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Showing content with the highest reputation since 01/29/2016 in Stories

  1. 4 points
    “ For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel—not with wisdom and eloquence, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power” (1 Corinthians 1:17, NIV). Many people view the Apostle Paul as one of the greatest preachers of all time. Certainly, Paul was instrumental in spreading the Gospel like wildfire throughout the region of Asia Minor. Paul, however, recognized that he was hardly the most eloquent of speakers, nor the wisest of men, and that the power behind his words was not in his preaching, but in the cross of Christ. At times, we might be hesitant to share the message of God’s love in Jesus with those around us. We might feel like we don’t know enough about the Bible or that we won’t have the right words to say. Paul destroys this notion as he recognizes his own limitations in speaking about Jesus, but he does it anyway. Again, the power of God is not in the preaching, but in the cross of Jesus. As a pastor, I sometimes have people compliment me on a particular sermon. As a Christian author, people will sometimes remark on the message of my writing. I must admit that I love the affirmation! Still, I recognize that these individuals are not ultimately responding to me, but to the good news of the Gospel. And, while you might think that that’s humility on my part, it’s actually honesty. There is power in the cross of Jesus. The message of the crucifixion changes lives and saves souls, and we are privileged to share it. Therefore, let’s be bold in our witness and in our less-than-perfect delivery. God will use it to change the world!
  2. 3 points
    “ ‘Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates’ ” (Deuteronomy 6:9, NIV). In Old Testament times, God gave the Israelites several commands, the culmination of which was, “ ‘Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength’ ” (Deuteronomy 6:5, NIV). God’s chosen people were not only to obey these commands, but they were to pass them on to their children and grandchildren. For this very reason, God told the Israelites to “ ‘Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates’ ” (Deuteronomy 6:9, NIV). In this way, the Law of God would be remembered every time the Israelites entered their homes. I find it interesting that the Law of God was to be written on the doorframes of the homes of the Israelites. For just prior to this command, the Israelite’s doorframes were written upon, not with the Law, but with the Gospel. During their captivity in Egypt, in an event that would become known as the Passover, the blood of lambs was spread on the doorframes of Israelite homes so that death would literally pass over these families. Time and again, both then and now, the Law of God is covered by the grace of God. Such grace is found in Jesus at the bloodied frame of his cross. For on the cross, the Lamb of God was put to death on our behalf. Our sins are passed over and we are free.
  3. 3 points
    “…He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him… Like one from whom people hide their faces he was despised, and we held him in low esteem” (Isaiah 53:2-3, NIV). A small picture of Jesus stood on the nightstand near my childhood bed. Long, flowing hair framed the masculine features of the Savior. The look of sincerity and quiet contemplation adorned his lips. His eyes were kind and focused, his beard perfectly trimmed. I would fall asleep each night under his protective gaze. Life was simple then, long before the awkward years of adolescence and the endless demands of adulthood. But with age came struggle and temptation, sin and brokenness. The foes of anxiety and depression became my constant companions. Loneliness, fear, failure, and doubt attacked my mind and strangled my faith. I needed a Messiah to invade my mess of a life, a Savior to rescue me from my sin and from myself. That’s when Jesus became the most real to me. I realized that there was so much more to him than an artist’s rendering recalled from my childhood. I recognized him, yes, as true God, but as one who had taken on human flesh, and with that, my very sin. I learned to appreciate his rawness, his untamable Spirit, his unkempt appearance, and his humanity despite his divinity. He became to me a Rescuer, who was not afraid to save me from the darkest, most remote places of my rebellion. He was not afraid to get his hands dirty, even bloodied over my sin. The realness of God dressed in human flesh and the ugliness of the cross causes many to stumble. But true beauty is found in both. And when we get real with him, he becomes real to us.
  4. 3 points
    So don't be afraid therefore; you are worth more than many sparrows. Matthew 10:31 (HCSB) As I am preparing this devotional, the price of gold is $1,467.25 per ounce. (Hmmm...I could use five ounces of it right now, but that is beside the point.) This price will go up or down depending on various economic factors that I will not discuss. Needless to say, gold is a valuable metal. Yet, there is one asset that is more valuable than gold. The value of this asset does not change with time. It is not platinum even though that is a reasonable guess. This asset is us. Us? Yes, us. Jesus makes it perfectly clear that we are more valuable than many sparrows. So, how much is a bunch of sparrows worth? It really does not matter. The key word in today's devotional verse is "are". We are highly valuable to God. So, how valuable are we to God? We are so valuable to God that He gave His only begotten Son Jesus Christ to be the ultimate sacrifice for our sins. Then, God raised Jesus up from the dead on the third day to give us all hope of eternal life if we choose to believe in Him. I encourage you to thank God for seeing you as highly valuable to Him. May God bless you today and every day!
  5. 3 points
    I started walking for exercise and had set a goal for myself that each time I walked I would go a little further. As I began walking this woman was coming towards me, and I was going to ask her, if she knew where the trail ended, but I decided not to, because she never looked at me, and didn't appear to be friendly, so I didn't bother and kept on going. I recognized the place where I stopped the last time and continued to walk. I believed I walked another mile and decided that I would stop. I stood there for a few minutes before I started to head home. As I was walking, the woman that I had seen earlier was coming towards me and this time I decided that I would ask her. I began by saying, excuse me Miss does this trail end or does it continue around the entire park? She responded that she didn't know and began to express that she tries to walk at least 15 minutes everyday. She then asked, how about you, and my response was that I try to go a little further each time. I thanked her and we both said to the other, enjoy the rest of your day. I continued to head home, and as I was walking I became thankful that I initiated a conversation. Then I remembered the Scripture that encourages us to show ourselves to be friendly. The next day I learned a very valuable lesson, as I reached the point that I stopped at the day before. As I continued to walk, and to my surprise I had reached the end of the trail. I began to praise the Lord for the lesson I just learned. You see, we never know how close we are to where we want to be. I am not saying that I was too tired or that I wanted to give up, but what I am saying, is this, that if I had just kept going I could have celebrated my achievement the day before. But nevertheless, the Lord is good! I believe He ordered my steps according to His Word, and allowed me to stop where I did, so that I would learn this lesson. We never know what God will use to teach us. My brother always says, "we have to see God in everything." I am learning how true this statement is. My encouragement to you, is keep going, because you will never know what lies ahead, and how close you are to reaching your goals or receiving what God has promised you!
  6. 3 points
    I thought I'd share with you a very special story that has become my annual post. It was read on a Christian radio program. May it bless you. Oh, and bring tissues! ***** The dark, gray skies overhead threatened an early snow. Rushing shoppers, all bundled up to ward off the cold, crowded the sidewalks, lost in their to-do list for Thanksgiving. Oblivious to their surroundings, no one noticed a small, shivering boy standing in front of the shoe store, his nose pressed against the window, barely dressed and only flip-flops on his dirty feet. However, one man did see him and stopped, dead still in his tracks, causing others to bump into him. He didn’t notice the bumps and grumblings, but he did notice the small boy because he had a son about the same age. Thinking how he would feel if this were his son standing there, barely clothed, the man quietly slid next to the boy, the man stood there for a moment, and then said, “They have some nice shoes here, don’t they?” “Yeah,” came the soft reply. “Which ones do you like?” “That pair over there…the cool running ones.” “Oh, I’ll bet you could run fast in those.” “Yes, sir. I sure could. Like the wind!” “You know, I have a little boy just about your age.” “Oh, yeah? I’ll bet he has shoes like that.” “Yes, as a matter of fact, he does. But I have an idea.” “Yeah? What’s that?” “How ’bout I take you into the store and buy you that pair of shoes?” The boy stood there motionless. After a few moments, with tears in his eyes, he looked up at the man. “You want…to…buy…me…shoes?” “I sure do. Your feet must be freezing and I’d love to buy them for you.” The boy couldn’t speak another word. The man took the boy by the hand and walked into the store. Finding the manager, the man described the pair of shoes and asked the manager to please get a pair in the boy’s size, along with some socks. Then, he said he and the boy would be in the restroom and would he please bring the shoes and socks in there. The manager gathered the shoes and socks and, upon entering the men’s restroom, found the man on his knees washing the young boy’s feet. “Can’t stick dirty feet into clean, new socks and shoes, now can we?” The young boy just stared at the man as he lovingly washed away all the accumulated street-dirt and gently dried his feet. Feeling he was intruding on a very special moment, the manager quietly placed the shoes and socks on the floor without saying a word and backed out of the restroom. After placing the socks and shoes on the boy’s feet, the man stood up, and with hands on his hips, said, “Okay. Let’s see how they look. Walk around.” The little boy couldn’t move. He just stared down at his feet that felt glued to the floor. He looked up, tears now streaming down his little face, and said, “Mister, are you Jesus?” The boy’s words took the man’s breath away. So overcome with emotion, the man could barely speak. Finally, he muttered, “No, son, I’m not. But I know Him very well. And this is a gift from Him.” “This is the greatest Thanksgiving ever. Would you tell Jesus thank you for me?” “Well, let’s go for a walk and I’ll tell you how you can do that yourself.” ***** May your thanks-giving be one for which others may give thanks! Thanksgiving blessings to you...Lynn
  7. 3 points
    Full Story with photos at https://tiaspage.com/my-story-pt-1/ I planned to climb out of my castle and ride my white horse to victory. To me, it sounded simple. Unfortunately, no one told me that a leap from the tallest tower makes for a great fall. I was born into a Korean-Japanese family. I think the best word to describe my childhood is: extraordinary. My parents met in Tokyo, Japan, and my dad fell madly in love with my beautiful mom. They were 18 years apart in age, but my dad was persistent in getting to my mom’s heart. Soon, they tied the knot and had over a dozen miscarriages before they had me at seven months, as the “miracle child.” My mom became a businesswoman and my dad, a high-ranking political leader for the Republic of South Korea. Unfortunately, things didn’t work out between them, and by faith, my mom remarried her long-lost friend from high school who was the youngest son from the Japanese Mafia Family. Fortunately for me, my parents remained great friends. My stepfather looked up to and respected my biological father. I loved them both and was their princess. My biological father was always on TV, and the whole nation paid great respect to him. His words were like gold in many people’s lives, though I never knew why till years later. My stepfather, on the other side, was a very handsome and powerful figure, too. Strangely, I looked very similar to both of them and people often couldn’t guess which one was my birth father. The unique life got me living in Taiwan, South Korea, and eventually, Hawaii. We had many properties. Our family friends who were famous and noble—including the presidents—would come over for parties at our homes. My friends, however, were only allowed to come over to three of our homes: one in Honolulu, the other two near the Paris Park and Hyundai Tower in Gangnam, South Korea. My life was above average, but not to the extent that some of my relatives were. To give you an idea, one of my cousins received an entire temple with a golden Buddha for her birthday. Still, I grew up with butlers, nannies, drivers, and bodyguards who treated me like a princess, and I indeed always got my ways. I was also protected from the outside world, but I desired my own freedom...
  8. 3 points
    My father was born in 1891, 12 years before the Wright Brothers flew. He lived his entire life in New York City from the horse-and-buggy era to the age of jet-airliners and tall skyscrapers – a very transformational period. I was born in 1946, and was the only child from my parents’ late-in-life union. Mom was 43 at the time, and they told me many times that I was a “surprise baby.” Dad was a respected supervisory mechanical engineer. He worked until 1954 when he was ruled disabled because of quickly deteriorating eyesight. As a young lad, he took me for outings on many of the city’s far-reaching elevated and subway lines. By the time I was 11, my father was no longer able to navigate the city and transit system on his own. But he still took me out exploring to both show and teach me. My father held his cane in one hand and my arm in the other, telling me how to get where we were going, and it was my job to get us there safely. It was a sight to behold – a youngster leading a blind tour guide on sightseeing trips! On the many forays around the city, I saw bridges, buildings, trains, railroad facilities, museums, ships, and a lot more. My blind father gave me a passion for railways and engineering, which led me into a very successful and enjoyable career. Photo - Stephen Sr. and Catherine McEvoy with “Surprise Baby” Stephen aka Me I was told little about Dad’s earlier life before my birth. But my father did share that he was put in an orphanage when he was just 4 years old, where he lived 10 years. There was never any mention of my paternal Grandparents James and Emily (Foster) McEvoy. And, in spite of asking many times, I never learned why my father wound up in an orphanage at such a young age. It wasn’t until many years after his death that I realized how great of a man and father he truly was, and I recently learned that I only knew half the story. My family gave me a DNA kit as a Christmas gift. It included a box, vial, instructions, and seemed high-tech and complicated. It sat on my desk for six months before I finally read the material, which turned out to be quite simple. I spit some saliva into the vial, completed a short form, put it into the provided box, and mailed it back for DNA analysis. Nothing complex at all. I had no idea what the DNA results would be. The only significant question I had about my heritage was why my father found himself in an orphanage at 4 years of age. A few weeks later, I received the results – Great Britain 45%, Ireland 34%, Iberian Peninsula 9%, Scandinavia 8%, and a smattering of other geographical regions. I also received a list of 159 possible 3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th cousins, but I never reached out to any of them. However, two of these relatives contacted me – David, the grandson of my Uncle Henry, and Patricia, the great granddaughter of my Uncle William. They both confirmed that my father was one of seven siblings. Interesting but nothing earth shattering. Then I raised the long-unanswered question whether they knew why my father wound up in an orphanage at a young age. They were surprised that I did not know about the family tragedy. Rather than tell me the gory details, they briefed me about the basics and explained how I could research the sad events for myself. I quite easily found the tragic story in many newspapers. I was shocked to learn that on July 6, 1895, my Grandfather James McEvoy, during a drunken rage, shot my Grandmother Emily in the head and torso. The shooting occurred in front of two of their children. The other five children immediately ran into the room after the gunfire. As reported in the New York Herald, “The seven children were screaming and yelling. The flat was in the wildest disorder.” James penned two suicide notes before the deed, but he yielded to the children’s pleading that he not turn the gun on himself. Police officers soon arrived and took James into custody. “Only the clubs of six policemen kept James McEvoy from being lynched by his frantic neighbors…” Emily was taken to a hospital where she died two days later. My grandfather was a premeditated murderer. The day after Emily’s death, James was being transported to court for legal proceedings via Manhattan’s Third Avenue Elevated Line. While handcuffed and waiting on the 59th Street Station platform, James pulled away and threw himself onto the track in front of the approaching train. He was mortally wounded and died in a hospital an hour later. Within three short days, my father and his six siblings (ranging from 2 to 19 years of age) violently lost both parents. James’ family helped the seven children transition through the aftermath of the terrible tragedy. The three eldest needed minimal assistance, while my father, the second youngest, wound up in an orphanage. I spent my entire career in railway operations and engineering, and it was bizarre for me to learn that my grandfather died in Manhattan after being run over by an elevated train, hauled much less by a steam locomotive. And I walked through the intersection of 59th Street and Third Avenue many times over the years totally unaware that such a horrific family tragedy occurred there just one long generation ago. Photo - New York’s Third Avenue Elevated Circa 1878-1895 before Electrification There are many events in life that we cannot foresee or prepare for, and learning this sad family history was certainly one of them. And yet, as terrible as the tragedy was, I felt prepared for the bad news to a significant degree. I accepted Jesus as Lord and Savior 54 years ago on simple blind faith, without thinking it all through. Almost immediately, I struggled with many “whys” – why God allows pain, suffering, disease, death, and dozens more. After 10 years or so of wrestling with God, I still could not understand or rationalize the human condition, and I gave up trying. I simply decided to yield and accept the Biblical explanations – we live in a fallen world where free will prevails, sin permeates, and stuff happens – both good and bad. While I still do not like or understand why things are the way they are, I stopped trying to make sense of it all. I reaffirmed my faith in Jesus and His Sacrifice on my behalf, and I also firmly embraced God’s Written Word, regardless of my feelings and unanswered questions. So, learning about my family’s tragedy did not jar or rattle me to any significant degree, but the sad story did slowly cut to my heart in a number of other ways. I have been unable to feel any sympathy for James McEvoy. He had a history of drunkenness and violence, and was arrested several months before the murder for attacking his wife Emily while intoxicated. I do have an immense empathy for Emily, who gave James seven children only to be slaughtered by him. The story generated much emotion in me about my father overcoming such a turbulent and tragic childhood, and excelling in life in spite of it. Dad never complained and never seemed sad, even after he went blind. Dad’s oldest brother William stirs even greater emotion in me, because he unexpectedly became the family patriarch at the age of 19. He stepped up to the plate, providing love and assistance to his youngest siblings. My father recounted that William visited him many times during the 10 years spent in the orphanage, after which William took my father home to live with him and his family during my dad’s teenage years. However, the greatest emotion and discomfort I have felt about the tragedy is not about James, Emily, William or my father, but about me. The story has reminded me about my sinful nature, failures and shortcomings. As strange as it sounds, I feel blessed, enriched and even healed by these sad introspective feelings. While I cannot change history, I can still change myself and also allow God greater control over my life. A touching side story to the tragedy was that the Plasterers’ Union of which James was a member contributed $150 towards the funeral cost. When adjusted for inflation, this is equivalent to $4,167 today – not a trivial amount. Considering that James was a drunken murderer, such a sizable donation was a remarkable showing of fraternal love, and also an important reminder that the Second Great Commandment to love our neighbor applies even when we hate what the neighbor did! The moral of the story may seem to be that before spitting for a DNA test, be prepared for the possibility of bad news. However, that is just a “catchy” title; the lesson is much deeper than that. There are many other far more likely possible tragedies that could befall us tomorrow, which would more greatly test and challenge our faith, and rack our emotions. The promises in Revelation 21:4 make clear that we currently live in a fallen world where bad stuff happens even to the best of Christians: “He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” (Revelation 21:4 ESV) The sheltered “bubbles” we live in might burst tomorrow. We could prematurely lose a loved one, have a heart attack, be diagnosed with cancer, or become paralyzed! I have seen these and other tragic life-changing events happen to the finest of Christians. Although rarely preached or dwelt upon, such sad possibilities are well-established Biblical truths. As much as I do not like or understand it, living the Christian Life still subjects us to significant risks and uncertainties every day, because we live in a fallen world. Every person deals with some measure of obstacles, problems and even tragedies in life. However, Christ’s sacrificial death and resurrection provide promise, hope, grace and power to rise above and overcome the worst of events. The larger moral of my family story is Before Going to Bed Tonight, Be Prepared. I am reminded of Ephesians 6:13: “Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm.” (Ephesians 6:13 ESV). And what is “being prepared?” Nothing more than trust and faith in Jesus Christ, not only for salvation, but also for all our tomorrows; and, obedience to the Word of God, and actively living out God’s desires and plans for our lives. Not only will this prepare us, these “actions of faith” (regardless of feelings) will also allow us to live victoriously.
