Archive for September, 2014

Do You Believe?


September 30th, 2014

Take a step closer to the Lord.

Ask, Seek, Knock

Matthew 7 “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.

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Loving Unconditionally


September 22nd, 2014

It’s easy to love people that are just like us.

Unconditional love says, I’m going to love you even if I don’t agree with you.

Don’t have a holier than thou attitude. Take off the judgmental glasses.

When we show this unconditional love, people may not respond right away. We are sowing seeds of love.

It may look like it’s not doing any good. We don’t have to straighten everybody out. All we have to do is sow the seed.

The church has been good at telling people what we don’t like. John 13:35, By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.

What would this world be like if instead of judging people we started loving people?

They may come from a different culture, denomination or faith. Sometimes we have this narrow view of God. When we get to heaven we will be surprised who all is there.

When you love unconditionally, you have a wide circle. You are not judging everyone to see if they fit in your little box.

A lot of times religion is trying to push people away. Do you have a heart to believe God? Do you believe in the resurrected Savior?

The mercy of God is wide.

Why do we try to make it so narrow? You don’t have to tell people what they’re doing wrong.

They already know that. Just love them. Where would we be without the mercy of God? When we made mistakes? When we didn’t deserve it?

There’s usually a good reason people are the way they are. Before you judge them, get to know them. God freely gave us mercy. Let’s give other people mercy.

One way to know how pure your heart is, is to look at how much you judge.

Too often we judge what we don’t understand. John 7:24, Stop judging by mere appearances, but instead judge correctly. Give everybody room to become who God created them to be.

Don’t judge by the exterior. You don’t have to understand someone to love them. You don’t have to agree with them to love them.

Start covering people with love. It’s easy to cover them with condemnation and guilt. Remember, they are on a journey. Show mercy.

Be understanding. Give them the benefit of the doubt. You’ll have more joy, better relationships. Your own life will improve.

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Heaven—myth and reality


September 19th, 2014

Read Romans 8:18-21

18-21 In my opinion whatever we may have to go through now is less than nothing compared with the magnificent future God has planned for us. The whole creation is on tiptoe to see the wonderful sight of the sons of God coming into their own. The world of creation cannot as yet see reality, not because it chooses to be blind, but because in God’s purpose it has been so limited—yet it has been given hope. And the hope is that in the end the whole of created life will be rescued from the tyranny of change and decay, and have its share in that magnificent liberty which can only belong to the children of God! (JBP)

It is so sad that ‘heaven’ has become a bit of a joke, has been equated to the popular mythology of pearly gates and disembodied winged creatures playing harps on puffy clouds. It is seen as a reward for being good on earth and as a vague sort of hope that those who die somehow are at rest and peace.

The biblical reality is much deeper and richer than this. Our passage today reminds us that when human beings become who they were made to be, the created world becomes what it was made to be. When humans went wrong, they dragged the created world down with them. And just as human beings who belong to God won’t just vanish into nothingness, neither will our world.

We may legitimately see heaven as very much this world renovated. This world with all the wrong and passing removed and all the good indescribably enhanced. The bad things will have gone and what is good in this life will be seen as a mere foretaste of the deeper pleasures of heaven.

While we dare not see heaven as merely an extension of life on earth (one big party with our mates), we dare not see it as some purely ‘spiritual’ reality either. We have a future in heaven, and our created world has a future—perhaps as that heaven.

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One thing after another


September 17th, 2014

Read 2 Corinthians 4:7-10

7 But we have this treasure in clay jars, so that it may be made clear that this extraordinary power belongs to God and does not come from us. 8 We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; 9 persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; 10 always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be made visible in our bodies. (NRSV)

Life is sometimes one unsettling thing after another. There can be times when we hardly dare respond to a phone call or we dread a message being sent to us. One bit of bad news seems to be followed by further bits. The hammer blows keep falling.

Of course this isn’t always the case, and one way we deal with such troubled times is to recognise that they are not the only reality, that they will pass, that the sun still shines above and beyond the clouds. We dare not deny bad times come but we dare not assume they are the only times we have or will have.

