Are they brewing or dispersing?  I'm not sure.  I thought they heralded a storm, but after a few sprinkles the sun came out. Any nephologists out there?




Just wanted to share this very timely devotional by Ron Hutchcraft that I received by e-mail.  I hope you'll take the time to read it.

Scary Times - #6385

You know, I'm just not used to news reporters referencing the Book of Revelation. But, I've heard some of them doing it fairly recently. These aren't ordinary times. These people have been referring to statements in the Bible about things like earthquakes and disasters; references to what the Bible calls "the last days." I mean, you think about what's been going on in our world, and in nature, and in governments, and you can understand why people are starting to think Bible a little bit. You know, the Bible talks about these last days--the last days of human history--the days before the personal return of Jesus Christ who will change things forever.

I mean, within little more than a year, there's been a massive earthquake in Japan, Chile and New Zealand. I just saw on TV a map of the Pacific "Ring of Fire," which is the part of the world where most major quakes erupt. It shows Japan on the northwest corner, New Zealand on the southwest corner, Chile on the southeast corner. And then if you go up the West Coast of the United States, the final corner in the northeast. Well, you can guess what the headline was, "Is California next?"

I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You about "Scary Times."

Now of course, there's an additional concern in the aftermath of a natural disaster. We saw in Japan the specter of possible nuclear meltdowns, and that had people imagining some "apocalyptic" scenarios. The former Speaker of the House even called it "beyond biblical" what we were seeing. And then there's all those revolutions that are popping up on our news, it seems like almost daily sometimes. It seems like the whole world is shaking sometimes.

In our word for today from the Word of God, Jesus said that would happen. In Luke 21:11 He said "...there will be great earthquakes...in various places and fearful events." Of course there have been earthquakes for thousands of years, but apparently they're going to get bigger and more frequent before Jesus comes.

Jesus also said there would be "wars and revolutions" (Luke 21:11) and "nation (and that original word means ethnic groups) will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom...on the earth, nations will be in anguish and perplexity" (Luke 21:11). I couldn't help but think of that as I watch long-entrenched governments quaking with tidal waves of protests and revolution.

Then the Lord of the future, Jesus, went on to say that "...men will...be apprehensive of what is coming in the world" (Luke 21:11). There'll be upheaval in nature; there'll be upheaval in nations, and unrest in our souls. And then the drum roll! Here we go! "At that time they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory" (Luke 21:11).

As the tsunami was racing across the Pacific, I saw this cable news banner: "People are urged to take urgent action to protect lives." Our potentially "apocalyptic" world seems to be calling us to one of two spiritual responses, or "urgent action." If you belong to Jesus, act urgently to tell people you love about Him - no more excuses, no more stalling. And if you don't have a personal relationship with Jesus, act urgently to give yourself to Him. That's how you'll be forever safe, no matter what shakes you, no matter what swamps you.

He is, after all, the Rescuer who died for your sins. He's the Conqueror who beat death on Easter Morning; He's alive. He can come into your life. And He's the King who will write the final chapter not only of human history, but of your history.

If you don't belong to Him, if there's never been a time you've given yourself to Him, let this be the day. These are urgent times. These are times to make sure you are anchored to the Lord of the future. Just tell Him, "Jesus, I'm done running my own life. I believe You died for my sin. I believe You're alive today and I'm Yours starting today."

Let me encourage you to go to our website and check out there some information we've put there. You can watch it, you can listen to it, and you can read it. But there are several forms where you can find out how to begin a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. It's YoursForLife.net.

Listen to this promise from the Bible, "Therefore we will not fear though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging...the Lord Almighty is with us" (Luke 21:11). You know, as they say in those earthquake drills, "Hold onto something heavy." That's Jesus.