Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ

Have you put much thought into the gifts that you give at Christmas time, what it really all means and why is everyone so frantic to out spend from last year?

I have been thinking about that lately as we hurtle along at break neck spead towards Christmas this year. I also have a couple of birthdays in this month and so the ideas for gifts are swirling around in my mind all of the time. I have to take a step back though and think about my motivations behind these gifts and are they really a blessing to others or are they part of the problem of just collecting more stuff?

I would love to think that all of my gift giving is unselfish, that I am doing it for the pure enjoyment that I see on their faces, but to be honest, sometimes I give to get. There you have it, the bare truth, I give to get.

I am reminded of another gift that was given to us, from God, and that is why we even celebrate at this time of year. The gift of his Son Jesus. He gave us the gift of his son, as he knew that the only way that the people whom he loved so very much would ever be able to have the deep relationship with him again would be to his His son, whom He loved so very much to this world in order to direct the people back to him.

He knew that his son would have to die, a horrific death, and that death would be the final and ultimate sacrifice needed to wipe away the sins of the world.

That my friends is a gift worth giving. I urge you to stop and think about the sacrifice that he made for us, the cost of which was very high.

I urge you to think about the gifts that you buy this year for everyone, and what you are really wanting them to know about your love for them.

I also want to direct your attention to a great article that I came across today, written by a dear friend of mine Juanita. I know that you will be very blessed by her words.

please follow the following link:

http://prairiejuan.wordpress.com/

Be blessed today

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ

I wrote down a quote from a book that I have been reading called Experiencing God, by Dr Henry Blackaby. I highly recommend that you purchase a copy of this particular book. It really opens your eyes to the reality of God and learning to practice the art of practicing “experiencing him in your every day life”

So the quote went like this, “When you come to a moment of truth when you must choose whether to obey God, you cannot obey God unless you believe and trust Him. You cannot believe and trust Him, unless you love him, and you cannot love Him unless you know Him!”

Wow, I have recently come to that place in my own walk with God, where I had to choose to really obey him and his word. It was in a matter of finances and putting my trust in Him that he really would supply all of my needs.

Why would I need to obey God on an issue that directly invovled me and my household? Well it comes down to this, either I believe that the bible is true and put those teachings into practice into my life, or I choose to go my own way and ignore them.

The hardest part of believing that the word of God is true and applicable for me, has always been, that I doubted that he truly had my best interests at heart. I doubted that he would see me through to the other side of what ever it is that he has asked me to do. I had this thought in mind that whatever he asked of me would be hard and I would have to figure it out all on my own and that I would fail, oh trust me the list was endless in the lies that I believed about God and his love toward me.

I didn’t know and fully understand God’s character and love toward me, God reveals himself to us in his word, (the bible) as our provider, shield, comfort, shepard, God, saviour, redeemer, loving father the list is endless. It is through knowing these attributes of God that we learn to rely and trust in Him in a greater way.

 Recently the Lord has been teaching me a new way to look at things, a way that I know will benefit and help you as well as you dare to step out and trust God for the next step that he has for your life.

I need to learn to come to Jesus as a little child, I need to put my faith in Him and his abilities to see me through whatever he has asked me to do. I need to trust him as a little child trusts his loving parents. That child knows that without a shadow of a doubt that his mom and dad will love, feed, clothe, provide all of his needs. They will never desert him and if they do leave him with friends or family, they will always come back for him.

That is the same way in which we need to trust God, trusting that he has us securly in his care. Trusting that he will never leave us or forsake us for something better. That he will take care of our needs and if we will come to him with every thing, he will most certainly show us and direct us in the way that would be best for us.

If we come to him as a child, and ask him for his direction for our lives, he will give it. He will teach us along the way, how much we can trust him and his provision. As God reveals himself to us as a loving Heavenly Father, we can be assured that he has our best interests at heart, and whatever he asks of us, is either to teach us something, prepare us for something, to bless someone and all of these things draw us into a closer walk with him.

I was reminded of something this morning that I believe that God used to teach me the principle of: When he asks anything of me, he not only prepares me to do it, but provides for my needs along the way.

Many years ago I was living in  a little town in Northern Alberta, Canada. My husband and I were heading to the big city of Edmonton on the weekend to do some shopping and visit with some friends. On the Monday of that week, I believe the Holy Spirit spoke into my heart that I needed to take a chicken with me to Edmonton and give it to our friends down there. I thought it was an absured idea and promptly fought with God the entire week. I gave the Holy Spirit every excuse I could think of as to why I should not do this. The urge to take the chicken, just got stronger.

Well by Thursday afternoon, I was exhausted from fighting and resisting the Holy Spirit, that I gave up and said Ok, I will take the chicken.

