God-cares-for-usThe Lord is our Portion

Psalm 119:57

You are my portion, LORD; I have promised to obey your words.

 Portion, inheritance, mine, a sense of ownership, something to be grasped and treasured.

These are all words that I would use to describe the relationship between God and his people. In the old testament the Lord God said that the people of the tribe of Israel would be His inheritance, and then later King David in the Psalms said that God was his portion and his inheritance. This all speaks of an intimate loving relationship where each side cherishes the other.

What does it mean for God to be our portion? As I search the scriptures I have come to realize that God has many sides to him and when we choose to walk in true fellowship with him, we can learn to trust him as our portion in every situation that we encounter.

He is our righteousness and salvation. He is our provider and strong refuge in times of trouble. He is our comforter, deliverer and compassionate father. He is our defender and the lover of our souls. He is our King, who is head over all spiritual powers and dominions that have been set up on this earth. He is our friend, and confidant. He is the power that flows through us to love, show mercy and compassion to the broken and desperate world around us. He has lavished his love on us in that he sent Jesus Christ, his son to bring us salvation and the ability to live a life of an overcomer here on this earth.

Yes he is our portion, our very strong and mighty God and even as I write these words I feel an excitement rising up within me as I remember that He is my everything. Therefore my dear friend, I would like to encourage you today, to give thanks to the lord for his mighty power in your life and that he truly is everything that you will ever need. Nothing can satisfy us, like God can.

 

 

God-cares-for-usForgiveness God’s way

Matthew 18:21

Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Up to seven times?”  Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.

I think out of all of the things that Jesus asks us to do, this is the hardest one to do, offer forgiveness for an offense towards us.

To forgive means to pardon, to release the offense done to you and send it away. Yet it somehow feels good to be able to think about the offense, justify to yourself why you should feel mad at the other person and why they should pay for what they have done to us.

This is not God’s way however, and when one of the disciples asked Jesus how many times they could forgive someone, he replied seventy seven times, that is a lot, at least with seven times we can think to ourselves, well, they have not shaped up by time number seven so now I can justifiably hate or excommunicate them. The problem with not forgiving another person is this, we open a door that allows bitterness and strife to enter our hearts towards that person, and then the next thing we know we are gossiping and slandering them, feeling justified in our actions.

The bible is very clear, that this kind of attitude is of the flesh and of the old man, but the man that is controlled by the spirit, and who desires to obey God, must not only imitate God but we need to live a life of love for our brothers and sisters, just as Christ has loved us and has given himself up as an offering to God for our sins.

When we are harboring un -forgiveness, we are no longer kind, compassionate and full of mercy towards those around us, instead we are driven by our pride to be right. Therefore my prayer for you today is that if you know that there are people that you need to forgive, that right now you would ask the Lord to help you to do that, out of obedience to him. Jesus has forgiven you of your sins and will never hold them against you ever again; therefore he requires that we do the same for the people around us.

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imagesCAFQ0ISEWhere did that Compassion come from?

Galatians 5:22

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.

A few years ago, I got the dreaded call, “mom is dying and you need to get home” Home for me is in South Africa, so I hopped on the next plane I could find and made my way there. For the next month I nursed my mom before I had to return to Canada. It was the hardest thing in the world watching someone who used to be so very strong now in need of help for everything. I felt hopeless as the cancer was advanced and there was nothing that could be done.

From that moment on, I avoided sick people like the plague. The truth was that I was terrified of losing my mom and felt that there was nothing I could do to help her as she slowly wasted away. It was very traumatic and affectedly me greatly for years to come.

Then last year, I had the privilege of nursing my husband who was very sick with cancer, he too was helpless and I found myself facing my greatest fear, nursing someone only to have them die. The Lord however used this experience to remove my fears and heal my heart. I found myself with such compassion and mercy, kindness and gentleness, goodness, joy and peace as I loved him through this terrible sickness. I did not get angry or resentful; instead the Lord gave me a very sweet love and appreciation for him, something that I had never experienced before.

