Monday, February 10, 2014

IN THE MIDST OF YOUR TROUBLE

 Written by Audrey E. Charles

You're in the midst of a tumultuous situation and you need relief fast! You pray and pray for God to send an answer to your dilemma so that you could go back to "normal" life. But very often the solution seems to be delayed. The Lord has other plans. His aim is to get you to come after Him first.

The Father is more interested in developing your character in Him than in filling your needs. This does not mean that He is unconcerned about your welfare. He cares about the sparrows that fall, and knows every single hair on your head. However, His purpose for you is to bring you back to your original glory – to be His manifested image here on the earth.

The only way that you can accomplish that is to know the One in whose image you were created; not knowing Him for what He does, but knowing Him for Who He is, how He thinks.

Do not be tempted to pray to God just to relieve you of the stresses that challenge you. This is what the Israelites did under Moses’ leadership in the desert. They felt uncomfortable in their bodies and souls and they cried out for relief. God answered always, but not with Himself. They received the things that He had  - food from heaven, water from rocks and so on - without ever receiving the Person that He is. As a result the children of Israel for the most part never really got to know the God of their salvation. They wandered unnecessarily in the desert, circulating for years and years.

Moses, however, came to know God personally. He had an intimate relationship with the Lord, and spent much time with Him. Scripture tells us that after spending 40 days and nights in the presence of the Lord he returned to his people and his face shone with the glory of God, so much so that he had to put a veil over it.

When Moses came down from Mount Sinai with the two tables of the Testimony in his hand, he did not know that the skin of his face shone and sent forth beams by reason of his speaking with the Lord. Exodus 34:29
 
Moses experienced first-hand all the miracles that God did for the Israelites, but he got so much more....he got to know His God!

God will have no other gods before Him, and that includes your challenging situation. Don't allow your trouble to so consume you that it is the first thing you think about upon awakening, the last thing you think about before falling asleep and it crops up in your mind throughout the day. It could become a god, erecting an altar or worry, fear and unbelief in your mind....and it brings you no closer to the One who is the Answer.

Don’t circulate in your frustration, crying out to the LORD for His acts, while ignoring Him. Lay the challenge aside and go after Him for who He is. Then watch Him show you Himself in all His glory. Watch Him lovingly impart more of Himself to you. Watch Him give you the understanding and the knowledge of how to handle that dilemma you are faced with.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

DO YOU LOVE ME?

Written by Allison Sylvester-Conliffe

Jesus said these Words to His disciples, 
John 14:12 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.

This is an awesome truth and most believers may stop right there with their Christian walk – diligently looking for the “greater works” to be manifested. 

Jesus also said to His disciples,
Matthew 17:20  ...If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.

Other believers camp at this scripture and live there believing God for their physical needs, and exercise all their efforts in getting from God according to their faith.  Both portions of Scripture, as mentioned above, mainly pertain to our faith in Jesus Christ, and this we must possess - but may I introduce us to a higher position that we should take in Christ?  This indeed refers to the Commandment given to Moses in Deuteronomy 6:5 and as re-iterated by Jesus Christ when He came to the earth in Matthew 22:37

Thou shall love the Lord with all thy heart and with all thy soul and with all thy mind. 

We could summarize that if we believe and have faith in God, we will see the blessings of God manifested.  However, if we love the Lord, we could have Him and He could have us – blessings included.

As believers, we could say many times over, that we love God.  We could worship Him and get very emotional in expressing to Him that we love Him – and we believe with all our heart that we do love Him.

As we worship the Lord, we remember the number of things that He has already done in our lives
  • the many times that He had delivered us from physical death – 
  • we remember the fact that by His Grace, He has led us to salvation –
  • we remember the times that we got the financial break-through that we were praying for - 
  • we remember the times that we were severely sick and that we received a miraculous healing from the Lord 
We are so thankful and indeed grateful as we express to Him that we love Him for the many things that He has done – but do we really love God?

We measure our love for God mostly by the gratitude that we feel after we see the manifestation of the goodness of God toward us.  We do not remember, however, that the goodness of God is supposed to lead us to repentance (Romans 2:4). Repentance means feeling remorse for offending God and  turning away from sin.

God has placed for us in His Word, the measuring stick that He uses to determine whether we love Him or not.  He said through His Son Jesus, the following words in John 14:15  - If ye love me, keep my commandments.

As believers, we must walk in obedience to the principles and the laws of God our Father, if we profess to be lovers of God.  Do you know that our motivation to do the work for the Kingdom of God, in whichever sphere, should be the love that we have for God? Whether it be work as the pulpit minister, or as the choir member or as the sanctuary worker or intercessor, our motivation should be the love for our God!

Yes, we have been born in sin and brought forth in iniquity (Psalm 51:5), but Jesus came to bring restoration to us with the Father.  He has made the way for us to be reconciled with God the Father.  As a matter of fact Jesus is THE way to the Father.  Jesus has gone back to the Father, but the Holy Spirit is available to all believers as our Helper, to assist us in putting off the lusts of the flesh and so live according to the Commandments as laid down by God Almighty. 

He gives us the ability to walk in the love of God because we cannot do it on our own efforts.  All that is required of us is to ask the Holy Spirit’s help as we choose to do the Word of God, and He will help us in the areas where we fall short.  He is faithful to come to our assistance and is always readily available to us.

I therefore leave you with this question that Jesus Christ still asks His disciples today –
“Do you love Me?”

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