About an hour later, a very good friend of mine, sent her husband over to my house with a bag, he was standing in the door way of the house and I knew immediately what he had in the bag. Yes you guessed it, it was the chicken.

I repented to God for resisting his prompting to take the chicken down to Edmonton. I took it and all of my fears that I had had about the lack that I would have if I took this chicken down to Edmonton were revealed to me to be false. I had more than enough food for the next week to see us through.

I want to emphasize the principle here and that is; God taught me, that when he asked me to do something, He not only provides what I need to do what he has asked me to do, but he reveals his faithfulness to me, by showing me his provision. My relationship with God deepened as a result of this incident and many years later I am still learning lessons from it.

I realise that sometimes it can be hard to step out in faith and do what God has called you to do. But I have learnt that the more I know who God is and I study his character through the bible, the more I discover that he is not only trust worthy, but his is faithful to see whatever he has asked of me to do, to the end.

So, I urge you brothers and sisters in Christ, to get to know who God is, see what his character is really like, it is way easier to trust someone that you know, than someone you don’t!!!

Step out today in faith and you will be amazed at the wonders of what God has for you.

Hebrews 11: 5-6

5By faith Enoch was taken from this life, so that he did not experience death; he could not be found, because God had taken him away. For before he was taken, he was commended as one who pleased God. 
6And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him

Faith is the key that unlocks all that God has for us, so step out in faith and obedience today, get to know the wonderful character of God and you will experience the Joy of knowing Him in a deeper way than ever before.

I pray that each of you are blessed beyond measure as you step out in faith today!!!!

 

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ

I have become increasingly disturbed by the advancement that the New Age Movement is having in society around us. I am a Christ Follower, bible believing, truth Seeking Christian. I realize that this new age movement is not something new to planet earth but because of modern technological advances, like the internet, movies, cell phones, tele conferencing and so forth, it is spreading like wild fire. The Oprah movement is not helping either, as she is shamelessly promoting New Age thinking and attitudes.

I am sorry I can no longer stay quiet on this issue, I have to address it. What is the issue? Well since man has been on this planet and sinned in the Garden of Eden, there has been this sinister undercurrent running through all societies.

New Age beliefs (not held by me, but I am using “I” to emphasize my point)

It is the belief that God is not really out there and real, it is the belief that if I still myself and look deep within, I will find a god in myself, I am god, that the issue of sin does not really exist, people just happen to do bad things. Evil is a matter of perspective and not really real.

I need to find a deeper enlightenment, because there is more than one way to heaven, if there is a place called heaven at all. I cannot possibly believe that if God did exist that he would be so cruel to punish his “son” and that really the cross and what they claim it did for the sin of the world, does not really exist.

I cannot believe that God would send people to Hell that makes him out to be so mean. I cannot believe that there is a God when there is all this hurt and mayhem in the world, because if there was a God then he would do something about it all. He would just fix it.

I need to accept that the universe/world/ inner self are my guide. Evolution of thinking teaches me to see myself as above those Christians in their archaic thinking,

There is no sin, therefore there are no consequences’, and I can do what I want, when I want and how I want.

If I do good to others, am a good person, give my time to the people in need, money to organizations that can help people, then that is all that I am responsible for. I am the master of my own destiny.

Therefore if there is no God, then it goes to reason, that children should not learn about something fictitious like that in school – hence no school prayers or mention of God. Yes you can be a practicing Buddhist, Muslim or any other faith, but if you are a Christian you are wrong, I don’t want to hear it, I don’t want my kids to hear it. We will slowly and systematically drive you out of our society!

Brothers and sisters, this kind of thinking is permeating every section of our society, from our schools to our boy scouts and girl guides to our churches and towns. We need to wake up and realize that this kind of thinking is real, it is out there and people are buying into it by the millions.

It is no longer acceptable for us to sit around and say nothing. People are dying out there and going to hell, because it is easier to believe a “Gospel of works and having an inner god and enlightenment” than actually believing that Jesus came to this earth to die for our sins.

The sins of mankind have driven a wedge between us and God, a Holy God. Who demands that we live in Holiness as well. Part of Holiness, is not partaking in the lies out there but also standing up for the truth.

There is nothing that we can do to “Work our way into heaven” we cannot sit for hours and meditate and do “good works to please the universe” friends, these are lies straight from the pit of hell.

The truth of the matter is that these “New Age thinkers” have their theology wrapped up in a doctrine from demons, the bible warns of that all of the time, they are infiltrating every part of society, they are teaching your children at school, they are the lawyers and Judges who make rulings for how our society is run.

I urge you today, if you are slack on getting into the word of God, stop, drop and pray. Repent for your tardiness, get back to the truth, only God’s truth will be able to keep you away from false teachers as well as enable you to reach out to others who are being deceived.

