Random Ramblings

Reflections on my walk with God


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False Prophets

Another of my YouVersion notes – written a while ago but brought to mind today with my reading of 1&2 Thessalonians.

And the Lord said to me: “The prophets are prophesying lies in my name. I did not send them, nor did I command them or speak to them. They are prophesying to you a lying vision, worthless divination, and the deceit of their own minds. (Jeremiah 14:14 ESV)

This description of false prophets in Jeremiah’s day is very familiar to us today. There are many preachers who are telling people what they want to hear, not what they need to hear.

For the time is coming when [people] will not tolerate (endure) sound and wholesome instruction, but, having ears itching [for something pleasing and gratifying], they will gather to themselves one teacher after another to a considerable number, chosen to satisfy their own liking and to foster the errors they hold, (2 Timothy 4:3 AMP)

We must be discerning about what we listen to and what we read. For we will all be judged in accordance with whether we have truly been Christ-followers.
“Beware of false prophets who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravaging wolves. You’ll recognize them by their fruit. Are grapes gathered from thornbushes or figs from thistles? Every tree that doesn’t produce good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. So you’ll recognize them by their fruit. (Matthew 7:15, 16, 19, 20 HCSB)

On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’ (Matthew 7:22, 23 ESV)

Those who have positions of authority will receive harsh judgement if they indeed lead their flock astray. Jesus condemns those who are concerned with looking good now and their wealth and position in society.

He also said in His teaching, “Beware of the scribes, who want to go around in long robes, and who want greetings in the marketplaces, the front seats in the synagogues, and the places of honor at banquets. They devour widows’ houses and say long prayers just for show. These will receive harsher punishment.” (Mark 12:38-40 HCSB)

Matthew’s gospel tells us that false prophets will arise during the end times:
For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Messiah,’ and they will deceive many. Many false prophets will rise up and deceive many. “If anyone tells you then, ‘Look, here is the Messiah! ’ or, ‘Over here! ’ do not believe it! False messiahs and false prophets will arise and perform great signs and wonders to lead astray, if possible, even the elect. Take note: I have told you in advance. So if they tell you, ‘Look, He’s in the wilderness! ’ don’t go out; ‘Look, He’s in the inner rooms! ’ do not believe it. (Matthew 24:5, 11, 23-26 HCSB)

Acts 20:28-32, Paul warns the leaders/overseers of the church at Ephesus to shepherd the Church of God.
I know that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock. And men will rise up from your own number with deviant doctrines to lure the disciples into following them. Therefore be on the alert, remembering that night and day for three years I did not stop warning each one of you with tears.

1Thes:1-12 Paul warns that apostasy and lawlessness will precede the coming of The Lord.
Now concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered to Him: We ask you, brothers, not to be easily upset in mind or troubled, either by a spirit or by a message or by a letter as if from us, alleging that the Day of the Lord has come. Don’t let anyone deceive you in any way. For that day will not come unless the apostasy comes first and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction. (2 Thessalonians 2:1-3 HCSB)

Paul continues in this passage: Now concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered to Him: We ask you, brothers, not to be easily upset in mind or troubled, either by a spirit or by a message or by a letter as if from us, alleging that the Day of the Lord has come. Don’t let anyone deceive you in any way. For that day will not come unless the apostasy comes first and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction. Don’t you remember that when I was still with you I told you about this? The coming of the lawless one is based on Satan’s working, with all kinds of false miracles, signs, and wonders, and with every unrighteous deception among those who are perishing. They perish because they did not accept the love of the truth in order to be saved. (2 Thessalonians 2:1-3, 5, 9, 10 HCSB)

It is clear from all of these passages and many more that the coming of false prophets was foreseen by The Lord himself and his prophets and apostles. We must beware of those who preach “good news” which is about this life and not the Good News, which is the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the message of Salvation for eternity.


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Grace

I’m still working my way through the NT though have slowed down considerably – work keeps interfering! My study Bible notes that Paul begins and ends each of his letters with “Grace”. A quick search on the Bible gateway concordance revealed that Grace appears 84 times in Paul’s letters.
So I thought I’d gather together the opening and closing verses of Paul’s letters.
Grace to you all today. All scriptures are from the NASB.

