Others May, You Cannot

A friend of mine posted this on her blog. Perfect reading for New Year’s Eve if you want to be inspired to continue to walk with God.

The Shepherd's Presence

Others May, You Cannot

If God has called you to be really like Jesus He will draw you into a life of crucifixion and humility and put upon you such demands of obedience that you will not be able to follow other people, or measure yourself by other Christians, and in many ways He will seem to let other people do things which He will not let you do.

Other Christians and ministers who seem very religious and useful, may push themselves, pull wires, and work schemes to carry out their plans but you cannot do it; and if you attempt it, you will meet with such failure and rebuke, from the Lord as to make you sorely penitent.

Others may boast of themselves, of their work, or their success, of their writings, but the Holy Spirit will not allow you to do any such thing, and if you begin…

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Inherit the Kingdom

Matthew 25:34. “Then shall the King say unto them on His right hand, Come, ye blessed of My Father. Inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.”

The sheep are those who are true believers; possessers, not just professors, of  Jesus Christ and His death and resurrection as their only way of salvation.  They will be invited to enter into their inheritance in the Kingdom of Heaven that has been prepared for them.

The  next several verses are some of the most beautiful and meaningful in describing what our walk with Jesus Christ should be.  I think they will be a great way to start our new year together.

Sheep and Goats

Matthew 25:32-33. “And before Him shall be gathered all nations: and He shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth His sheep from the goats: And He shall set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats on the left.”

Jesus will sit on His throne of glory. The angels will be visibly present at this great judgment of the people of all nations.The church is not mentioned here in Matthew. We know from other passages that He will bring His own with Him, and they will take part in the judgment as well as in the government of the earth and the universe (I Cor. 6:2). The angels will have specific work to do (Matt. 13:41-42).

The question here, then, is who exactly will be judged. The Lord says all nations. It would seem clear, then, that this judgment is of all people of all nations who are living in the day when Jesus appears in His glory at the second coming.

This judgment, then, has to exclude the church, which was raptured away before the terrible events of the Tribulation period. This is not the judgment seat of Christ, in which all true believers must appear either for approval or disapproval. This judgment has already taken place before the events of the Second Coming and the judgment of the nations from the throne of the Son of Man.

Israel plays a huge part in this judgment. Jews who have endured through the Great Tribulation will have received His as Redeemer, King, Messiah.  But there will be other nations on the earth who have not all turned to Christ. True believers are the sheep; unbelievers are the goats.

The place of this judgment is undoubtedly Israel.  Zechariah 14:1-5 and Joel 3 talk about this judgment scene. Those who are to be judged will not be the church, or believing Israel, but all other nations who are alive at the time of the Second Coming.

His Throne

Matthew 25:31. “When the Son of man shall come in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then shall He sit upon the throne of His glory.”

There is no art that can do justice to this scene. We don’t know what it will look like. We only know that when He comes, there will no longer be any doubt in anyone’s mind or heart about Who He is.

This scene is closely connected with Matthew 24:30-31. It takes place after His visible and glorious appearing as Son of Man, and after His elect (the remnant of His eartly people, all Israel), have been gathered.  We have, then, in chapter 24:3-41 and chapter 25:31-46 the chronological events that will occur at the end of the Jewish age and the judgment which will take place immediately after He returns.

Aging: Physical Debility

This is hard for everyone.  No one escapes the decrease of bodily health and strength as age sets in. It’s difficult to accept, difficult to realize we actually are those slow-moving, little old people that we used to think we never would be! Here are a couple of things that I hope will make you smile:

I absolutely love this old lady.  I’ve posted this video before, and it tickles me every single time.  And what I like about the little old guy in the picture?  Look at his right foot.  He’s still moving!  That’s how I want it to be!