I urge you today to step up into the roles that God has placed in you to do. Participate in Society  so that you will be a part of the solution to bring about a godly change for the good. Study the truth, hide it in your heart, teach it to your children so that they will not be deceived.

I will give you a little example of what is going on out in the real world as I saw it this weekend.

While my husband and I were walking through our local Wal-Mart and looking at the Christmas decorations I could not find a single nativity in the main aisles where the Christmas decorations were displayed. It was not until much later, when I had to go back to Wal-Mart and I went into their other separated part of seasonal stuff, that I found one very small display of nativity scenes.

That might not sound like anything to get upset about, but once again it reminded me that “The World” wants less and less to do with God, and more and more to do with their own “inner God of their Making”, God forgive us!!!!

Then on Friday evening, at our local light up the town for Christmas event, one of the town council members asked the people before they lit up the CHRISTMAS TREE, if he was allowed to called it a CHRISTMAS TREE OR SHOULD HE CALL IT A HOLIDAY TREE, he asked people to put up their hands if the name Christmas would offend anyone.

I nearly screamed at him that it offends me that you would even ask if I want to exclude my Lord and Savior from my life!!!! ahhhhhh.

So I shouted very loudly for him to hear that he needs to call it a Christmas tree.

Oh my friend, what is happening to our beautiful nation? They no longer think it necessary to Honor God who gives them life and breath!!!! My heart is sad and sickened.

It makes me even more determined to learn the truth, know it and teach it any way I can, as it is only truth that can set us free!!!!

Brothers and Sister, take a stand for The Truth of Christ today, don’t let these deceivers come in and deceive you, know the word of God and ask him to deepen your faith and walk with him daily.

Only God can strengthen and keep us safe until he comes again.

To read a similar article please follow the following link:

http://prairiejuan.wordpress.com/2010/11/22/good-grief-charlie-brown/#comment-101

I pray that each of you will stand for the truth, and that Truth is found only in the bible!

I pray that the Lord will bless you indeed today!

As I sit here this morning, I cannot help but think of the many ways that I am so blessed.

 In the part of the world that I live in, I affectionately like to call it the “Deep Freeze” as it is not uncommon to experience temperatures of minus 40. There are many people around who love this cold weather and actually look forward to it, me on the other hand, the moment I see the hint of a small snowflake, I start to dream of Hawaii.

On a more serious note though, I am so grateful for all of the blessings that God has poured into my life, I live in a country that is safe and free from civil unrest. I have a home to raise my children in, beds for them to sleep in and food to feed them. They too have many things that give them joy, like ipods, stereos, tv’s, books, dvd’s; the list is endless.

The things that make our lives easier though can become all consuming if we are not careful, they often have the power to become what we think of most, we also tend to spend most of our time maintaining and protecting the things that we have.

My question is, do we have our priorities straight?

Jesus taught in Matthew 6:19 – 21

19“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 
20But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. 
21For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

So, I need to examine what my treasures are first of all and where am I truly storing them up. The things that I hold dear here will wear out and eventually have to be thrown out, like my lovely bread machine which died last night. Things will never bring me a great satisfaction in my soul. They will give me a temporary high but when that high wears off I will need to go and buy or do something else to feel that way again.

I believe that God wants us to invest our lives, time, effort into more important things, like building a relationship with Him for starters. As we draw closer to him we will discover that all of the other things that we thought were important in life pale in comparison. Only God can truly heal and satisfy the deepest longings of our souls, that need that we all have to feel and be loved, protected and cherised. This is a treasure.

Out of that relationship with God will come relationships with other people, you will find that these relationships will be so much richer and deeper because they come out of the love that you have for God. The time that you spend with them will bring you such joy and fullfillment. This my friend is a treasure.

Another treasure that we can store up for ourselves in heaven is living in obedience to the word of God and telling others about Him. When we share the love of Christ and the message that they too can have a relationship with Him if they will believe we are storing treasures up in Heaven.

When we encourage and strengthen our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ, with words of encouragement, a hug, a smile, prayer; we are storing up treasures in heaven.

When we lay aside our needs to be first in all things and ask God to work in and through us to affect the world around us, we are storing up treasures in Heaven.

Brothers and sisters, I want to encourage each of you to evaluate where you are storing up treasures, are your houses and garages full of stuff that you will most likely never really use? Are you pursuing the “American Dream, of dream houses, cars, stuff to fill it, vacations at least twice a year?” Is that how you are storing up your treasures?

Or are you pursuing God and godliness, are you deliberately spending yourself on behalf of others? Do you know Jesus and what he has done for you?