Romans 1:7
to all who are beloved of God in Rome, called as saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
Romans 16:24
[ The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.]

1 Corinthians 1:3
Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
1 Corinthians 16:23-24
The grace of the Lord Jesus be with you. My love be with you all in Christ Jesus. Amen.

2 Corinthians 1:2
Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
2 Corinthians 13:14
The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, be with you all.

Galatians 1:3
Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ,
Galatians 6:18
The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit, brethren. Amen.

Ephesians 1:2
Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
Ephesians 6:24
Grace be with all those who love our Lord Jesus Christ with incorruptible love.

Philippians 1:2
Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
Philippians 4:23
The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit.

Colossians 1:2
To the saints and faithful brethren in Christ who are at Colossae: Grace to you and peace from God our Father.
Colossians 4:18
I, Paul, write this greeting with my own hand. Remember my imprisonment. Grace be with you.

1 Thessalonians 1:1
Paul and Silvanus and Timothy, To the church of the Thessalonians in God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ: Grace to you and peace.
1 Thessalonians 5:28
The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.

2 Thessalonians 1:2
Grace to you and peace from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
2 Thessalonians 3:18
The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all.

1 Timothy 1:2
To Timothy, my true child in the faith: Grace, mercy and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord.
1 Timothy 6:21
which some have professed and thus gone astray from the faith. Grace be with you.

2 Timothy 1:2
To Timothy, my beloved son: Grace, mercy and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord.
2 Timothy 4:22
The Lord be with your spirit. Grace be with you.

Titus 1:4
To Titus, my true child in a common faith: Grace and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Savior.
Titus 3:15
All who are with me greet you. Greet those who love us in the faith. Grace be with you all.

Philemon 1:3
Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
Philemon 1:25
The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit.


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A prayer for our children

I have assemblies to do at my daughter’s school tomorrow.  While  looking for inspiration in some of the original training materials that I was given by Samaritan’s Purse when I first trained as an OCC presenter I came across this. I will be reading it….

Our Lord, Creator and Sustainer of all our lives,
We come before you today to pray for the children…
Who sneak biscuits before tea-time,
Who erase holes in math’s workbooks,
Who can never find their shoes.

And we pray for those who stare at photographs from behind barbed wire,
Who can’t run down the street in a new pair of trainers,
Who were born in places we wouldn’t be caught dead,
Who never go to the pantomime,
Who live their lives in an X-rated world.

We pray for children, who bring us sticky kisses, and a fistful of dandelions,
Who hug us in a hurry, and forget their lunch money.

And we pray for those who never get pudding,
Who have no comfort blanket to drag behind them,
Who watch their parents watch them die,
Who can’t find any bread to steal,
Who don’t have any rooms to clean up,
Whose pictures aren’t on anybody’s refrigerator,
And whose monsters are very, very real.

We pray for children who spend all their pocket money before Tuesday,
Who throw tantrums in the supermarket
and pick at their food,
Who like ghost stories,

Who hide dirty clothes under the bed and never rinse out the bath,
Who get visits from the tooth fairy,
Who don’t like to be kissed outside school,
Who squirm in church and yell down the phone,
Whose tears we sometimes laugh at, and whose smiles can make us cry.

And we pray for those, whose nightmares come in the daytime,
Who will eat anything their hands can find,
Who have never seen a dentist,
Who aren’t spoiled by anybody,
Who go to bed hungry and cry themselves to sleep,
Who live and move, but have no being.

We pray for children who want to be carried, and for those who must,
For children we do not allow to be born, and for those who are born, but not allowed to truly live,
For those we never give up on, and for those who won’t have a second chance,
For those we smother, and for those who will grab the hand of anybody kind enough to offer it.
We pray for all these children whom Jesus loves, and especially for those who haven’t heard of Him.

All these prayers we offer in the name of Him who came as a little child, and became poor for our sakes,
Our Lord, Jesus Christ,

Amen.