Wednesday, October 17, 2012

TESTIMONY OF GOD'S HEALING

Thanks to Michaella Frederick
for sharing this powerful testimony

In March of 2012, I noticed a lump on the left of my neck near to my hairline. I was really shocked because I just never expected anything like that to happen to me. Though I never voiced it, thoughts of cancer came to my mind.

From that very day, I reminded myself that I knew that it is always God’s will to heal me. I didn’t share with very many persons, especially not with my family, because I knew that they would panic and all but force me to get medical help, and I knew that I didn’t want that. I also didn’t want their anxiety to affect my faith in God’s commitment through His word to heal me.

Every day I would feel the lump and it kept getting bigger, harder and more pronounced. Every time, I felt doubt creeping in, I would remind myself, in opposition to my feelings at the time, that God said, in His Word,
  1. that by His stripes I was healed, 
  2. that He sent His Word to heal me, 
  3. that He desires that I prosper and be in good health even as my soul prospers, 
  4. that healing is the children's bread.
One Friday night, a few months later, while at a service at my church, I came to the point where I wondered why the lump was still there when I know that it's God's will to heal me. I decided that either I will take God at His Word or I won't. If I take Him at His Word, I can't worry about it. Thankfully, accepting the grace of God, I chose to trust God to do it.....SO MUCH SO that although physically it was obvious, I forgot about it.

I was SO pleasantly surprised and ecstatic when I was rubbing my neck in early October, seven months later, only to realise........IT.... WAS..... GONE! Today, I give God all the praise, all the glory and all the thanks that there is not a SINGLE trace of any lump on my neck! His Word alone was my medicine. He IS the great Physician. Hallelujah! Thank you Jesus! Yes! Praise God indeed!

After I was healed, I shared with my family what Jesus had done for me. They were happy but still skeptical, asking me to make sure that it really was gone and wondering if it would come back. At that point, it was clear to me that I needed to share my testimony publicly as a demonstration of faith in what Jesus had done and to give no place to the devil for doubt in my mind. It is finished! I have overcome by the blood of the Lamb and by the Word of my testimony. God still heals!




Tuesday, October 9, 2012

JUST DO WHAT HE TELLS YOU


The wedding was in full swing. The guests were having a grand time when suddenly someone realized there was a problem. The wine had run out. What an embarrassing situation for the host! Clearly there was a need. The wedding was not over, and the guests would be expecting to have more to drink. Scripture doesn't tell why the wine ran out at that wedding in Cana. Maybe that amount was all the family could afford. Maybe the wedding planner underestimated the number of guests.

Mary knew that regardless of the reason for the shortage, her Son could remedy the situation, even though He had gently protested when she brought it to His attention. She called to the servants at the feast and told them, "Just do what He tells you."
Jesus said to them, “Fill the waterpots with water.” And they filled them up to the brim. And He said to them, “Draw some out now, and take it to the master of the feast.” And they took it. - John 2:7-8
The servants did exactly what Jesus commanded. He told them to fill the waterpots, and they filled them to the brim. He told them to immediately draw out some of the liquid and take it to the master...and they obeyed. They didn't stop to figure out if it made sense. They didn't argue or question. They simply did what He told them to do. The result was that potential embarrassment was averted, and a problem was solved...in greater measure than anyone could have anticipated.

Artwork by Kevin Cornell
The world system thrives on compromise. A law is created and people immediately try to find the loophole that would weaken its effectiveness. However, God's Word has no loopholes. King Saul found that out the hard way. God instructed him to kill all of the enemy, leaving nothing and no one alive. But Saul tried to find a loophole to suit himself.
And Saul attacked the Amalekites, from Havilah all the way to Shur, which is east of Egypt. He also took Agag king of the Amalekites alive, and utterly destroyed all the people with the edge of the sword. But Saul and the people spared Agag and the best of the sheep, the oxen, the fatlings, the lambs, and all that was good, and were unwilling to utterly destroy them. But everything despised and worthless, that they utterly destroyed. - 1 Samuel 15:7-9
Saul obeyed God's word only partially, choosing to keep the best things alive. As a result the kingdom was stripped from him and God anointed David to be king in his place. We often do the same thing....giving up the things (behaviors, relationships, attitudes) that don't matter much, but choosing to hold on to those that are most dear to us.

Is there a situation that you are grappling with? A troubled relationship? Financial difficulties? An ailment? An unresolved issue? There is a remedy for it in the Word of God. God's solution may not seem logical or even pleasant to your natural mind. However His remedy must be followed exactly as the Lord says, or the results could be disastrous. Regardless of what the situation is that you are facing, I encourage you not to try to look for a loophole or any kind of compromise. Follow the example of the servants at the wedding in Cana and....

just do what He tells you.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

HE IS THE FIRST AND LAST

I'm not sure who wrote this poem, but it expresses my sentiments exactly
He is the First and Last,
The Beginning and the End!
He is the keeper of Creation and the Creator of all!
He is the Architect of the Universe and the Manager of times.
He always was, He always is, and He will always be
Unmoved, Unchanged, Undefeated, and never undone!
 
He was bruised and brought healing!
He was pierced and eased pain!
He was persecuted and brought freedom!
He was dead and brought life!
He is risen and brings power!
He reigns and brings Peace!
 
The world can’t understand Him,
The armies can’t defeat Him,
The schools can’t explain Him, 
Hitler couldn’t silence Him
The New Age can’t replace Him, 
He is light, love, longevity, and Lord.
 