I thank the Lord for the fruit of his spirit that lives within me that came out to minister to my husband when he needed it the most.

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Receiving the unexpected

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Philippians 4:19

And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.

The fear that kept me up at night when I heard that my husband had cancer and would need treatment immediately was not that he could die, or would suffer, but what will we do to pay our mortgage and feed the kids.

Thankfully God promises that he takes care of us and meets all of our needs often even before we know we have the need. So when my husband’s boss found out that he needed treatment he asked him what he could do to help. My husband told him that his greatest concern was how to meet the bills that would still come in. His boss then spoke to his boss and they decided that they would pay my husband a set amount every month, whether he worked for 2 hours in the day or 8. They were also prepared to continue doing this throughout the treatment process.

Who does such a thing? We believe that God prompted their hearts, filled them with generosity and they supplied the need that we had.

We were astonished at the method God used, but were ever so grateful for his faithful provision all through the 6 months of treatments. I want to encourage you today, that God does really care about you and your needs and will generously supply every time.

imagesCA5MKIZDPerfect Peace

Isaiah 26:3          

You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you.

I have learnt over the years that the greatest spiritual battles are not fought out on a battle field that I can physically walk on, but the battlefield is right in my own mind. The devil who prowls around like a lion seeking whom he may devour and is always looking for ways to put us into bondage in our minds because he knows that if he can do that, then it is not long before he has us fearful, fretting, angry, taking offense, gossiping about our friends, stirring up division amongst believers and a whole lot of other things.

On television these days there are many shows depicting the various stages of depravity that man has stooped too.  There are hoarders, who fear loss, people with strange addictions, people so obese they need fork lifts just to be moved out of their homes. All because they never surrendered their thoughts to the Lord and asked him to help them to think on things that were good for them, and not harmful.

The Lord tells us that we need to daily renew our minds, in other words to change our thinking from the old man and his ways to thinking the about the Lord and His ways for us. We do this by filling our minds with the words of the bible; believing these words and then living by them, thus allowing ourselves to be truly transformed. When we do this, God promises that he will keep our minds steadfast, in other words, our minds will not wonder to places they should not go, all because we trust in God. We learn to trust God through learning about him in his word. Start renewing your mind today.

 

 

God our provision

Philippians 4:19               

And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.

Last spring, I wanted a bicycle and I had asked around my friend group to see who would have a bike to loan me for the summer as a I love to feel the wind in my hair as I ride around. A friend stepped up and lent me her bike for a while and I was really enjoying it. Then one day she called and asked to have it back due to the fact that she had been cleared to ride it again.

I was really disappointed. So I took my sulky self to the lord and complained and whined and pouted about how I really wanted a bike and that it would be a great stress reliever to ride and I thought I would throw in for good measure that I would lose weight and get some exercise. About 2 weeks later I was talking to a friend of mine on the phone when my doorbell rang.

I sent my daughter to answer it but we got to the door at the same time.  Some precious servant of the Lord had bought a brand new bike and placed it on my front deck, there was a card on my window with my name on it, and it just said guess who.

To say I was ecstatic was an understatement and my poor friend on the phone, kept saying “what? What is going on?”

I was so thrilled to receive the bike, thankful to the lord that he gave me a bike in spite of my whining and bad attitude and that He had used one of his children to bring the blessing.

God hears us when we talk to him; he is very concerned about the big and small things in our lives because he is our compassionate father. Don’t be afraid to ask him for what you need or want, because he is faithful to supply all of your needs through Christ Jesus our Lord.

 

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imagesCADSI1L6Assurance of peace in the midst of turmoil

Philippians 4:4-7

 The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

God guards our hearts and minds; this dear friend is an amazing truth that I encountered not so long ago, as I was in the midst of one of the hardest struggles of my life, walking with my husband through cancer treatments. Trust me when you walk through a journey such as that, fear, despair, hopelessness, anxiety, exhaustion are often your companions.

