John Bunyan John Bunyan (1628 - 1688)
Faith
Here is the life of prayer, when in or with the Spirit, a man being made sensible of sin, and how to come to the Lord for mercy; he comes, I say, in the strength of the Spirit, and crieth Father. That one word spoken in faith, is better than a thousand prayers, as men call them, written and read, in a formal, cold, lukewarm way.
 
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When God Speaks in the Earthquake After the wind there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. (1 Kings 19:11) “After the wind there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake” (1 Kings 19:11). When Elijah went to meet with God on the mountain, a mighty whirlwind passed by, but that’s not how God chose to speak to him. Elijah had done nothing to incur God’s anger and wrath, so he saw no need. After the wind, God sent an earthquake. But again, that’s not how he chose to address his faithful prophet. The mountains shook, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. That doesn’t mean that God won’t speak through an earthquake. And when he does, you don’t want to be standing idly by.  “For in my jealousy and blazing anger, I promise a mighty shaking in the land of Israel on that day,” the Lord says through his prophet Ezekiel. “All living things … will quake in terror at my presence. Mountains will be thrown down; cliffs will crumble; walls will fall to the earth …. Thus I will show my greatness and holiness, and I will make myself known to all the nations of the world. Then they will know that I am the Lord!” (Ezekiel 38:19-23). Just as the earthquake followed the whirlwind in front of Elijah, God’s judgment always comes on the heels of his anger. God’s wrath usually leads to discipline. And discipline always comes for the purpose of redemption. When God comes to you in the earthquake, you can be sure that what you are feeling is his hand of discipline on your life. And you can be just as sure that he is doing so in order to restore you to himself. It is more than a little significant that history’s greatest moment of redemption was accompanied by an earthquake. Jesus had been in the grave for three days, and with the guards standing outside the tomb, God orchestrated his most powerful and final act of restoration. All of creation had been waiting for this moment—the moment when Jesus would rise from the grave and redeem his people once and for all time. “Suddenly there was a great earthquake, because an angel of the Lord came down from heaven and rolled aside the stone and sat on it” (Matthew 28:2).  God shook the very foundations of the earth in judgment in order to usher in a new age of redemption. And with that act, brought ultimate restoration to his people.

Today’s Reading  1 Kings 19:11; Ezekiel 38:20-23 Reflection  How do you respond when God’s hand of discipline comes upon you? Does it help to know that his purpose is restoration?
 
The best-selling Left Behind series has captured the attention of millions of readers, and it has changed lives. It has brought millions of believers the motivation to examine their hearts. Are you ready to embrace eternity? Live each moment as if it could be your last? Your future is more important than your past. Where you are going matters more than where you have been. What you do from this day forward means much more than what you have already done. You may be affected by your past, but you are not defined by it. Not in the eyes of God. What does it mean to embrace eternity? It means grasping each breath as if it could be your last, living life moment by precious moment with your feet planted firmly on earth but your heart aimed squarely at heaven. It means learning to embrace the role of dual citizenship—living in one world while belonging to another. It is a lifestyle of living like there’s no tomorrow and then dying so that your real life can finally begin! This 365-day devotional explores the themes introduced in the Left Behind series—themes of salvation, grace, obedience, and faith. New believers as well as mature believers will find a message of faith that will inspire and motivate daily.