He is goodness, Kindness, Gentleness, and God.
He is Holy, Righteous, mighty, powerful and pure.
His ways are right, His word is eternal,
His will is unchanging, and His mind is on me.
 
He is my Savior! He is my Joy,
He is my guide, and He is my Peace!
He is my comfort,
He is my Lord, and He rules my life!
 
I serve Him because His bond is love,
His burden is light, and His goal for me is abundant life.
I follow Him because He is the wisdom of the wise,
The power of the powerful.
The ancient of days, the ruler of rulers, the leader of leaders, 
the overseer of the overcomers, and is to come. 
 
His goal is a relationship with ME!
He will never leave me, Nor forsake me,
Never mislead me, Never forget me,
Never overlook me 
and never cancel my appointment in His appointment book.
 
When I fall, He lifts me up!
When I fail, He forgives!
When I am weak, He is strong!
When I am lost, He is the way!
When I am afraid, He is my courage!
When I am hurt, He heals me!
When I am broken, He mends me!
When I am blind, He leads me!
When I am hungry, He feeds me!
When I face trials, He is with me!
When I face persecution, He shields me!
When I face problems, He comforts me!
When I face loss, He provides for me!
When I face Death, He carries me home!
 
He is everything 
for everybody, 
everywhere, 
every time, 
and every way.
 
He is God, He is faithful, 
I am His and He is mine!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

THE WILDERNESS EXPERIENCE


Thoughts of going through a “wilderness experience” more often than not bring feelings of trepidation. No one really wants to go through it. The truth is, however, that every believer will, and actually should have at least one wilderness experience.

The wilderness is an in-between place – when you have left one stage of life and are on your way to another. Most, if not all of the patriarchs, had their own wilderness experience which we can read about in the Scriptures.


Abraham – Father of Faith
It was in the wilderness that he was challenged to sacrifice his promised son, Isaac. But it was also in the wilderness that his faith in the Lord was tested, and it grew.
Then they came to the place of which God had told him. And Abraham built an altar there and placed the wood in order; and he bound Isaac his son and laid him on the altar, upon the wood.  And Abraham stretched out his hand and took the knife to slay his son. But the Angel of the LORD called to him from heaven and said, “Abraham, Abraham!” So he said, “Here I am.” And He said, “Do not lay your hand on the lad, or do anything to him; for now I know that you fear God, since you have not withheld your son, your only son, from Me.” - Genesis 22:9-12
 David – Man after God’s own heart
He spent much of his time in the wilderness while he was running from King Saul who was trying to kill him. Many times his life was threatened. There were also times when David had a chance to kill Saul and end the relentless pursuit. But it was in the wilderness that David’s integrity was proven.
 So David and Abishai came to the people by night; and there Saul lay sleeping within the camp, with his spear stuck in the ground by his head. And Abner and the people lay all around him. Then Abishai said to David, “God has delivered your enemy into your hand this day. Now therefore, please, let me strike him at once with the spear, right to the earth; and I will not have to strike him a second time!” But David said to Abishai, “Do not destroy him; for who can stretch out his hand against the LORD’s anointed, and be guiltless?” - 1 Samuel 26:7-9
Elijah – greatest prophet of the Old Testament
After a resounding victory on Mt. Carmel, Elijah fled to the wilderness to escape Jezebel. Although God had stopped the rain for three years, at Elijah’s word, the prophet still had to learn more about the Father. Therefore it was in the wilderness that he met God in a whole new way.
Then He said, “Go out, and stand on the mountain before the LORD.” And behold, the LORD passed by, and a great and strong wind tore into the mountains and broke the rocks in pieces before the LORD, but the LORD was not in the wind; and after the wind an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake; and after the earthquake a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire; and after the fire a still small voice. - 1 Kings 19:11-12
The Israelites
When God freed them from Pharaoh’s oppressive grip they had to pass through the wilderness on their way to the Promised Land. They experienced many challenges, but each one was an opportunity for them to see God move on their behalf.

As believers, life in this world is a wilderness experience. You see, just like the Israelites, we were freed from satan’s grip when we accepted Jesus as Lord and Savior. However, before we enter into the “Promised Land” of heaven and eternity, we must still live in the wilderness of this world while not being of it. For us, the wilderness experience should be one of maturing in Christ. Therefore it should not be shunned, but rather embraced.

Your response to your wilderness experience will determine whether you go on to the next level in your relationship with God. This is where the Israelites fell short. They saw the wilderness as an inconvenience, a drudgery, something to complain about and be avoided….to the point that they desired to return to the bondage of Egypt.

Have you ever felt like that? Is life getting too hard for you to bear? Do you long for the old life the world has to offer? Before you continue to gaze back at your former life with longing eyes, please take the time to remember how it really was back then. Remember the sense of hopelessness, the emptiness inside that only God could fill. Remember how you longed for a change…..any change to come and get you out of the rut you were in. Remember, too, that the freedom the world offers is really bondage hidden behind a mask.

You may feel you are in a dry place. But the difference is that the God of miracles is right there with you. If you just keep moving, and keep trusting in Him, eventually the wilderness comes to an end. The question is……when you get to the end what will your state be? Will you have learned everything that God wanted you to learn, or will you have to turn back once again, like the Israelites, for one more round….in the wilderness?

