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Archive for the tag “Jesu”

God’s Word endures!

the-enduring-word-of-god

I get so pumped about the fact that the grass withers and flowers fade but the Word of God endures forever.  So often when I hear that I think of the promises of God that I can hold on to, His truths which will always be true and His love that is never-ending, He is faithful even when I am not.

However, I think it goes the other way too.

When He calls me on my sin and I do not pay attention.  When He calls out the error of my ways and my judgement and I ignore that still, small voice.  When He reminds me of His justice and His holiness and yet I seem to be able to shrug off those Words – do I really understand that His Word endures and that the consequences of continuing to reject them will bring about a lot of pain?

So it is that if I truly believe that His Word endures than those same Words that were spoken to generations before me hold still true today.  They are very relevant for me.  I must read, study and apply it – learning the lessons from those who have walked before me so that I do not repeat the mistakes of others.

 

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Are we saying its not the right time?

are we saying its not the right time

Let’s face it, we all have lots of things to do, have all kinds of pressures, some of us are bombarded left, right and centre and find ourselves in more times than we care to imagine – frustrated.

So how can we encourage one another to seek God in the midst of all of this?

Encouragement I believe is the right word because when we look inside ourselves I think we can admit that we are discouraged, if left unattended, we stop our devotional time with God.  Encouragement is the tool God has given us to motivate one another, turn ourselves around, pick up our tools and continue the work we had begun in our journey of adventure.

Unfortunately, we find ourselves not there.

It seems that instead of reaching the lost world for Jesus, investing in missions, interceding, giving…we have found our hope and strength and encouragement in the building up of our wealth.  Then we have moved on to displaying that wealth in the homes we live and the decor displays our passion for luxury.

What we have failed to see is that the harder we work for ourselves, the less we have because we have ignored our spiritual calling.  The exact same principle is true in the reverse.  When we put God first, He will provide for our deepest needs.  In other place of priority that we put Him in, all our efforts are futile.

Caring for our physical needs while ignoring our relationship with God leads only to ruin because you will find that material possessions do not satisfy.

Our problem lies in confused priorities.  Jobs, homes, vacations, and leisure activities may rank higher on our list of importance than God.  When is the right time to become unconfused?  When is the right time to connect with our relationship with God?

 

 

 

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God is jealous over those He loves

Being-Jealous-of-Gods-Generosity-300x199It is this very important passion of God that allows us to completely trust Him and enable us to put ourselves into the palm of His hand.

I know that jealousy is usually associated to sin as this characteristic is usually teamed up with control, selfishness and narcissism.  God’s jealousy is more like unconditional love, the exact opposite of what we see in ourselves when we experience jealous thoughts.

Mess with one of God’s children and He says that it is better if you were to tie a millstone around your neck and throw yourself into a river.  That brings up another word – vengeance.

For us, this is not an option.  God keeps the option of vengeance for Himself alone.  Even though He furiously will destroy His enemies, He is slow in getting angry.  Arouse Him and His power is incredible and mess with Him and find that exacts out the justice with little room for forgiveness.

If we are afraid of natural storms – hurricanes, cyclones, earthquakes, tsunamis – imagine when God gets engaged.

A word of advice – if you are going to mess with a follower of Jesus, consider yourself messing with God Himself.

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Prayer is a powerful privilege

prayer a poweful privilege

I think that I forget this truth more often than not.

There is the temptation to boil prayer down to the Lord’s prayer, or prayers of petition or grace, even prayers of blessing – but powerful?

Then if I get to the section where it is part of the description of what the armour of God looks like – I think of a prayer of protection – like Psalm 91.

But you cannot look at the life of Moses and Amos and not see that to them prayer was a privilege.  Its harder to see it in Abraham because he did a lot of face to face negotiations with God and Jesus did a lot of early morning and all night stuff – so again we didn’t see a lot.

Both Moses and Amos got in good with God.  God would show them His plan for the future and both Moses and Amos saw the privilege of that close communication and asked God to spare the destruction of so many.