  9. 2 points
    My life is just a pile of ashes Blown away in the wind every single day My life is just a big old pile of ashes Nothing ever seems to change! Until one day I met You You took the ashes and made something new You created new life within me And now my life is to serve you! My life is just a pile of ashes Molded and shaped and created new My life is forever changed By your Love, Mercy, and Grace Lord forever you I praise!
  10. 2 points
    How Do You See Yourself? “Then God said, ‘Let us make human beings in our image, to be like us. They will reign over the fish in the sea, the birds in the sky, the livestock, all the wild animals on the earth, and the small animals that scurry along the ground. So, God created human beings in his own image. In the image of God, he created them; male and female he created them’” (Genesis 1:26-27, NLT). Growing up, I always had a poor value of myself. I believed that I was a horrible person. I did a lot of bad things because of my drug and alcohol addiction: I stole from people, I lied to people, I used people etc. I did a lot of bad things, so I thought I was a bad person that deserved nothing but bad things. Even though that has been a long time ago, those memories still stay with me. I forget to remind myself that I am different from all other forms of creation. It is only human life that is called “created in the image of God.” God has given you and I communicable attributes. We have the ability to learn and increase our knowledge, we can reach a certain level of spiritual understanding, we can be very creative, if we seek it – we can become very wise, we can love, we can feel and show compassion, etc. God breathed His very breath into us. Even though I always had a poor view of my self-worth, looking back, there were others that were trying to remind me of who I am, and who they are. I was given second chances by people that should have wronged me, I was forgiven by those that I hurt tremendously, and I was shown love when I only reflected hate. This is that beautiful image of God and that beautiful Spirit working its wonders. I sometimes wondered how someone could be willing to forgive me so easily. When I understood the forgiveness of God, and how he had forgiven me, and what He had done for me – then it made sense to me. You must understand that we all need forgiveness! Every single one of us! I remember when my daughter Madison was just a little girl, maybe only 2 or 3 years old. She was so loving and so understanding and forgiving to be so young. I remember when I would let her down, she would sit in my lap and rub my hair and say, “It is ok daddy, you have pretty hair.” (Laugh out loud) I must put aside my anger, put aside my differences, and have that sweet child-like faith and compassion to be able to forgive in that way. Don’t we all? No matter how you see yourself, how you see others – we are created alike. We have been created in the image of God! We are all valuable and precious to God. Should we not all be willing to forgive? Be Encouraged, Chris 😊
  11. 2 points
    What is your name? It depends on who is calling you? Maybe you are called mommy, or daddy? Maybe you are dear, or honey? When the doctor calls, your ears hear your full name. When you hear which name someone is using, then that can tell a lot about the roles that exist between the people. The Lord has been known by many names. In the bible we see different references for the names we know Him by. One name was used in Daniel alone. This name was Ancient of Days. We find this in Daniel 7. Daniel 7:9 NKJV “I watched till thrones were put in place, And the Ancient of Days was seated; His garment was white as snow, And the hair of His head was like pure wool. His throne was a fiery flame, Its wheels a burning fire. Study light.org commentary discusses that this name Ancient of Days is about stressing the eternity of God. Oxford dictionary states that eternity means unending time. Ancient of Days is our Lord showing us that He is beyond time. That time has no impact for our God. He is not concerned as the days turn to years. He is not worried that task will not be completed. The clicking of the clock is just a background noise with no pressure on His actions. How does an eternal Father make a difference in our limited lives right now? We may have an expiration date on earth, but our prayers to the Lord do not. Prayers that reached the Ancient of Days is the one thing that will continue with Him, even long after they leave our lips. 1 John 5:14 NKJV Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. Daniel 7:9 gives a good visual of who our mighty God is? What if our prayer today was focused on this Lord who is eternal? Let’s take the time to reach out to Him. When we do, the words that flow from our spirits, can be spoken with a peace. A peace that they are given to the One who can hold our desperate cries. Our Father holds on to those heartfelt words, knowing that time itself will erase some of the pain of our prayers, and the other ones may be tied to time that only He understands. Ancient of Days is just another name in the role that our Savior has with us. When we have that time alone, what will change knowing that our Lord has a name that is beyond the passage of time. Ancient of Days, the God with no limits on time, please help us not be stressed with our limited time. Allow us peace, comfort, and perseverance when we feel overwhelmed with to do list, and deadlines. Proverbs 3:34 Toward the scorners he is scornful, but to the humble he gives favor.
  12. 2 points
    “I delight greatly in the Lord; my soul rejoices in my God. For he has clothed me with garments of salvation and arrayed me in a robe of his righteousness…” (Isaiah 61:10, NIV). There’s a man in my town. I drive past him on a regular basis, too uncomfortable to stop and have an actual conversation. He’s rough looking, unshaved, with skin worn and darkened from many hours in the sun. He appears beaten down and tired from the many miles he’s paced on this particular stretch of road. I imagine he has a story, that he would happily share, if only I would stop and listen, but I have places to go and people to see, who, quite honestly, I’d much rather spend my time with. The man is easy to spot – perhaps you’ve seen him as well – as he adorns himself with two wooden signs, one in front and one behind, tied together with two strands of rope that wear heavily upon his shoulders. The signs contain a crudely handwritten message that I can’t quite make out. He’s a walking billboard, but the only advertisement he’s promoting is his dire predicament. I really should stop, but I’m in a hurry. I’m late for work and people are depending on me. Maybe tomorrow I’ll have the time for a conversation, but if I do, I hope it will be brief and not too uncomfortable. I’ll die if someone sees me talking to this guy! As I drive by, I think for a few more moments about the man. His entire identity seems to be tied to this sign, tied to his body. I wish he could see his real self-worth, that he is loved by God, that he is forgiven, that he doesn’t need to be burdened by his past, his sin, or this sign. Rather, he has been clothed in righteousness by a God who loves him and a Savior who bore a cross for him. These are the words the man needs to hear. And maybe I’m the one who needs to tell him. But today, I am pretty busy. Maybe I’ll stop tomorrow or the next day. That’s what I’ll do.
  13. 2 points
    In the spring of 1985, I found myself at the doorstep of mom’s house. She was expecting me, but unprepared for the shock of her life. I had called to inform her that I was coming back home. I hopped into my car and drove the four and half hour trip. I was a physical wreck for it took every bit of strength I could muster up to complete the journey. I had the shakes and a severe hangover from the previous night. I cannot remember the last time I had taken a sober breath. I pulled into the childhood driveway, threw the transmission into park, and walked up to the front door. With my right hand, I reached for the doorknob, twisted it, and walk through the threshold. I was embraced with a loving hug followed by sobbing. The tears falling down the cheeks of her face were not joyful but terror. She did not recognize her youngest son because she remembered her boy being full of life. Bewilderment radiated through her expression, and she was devastated. I was one hundred and ten pounds and the skin on my face was sunken inward, giving the appearance of a sick and frail young man. I was speechless, hopeless, and desperate. I was only away from home for three years. I never thought it would end up like this. I was full of ambition, ready to take life by the horns. I had visions of prestige by planning to make a name for myself. I had a lot of good intentions. These should have been achievable goals, but the demons inside myself stripped away anything worthwhile. I was baffled, ashamed, and did not know where to turn. My parents agreed to provide me a place to stay under the condition I would seek help. I was willing and took them up on their offer. Mom knew of a counselor who specialized in alcohol addiction. So I contacted him. After the first face to face session with Mr. Barfield and just before leaving his office, he handed me a flyer with a list of twelve-step programs. He highly suggested I start attending meetings. I decided to choose one and did not know what to expect from the twelve-step program. I was scared. I cannot recall the topic at my first meeting. I continued attending and began to identify with the medical description of alcoholism. The way they laid it out made perfect sense because for the first time concerning my drunkenness there was a logical explanation. It spoke volumes, and as I looked back at the past, there was concrete evidence staring me between the eyes. Then came their hook, line, and sinker that would be the only solution to my predicament. God! That presented me with a major stumbling block because I was agnostic. There could be no God in this world riddled with evilness. I was highly offended by their seemingly shallow outlook. How could God do anything for me? Well, they said to me, just hang in there a little longer. Don’t give up before the miracle happens is a frequent slogan. Things did change. God began to work on me, and I gradually found faith. As a result, from seeking God a transformation began taking root, and I learned a lot about how He works. I came to understand that through trusting Him everything will be taken care of regardless of the current situation. The power I received from His strength allowed me to make amends for my wrongdoings as well as healing my heart. Even though I found the effect of God, I failed to maintain it and became complacent. I was content with the way my spiritual life was and started to slack off in my devotion. I did not realize the danger this type of view would bring. This blindness cost me dearly and after eighteen years of sobriety, I got drunk. I remember the moment I started using alcohol again was not wise. Everything God had done for me was tossed aside because I decided to get drunk. The insanity of alcoholism returned with a fury taking me places of degradation. I was in the grip of wickedness unlike any I had known. I was dying a slow and miserable death. God did not give up on me and continued calling me back. I finally heard Him after eight years of misery. He opened His arms, and I embraced Him. God picked up where He had left off and quickly showed me the light at the end of the tunnel. As I walked down God’s tunnel, He delivered me to His Son Jesus Christ and into salvation. I now know the Light at the end of God’s tunnel is Heaven.
  14. 2 points
    “What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?” (Romans 8:31-32, NIV). God often uses unique experiences to remind us of his care. Such was the case on a recent stay at my sister-in-law’s house in Nebraska. Through a downstairs bedroom window, I observed a baby robin that had fallen into the window well. The well was too deep for the bird to climb out and too narrow for it to gain enough momentum to fly away. I soon recognized that if the baby robin was going to survive, I would have to rescue it. I quickly devised a plan to scoop the bird from the window well. When I stooped down beside it, however, it began to chirp wildly in fear. Soon, I was bombarded by the baby robin’s family, who, unbeknownst to me, had been watching intently from a nearby tree. After rescuing the baby robin, I reflected upon my harrowing experience. The small bird had mistaken my best intentions at saving it for a desire to harm it. Had the baby robin only known that I was attempting to help, it would not have so vehemently resisted. Sometimes, we are like that baby robin. We find ourselves in some sort of predicament, often of our own making, and we resist God’s well-intentioned attempts to rescue us. We might cry out in fear, hurt, or rebellion, when, all along, God’s desire is to help us. May we truly recognize that God is for us, not against us, and that he cares for us in a much deeper way than I cared for that baby robin. May we cry out to him in heartfelt prayer, and may he rescue us from the deepest pit in which we find ourselves.
  15. 2 points
    Prophet Jonah the son of Amittai had his travel details cut out for him by the One who sent him – Go to Nineveh and preach (Jonah 1:2) . There was no mistaking about his destination and assignment. His destination was Nineveh, his assignment was to preach. Jonah knew which ship to board that would take him to the place of his destination and assignment. But Jonah did otherwise – He went down to Joppa to board a ship going to Tarshish (Jonah 1:3). The rest of what happened to Jonah is a story we all know too well. Many today are in the wrong ship sailing down in the wrong direction – wrong relationSHIP, wrong friendSHIP, wrong partnerSHIP, wrong courtSHIP, wrong fellowSHIP, wrong companionSHIP, wrong memberSHIP and several other forms of wrong ships. The more we go down into the wrong ship, the farther we go away from our divine destination and purpose. Brother Jonah was sent to Nineveh but he headed in an entirely opposite direction to Tarshish. There was no way that ship in which he boarded would take him to his assigned destination. Are you in the wrong ship? Am I in the wrong ship? Are you currently aboard the ship that is heading in the direction God has ordained for your life? Does it look like you are drifting away from the course God wants you to stay on? Have you deliberately plunged yourself, like Jonah, unto a destination of disobedience and sin? Are you in a ship with others whose destination and purpose are at polar variance with yours? How on earth do you intend to get to the shores of the Atlantic Ocean while you are on a bus heading towards the Sahara Desert? Now is it the time for you to jump ship and return back to port .Check your relationships and people you surround yourself with. Are they taking you farther away from God or are they adding value to your love for God and faith in God. Review your ship while you still can. “Walk with the wise and become wise, for a companion of fools suffer harm”. Prov. 13:20 Akin Ibimidu
  16. 2 points
    How can one be “dead to sin” (Rom 6:2) and yet continue to possess its source, which is the “old man” (Eph 4:22; Col 3:9)? It’s scripturally certain that “dead” does not intend the eradication of the sin nature, nor the effects of it, or the Spirit would not need to oppose it (Gal 5:17), and the Apostle Paul would have not discovered its continual indwelling (Rom 7). We are not said to be in the sin nature (Rom 8:9), but it is in us! The sin nature being “crucified” (Rom 6:6) within believers separates (“sanctifies” - 2Th 2:13) them from being “in the flesh,” i.e. not condemned nor dominated by the sin nature (Rom 8:1; 6:12, 14). The crucifixion power of the Lord Jesus is applied to the old man and separates us from the natural desire for sin, which is seen in our prominent motive to continue to “shun evil” (1Pe 3:11). Rebirth is transformation (Rom 12:2) from being dead in sin (Col 2:13)—to being “dead to sin” (Rom 6:2)! To “continue in sin” (Rom 6:1) is to desire and willingly serve sin, which is the only way one can respond in an unregenerate state, for there is no new nature to desire otherwise. The Divine Nature of Christ was not created, thus the believer’s “new man” is not Christ’s nature, which has always been, but a nature that was created “after” His nature (Col 3:10), i.e. not in similitude of His deity but in the imputation of His holiness. This nature is the indwelling “seed,” which is that part of us that “cannot sin” (1Jn 3:9). It is the Spirit via the new nature that God “works in you” (Phl 2:13), thus it is the new nature and work of God that keeps those reborn from ever again desiring to sin willingly (Heb 10:26). Paul demonstrates the indwelling of his new nature by the example of being a “captive to the law of sin” (Rom 7:23). The sense is that any sin committed by his old “I” is against the will of his new “I” (Rom 7:17, 20). Again, the most significant issue concerning deliverance from sin lies not in the possession of its source nor in the commission of its works—but whether or not it’s the willful desire of the soul to sin!
