After The Storm

shipwreckSTUDY 4 OF 8 :           ROCK SOLID SERIES OCTOBER 2016      PASTOR BARRY                   THE GATHERING CHURCH

 FAILURE Colossians 1:13-14, 2:13-14             Last week we looked at how we were created to do the good works of God  (Ephesians 2:10). In fact, by His grace we were saved from the dominion of darkness for such a purpose, but what happens if we should fail in that task?  What if we  1.) Build our “house” on the Rock of Jesus Christ and follow Him 2.) Stand on His promises daily 3.) Seek to show others His way… and then get knocked on our butt by a storm of life?  Worse yet, what if we are the storm and our actions blow others off course?  What if we backslide in our faith and fall into sin? Worse yet, what if we were to make provisions for a sin that we enjoy?  What if we should utterly fail God in faithfulness?  Is God finished with us?  When we slip into the sea of sin will He leave us to drown?  After the storm, when we have failed God, will we be abandoned?

The answer is a resounding “no!” As a child of God, we will not be cast aside even if we should fail. The Apostle Paul tells us we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. That God forgave us “ALL” our sins, having canceled the charge of our (spiritually) legal indebtedness, which stood against us and condemned us”.

FORGIVEN (PAST, PRESENT & FUTURE) 1 John 1:8-2:2, Romans 8:1-17                                  One might well say, “Yes, I believe that I am forgiven for all my sins when I come to Christ but what about sins committed after I know better.  I mean, its one thing to slip into the sea and cry out for help, but it is another thing entirely to jump in against all instruction and then cry out again!”  Yes, it certainly is, but the Bible clearly teaches that your willful disobedience and stupidity doesn’t alter the promise of God.  “He who promised is faithful”. Hebrews 10:23

 The Apostle John reminds us that if we confess our sins that Christ will “forgive us of our sins and purify us from unrighteousness”.  He writes so that we “will not sin. But if anybody does sin” he reminds us that we “have an advocate with the Father—Jesus Christ.”  We have a dumping zone for our present sins in Christ.  Not that we are to continue in sin, however; we have advocate if we should:

Advocate (lit. Greek= Paraclete: One that pleads the cause of another.  Jesus used this same word to describe the work of the Holy Spirit in the Christian’s life.  He being the “Spirit of truth” lives within us  (John 14:15-17), He will teach us all things and remind us of all that Jesus said (John 14:26).  He will convict the world of sin (John 16:8).

The Apostle Paul tells us that God will not allow us to be tempted beyond what we can bear but that He will provide a way out so that we can stand up under our temptations to sin.  That “way out” is through the power and direction of the Holy Spirit.  If we should fail, or even fail others, God will not fail us.  He will forgive us as we confess our sin.  He will pull us back up out of the sea of our sinning and He will help us to stand once again on the solid rock of our salvation.  We may experience the bitter consequences of our sin but we will not lose our salvation. (1 Corinthians 3:12-15)  “There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” (Romans 8:1).  There will be earthly consequences, there will be      conviction (by the Holy Spirit) not to sin again, but there will never be condemnation for the believer ever again…Christ has dealt with that on the cross once and for all.

FORGIVNESS John 20:21-23, Colossians 3:12-14

Freely you have received, freely give.  Matthew 10:8

 What an amazing gift we who believe have been given.  We have been freely given this gift of forgiveness by Christ and so we are called to pass it on to others.  In fact, as the father sent Jesus to give us this great peace, He sends us to do the same.  There is great peace in knowing you are forgiven of your sins, peace that an unbeliever will never experience.

Jesus makes a strange statement in John’s gospel.  He appeared to His disciples who were locked behind a door and full of fear that the Romans who had tortured and killed their    beloved teacher and friend would soon be after them.  They were no doubt also full of hate and unforgiveness at the same.  Jesus appeared to them, breathed on them and told them to (temporarily) receive the Holy Spirit (the Holy Spirit filled the believers permanently after Pentecost once Jesus ascended into Heaven: Acts 1:8, 2:1-4, John 16:7).  Then He said “If you forgive anyone’s sin, their sins are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven”.  What could Jesus have meant by this command?  Jesus had authority on earth to forgive sins (Mark 2:10) has He passed that authority on to us?