Thursday, July 12, 2012

MARRIAGE

Thanks to Allison Sylvester-Conliffe
for another powerful article

God instituted Marriage, therefore it is a holy institution and it is sacred … just because it came from God.  He in His Wisdom saw that man should not be alone, and that he should have a help meet, a companion … someone to share himself with, someone to be intimate with, someone who he could love and from whom he could receive love in return.  It should be noted that God made the selection of a wife for Adam.  Adam did not have a choice in the matter at all … and God expected Adam to love her and to be intimate with her … and she with him … regardless.

As I pondered Adam and Eve’s relationship, I realized that God was also included as a part of their relationship.  He was in the midst of it.  The Bible tells us that in the cool of the day God visited them.  Both Adam and Eve were free in God … no secrets, nothing hidden.  You say how do I know that?  The Bible said that they were naked.  That means that all was exposed with nothing hidden. They were free beings in God.  Until … the serpent, our enemy called satan, visited one of them.

We have an enemy folks, and his name is satan.  He is alive today, just as he was alive in the Garden in the day of Adam.  Now whether you choose to believe that or not, would not alter the truth.  Our enemy’s intent and sole purpose is to take us away from close communion with God and from being free in God.

Back in the Book of Genesis Chapter 3 it captures for us, what happens when we refuse to harken unto God’s Word, and when we choose instead to harken unto another voice and so yield to it.  That “other voice”, people, is always the voice of the enemy which is used to entice you to want to please self rather than to be pleasing unto God.  That voice causes you to ignore God’s Word, yield to temptation and do what appeases your flesh. 

In the husband/wife relationship, the enemy just has to whisper into the ear of one of the parties, either the husband or the wife … present a scenario which would appeal to his/or her senses (which is fleshly) and it’s up to the subject to take the bait or not.

It really doesn’t matter to the devil which one accedes to the challenge you know, because he’s looking toward the end result, which is to cause the couple to displease God.  He wants to make a breach in the union which God had sealed.  That is his motive and that is his job … to convince us of his diabolical plan by deceiving us into believing one … just one … of his lies.  Then it would be mission accomplished. All it takes is for him to whisper into the right ear, and so cause that vessel to waiver in his or her faith and he would have his hook firmly set into your jaw and then he yanks it.  This way, you would be totally under his control.

If we take a look at broken marriages, or even divorced couples … you would see a common thread.  In the majority of cases, the reason for the separation was because one of the party’s self dis-satisfaction.  The other person was not doing this right.  It was because the other person was not bringing enough into the relationship to satisfy me.  Not taking me anywhere … not buying me nice things … not making me happy.  But did God’s Word not say that you ought to esteem others more highly than yourself? (Philippians 2:3)  Believing otherwise, or contrary to that Word would tell me that you are disobeying the Word of God. 

It is also recorded in the Word of God as a command, that the husband should love his wife as Christ loved the church … and in return the wife should submit to the husband.  Read Ephesians Chapter 5 again.  The parties who are involved in the covenant of marriage are supposed to concentrate on esteeming the other more highly than their own selves.

Each one should concentrate on loving that other person, cherishing the mate and not looking with expectancy for the mate to esteem and cherish us.  The latter would eventually happen, but it should not be the focus.  The husband’s energies are to be placed in loving the wife and the wife’s energies are to be in loving the husband.  That is the key that we miss as married couples.  In truly loving the other person, we would indeed be pleasing God.

The reason why we were created was to be pleasing unto God.  We were made for God’s pleasure.  We are to please God in our relationships, marital or otherwise.  Loving each other as God wants us to love will bring to each individual the ultimate benefits in God. 

We cannot assume that what we call love is what God calls love.  We have to seek God to know how to love our spouses. Our prayer should be “What should I do Lord, to bring satisfaction to my partner?  Please show me how to love him/her!”  Because what you may call love may not appeal to him or her at all.  Your prayer should never be “Lord, change my partner to be this or to be that so that I could be satisfied”!  Do you see the difference?

Love is selfless, it is a giving of yourself to another, unconditionally.  Just as God loved us so much, even in our wretched state, that He gave the Son that He loved to die in order that we should live.  True love, is really a dying to self.  It is a deep expression towards another.  Love is never selfish, nor does it seek its own.  Love pours outward unto another.

That other thing which caters to self satisfaction, and fulfills me is called some other thing, but don’t call it love at all.  Love is a sacrificial giving of oneself to another.  The pleasure is the joy in seeing the other person happy and fulfilled. Think what would happen if we all approach our marriage relationships in this manner.  In this way, when your spouse feels hurt you will feel hurt too.  Love would seek the welfare of the spouse and this will spill out unto the children too, and they will follow the same pattern in their own married lives.  God will indeed be pleased.

We have to get back to loving God first as He has commanded, before we even attempt to get ourselves a husband or wife and committing to marriage.  Pleasing God should be our motive and this would be reflected in our relationships.  What I have seen is that we go after the physical attraction and breach God’s laws by hitting the sack, then maybe we will get married and because we go after pleasure for our individual selves, there are all sorts of friction and head butting being experienced in the marriage.  This arises because God is not our focus.  We instead, make ourselves the focus and this is wrong.

For those of us who are experiencing turbulence in the marriage, stop for a while and purpose to do things differently.  Instead of wanting to get “whatever” out of the relationship, try putting something in.  Try treating your spouse differently.  Now I did not say that the spouse was deserving of anything.  We are going beyond that. Ask God to show you exactly how to go about it.