One day you and I will die, we will come before God and all of what we have done and pursued here on earth will be evaluated, will your treasures and work measure up to God’s will for you? I pray that it will, I pray that you will really have a look at your priorities and put them in the right place, I pray that you will pursue God and his will for your life as I know that you will never be dissapointed at the blessings that flow from his hands.

Blessings

 

Christian Farming

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ

Have you ever considered yourself to be a farmer? Well in the Christian walk we are just that. Some of us are seed planters and some of us are the ones that come along and water the seed that has been planted.

1 Corinthians 3: 5-15

5What, after all, is Apollos? And what is Paul? Only servants, through whom you came to believe—as the Lord has assigned to each his task.

6I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God made it grow.

7So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow.

8The man who plants and the man who waters have one purpose, and each will be rewarded according to his own labor.

9For we are God’s fellow workers; you are God’s field, God’s building.

10By the grace God has given me, I laid a foundation as an expert builder, and someone else is building on it. But each one should be careful how he builds.

11For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ.

12If any man builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw,

13his work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each man’s work.

14If what he has built survives, he will receive his reward.

15If it is burned up, he will suffer loss; he himself will be saved, but only as one escaping through the flames.

As I have been thinking of this whole concept of us being farmers in the kingdom of God I was considering the kind of seed that I am actually sowing. Am I sowing seed that is going to bring forth a harvest of good fruit which brings life into my life or am I sowing seeds that will reap a harvest of death?

As a mother and a wife the first place that I get to have hands on practice in sowing seeds are at home with my family. I hate to admit that a lot of the seed that I have sown into my children’s lives have been less than stellar and have brought forth a harvest that I was not really wanting.

What do I mean by that, well children are like sponges and they absorb everything that you say and do and because they recognize that you are in authority over them your actions and words become their plumb line. In the past I often did not model the things that I always wanted them to be.

I was motivated out of inner pride when parenting my children. (They had to be perfect or it was a reflection on me and my parenting style)

I had a short temper when they did not perform the way that I wanted them to, I often used sarcasm as a come back to their actions. The list is endless on all of the bad seed that I planted into their very impressionable lives.

(I want to let you know that once God brought to my attention what my attitude and actions were doing to my children, I repented and asked him to cover over my sin and help me to instead plant better fruit into my children. This he has done in abundance and here are some of the things I have learnt about sowing better seeds since then.)

I would like to draw your attention away from the bad for a moment and take you on a different journey and that is about the good seed that I did sow and try to consistently sow into my children now.

The good seeds of teaching them about forgiveness, whenever I mess up I always go to them and ask them to forgive me, (this is a hard thing to do as you have to humble yourself before them, but well worth the exercise).

Another seed that I have diligently planted into their lives is love. I have tried to model to them what it means to be loved and then in turn love others deeply from the heart. I have also sown the seed of loving your neighbor as you love yourself.

This is a challenge in any household but they have learnt to truly love their siblings deeply from the heart. They laugh and cry and play together all of the time. I greatly admire and even envy this relationship that they have with one another as I long for that same ease with my own siblings.

I have also sown the seed of Jesus Christ into their lives, my husband and I have diligently had family alter times, what do I mean by that, well we have set aside time every day where we get together and as a family read the word of God. We discuss what we have learnt, how it affects us and how to put it into practice into our lives. Then we pray as a family and ask God to take the word that we have learnt and help us to live it out in our lives.

This practice alone has yielded more good fruit than anything else that I could have done with my children. I am so glad that I listened to God years ago about implementing this into our family life.

I have also deliberately sown many other seeds in my children’s lives like, hope for the future, a good moral base by which to live their lives, teaching them right from wrong.

I have shown them that it is important to exercise self control in their lives. The apostle Paul says that everything is permissible but not everything is beneficial for us. That is so true, as too much food and a lack of exercise will make you fat, but food is good and is needed if we are to live long. So teaching children how to exercise self control is essential to living a life that would be ultimately pleasing to God.

Another seed that I have deliberately sown in my life is the seed of words. Watching their words and how they use them is essential. In proverbs it says that words have the power of life and death and that is the absolute truth.

(Proverbs 18:21, The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit.

Proverbs 21:21 & 23, He who pursues righteousness and love finds life, prosperity and honor.

He who guards his mouth and his tongue keeps himself from calamity)

Think about it, if we are using our words to speak life into the people around us, it promotes an atmosphere of life and love and encouragement, but if our words are constantly tearing people apart and tearing them down then that is also the atmosphere that we create around us.

My kids are always hearing me say to them, “So did you just speak life or death into the life of your sister or brother”.

This particular seed has brought a huge and bountiful harvest into our home, as the words that we speak to one another are words that bring life and love and respect into the home.