When a Christian experiences the forgiveness of Christ and then passes it on to others who have victimized him or her, the power of the Holy Spirit is released in the most powerful of ways and people are saved!  Who could forgive being stripped naked publicly, whipped half to death, paraded through the streets while being mocked, then nailed to a cross and crucified?

Jesus did (Luke 23:34) and a thief on a cross (and a world of others) was saved as a result of His testimony.  When a Christian forgives salvation is proclaimed in the most profound of ways.  If a Christian does not forgive that door is closed.  Seek God to forgive those who have hurt you.  The Holy Spirit will help you do this.  It will free you and present Christ to one that perhaps no one else can ever reach.

We are chosen people, made holy (set apart as righteous) by Christ and dearly loved.  We are forgiven of all our sins; past, present and future.  We may fail at times but we are never a failure to Him.  We may have failed others, but we are forgiven by Him.  “There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” So forgive as the Lord forgave you.

Christians…vote!

The votlikehellliberal media misdirects the masses like a master magician while one of the worst presidents in American history endorses one who will be a worse one still.  America, as we know it, is on the brink of destruction; meanwhile, fifty million Christians bicker over the political correctness and worldliness of voting for the only alternative.  Don’t tell me that a Christian can’t vote for a president who privately talks about grabbing a woman’s private parts (eleven years ago) or legally didn’t pay taxes for eighteen years under the current tax laws.  Most “Christians” stayed home and didn’t even vote during the primaries when there were more candidates to choose from.  Most “Christians” don’t even read their Bibles, let alone vote or live according to the principals of Christ that are written in it.  Christians need to vote in this election (all elections) as if Hell is rising because it is, and “Christian” apathy and hypocrisy is the reason for its ascent.

How can any Biblical Christian vote for a woman who stands on a mountain of aborted babies while proclaiming that she is a champion of children? (Exodus 20:13, Psalms 139:13, 16,  Proverbs 24:11-12) How can any Christian vote for a woman who has taken millions of dollars worth of donations from world leaders who advocate the abuse of women, children, Christians and Jews.  How can any Christian vote for a woman who has been revealed time and time again as a liar (Exodus 20:16, Proverbs 19:9). One who has lied multiple times to the Department of Justice, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and to the American people.  One who has lied about thousands of e-mails, classified documents, Clinton Foundation donations and pay to play deals with foreign governments.  This is the former Secretary of State who denied over 600 requests for help from American Ambassador, Chris Stevens in Benghazi, Libya.  This is the woman who supported the “stand down” order for a military rescue of the same.  That embassy was attacked and burned while four Americans were tortured to death there.  This is the same woman who refused to call that tragic event “an act of radical Islamic terror” for the sake of her politics.  Before the nation and the world she and her president blamed the attack on a slapstick video made by amateur American film makers.  When the truth came out, Hillary Clinton said “What difference does it make?” Apparently, it makes no difference at all to the millions of American people who are voting for her.

Christians need to stop expecting Donald Trump to act like a church elder.  He isn’t!  They need to stop expecting him to be a politically correct politician.  He isn’t one!  He is an extraordinarily successful business man who has employed millions of Americans of which many are women in some of those highest paid positions.  Donald Trump is not a great orator or debater but he is bent on “Making America Great Again”, and frankly, America has been in decline.  Fiscally, morally, and spiritually in decline, and if you are a Christian and cannot see that decline then you are likely backslidden yourself and need to repent.

The fact is that this election is about more than two different personalities.  This election is about two different agendas and the administrations that will carry them out.  This election is about upholding the constitution of the United States or rewriting it to fit a more liberal agenda.  The next president will determine the direction of our Supreme Court for a lifetime of terms.  What will happen to our right to free speech, our religious freedoms, and our right to bear arms?  Will it even be politically correct, or legal for that matter, to one day to call ourselves “Christians” in Hillary Clinton’s America?

It is officially the countdown to November 8 and that day will reveal not only how America voted, but how Christians voted… fifty million of them to be exact!  That number is enough to choose who our next president will be.  Those Christians that chose not to register to vote,  or those Christians registered who choose not to vote, will have voted for Hillary Clinton by default.  We registered Christian voters who go to the polls will push the vote of one of those candidates into power.  No matter how you slice it Christians…you are responsible for the election of our next president of the United States and God will hold His people responsible for the outcome.  (Ezekiel 33:1-11, 2 Chronicles 7:14, Romans 1:18-21, 28-32,2:5-6).