Let your creativity loose and start by giving the spouse maybe a granola bar, a box of chocolates, some flowers, a new shirt or a pair of socks.  It may be that you would give of yourself by watching a movie with your spouse, especially if that is not what you would normally do. Be creative and give, because you want to please God.  Remember, that you even have to love the unlovely! Therefore you are without excuse.

Daily, purpose to do some good act in order to bring pleasure to your spouse … no, not to you … to your spouse!! Try this method for the first month.  God in His Wisdom will break down barriers and heal wounds and cultivate a newness in your marriage that cannot go unnoticed.  It is supernatural because it will be all God’s doing.

Visit Romans 13:10 which says –
“Love worketh no ill to his neighbour, therefore love is the fulfillment of the law!”

I summarize by saying that just by expressing love as God wants you to love, will cause you to keep all of the Commandments … in which case you will then be pleasing God … you will also be pleasing your spouse and your spouse will in turn be pleasing you.

God Bless You!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

FISH OUT OF WATER


“Look Dad, it’s still swimming!” Five year old Roger stared in amazement as he watched his father place the struggling fish he had just caught into a nearby bucket. But his excitement turned to horror as he saw the fish gradually go limp. “Daddy! Put it back! Make it swim again!” “I can’t son,” his dad responded. “It’s been out of the water for too long. It’s dead now.”
 

A fish, when it is first taken out of water, continues to move in a swimming motion for a while. It is doing the right actions, but because it is in the wrong environment eventually it dies.

God spoke to the earth and commanded it to bring forth herbs, grasses and trees. Likewise He brought forth fish from the waters. If you uproot a plant from the earth it will die, unless you replant it into the ground which sustains its life. If you remove a marine animal from the sea it will die, unless you place it back into a body of water to keep it alive. 


The same principle applies to us, both physically and spiritually. Deprive a man of air for too long and he will eventually go limp and die.

At the beginning of creation God, who is Spirit, said, “Let’s US make man in Our own image.” - Genesis 1:26

Jesus said, "I am the Vine; you are the branches. Whoever lives in Me, and I in him bears much (abundant) fruit. However, apart from Me (cut off from vital union with Me) you can do nothing. If a person does not dwell in Me, he is thrown off like a (broken off) branch and withers; such branches are gathered up and thrown into the fire and they are burned.” – John 15: 5-6 (Amplified Bible).

You may do the right things – give to charitable causes, volunteer in your community and live a good moral life. You may even attend church and be part of a ministry. But without a Divine connection and intimate spiritual relationship with the True Vine, Jesus the Christ, you eventually will suffer the same fate as an uprooted plant or a fish out of water.



Wednesday, June 6, 2012

COMMON SENSE OR UNCOMMON WISDOM

The dictionary definition of common sense is “sound practical judgment; normal native intelligence.” How, then, does common sense fit in to the Kingdom of God? The answer – it doesn’t. Just about everything that the world accepts as normal is abnormal for the Kingdom.

By its very definition common sense does not require that you exercise faith in God. But in order to walk in obedience to God's ways we must abandon much of what the majority would deem to be common sense – not in favor of abject foolishness, but rather in pursuit and apprehension of those things that lie beyond what common sense can afford us.

Creation is groaning more and more loudly for the manifestation of the sons of God. We ourselves groan inwardly. We desire to be what we were originally created to be – the image of God on the earth. The reality is that God doesn’t use common sense. It is by Wisdom that He formed the earth, and it is by Wisdom that He governs the universe.

The world’s definition of wisdom is “the ability to judge what is right; common sense; the sum of learning through the ages; knowledge.” Many, therefore, see wisdom as a kind of common sense - maybe just at a higher level.

God’s Wisdom supersedes common sense as well as what the world calls “wisdom”. True Wisdom is supernatural intelligence. Wisdom is the ability to tap into the mind and heart of God, and to move in cadence with Him – to know beyond what your ‘common senses’ – sight, smell, touch, taste and hearing – tell you.

In fact, sometimes Wisdom just does not make sense! The Wisdom of God is foolishness to men because it overrides the five natural senses and man’s intellectual capacity to reason rationally.

Where is the wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the disputer of this age? 
Has not God made foolish the wisdom of this world? 
 1 Corinthians 1:20

The wisdom of this world is foolishness with God
1 Corinthians 3:19a

WISDOM'S WAYS
  • Wisdom advises that in order to save your life you first have to lose it.
  • Wisdom teaches that the way to lead is to first follow, and that the way to greatness is through servanthood.
  • Wisdom declares that you must love those who hate you.
  • Wisdom admonishes you to have faith in God (have the faith of God) Whom you cannot see when you’re tempted to worry about the things you can.
  • Wisdom sends you into a battle that’s already been waged, to fight a fight that has already been won, so you could experience the thrill of victory.
  • Wisdom promised an elderly man that he would become the father of many nations. Wisdom waited until he and his wife were past child bearing age before delivering the promise.This man was Abraham.
  • Wisdom placed a Hebrew baby in a fragile basket on a crocodile infested Egyptian river. Wisdom caused him to be rescued and raised in the presence of the very same enemy, Pharaoh, who had tried to kill him. Then Wisdom caused him to confront the enemy and free his people. This Hebrew was Moses.
  • Wisdom sent the King of kings into the world as a baby, born without pomp or ceremony on the outskirts of town in a cave. Wisdom caused men to put Him to death on a cross so that He could give these same men eternal life. His name is Jesus.
The foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men. - 1 Corinthians 1:25

God is requiring that His true sons abandon what the world calls common sense and tap into the Wisdom that only He provides. It is a bold step of faith, because some of the things that He will require of us will make no sense to onlookers, and may even cause us to be ridiculed.