So, to get serious.  Debility is the physical weakness, loss of muscle, softness, that comes with serious illness or old age, or both. Arthritis creates debility. So do any number of other conditions that can creep up on us while we’re not looking. It is upsetting when you need to ask for help in doing what used to be simple tasks. Opening jars, lifting things down from a cupboard, even passing a heavy dish along to the person next to you at dinner, can all become tasks that you never used to think about and now you can barely accomplish without  a helping hand.

No one ever wants to be helpless.  My husband is by no means helpless, but it bugs him to death that he is no longer the strong pillar of support for me that he used to be.  Losing strength is losing independence. I was born on Independence Day. It probably should have been my middle name.  I value my independence perhaps too much, never wanting anyone to do for me what I feel I should be able to do myself.

The day is coming, and I know that it is, when I’m going to have to learn to graciously accept that helping hand, and to be thankful for it.

There are, however, things we can all do to delay the onset of old-age debility, and to slow down the progress of it.

Exercise.  Yes, I know, you were dreading that word. However, it is the prime factor is delaying and decreasing debility. Exercise helps keep your bones strong, your muscles toned, and your agility in its best possible shape. It even helps to  improve balance, which is a problem for many older folks.  I believe that the statistics are that one in every three older people will fall in a 24-hour period.

You don’t have to be a body builder.  Walking is your first, best choice for exercise.  If you hold low-weight dumbells while you walk, that’s even better. Weather is bad?  Walk inside. There are walking videos especially for improving age-related debility.  It will increase your back strenght, abdomen tone, and arms and legs. And it’s pretty painless.

Water exercise is fabulous if you can find a place that offers it.  Most YMCA’s offer water aerobics for seniors.  It’s great for arthritic people because it takes the weight off the sore joints, and most of all it gets you moving.

What you eat is important.  Bone loss contributes to debility, so talk with your doctor or a nutritionist about how to keep calcium in your bones.  You need protein, carbs, and fats for energy, strength and over-all health.  Because there are so many of us in this Baby Boomer age category, the study and practice of geriatric medicine is booming. There is lots of good information online, at your doctor’s office, at the library. There are senior citizen centers in most communities that provide some activity, including dancing, that will help you get moving. There are walking clubs, and yoga centers, and classes especially for those trying to either maintain or regain some strength.  If you are in generally good health but are starting to see weakness setting in, you have no reason whatsoever to just allow debility to overtake you.

I know two women who are in their early 90’s.  They are both still active. The get up every day, get dressed, go out and do things. One is still driving! They reach out to others and stay as busy and involved as they can. They are happy by nature, and they are a joy to be around. So much of our enjoyment of life as we age centers on our own attitudes.

I want my grandchildren to enjoy seeing me coming.  I don’t want them to sigh, knowing they will hear nothing but a litany of complaints about my aching this and hurting that. I want to be a part of their lives that they will remember with pleasure, not a sick old woman who casts a pall of blah over everything all the time.

Aging is inevitable. Misery is not. Take steps to be the best that you can be, as long as you can.

Merry Christmas!

This is possibly my most-loved Christmas song.  I think it captures the awe, the wonder, the holiness of the birth of Jesus Christ for all who were involved, from angels to shepherds, wise men to Mary and Joseph.  I’m posting it tonight as my Christmas gift to you.  Merry Christmas, and may God bless you as you remember His most wonderful gift to us.

Why December 25th?

The other day my chiropractor asked me why we celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ on Dec. 25.  I told him that I wasn’t sure, but that like other Christian holidays, there is some kind of tie-in with old pagan celebrations. So this morning I looked it up, and I was right but I didn’t know the details.  Here’s a really good description of how it happened:


Regardless of whether or not we’re celebrating the actual date of Jesus’ birth, the important thing is that we honor  Him and remember the incredible sacrifice He made. The Son of God left the unimaginable realms of heaven to be born and to live as a man so that He, perfect, sinless, holy, could die in our place and rise victorious from the grave to provide our way of salvation from our sin.