Christians need to vote in this election as if Hell is rising because it is.  Christians, please pray with me and vote on November 8.

Light of the World

 STUDY 3 OF 8 / 2lighthouse3016   PASTOR BARRY/  THE GATHERING CHURCH

LIGHT of the WORLD John 1:1-14, John 8:12, 9:4, Matthew 5:14-16.                                     Jesus is called by many names throughout the Bible, today we will look closely at one of those names which He called Himself.  (to see a list of Jesus’ names throughout the Bible and their references go to http://bibleresources.org/names-of-jesus/ )  What makes this name of special interest is that he named His followers the same thing.  This name is “Light of the World”. 

Firstly, The Apostle John introduces Jesus as the “Light of the World” in the first chapter of His gospel.  John explains clearly how Jesus came as a light into the world and makes it clear that John the Baptist was not the “Light” but came to proclaim Jesus as that light.

 Next we find Jesus introducing Himself by this name in John’s gospel and explaining that anyone who followed Him “would never walk in darkness, but have the light of life.”  Jesus was speaking here of spiritual truth being light (You will remember that Jesus also said that He was the way, the truth and the life and that no one could come to the Father except through Him. John 14:6).

In the very next chapter of John’s gospel,  Jesus healed a blind man and afterward He     proclaimed once again that He was the “Light of the World.” He also told His disciples that while it was “day” “we” (including His disciples) must do the works of “the one who sent Him.” He added that “night” was coming when no man could work.  Jesus was speaking of light as being spiritual truth once again, but this time He exclaimed that there was a time limit on proclaiming that truth and included His disciples as workmen that needed to help Him.

Lastly, In Matthew’s gospel, Jesus proclaimed that we, His followers, are the “Light of the World”. In verse 16 He also tells us about the “work” that He expects His followers to do.

Make no mistake…Jesus is the only spiritual truth in this world. He, like a lighthouse torch, illuminates the path of everyone who follows Him. He also ignites everyone who confesses Him as Lord and expects that they become lighthouses in this world to people too. We must work while time allows, for that time will come to an end.

“I have come into the world as a light, so that no one who believes in me should stay in darkness.”  John 12:46

Work! Colossians 3:23-24                                                                                                                    What good would a lighthouse be if there were no workers in it?  What good is a church in a community full of darkness if it is filled with people who will not display God’s light?

 In our last two lessons we have learned firstly that Christ, the Solid Rock, must be our foundation in life and the master architect who directs us as we carefully build our lives.Secondly, we learned that we must stand on His promises as we build our lives and face the obstacles that come our way…”He who has promised is faithful”.            Hebrews 10:23

 Notice… Step one and two require work on the part of the believer.  Building is our job and holding onto God’s promises in the face of trials is too.  Remember … Christ has given us a firm foundation but we must build and we must stand.  That work is not without a purpose… we must also work with Him to be a light to those lost in the worldly sea of sin. Jesus has made us a lighthouse…so shine!

 In 1 Corinthians 10:31 we read that whatever we do should be to His glory. The term glorify means “to give an accurate representation.” Therefore, work done by Christians should give the world an accurate picture of God in righteousness, faithfulness, and excellence. The work that Christ invites us to do in John 8:12 is just that kind of work. Although we will certainly do work for which we are paid and make our livings from, the work of the evangelist is every believers job.  We are all to shine the light Christ gave us and bring His truth into this dark world.  Everything we do is to be done as “unto the Lord”. 

The command to witness is given to all followers of Christ…  Acts 1:8 reads, “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” This verse gives a command from the risen Lord to all his followers. Jesus also     reminds us, “Everyone to whom much was given, of him much will be required” (Luke 12:48). We have been given no greater gift than the gospel, and we have no greater stewardship than to share that message of good news with others.

Grace Ephesians 2:1-10                                                                                                                      Some might say, “Now wait a minute!  I do not have to do any work as a Christian because I am saved by grace!” As you will clearly see by the passage that has that very phrase in it, we are not excused from the work of sharing the gospel. In fact, it is God’s active grace in our life that compels us to do so.  As the passage concludes, we see that “good works” is the very reason for which we have been created.

Freely you have received, freely give.  Matthew 10:8

Lighthouse John 3:17-21                                                                                                                   Jesus said in John 3:19 “And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil.”