Is it possible that we have not stood in the gap for the world as much as we should be?  Have I taken my relationship with God so personal that I have left the things of this world to “just happen” when I could have made a difference by calling on the grace and kindness of God?

I have been reminded in the last two weeks to really think about praying for my nation.  Maybe I am the one who can stand in the gap, see revival grip my heart and those around me.  May I see prayer today as a privilege, and stand for those who either cannot or will not.

 

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Are you good at watching sheep?

New_Zealand_Sheep_are_Watching_You

There is something about watching sheep that is missing our attention.  Shepherds are on God‘s radar screen to bless because they have something in their hearts that is very close to the heart of God.

So what is it and can those of us who do not watch sheep for a living capture the same heart?

It seems that a shepherd is a shepherd so that they are not caught up in the things of this world.  When we have to make a stand or be “peculiar,” we can.  It also means that money is probably not the most important thing in our lives either.

It seems that a shepherd has time on their hands to really connect with God – how many shepherds in the Bible were not friends with God in some way, shape or form?  This passion proved to be a launching pad into ministry for many of them.

There are so many times when I am made to feel that it is not glamorous and definitely not “spiritual.”  What turns the tap in my heart that makes me look past how I feel and enables me to be a channel of God’s message to others?  What I know is that if I am in the place God wants me to be than God and I can do extraordinary things, no matter how ordinary my occupation seems to be.

 

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Do you feel strengthened and helped?

kindergartenI find it amazing that the OT is filled with the wonder and amazement of God directly involved with His people and yet we somehow have difficulty understanding the movement of God or at least our NT world is quite different.

Sure we have Jesus who came, actually, who was sent by God to share the good news, and when He left, the Holy Spirit has remained behind and He has some very specific tasks to accomplish.

What about the angels that were so often described in some of the spiritual battles of the OT – have they disappeared in our NT world?

As a young child I remember stories vividly described by missionaries around the world – they saw angels involved and their lives were spared because of the presence of God’s messengers.  Maybe I am just not in the right circles anymore, because the missionaries today talk about microeconomics, building churches that look like mosques, creating orphanages and hospitals, water/food/medicine being of prime importance and evangelism that includes a normal attendance at church conferences of thousands upon thousands of people.  I just do not hear about angels anymore.

But my OT stories thrill me as do my NT stories and I know that angels play a key part in my life.  I believe that they are fighting a war that I cannot see, that there are adverse influences bearing on me from all around and that there is an angel that stands with me.  Can I prove it?

No, but I know it.

I know I have been strengthened.  I know that there is someone on my side confirming.  I know that I am being both served and defended and that certain affairs of mine have been taken care of.  These things happen by design and not by chance.

If evil spirits wish to do me harm then it just makes sense that angels come and direct and change those evil intentions.  They enable me to freely, with full liberty and encouragement, move along the narrow path and stay true to my calling – regardless of the doubts and hesitations that might creep into my mind or the objections that come across my path.  So wherever there is a movement or an influence by an evil spirit, their adversary is an angel of God.

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Learning the will of God

stepping stonesPraying can be quite a powerful experience when you understand the will of God in a certain situation.

For example, if you know that God wants to and is willing to heal someone, your prayers are a force to be reckoned with – full of confidence, hope, passion and you know that you know that the will of God is to heal.

If you know that God wants to bring certain people into the kingdom of God through an event, your prayers go out weeks in advance, everyone knows they play one role at that event, to bring glory to God so that He might receive glory from our lives and that His Word does not return void but goes out and changes hearts and lives.

Basically, it is when we do not know the will of God that our prayer life is rather limp.  When it comes to healing we say, “Lord, if it is your will, then heal.  If not, give us strength and peace to go through this experience.”

The event that is not grounded as something that God will use, drains the participants, exhausts resources and sees little results as the hope is only on a superficial scale that God will even show up.

How do we learn what the will of God is so that we can have prayer lives filled with conviction, promise, hope, power, confidence, expectation?

I believe there are two prime sources.