And we also remember that great ones like the Apostle Paul had similar seasons of life when things seemed so fiercely against them. Like him, we remember that this is part of following Jesus in our imperfect world where the evil one attacks us constantly. Like him, we remember that God’s power comes into its own when our power runs out.

It seems God doesn’t always spare us from bad news and difficult challenges. He can provide a way around them, but it seems he so often chooses to provide a path through them. Our only certainty is that God will be good even if our circumstances are not.

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Starting at the right place


September 16th, 2014

Read Psalm 127:1-2

1 Unless the LORD builds a house,
the work of the builders is wasted.
Unless the LORD protects a city,
guarding it with sentries will do no good.
2 It is useless for you to work so hard
from early morning until late at night,
anxiously working for food to eat;
for God gives rest to his loved ones (NLT)

We can so easily get frantically involved in activity for God without first discerning whether the activity is something he wants us to do. We can confuse our own bright ideas with God’s ideas, our cleverness with God’s wisdom, our hard work with God’s power.

Churches can waste much time and money and energy on doing things that are not birthed in God. They go along with someone’s seemingly good idea without checking whether it is also God’s good idea. They conform to what they see other churches doing figuring that what works in one place will work in another. And that what works must be from God.

The Psalmist reminds us that unless God is deeply at work in what we are doing, we will end up anxiety-ridden and weary. We may meet certain humanly-engineered objectives, but we will not necessarily further the plans and purposes of our God.

God does want us to be up and about but not before seeking his heart and mind and will. We are not to pray that he will bless what we have already planned to do but rather pray that we will get in on what he has planned for us to do. This may involve patient waiting and even some uncertainty. It may mean doing things differently. But we must start at the right point if ever we are to reach the right end.

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AM I CRAZY?


September 15th, 2014

Am I crazy, because I believe in a spiritual being that no-one can see or touch?

Do I dare tell others that I heard my mother cry out my name on two separate occasions, after she had passed onto our Lord?

Or that I talk to our Lord each night and await his answers.

Or do I disbelieve a very close family member, that categorically states they seen a vision of Saint Francis of Assisi, pass-by very close?

Was Our Lady Bernadette, wrong on what she stated seeing, was also Joan of Arc, crazy?

Well look what happened to these both, when they spoke of what they saw!!

 

Do we dare tell others, and suffer the wrath of public ridicule or keep our faith in silence?

Science has told us of late, that after death experiences are nothing but fanciful rubbish, and that the people that have had these experiences, were experiencing, nothing more than electromagnetic brain trickery.

But how do we know, that as the brain is dying, that it is somehow, uploading the soul or what some of us call “the self” to the ether of heaven, and this is why there is so much activity to the brain as we pass on.

 

What happens if all the sceptics are, let we say are, WRONG?

Are you ready to play Russian roulette with your soul and after life, if these people are wrong?

 

What happens when these people, do experience after death, the Pearly Gates of Heaven or whatever is awaiting us in the hereafter, and find out they were, SO WRONG.

I can assure you, I don’t want to be in that type of circumstance, and live my life with blinders on, to spiritual matters that we cant always have a scientific explanation for.

Not everything is black and white in this unknown world we live in, we are still discovering the unknown every day.

 

Remember, man was wrong before on many occasions, “the earth was flat, the sun rotated around the earth and we were the centre of the heavens”, don’t forget, we are only human and do make mistakes.

 

Why should we standby and be ridiculed by people like Richard Dawkins and the like, just because we don’t conform to their scientific way of belief?

Who says they are the only ones right?

They have as much proof of their belief’s as we do of ours, and in most cases, even less than us, so why standby and be badgered into something we don’t believe, just because we do not fit in their box?

Never be afraid of what you believe in, stand up and be counted, unite with like minded people.

Become a member of a bible based church, or a group of like minded men and women, such as the Rosicrucian’s or Mason’s, who do believe in a higher being other than us.

