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Revelation 2:10 - Do not fear any of those things which you are about to suffer. Indeed, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested, and you will have tribulation ten days. Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life.

'Forewarned is forearmed', means that if one knows about a problem or situation in advance, one will be able to deal with it when one needs to. Don't put it off or you may have to pay for it. 

Proverbs 22:3 - A prudent man foresees evil and hides himself, but the simple pass on and are punished.

prudent • \PROO-dunt\ • adjective. 1: marked by wisdom or judiciousness 2: shrewd in the management of practical affairs 3: cautious, discreet 4: thrifty, frugal acting with or showing care and thought for the future.

While many today live by the motto—"throw caution to the wind.”   God calls those who are His to live thoughtfully, insightfully and prudently. It is important to live life looking far enough ahead that you can avoid mistakes, traps, hazards and real danger. As both a car and motorcycle driver it is important to look ahead by several car lengths and to make sure I am seeing everything going on around me. Many times, this has made the difference in life or death or at least an accident. Because I was driving prudently and not recklessly or just “enjoying” the ride and not paying attention I was able to see danger and make the adjustments I needed to and avoid it.

Many people today are just living their life with no thought for the future or with no awareness of what is going on around them. I believe in living in the moment, but we are not living FOR the moment; we are living FOR the Lord. God has clearly stated that He has a hope and a future for us. This means that we should live today with an eye on tomorrow, knowing that what we do today will impact our tomorrow.

God loves us so much that if we will listen, to His Spirit, He will forewarn and prepare you for things to come. When Paul Revere made his famous ride through the night to warn that the British or the “Red Coats” were coming it enabled the colonists to arm themselves and to position themselves to resist. God prepares us before hand for encounters with the enemy. He tells us to “Resist the Devil standing steadfast in the Faith.”  Then He arms us with the Armor of God and tells us how to use it. – Forewarned is Forearmed.

Remember when God was going to pour out His judgement on the earth, He warned Noah. Because of this Noah had enough time to prepare for what was coming. He did exactly what God told Him to do, and he built the ark.

This will surprise many people. Just because God warns you about something does not mean that He is necessarily giving you what you need to avoid going through the situation but rather, to give you what you need precisely because you are going to go through the situation.

There are somethings that it is prudent to avoid and other things that require prudence to prepare. For over 100 years Noah prudently prepared for the flood. When it came, he was ready, and he saved mankind and his own family.

Sometimes the preparation lasts longer than the actual trial. Boxers train months for a 12 - round fight. Football players practice all week for a 60 min. Game.

When God spoke to the church in Smyrna, who was already suffering persecution, He was forewarning them so that they would be prepared by knowing that some of them were going to be put into prison and tried. Rather than letting them be caught by surprise, Christ wanted them to know in advance. He prepared them for what the future held.

When Jesus predicted how He would die, Peter rebuked him, and Jesus said to Peter “Get behind me Satan.”

When Agabus prophesied what would happen to Paul he wept and begged him not to go. Paul had to instruct them that he was ready (Prepared- mentally, emotionally, and spiritually) to go to prison and even die for the name of the Lord Jesus.

Sometimes God’s plan for our lives involves testing and trials.

No one wants to go through them and no one who really cares about people wants them to go through things. Peter meant well, so did Paul’s friends. The Bible warns the last days church that some will go to prison and some even die for their faith.

Jesus tells the end-times church to be faithful until the END and He will give them the crown of life.

Anyone can be faithful when things are good. It is when you are actually tried that what you believe is put to the test.  You will have to answer the question is this really what I believe or will you just cast aside your faith for the sake of convenience, comfort and safety.

1 Peter 1:6-9 - In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ, whom having not seen you love. Though now you do not see Him, yet believing, you rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory, receiving the end of your faith—the salvation of your souls.

Here me now and let me say it loud for the people in the back – Satan will try the genuineness of your faith. Faith is not simply a declaration of what you believe. It is not sitting in church and, every once in a while, dropping a twenty in the offering plate, so you feel good about yourself.

Faith is believing in God, becoming obedient to His Word, it is desiring to please God with all that you are and in every area of your life. It is living for Him no matter what the cost or the criticism. It is loving God with all of your heart with all of your soul and all of your mind and with all of your strength.

Trials and testing real show what we believe. Is Jesus still the Lord and authority of our life when we go through trouble or do, we take the reigns back when we don’t like where following Him leads us.

I was noticing when I was writing this that the Word “Reign” that is used for the rulership of a king is the same spelling used for the reigns that are used to steer a horse. Testing will determine whether we will continue to allow Jesus to reign over our life or if we will take the REIGNS in to our own hands and reign over and make the choices for ourselves.

Today we spend more time telling people how to get out of stressful times how to avoid pressure situations instead of preparing them for them. For many Christians times of trials and tribulations catch them by surprise. Jesus told the last days church what to expect so they can be spiritually, mentally and emotionally prepared for the experience. He wants us to be ready for it and able to endure it,

I believe that God is warning the Church of today of what is coming. His divine warnings are intended to prepare us for the challenges and hardships that are coming. He is making sure that our faith is genuine, that we are strong in the Lord and in His mighty power – that we have prepared ourselves spiritually, mentally and emotionally to endure until the end.

You may ask - the end of what? Well either the end of the trial, faithful until he returns in the rapture or faithful until death. Either way He desires us to be prepared to be faithful until the end,

May you and your family be blessed. Remember that you are Loved.

Pastor Marvin & Dawn

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