When a person has died the working day of the gospel is over.  What has been said and done is final.  When the end of an unrepentant sinners life is over, darkness falls and “no man can work” (John 9:4).  That is why we, under the guidance of Christ, must do the work of the evangelist now.  He is our great lighthouse and He has called us to be lighthouses to this sin tossed world.  Build on the Rock, Stand on the Rock and let your light shine from the Rock into the dark sea. 

Standing on the Promises

jesusstorm

STUDY 2 OF 8 / OCTOBER 9, 2016   PASTOR BARRY BRUCE             THE GATHERING CHURCH

Wake Up! Matthew 8:23-27,        Mark 4:35-41, John 10:10-11

“Wake up, wake up!”  Have you ever wanted to scream that phrase out in God’s ear, concerning a predicament that you found yourself in?  Maybe this sounds sacrilegious to you, but is it really any different than saying (or thinking) “where is God in all of this”? The first phrase is certainly more personal and direct, and this was closer to the words that the disciples used to call Jesus out in their stormy predicament.. Matthew’s account of that    incident is rather subdued, but Mark’s is a bit more telling.  The disciples actually assumed that Jesus did not care if they lived or died.  They were outraged that He was at rest while they were filled with terror. Have you ever assumed that God didn’t care about you?

 First of all let us consider the storm that the disciples found themselves in.  It was at night (Mark 4:35) and it was a bad one! It was so furious that waves were breaking over the boat and filling it with water.  Secondly, let us consider Jesus…He was sound asleep in the back (stern) of the boat, curled up on a cushion and fully at rest.  He obviously had fallen asleep earlier when the waters were calm and had been sleeping for quite awhile.  He’d had a very busy day where large crowds had pressed against Him, He had healed a leper, a centurion’s   servant, Peter’s mother-in-law and He had driven out many demons from those who were possessed.  You might say He had earned His sleep. Lastly, let us consider the disciples and ask a few questions:  1.) How long did they endure the storm until they finally called upon Jesus? After all, a storm builds in intensity.  2.) Why, when they finally woke Jesus, did they immediately assume that He didn’t care about them? (after all, didn’t they witness Him all day long caring about everyone else?)  3.) Why did they assume that they were going to die?  The answer to all of these questions is why Jesus woke up to say: “You of little faith, why are you so afraid?”  And the answer to Jesus ‘question is “because you got punked by the devil!”  In other words the devil tricked the disciples into believing that God didn’t care.

1.) When should we seek God?  When the storm is raging or as it is building?  When should we read God’s word and pray, only in emergencies or daily as life builds?                 (1 Thess. 5:17)

2.) When we do pray (call upon God), are we to assume that God does not care or should we be encouraged by the history of all that He has done for mankind and me? (1 Sam. 12:24)

3.) Jesus (“the Good Shepherd”) said He came to give us “life to the full.” Only the thief  (devil) comes to steal, kill and destroy.  Why fear death when life has been promised?

Fear is not from faith.  Perfect love casts out all fear (1 John 4:18-19) Jesus is perfect love (1 John 4:8).  The more we know Jesus the more faith we have in Him. As faith grows      fear goes!

Faith Hebrews 10:23, 11:1, 12:1-2

When Jesus said: “Oh, you of little faith”, He might well have said: “Oh, you of         great fear”.

Faith, as the Apostle Paul said, “is the confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not seeHope, just as the house (life: Matthew 7:24-27) we build, must be built upon Christ and the promises that He secured for us as blood bought children      of God.

We must hold unswervingly to that hope in confidence, and we do not do so blindly, for there is a “cloud of witnesses” (the ancients: those of the faith who have gone on before us [see also Hebrews 11:1-39 ] including those in your own life who lived in Christian faith.) who have walked before us in that faith. The accomplishments of their lives testify to the one who is the anchor of our hope—who is the living Christ (Hebrews 6:19:20-21a, 1 Timothy 1:12).

