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A Blaze of Glory
That day is coming, dear one... The day we shall see Christ as He is. At that final moment of earth's history for us, will He find us blazing bright with His message of love and hope?
I think of the maple trees across the street from our house. One autumn season, what a glorious display of red, yellow, brown and purple we were treated to when those leaves began to turn! When the evening sun came shining through the leaf-covered boughs, each tree seemed to be on fire.
When I was home, I enjoyed looking over at those glorious maples. I was a little sad when the last leaves fell and only skeleton-like arms were left silhouetted against the winter sky.
I waited for spring and new leaves on those trees, but the new buds never sprouted. I was shocked to see my neighbor cutting down the lifeless limbs and dead trunks.
How could trees that had been so beautiful just last fall be dead in spring? Someone explained to me what had happened: the trees sense when they are in their last season, and they pour all their remaining strength into one last spectacular display --
They go out in a blaze of glory!
Like nature, the Bible is full of examples of this final "blaze of glory." Think of Samson, whose entire existence was reduced to turning a grind stone for the Philistines, in his eternally dark, blind state.
Yet when he was brought into the Philistine coliseum to entertain them, the Bible says:
"And Samson took hold of the two middle pillars upon which the house stood, and on which it was borne up, of the one with his right hand, and of the other with his left. And Samson said, 'Let me die with the Philistines.' And he bowed himself with all his might; and the house fell upon the lords, and upon all the people that were therein. So the dead which he slew at his death were more than they which he slew in his life" (Judges 16:29-30).
At the wedding in Cana of Galilee, Jesus turned water into wine when the bridegroom ran out of wine. And his guests declared: "Every man at the beginning doth set forth good wine; and when men have well drunk, then that which is worse: but thou hast kept the good wine until now" (John 2:10).
Job had a full, rich life until tragedy struck him. Then he went through some of the most trying times ever endured by a human being, but he stayed true to God, and it was said of him, "So the Lord blessed the latter end of Job more than his beginning" (Job 42:12).
There is a tremendous lesson for all of us in this. Without a doubt, we are living in the last season of this old world. All the prophetic signs tell us time will soon wind down. In the short time left to us, we as Christians should be like the maple tree and prepare to end this final season in a blaze of glory!
Think of it! We're in the last harvest of souls this world will ever see before Jesus comes. Say not ye, There are yet four months, and then cometh harvest? behold, I say unto you, Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest (John 4:35).
Knowing the season, we must expend every resource and every bit of strength at our disposal to light up the world with the reflected glory of our Savior. Let us shine our brightest today... Show our truest colors now. There will not be another season.
Wife and mother, this may be the last month or week... or day you will spend with your family. Pour out your love on your husband and children. Husband and father, this may be your last opportunity to make your home a glorious place to live, full of joy and love and excitement. Do it now!
Dear friend, how can you go out with a blaze of glory? There are simple acts of kindness you can do: a heart-felt compliment, a word of encouragement, a friendly phone call to a lonely acquaintance. They may be little things, but like each individual maple leaf, they can fill your life-tree full!
Dr. Van Impe and I need your continued prayer support as we try to make this season of our ministry the most glorious of all and proclaim to the world: Jesus is coming soon -- perhaps today! The Scripture says...
For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord ... For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night (1 Thessalonians. 4:16-5:2).
Remember to pray for us, even as we pray for you. Ask God to give us so much strength, energy, vision and anointing that, like Job, the end of our lives will be greater than the beginning. As the Scriptures tell and as the signs of the times clearly show, the coming of our Lord is at hand. Let's rise to meet Him in joy and triumph, going up in a blaze of glory!