“For you see your calling, brethren, that not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called. But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty; and the base things of the world and the things which are despised God has chosen, and the things which are not, to bring to nothing the things that are, that no flesh should glory in His presence.” – 1 Corinthians 1:26-29.

Are you willing to make the sacrifice and be a “fool” for God?



Wednesday, May 23, 2012

FOR THE SAKE OF CONVENIENCE


Most of us have been to a convenience store. It is so named because the store is within easy reach, and has a variety of items that you might need on a regular basis. You can buy anything from gas to toiletries to newspapers to breakfast sandwiches. It is a one stop shop, not specializing in any one particular item but offering a mixture of many things – for your convenience.

In the world we see mixtures in different arenas of life, and most of the time it is accepted as the norm.  However, even in the world system there is a kind of mixture that can actually get you into trouble. It is called commingling.

Commingling literally means "mixing together". If, for example, a friend puts you in care of his funds, and if you decide to place his funds in your own account then the money is mixed together. This creates a breach of trust, because eventually it would be difficult to determine which funds belong to whom. His funds must be set apart in an account dedicated for him only.

You yourself might own something that is set apart for a specific use. For example, you may have dinnerware that is used only for special occasions and special guests. If someone in your household takes those fine plates and stemware and uses them for a casual backyard barbecue, you would be upset wouldn't you?

God does not tolerate commingling either, even if it seems to be convenient. Anything used in the service of God must be consecrated – set apart for Him only. When Moses was instructed to make the Tabernacle in the wilderness God told him to consecrate everything in it. Thus, these items could not be used for any other purpose.

“And you shall take the anointing oil, and anoint the tabernacle and all that is in it; and you shall hallow it and all its utensils, and it shall be holy. You shall anoint the altar of the burnt offering and all its utensils, and consecrate the altar. The altar shall be most holy.” – Exodus 40:9, 10

Even the priests were to be set apart – dedicated solely to service of the Lord.
And you shall anoint Aaron and his sons, and consecrate them, that they may minister to Me as priests. – Exodus 30:30

God has not changed His mind about His house of worship. It is to be a place set apart - consecrated - for worship and service to Him only. However, today many churches have taken the world’s practice of commingling into their sanctuaries...for the sake of convenience. The sanctuaries themselves are often used for gatherings other than worship. This creates a mixture. God will not share His glory with any other!

Now commingling has come to the pulpit…for the sake of convenience. Several ministers now use laptops or electronic tablets to deliver their messages to the congregation. This seems innocent enough. After all, on the same device you can reference your notes and the Scriptures. But think about it....these are the same devices that are used to read the news, play video games, send and receive emails, visit social media sites and shop online! An electronic Bible has simply been added to the mix! Is God pleased with this? Are these devices - as convenient as they may be - set apart and consecrated to God only?

Your tangible, handheld Bible could not be used for anything else but what it was intended. When you pick it up you can’t play Solitaire or look for bargains in it. It is the written Word of God set apart for one purpose only .

When something is mixed its potency becomes diluted. Is it any wonder that in so many assemblies the power of God is not evident? This is exactly what satan wants.

Jesus warned the Laodicean church of this mixture.
“I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot. So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth. – Revelation 3: 15,16

When one’s heart is neither hot nor cold toward the Lord it is easy to fall into a trap of commingling….for convenience sake. The reality is that nothing in the walk of a Christian is convenient or trendy. It is a life of discipline, obedience and sacrifice. 

Now don't get me wrong....technology can be used very effectively in the church to enhance the worship experience.  But for the most part the instruments (sound systems, musical instruments etc) are used in the service of the Lord only.

In these final days satan’s devises are more and more subtle, and therefore more difficult to discern. A laptop or Ipad in and of itself is not a bad thing. However, when it is used, for the sake of convenience, in a position that God has ordained as holy, it becomes a profane thing.

God warned of this mixture through the prophet Ezekiel and we are seeing it today.
“… priests have violated My law and profaned My holy things; they have not distinguished between the holy and unholy, nor have they made known the difference between the unclean and the clean; and they have hidden their eyes from My Sabbaths, so that I am profaned among them.” - Ezekiel 22:26





Wednesday, May 9, 2012

THE MULTIFACETED GOD

Thanks again to 
Allison Sylvester-Conliffe 
for allowing me to post another one of her powerful articles.

God’s aim and purpose is always for restoration of men to Himself.  When he does a miracle or a deliverance for example, it is not solely for the benefit of the person being delivered, but for the greater good of ALL the masses, with the purpose of glorifying Himself and His Kingdom.

The book of Acts records that the apostles were thrown into prison by the high priest of the Sadducees, and God allowed it.   
Miraculously released from prison
Then the high priest rose up, and all they that were with him, (which is the sect of the Sadducees,) and were filled with indignation, And laid their hands on the apostles, and put them in the common prison. But the angel of the Lord by night opened the prison doors, and brought them forth, and said, Go, stand and speak in the temple to the people all the words of this life. - Acts 5:17-20

They came out of the prison, miraculously! The doors remained locked on their exit and they were not seen of the guards.  Surely in the early morning they were seen preaching the gospel to those in the temple.  Their miraculous escape was not only a marvel to the apostles themselves, but to the Sadducees and also the multitude in the temple who heard of the testimony.  This act was done for the greater benefit of all.

