April 8     
      
Today's Bible Readings
     Leviticus 11, 12 
     Psalms 13, 14
     Proverbs 26
     I Thessalonians 5
 
MEMORIZE TODAY
''But concerning the times and the seasons, brethren, you have no need that I should write to you. For you yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so comes as a thief in the night." (I Thessalonians 5: 1-2)
 
A THIEF IN THE NIGHT
            Every generation of committed believers has been motivated by the feeling that they were the generation that would see the coming of the Lord. This is a positive thing since nothing else could be as effective to motivate believers to holy living. (II Peter 3:11)
            Then, there are always those who are very skeptical about any believer, or any generation of believers, believing that Jesus will come in their lifetime. They quote the scripture that says, ''No one knows the day or the hour." They forget, however, that Jesus told us that, ''Just as we can predict the weather by observing the sky we can know the season of His coming by the signs of the times." It is clear that we who are living now are likely to be the Rapture generation.
I Thessalonians 5:1 makes it clear that we should be aware of the times (Chronos) of our Lord's coming. This simply means that we can understand the sequence of events, and be aware of the circumstances in our world, which tells us that we are in the last days.
            What does he mean then when Paul tells us that the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night?  The answer is very simple. How do we know when a thief has come? A thief always comes secretly. He does not allow the owner to know it in advance exactly when he is coming. A thief usually comes suddenly when he is least expected. He comes and does his work quickly.
            The coming of a thief is usually very shocking. When a person returns to his home and discovers that a thief has come, he is usually very shocked. We know a thief has come when that which is significant and valuable is missing. A thief does not usually take everything, but only that which is most valuable. When Jesus returns, He will not take everyone from the planet but only those most valuable - His redeemed saints.
            In anticipation of His coming, our Lord desires that His people be spiritually enlightened. You are to know the seasons, the sequence, and the sureness of His return. Our world is a dark world, but we are neither of the night nor the darkness. We are the light. (verse 4-5) In preparation for His coming, God's people are also to be spiritually involved. We are not to sleep but we are to be spiritually awake and aware. (verse 6) We are also to be spiritually prepared. Believers must be dressed in the full armor of God and involved in spiritual warfare until His coming. (verse 8)  “Even so, come quickly Lord Jesus!''
 
PRAY FOR THE WORLD
            The Republic of Honduras has always been known as a very poor and needy country in Latin America. The devastating super-hurricane Mitch, in 1998, was a major setback with 60% of the country's infrastructure destroyed. Many decades will be needed to recover from it. Unemployment in Honduras now is 40%, which follows a trend throughout most of the Third World countries of Central America.
            We have visited Honduras on several occasions.  One of our dearest friends went there as a medical missionary.     After several years of ministry, however, he observed that the greatest need in Honduras was for a period of evangelism and church planting. He therefore planted a church in Tegucigalpa, which is the capital city. This church reaches the leading citizens of the city and trains them to reach others. As  you  pray  for Honduras,  please  pray  also  for the  people  to  be  delivered  from  Mormonism  and committed  to a genuine, personal relationship with Christ that changes their  lives.
 
A WORD FOR YOUR WORLD TODAY
''The Scriptures are filled with references to the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ; in fact, I decided to use the word Bible as an acrostic:        
                        B-asic
                        I-nstructions
                        B-efore
                        L-eaving
                        E-arth''
Ron Herrod