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When God speaks


September 15th, 2014

 

“And the Lord utters His voice before His army, for His host is very great, and [they are] strong and powerful who execute [God's] word…” (Joel 2:11, AMP)

God teaches us to hear His voice little by little. It can be something as simple as being at the mall and not feeling good about a purchase you’re about to make. No big deal. You put it back. At the office, you feel an unrest around a certain person. You just back away. At home, you feel a prompting to spend time with your child. At night you hear a suggestion, “Turn off the TV. Go to bed. You need your rest.” You turn it off.

Pay attention to what you’re feeling. Those are all little ways that the Holy Spirit guides us. Don’t ignore the impressions, the promptings. God speaks to us in a Still, Small Voice. He is not going to boom out lightening to get your attention. He is not going to flash it across your TV screen. When God speaks, it’s usually subtle.

Remember, if you’re going to hear a whisper, you’ve got to get close. You’ve got to be tuned in. You’re not going to hear Him by accident with the busyness of the day, the stress of the office, running here and there. You have to ask yourself, “What am I feeling? What am I sensing?” You have to take time to get quiet and listen to God.

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Powerful Words


September 15th, 2014

Then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light.
Genesis 1:3

In the beginning God spoke and it was. His words created something out of nothing. While our words are not as powerful as God’s, Proverbs declares that “Death and life are in the power of the tongue” (18:21a). Once we accept the power of our words, we must decide on their purpose.
Words can be as useful as a strong horse ploughing a field or a spark used to start a warm fire on a winter night. They can also rage uncontrollably, destroying what lies in their path. Caring words of support create a safe and intimate friendship. Truthful words spoken in love can offer a friend the opportunity to grow, but spiteful words destroy friendships, and vindictive truth discourages the hearer instead of inspiring them to grow.

Within seconds thoughts become words that slip off our tongue and into the world. Pausing before we speak may seem cumbersome, but it allows us to decide: Is this helpful? Does this need to be said now? What is the best way to say this?
Our words reveal what we care about and they influence others. Is there someone you can encourage today?

Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.

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Dangerous dabbling


September 14th, 2014

Imagine someone foolish enough to stick their head into a lion’s cage, daring the lion to do something about it. Many times the lion will do nothing and the person concerned will then boast about how silly it is to believe lions are dangerous. Problem with that approach is that one time the lion might well bite the person’s head off. Lions are dangerous even if they don’t always act that way.

Similarly with dabbling in the occult world. Some do this because they truly believe the dark forces they call on can actually come to their aid. Others do it out of desperation, figuring help from any quarter is preferable to no help at all. Yet others see it as harmless fun, believing such spiritual forces don’t exist in any case.

Each is mistaken. There are dark forces who can exert great power. Satan is no joke, he is not to be trifled with. There is no such thing as harmless dabbling with his realities. You may get away with such dabbling for a time, but there is the very great possibility that very great harm will come your way.

The best way to avoid encountering that dark and evil spiritual power is to stay very close to the only other spiritual power: that of the risen Jesus.

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public faith


September 12th, 2014

It seems in some quarters that you can’t be a Christian and be in public life. How dare Christians be shaped by their beliefs! How dare they try to practise those beliefs in public. It is the old sad misunderstanding of religious faith: it is a private thing best left at home and certainly not to be spoken about in public.

Jesus begs to differ. His followers are not to keep their faith a secret. It would be as foolish as lighting a lamp and putting it under a bucket. Our faith is meant to be public, meant to shape how we live in the public square. We are not to be bullied by those who loudly preach tolerance and yet are intolerant of Christians articulating and living out their faith.

Of course it is regrettable if Christians seek to impose their views on others, if they are stridently aggressive in telling people how they have got all the answers. Our faith can never be enforced on others. But the way of Jesus can be recommended, can be lived out, can act as the foundation of all we do in our community.

Keeping it a secret may silence our critics but will also rob them of the opportunity of embracing that faith for themselves.

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