“Once again, the kingdom of heaven is like a net that was let down into the lake and caught all kinds of fish. When it was full, the fishermen pulled it up on the shore. Then they sat down and collected the good fish in baskets, but threw the bad away. This is how it will be at the end of the age. The angels will come and separate the wicked from the righteous and throw them into the blazing furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Matthew 13:47-50
Jesus tells another parable, the last in this series of parables. This one has some similarity to the Parable of the Weeds, for its conclusion reveals something about the end of the age. Here we have fishermen as the example; they cast their nets and haul in a big catch. They drag their nets to the shore and sort their catch, for there are good fish, ready for market, and there are fish to throw back; Jesus likens this process to what will happen on the last day, when the angels of God will sort out the Kingdom. The “good fish” will enter, and the “bad fish” will be tossed out. To put it another way, the Kingdom of heaven is open to everyone, but not all will choose to enter, and when the day comes, many will find that they waited too long, and that the doors are now closed.
The above portion is a reblog from LifeReference @ wordpress
Don’t wait until it’s too late! Decide now that you want to be caught in God’s net of salvation and not the devil’s net of eternal separation from God. The choice is yours.
Praying specifically about a problem creates a lighter load. Many of our anxieties are threatening because they are ill defined and vague. If we can distill the challenge into a phrase, we bring it down to size.
It’s one thing to pray, “Lord, please bless my meeting tomorrow.” It’s another thing to pray, “I have a conference with my supervisor at 2:00 PM tomorrow. She intimidates me. Would you please grant me a spirit of peace so I can sleep well tonight? Grant me wisdom so I can enter the meeting prepared. And would you soften her heart toward me and give her a generous spirit? Help us have a gracious conversation in which both of us benefit and your name is honored.”
There! You have reduced the problem to a prayer-sized challenge! As God’s children we honor him when we tell him exactly what we need.
The Word of God is not a trifle; it is a matter of life and death. If you treat the Scriptures as a trifle or as empty words, you forfeit life.
Even our physical life depends on God’s Word, because by his Word we were created (Psalm 33:6; Hebrews 11:3) and “He upholds the universe by the word of his power” (Hebrews 1:3).
Our spiritual life begins by the Word of God: “Of his own will he brought us forth by the word of truth” (James 1:18). “You have been born again . . . through the living and abiding word of God” (1 Peter 1:23).
Not only do we begin to live by God’s Word, but we also go on living by God’s Word: “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God” (Matthew 4:4; Deuteronomy 8:3).
Our physical life is created and upheld by the Word of God, and our spiritual life is quickened and sustained by the Word of God. How many stories could be gathered to bear witness to the life-giving power of the Word of God!
Indeed, the Bible is “no empty word for you” — it is your life! The foundation of all joy is life. Nothing is more fundamental than sheer existence — our creation and our preservation.
All this is owing to the Word of God’s power. By that same power, he has spoken in Scripture for the creation and sustenance of our spiritual life. Therefore, the Bible is no empty word, but is your very life — the kindling of your joy!
Horatio Spafford wrote the lyrics to the song “It is well with my soul”, never imagining they would become the words to one of the world’s best-love hymns. The lyrics he wrotewould become an anthem to the providence of God. “Whatever my lot, Thou has taught me to say. . .“It is Well with My Soul!”
Is it “Well with your soul” today? If not, seek God’s everlasting, loving arms and rest in His peace.
Throughout the Bible, we see evidence of God’s authority over both humanity and nature. However, many of us have trouble reconciling God’s sovereign control with the existence of evil. Let’s look at what Scripture tells us.
In the beginning, God created a perfect world, after which He declared that all He had made was good (Gen. 1:31). Wickedness was not part of what He’d fashioned. In the heavens, however, an angel known as Satan sought to elevate himself above God and was cast down to earth (Isa. 14:12-14).
God created Adam and Eve in His image. They were made with the capacity to love their Creator and the ability to choose to obey or disobey Him. God had no desire for Adam and Eve to sin (James 1:13), but He allowed their will to be tested. We know the rest of the story. When they disobeyed God, sin entered our world and corrupted mankind. As Adam and Eve’s descendants, we inherited a sinful nature (Rom. 5:12).
The Lord’s permissive will allowed events to unfold as they have. God did not create evil, but He has permitted it to exist and uses it to accomplish His good purposes (Isa. 45:6-7).
When you have questions or doubts about the Lord’s sovereignty, start with what you do understand, study what God has revealed about Himself and His ways, and ask the Holy Spirit to help you believe. A few answers to your questions will come quickly, while some will require diligent study and spiritual maturity. As for the answers to other questions, which God has chosen to keep hidden, we are to walk by faith (Deut. 29:29).
There’s a reason the windshield is bigger than the rear-view mirror. Your future matters more than your past!
God’s grace is greater than your sin. You thought the problem was your calendar, your marriage, or your job. In reality, it may be unresolved guilt. Don’t indulge it! Don’t drown in the bilge of your own condemnation. What you did was not good. But your God is good and He will forgive you. He is ready to write a new chapter in your life. Say with Paul, “Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I strain to reach the end of the race and receive the prize for which God is calling us” (Philippians 3:13-14 TLB).
Your salvation has nothing to do with your work and everything to do with the finished work of Christ on the cross. Rejoice in the Lord’s mercy!
Step into almost any bookstore, and you will find volumes covering every topic imaginable. Want new direction for your life? Self-help sections are extremely popular and accessible. Are your children disobeying? Parenting literature abounds. But do all of these “expert” authors have trustworthy credentials?
There is a place to find guidance and information that won’t ever mislead: The Bible will bless and benefit everyone who reads and applies its wisdom. Here’s what the Author—“the God of truth” (Isa. 65:16)—says about His own Word:
1. The Bible gives direction for life (Psalm 119:105). God uses His Word to lead us, no matter what our circumstances may be. The Holy Spirit can take even simple verses, which seem general at first glance, and apply them to our specific situation.
2. Scripture strengthens us when we grieve or face difficulty (Psalm 119:28, Psalm 119:116). By spending time processing what God says, we’re reminded that He loves us, cares about our situation, and can handle whatever we’re facing. Worry and pain turn into peace, hope, and joyful confidence.
3. God’s Word helps us understand our inner motivations (Heb. 4:12). Scripture acts like a mirror that lets us see ourselves as we truly are.
The Bible is the very mind of God put into words so that man can know his Maker more fully. In deepening our understanding of the heavenly Father, we learn how to live successfully and die unafraid.
To what extent do you depend upon this amazing Book as your foundation for life?