Further in the Book of Acts we read that Aeneas was laid up sick of the palsy for eight years.  

Now it came to pass, as Peter went through all parts of the country, that he also came down to the saints who dwelt in Lydda.  There he found a certain man named Aeneas, who had been bedridden eight years and was paralyzed.  And Peter said to him, “Aeneas, Jesus the Christ heals you. Arise and make your bed.” Then he arose immediately.  So all who dwelt at Lydda and Sharon saw him and turned to the Lord. - Acts 9:32-35

His sickness prevailed until Peter came to him and healed him of his condition.  Again, the greater miracle was that all the people of Lydda and Saron who saw him healed got saved.  With one deliverance we see the Lord bringing a multitude to Himself.

Peter raises Dorcas from the dead
Another example was when Dorcas was raised from the dead in Acts 9:36-42. 

At Joppa there was a certain disciple named Tabitha, which is translated Dorcas. This woman was full of good works and charitable deeds which she did. But it happened in those days that she became sick and died. When they had washed her, they laid her in an upper room. And since Lydda was near Joppa, and the disciples had heard that Peter was there, they sent two men to him, imploring him not to delay in coming to them. Then Peter arose and went with them. When he had come, they brought him to the upper room. And all the widows stood by him weeping, showing the tunics and garments which Dorcas had made while she was with them. But Peter put them all out, and knelt down and prayed. And turning to the body he said, “Tabitha, arise.” And she opened her eyes, and when she saw Peter she sat up. Then he gave her his hand and lifted her up; and when he had called the saints and widows, he presented her alive. And it became known throughout all Joppa, and many believed on the Lord.

The greater miracle was that many in the region of Joppa believed on the Lord after hearing Dorcas’ testimony.

The Lord Jesus came to the earth and ministered for three years.  His death and resurrection was for the benefit of the whole of mankind.  His crucifixion and resurrection was purposed for the salvation of whosoever believed on the name of Jesus. 

Look at the woman at the well, when she met with Jesus in John chapter 4.  Her deliverance was not for her benefit only.  

She left her waterpot and told the whole city about Jesus
And many of the Samaritans of that city believed in Him because of the word of the woman who testified, “He told me all that I ever did.” So when the Samaritans had come to Him, they urged Him to stay with them; and He stayed there two days. And many more believed because of His own word. Then they said to the woman, “Now we believe, not because of what you said, for we ourselves have heard Him and we know that this is indeed the Christ, the Savior of the world.” - John 4:39-42

As a result of this singular event God managed to bring almost the entire city of Samaria to Jesus. Again, the occurrence of one event, tailor made for the greater benefit of the multitude.

We can even see this in the Old Testament when God was dealing with the rebellious Jews in the Book of Numbers 16.  Even though the Israelites did not get it, the death of Korah and all those who died with him, served as a testimony to those who were witnesses, so as to bring the fear of God to them and to propel their obedience to God’s Word.  We may view the incident as tragic, but it was an event to bring the greater good.
Joseph interprets Pharaoh's dream and is promoted
Joseph's brothers ill treated him, and he spent time in prison for a crime he didn't commit. However, the Book of Genesis records that he eventually was promoted to second in command to Pharaoh so that his family, the twelve tribes, could be fed in the time of the grievous famine.  This also served to bring restoration of himself and his family.

Your test will bring about your testimony
Similarly, you may be imprisoned at this present time by sin, sickness, poverty, low self esteem, addictions, trouble with children etc. This does not mark the end for you.  The Lord has a greater purpose for you even in your condition.  

If, when you go through your wildernesses, you would persevere with the Lord, you will see the greater good of the testimony when you overcome the very situations.  God does not allow bad events in your life because He wants to punish you or because He is evil.  He has a greater purpose for your testimony.  

 During your trying state keep your focus on the Lord, knowing that His thoughts toward you are always good so as to bring you to an expected end - Jeremiah 29:11.  Remember that God’s intent is always to draw men to Himself.  That is why He sent His Son Jesus.

God’s purpose for your life goes beyond what you can see at present.  When He delivers you, your testimony is designed to deliver others, but you must first be an overcomer. You cannot free anyone if you are bound yourself, and to be an overcomer you must have some things to overcome.  This is God’s method and He will not change.  The key is to stay in love with Jesus and keep your focus on Him in worship with the knowledge that He is always right.  In that place you will keep your peace and your joy, and thus gain the strength to go the distance while the problems exist.  In this way you will ultimately bring glory to the God of the heavens and the earth as He continues to work in and through you.  


 Glory to His Holy Name!


Thursday, May 3, 2012

ARE YOU READY?

 Thanks to Allison Sylvester-Conliffe
for another powerful article

Many of us who have been born again can testify of the excitement at the onset.  We go through what we term the “mountain top” experience.  Everything looks new and fresh to us.  We are happy beings at that time, and nothing and no-one can interfere with that joy that we feel.  We are excited to go to the House of God to worship Him, to learn of Him and of His Kingdom, and come into true relationship with God.  Is all this learning and experience to be kept to ourselves?  Are we to bask in this knowledge of God and in the relationship that stems from it all by ourselves?