  17. 2 points
    Psalm 100 KJV...1...Make a joyful noise unto the LORD, all ye lands. 2...Serve the LORD with gladness: come before his presence with singing. 3...Know ye that the LORD he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture. 4...Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name. 5...For the LORD is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations. Church services today are quite different than they used to be. That does not mean God's presence is not in services but getting the congregation into Praise & Worship can be difficult because of the baggage we are bringing with us when we walk through the Church doors. We have a lot on our minds, life's pace has quickened to the point where we rush doing everything including getting to church. We are so focused with other things we forget we are entering the one place where everything we struggle with can be fixed and God is the fixer. Moses was chosen by God for His service but when Moses was in God's presence, his face radiated from the glow of God Glory. So much so that when the people saw Moses after his visit with God they were afraid. God is no one to play with but He loves us. In spite of what we do, God loves us. How fortunate we are to know that the God, who created us, provides for us, heals us and so much more cares enough about you and I that He sent His Son Jesus to die on a cross for us. And when Jesus died, the partition separating God from man and woman was torn from the top to the bottom so you and I can have access to God for ourselves. We don't have to sacrifice a ram, goat, sheep or any animal as a sacrifice to come before The God of All Creation. Jesus is the one who provides our eternal salvation to us by our accepting Him as our Lord and Savior. Imagine, eternity with the God who cared enough about you and I that He gave us His Holy Spirit to lead us every day into the right way to live, treat others, loving who the world calls the unlovable. God is worthy of our Praise because He opens doors for us that we would never be able to open by ourselves. God is worthy of our Praise because of the knowledge he gave man and woman to reach solar systems never seen before, controls every ocean known to man, reminds us daily that many of the medicines needed to cure us can be found in the plants and herbs that came into existence because He said "LET THERE BE". God is worthy of our Praise because the diamonds, gold, silver and other precious stones we admire so much have always been in the ground waiting for man and woman to find, mine and purify for us. God is worthy of our Praise because that old car we have or had continued to run even though the mechanic told us it was on its last leg and would not last through the winter. Now it is spring and it is still running. God is worth of our Praise because you and I are still alive because of the covenant relationship He had with Abraham. Each descendant of Abraham prayed that God would bless their family from generation to generation and He has. Our relatives we have never known prayed, God save my children, grandchildren through every generation and He has. God is worthy of your Praise because no bullets came into your car while you were driving, no fire or robber invaded your home, when you didn't have the money for the bill or food, God provided exactly what you needed. When you didn't have money for the medicine, didn't have money for your son or daughter's books, didn't have anyone to help you out of that tight spot you were in, He sent someone to you that blessed you with the money. Make a declaration today, when Sunday comes...you and your family walks through the church doors with an eagerness you may have never had or had and lost because of the world's issues we carry...walk into the sanctuary with your hands lifted toward heaven with Praise to God coming from your mouth. Make Your Joyful Noise as you walk down the aisle to your seat. Tell God how much you can't wait to serve Him with GLADNESS, not out of duty, not out of guilt, not because someone told you but because you are truly glad that the God of everything has been waiting on you to give Him your Praise.
  18. 2 points
    Nothing can be more edifying than to repose in the love of the Lord Jesus when it is known, and the heart set free to rest in it. The soul may have a long journey to reach it experientially; there may be needs and exercises to be met and removed on the way; the old man and the world may have to be learned; but the great end of all our exercises—and, I may add, of all our deliverances is that we rest in the thoughts of divine love, and that love becomes a very real way the portion of our hearts. If our hearts are not in the circle of divine love they have nothing, for as Christians we have no portion on earth or in the world (majority of mankind—NC); our portion is in divine love. Thank God!—it is a satisfying portion (Christ is our “inheritance” and we are His inheritance – Eph 1:11, 18—NC). For some years I thought that John 10 was written to make the believer sure that eternal blessing was secured to him. I rejoice to know that it does this, but there is far more to it than this. The Good Shepherd laid down His life for the sheep that He might have the joy of securing them for Himself and for His Father. The Father and the Son wanted the sheep for Themselves, and the death of Christ is the righteous title of divine love to take possession, and to keep possession of them (inherit—NC). They wanted a company whom They might introduce into the circle of divine love, with a nature suitable to the circle, and capable of appreciating and responding to it (Col 3:10; 2Pe 1:4 – man only is in God’s image and in whom only His nature dwells—NC). Much may have to be done for us. We shall need support, preservation, discipline. If we are left here a little longer we shall need grace, mercy and forbearance of God in a thousand ways, but all which will be needed in the future to keep us for the Father and the Son is small compared with the stupendous cost at which loved secured us. “Hereby perceive we love, because He laid down His life for us.” The Lord Jesus came from God alone, but He has gone to God as the Head of a new and blessed race (not even angels are in His image and nature—NC), and as the One who has secured everything for God. He is the perfect contrast to Adam the first, who came from God, secured everything for God, and went to the dust. The last Adam came from God, secured everything for God, and has gone to God as the glorified Head of a new race (only One presently in heaven with a redeemed Body—NC) brought into divine love in association with Himself, the Head of a new creation in which all the thoughts of that love will be effected and displayed forever. The Father has “given all things into His hands” (Mat 11:27; 28:18; Jhn 3:35; 13:3; 1Co 15:27; Eph 1:21, 22; Phl 2:9; Heb 1:2). Think of the greatness of it. The Lord Jesus stepped into the midst of all the ruin and moral chaos which sin had caused, and so secured everything for God that the Father has given in His hands. He has acquired the right the be Head of the new creation—to be the Center and Sun of that universe of bliss which He has secured for the Father, and which He will fill with divine glory. Those far-reaching realms of light and glory are fitly inherited by Him who has put them all in suitability to divine love. In such a circle our souls are lost, dazzled and bewildered. The expanse of divine gory is too great for us. We cannot yet comprehend divine greatness, thank God; the portion of our hearts is divine love. The saints are His own by the Father’s gift. “Thine they were,” says the Son, “and Thou gavest them Me” (Jn 17:6 – which was to show that of all Christ received was from His Father (v 7), to manifest love to us was first from His Father—NC). Before time began the Father took possession of us by making us the subjects of His gracious thoughts and counsel, and His purpose and object in thus taking possession of us was that He might give us His Son. (Conversely—NC) In the thoughts of divine love we are of such value as to be a suitable gift from the Father to the Son—a gift worthy of the Giver and the Receiver. We shall be forever the expression to the Son of the Father’s love for Him! — C A Coates (1862-1945) MJS devotional excerpt for February 4: “The believer can never overcome the ‘old man’ even by the power of the ‘new’ apart from the work of the Cross, and therefore the death of Christ is indispensable, and unless the Cross is made the basis upon which he overcomes the ‘old nature,’ he only drops into another form of morality; in other words, he is seeking by self-effort to overcome sin and self, and the struggle is a hopeless one.” -C.U. http://www.abideabove.com/hungry-heart/
  19. 2 points
    Pardon me, we won't go deeper into this, but we'll be trusting the holy spirit to help us along the way as we walk this life in Christ Jesus. First and foremost, it is the desire of our Lord Jesus to see us being restored back to our original relationship with God which we had once lost as a result of sin. Jesus bringing us out of sin and death actually isn't just for us to escape hell, rather it is for us to build a relationship with Him. He desires our relationship. And as we grow deeper in Intimacy in God, through His word, prayers and our lives lived in holiness as a living sacrifice, we then begin to experience more of His life. Every relationship begins small, but in time, as you persist in faithfulness, you become so close enough to know in details about that person and whatever such person plans to do, he reveals to you. So it is with us and God. We can't have a relationship with God, if we've not yet known Jesus in spirit, it is our acceptance of Jesus as Lord, that enables us have the holy spirit, which brings us into a relationship with God, through Jesus, by the holy spirit. Meanwhile, the only way we can build our relationship to hear from God is firstly, and always by the holy spirit. The holy spirit is the one who guides and advises us on what to do and how to draw closer to God. He's like a relationship counselor. If you're not closer to God, you can't hear from Him clearly, the reason why many forget revelations, is because they're not prayerful enough to trap spiritual message from God as a result of the flesh. And, as a result of being denatured by sin, we had once lost the spirit of God when we get back to Him. It is then by the holy spirit given to us on acceptance of God's word ( Jesus ) we're being taught and governed on how to please God. We must do everything to spend time in God's word to be filled with the holy spirit. The more you spend time feeding on God's word, meditating on it slowly, attentively and repeatedly, the more you're being filled with the holy spirit. And the more you're being filled, the more you're being drawn closer to God. You then begin to have encounters, like revelations, visions, or even see Him face to face. He does as He wills. Now we know the main helper of our hearing from God is the holy spirit, let's get to the basis. And oh, don't forget to pray to sanctify your heart for the holy spirit to remain. The first hearing of God begins in our heart. Actually, God only speaks to us in our heart as the contact point and so we must put our heart in order for God to come in, we must be sanctified through the word and constant prayers. Now a pilot wouldn't want to land a craft on a dead runway, it has to be cleared of every debris and reformed. As we Journey deeper in Intimacy, His voice becomes more audible. The thoughts of good and to live fully for God is the first voice of God by the holy spirit, it comes as a whisper in your heart, or like an uncomfortable feeling when you're about to do something wrong. In other words, every thought of good in your heart aren't yours they're of God, it's like a telepathy you have to obey. The second basis and also, authorized medium we hear from God is through His word, either by hearing from a genuine child or servant of God or from the Bible, but I'll always suggest the Bible as there are many false teachers, you'll need discernment to know the true ones. And the only way to have discernment is by dosing our heart with life, not God's word as knowledge substance, but as life substance. It is this life the holy spirit will feed on in other to expand in us, then we can discern that which is of God. Before you start running to men or doctrines first have the filling of the holy spirit. God speaks to us always through His word, even if you can hear from Him audibly, you'll still need the bible to draw from God's life. And as you come to Him through His word, do come with a free heart without impurity and ask the holy spirit to teach you. Then, He'll begin to teach you according to your spiritual height, so you can grow in spirit to be closer to God and hear deep things from Him. Meanwhile, the Lord can speak to someone who is ungodly, but there is a difference between speaking and relationship, even if Jesus does speak to one audibly when he's still a child in the spirit, he still needs to grow to make it into a relationship. For example, if the president talks to you on monthly basis through restricted calls, you can't call that a relationship until you've become close to Him, close enough as a family. As you feed on God's word, His word which are life are sealed in your heart, and so whenever God wants to act in or through you, it is His word sealed in your heart the holy spirit will act upon to do God's will. God speaks to us by the holy spirit, and the holy spirit act on God's substance word in us to do God's will unconsciously and naturally and to hear from Him. God's word are life and as you're filled with His life, the nature of spirit of death is being destroyed, your spiritual senses begin to open to be able to hear from God clearly. And thirdly, we hear form God through, quiet speaking in our hearts, revelations, visions, trances, or audibly in our heart and even seeing Him face to face. But the only way to access these is to embark on a life of ceaseless prayers. Jesus taught us to pray always. Not because of our needs, but rather to build a deeper level of Intimacy with God. And Jesus always prayed not because he wants to pray, but as a God wearing flesh, man has to pray to reconnect back to God. Jesus didn't just begin to talk with God, because He's the son of God, no. Because He wore flesh he had to follow the law of the physical and the spiritual set by God, we ought to pray to restore that relationship. You'll have to spend more time with someone in other to know Him more. So also, we must pray as an act of Intimacy to know God more. Prayer is the fastest way to hear from God. Just as the men of old made sacrifices to hear from God, so also Jesus came and made our heart an alter of sacrifice, that through prayers by the holy spirit, sacrifices are risen unit God as incense to invoke God's presence in our lives, this is when we begin to get feedback or hear from Him. A man who prays more will hear God on time than he who prays less, why? Because prayer is a Journey unto God. Sin has thrown us farther from God and so we have to Journey back to Him through Intimacy ( prayers and His word ). God is always speaking, but if you're too far, If you pray less, you won't hear Him clearly. Untill you get close to him through prayers as an act of Intimacy then, you'll hear Him clearly and He'll begin to reveal deep mysteries to you, His mind, His will, will be made bare before you. Things known only to few men or specifically only you. For this, I'll teach you how to pray ceaselessly; Just as it is good to pray with our mouth, the only way to pray ceaselessly is to pray in the heart. This is why the Apostles and every great men of God did. Here are some scriptural references before we begin; I'll give some scriptural references, then show you also, how i do pray without ceasing. 1Corinthians 14:15. " What should I do, then? I will pray with my spirit, but I will pray also with my mind; I will sing with my spirit, but I will sing also with my mind." Colossians 2:6-7 " So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness." Ephesians 5:18-20 " Do not be drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead be filled with the spirit. Speak to one another in psalms, hymns and spiritual songs, sing and make music in your hearts to the Lord, always giving thanks to God for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ." 1Thessalonians 5:16-18 " Be joyful always, pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus." Praying without ceasing is of heart, it's not in the mouth but in the heart, for me I meditate on these constantly in my heart; - Thank you Jesus, thank you Lord - Take more of me and give me more of you - Jesus, ( continually in my heart ) - Locate me Lord in your mercy - in the name of Jesus, the blood of Jesus - in Jesus name - Then I switch to spiritual song at times You can add yours if you feel like. These are all prayers, as long as you are communicating with God. What do you think happens when you're disconnected from a dear one for a long time, there be a decline in relationship, so it is with God. I did get these excerpt from a message actually. For me, I pray these prayer in my heart continually, when I'm eating, while I'm walking, as long as I'm not meditating on the word, I'm praying, even as I'm writing this, I'm praying. This is the only way to hear from God quickly. I say these continually in my heart to journey closer or rather become more intimate with God. With this, then you can hear from Him. Then you'll see and know Him in greater dimensions Everything, starts small, it takes a little getting used to, but if you're faithful the Lord Jesus will help you. And I pray and believe He'll help you rapidly in Jesus name Amen. As I earlier said, man was once fallen because of sin and so the spirit of God was removed, but finally restored to all who accepts Jesus as Lord. Reconfiguration and transformation don't happen in a day, it's a gradual process.
  20. 2 points
    After escaping through the Red Sea, the Hebrews traveled through the wilderness and arrived at Sinai, God’s Holy Mountain. There they received the Ten Commandments, as well as instructions for building a Tabernacle as a center of worship. Through Israel’s experiences at Mount Sinai, we learn about the importance of obedience in our relationship with God. His laws help expose sin, and they give standards for our righteous living. The opening statement about this month’s message is Biblical truth, not opinion. In our country, we are Christians supposedly holding up the Blood Stained banner to win souls who are lost, pointing them toward Jesus and The Bible’s standard of Holiness in our lifestyle. Instead we are odds because of politics (which is nothing new) and I will say now, all political parties regardless of what they are called are guilty of not following God’s law. If we continue to rally around the political fight against each other, we too are guilty of sin. Yet we seem to not let it concern us. Exodus 19:3-6…And Moses went up unto God, and the Lord called unto him out of the mountain, saying, Thus shalt thou say to the house of Jacob, and tell the children of Israel; 4…Ye have seen what I did unto the Egyptians, and how I bare you on eagles wings, and brought you unto myself. 5…Now therefore if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine: 6…and ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and a holy nation. These are the words which thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel. God had a reason for rescuing the children of Israel from slavery. He was ready to tell them what it was: Israel was to become a holy nation, a kingdom of priests in which anyone could approach God freely. It did not take long, however, for the people to mess up His plan. This sounds painfully familiar doesn’t it? And yes, we collectively are guilty. God repeatedly gets us out of problem after problem; we run to Church and do as He asks for 5 minutes, before you know it we are back to business as usual. The fact that God has chosen us for His plan goes out the window because His plan just does not fit where we are now. Really? God has promised us victory because He loves and provides for us but we are supposed to do our part for His kingdom. Not the political one we fight over or anything we allow to prohibit us from following His plan. Isaiah 43:15…I am the Lord, your Holy One, the creator of Israel, your King. 16…Thus saith the Lord, which maketh a way in the sea, and a path in the mighty waters. 18…Remember ye not the former things, neither consider the things of old. 19…Behold I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert. 20…The beast of the field shall honour me, the dragons and the owls; because I give waters in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert, to give drink to my people, my chosen. 21…This people have I formed for myself; they shall shew forth my praise. I can hear someone saying, all of that stuff was Old Testament. Well just for you, here is what Jesus said…Jesus said in John 15:16 - Ye did not choose me, but I chose you, and appointed you, that ye should go and bear fruit, and [that] your fruit should abide: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you. The 12 chosen men called Disciples learned from Jesus, walked and talked with Him for 3 and a half years but did not become the great dynamic men of God He knew they would become until they received the Holy Ghost in the Book of Acts. They were so focused on their purpose that they fought against political powers believing instead what they had been taught by Jesus. Combined with the boldness of the Holy Spirit, when political powers threatened them, they stood for Jesus and changed the world. Peter wrote the epistle (letter) that contains the featured passage for this message 1st Peter 2:9 and 10..But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvelous light: 10… which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy. That my friends is our purpose, not arguing over political talking points or listening to views that make no mention of The Gospel of Jesus Christ. Political issues are meant to divide us, to make us of no effect to those needing truth. We have been chosen for God’s purpose which by the world’s standard makes us peculiar. I will take that any day, all day. My prayer is that you will also. Thank You Lord for your Word.
