There Is One I Seek To Impress

Many years ago, as a result of a trip to India, Netherlands, and Israel, the mileage boosted me to Silver Elite member status and qualified me for free upgrades to first class. On a Continental flight to minister in San Diego, I got that free upgrade. Little did they know I was a “poor” missionary whose miles were from mission trips. The other passengers and the stewardesses treated me like I was one of the elite. (Karen had insisted I take the first class seat since it was earned from my previous mission trip. I would occasionally go back to visit her and ask how my “peasant” wife was doing.) About halfway through the flight a stewardess from economy class brought me a special vegetarian meal and asked, “Are you Bill Rudge who was assigned to economy class seating and requested a special meal?” Everyone in first class stared at me like I had leprosy.

Although the perception of the other passengers in first class did not concern me, there is ONE whose opinion I am greatly concerned about. He is the One for whom nothing is hidden. He is the One I will one day stand before and give an account of my life. That is why I strive to live for Him with all my heart and live each day as though it may be THE day I go to meet my Lord. ~ Bill Rudge

“Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, let not the mighty man glory in his might, nor let the rich man glory in his riches; but let him who glories glory in this, that he understands and knows Me, that I am the LORD, exercising lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness in the earth. For in these I delight, says the LORD.”
Jeremiah 9:23-24

Wake Up and Watch!

Bill Rudge Ministries received a letter with prophetic perception from Mrs. Valerie Graves, a pastor’s wife from upstate New York, who has read much of what Bill has written over the years, finding the teaching insightful and encouraging. Valerie described her and her husband’s adventurous trip to California, visiting their daughter who is pursuing a PhD at Berkeley. They enjoyed sunny skies and cool breezes as they toured the San Francisco Bay area and surrounding sleepy beach towns. One moment they were relaxing in the lap of luxury and the next they were fleeing for their lives as wildfires ravaged the area.

Some of Valerie’s thoughts:

We were to end our time in California at a lovely house on a vineyard in Sonoma Valley with a spectacular view of the surrounding area. We drove up a long driveway through a vineyard. The front lawn was meticulously landscaped with pathways leading to the front porch where welcoming rocking chairs awaited. There were pomegranate, lemon and apple trees. The inside was gorgeous with large windows to enjoy the beautiful view. It was difficult to take it all in.

That night as I was falling asleep I remember hearing the wind outside picking up, leaves blowing against the window. My husband Charlie and I woke up at five in the morning and went downstairs to make coffee. It was still dark outside. Just as Charlie was reaching for the pot of coffee there was a loud banging on the door. Clearly something must be wrong. Then I heard shouting, “Wake up! Quick, you need to leave now. There is no time to waste.” Within five minutes we were in the car heading away from the beautiful house on the vineyard. As we headed slowly in the opposite direction of the fire in a line of traffic, we could see the sky aglow with the fire which was close.

It was a scary night, and the moment when I realized how serious this fire was, the Lord pressed on my heart to “go back and warn My people.” It became clear the fire I was seeing was a picture of the impending judgment and that it would come suddenly and unexpectedly to all those on the earth who are living lives in the lap of luxury.

Though we don’t see ourselves as rich, we are! We have our own homes, heated in winter and cooled in summer; we sleep on our comfortable beds and wake to warm water to bathe in and food in our cupboards to eat…Food we buy from a local store that we drive to, by the way, in our heated or cooled vehicles. We get to select the foods we enjoy (if we don’t feel like preparing it, we simply call and order our dinner) or go to a restaurant where someone brings us our food, chosen from the many options on the menu. We take breaks from our relatively easy jobs, for which we are well compensated, to go on “vacation” from our easy lives. We entertain ourselves with movies, games, shows and shopping. We paint and redecorate our homes when we become bored with them. We have so much that we have garage sales to pare down our “stuff” that has gotten out of control. We run to the doctor when we don’t feel well and our health insurance pays the tab for testing and medicine. We have gym memberships to get the exercise we need because our lives are so “cushy” we get out of shape.

Living in all this ease, it is difficult for us to imagine that judgment will come and we will hear that sudden alarm:

At midnight a cry was heard: “Behold, the bridegroom is coming; go out to meet Him!” (Matthew 25:6) and “Remember Lot’s wife.” (Luke 17:32)

The Lord loves each one of us and wants us to be ready when He returns, suddenly and unexpectedly for His Bride, before He judges this world. Heed the warnings He provides through His Word. Do not prefer this world with all of its allure; the things that are coming to an end. Wake up and watch! Be ready and waiting for Him! Pray for each other and pray for the Lord to open the eyes of our unsaved loved ones. Flee from the wrath to come. Don’t look back. I sincerely believe the Lord is about to return for His church and it is His desire we all be ready! The finish line is in sight.