I have never heard my kids tell each other or their dad or myself that they hate us, as they have been trained to plant the good seed instead of the bad.

I would like to encourage each of you to think about the seed that you are planting in the field of your life, are the seeds bring a bountiful harvest of good fruit or are you seeing some bad fruit coming from your crops.

Bad fruit can be things like, lying, stealing, cheating, excessive selfishness, idolatry, lust for more stuff, treating others and yourself with disrespect; Ignoring God and his efforts to teach you a better way of living.

If bad fruit is being harvested I want to encourage you to repent to God for planting and cultivating bad fruit in your life as well as those around you.

Galatians 6 :7-10

7Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows.

8The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature£ will reap destruction; the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life.

9Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.

10Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.

The bible is full of ways that we as Christians can learn to sow better seed into our lives, and into the lives of others around us. It is never to late to start again, it is never to late to plant better seeds in your life as God is the God of do over’s!

I pray that each of you today will be encouraged to continue to plant seeds in your life and in those around you that will bring a harvest of righteousness. God forgives us for the bad and then he mercifully teaches us to live differently in order to plant better seeds.

Happy farming.

Lest we Forget

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ

November 11 is the day that the world stops to reflect and remember all those who have fought and died. We take a moment and offer up prayers of thanksgiving for the sacrifices that were made by both men and women who believed and fought for the right to have a life that would be free of war. They fought for the right of people to be educated and elect people of their choice into political power. They fought to keep the evil of domination away from us, the future generation. I stand with millions of others and say thank you to them as well.

I would like to take a few moments and remember and reflect on the unsung heroes that are not honored world wide, but need to be recognized nonetheless.

When I start to think about the many people that have influenced my life in both the good and the bad it is overwhelming, but to each of them I am forever grateful, as through my encounter with each person, my life has become richer. I have learnt to love, cry, and feel immense joy, experiences the joy of deep friendships. I have felt the sting of hurt and rejection, the sorrow of death, but in all of these instances it has helped to shape me into the woman that I am today.

For that I need to take a moment to stop and remember each of these precious people, now I stand and say thank you all, for the good and the bad.

I want to remember all of the mothers and fathers throughout the generations that have labored tirelessly to instill into their children, good work ethics, good morals and a sense of unselfishness. Those parents who have spent countless hours praying for their children and giving them a strong faith foundation. Let us remember these unsung heroes.

I think of all the people who even now are taking the words of Christ seriously when he said “To go into all of the world and make disciples” their untiring effort on behalf of the gospel has often been met with ridicule and death, but they press on toward the goal and they hold out the word of truth to a lost and dying world. Thank you brothers and sisters in Christ, you are all in my prayers.

I want to remember all of the victims of abortions, children that have in the millions lost their lives, because society does not think that they have the right to live. I think of the mothers who have aborted their babies, because they believed the lies of those who counseled them. We must not think for a moment that these precious children, who are a gift from God, lives mean nothing. . Let us not forget to pray for the mothers whose emotional lives are forever changed because of what they have done. Let us remember them today.

I want to remember all of the people who have died in the needless and cruel genocides that have plagued our planet for the last century. These people being different in some way, were deemed the enemy and therefore had to be eradicated. Evil men have hid behind political agendas, greed and a thirst for power and have ripped open the bellies of many countries over the years. Let us remember those innocent victims.

I want to remember all young girls and boys who are caught in the evil web of slavery. Their freedoms stripped from them and now they are used and abused like they are trash. They are not, they have feelings, they cry and hurt and want to be loved like everyone else. Instead evil men and women treat them worse than animals. We need to continue our fight to have these innocents released from the prison that they find themselves in. Let us remember these innocent children today.

I want to remember all those who are adults and are caught in the web of slavery around the world today, they are bought and sold like cattle, starved, beaten and abused so that we can buy cheaper products here in North America and world wide. Let us remember these innocent victims.

We need to remember those who serve us in the grocery store or at the gas station, that they too have feelings and have families. They too have lives that are affected by finances and heartache, love and laughter. So if we are ever tempted to marginalize what they do or say a cruel word to them because they are not serving us in the manner we think that they should, we need to stop and remember that they to are people in need of love and encouragement, a smile and a hope. Thank you to them.

We need to remember those who serve in the police force and the fire brigade. These men and women willingly put their very lives at risks by showing up for work every day, yet they do it willingly to serve us. Thank you to them.

I want to remember that without Christ living in me and his precious Holy Spirit guiding my steps I am nothing, I am as a human being prone to sin and misery but in Christ I have a new life that has set me free from all of the heart ache and loneliness I experienced before.