Standing on the Promises James 1:2-8, Proverbs 3:5-6

When our life (house) is built on the solid rock of Christ and our hope is firmly anchored in Him, faith grows and fear goes.  Then, and only then, will the storms of our life (trials and testing) bring joy like the clearing of a storm brings a greater appreciation for calm seas and a clear sky.  The Apostle James, no doubt had the storm in mind that Matthew and Mark recorded in their gospels when he wrote his letter.  He surely remembered it well.  He    describes the one who doubts like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind.  He was once that double minded and unstable disciple: without faith, getting blown and tossed, terrified and yelling “wake up, wake up” to Jesus. “That kind of a person, says James, should not expect to receive anything from the Lord.” but they all did didn’t they?  Jesus calmed the storm and gave them all a lesson in faith and taught them the value of standing on the promises of God.  At least they knew who to call, and because of that in their weakness they became strong (2 Corinthians 12:9-10).  Practice trusting in the Lord with all your heart and stand on His promises.  He has come to give you life abundantly.

“A Bucket of Losers”, “A Basket of Deplorables” and “Trickle Down Trump”

Hillary Clintrumptargetton has a lot of names for people who don’t see things her way and some pretty evil ways of taking people out who threaten her plans for “global domination”.  When Bill was hideously horny in the White house, Hillary viciously attacked his victims and sought to drive them away in disgrace.  When complaining Ambassador, Chris Stevens, consistently requested help in Benghazi during a busy 2nd term campaign for Barrack Obama, she ordered (or upheld an order from the president) to “stand down” on a military rescue. Those four Americans gruesomely perished. Later, when being questioned on the details of the tragedy she and president Obama blamed the attack on a crummy little video. Later, she angrily rolled her eyes and shouted “what difference does it make” in a national court of law.  When Patricia Smith, mother of Benghazi victim Sean Smith, told the truth about the secretary of State’s lie to her about what happened, Hillary simply called her a liar.  Hard to believe Hillary now that she has been verified by the FBI as a blatant liar herself, but nonetheless, she’s an artful dodger to be sure, since there will be no prosecution for her on the thousands of classified documents she compromised or on the Benghazi cover up.  Now Wikileaks has more information on Hillary that reveals what she really thinks about Bernie Sanders and the Left.  “A bucket of losers” to go with “trickle down” Trump’s “basket of deplorables.”      

 Now Donald Trump has a target on his back and Hillary’s gang is shooting.  Granted, he painted it on himself like an adolescent jock in a locker room prank, but the bullets are flying. The latest video release clearly shows Trump to be a sexist pig-buffoon with a bad case of potty mouth.  It is inexcusable, except for the fact that we have Hillary Clinton on the other side of the coin.  A woman, who has seriously compromised national security, cost Americans their lives for her convenience and paved the way to pay out our tax dollars for the abortion of millions of children for the sake of other women’s convenience. She has made herself a millionaire by politicking with foreign diplomats through a non-profit foundation that has totally profited her.  I don’t know what we might hear or read if we could actually get access to the 30,000 e-mails or the five Blackberry phones that Hillary had her loyalists destroy.  We might hear or see some pretty racist, sexist, or even lewd remarks.  I suspect that there would be a whole lot more.  In fact, what we can clearly see is that there are a lot of people covering up for her.  That makes her more dangerous to America than the billionaire buffoon with a bad case of potty mouth.  At the end of the day, on November 8, the American people will have elected one of these two very flawed people to lead our country.  God help America!     

A Firm Foundation (The Three Little Pigs and Jesus)

ROCK SOLID STUDY 1 OF 8 /threepigswolf PASTOR BARRY BRUCE/  THE GATHERING CHURCH

  Three Little Pigs and Jesus Matthew 7:24-27, John 10:11-14

Once upon a time, there were three little pigs.  One day all three of them decided they would build a house.  The first two little pigs took the inexpensive, fast, and easy way; the first, building his house out of straw, and the second building his house out of sticks.  The third little pig took much more time, and spent far more resources and energy than the other two, as he built his house out of bricks.  The first two pigs had a lot of time to go over and make fun of the other one.  “Why work so hard you silly pig,” they taunted, but they had not thought about the dangers that were soon to come their way (have you?).

One day there was a knock at the door of the straw house of the first little pig.  It was the big bad wolf and he was demanding to be let in, but the little pig said, “Not by the hair of my chinny-chin-chin.”  And so, after a whole lot of huffing and puffing, the big bad wolf blew that flimsy house to pieces, and he had that little pig for lunch.  The wolf then went to the stick house of the second little pig, and that little pig’s house was also quickly destroyed and he was eaten.  Then, the big bad wolf went to the house of the third little pig, the one that the other little pigs made fun of; but the wolf could not destroy that solid and secure house.  Later, that wolf tried to climb down the chimney and landed in a kettle of boiling water,ending forever that big bad wolf’s huffing and puffing.

