The Disastrous Hurricane Called Harvey

The Hurricane that no one is apt to ever forget, at least those who experienced it in Houston, continues on its rampage. The remains of Hurricane Harvey continues dumping record-breaking levels of water on the city and its surrounding areas, it looks like rescue attempts of thousands continue around the clock, using both air and water craft.

The area in an around Houston, reports USA Today, has received as much as 50 inches or more in some areas – which is a record from a hurricane. In one day, more than 3,000 people have been rescued. They are receiving more than 1,000 calls each hour. The Police and Fire Departments, as well as the National Guard, all have their hands full trying to save people during this disaster.

The water levels continue to rise, and this has led to water either overflowing some levees, or deliberately being released to control the amount of water flowing downriver. No relief from the rising water is expected. Another 12 inches (could be as much as 20 inches) is expected before the event from Hurricane Harvey is over.

A problem is that the roads out of town are blocked due to water, or from stopped and abandoned cars. With water levels rising, many people are panicking.

Shelters are open and government officials believe that as many as 30,000 people will be in them, says CNN. As many as 450,000 people are expected to need assistance from this disaster.

Of course, once the waters begin to recede – in about a week – other problems will begin to arise, reports the Washington Post. Besides having to watch out now for snakes and alligators in the water, and fire ants, afterwards there will be an increase in disease, black mold, and mosquitoes.

By now, many people are wondering why is this happening and what is God doing about it? While I certainly cannot say I know all the reasons, I want to invite you to get my eBook called “Finding Bible Answers to the Troubles of Life,” showing how God uses some disastrous events such as this to His own glory. In many cases, it is the only way He can get the attention of some people – and of a nation.
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Have you read this post? God, Hurricanes, and the Promise of Ultimate Good.
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Keywords: Houston, Hurricane Harvey, rescue, shelters

The Necessity of the Unique Birth of Christ

Birth of Christ - in the MangerIsaiah 7:14 “Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.”

People everywhere love cute babies. Years ago, there was One Baby that was unlike any other. Jesus was that unique Baby. It is His unique birth and life that Christians celebrate each year around this time. Christmas is a time when people are reminded of what God did in order to save the human race, and God’s perfect plan started with a little Baby in a manger.

The above prophecy in the Bible concerning the unique birth of Christ was given about 700 years prior to Jesus’ birth. It is important because it reveals how God was going to save mankind. Her revealed exactly what He would do a little at a time and this verse is an important one. Without Christ’s unique birth, no one could be saved. God was going to cause a woman – a virgin – to conceive without the aid of a man.

Why was this so important? The Bible gives us three main reasons:

  1. Because all mankind has sinned, and we all must answer for our sin.

Romans 5:12 tells us: “Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned.” Notice that this verse specifically states that there is a curse of death on all men, and apparently, the sin nature was passed from parent to child through the earthly father. Therefore, if Christ had a sin nature, He would have had to answer for His own sin – and could not have saved anyone else in that case. The Virgin Birth eliminated this problem.

  1. Because only God could pay such an eternal debt for all of mankind.

We are told this in Isaiah 53:6: “All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned everyone to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.” This verse declares that God would put the penalty of all our sin on Christ, and He would pay for them all for us. This picture was continually repeated as the sacrifice of the lamb in Bible times.

  1. Because God was going to come Himself and be born of Mary.

Notice that the Name of this Child will be Immanuel, which means “God with us.” This Name was repeated in Matthew 1:23: “Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.”

The text verse (Isaiah 7:14), makes it very plain that Jesus Christ was no ordinary man. When people ask Who is Jesus Christ?, the Bible answers with a very clear statement that He was God, born of a virgin, to become a Sacrifice for us all. He was God, but He received a human body from Mary, and He became the God-Man so that He might become our Savior.

Now that He has done everything necessary for your salvation, it is left up to you to receive this great gift from God. God tells us, in John 3:16 that: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” No matter what other gifts you might receive during this Christmas season, there is no greater Gift than the One God has given in Jesus Christ. You need to receive it today. Confess your need to Him that you need saving and forgiveness, and call on Christ today.

If you would like to learn more about what Christ did and the salvation He provided for you, be sure to download my free booklet entitled: How to Be Saved and Know It (no log-in required, PDF). It explains Bible salvation in clear detail.

