Four Aces You Win

Four Aces

What?  Four Aces and you still lose?  Oh, C’mon! What kind of game is this?

Aces

In the military, a pilot that can outmaneuver, outflank, outsmart, outfight, and out fly an opponent is often referred to as an Ace.  It cements a pilot’s reputation if they have downed several of the opponent’s planes in aerial combat.  This is often known as “dog-fighting” and the best in class is often referred to as “Top Gun”.  Training plays a role in the calculus, but ultimately, the pilot that is quick to adopt various means and methods to obtain superiority in stealth, position, advantage, strategy, superior speed, firepower, courage, and victory is the Ace to be respected and feared.

The Book of Revelation in the Bible has several examples of Aces reigning over any opposition with devastating results.  You may be wondering if there were sophisticated aircraft in the Bible thousands of years ago!  There were Aces in the Bible that brought carnage and destruction, but they weren’t flying a multi-winged wooden coffin like the famous Red Baron.  What were they flying you may be asking.  Would you believe they were flying–horses!

Revelation chapter six discusses four Aces of destruction that unleash death and destruction on an unprepared and unrepentant opponent.  Verse one says that the Lamb (did you notice the capitalization?) opened the first of the seven seals.  A rider on a white horse rode out as a conqueror.  Seal number two brought out a second horse, a fiery red one, and its rider had a sword and made people slay each other.  Another seal brought another horse, a black one whose rider caused famine.  The fourth seal brought a fourth horse a pale horse (a sickly yellowish-green), and its rider was named death and Hades, and he caused a fourth of the population to die by sword, famine, and plague.  Four deadly Aces that was ultimately successful in their task.  These riders are usually referred to as the four horsemen of the Apocalypse. The four riders are given power over one-fourth of the earth, hence, indicating that God is still limiting his judgment—it is not yet complete!  There is still time for unbelievers to turn to Christ and away from sinful ways.  Everything is on God’s timetable.

Does this sound terrible?  You can bet your life that it will be worse to be there when things go bad than to simply read about it in the Bible.  Many think the Book of Revelation was written to scare people into believing its message before being directly involved in the maelstrom of events.  In any event, if you see four Aces closing in on you, it’s never too late to pray.

At the sight of God sitting on the throne, all human beings, great and small, will be terrified, wishing for the mountains to fall on them so that they will not have to face the judgment of the Lamb.  These vivid pictures are not intended to frighten believers.  For them, the Lamb is a gentle savior.  But to those rulers, generals, emperors, dictators, kings, political figures who continue to show no fear of God and arrogantly flaunt their unbelief, deceitfulness, and weight on God’s people will find that they are wrong and will face God’s judgment and wrath.  Do you belong to Christ?  If so, you need not fear theses final days or any Aces.

“A wise man fears the Lord and shuns evil.”  Proverbs14:16

Envious Angels

AngelThe Bible says that angels do not experience redemption, but long to know what it feels like to be saved.   Angels being the unfallen ones, of high intelligence, who serve God in holiness, and dwell in the light, even they see how great human salvation is and they desire to experience it.  Shouldn’t those of us, who are the objects of this mercy, shouldn’t we diligently pursue it also?  Do you take your salvation for granted?  You shouldn’Envious Angelst!  Consider 1 Peter 1:12, whose theme is “the sufferings of Christ”, and the “glories that should follow them.”  Peter also says, “It was revealed to them that they were not serving themselves, but you, when they spoke of the things that have now been told you by those who have preached the Gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven.  Even angels long to look into these things.”  “Them” refers to the searching prophets.  They are the human authors of the Bible. The Holy Spirit is the divine author.  God the Holy Spirit revealed to the human authors what to write.  The word “revealed” means unveiled.  God unveiled himself by revelation.  These Old Testament prophets were not writing simply for themselves but for you and me, and future generations.  Peter says, “Even angels long to look into these things.” And these things are: the sufferings of Christ, the great mystery of redemption and salvation by Christ, the doctrine of the Gospels in which the glory of grace, wisdom, righteousness, truth, and power of God is displayed.  These things angels are delighted with; take pleasure in the contemplation of, desire a greater knowledge of, and want to acquaint themselves with.  Our salvation is even the subject of angelic speculation.   Our salvation is envied!  Our salvation is great!  And to think, salvation is all ours.

Hark the Hearld Lark Sings

 Hark the Hearld Lark Sings

Hey, isn’t that reminiscent of a Christmas song?  Isn’t that supposed to be “angel” sings?  Is it Christmas already and you nearly missed it?  Naaah!  Wrong story and month.  Shake it off!  You’ll be alright.  However, we are going to talk about one of God’s precious creatures—the birds.  Nope, it’s not a partridge in a pear tree.

Birds Nests

Some birds build their nests in trees, bushes, and barns.  Some build their nests on ledges of tall buildings, under eaves of department stores, some under porches, in garages, on decks, anywhere they can.  Bird nests have been found in the most unusual places; under the hood of a car, in high voltage boxes, on elephants, anywhere and everywhere they feel protected.

You know it is winter by the overcast gray days, the cold and snow.  The summer shows up with the hot sun and heat.  Fall announces with its bright colors and leaves falling.  Spring is different; it is the only season you can hear.  Listen closely, the birds and their beautiful voices tell everything to wake up. But though you think yourself taking the day by the prime, it is already old to the birds.  Isn’t it a pleasure to know you can start each day with no harsh words, malice in their voices or ill-will when they sing?  They don’t just sing they serenade.  Aren’t we lucky?

The lowly lark lays her eggs in some small depression in the ground, maybe at the edge of a field or pasture.  The lark is probably the most beautiful of all the singing birds.  The bird itself isn’t the most beautiful, but its song baffles the imagination.  There are beautiful poems and stories about the entrancing songs emanating from this little throat.  Its songs are legendary, but nothing is mentioned about the larks feet!  That’s right, its feet.  They are ugly and out of proportion for its size.  The toes are unusually long and covered with rough, unsightly growths.  Did God make a mistake?!  No—God does all things well!  He doesn’t make mistakes.  The feet are made that way in the event of danger. With her protective feet the lark picks up her eggs and carries them to safety.  The toes are extra long to grip the eggs firmly and rough to keep them from slipping away.  This roughness protects the eggs when she lands.  Her feet take the brunt and trauma of the surface landing area protecting her precious cargo!  Is God clever or omniscient?

“What is the price of two sparrows–one copper coin? But not a single sparrow can fall to the ground without your Father knowing it. And the very hairs on your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are more valuable to God than a whole flock of sparrows.” Mat 10:29-31  “Even the sparrow finds a home, and the swallow builds her nest and raises her young at a place near your altar, O LORD of Heaven’s Armies, my King and my God!” Psalms 84:3