I want to remember that because of Christ I have the hope of eternal life and that my sins are no longer held against me. I want to remember that there is nothing that I lack as a child of God, as I have his peace, love, faithfulness, strength and power. I have been chosen and adopted, given every spritual blessing in heaven, I have been redeemed from the empty way of life that was handed down to me from my fore fathers. I want to remember that I am never alone and because of Jesus, my life is truly new and transformed. I will forever live in victory.

As I conclude all of the things that I want to remember, I urge each of you to take a moment and think about the various areas that I have mentioned and reflect on how you can make a difference in someone’s life today. I urge you all to reflect Jesus in your every word and action today.

Be blessed in the Name of Jesus Christ

 

My Prayer for you

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ

As modern believers in Christ Jesus we have the privilege of having the word of God at our finger tips; whether on the computer or in a physical book. There are so many wonderful teachings tucked into the folds of God’s word to us.

I am going to take the liberty and include a piece of scripture that has always meant a lot to me but through recent study of it, it has come alive. It comes from the book of Colossians, the first Chapter.

The apostle Paul has written this letter to the believers of Colossae as he had heard of their faith in Christ Jesus and how through that faith, they had great love for all of the saints (Believers) around them. Their faith was bearing much fruit; in other words they were putting their faith into action, in showing love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control. (Galatians 5: 22)

He had also heard that there were some false teachings that were circulating (Gnostic teaching) and he wanted to convey to the people of Colossae that what they had been given in Christ Jesus was all that they needed for faith and living and eternal life.

He then writes a prayer for the believer that gives us a great insight into what we as believers need to desire and ask for in prayer, not only for ourselves but for all those believers around us.

Colossians 1:9-14

9: For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you and asking God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding.

10: And we pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God,

11: being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and joyfully

12: giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you£ to share in the inheritance of the saints in the kingdom of light.

13: For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves,

14 :in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.

My prayer for each of you today is this:

That you will be filled with the knowledge of God’s will for your life through all spiritual wisdom and understanding, in order that you will live a life that is worthy of the Lord Jesus Christ. I pray that as you live in this way that it will be pleasing to God in every way and that you will bear much fruit in everything that you put your hand to do.

I pray that as you set aside time every day to seek out the lord that you will grow in your knowledge of God and that he will strengthen you with his power according to his glorious might. I pray that you will have great endurance to finish the course that God has set before you and that you will learn to patiently wait on God through his Holy Spirit as he directs you in all of your ways.

I pray that the joy of the Lord will bubble out of you as you give thanks to our Father God who because of Jesus’ death on the cross has now qualified you to share in the inheritance that he has set aside in heaven for you; along with all of your brothers and sisters in Christ.

I pray to that you will realize that because you are a child of God; He has rescued you from the dominion of darkness and now you have been brought into the kingdom of Jesus Christ his Son whom he loves very much.

I pray to that you will realize that because of his great love for you and because he rescued you, he also has given you the gift of redemption and the forgiveness of all your sins.

I pray to that you will all realize how wide and deep and long and high the love of God is for you. I pray that you will never be tempted to believe that you are all alone and are unloved. I pray that you will rejoice in the knowledge of God’s great love for you today.

I pray all of this for you in the name of our Precious Lord Jesus Christ.

Amen

 

Did you miss the first part to this article? You can read it here.

Our Decision – Part 2

A study of 2 Kings 6:24 -7:20

In Ancient Israel there were often wars over territory, kings would rise up over other kings and it could make life pretty miserable for the ordinary citizen living in that territory. This is one of those very stories. The invading King had cut off the city of Samaria and the people inside of the city were starving to death. They were weak and hungry and had resorted to killing and eating their own children in order to stay alive

 I would like to draw your attention to the lepers in this story. They were outcasts of society, living outside of the city gates; they were considered unclean and were not allowed to participate in the daily life of the ordinary citizens of the city. Even though they were considered unclean, their consciences would not let them hoard all of the new found treasure for themselves.

In verses 7:3-9

3Now there were four men with leprosy£ at the entrance of the city gate. They said to each other, “Why stay here until we die? 
4If we say, ‘We’ll go into the city’—the famine is there, and we will die. And if we stay here, we will die. So let’s go over to the camp of the Arameans and surrender. If they spare us, we live; if they kill us, then we die.”
5At dusk they got up and went to the camp of the Arameans. When they reached the edge of the camp, not a man was there, 
6for the Lord had caused the Arameans to hear the sound of chariots and horses and a great army, so that they said to one another, “Look, the king of Israel has hired the Hittite and Egyptian kings to attack us!” 
7So they got up and fled in the dusk and abandoned their tents and their horses and donkeys. They left the camp as it was and ran for their lives.
8The men who had leprosy reached the edge of the camp and entered one of the tents. They ate and drank, and carried away silver, gold and clothes, and went off and hid them. They returned and entered another tent and took some things from it and hid them also.
9Then they said to each other, “We’re not doing right. This is a day of good news and we are keeping it to ourselves. If we wait until daylight, punishment will overtake us. Let’s go at once and report this to the royal palace.”
10So they went and called out to the city gatekeepers and told them, “We went into the Aramean camp and not a man was there—not a sound of anyone—only tethered horses and donkeys, and the tents left just as they were.” 
11The gatekeepers shouted the news, and it was reported within the palace.