That is the true meaning of Christmas.  All the other things that happen at this time of year are nothing but tinsel and glitter. If we aren’t careful, we’ll allow the miraculous birth of Jesus to be obscured by the jingle of the cash registers all across the land.

I’m taking a short sabbatical. You won’t hear from me here tomorrow, so I’m wishing you all a very warm and wonderful Christmas. God bless us, every one!


Matthew 25:20-21.“And so he that had received five talents came and brought other five talents, saying, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me five talents: behold, I have gained beside them five talents more. His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou has been faithful over a few things. I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord. He also that had received two talents came and said, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me two talents; behold, I have gained two other talents beside them. His lord said unto him, Well done, good and faithful servant: thou has been faithful over a few things. I will make thee ruler over many things; enter thou into the joy of they lord. Then he which had received the one talent came and said, Lord, I knew thee that thou art an hard man, reaping where thou hast not sown, and gathering where thou hast not strawed: And I was afraid, and went and hid thy talent in the earth: lo, there thou hast that is thine. His lord answered and said unto him, Thou wicked and slothful servant, thou knewst that I reap where I sowed not, and gather where I have not strawed: Thou oughtest therefore to have put my money to the exchangers, and then at my coming I should have received mine own with usury. Take therefore the talent from  him, and give it unto him which hath ten talents. For unto every one that hath shall be given, and he shall have abundance: but from him that hath not shall betaken away even that which he hath. And cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness; there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth”

This parable is all about diligence in view of the return of the Lord.  The first two servants doubled what they had been given, and the master was well-pleased. They had trusted him to return, and to reward them for their work while he was away. Because they had done well, they were rewarded with even more responsibility.

The third servant, however, did not trust his master. He did nothing with the talent he’d been given, burying it for safekeeping and having no gain to show for the long period of time the master had been away.  He even, on the master’s return, had the effrontery to accuse his master of being hard, greedy, taking that which did not belong to him. He did what a lot of us do, shifting the blame for his lack of diligence over onto  someone else. He refused to accept the responsibility for his slothful behavior, impugning the character of his master instead. The slothful man tends to accuse those who “have” of being hardhearted and uncharitable toward those who “have not.”  believing that nothing ever works out well for him.

The unprofitable servant had the same amount of time to bring a return on his talents as the other two servants had. He simply chose to do nothing, and his “reward,” unbelieving  in his master, was to be cast into outer darkness where there would be weeping a gnashing of teeth. This description denotes hell, a place of eternal punishment. This place of outer darkness is not just the grave. it is a place of bitter remorse and pain.  (Rev. 9:2, Matthew 13:50, 8:12, etc.)

The third servant was never a believer. He in fact mistrusted the Lord and found reason in his own mind not to serve him.

Be careful, be diligent. Jesus will return.


Matthew 25:19. “After a long time the lord of those servants cometh, and reckoneth with them.”

(I’m taking a two-week break from work, which means I probably won’t be up as early as usual. You’ll still  see my posts here, but later in the morning.  I’m being lazy!)

There always comes a day of reckoning.  The wait was long, but eventually the master did return, and he called his servant to Him to make account of what they had done with the talents he entrusted to them.

Jesus IS coming!  The wait has been long, and may be longer  yet.  Many of us, as we see the darkness that is pervading our beloved country, hope and pray that His coming won’t be delayed much longer. However, America really has no right to expect  be spared from anti-Christian persecution, any more than any other people in any other time or place. We have lost our way as a nation, making Christianity politically incorrect.  We have allowed a very vocal minority of those who hate God to persuade us that we have to be tolerant of everyone except  those who love God. We have twice elected a man to sit in the White House who makes no effort to hide his disdain for Christianity or for America, for that matter.  Persecution has already arrived on our shores, people, just in case you haven’t been paying attention.  Anti-semitism and anti-Christianity go hand in hand.

Our day of reckoning, as individuals and as a nation, is coming. When?  I’ve no idea. I only know that we cannot turn our backs on all that is right and holy and expect God to go on blessing America.