God’s Possession

As Children of God, we are his possession, that is what the bible tells us, but why would it even say that? Why do we have to belong to him?

A possession is a very personal word in my understanding, it brings thoughts of something close to you, something that you value highly, something that you treasure, something that you will go to great lengths to protect, and keep.

So when God says to us, that we are his Possession, you can know for sure that he treasures us, that he values us, and will protect and be there for us in every way.

In Ephesians he tells us that because we heard and believed the word of truth that was spoken to us about Jesus Christ, we have now been marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit that guarantees us an eternal inheritance until the redemption of all those who are God’s possession. Wow, I have hardly any words to describe the feeling I get when I read those words.

You and I have been marked, sealed and are guaranteed an inheritance, that no one on this earth can take away from us, no one can steal it, it is ours.

I remember many times over the years where the enemy has tried to convince me when I sinned that I had lost my salvation for sure. That all was lost and that God could not possibly love me after I had messed up so badly. He is a liar. Look what the bible says;

Ephesians 1:13-23

V:13-14 And you also were included in Christ when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation. Having believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession–to the praise of his glory. 

We have been included in his body, we have been made a part of his family, we are his children, and with that privilege comes certain responsibilities and privileges as his children.

We carry within us the Holy Spirit, we have the same power living within us that raised Jesus from the Dead, we have been given the responsibility to be a fragrance of God’s  presence to all whom we encounter, to some we are a fragrance of death, and to others we are a fragrance of life

2 Corinthians  2:14-16

 But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumphal procession in Christ and through us spreads everywhere the fragrance of the knowledge of him.  For we are to God the aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing.  To the one we are the smell of death; to the other, the fragrance of life. And who is equal to such a task? 

We have been told through scripture that because of his Holy Spirit within us, we are able to lay hands on the sick and they will be healed, we can tell demons to leave and they have to, we can believe and pray that a person be raised from the dead and they will. We have the power of the living God, creator of all things, alive and active within us.

 When we are submitted and surrendered to his will, we will be amazed at what God will do in and through us to affect the people around us. Yes, God has placed his Spirit within you, to bring you life but it is meant to be shared. His good news of salvation is so important for the people to know about because if they don’t they will spend an eternity in hell.

Therefore, the next time the devil tries to convince you that you are worthless or that once again you messed up in sin, or you are too weak to do anything, or anything else like that, you can remind him confidently where he is going – to hell and that you will not be joining him!!!!!

As you to go into the New Year I would like to encourage you to think  about, the fact, that the creator of all things is alive and active within you. Pray and ask him for a fresh revelation of that fact, so that you can lovingly share the gift of eternal life with those around you.

Remember, every day that you surrender to God and ask him for his will to be done in your life, and for you to walk out his purposes you will be blown away at the joy and strength and depth of your walk with Him will become.

The Last part of this chapter in Ephesians is a prayer, a very important one, one that I would like you to turn into a prayer for yourself.

V:15 For this reason, ever since I heard about your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all the saints,  I have not stopped giving thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers. 

V:17  I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. 

V:18-23 I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints,  and his incomparably great power for us who believe.

That power is like the working of his mighty strength, which he exerted in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms,   far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every title that can be given, not only in the present age but also in the one to come. 

And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way. 

This is definitely one of my favorite prayers in the bible, as he asks God to give people the Spirit of wisdom and revelation so that we would be able to know God better.

My prayer is that God would do this for you to, that you will walk in a new wisdom and revelation of who Christ is and his great love for you and of your part to play in this time of history.

I love to how in the prayer, He asks that the eyes of our hearts be enlightened, that we might truly see the truth that is in Christ Jesus, so that we can discern lies and deceptions and go forth in the truth of God. I pray that God will reveal his power  to you, that is living within you so that you may confidently go into the New Year, believing and knowing that God, through the Holy Spirit lives within you, and you can do all that He asks you to do. There is nothing that is impossible for God, and for the person that will dare to take God at his word.

I pray that the lord will bless you all in the New Year, that he will fill your hearts with a renewed sense of passion for him so that you will go out and do great faith filled exploits in his name!!!

 

 

In love God…

Ephesians 1:5-6

In love he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will- to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves.  

This is another one of those pivotal verses in my life that changed my thinking and my very hurting heart in my early twenties. Why you may wonder, well for me, it was several reasons, but because I was so far away from all whom I held dear, I needed to know that I fit in somewhere.

God showed me, that I have been adopted as his daughter through Jesus Christ, and it was because of his great love for me, as well as his pleasure and will.

As a struggling babe in the faith, this was huge for me, because it meant that I had a place, I was not just trying to figure out life on my own, but I was a part of something bigger than I could imagine, as well as I had brothers and sisters all over the world because of Jesus Christ.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A few years ago, I was praying for a lady from Africa, and as I was praying for her, the lord I believe gave me a gift that I want to share with you. You see as I was praying for her, the lord impressed upon my heart, that (No matter where I / her were in the world if our hearts belonged to him, then we would always be at home) I am sure that you heard of that saying, “Home is where the Heart is” well, when our hearts belong to our heavenly father, no matter what our family situation, or lack of one is, we can always feel at home with the lord. I felt that he said to me, that Home makes you think of restful, peace, love, kindness, hope, comfort, a warm fire and blanket on a cold night. It makes you think of a good meal and a place where you can truly be yourself. Well, when our hearts belong to the lord, He is all of that for us and more.