Sharing the great treasures that they had found meant salvation for the people in the city; do you think that the people were grateful? I am sure that they were, they knew that it meant that they could live life again, that they would have food and water and life would return to normal again. Death was no longer hanging over their heads.

In many ways we as Christians are often a lot like the lepers in this passage of scripture. We have been given a gift that brings great life into our lives. We have been given a hope and a promise of an eternal future. We have been given the precious gift of having the Holy Spirit living within us and filling us with his power. We have been given all of the treasures of heaven.

The gift that I speak of is the gift of ……SALVATION

This gift that we have received means that we will no longer have to face death because of our sins. It is God’s gift to us that says that he loves us and that he wants to have a relationship with us.

This gift of salvation gives us many promises; one of them is freedom, freedom to walk in obedience to God and his ways for us, freedom to choose right over wrong, freedom from the death that our sins really deserve.

Now many of us, myself included have been like those lepers, when they found this great treasure they did not immediately go and tell the others about it, they ate their full, enjoyed the luxury of it all, they even took some of the treasure and buried it for future use.

 Jesus gave us the wonderful gift of Salvation, he paid a huge price so that we could come into the throne room of grace and receive mercy from God, his sacrifice on our behalf meant that when I received Christ and repented of my wicked ways that God would no longer hold our sins against us. We are forgiven, washed clean, blameless in God’s sight.

I don’t know about you, but that is a great gift.

It is time brothers and sisters for us to shout it aloud that we have been given a great gift and that God wants to share it with everyone. Jesus did not die for us to be a part of an exclusive club of people blessed by good living. We have a responsibility to the people of this world and to God to share with others this great gift that was given to us.

The place to begin, is by deeping your roots with God, through daily reading of the bible and prayer, you have to know the wonders of the gift that you have been given before you are willing to share it with other people. If you have not started the practice of learning to walk closely with God, please do so today!

 People will see that there is a difference in how you live and handle life compared to how they are handling their lives. This will open the door for you to share your gift with them. When we live our lives as the people God intended for us to be, the world will take note and want what we have been given.

St Fransis of Asisi said “Preach the gospel always, use words if necessary” 

While we are on this earth we are to train ourselves to set ourselves apart from the wickedness around us. We will start to look more and more like Christ all of the time.

What was Christ like; well he showed love in that he died for us, so that we could come into a right relationship with God. He prayed to God for strength to do the tasks set before him. He performed miracles out of compassion for the people, he showed kindness to those who were marginalized by society. He stood up for the truth.  He loved the people enough to go throughout all of Judea and share with them the wonderful news that the Messiah had come.

This is what we as Christians are called to do, in our homes, in our neighborhoods in our schools and work places. We are told by Jesus to go out to all of the earth and share with the people the gift that we were given.

Matthew 28:16-20

The Great Commission

16. Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go.  

17. When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted.

18. Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.

19. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,

20. and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

Brothers and sisters in Christ, I want to encourage you today to take a look at your life with God today, how ready are you to share the greatest gift that was ever given. How are you reflecting him in your life today?

The time is now to share with other people about the great love that Christ has for them. So go out and fulfill the greatest commission ever given.

 

 

Famine in Besieged Samaria

The following is an account of  how the city of Samaria in Ancient Israel was besieged by Ben-Hadad the King of Aram. Why would I even bother to mention this particular story, well there are a few lessons in this story that I believe would be very helpful to our walk with God.

God has given us a great gift and that is the gift of Salvation. We as christian must realise that we have a duty and a responsiblity to share the good news of that gift with other people. This account of the siege beautifully illustrates the point of sharing. I encourage each of you to think about your witness today, are you more interested in hiding the gift that God has given you or are you going to step up to center stage and let the light of the Holy Spirit shine for all the world to see.

Brothers and Sister, Shine and share today!!!!

Please note that the rest of the article will be in part 2 as it was too long to include in this article.

2Kings 6:24 -7:20

• 24. Some time later, Ben-Hadad king of Aram mobilized his entire army and marched up and laid siege to Samaria.

• 25. There was a great famine in the city; the siege lasted so long that a donkey’s head sold for eighty shekels of silver, and a quarter of a cab of seed pods for five shekels.