Merry Christmas,
Mike Valles, Evangelist

Words of Thanksgiving

Psalm 69:30 “I will praise the name of God with a song, and will magnify him with thanksgiving.”

David was a man that was very thankful to God. Before he was king, though, he had a very rough life under King Saul.

David was determined, though, to keep on giving glory to God for His working in his life. Although there were many blessings and hardships, David did not allow them to make him bitter.

Did you read the part of the verse where he had a song? It was a song of praise, too. Many of these Psalms were written while he was going through times of hardship. Yet he was determined to be always thankful.

Being thankful to God helps us to remember that although circumstances may not always be to our liking, God is still in control. We can certainly thank Him for that.

There are many things that I am thankful to God for in this year. It has been a little rough for me as well, but my God is good to those who love Him (Romans 8:28).

Among many other things, I thank Him for:

  • A Savior Who can take me to Heaven.
  • A church that is like a family.
  • A Bible that leads me and offers many promises.
  • A free country that I believe to still be the best in the world.
  • My family and friends.
  • Opportunities to minister the Word of God.
  • The opportunity to work.
  • The health I do have (underwent cancer surgery in mid-summer).
  • And many more.

Like David, I also know that God is good and He does put a song in my heart, too. The song is especially there when I praise Him and am thankful – for all things. Praise His Name!

Bible Promise for the Day – The Way to Truly Make America Great Again

God's Promises Are Ever Faithful
God’s Promises Are Ever Faithful

Joshua 26:3-9 “If ye walk in my statutes, and keep my commandments, and do them; Then I will give you rain in due season, and the land shall yield her increase, and the trees of the field shall yield their fruit. And your threshing shall reach unto the vintage, and the vintage shall reach unto the sowing time: and ye shall eat your bread to the full, and dwell in your land safely. And I will give peace in the land, and ye shall lie down, and none shall make you afraid: and I will rid evil beasts out of the land, neither shall the sword go through your land. And ye shall chase your enemies, and they shall fall before you by the sword. And five of you shall chase an hundred, and an hundred of you shall put ten thousand to flight: and your enemies shall fall before you by the sword. For I will have respect unto you, and make you fruitful, and multiply you, and establish my covenant with you.”

There has been a lot of talk lately about making America great again. Yes, our country has certainly seen some slippage lately, but not necessarily due to the reasons that some would think.

The primary reason is because America has forgotten the One Who made it great in the first place. God has power to raise up a nation, to bring it down, or to let it bring itself down due to forgetting Him and moral decadence.

In the above verses, God promises to bring about many great blessings to the people who serve Him. It is not science or technology that brings the blessings, although those things are certainly helpful.

There are several blessings that God directly promises in these verses:

  1. Rain for the crops
  2. Bumper crops
  3. Food in abundance
  4. Safety and peace in the land
  5. Few wild animals – think packs of wild dogs!
  6. No enemies destroying in the land
  7. Military superiority

As I look over this list, I find that America had all these things at one time. There certainly was a direct correlation between church-going and blessings. Of course, the greatest blessing is salvation through Christ – knowing about it and being transformed by it.

What are the conditions of making America great again, according to these verses?

  1. Become one of God’s children (salvation)
  2. Choose to obey God daily (a choice must be made)
  3. Keep His Biblical principles (don’t just talk about them)

Any politician that wants to see America become what it could be must not only decide to follow these principles, but they must also choose to lead America toward that goal! Then and only then, will America begin to be in the place where God wants to bless it again. Until then, as our verse reveals – He does not “respect” a people who will not love and serve Him.

Will you be one who will follow God’s principles for personal faithfulness to Him? Are you saved? Revival, or a return to God that He may bless, begins with you today.

Bible Promise for the Day – Making God’s Power Known

God's Promises Are Ever Faithful
God’s Promises Are Ever Faithful

Psalm 106:8 “Nevertheless he saved them for his name’s sake, that he might make his mighty power to be known.”

Israel had once again gotten into a place of trouble. They had forgotten what God had done for them in the past and now they were in despair.

As the Psalmist recalls what led to Israel’s troubles in the wilderness, we see that in spite of their short-sightedness, God acted anyway. There is a “nevertheless,” in this verse that says that God did what needed to be done. He still cared for His own, yes, even though they had wandered away.