The great call on our lives after Salvation and as we follow Christ, is to share the Good News of the Gospel with others in our sphere of influence.  We are disciples as we follow Christ and we are called to make disciples.  Jesus told that to His first disciples.

But...I'm not ready!
And Jesus said unto them, Come ye after me, and I will make you to become fishers of men. Mark 1:17

However, there is something in us, which causes us to believe that we are not ready!  We get convinced that this call is for the elders of the church and for the Pastors themselves to pursue – that’s not for me!  What qualifies a believer as being “ready” to share the Gospel with another?  When Jesus sent out the first Twelve, were they “ready”?  As I examine the Word of God, I see those disciples as “green”, afraid and faithless men, but interestingly Jesus called them to go out.  Even in their apparent disabilities, Jesus used them to heal the sick and deliver the oppressed. 

Then he called his twelve disciples together, and gave them power and authority over all devils, and to cure diseases. And he sent them to preach the kingdom of God, and to heal the sick. And he said unto them, Take nothing for your journey, neither staves, nor scrip, neither bread, neither money; neither have two coats apiece. And whatsoever house ye enter into, there abide, and thence depart. And whosoever will not receive you, when ye go out of that city, shake off the very dust from your feet for a testimony against them. And they departed, and went through the towns, preaching the gospel, and healing every where. Luke 9:1-6

When we look at Luke 9:12-17 we see Jesus teaching his first disciples, and us by extension, a great lesson.
 
And when the day began to wear away, then came the twelve, and said unto him, Send the multitude away, that they may go into the towns and country round about, and lodge, and get victuals: for we are here in a desert place. But he said unto them, Give ye them to eat. And they said, We have no more but five loaves and two fishes; except we should go and buy meat for all this people. For they were about five thousand men. And he said to his disciples, Make them sit down by fifties in a company. And they did so, and made them all sit down. Then he took the five loaves and the two fishes, and looking up to heaven, he blessed them, and brake, and gave to the disciples to set before the multitude. And they did eat, and were all filled: and there was taken up of fragments that remained to them twelve baskets.

He taught that the very thing that we possess, when shared, has the ability to multiply itself to reach great proportions more than our minds have the capacity to understand.  If we look at the five loaves and the two fishes that were available, against the multitude who were waiting to be fed, it would seem impossible in the natural scheme of things to feed so many with so little.  Jesus, however, did it and had twelve basketsful in excess. 

Similarly, as our spirits connect with the Holy Spirit of God as He downloads into us, truths and revelation of His Word even as shared from the pulpit, we are expected to share, one on one with others in our sphere of influence.  The sharing of that Word may be to a small audience, but with the Spirit of God in it, if each one tells one, that Word has the capacity to feed many by just our one sharing!

In Luke chapter nine, we see the disciples admonishing Jesus to send the multitude away so that they could get some food since they were all in a desert place.  No food!  Yet Jesus told the disciples to feed them.  But Jesus, there is no food here!  Jesus was obviously talking to the disciples from a spiritual standpoint, but the disciples were listening to Him with the natural ear so they sought out the loaves and the fish.  “Feed them” in this instance may have meant – “teach them”! 

Let us not look at the things of God with the natural eye – nor listen to Him with the natural ear.  We are called to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ with those who are lost.  We are also called to love them into the Kingdom of God. Let us therefore go forth in the boldness of the Holy Ghost and make disciples with the resources that we have already attained.  The Word is in you!


Friday, April 27, 2012

AS THE WORD GOES FORTH

 Thanks to my dear friend Allison Sylvester-Conliffe 
for contributing this powerful article.

The Word of God is designed to create life.  
Genesis 1:3
Then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light.

The Word of God brings life to everything that is dead.  In the Old Testament the Prophet Ezekiel spoke to dry bones, according to the Word of God, and these bones came together and formed an army.  The Word of God, in itself, is alive.  Fresh revelation emanates from any verse of Scripture at the different times that it is pondered.

The Word is a shield and a weapon against the enemy.  It refutes and destroys every lie of the devil.  Jesus showed us how it is done when the devil tempted Him in the wilderness after His 40-day fast.  The Word of God is truth, whereby, as the Word is spoken every error and lie is exposed.

Jesus Christ is the Word that was made flesh.  He came to earth as the Word to reconcile us to God as we follow Him.  The Word was designed that way. It gives instruction; it points us to life according to God’s law.

The Word tells us that even if our father and our mother forsake us, the Lord will take us up - Psalm 27:10.  The Word of God brings deliverance.  The Word of God is the answer to all questions concerning life and the life that is more abundant.

The Word of God is the source of peace.  One Word from God is able to bring peace to any troubling and stressful situation.  We are commanded through God’s Word to “Be still and know that He is God”. What an assurance and a comfort!

I remember when we first moved into our new home in February 2002.  
My husband and I were convinced that the Lord provided that dwelling for us, since it was amazing the way that we got it … without much money in our pockets.  
A couple of months down the road, we experienced really bad weather and the river at the end of our street overflowed into the lower part of the street, and was creeping up the street towards our home.  The river rushed through about three or four houses.  
The raging waters burst through the glass doors and destroyed all the contents of the lower floors including refrigerators and stoves and deposited loads of silt and debris into the homes.  
Our home was untouched, praise God, but because of the level of destruction, my husband and I were really troubled and wondered if we had missed God.  Then, as my husband consulted with the Lord, Psalm 46 rested on his heart.