That is the story of the three little pigs, but it could also be called the story of the wise and foolish builders.  No one knows who first wrote the story of the three little pigs, but whoever did, likely got the idea from the words of Jesus in Matthew 7:24-27.

In both stories, there are wise and foolish builders, and both stories are, of course, pointing to greater truths than just how to build houses.  In both stories a house is used to illustrate being prepared for life and the huffing and puffing winds symbolize bad times, but only the anonymous writer of the fable calls his listeners “pigs” and defines bad times as an attack from a beast who wants to eat them.  Jesus never called us “pigs”, but He does refer to us many times as sheep (prone to wander and far more stupid than pigs).  Scripture also   refers to the Devil as a wolf (John 10:12) , a lion (1 Peter 5:8) and a dragon (Revelation 12:9).  The key to life survival here is in the “Big, Bad Wolf” story that Jesus told, found in the book of John 10:11-14.  You see, it is not possible for either pigs or sheep to build a proper house to resist the attack of a killer beast…only a “good shepherd” can do that!

Building your “house” 1 Corinthians 3:11-14

Jesus has given us an amazing offer…  He will be both our solid foundation (the Rock) and the manager (shepherd) of our house (life) if we will submit to Him.  That is why He says:

  “Therefore, everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is     like a wise man who built his house on the rock.”  

You build a solid life by not only listening to the words of Jesus, but also by putting them into practice. In other words Jesus must be the foundation that we build our lives upon as well as the manager of that building project if we expect His blessings.  Let us not forget that all of God’s blessings are conditional.  It is His love that is unconditional and not His rewards. Make no mistake about it…God will love us all the way to hell if that is the direction we choose to go. (2 Peter 3:9, John 12:44-48, John 3:16, Romans 6:23)

The Apostle Paul made this clear when he spoke to the early church leaders who were acting in worldly ways and therefore misguiding those who followed them.  He reminded them that God was responsible for the growth of their ministries and their dependence upon Him was everything.  He told them to “build with care” upon the foundation which he had preached to them—which was Christ.  He also reminded them that whatever they built up on top of that foundation “the Day” (judgment day) would bring to light and the builder would either be rewarded or suffer loss accordingly. (2 Corinthians 5:9-10)

Looking back at The Three Little Pigs… it wouldn’t have changed the story much if the first two pigs, who built their houses out of straw and twigs, had done so on a foundation of solid rock.  The wolf would have still come and blown them off of that foundation and ate them just the same.  The third pig would have been especially secure because his brick house would have been securely fastened to a foundation of solid rock. The picture of the lighthouse in these notes demonstrates the strength of such a well built house, but what if the third little pig had chosen to build that brick house on sand?  You see, it is vital that as you build your life (house) that you both build it on the foundation of Christ and build it up on the direction of His instruction. Our dependence upon Him is everything.

 One thing would change for all three of the little pigs if they had originally built upon that solid rock, because regardless of how foolish one may choose to build, God has promised salvation for those who trust their house (life) to Him. “The builder will suffer loss but yet will be saved”. Yes, a foolish builder will lose everything, but his eternal salvation remains     secure.  You see, the “Big, Bad Wolf” (the devil)  has done everything in his power to    destroy Christ , but that “Rock” is solid.  There is no other foundation like Christ!  Our hope as a Christian is not based on our abilities to build but upon the foundation on which we stand.  None the less, why build like a fool when you have access to the master builder?

The “Big, Bad Wolf” (the Devil)  1 Peter 5:8-11

In closing there is a warning little pigs… (I mean little sheep).  There is a “Big, Bad Wolf” seeking to devour us who have put our hope in Christ.  Actually, Peter describes him as a lion.  Jesus also calls him a “murderer”, a “liar” and “the father of lies” (John 8:44).  The Apostle, Paul said he masquerades as an “angel of light” (2 Corinthians 11:14). Don’t let him fool you, my friend, with his bad building plans.  He aims to eat you up.  The storms of life will come.  Build upon Christ,  the only sure foundation and build according to His direction… or prepare to be lunch.