  21. 2 points
    I believe that as children of God this may be one of the hardest things for us to do. We say that we trust God, but when the storms of life come, man that's another story. It's easy to say, God I trust you when things are going great, but let me tell you those words that we speak will be tried. So when the time of testing comes, we show that we really don't trust Him as much as we say we do. Everything shows up in the fire! We immediately go into worry mode, and begin to fall apart when we lose our jobs, or suffer some type of loss. I believe that it is during these times, that many of us come to realize that our dependency is really not in the Lord, but what we are use to trusting in. God our Father wants us to know that we really can depend on His Word, that His Promises are true. I have come to the conclusion that He will allow us to go through times of financial difficulties. Where we no longer depend on our paycheck to meet our needs, for the sole purpose of bringing us to the place where we come to know Him as Provider. He allows things to happen, in order to prove how faithful He really is, and that He will do exactly what He says, He will do. I believe that we have to become like little children again, who naturally trust, rely, and depend on their earthly parents for everything. It is that same childlike faith that we must have in our heavenly Father, Who has shown us time after time, that He can be trusted!
  22. 2 points
    The real good in any ministry is in the measure in which it feeds the heart with the Lord Jesus Christ. He is the sun to give to give light and warmth, and the greater the extent of surface presented to Him the more He confers. There is more capacity to receive, which is increased as the heart is occupied with Him. The heart is first won, and this deepens as it learns His love “in His humiliation” (Act 8:33; Phl 2:8, 9). He “loved me and gave Himself for me” (Gal 2:20). Secondly, the heart is satisfied because united to Him, and in association with Him where He is in His glorification (Jhn 12:16). The heart captivated by and object could not be at rest until it was united to the One who had won it, and for satisfaction the heart must be where He is. Love really cannot think of anything until it is quite sure of its object; then when at rest about itself, it studies the mind and heart of that object. The first desire of a true heart, as with the women in Luke 7:37-50, is to seek the presence of the Savior, to be in personal nearness to Him. With the bride in Canticles, whenever He is present, all is bright—but there is no satisfaction. There is true affection, and often deep delight, but there is no satisfaction until the heart is in assured union and association with its Object (knowing permanency in Christ allows for confident and persistent satisfaction, and nothing else will do—NC). Thirdly, after satisfaction comes an entirely new occupation. All before related chiefly to oneself. The heart is won, and the heart is satisfied; now the occupation will be studying Him—seeking to be suitable to Him. One may try to be suitable to Him in order to satisfy one’s own heart, but then there is a legality about the effort, and it bears the mark of seeking to make oneself the object rather than Him (if first motive is pleasing Him, esp. with enduring difficulties, all aligns properly for growth—NC). Now after my heart is satisfied, I sit down before the Lord and study Him, and from that study I grow (now, all is only a matter of growth in the “image of Christ” in our walk—NC). “Beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory” (2Co 3:18). All the previous gains of the heart are increased by each new one; that is, I am more won by the Lord Jesus as I am satisfied by Him, and I am more won and satisfied as I fellowship with Him. I continue in His sanctification and company. “For their sakes I sanctify Myself” (Jhn 17:19). As I am sanctified I am ornamented, and it is the adorned one that is properly qualified to be the serving one. “That they may adorn the doctrine of God, our Savior, in all things” (Titus 2:10). The serving one deepens in all the preceding gains. He is more won, more satisfied, more suitable as he is more serving. I do not come to the Lord Jesus as to my fellow, attracting Him by something in me—I have nothing (from self—NC) to bring Him, and He won me when I was in the most unattractive state. Hence I must be well assured of the constancy of His heart for me, and of my association with Him, which far removed me from the depth of misery I was in, before I can think whether I could be anything or could to anything to please Him, for I have nothing of myself, and it is only in His company that I “grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. To Him be glory both now and forever. Amen” (2Pe 3:18). - J B Stoney Excerpt from MJS devotional for September 10: We receive life by reliance upon the Savior; we grow in that life by reliance upon the Spirit. "Many think that because of faith they are cleared of everything before God through the Cross, and therefore by faith they are clear of everything in themselves. But that is the error of ‘holiness by faith.’ The objective (position) is that we are clear before the Father; the subjective (condition) is that we are cleared from ourselves by the growth ministry of the Holy Spirit." "As you by faith in the positional facts realize that you are in the Father’s presence, you will not try to depend upon any sense of His presence. You know His presence because you know that your position in the Christian life is a life of faith in the facts—nothing else. That the Father forces you to live by faith so as to draw you into His presence—not you, by sense, trying to draw Him into yours." - Miles J Stanford
  23. 2 points
    My soul doth wait on You My heart quickens to Your word My mind gulps Your endless rivers of knowledge My body trembles at my infinite faults in the face of Your glory May I call upon Your name May I beg Your Mercy What right can I claim to You I give You my heart willingly I possess nothing else to offer I am but a weakend vessel, spilling out from pierced sides Even in the darkness, I can hear the echoing of Your name In death, You breathe In me
  24. 2 points
    While the world sleeps He can hear the weeps Of the suffering, crying at His feet As He carries their burden of defeat Comforting those who have been made weak From the brutalities of this world and the things we seek For the lost and destined souls There's hope for those He knows'
  25. 2 points
    What really killed Jesus? Was it the nails that pierced his wrists and feet, or maybe the spear that punctured his side? Was it the cruel words that echoed in his ears, their shouts to crucify, crucify? Maybe it was his gasping for breath, or his thirst, or his breaking heart. Whichever of these it may have been, I’m pretty certain that I played a part in why someone so innocent, so good, so young had to die? I am quite sure that I know why. They scourged him and mocked him and stripped this man. I looked away, only to see his blood on my hands. Naked and bleeding and paraded by men. He carried the cross. He buried my sin. As I look more closely, I finally see. It’s not what really killed Jesus, but who? It was me.
  26. 2 points
    I want to remain readers today of Luke 7: 36 - 50; the story of a woman who lived a sinful life learned that Jesus was eating at the Pharisee’s house, so she came there with an alabaster jar of perfume. The Bible states; that while he was eating, she stood behind him at his feet weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears. Then she wiped them with her hair, kissed them and poured perfume on them. She honoured him.This action however did not please his host Simon, because the lady was know as a sinful woman. Luke 7: 39 "When the Pharisee who had invited him saw this, he said to himself, “If this man were a prophet, he would know who is touching him and what kind of woman she is—that she is a sinner.” Luke 7: 44 "Then he turned toward the woman and said to Simon, “Do you see this woman? I came into your house. You did not give me any water for my feet, but she wet my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. 45 You did not give me a kiss, but this woman, from the time I entered, has not stopped kissing my feet. 46 You did not put oil on my head, but she has poured perfume on my feet. Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven—as her great love has shown. But whoever has been forgiven little loves little.” At this point I want to share something that changed my life. Lord Jesus Christ did not condemn her, He ignored the physical appearance, He did not judge her, He ignored the condemned faces of men around Him and did not condemn her. The King of Glory looked at her heart and saw a repentant lady. He commended her for receiving him warmly and told her to wipe her tears, her sins are forgiven. Before the eyes of men, her act was judgmental, before the eyes of God who sees the heart, it was service. Today's message is about a sinful woman willingly to repent, a very powerful message of redemption, a signal that no matter how low one has fallen, its never too late to turn back. Sociologist claim nothing happens without a cause. Before judging another or condemn another, find out what makes the person tick. Does condemnation correct the worst attitude? SYMPATHIZE WITH THE SINNER, as Christians we are instruments of change, Christians are stewards, the character of Jesus attracted her to Jesus. The lady who was caught in the act of adultery, when asked, Jesus replied in John 8: 6 : “All right, but let the one who has never sinned throw the first stone!” . He who was without sin (Jesus Christ) loved sinners and did not condemn them, God of second chance. We are children of love, loved by a loved God. We are born of love, show love to others. Shalom!!!
  27. 2 points
    What an awesome God we serve! One of the things the Holy Spirit reminded me of this morning, is how merciful and gracious our Heavenly Father always is. None of us are perfect. Romans 3:23 tells us "For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God;" Paul is also inspired to tell us in the next verse, "Being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus." Wow! What kind of father does that? Our earthly father's will never be (no offense dads) able to show the same characteristics like our Heavenly Father does. I, personally, don't know of anyone else as forgiving as He is! No matter how bad I've been in the past, present, or future. I know He will always love me! (This is only part of what I was going to post on FB--where I post everything I've written. All critiquing is welcome! Thank you in advance ?)
  28. 2 points
    “Jim, it looks like the blood work we did on you, indicates you have pancreatitis and likely Cancer”, said the technician from the Clinic on the phone to me. She also added---"you need to get to the Emergency Room of the Hospital immediately and we will send an ambulance if you need one” Not good news what you are sitting in a Walmart waiting for your prescriptions to be filled. I had what looked like a bad stomach flu that doubled me up with pain on a Friday. My wife came out to work to pick me up and took me to a Local Clinic where after ruling out a heart-attack, they diagnosed me with stomach flu and they told me to get a lot a bed rest and take Zantac for the pain. But during the weekend following, the pain was getting much worse and then Sunday afternoon my wife took me to an Urgent Care Clinic in another town about 60 miles away. There, they initially confirmed the stomach flu diagnosis and gave me some prescriptions to fill at Walmart Pharmacy. But they took a sample of my blood to test and that is when I got the phone call. In relating the phone call to my wife—she told me that was exactly what the diagnosis they gave to her now-deceased husband in 1998. He then succumbed to Cancer and died, leaving her with 3 children. And my Dad had the same kind of Cancer when he passed on in 2005. We sat in our car in the Walmart parking lot, praying before she took me to the ER and immediately the peace I had many times before flooded my wife and I. In the Emergency Room they were having a bit of trouble confirming the diagnosis of pancreatitis as I had another operation back in 1964 [as a child] for Ulcers and have a big scar on my stomach from that. But with an Ultra-Sound, they felt it might be my gall bladder that was the problem and their blood work confirmed again, that I had Cancer. So an emergency operation was scheduled early the next morning. It is only from Christ that you can feel the kind of peace I was feeling through the night. My wife related that as she drove back home, to return the next morning, she felt a definite peace as well. As I lay on the gurney just before I was to go in for the operation the song “His Eye Is On the Sparrow “went over- and- over in my mind. I had no real regrets in life and all I could was trust Christ as to the outcome. When I awoke after my operation the first person I saw was the surgeon who told me “Jim it definitely was your gall-bladder which we removed and we found NO CANCER of any form” As a Believer himself, he definitely does NOT discount God’s Miracles and it appeared that I just had one. The very best medicine in recovery that I could get, was when all my children called me up a different times later that day. The three that I adopted when I married their mother,--- told me how worried they were on the phone and expressed their love to me. My 2 biological daughters also called me and shared the same worry and love they had. My wife had, of course, spread the news of my Emergency Operation to them. Philippians 4:7 [NKJV] and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. This verse I try to live in my life and I now realize that God’s Grace in this peace is available to any True Believer.
  29. 2 points
    The Promise Anna sat in the temple entrance; shady now: the huge stone slab that supported her aching back still held the heat of the day. The warmth helped to ease the troubling pain in her stooped frame. She liked this time of day. Late afternoon, when the sapping heat of the day had given way to lengthening shadows, for Anna was ancient, tired, and spent, with only a fragile wisp of life left within her. As Anna sat watching the occasional people still mounting and descending the wide stone steps leading to the temple, she mulled over her readings for the day, taken from the Torah of Micha. Micah 5:2* – “But you, O Bethlehem Ephrathah, are only a small village in Judah. Yet a ruler of Israel will come from you, one whose origins are from the distant past.” Anna revered the ancient history and the story of deliverance that God had wrought for her people. She believed the promises written on sacred scrolls by men of God who had heard God’s voice and had applied quill to parchment. For God had kept his word. He had taken the Israelite’s from the bondage of slavery in Egypt and He had brought them safely to a home land of their own; hadn’t Anna’s life in this land been a fulfillment of that promise? These very walls that Anna leaned against had been built, destroyed and rebuilt, each time with numerous men of God foretelling what would happen next. God’s promises had been fulfilled. Anna laid her head back, mumbling “Bethlehem, Bethlehem,” to herself, like the old are sometimes apt to do when some cloudy thought trails within their muddled heads, unravelling like yarn, knotted with age. It was true that her life hadn’t been easy. Only married for seven happy years, and then a widow for let’s see, Anna examined the worn flag stone entrance, polished smooth from the tread of countless sandals, while she counted in her head: 84 years, yes, 84 years she had spent living in the temple. Married instead to God, her Lord, at least that’s how Anna liked to think of it. Never leaving the temple complex, Anna had found a quiet joy and fulfillment in praying, fasting and listening. For God still spoke; of that, Anna was certain. Anna’s thoughts trailed on; this time to the prophet Isaiah. Isaiah, had lived around the time of Micha, almost 800 years hence, and he had echoed Micha’s words telling of a child who would be born. Isaiah 9:6-7* – “For a child is born to us, a son is given to us. And the government will rest on His shoulders. These will be His royal titles: Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. His ever expanding, peaceful government will never end. He will rule forever with fairness and justice from the throne of His ancestor David. The passionate commitment of the Lord Almighty will guarantee this!” Some might say 800 years was too long a time to wait for the fulfilment of a promise. For the past 400 years God had been silent. Not a word had He spoken through his prophets or Godly men. Yet, in Ann’s ancient heart, in the inner most chambers of her being God had indeed spoken of a Saviour who would come in the Royal lineage of King David, to reign, and to save his People, Israel. From the base of the steps Anna glimpsed, Simeon, weaving his way through the people to ascend haltingly, his left leg visibly paining him. Now and then he’d stop and view the remaining steps. “Back again, Simeon? And so soon,” Anna said, chuckling, “you’ll soon be residing at the temple like me, for didn’t you just leave less than half the hour hence?” Simeon, dear Simeon, what a good friend he was to Anna. Often running errands for her, making sure she didn’t go without, even though he himself was getting on in years. He, who had been so sick this past winter. She’d thought he was lost to her then. He stood before her now, panting through the thickness of his brown beard that fell to his chest. “Ah, yes Anna, it’s true, but I was still some measure from home before I felt the stirring to return. Why now, I am not sure, but here I am, for when God calls I listen.” Simeon’s lips curled upwards with a warm smile that Anna knew so well. His serene countenance glowed down at Anna, who with watery eyes, almost hidden between deep furrows of skin, nodded back. They were both familiar with the promptings of God. Once, many years ago now, Simeon had confided in Anna. He had assured her with the boundless expectation of youth that God had spoken to him, assuring him, Simeon; that he would not depart from this life without a glimpse of the promised Messiah. Anna had basked in Simeon’s secret with joy, knowing that the reaction of others would have been doubtful at best. Why was Simeon so special to think that after 800 years of waiting, God would fulfill an ancient promise, they would have certainly inquired? Simeon and Anna would have had no answers. But this one thing they both shared: they’d been looking, they’d been waiting, and they’d been expecting; 800 years or not. “Well, whatever the time of day, I’m always glad,”……Anna’s words trailed off as her countenance shifted from Simeon to a spot on the steps behind him. There below, a young couple climbed the steps, he with two turtle doves in a wicker cage clasping a shepherd’s crook in one hand, with the other hand resting on the small of her back. And her? a very young woman, not much more than a girl, with a baby cradled in both arms. Ah, said Anna, a firstborn son, and the young parents, here to present him to the Lord according to the Law of Moses. But Simeon wasn’t listening. He stood intently, watching. “Careful. Mary, mind your step,” the man said, passing Anna and Simeon. The young couple stepped into the shadows of the temple entrance. Simon turned his gaze back to Anna. A speechless look of wonder and expectancy glimmered across his face. Simon, turned into the temple and watched as the priest carried out the ancient familiar rituals passed down from Moses: the offering of two turtle doves, the dedication of the firstborn baby to the Lord. With the presentation before the lord complete the couple turned from the priest. Simeon was already striding purposefully towards them. “May I?” Simeon whispered, stretching his aged arms towards the woman. The mother glanced up at her husband who nodded his consent. Simeon took the bundle tenderly and laid the baby in the crook of his arm. Moving the rough hempen cloth aside he gazed into the watchful brown eyes of an eight-day-old baby. A wisp of dark hair curled on his forehead. The baby lie contently secure in his embrace. And in that moment, Simeon loved him, as pure and as completely as if this child had been born from his own body. Lifting his eyes and the baby heavenward, Simeon’s gravelly voice cut through the stillness: “Now dear God, Now, your servant can depart in peace for as you promised, I have seen the redeemer of Israel with my own eyes. He is your light of revelation for all peoples and the glory to your People, Israel.” The parents exchanged a glance of surprised wonder. As Simeon reluctantly handed the baby back he asked: “What is your name, dear woman?” “Mary, and this is my husband, Joseph. Simeon placed a hand on the shoulder of Joseph and the other he laid on Mary’s arm, then, drawing them into the circle of his presence he blessed them saying, “May the God of Israel; the God of heaven and earth be with you as you raise this little one, for he is no ordinary child. Your son, is destined to cause the fall and rise of many in Israel, and to be a sign to all those who are oppressed, and Mary, Simeon added, my dear Mary, your own soul will be pierced through with a sword so that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed. Anna appeared, shuffling forward, calling to those in the temple, “come everyone, come,” she beckoned, “and see this child.” Anna strained forward to see the baby’s face. “What is his name,” she asked, tracing a gnarled finger across his soft baby cheek. “Jesus, Mary said, simply.” Then Ana lifted her shaky arms heavenward and cried aloud saying look upon this child, you people who have come to the temple this day, for God has intended that you meet with him here in the presence of this, his most holy child: his own son, Jesus. All those that gathered were amazed at her words, for she was respected by many, but it was Mary and Joseph who marvelled the most. As they turned to go, Simeon and Anna stood watching them. Anna suddenly jumped and calling after Joseph, she cried, “So your trade is a shepherd then, young man, and from where do you come? “No mother,” Joseph replied turning once more to smile at Anna. My trade is that of a carpenter, from Nazareth. Joseph continued on, taking just a few more steps before halting once more, as if, with an afterthought, he turned again to Anna saying: This staff was a gift from the shepherds on the hills of Bethlehem, who came to greet our newborn son. Ah, yes, replied Anna, nodding and mumbling to herself, as her teary eyes glowed with a renewed flame of love. “Bethlehem, Bethlehem, Bethlehem!”