• 26. As the king of Israel was passing by on the wall, a woman cried to him, “Help me, my lord the king!”

• 27. The king replied, “If the LORD does not help you, where can I get help for you? From the threshing floor? From the winepress?”

• 28. Then he asked her, “What’s the matter?” She answered, “This woman said to me, ‘Give up your son so we may eat him today, and tomorrow we’ll eat my son.’

• 29. So we cooked my son and ate him. The next day I said to her, ‘Give up your son so we may eat him,’ but she had hidden him.”

• 30. When the king heard the woman’s words, he tore his robes. As he went along the wall, the people looked, and there, underneath, he had sackcloth on his body.

• 31. He said, “May God deal with me, be it ever so severely, if the head of Elisha son of Shaphat remains on his shoulders today!”

• 32. Now Elisha was sitting in his house, and the elders were sitting with him. The king sent a messenger ahead, but before he arrived, Elisha said to the elders, “Don’t you see how this murderer is sending someone to cut off my head? Look, when the messenger comes, shut the door and hold it shut against him. Is not the sound of his master’s footsteps behind him?”

• 33. While he was still talking to them, the messenger came down to him. And [the king ] said, “This disaster is from the Lord. Why should I wait for the LORD any longer?”

• 1. Elisha said, “Hear the word of the Lord. This is what the LORD says: About this time tomorrow, a seah of flour will sell for a shekel and two seahs of barley for a shekel at the gate of Samaria.”

• 2. The officer on whose arm the king was leaning said to the man of God, “Look, even if the LORD should open the floodgates of the heavens, could this happen?” “You will see it with your own eyes,” answered Elisha, “but you will not eat any of it!”

The Siege Lifted

• 3. Now there were four men with leprosy at the entrance of the city gate. They said to each other, “Why stay here until we die?

• 4. If we say, ‘We’ll go into the city’–the famine is there, and we will die. And if we stay here, we will die. So let’s go over to the camp of the Arameans and surrender. If they spare us, we live; if they kill us, then we die.”

• 5. At dusk they got up and went to the camp of the Arameans. When they reached the edge of the camp, not a man was there,

• 6. for the Lord had caused the Arameans to hear the sound of chariots and horses and a great army, so that they said to one another, “Look, the king of Israel has hired the Hittite and Egyptian kings to attack us!”

• 7. So they got up and fled in the dusk and abandoned their tents and their horses and donkeys. They left the camp as it was and ran for their lives.

• 8. The men who had leprosy reached the edge of the camp and entered one of the tents. They ate and drank, and carried away silver, gold and clothes, and went off and hid them. They returned and entered another tent and took some things from it and hid them also.

• 9. Then they said to each other, “We’re not doing right. This is a day of good news and we are keeping it to ourselves. If we wait until daylight, punishment will overtake us. Let’s go at once and report this to the royal palace.”

• 10. So they went and called out to the city gatekeepers and told them, “We went into the Aramean camp and not a man was there–not a sound of anyone–only tethered horses and donkeys, and the tents left just as they were.”

• 11. The gatekeepers shouted the news, and it was reported within the palace.

• 12.The king got up in the night and said to his officers, “I will tell you what the Arameans have done to us. They know we are starving; so they have left the camp to hide in the countryside, thinking, ‘They will surely come out, and then we will take them alive and get into the city.’ “

• 13. One of his officers answered, “Have some men take five of the horses that are left in the city. Their plight will be like that of all the Israelites left here–yes, they will only be like all these Israelites who are doomed. So let us send them to find out what happened.”

• 14. So they selected two chariots with their horses, and the king sent them after the Aramean army. He commanded the drivers, “Go and find out what has happened.”

• 15. They followed them as far as the Jordan, and they found the whole road strewn with the clothing and equipment the Arameans had thrown away in their headlong flight. So the messengers returned and reported to the king.

• 16. Then the people went out and plundered the camp of the Arameans. So a seah of flour sold for a shekel, and two seahs of barley sold for a shekel, as the LORD had said. 17. Now the king had put the officer on whose arm he leaned in charge of the gate, and the people trampled him in the gateway, and he died, just as the man of God had foretold when the king came down to his house.

• 18. It happened as the man of God had said to the king: “About this time tomorrow, a seah of flour will sell for a shekel and two seahs of barley for a shekel at the gate of Samaria.”

• 19. The officer had said to the man of God, “Look, even if the LORD should open the floodgates of the heavens, could this happen?” The man of God had replied, “You will see it with your own eyes, but you will not eat any of it!”

• 20. And that is exactly what happened to him, for the people trampled him in the gateway, and he died.

Continue reading this in part 2.