The lord though in his great love for me and my family, heard our cries for mercy and help and gave me a peace, that defied logic, that went beyond just a feeling of well-being, it was a peace that spoke to my soul, and assured me, that I was not alone in this battle, I had the Lord as my protector, that my sins were forgiven and my eternal home was secure. It was a peace that assured me that there was nothing in all of creation that could snatch me out of my heavenly father’s hand. I could rest in God and trust him for the outcome.

If you are facing trials today that seem too overwhelming for you, and that you cannot possibly see a way out of, bring your prayers and petitions to the Lord, He will hear and He will answer and He will most definitely give you the peace that you need to proceed.

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Unity among the believers

John 17:20- 23

“My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message,  that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me.  I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one,  I in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me

Unity –  oneness of mind, harmony, or agreement. This is the definition given by the dictionary of what Unity is meant to be.

I have been thinking about the prayer that Jesus prayed a lot recently and naturally looked around to see what kind of unity I could see amongst the members of the local church that I attend, in my home, in my community and even my unity with Jesus. I found that there was some definite cracks in the overall picture of unity, togetherness, harmony and peace, and I could have indulged my sense of self-righteousness and said to myself, wow, look how divided and wrong this and that is, but the truth of the matter is, I always need to come back and examine myself and see what part I am playing in the promotion of unity with the community around me, I am sad to say I found myself coming up short.

This is not what Jesus prayed for when he prayed for the future church, He prayed that we would be so united both in him and with others so that the world around us would believe through us that God had sent Jesus.

When I saw the state of my prejudice heart towards other believers and my lack of promotion of unity I cried out to the Lord for forgiveness. My prayer for you today is that you too would have a look and see where you stand, do you actively promote unity between yourself and God and the world around you or do you stand idly by while the community gets ripped apart. Jesus prayed for unity, so should we.

Faith Tested

James 1:2 – 4

Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Perseverance finishes its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.

We shouldn’t be surprised or fearful of the trials placed before us. The Lord uses these situations to grow us up as Christians. Let me share with you an example of a trial I recently endured.

When I found out that my husband of 19 years had stage 4 Lymphoma, (cancer of the Lymph nodes). I was still in shock at the diagnosis and suddenly fear became my constant companion. A fear of the loss of finances, fear of change and fear of the loss of my husband. Fear had settled in to my every waking moment. It was then that the Lord, who is so very gracious and compassionate, led me to this passage of scripture and I realized that it was not the end of the world as I thought, but it was the beginning of a trial that I was facing. I had a choice at that moment as to how I was going to see this trial through.

I knew that God  did not want me to throw my hands up in defeat and scream at how unfair it was and why us, but I believe that he wanted me to see that even though we are Christians; trials do come our way, and we are not to be surprised by that.

These trials are not meant to crush and defeat us, but they are there to test the faith within us and to develop and grow us as children of God.  God’s ultimate goal with his children is to make us Christ like and just as Jesus was full of faith in his heavenly father, God wants to train us that we too can put our faith and trust in His goodness and mercy towards us.

Therefore I could go through this trial with confidence and joy because I knew that I was not alone. I knew that God also knew about it, and that he would bring forth a harvest of fruit in my life, that I would not have experienced before had I not walked through this hard time.

If you are facing a trial right now that seems overwhelming to you, I would like to encourage you to know that it is not a personal vendetta that God has against you, but that you can know without a doubt that He will use the trial to teach you more about Him and the result will be a faith greater than you have ever experienced before.

Prayer

Heavenly father, your word says that I am to consider it pure joy when I face trials because of what it will produce in me, I admit that that was not my first response, I ask lord that you open up the eyes of my heart to see your hand at work in the midst of this trial and I thank you for the fruit that it will produce in my life. In Jesus name, amen.