  30. 2 points
    When love touched my heart, it was wholesome and clean Reaching the places that no-one had been Melting the wall that had kept me secure Protecting emotions I’d suffered before. When love touched my heart, I was no more condemned But offered forgiveness ~ given a Friend To comfort and guide me, to show me the way To give me assurance that helped me to pray When Love touched my heart ~ Hope said “Arise I never will leave you; open your eyes For I’ll be your everything ~ no need to fear Just call My Name ~ you’ll find I am near.” Though dreams had been shattered and life re-arranged When Love shone its light ~ everything changed This Love was Jesus ~ my heart was won Just knowing that, for me, God gave His Son. My heart then responded and this is my story Christ ~ my Captain, my Saviour, my glory I opened the door ~ and Jesus came in. All-perfect is the love that I found in Him. ---o0o-- © 2015 Christine V Mitchell Thank You Lord
  31. 2 points
    There is coming a day, when the harvest shall be gathered in the springtime, In the winter,in the summer and the fall, a forever feast and celebration, A resurrection of the garden, the body, the tree of life, instead of flaming swords Angel's welcoming arms, like wings, widely spread, As the Sun of righteousness rises And those that stand as stones, will find healing in His wings, a never-ending morning Ushered in by darkness, a cross, a cry, of a finished work, love buried behind a boulder Bursting forth, unleashed, unfettered, unstoppable...
  32. 1 point
    "And when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing. And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and neighbors, saying to them, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep which was lost!'" [ Luke 15:5‭-‬6 ]
  33. 1 point
    A “Far Away” God Every Christian will go through “desert experiences” in life. Perhaps you are going through one right now? When I speak of “desert experiences,” I am not referring to momentary discouragement or the usual ups and downs of life. These are all natural occurrences. What I am speaking of is a continuous spiritual period of time when we feel God is far away. These are the times when the Christian says, “Lord, where are you? I am facing hardships and difficulties on every side and I need you – now!” There are several reasons we go through “desert experiences.” One is sin. When we are in rebellion against God we often feel He is far away, and, in actuality, He is. Our sins separate us from God (Isaiah 59:2; Jeremiah 5:25). Another reason for a “desert experience” could be that a hope we have clung to – perhaps for a job or a relationship – has not become a reality. Or, a “desert experience” could simply be the point God has brought us to for a specific purpose; for something He wishes to accomplish in our lives. Always remember that one of God’s purposes in our lives is to teach us and to change us. He desires to bring us closer to Him that we may learn more about Him, and in the process, more about ourselves. It is in these spiritual wildernesses where everything we have thought, everything we felt, and everything we have built our lives upon is stripped away. And when everything has been stripped away, all we have left is the Lord. These can be the darkest times in our lives, times when we feel like we’re walking in circles in a dark room. But never forget: God has brought you to this place for a specific purpose! Finding the Exit It is inevitable that Christians will undergo these “desert experiences” at least once in their lives. This is a given. The question then is: How do we get out? If you find yourself trapped in a “desert experience,” here are a few things to remember: 1. There is no formula. There are no five steps and you’re out of the fire. Life doesn’t work that way, and neither does the Christian life. 2. Remember who God is. Remember what He’s done in history, and remember what He’s done in your life. He has rescued His people from the brink throughout history, and He will do so again. He has rescued you from the brink when He saved you, and He will be there again for you when you need Him most. 3. Be brutally honest with yourself by asking God: “Lord, what in my life needs to change? What is causing this ‘desert experience’ I am in? Is it something I have done? Is it sin? Have You brought me to this place for a specific purpose?” 4. If God reveals sin in your life, confess it and repent of it. If it is something else, keep praying and be open to what God wants to show or teach you. 5. Don’t go through it alone. Generally, when Christians go through “desert experiences” they don’t want to talk to anyone; rather, they tend to isolate themselves. This can be a very dangerous place in which to be. Find another believer to confide in and share your concerns with him or her. 6. Accept and embrace reality. This is often very difficult to do; but this is the very reason God has brought you to this place. You may need to grieve over the loss, which may mean that you need some time to accept what has taken place. 7. Learn about God’s amazing grace. Be open to God. Allow Him to work in your life and mold you into the man or woman of God He wants you to be. 8. And finally, pray and study God’s Word. Stay focused on God and again, never forget who He is. If you are angry, hurt, or sad, tell God – He already knows what you are going through. Cast all you cares upon God, for He deeply cares about you (1 Peter 5:7). If you find yourself in a “desert experience,” never forget that God is with you in it – even if you don’t feel His presence. And not only is He there with you, you can rest assured of something else: He will bring you through it! The challenge for you is to remain faithful while you navigate your way through this wilderness journey!
  34. 1 point
    One of the greatest experiences in life is love. Everyone seeks love for it, comforts the heart and soothe the soul. Yet, hate exists and some folks enjoy inflicting its venomous poison onto others. Hate is troublesome because of its negative impact on the human spirit. Why is that? Because it’s an effective sin, Satan uses to turn humans away from God. Remember, God removed Lucifer from heaven (Isaiah 14:12-13) and he uses hate to avenge his judgement. I think you’ll agree with me when I say the devil’s clever ways; he uses hate are cunning. For example, Satan uses racism to manifest hate between ethnic groups. The devil creates a hostile environment between cultures leading to death and destruction. Other illustrations of hate are envy, abortion, and self-hatred. Those sinful actions corrupt the soul, harden the heart, and lead to a life headed for eternal damnation. Some people commit suicide to stop the constant internal strife they experience. Both the New and Old Testament heightens God’s opposition to hates unfavorable existence. And when Christ roamed the earth, He exposed the world’s hate towards God (John 15:18-25). I can almost hear you thinking nothing good comes from hate. Yes, hate breeds resentment, bitterness and causes physical harm to others. It’s a way evil doer provoke wicked action. A point often overlooked is hate leaves behind a trail of physical, mental devastation. With this in mind, the devil works hard to twist the reality of Christ and he can’t tolerate us embracing God’s love (James 4:6). How do I know? From personal experience. Before God saved me, I was a drunkard and full of self-hatred. I wanted to die. As a matter of fact, I attempted suicide but the Lord protected me from physical death. His love for me stopped the devil’s plan to kill me. And for that I’m forever grateful for His affection. As shown above hate separates us from Jesus Deity. What’s the solution? God’s love! Here’s something we both can agree on is nothing the world offers matches our Father’s love. His love gave Adam and Eve a second chance (Genesis 3:22). And because He loved them His grace is extended to us today. How exceptional is that? As if that’s not enough He sacrificed His Son Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of sin. This selfless display of His love shows He wants to save humanity from the evil one. Amazing isn’t it? In fact, love is God’s greatest commandment to mankind (Matthew 22:37-38). Love comes from God. Once a person receives His affection a spiritual transformation takes root and the individual’s heart purifies. This supernatural conversion leads a person to extend this incredible love to others. For, loving others is God’s second greatest commandment (Matthew 22:39). Here’s the interesting part God’s love radiates through us showing those around us His powerful presence. As the result of His comfort we are able to love our enemies (Matthew 5:43-48). The best part is love prevails over sin (1 Peter 4:8). Given these points we know our Father’s love is divine, pure with an eternal destination of heaven! How do you love?
  35. 1 point
    I would like my blogs, Women of Warfare https://womenofwarfare.wordpress.com and A Purpose-driven achiever https://apurposedrivenachiever.wordpress.com, to make my visitors smile, feel better about themselves, be encouraged, feel as if they have an online friend who cares about them and empathises with the things they have to deal with. I would like my blogs to influence visitors to aspire to a deeper relationship with God, to be a better person, character-wise and perspective-wise. I would like to encourage visitors to pursue their dreams and realise their potential. I’d like them to feel there is a place they can go, for the encouragement and motivation required to live their everyday life on a higher plane. I would like them to feel highly motivated, to seize their day, to live abundantly, instead of merely existing, letting life pass them by, feeling overwhelmed by circumstances, or overlooked by the people around them. I would like my blogs to motivate women to make the most of every day, to see, enjoy and celebrate their lives as something special, rather than dismiss as drudgery, or as run-of-the-mill ordinary, or worse still view with utter dread, because someone or something has marred their outlook. And just as I would like God to use me, to be that change in the lives of women who come within my circle of influence, so I desire that these women in turn would be the change in the lives of others around them. Whether published author, blogger, colleague, parent, or whatever, I challenge you – in your community, household, neighbourhood, workplace - be the change! Be an asset in your circle of influence. Be an influence for good.
  36. 1 point
    The most helpful truth I’ve learned about myself is that which concerns my “old man” and how busy it seems to maintain itself in everything. During the times I identify the old man’s activity it’s then I can determine how far back and how long it has been affecting me in my present situation, and this is all that is needed—to notice that it has been working on me. The results always end with the same problem and is when I finally put my finger on everything at the time; it always leaves one being over-concerned about self! NC The Word in the Word Spiritual growth is a step by step, ascending scale of glory. It is impossible to gaze upon the glory that is in the face of the glorified Lord Jesus if we are entangled with what we are in the flesh, and do not know that we are clear of it by the Cross and our death unto sin in the risen Lord. Until then, the veil is on our heart, and there is that which hinders the perception of the glory. How could you bring what you are into that realm of glory? Man is referred to as a worm, literally a “maggot,” in Job 25:6. If all that I am in the flesh (not the body but the nature—NC) is not gone on the Cross, if every rag and stitch of the “the old man” was not cleared away from God’s sight at Calvary, I would be lost and shut out for all eternity. But now there is no need to hide anything; the more we come out into the full light of the glory of God, the better off we shall be. The Spirit has been given to bring us in heart and mind into the glory realm now. Paul says, “We use much boldness”; we do not have to cover anything up. Our Father always had our end in view (Jer 29:11 – expect goodness—NC)—the Lord Jesus and the Spirit. Scripture opens with that, the tree and the river on the front page (Gen 2:9, 10—NC). All the Old Testament, even the Law, is full of the Lord Jesus and the Holy Spirit in figure, but it was not known (God’s sovereign control over all things are manifested by Him eventually revealing what He has prefigured from even millennia earlier—NC). “Unto tis day the same veil remains in reading the old covenant, unremoved” (2Co 3:15). They did not see the Lord Jesus and the Holy Spirit in the OT, and many believers now fail to see Him and the Spirit in the Scriptures because they read the Word in relation to themselves. They go to the Bible to find a comforting verse for themselves and they find it, of course; but they do not get the real good of Scripture. If I read the Word with regard to myself the veil is on my heart, but if I read it with regard to the Lord Jesus as my life, I gain very much. All too often in reading the Word it is the old man that is before us, but the right way is to behold the Lord Jesus. He is the great theme—the purpose of the Scriptures. If we look upon Him we receive the greatest comfort—we are lifted up, but in another Man. The Father is not seeking to build me up as an individual apart from His Beloved Son. We are naturally self-centered; the Father is causing us to be Christ-centered. The true center of the Word is The Word! We are too much like the old astronomers; they believed the earth was the center of the whole universe, and that the sun revolved around it, so all was in a muddle to them. If we read the Scriptures with ourselves as the center we miss the whole point; but if we see that the Lord Jesus is the center we get things rightly divided and in the Father’s perspective. To come into the blessing and reality of all these things we are to turn to the Lord Jesus: when the heart of Israel “shall turn to the Lord, the veil is taken away” (2Co 3:16). That sets forth a turning away from the old man; that is what turning to the Lord Jesus means, and then the veil is taken away. “But we all, with unveiled face beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even by the Spirit of the Lord” (2Co 3:18). - C A Coates MJS devotional excerpt for 12/6: “It is a wonderful thing to be so satisfied with the Lord Jesus’ company, that we can be tranquil about everything. I remember when I used to think that I should be happy beyond conception if I were able to say, ‘I will fear no evil; my heart is fixed, trusting in the Lord.’ In order to reach this, you must find Him enough, without anything else. You can never prove the worth of anyone, until you are absolutely dependent upon him.” -J.B.S http://www.abideabove.com/hungry-heart/
  37. 1 point
    Chapter 2 from a book I started several years ago about a royal family. Shortly their kingdom will be overthrown. Chapter Two Silence reigned in the inner court of the palace. The only sound audible was the clicking of the secretary's heels as she clunked down the hall. The guards, in their neat uniforms and straight, erect positions, stared straight ahead, oblivious to any of their surroundings. An old, gray haired grandmother of about ninety was hobbling past the guards posted outside the main palace entrance. She was bent and stooped, with gray hair that curled around her face, brown eyes hidden behind an enormous round pair of eyeglasses, and a neon pink cane. Her stooped figure wore a floral dress, white socks, black patent shoes with buckles, and an ugly white sweater. “Halt,” the first of the two guards called. “How did you come to enter into the palace, what errand came you on, and why are you leaving?” The stooped grandmother said in shaky tones, “I was let in by a youngin', I came to get a petition from the queen for banning potholes, and I am leaving because my mission is over.” “And did you get this 'pothole banning petition?” the other guard questioned. “Aye, indeed I did,” the grandmother said, clutching a rolled piece of paper tied with red ribbon. “Indeed I did. The queen is an old friend of mine.” “The queen is not exactly what you'd call old, Grandma,” the first guard said. “She's only forty.” “Oh, be quiet, Max,” his companion said. “Only tryin' to help,” Max, the first guard, said in offended tones. “Very well, Grandma. You may pass on.” “Oh, thank you, gentlemen,” Grandma said, beaming up at them. Then, very slowly, she creeped shakily towards the outer door, clutching her pothole banning petition and neon pink cane. As soon as the old grandmother had fully departed from the palace, a group of flustered looking servants rushed by. They were armed with cleaning supplies and on their way to clean the magnificent ballroom for the ambassador ball that evening. “I forgot the ambassador ball was tonight,” Max remarked. “Wonder what it'll be like. Ever been to a ball.” “Nope,” his companion said, “but I wouldn't mind being invited. It must be quite an honor to be invited to any kind of ball, period. I wonder what the queen would say if we showed up?” “Probably wouldn't like that we'd left our post. Say, Rupert, did that grandma seem familiar to you?” Max asked, abruptly changing the subject. “She reminded me of a younger version of somebody, but I can't quite make it out,” Rupert said, scratching his head. “Oh, well, I suppose we'll never know,” Max said. He was right on that one. Meanwhile, Grandma was hobbling uncertainly down the palace steps and through the courtyard to the private drive. Two guards stationed near the courtyard watched her walk painfully slowly down the cobbled drive, speak to the gatekeeper, who opened the gate, and step once more slowly onto the sidewalk. She glanced in all directions, then pulled out a handkerchief and waved it wildly in the direction of the guards, supposedly bidding them goodbye. Then, she suddenly began jumping up and down excitedly, waving her handkerchief and cane in the air frantically. As it turned out, she was hailing a taxi. A smart black cab drew up to the sidewalk and stopped right next to the old lady. The activity going on was partly concealed by a large hedge and neatly manicured cypress trees, which overshadowed the hind end of the taxi. “Strange woman,” the first of the two guards muttered. His fellow companion, not seeming to hear this, said suddenly, “She has a lot of spunk for someone who looks one-hundred.” “I'll say,” his friend agreed, but stopped suddenly. He opened his mouth, but no words came out. He just pointed wordlessly to the sidewalk, where only half of the cab was visible. His friend gasped in alarm and astonished disbelief. Suddenly there bounced into the open space a fluffy ball of gray hair. It hurtled through the air and landed with a splat! in a nearby gutter. One millisecond later? The neon pink cane clattered to the ground, rolled into view, and came to a stop near the taxi. Next the round glasses sailed through the air and landed just inches from the taxicab's tires. And finally, the petition for banning potholes floated by on a breeze, and came to a stop near the first guard's feet. Then there was a squeal of brakes and the taxicab sped away. But as it did so, there was an unmistakable crunch as the tires rushed forward. The first guard turned to the second, and with a grim expression on his face, said slowly, “There went the glasses.”