Why did God do it? This verse gives us two reasons:

  1. “for His name’s sake” – Whatever they did brought honor or dishonor to God, because they were called by His Name. The same is true today, Christians are called such because they are to be “like Christ.” In fact, that is what the word “Christian” means. What we do as believers is either bringing honor or dishonor to Him.
  1. “that he might make his mighty power to be known” – God was concerned that both His people and the world know of His power. Not just power to destroy, but also power to help, to heal, to keep, and to provide.

In Israel’s day, the next generation after they arrived in the land forgot His power. Many Christians also fail to see God working in their lives.

It does not need to be that way. If you stay in the Word, in church, and in prayer, you also can see His power working in your life and on your behalf. God does it so that you might praise Him before the unsaved that they might want to know and serve Him, too.

God is good to those who love and serve Him. He wants to make his mighty power known, but it will have to come through the lips of those that love Him.

Bible Promise of the Day – God’s Final Say

God's Promises Are Ever Faithful
God’s Promises Are Ever Faithful

Psalm 46:10 “Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth.”

Although the events that led to the writing of this Psalm are not clear, its message is very clear. It seems that it was in a day when God’s people were being threatened, and the writer of this chapter of the Psalms is reminded of a very powerful truth by the Lord.

The enemy looked strong, and they were coming, threatening Israel with battle and destruction. Whatever the actual threat, God reminds His people in this Psalm that He has won many battles before.

God then invites His people to consider what He has already done in the past to prove His power: “Come, behold the works of the LORD, what desolations he hath made in the earth” (Psalm 46:8). Not only has God destroyed cities and nations, but He also once destroyed the earth with a Flood.

The Lord’s unmistakable message to His people here is that no matter how difficult things may get, you need to have no doubts that He will set things right. He will fulfill all His promises. When the dust clears, He will stand again on the earth as Lord of all and His people will reign with Him!

God declares that you don’t even need to worry about it – it will happen. Victory will be His! Just stand back and watch, He says. The wicked, those who refuse to serve Him, will be removed by God Himself, and His people – as promised – shall inherit the earth!

Bible Promise for the Day – God, Hurricanes, and the Promise of Ultimate Good

God's Promises Are Ever Faithful
God’s Promises Are Ever Faithful

Romans 8:28 “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.”

By now, everyone knows there is a dangerous hurricane on the way. By the time you read this, Hurricane Matthew will have already caused considerable damage on the eastern shore of Florida. Thank God that there have been considerable warnings, and many people have decided to leave and head for somewhere away from the storm.

At this point, no one yet knows what damage it will bring to their homes and property, but it certainly is not looking good. The pictures of the damage in Haiti is enough to strongly encourage people to leave the area – at least those who can.

Naturally, people who know about or experience unusual storms like this will tend to wonder why God might permit it. It only causes a lot of damage and people get killed. At last count I heard about, there are more than 300 who lost their lives.

The Christian has the privilege of looking at things differently than the world does. It does not mean that it does not hurt, or that we can laugh through tragedies or problems. What Romans 8:28 means is that God has promised those who love Him and are serving Him that everything will ultimately work out for good.

Sometimes, it takes a while before the good can be seen, but the believer knows that it is on the way, and sooner or later it will be seen. Christian, when the storms come, thank God that He has given you such a promise, and then praise His Name for what He permits. Then, start looking for the good and seek to be a blessing to others who were also hurt by it.

When God permits storms to come into the life of His children, you can be sure that He is only trying to produce pure gold. The dross does not want to leave so easily, but a storm will often help. Don’t allow bitterness or complaining to creep into your speech. If you trust Him, keep on doing so, and let the praise keep flowing.

I have written a book just for these kinds of occasions. It is called “Serving God Through the Storms of Life.” Recently, I had surgery for cancer. Truthfully, I found that God is able to keep our hearts and minds through the valleys of life. He keeps His word.

I believe this book can help you if you are a Christian and are looking for Bible answers. I’d like to send it to you today.

If you are not a Christian but are also honestly wondering why a loving God permits such things, I also have a book for you. It provides answers from the Scriptures, and I believe it will help you understand what God is trying to do. That eBook is called “Finding Bible Answers to the Troubles of Life.”

You can easily get these books today. I offer both of them as eBooks.