The Word of God reveals the character and desire of God.

If there is any confusion as to the timing or method, then we spend all night, or get up very early in the morning, and spend the time with the Father as Jesus did.  He received His instructions for the day from His Father and there was no doubt in His mind what His task was and wasn’t for the day ahead.

As in anything we are learning, it takes a dedication and a commitment.  As you desire to learn, God creates opportunities to go forward and experience.  As you study His Word, you can see where He wants to move and where He wants to be glorified.  Then come the instructions and then comes the prayer life energized because you now know the will of God.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zdQl1DuilMw&feature=colike

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Has truth and righteousness perished, evil triumphs and prospered?

gold-sun-shineThis is a thought and an attitude that will prevail during the last days, before Christ‘s return.  What surprises me and maybe it shouldn’t, is how over the years of war, famine, pestilence and pain, the people complain how much evil seems to rule, to have a hand over good, maybe to the point that the Devil is the real ruler of this world and that God is just a spectator unable to do anything.

Yet, in truth they are right.

They have rejected God and they have desired to go their own way and do their own thing and reap what they have sown – and I am sure God weeps over this, gets angry about it, is moved by the martyrs and the blood that is shed by them as they try to live for Him in this world of so much pain.  For even they try to bring peace and hope with the message of salvation and they and their message are consistently rejected.

It seems that people really never have changed.

As I reflect on the OT people, they are no different from today.  As I reflect on the empires of the NT, they are the same and when I contemplate our world today, especially Middle East and Africa and Asia, the pain of the people put on them by the evil of a few, is hardly containable and healable.

So I conclude, as maybe the people of God in times past, that God has a plan, a timetable.  A time for peace, a time for war, a time when people turn to Him and a time when they turn away, a time for evil people to rise and for them to fall, a time for righteousness and truth and a time for evil to reign and have the upper hand…

May I, no matter what time I find myself in, be found searching for Him, desiring to follow Him, willing to die for Him, in sickness or in health, whether in poverty or blessing.

 

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Jesus talks about His leadership

Jesus-Coming-Trumpet-e1324351057843-300x175I think that we get pretty absorbed into the servant leadership role that we see in Jesus’ life to the point that we stop understanding the power of His meekness.

As far back in the OT, far before He entered this world, it was declared what His purpose would be here on earth and what His role would be at the end of the world.

With those two leadership job descriptions in place, we see Jesus, a glimpse of Him before He even came into our world.

We understand the job description of His life here on earth pretty well I think.  So let me tell you His leadership role at the end of the world – He is given the ruling power and glory over all nations of the world, so that all people of every language must obey Him.  His power is eternal — it will never end — His government shall never fall.

This of course is confirmed in Revelation when we are introduced to the Lion of the tribe of Judah – we know Him as the Lamb.

This is something that should all Christians everywhere who are facing persecution should know.  The end has already been written – hence the expression, we are more than conquerors.  It is only for a time as we come before the world in meekness, yet in the power of the Lion who taught us how to serve until our time has come to join with Him and rule with Him.

 

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God’s favour will make others jealous

Let’s face it, most of us work in an environment where we probably associate with a lot of individuals who would not call themselves followers of Jesus.  Yet here we are, looking for God to give us favour, and wisdom and blessing in all that we do.

Before long we are working more efficiently and capably than all the rest.

We gain the attention of those in position of authority and earn a place of respect.  We have just realized that one of the best ways in influence our employers is to work hard.

Before long, the others will start to look for things in your life to criticize.  When they can’t, they will criticize your walk with God.  Here is some bad news – in a Christian ministry they do the same.  In fact, when you bring God into your work world, they say that you do that because you are not very good at what you do and are trying to draw the attention away from your lack of knowledge and tune it to something else.

Actually, they may have a point – I am not really good at what I do – God has granted incredible favour for me to be as good as I am and in my desire to glorify and honour Him, if this is what they see – well then maybe I can admit they are right.

My role is to remember that God is in control and if there be any need , He will fight my battle for me.

 

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