains"?
Although there are tragic times on earth,
We are seeing in our times an intensifying of disease, hunger, wars, and tragedies beyond what could have been imagined and predicted just a generation ago. The news media has been bringing us reports from around the world of massive and devastating hurricanes, earthquakes, and tidal waves that are causing immense and perplexing hardship and death like never before in history. At the same time, the onslaught of communicable diseases is spreading to every corner of the earth in unbelievable proportion.
The general public cannot understand the true meaning of these events but the LORD's people have His warnings to "be on guard," as these are the "signs" of the beginning of the "last days". Jesus said that no one will know the day or the hour, but He told us in Matthew 24:10-12 that we will know the time is close when we see many people turning from their faith in God - and the love of many turning cold - due to the subtle appearances of "false prophets" and the advance of wickedness. Revelation 12:9 reminds us that God's enemy, Satan, has the cunning and the power to produce miracles of deception that will "lead the whole world astray".
The devil has convinced the producers of today's media industry to impregnate the minds of unsuspecting people around the world with a proliferation of abominable lies against God's Son, Jesus Christ - while also exerting a pronounced effort to present witchcraft and sorcery as being "innocent and fun". Jesus warns His people in Luke 21:8 to "watch out that we are not deceived". We have witnessed the full-term pregnancy of sickness, strife, and advance of evil that has been growing in the womb of the world, to the point where the final deception of the antichrist is about to be birthed. Jesus Christ offers the world a refuge for "these times" by giving us the knowledge of the birth pains that Mary experienced when she brought Him into this world - a child that was conceived by the Holy Spirit to be the Savior of the peoples of all nations. The Bible promises a bright future for those who experience the "birth pains" of denying the world and being born again. When we receive His "new birth" and forgiveness for our sins, Jesus places His Spirit into our hearts, so that we may discern good from evil - and stand firm in our faith. The "signs" we have been seeing mean that our LORD will be returning soon - and He tells us to "be always on watch, and pray, so that we will be able to escape all that is about to happen" - and will be there to stand with Him forever in glory.
One more thought from Revelation 12:10-17: Those who overcome evil by the blood of the Lamb, our testimony of faith in the birth of Jesus Christ, and show no fear of death, will be delivered by the LORD's power from the worries, turmoil and wars in this present world.
Heavenly Father, we praise your excellent wisdom, power, and the revelation of your love shown to us in Jesus Christ. Please help your people to stay faithful to your Son, in the advance of these evil days. Please direct our hearts to pray for those who are deceived and do not know Jesus as their Savior - and to tell them the truth about His love and mercy. Amen!
I love you with the love of the LORD,