  38. 1 point
    Walking with God means walking in God's presence, because Jesus will come and make his home in your heart with the Father. The more you walk with Him, the more you are filled with His glory. A prophet once reminded me of Moses when he was in God's presence for forty days and then, his face became as brilliant as the sun that no one could look at him. " If Moses, he said; being with God for forty days was filled with His glory, how much more you, when you walk with Him all the days of your life." For example; when you set up a fire, it doesn't go ablaze suddenly, the more you add kerosene it burns better, but the moment you add fuel it burns wildly and brighter immediately. So it is in walking with God. The more you're filled with His glory the more you are filled with His spirit to live in holiness without sin, the more you can walk the dimensions of heaven on Earth, you can say " be healed in Jesus name! " and you'll see healing take place immediately. When you fill your heart with spiritual songs, thanksgiving and prayers unto God constantly, He walks with you, that is: you walk in His presence, and walking in His presence, He shields you from every temptation and attacks of the enemy. We should know that we are always being attacked by the enemy, its not only at night when we sleep as some believe. Scriptures says we should pray without ceasing, praying without ceasing doesn't mean you'll start praying continually with your mouth, the kind of prayer I'm talking about is prayer from the heart. Prayer is communication with God through His word, by His spirit, it's not all about asking for demands. When you engage your heart in the Lord, by filling your heart with spiritual songs, thanksgiving ( saying thank you Jesus is enough ), we need to thank him every time, we all think we need to thank God only when he has done something big, failing to recognize we need God to walk, to see. For in Him, we walk, we move, we breathe, in Him we have our being. Knowing this, we need to thank him at all time, in everything, every hour, every minutes, every second. Colossians 2:7 " overflow with thankfulness." Engaging you heart in songs, thanksgiving, these are all prayers, because you are talking to your Father from your heart. And when you do this continually, you'll then fulfil the word which says " pray without ceasing," Ephesians 5:19-20; " Speak to one another in psalms, in hymns, and spiritual songs. Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ." The reason I am tell you this is to ensure our safety, because, praying without ceasing is the only way out to overcome the evil one in this last generation, for the devil knows his time is short and is throwing at us all that he has with his last breath. But just as he is, so is God also. He said; " even in all these, He knows how to make a way out for His righteous ones," He has revealed this to us by His spirit to equip us to stand firm. As I said before, Just as God has poured out His spirit upon all who are willing to receive, so also, all of hell has been let loose to lure people into darkness. In this generation, it's either you get drawn into the light more, or you get lost in the dark even more, it's either walk with Jesus and portray his kingdom here on earth or walk with the devil and propagate his evil agenda against the kingdom of God. Let me tell why I said we should pray without ceasing, in references to what is happening around us. I'll give two illustrations with the eyes and ears, I don't mean our physical senses, but still the spiritual realm always influences our physical realm, for out of the overflow of a man's heart comes evil or good. First, looking at today's world, most people are being possessed by the spirit of lust. Some of them got these spirit, from the clothes they wear, some from their heart desire to seduce, the devil then enters their hearts for his bidding, some unfortunately from birth, all I'm trying to say; when these people go on living with these spirits attached to them, they carry out the work of the devil to seduce, whether knowingly or unknowingly to them. Take for example, when you see a mad person naked or when you see a native tribe walk around topless or almost naked you don't feel anything, why? Because since it wasn't their intention to dress naked to seduce, since it's natural for them, they aren't possessed by such spirit of lust, but you'll realize that just as seeing these people naked didn't influence your sexual neurons, why is it that when you see a civilized person in his right sense walk even barely half naked, why is it that you feel the urge for lust. The reason you have the sudden urge for lust isn't just because the person is attractive to you, it's because, with the intention to seduce, that person is beings possessed with the spirit of lust which seduces. Remember i said our spiritual and physical senses are linked, the moment your eyes catches the attention of this person, if your heart is not of God, or if your heart is not firmly rooted in God's word, it'll affect your spirit, corrupting your spirit. Since the spirit controls the body, it triggers the body to lust more, that person being a victim will share the same spirit of lust with the carrier he saw, and since light and darkness can't walk together, only darkness can satisfy darkness, that is; only lust can satisfy lust if it's the spirit of lust. Just as we feed the spirit of God in us with the word to grow, so also that person will have no rest until he satisfy that spirit of lust in him with sexual immorality. And he more he feeds that spirit the more he becomes lost in darkness with the desire to do even more, that's why people find it hard to come out of all these, because they keep feeding the spirit. Or take anger for instance, when you are standing with someone who gets angry easily, you also realize that even if that person didn't make you angry, you might feel uneasy and the little thing you do can trigger the spirit of anger in that person. Staying with that person for a long time, the same spirit can also entrap you. And when these spirit sees the children of God they attacks them even though they knows to they might have no chance of winning, because the holy spirit in us is our defender. But in all these, know that we children of God, though we are tormented by the ungodly things of the world. But you should know also, as long as you are in this world, you can't escape all these you see and hear. Therefore be filled with the holy spirit, let your heart see what your eyes sees and let not your heart hear what your ears hear. Another illustration is " hearing "; through the power of the mouth, you know the mouth is very powerful for declaring either good or evil. This is one of the reason I say we should pray without ceasing. Some people think that when they go to church they have found sanctuary, you should know that even right there in the church the devil is seated in our midst, it's been so right from the time of the apostles. One of the target the devil uses the most are choristers, since they end up singing for the congregation, he possesses some of the choristers, most especially with the spirit of fornication, when they take their stand to sing, though singing Christian songs, but since they are not so in heart, because the heart of man is what matters. You can sing and preach but not have the spirit of God in you, as i said, there is power in the mouth, once these choristers starts singing, the spirit of lust in them are being projected amongst the congregation, those who doesn't have the spirit of God or who are weak in spirit, are being afflicted by the same sprit of lust, though they went to church for their own reason, but came back with something worse. You now see why we need to engage our hearts in the Lord, with spiritual songs, thanksgiving and prayers. When you do this, you're praying, that is communicating with God, I mean walking with God, and as long as you are walking with Him, He shields you from all these attacks. I pray this message will Change and improve our relationship with Jesus. Amen!.
  39. 1 point
    A time is coming when so many people are going to lose their heads, well I have always thought about it, but I never thought about it this ways, that is why it is good to hear the word of God always. When I say " always " i don't mean any word, I meant the word spoken by one born of the spirit of Christ, because they are His vessels and mouth piece. Do you not know that a servant of God who hears from God, listen also to others born of God who speak the word. I never thought of it this way; A gospel preacher was crying out one night, and while I was listening i heard him say; " our lord Jesus Christ already paid the price for our sin with His blood, but you who shall be left behind when the rapture happens shall pay for your sins with your blood." The rapture is a spiritual trumpet, it is not the second coming of Christ, it is a spiritual trumpet heard only by the spirit man of those who are ready, waiting on the Lords return. The Lord made this happen as said in the scripture; Revelation3:10 " Since you have kept my command to endure patiently, I'll also keep you from the hour of trial that is going to come upon the whole world to test those who live on the earth." Jesus Christ suffered and died that we might be saved, but most of us don't know what He went through for our sake, instead we crucify Him all over again by the sins we commit, some people even celebrated Easter in fornication, parties and all sort of rubbish. You can continue in you enjoyment, drowning in the pleasures of the flesh, but I tell you a time is coming and is coming soon when you shall regret all the pleasures you've drowned yourself in. At that time, those still wanting to enter the kingdom, will look for the gospel and they'll not find it, all your achievement on earth will mean nothing, and all your pleasures of the flesh will be paid for by your blood. Then anyone who wants to enter the kingdom at that time will either be thrown into captivity or they shall perish. Someone once said; " the trial, suffering and horrors the remnants shall face at that time, no budget in the whole world put together will never be able to produce that kind of a movie." How long shall men wallow in sin, they've traded their glorious future with God for few minutes of pleasure, they commit sin that it has become normal to the flesh, some of them get angry because they enjoy being angry, they make people suffer, because they enjoy it. How long shall you continue? the devil has blinded your eyes not to see how bleak your future is, a future without hope, a future of unimaginable despair, endless suffering and unrest. It's just like a goat, it goes about eating all manner of food, trash and junks, because to it, it is sweet and edible, even if it is not sweet it eats it until it gets use to it. It gets driven and beaten with rods, but still, stubborn. However, just as that goat keeps enjoying all kinds of food, a time is coming when his owner will appear before him and cut off his head. And then in a brief moment of pain which seems like forever, he'll forget all that he has enjoyed. So it is with the wayward people of the world. A time is coming when all that you've enjoyed will be forgotten, because of the intense and indescribable event that is about to unfold in the world. But those who are in Christ, always watchful, will not be around to partake in it for they shall be cut off from the earth to meet the Lord. God does not bring judgement without first giving warnings. Just like the parable of the talents, they knew the master will come, though they did not know at what hour, but they were expecting him. One that day some will say, " eh… but I don't know." Another " it is impossible to meet the requirements of the kingdom." Some will say also, " it is the devils fault." how is it his fault when you gave your heart to him. If someone forces you to eat rotten food, will you eat, but that same person will heat that food to kill away the sour taste and you'll eat it. There is no such thing as I don't know, a man knows before he commit any sin, he knew James 1:14-15 " for each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed. Then after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin, and sin when it's full grown gives birth to death. The gospel has been preached and sown into the hearts of men as a seed, in other words a talent or money has being invested in you by grace, because it was not your money to begin with, it was given to you by the one who owns you ( God ). By grace this money was given to you on hearing of the gospel, just because the money has been given doesn't mean it cannot be stolen if you don't protect it, as some of us will say " by grace we are saved " and then relax, because Jesus has died for us, it doesn't work that way. If you don't fight and do everything to protect and invest on that money, it will be taken from you, and your end will be like the foolish servant who was given one talent but refuse to invest on it. You who is saying by grace I'll make it, check your life, aren't you still in bondage of your sin, today you stand the next moment you fall, do you know if the next moment you fall might be your last. It's possible that before you think of asking for forgiveness, a stray bullet pierces through your skull. Now tell me, where will you end up at that final moment, I tell you, the spirit which your gave yourself to, be it anger, will come and take your to hell. That is why you should fight everyday to protect what you have been given by grace, so you can have the spirit of God to live a life without sin. it's just like when you're given a limited edition jewelry, wouldn't you do everything to treasure it. A life without sin is not impossible, i am a living testimony. The lust of the flesh people claim it's difficult to overcome, i was once there, but now i can boldly say I live a life without sin through the finished work of the word of our Lord Jesus Christ. A born again who cannot pay the price to invest in his spirit man might not enter the kingdom of God. if he's caught off guard, he becomes very weak, rendering him a punching bag in the hands of the evil one, because anything attached to Jesus received attack, Satan hates you more than he hates Jesus. Now tell me, how will you defend yourself when you refuse to invest and grow in spirit, you just relax, you don't pray always, you don't war against forces of evil that wants to lead you into sin, you don't have much interest in the word but you have time for food. I have strayed too far. The wise servants were given talents, money, not only did they treasure it but they invested on it, gaining doubled the amount. In other word they received salvation, treasured the word sown in their hearts and putting every effort, by watching and praying, studying the word and living in obedience, engaged in spiritual business for their spirit man growth. That is; they gave most of their time to the spiritual movement of God. And then they received double of what they had. Having the word in their heart already made them saved, but having double the amount of cash ( the word also is the spirit of Christ ) made them powerful to purchase high status in the spiritual realm, and wherever they move demons notice them and shudder at the power of God in them. However the wicked servant, he received the word, instead of treasuring it in his heart, he removed it, in other words; he went back to sin and buried the spirit of Christ in the ground. As the servant said, even the master confirmed it; " So you knew I harvest where I have not sown and gather where I have not scattered seed.'His master said." The Lord has sown a treasure in your heart, there is no such thing as relaxing, because He would come, not to collect a seed, but fruits. He has given you the seed, the gospel, but He wants you to pay the price and suffer to till the soil, clear every weed, water and nurture the seed. All these processes are harsh, but in the end, you'll receive a reward even greater, not what compared to the price for your suffering. He a said; " You good and faithful servant, you have been faithful over a little thing, therefore I'll put you in charge over all my possessions." Anyone who says the kingdom of God is not on suffering and war is a liar, you have been given the ticket, but you fight to enter, because the tickets are few and there are those who will battle to get it from you. As in the parable this servant knew, he knew his master has given him the money he knew the intent of his master to reap what the servant has sown with his sweat, but out of foolishness, he didn't know the original purpose and plan for he who has done all these and endured to the end. No one will say he didn't know, he has to join in the suffering in order to enter the kingdom, you know but out of laziness, and because of what your friends will say about this flesh you'll leave here, you decide to withdraw. People might insult you and all that but a time is coming when you'll leave this world and all those insults will be long forgotten, whether you're in hell or heaven. If you're in sin, you know quite right that you are in sin, but because you think the master will come at a distant time and because you think the master is a kind hearted man, well He is, but just as He is, so also, He is a bringer of wrath. I thank God for the few who have received the word to heart, treasure it and invest more on it to attain a higher spiritual status. You'll be covered in flames that'll incinerate sin and the evil one when touched. Angels shall be your guard always, don't you know that every child of God has angels as his escort even if he goes to the bathroom, whether he buries himself in the ground they're there. The devil has blinded the eyes of men from knowing what it means to walk with the Lord. Those who are like the wicked servant, well, continue in your wickedness, then you'll know the Lord stands by His word.
  40. 1 point
    Our relationship with Jesus matters a lot, it's not what we do for men, or for the church that matters, what matters is a Man's heart. Jesus does not care about what’s on the outside, or the things done just to please men or yourself but, only what comes from the heart, be it good or of evil. For whatever comes out of the heart of a man is what makes him clean or unclean. God is searching for a clean heart, He can't even look down to the unrighteous, all the places I've seen in the scriptures I haven't seen God looked at the heart of a sinner, he doesn't even hear their cry, because its an abomination to him. The only time I know God hears the cries of the unrighteous and said He will come down to see how they're doing, was the era of Sodom and Gomorrah, you know the story, He only came to see the gravity of their sins and brought destruction on them. Though His grace is there, which is for our salvation but, shall we continue in sin that grace might abound. By grace a man is called into repentance, but there's still a work to be done, to be born again, and that is; purifying yourself by denying yourself of all fleshly desire, pleasures of sin and with prayers and meditating on the word for Him to sanctify your heart. Only then you can live a life without sin, some will say it's impossible, because they've been so entangled in sin, thinking it impossible. " How can one overcome lust: fornication, masturbation and the rest," they'll say. don't forget Paul said whatever you are passing through, know that your brethren all over the world are going through the same thing. Disobedience, our disobedience is really an important issue, all the troubles we're facing in this world today is as a result of it. A song writer wrote; " Oh what things we often forfeit, Oh what needless pain we bear, All because we do not carry everything to God in prayer." It's one thing to have faith, yes faith is good, with faith as little as a mustard seed, one can say unto any mountain; " be moved and tossed into the sea" and it will come to pass. With faith one can believe in Jesus. Faith is an heavenly currency, the more you grow in Christ Jesus the more your faith grows, Faith is believing in Christ Jesus, even the moment you truly gave your life to Christ, that is faith. But faith has stages and ranks, the faith of a highly spiritual man is different from that of a beginner in the spirit. If one of little faith wants to buy something of 100 dollar and he only has 10 dollar, he make purchases, right?, but If a highly spiritual man has 10,000 dollar he can buy that item from heaven immediately. That's the reason why some people's prayers gets answered fast. Faith without works is useless, by works I don't mean handy works. These works are the things you do. A prophet would always say; " you can't pray for a rain not to fall and still carry an umbrella." Meaning; faith without absolute trust in God is useless, that is trusting God alone, not compromising Him with something else. We grow in faith by constant hearing of the word of God with our heart, not ear, that is constant meditation on the word of God. Obedience is another aspect, Jesus only needs our obedience, there are certain things that we don't even ask Jesus to do and He does them, because of our obedience to him. He said: Matthew 6:33 " Seek first and all other things shall be added unto you." Job 36:11 " If they obey and serve Him, they'll spend the rest of their days in prosperity, and their years in contentment." Psalm 34:5 "Those who look unto the Lord are radiant, and their faces are never covered with shame." Psalm 91 " He that dwells in the secret place of the Lord most high shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty, therefore no evil shall befall him, neither shall any plague come near his dwelling, for He shall give his angels charge over him , to keep him in all his ways." Psalm 34:7 " The angels of the lord always encamp around the righteous." So if your are obedient to him, know that his angels are standing right where you are right now, even if no one in your household is righteous, for your sake they're still there. You see these are all promises, that doesn't need prayers, only thanksgiving. Let us find it right to obey God, first; for our salvation and all other things shall following, that doesn't mean there won't be hard times, for many are the affliction of the righteous but, God will deliver them from them all.