 1God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.
 2Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea;
 3Though the waters thereof roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof. Selah.
 4There is a river, the streams whereof shall make glad the city of God, the holy place of the tabernacles of the most High.
 5God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved: God shall help her, and that right early.


I could not believe the accuracy of this Word!  That settled it for us and even when there was another similar occurrence, we were at peace concerning our home only because we got a Word from God.

The Word of God also comes as a sword.  It pierces the hearts of men and brings conviction of sin unto salvation.  The Word says that when it goes forth, it is likely to bring variance with man and his relatives.

Matthew 10:35-36
For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law. And a man's foes shall be they of his own household.

The Word causes this variance when it falls upon hearts that are not receptive to the truth that is in the Word.  The truth of the Word exposes men’s hearts when these hearts are full of bitterness and hatred.  The very Word of God was crucified because His mission was about exposing truth – the truth of the Kingdom of God.  I realize that the Word is still being crucified today, since one can speak and pray in any other name freely but never so when we speak and pray in the Name of Jesus.  We can read or teach on any hellish book and never be crucified or condemned for doing so - except for when we attempt to read or to teach from the Holy Bible.

As the Word went forth through the disciples of Jesus, there were multitudes who believed and became disciples themselves, but in the midst of these converts were those who opposed the very Word, and moved to spew lies and to fabricate all sorts of stories to prevent others from readily accepting this Word of Life.  

Acts 13:49-50
And the word of the Lord was published throughout all the region. But the Jews stirred up the devout and honourable women, and the chief men of the city, and raised persecution against Paul and Barnabas, and expelled them out of their coasts.  

As the Word goes forth it truly exposes the intents of the heart. See Hebrews 4:12b

Noah also received a Word from God to build an Ark and to fill it with his family and with pairs of each animal kind because He, God, would be sending a flood.  The people scoffed and laughed at that Word from God, because they could not relate to it.  God said to us in His Word that in the last days, it will be as in the days of Noah.

2 Peter 3:3-4 
Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation.

I am certain that believers who are now reading this would testify to the fact that many we have witnessed to do not take heed of the call to salvation, and they have scoffed and criticized that very Word of God.

John 3:3 
Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.

But we must not be daunted as believers but we should rather do what the Word says when we are faced with such ridicule. We ought to shake the dust from our feet and move on.

Matt 10:14 
And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear your words, when ye depart out of that house or city, shake off the dust of your feet.

I have realized through the very Word that though God loves everyone, all were not ordained to eternal life.

Acts 13:48
And when the Gentiles heard this, they were glad, and glorified the word of the Lord: and as many as were ordained to eternal life believed.

To those of you who are now reading this, and have not yet accepted the call of God to follow Jesus, I urge you to accept the Word of God as it is preached according to the Holy Book, the Bible.  The Word is truly the power of God unto salvation to them that believe.

Romans 1:16   
For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one who believes; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.

This Word carves the pathway for us to enter into to eternal life.  Without it, we will go to Hell, which by the way, is a real place of torment ….. for eternity.  I urge you not to resist what the Word says.  As the Word goes forth, listen to it and just believe it for what it says and then move to do it.  The Book of James 1:21-24 says that if we hear the Word and not do it we deceive our own selves.

Therefore lay aside all filthiness and overflow of wickedness, and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls. But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror; for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was.

Why not make a decision to adhere to the Word of God as it goes forth, and then prove God at His very Word as He begins the work of transformation in your life, and as He sets you on the pathway of eternal life in Christ Jesus.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

THE KITCHEN ENCOUNTER

As soon as the coast was clear 8 year old Danny slipped quietly from his room and headed downstairs to the kitchen. He dared not turn on any lights for fear that someone might be alerted. Stealthily he felt his way until he reached the refrigerator and opened the door. His eyes widened as he saw the bounty, and he quickly began to pile things into the pillow case he held in his hand. 

The half-eaten roast chicken left over from the night’s dinner went in first – drippings and all, followed by a block of cheese, a six-pack of yogurt, a bag of grapes, some salami slices and the rest of the chocolate cake they’d had for dessert. Danny grabbed a handful of macaroni and cheese from the baking dish and dumped it in with his other loot before closing the refrigerator door and turning to head back upstairs. But sudden light blinded him, preventing him from seeing the figure that blocked his retreat to his room.

“Danny, what are you doing?”

The tiny boy did an about-face and bolted away from the voice, but he slipped on the trail of grease that had oozed from the pillow case onto the kitchen floor. Before he could regain his composure Danny felt two large hands lift him to his feet and he found himself face to face with Greg Townsend.

“Danny, what’s all this? What are you doing?” Greg asked.

“I…I…I gotta have enough for tomorrow!” Danny blurted out, his eyes welling with hot tears as he tried in vain to pick up his spoils that had spilled onto the floor.

“Son, “Greg replied, “you’ll always have enough for tomorrow. You don’t have to hide food in your room. You’re part of this family now, and I’ll always make sure that there’s more than enough for you and for all of us.”

How many of us are like little Danny, worried about having enough for tomorrow, so we hoard supplies - money, food, clothes. The world system endorses this kind of behavior, and they provide numerous ways for you to store away for the future. But hoarding and the worry that accompanies it, are indications that God is not trusted to be the Provider that He is.


Jesus said, “Do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.” Matthew 6: 32, 33

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