  41. 1 point
    If you're full of the word, you're full of God's power, God's strength, God's nature of righteousness, holiness and purity, you're full of life and if you are full of the word you're full of Jesus. Being born into a world of sin, being born of flesh contaminated with the blood of sin, we have been more of ourselves and less of Jesus, we have been more of sin and less of Jesus, we have been more of flesh, more of the world and less of the spirit of God the holy spirit. Since the fall of man, man has been lesser in every aspect, even lesser than animals, you can imagine how a lady will see a rat or a cockroach and she screams as if she saw something from a horror movie or the devil himself. Just as we have been less, our Lord Jesus Christ came and went on the cross for our sake that we shall be restored and be more of Him. He went that we shall be restored to the original position he made us for, he went to restore that relationship p with God we had lost. Man has no excuse, you have no excuse, Jesus came in the flesh to tell you that; just as you're in the flesh he also went through the flesh as man and overcame sin nailing it to the cross. Jesus coming through Mary, was just a natural process set by God, every soul is from God created by God from above, but for the soul to walk the earth in the physical it needs to be clothed with the flesh as a container, this is where marriage came in. The original purpose of marriage is just for a man and a woman to join flesh and blood to produce a container for a soul to be sent to the earth. However, men lack knowledge of this and so in their sin they got married and have children. When a man who has anger and a woman in bondage of sexual immou come together, they produce a hybrid, thereby contaminating the container of the child with the spirit of anger and lust, and this affects the soul of the child causing the child to live in sin, unless he recieves Jesus. That's why the world is overruned by demons living in men. The increase of men contaminated of sin, is the increase of evil roaming the earth. Now you see why Jesus came through Mary, Mary was the daughter of a priest, a holy virgin without contamination, a container without contamination. Jesus was born as man, with the flesh being weak as yours, but still he lived as an example that through Him man can be saved. Jesus died for us, first: to restore us from sin unto salvation, ( for those who believes in His name, and then paid the price to reach the end were salvation lies.) But, those who are already born again, you who is born again living a life without sin, there is a second restoration; restoration as sons of God, to be restored with the fullness of God, to regain that relationship with God we had lost. How much are you sacrificing, you who is born again? how much price are you paying to be restored? don't think it ends with living a life without sin. You who have been delivered from sin, you have a job to deliver, and you cannot deliver if you're not full of the word. A man cannot give what he doesn't have. To be full of the word is to be full of life, for Jesus is life, if you have life you have Jesus, if you have Jesus you have life, and out of your belly rivers of life shall overflow. But how much is your life? how much can you give? one of the reason people go for envagelism and can't win a soul is because they're not full of life. ( don't get me wrong here the holy spirit is the one who converts, man convince but the holy spirit converts if you're speaking word of holy ghost.) Giving the gospel is giving life and it is like giving water to a thirsty man. If the man to be saved has a jug of water to be filled, because of how far he has gone in sin, ( the deeper he went the bigger the jug.) If he has a jug to be filled and you born again only has a cup of water of life in you, you can't actually fill that jug of water to make that man born again, because of the less of Jesus in you. Untill the Lord sends another of His own overflowing with life, having more than a jug of water, only then can that man's jug be filled. Salvation itself is a mystery, even after filling the man's jug, he can decide to pour out the water given and return to his sin empty. If you really want to win a soul for Jesus, then today, you must begin to fill yourself with the word, to be full of Jesus, so you will no longer speak as a child, but grow the spirit of Christ in you to speak like an adult, words of holy ghost, given by God. A born again not full of God's word speaks as a child, he speaks with little substance, but he that his filled utters the deep things of God. He that is full of the word stands as a channel of salvation, not only from sin, but from impending dangers. A man born again in the holy ghost and full of the word, is a channel, a checkpoint of God here on Earth. There are two channels: " light and darkness," and i tell you the channels of darkness is much, because of the increase of sinful men. Where one in sin stands, he is a checkpoint of the devil to the nearest child of God who is close by and the devil uses him as a medium to frustrate that child of God. Where there's a child of God there is light, because he is a channel of light. If something evil is to happen to someone or a man is to be saved from sin, that child of God nearest to him is the quickest medium God can use to deliver that man, or everybody around him ( like in an accident ). You filled of the word can pray to God and nullify problems of men when being brought to you, for the glory of God, no matter how great, so they can have salvation if possible. I'm not talking of money problem. God delivers men, using his own as an instrument so His name will be glorified, to bring also an invitation to salvation, not for show off. You become a channel of blessing where there's lack, you as a righteous man cannot lack, the Lord sustain the righteous, for God's word sustains both physically and spiritually. A man full of the word is full of spiritual riches and also blessed as the Lord provides. God doesn't give too little, making some curse His name through complaining and he doesn't give too much so some won't forget Him. Still, no one who isn't contented cannot follow Jesus. when you're full of the word, you are shielded In God's fortress, you have the word as a shield, a defence, the more the word dominates your heart, the stronger his shield. If the evil one should project an attack, the word of God stands as a force field to stop that attack, this attack could be of sin, sickness, porverty, death whatever it maybe. But if you're not built on the word, your sheild will be weak and what happens when a barricade is being smash continually without it being fortified, it'll eventually fail. That's why you can see one born again today, but in sin tomorrow, because he didnt devour God's word as food to strength his barrier and when sin hits and hits, it eventually went through and got his heart. If your shield is not strengthened, there are Spiritual attacks you can't withstand as you advance in Jesus, the evil one can touch you anytime he wants. The fullness of the word, the fullness of Jesus is with those that obeys to the last command, to be obedient is to have love for God, to have love is to make sacrifice, you cannot obey if you can't make sacrifice. You have changed masters, to satisfy the new master you must change how you live in your old house to please the new no matter how unpleasing it seems. You must obey every command, no stealing, you obey, no lying, you obey, be gentle you obey, let not your eyes lust after the flesh, you obey. At first it's frustrating, but in time you'll get use to the new master and his household eventually. The Lord only rewards those who obey, he only fights for those who obey, there's are things you don't ask for, there are attacks you're not aware of, but, because of your faithfull obedience to the word, He automatically provides and stands for you. To be full of the word is to live a life of Christ without sin naturally, people struggle to live a righteous life, because they're not full of the word, in the end they give up and starts proclaiming to the world that it's impossible to live without sin. When a man is full of God's word he is full of Jesus, the Jesus in him makes him to live a holy life naturally, the life he lives is no longer his, but Jesus living in him. When he walks Jesus walks, when he speaks Jesus speaks. Men have been full of the spirit of evil that's why it is hard for them to leave their sin. It's like sweeping a house and the more you sweep you keep letting your child to roam the house with dirt from the outside. If you're not full of the word, the spirit of Christ in you cannot grow to conquer that giant of sin you have nutured all these years. This why men live in sin, the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak, the flesh has encroached so much that you don't want to look that way, but you find your head turning that direction, why don't you get yourself full of the word so that when you want to act Jesus will be the one in controll not you. To be full of the word is to be full of God's power, the word of God is power, it is authority. Jesus is the word. Jesus and God the Father are one, if you're full of the word you're full of Jesus, you have Jesus in you and you in Jesus. When you walk power walks, when you speak power speak, whatever you do in the name Jesus is in the authority of God. Whatever you say in the name of Jesus in accordance to God's will, comes to pass. He hears you immediately, and answers you immediately because He is close to you, because He is in you and has taken over. We can go on and on. The main thing about been full of the word is to be full of Jesus so we can be restored as sons, it is only a son that has a duty in the house and he's the one who inherits of the father. Be full of the word, not to cram but as food, in time you'll have a hunger for it. As a child eats he grows and as he grows, his appetite grows also to have more hunger for food. When you do this you'll be full of Jesus, and you'll be able to know the mind of God, because Jesus recieves form the Father and gives to us. If you're filled with Jesus dominating you, when God speak, Jesus speaks and you hear Him clearly and audibly in your heart. How wonderful it is to be restored. The word also gives weighty prayers. Prayer is our artillery, our hammer and the word is our strength. What do you think will happen when a man whith much strength and the other with little strength were to smash different wall of same build, with same hammer. Of course the one with much strength will smash through in one go, while the other will spend much time smashing. If you're full of the word; you say only few words in prayers and you go your way, it increases faith, you pray once. It's like using a small explosive to bring down a skyscrapper.
  42. 1 point
    Look at the cross, Jesus took your entire burden, His precious blood conquered all, No one cared for your soul, His lover never fails. Look beyond His death, Victory belongs to the house of David, What was fractured has been redeemed, Hallelujah hallelujah, You’re free from bondage, His blood did it at no cost, Forever and ever you are soul is free, His life did it all. Beware of the snares, traps by the enemy, Be watchful, God hates sin, Be righteous O Ye’ man, Walk in holy ways, pray and watch, The enemy stares at you, Christ died for you O Ye’ sinner. By. Nyaruri Paul Okinyi Kenya
  43. 1 point
    QUOTE: Come to me all ye who are heavily burden and I shall give you rest (Matthew 11:28). A Workaholic is a person who compulsively works excessively hard and long hours. Psalm 127 reminds us that if we are building our kingdom without God, we will be laboring in vain. Unless the Lord builds the house, those who build it labor in vain. Unless the Lord watches over the city, the watchman stays awake in vain. It is in vain that you rise up early and go late to rest, eating the bread of anxious toil; for he gives to his beloved sleep. The Bible use the word 'Unless' which means the same as if...not. If we do not invite God we labour in vain. And God wants us to find rest in him. Hard work cannot be undermined but by working longer hours we trust in our abilities and not in the Lord. If we are building God’s kingdom, there is nothing ever to worry about, because God is in control. Our worry and anxiety reveal our concern is for the wrong kingdom. In the creation story; on the seventh day God rested. He did not rest because He was tired. Rather the Lord teaches that everything must be done in moderation. Likewise in Mark 6:31, Jesus told His disciples; "come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest". He understood there is a time to rest and communicate with his followers. The King of kings had his own quiet time and rested. Workaholics deny those around them the opportunity to enjoy their presence. And working for longer hours is harmful to your health and can destroy any meaningful human relationship. There are times you think you need to work extra to earn a living but be reminded Jesus during his earthly ministry slept in the storm. His disciples where apprehensive but he was sleeping because he who count the clouds is his Father. Trust God to do what you cannot. The world around me may be collapsing, but I can lay my head down knowing God is in control and my life is in his hands. CONFESSION: When I am down to nothing, my Lord is up to something greater.
  44. 1 point
    My father was born in 1891, 12 years before the Wright Brothers flew. He lived his entire life in New York City from the horse-and-buggy era to the age of jet-airliners and tall skyscrapers – a very transformational period. I was born in 1946, and was the only child from my parents’ late-in-life union. Mom was 43 at the time, and they told me many times that I was a “surprise baby.” Dad was a respected supervisory mechanical engineer. He worked until 1954 when he was ruled disabled because of quickly deteriorating eyesight. As a young lad, he took me for outings on many of the city’s far-reaching elevated and subway lines. By the time I was 11, my father was no longer able to navigate the city and transit system on his own. But he still took me out exploring to both show and teach me. My father held his cane in one hand and my arm in the other, telling me how to get where we were going, and it was my job to get us there safely. It was a sight to behold – a youngster leading a blind tour guide on sightseeing trips! On the many forays around the city, I saw bridges, buildings, trains, railroad facilities, museums, ships, and a lot more. My blind father gave me a passion for railways and engineering, which led me into a very successful and enjoyable career. Photo - Stephen Sr. and Catherine McEvoy with “Surprise Baby” Stephen aka Me I was told little about Dad’s earlier life before my birth. But my father did share that he was put in an orphanage when he was just 4 years old, where he lived 10 years. There was never any mention of my paternal Grandparents James and Emily (Foster) McEvoy. And, in spite of asking many times, I never learned why my father wound up in an orphanage at such a young age. It wasn’t until many years after his death that I realized how great of a man and father he truly was, and I recently learned that I only knew half the story. My family gave me a DNA kit as a Christmas gift. It included a box, vial, instructions, and seemed high-tech and complicated. It sat on my desk for six months before I finally read the material, which turned out to be quite simple. I spit some saliva into the vial, completed a short form, put it into the provided box, and mailed it back for DNA analysis. Nothing complex at all. I had no idea what the DNA results would be. The only significant question I had about my heritage was why my father found himself in an orphanage at 4 years of age. A few weeks later, I received the results – Great Britain 45%, Ireland 34%, Iberian Peninsula 9%, Scandinavia 8%, and a smattering of other geographical regions. I also received a list of 159 possible 3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th cousins, but I never reached out to any of them. However, two of these relatives contacted me – David, the grandson of my Uncle Henry, and Patricia, the great granddaughter of my Uncle William. They both confirmed that my father was one of seven siblings. Interesting but nothing earth shattering. Then I raised the long-unanswered question whether they knew why my father wound up in an orphanage at a young age. They were surprised that I did not know about the family tragedy. Rather than tell me the gory details, they briefed me about the basics and explained how I could research the sad events for myself. I quite easily found the tragic story in many newspapers. I was shocked to learn that on July 6, 1895, my Grandfather James McEvoy, during a drunken rage, shot my Grandmother Emily in the head and torso. The shooting occurred in front of two of their children. The other five children immediately ran into the room after the gunfire. As reported in the New York Herald, “The seven children were screaming and yelling. The flat was in the wildest disorder.” James penned two suicide notes before the deed, but he yielded to the children’s pleading that he not turn the gun on himself. Police officers soon arrived and took James into custody. “Only the clubs of six policemen kept James McEvoy from being lynched by his frantic neighbors…” Emily was taken to a hospital where she died two days later. My grandfather was a premeditated murderer. The day after Emily’s death, James was being transported to court for legal proceedings via Manhattan’s Third Avenue Elevated Line. While handcuffed and waiting on the 59th Street Station platform, James pulled away and threw himself onto the track in front of the approaching train. He was mortally wounded and died in a hospital an hour later. Within three short days, my father and his six siblings (ranging from 2 to 19 years of age) violently lost both parents. James’ family helped the seven children transition through the aftermath of the terrible tragedy. The three eldest needed minimal assistance, while my father, the second youngest, wound up in an orphanage. I spent my entire career in railway operations and engineering, and it was bizarre for me to learn that my grandfather died in Manhattan after being run over by an elevated train, hauled much less by a steam locomotive. And I walked through the intersection of 59th Street and Third Avenue many times over the years totally unaware that such a horrific family tragedy occurred there just one long generation ago. Photo - New York’s Third Avenue Elevated Circa 1878-1895 before Electrification There are many events in life that we cannot foresee or prepare for, and learning this sad family history was certainly one of them. And yet, as terrible as the tragedy was, I felt prepared for the bad news to a significant degree. I accepted Jesus as Lord and Savior 54 years ago on simple blind faith, without thinking it all through. Almost immediately, I struggled with many “whys” – why God allows pain, suffering, disease, death, and dozens more. After 10 years or so of wrestling with God, I still could not understand or rationalize the human condition, and I gave up trying. I simply decided to yield and accept the Biblical explanations – we live in a fallen world where free will prevails, sin permeates, and stuff happens – both good and bad. While I still do not like or understand why things are the way they are, I stopped trying to make sense of it all. I reaffirmed my faith in Jesus and His Sacrifice on my behalf, and I also firmly embraced God’s Written Word, regardless of my feelings and unanswered questions. So, learning about my family’s tragedy did not jar or rattle me to any significant degree, but the sad story did slowly cut to my heart in a number of other ways. I have been unable to feel any sympathy for James McEvoy. He had a history of drunkenness and violence, and was arrested several months before the murder for attacking his wife Emily while intoxicated. I do have an immense empathy for Emily, who gave James seven children only to be slaughtered by him. The story generated much emotion in me about my father overcoming such a turbulent and tragic childhood, and excelling in life in spite of it. Dad never complained and never seemed sad, even after he went blind. Dad’s oldest brother William stirs even greater emotion in me, because he unexpectedly became the family patriarch at the age of 19. He stepped up to the plate, providing love and assistance to his youngest siblings. My father recounted that William visited him many times during the 10 years spent in the orphanage, after which William took my father home to live with him and his family during my dad’s teenage years. However, the greatest emotion and discomfort I have felt about the tragedy is not about James, Emily, William or my father, but about me. The story has reminded me about my sinful nature, failures and shortcomings. As strange as it sounds, I feel blessed, enriched and even healed by these sad introspective feelings. While I cannot change history, I can still change myself and also allow God greater control over my life. A touching side story to the tragedy was that the Plasterers’ Union of which James was a member contributed $150 towards the funeral cost. When adjusted for inflation, this is equivalent to $4,167 today – not a trivial amount. Considering that James was a drunken murderer, such a sizable donation was a remarkable showing of fraternal love, and also an important reminder that the Second Great Commandment to love our neighbor applies even when we hate what the neighbor did! The moral of the story may seem to be that before spitting for a DNA test, be prepared for the possibility of bad news. However, that is just a “catchy” title; the lesson is much deeper than that. There are many other far more likely possible tragedies that could befall us tomorrow, which would more greatly test and challenge our faith, and rack our emotions. The promises in Revelation 21:4 make clear that we currently live in a fallen world where bad stuff happens even to the best of Christians: “He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” (Revelation 21:4 ESV) The sheltered “bubbles” we live in might burst tomorrow. We could prematurely lose a loved one, have a heart attack, be diagnosed with cancer, or become paralyzed! I have seen these and other tragic life-changing events happen to the finest of Christians. Although rarely preached or dwelt upon, such sad possibilities are well-established Biblical truths. As much as I do not like or understand it, living the Christian Life still subjects us to significant risks and uncertainties every day, because we live in a fallen world. Every person deals with some measure of obstacles, problems and even tragedies in life. However, Christ’s sacrificial death and resurrection provide promise, hope, grace and power to rise above and overcome the worst of events. The larger moral of my family story is Before Going to Bed Tonight, Be Prepared. I am reminded of Ephesians 6:13: “Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm.” (Ephesians 6:13 ESV) And what is “being prepared?” Nothing more than trust and faith in Jesus Christ, not only for salvation, but also for all our tomorrows; and, obedience to the Word of God, and actively living out God’s desires and plans for our lives. Not only will this prepare us, these “actions of faith” (regardless of feelings) will also allow us to live victoriously.
  45. 1 point
    I have written over a hundred some poems in the last 10 years plus articles and devotions. This is one of my favorites I'd like to share. ----------------------------------------------------- The Other World the other world is so far, i see it in the stars as a dreamlike fantasy, a world so far removed in my dreams i see you, calling me home but my wings are broken, dreams of only fantasy In the low places I cry, wondering what I've become wonders of otherness thrown, like sand crystals in the wind I am not worthy of wings, i break and turn from your gaze for i take my pain and shove it in your face grace and other world shines, even in the darkest places when i hide from your face, even in the dark you shine your hands lift me from the muddy grave breathing new a life to hold and mold, the other world to fly to when i fall and shout your name, sometimes i cry wheeling away in blind rage, at times in pain or shame even after knowing your claim, like a child i run away to be thrown back against the rocks and thorns to be brought low in a humbled state, for who am I but the blowing leaf swirling in the winds of time yet you gaze at me and say i love you no matter your stain for this i cry your name, Elohim, most high God grace and other world shines, the darkness recedes you place your hands on my face and I see a truth unfold wings burst free and my eyes behold the other world anew grace redeems me and I stand to fix my gaze on you
  46. 1 point
    The Problem The gospel is the good news that Jesus Christ came to save lost sinners and restore us to a right relationship with God. When we first heard about this gospel and believed it we were filled with inexpressible joy. We realized that the burden of our sin that we had been carrying our entire lives was lifted, taken away, and we were now set free from sin by the grace of God. Jesus’ invitation to come to him in Matthew 11:28 was such a breath of fresh air! Yet, as time went on we moved away from joy of the gospel that saved us and quickly became discouraged as we learned about the commands in scripture and found them very difficult to follow. There are about 1,050 commands in the New Testament alone! Do not be angry, do not lust, do not covet (desire what someone else has), rejoice in your afflictions, do not judge, don’t be hypocritical, love your neighbor, etc… etc… etc… We end up seeing the list of do’s and don’ts as overwhelming and impossible to keep. It’s no wonder that so many of us fall away as we try our hardest to keep the commands of God yet continue to fail over and over and over again. At this point we re-read Matthew 11:28-30 and say, this verse no longer makes sense to me. I came to you when I was weary and burdened, but I didn’t get rest, I just got more burdens. So Jesus your yoke does not feel easy and your burden doesn’t feel light. So something has to be broken! Either the word of God is wrong, or we’re going about this Christian life in the wrong way. Hallelujah the Bible is never wrong and this is very good news for us! Let’s discuss. The Command To make matters worse we see verses in scripture like John 14:21. We were feeling bad enough but now our love for Jesus is seemingly being linked with our obedience to Jesus and we already established that we can’t keep his commands, so what does this mean for us? So, we try our best to keep the commands of Jesus to show that we love him. We muster up strength each and every day to try again and again and again, though our efforts don’t seem to be sustainable and we end up falling back into sin. You begin to relate to the Apostle Paul where he says “What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!” (Romans 7:24-25). Let’s take a closer look at John 14:21 and see what Jesus is commanding here? Is he calling us to a sanctification (the process of being made holy) by works? Ephesians 2:8-9 says that we are saved by grace through faith, not by works. So is our sanctification now a work of the flesh? Certainly not as Paul says to the church in Galatia: Paul would go on to answer that it is by hearing with faith. In our context 2000 years later you could say by reading the word of God with faith. So clearly we’re not sanctified by our effort for Jesus, so what does Jesus mean in John 14:21 that those who keep his commands are the ones who love him? John Piper teaches on this topic in his sermon If Anyone Loves Me, He Will Keep My Word and has this to say about the relationship between love for Jesus and the keeping of his commands. So Jesus isn’t calling us in John 14:21 to a set of works to prove our love for him, but instead is saying that the ones who already love him will be known by what they do (keeping his commands). And so, I mentioned that this was good news and here is the reason why. The reason that we try and fail and try and fail over and over again is that we’re trying to do works in the flesh and we know that the flesh is weak. Instead what Jesus is calling us to is a relationship with him. He’s calling us to love him, and you’ll know whether you truly love him by your ability to keep his commands. So the solution to the problem isn’t to work harder for Jesus, the solution is to return to your first love. Return to the gospel that you once heard and believed and felt inexpressible joy. Dive, head first, into the scriptures which reveal the beauty, and glory of Jesus and ask the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of truth, to reveal Christ to you in ways that you’ve never seen him before. Piper goes on to describe how our love for Jesus produces a delight in us to obey his commands that is not hard at all. Love for Jesus is a response to beauty and greatness and glory. It is not a response to need or weakness or defect. Which also means that love for Jesus is pleasurable. It’s desiring him because he is infinitely desirable. It’s admiring him because he is infinitely admirable. It’s treasuring him because he is infinitely valuable. It’s enjoying him because he is infinitely enjoyable. It’s being satisfied with all that he is, because he is infinitely satisfying. It’s the reflex of the awakened and new-born human soul to all that is true and good and beautiful, embodied in Jesus. In short, loving Jesus is not a matter of doing excellent things. It’s a matter of delighting in an excellent Savior. Jesus says doing excellent things — keeping my word — is the result of delighting in the excellent Savior. “If anyone loves me, he will keep my word.” This is vastly different from the attempted works in the flesh that fail. This is the Jesus that was able to say come to me, all you who are weary and burdened and I will give you rest, for my yoke is easy and my burden is light. Do you see now what Jesus meant? So to all who are reading this, who are feeling weary and burdened by the weight of responsibility to keep Jesus’ commands, you may now find rest for your weary souls. Matthew 11:28-30 was not written only to the new believer but also to you right now. God promises to those who seek him, that they will find him. Not only that, but God delights to fill you with the Holy Spirit. So ask God to fill you with the Spirit, ask the Spirit to reveal Jesus to you in the Scriptures, and ask the Holy Spirit to enable you to keep Jesus’ commands (not by the flesh but by the all powerful Spirit living in you). For what is impossible with men is possible with God. The Reward Now finally, if this wasn’t good news enough God promises even more. Going back to John 14:21 Jesus says “The one who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love them and show myself to them.” When you keep the commands of Christ by the overflow of love that you have for him, God the Father will pour out his love for you, and Jesus will reveal more about himself to you! Isn’t that what we all want? To know Jesus more and more and more? The more that we become perfected by love producing the fruits of righteousness (good works), the more Jesus will reveal himself to you. In turn this will cause you to love Jesus more, produce more fruit, and Jesus reveals even more of himself. This is the true process of sanctification. It’s not hard, it’s not work, and it’s all about loving Jesus. You can’t do it on your own, and praise God for that! We’re called to relationship, not simply duty. You need the empowering of the Holy Spirit in order to supernaturally see the beauty and glory of Jesus in the scriptures. Again, pray to the Spirit, ask him to reveal Jesus to you and to grow your love for him. That is the reason that the Father sent him was to lead us into all truth about Jesus. He delights to talk about Jesus and will always answer this prayer. Try it today! Open your Bible and pray and see what the Spirit reveals to you. You will not be disappointed. Blessings. Additional Resources: If Anyone Loves Me, He Will Keep My Word – Sermon by Pastor John Piper – Bethlehem Baptist Church, Minneapolis Minnesota. How to Find Gold in God’s Word – Sermon by Pastor John Piper – Bethlehem Baptist Church, Minneapolis Minnesota.
  47. 1 point
    His Eye Is On The Sparrow (Acrostic) I never knew such gladness, Sing praises to His name, Because He lives within me, I’m joyful all the same, Happy, alive, and breathing, I cherish every day, Sing, "Glory Hallelujahs!” Because He came my way, I’m not the one to suffer, Free, I will always be, For His loving arms surround me, His arms are lifting me. Eye above each kingdom Is where I’m brought to see, On each day I’ve knelt and prayed, The Lord, my soul has freed. Sparrow of God, please, take me And fly, again, above, I want to soar and sail once more, Know Jesus and His Love. He, my precious Lord and Savior, Watches all that comes my way, Over every situation, Me, in whom He’s raised. Lighthouse Bob
  48. 1 point
    If serenity could be captured in a picture, the scene of snow falling gently onto the ground would be a good candidate. If only their lives had been that calm these past two months. Waking up in a hospital room not knowing who he was, watching the woman who called herself his wife burst into tears when he’d said he didn’t know her, and the kids’ faces when they were told their daddy couldn’t remember them . . . Oliver, as he’d been told was his name, peeked inside the baby’s room, where he spotted Natalie rocking . . .Lily? Laila? He frowned. He’d remembered his wife’s name, but not his daughter’s. He stepped inside, and Natalie looked up as he approached. “Are the other kids in bed?” she asked. “Almost,” Oliver replied. “One of the boys is still brushing his teeth. I think it’s . . .um, it’s Ethan?” A ghost of a smile appeared on his wife’s face. She nodded, tucking a strand of red hair behind her ear. “He goes by EJ though,” she said. “To avoid confusion because we named him after my dad.” “Oh. Okay, that-that makes sense. What's the 'j’ for?” “John. After my paternal grandfather.” “Okay.” Oliver glanced at the baby. “Her name starts with an L, right?” “Yeah. It’s Laila.” “Thought so,” Oliver said, starting to back out of the room. “I’m, uh, gonna say goodnight to EJ.” He turned from the doorway and had barely stepped into the next room when he heard EJ’s voice pipe up. “Dear God, thank you for today, and for the snow. We’re gonna have a lot of fun tomorrow playing in it! And maybe I won’t fall off the sled this time!” He must be talking about last year, Oliver thought, as the snow outside was the first of the season. He peeked around the door frame, where he spotted the eight-year old, kneeling in front of his bed and with his red hair sticking up on all sides. “I know I’ve been saying I want my two front teeth back for Christmas,” EJ continued. “But I don’t care about them anymore. Now all I want for Christmas is for Dad to have his memories back, so he can remember us.” Oliver swallowed, though it did nothing to dissolve the growing lump in his throat. “Thank You, Jesus. Amen!” Peeking inside, Oliver spotted EJ climbing into bed. “Hey,” he said. EJ looked up, and a wide grin spread across his face. “Hi, Dad!” He said. Oliver came inside, and sat on the edge of the bed. “Did you brush your teeth real good?” “Yeah,” EJ said. “I brushed ‘em for two minutes! Just like you and Mom taught me!” “That’s good,” Oliver said with a small smile. “You, um, glad you didn’t have two extra teeth to brush?” EJ thought a moment. "Kind of," he said. "But I don't really care." “Okay, well . . .” Oliver sighed. “Goodnight, I guess.” He stood and looked around the room. The other two boys were already fast asleep. He started moving towards the door, and asked, “Do you want the door closed?” “Yeah,” EJ said as he burrowed under his covers. Oliver stopped at the doorway. Something was missing . . .something he needed to say? “Love you, Dad,” EJ said. That must be it. “L-love you too,” Oliver replied. He closed the door, and peeked inside Laila’s room. Natalie was putting her in the crib, and when she finished and came out, Oliver said, “EJ’s in bed.” “Did he brush his teeth for two minutes?” “Yeah. Just like we . . .taught him.” A moment of silence passed between them, her bright blue eyes meeting his dark brown. “Goodnight, Oliver.” Natalie said, brushing past him. “Goodnight.” He watched her disappear into their room at the end of the hallway, then leaned against the wall and looked up. “I . . .” He swallowed, and ran a hand through his medium brown hair. “I need my memories back. Not-not just for my sake, but for Natalie's, and the kids' sakes.” He glanced between the doors in the hallway. “She needs her husband and they need their father,” he continued in a near-whisper. “Please, please, let me remember. I just want to remember.” He lingered for a moment more, then went off to bed.
  49. 1 point
    "And ye are complete in him..."- Colossians 2:10. It is easy to be addicted to compliments but we should not rely on people's approval. Your value does not come from another person approval, it comes from the Creator. Paul teaches in the above verse that we are “complete in Him,” meaning Christ. We need not rely on other people to make us happy. Apostle Peter loved Lord and was always there for Him but when Jesus needed Him the most at the cross, Peter was not there and he denied Jesus three times. Beloved those who celebrate you can also turn around to mock you. Only God endures till the end. God can lead us to kind people but it is important to understand that human beings are not all together perfect. Sometimes your love ones may be in a bad mood or had a hard day at workplace and may want to be left alone. Everyone has his or her challenges once in while, therefore and it will be totally unfair to give someone else the burden or responsibility of always making you happy, its selfish. No one is responsible for your happiness, do not put that extra pressure on them. People may make you feel special and you will feel special but if you are always depending on someone to make you happy, you become needy and insecure. We are complete in Christ. Life is dependent on how God sees you. When you know the Creator of the universe has His Spirit in you and approves you, you should live with your head high. He loved you before you woke up. We are self sufficient in Christ sufficiency. You should not depend on people's applause, you need God's applause. And the Lord will turn the hearts of men for your sake. The Bible states; that when a man's ways pleases the Lord, He will cause even His enemies to be at peace with Him (Prov.16:7). Promotion does not come from people it comes from God. The truth is, no one can meet all your needs only God can. The only one who can satisfy the human soul is the one who made it. Therefore the right attitude is; 'no one owes you anything, you are self- sufficient in Christ'. To expect another person to make you feel happy, secure and fulfilled will leave you disappointed at best and disillusioned at worst. Even a great husband makes a very poor God. Only God Himself can settle those deep heart-needs. Our key verse, Philippians 4:19 reminds us of this, “And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.” If a husband could meet every need his wife has, we’d have no need for God. So, instead of just focusing on finding the right partner, let God work on your heart to help you become the right partner. Marriage is a decision to honour God by honouring the one He has entrusted you. Our goal as Christians is not to seek loved but to be what we want another to be. God wants you to be the conduit through which His character flows, you need to be a reflection of Him. Love is more of a decision you make than a feeling you feel. If you are looking for love then - “delight yourself in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart” (Psalm 37:4). We are complete in Christ, He is our only source of true joy. Finally, humans are created to be exhausted and sleep off but only God is always awake and His hands comforts even while we are asleep. No human being can make you whole, only God can. Brethren, if you live for people's acceptance you will die of their rejection. Quit getting people to apologize to you for not giving you what Christ has already provided. Go to God. Shalom!
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