Therefore, when he says that he adopts us, we truly always have a home. I felt so comforted to know, that because he held my heart, I would always have that feeling of security knowing that I was at home with him.

Another key word in these verses is; Predestined, which means to pre determine, in other words, to plan before hand to do something, he planned to adopt you, he planned to give you a hope and a future, and he planned that you will fulfill his purposes here on this earth.

That to me is a very comforting thought. Comforting because I know that my life is therefore no accident, or mistake, but very much planned and thought about. Regardless of the mistakes or sin our parents committed, our lives were predestined to bring Glory to God!!!!!

So give yourself a hug, and thank the lord once again, that you belong to him.  I want to share with you a couple of scriptures that show you what you get to enjoy because you are adopted as a child of God.

1 John 5:1 Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and everyone who loves the father loves his child as well.

Romans 8:15 For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.”

Romans 8:16 The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children.

Acts 20:32 “Now I commit you to God and to the word of his grace, which can build you up and give you an inheritance among all those who are sanctified.

Ephesians 1:13 And you also were included in Christ when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation. Having believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, 

 Ephesians 1:14 who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession–to the praise of his glory.

Ephesians 1:18 I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, 

 Ephesians 1:19 and his incomparably great power for us who believe. 

Colossians 1:12 giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the kingdom of light.

Colossians 3:24 since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.

Hebrews 9:15 For this reason Christ is the mediator of a new covenant, that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance–now that he has died as a ransom to set them free from the sins committed under the first covenant.

1Peter 1:3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 

 1Peter 1:4 and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade–kept in heaven for you, 

 1Peter 1:5 who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. 

These are but a few of the verses that pertain to the inheritance that we have as children of God, our inheritance involves us receiving eternal life, forgiveness of our sins, Redemption, a cleansing of our sins and a ability to walk in righteousness all the days of our life. Our inheritance also includes the fact that we receive from God, his grace.

Grace- unmerited favor. Something given to us that we did not deserve or earn, a gift.

The rest of Ephesians 1:6 says,

to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves.

God has freely given us his grace in Christ Jesus which is something that we can daily give thanks to him for, because we will not be ever treated as our sins deserve. The slate has been wiped clean, we have been adopted, cleaned up and made into new creations. I think that will give anyone a cause to celebrate.

So, today as you read through these verses stop to think about the fact that you are so loved by God, that he indeed does have a divine plan for your life that is for his Glory. Think about daring to believe that you can actually walk out God’s plan in your life, and that it  can be a reality for you. Think about the fact that because you are a son, adopted by God,  he has many great things for you and all you need to do is to ask.

Ask him today, to show you how to live your life, believing that these verses are not only true, but they are true for you, as his adopted son/daughter.

I pray that you will be blessed by the things spoken of today, that it will bring renewal, refreshment and transformation to your life.

Blessings from my home, to yours

The blessing withdrawn

Many years ago, my family and I went to live in South Africa for a year, South Africa is a beautiful country with many wonderful things to see and do, and the best part of all was the fact that I was going to get to spend some quality time with my family who lived there.

Before we went we sold everything that we owned, shipped a few things over, but we were debt free and just really had to pay for the rental of a vehicle as well as rent to my parents.

We were living very well and  because all of the extra money that we earned we got to play a lot more and my husband took some upgrading courses,  he also eventually found a job that paid a lot more money than what we were ever used to.

I was attending my childhood church at the time, and the people were all glad that I was back after being gone for a few years.

My parents were really enjoying the children and did not want us to move back to Canada at all, and for that moment, we had no intention of it, we had it too good in South Africa.

I remember feeling so very blessed at all that had been given to me, that it was not long before I started making jokes about how my husband needed to work, to keep me in the luxury that I had grown accustomed to.

Then the best part of our time came, my husband found a job, working just west of Cape Town at a Mining company.  He would work there during the week and come back and see us on the weekend. This arrangement worked well for a while but he was lonely and asked the company if there was any way for the family to be moved up with him.

It was not long before they said yes, and moved us into a resort not far from his work. I now had a maid, lived right on the beach, had a choice of a few swimming pools to pick from, ahh life was good!

I was enjoying the blessing of all these wonderful things, that I felt invincible, I felt that I was truly God’s “Golden child”

I know, you are shaking your head at this moment; I am too, as well as cringing at the thought of where this all eventually led to.

As time went on and my husband and I were living in this resort, our relationship really began to suffer, he was always angry, and withdrawn, playing video games all night long after he came home from work. I was lonely as I was there by myself with no friends or family and then when he came home, he would just ignore me.

I was miserable, here we were living in this beautiful place, earning lots of money, and yet I was still miserable.

It was not long before I cried out to God, and told him how miserable I was and laid before him all of the heartache that I felt as well as the hurts that I felt my husband had committed against me.

I did not realize that I had fallen into the same trap as a lot of Israelites had fallen into when they entered their promised land. I had slowly allowed pride to rise up in me over the blessings that God had given to me. I had then also taken my eyes off of God as my provider and put all of my focus on what my husband was bringing into the household every month.

God had warned the Israelites about this very thing many years before I fell into this trap; this is what God told them;

Deuteronomy 8:1-14

Be careful to follow every command I am giving you today, so that you may live and increase and may enter and possess the land that the LORD promised on oath to your forefathers.  Remember how the LORD your God led you all the way in the desert these forty years; to humble you and to test you in order to know what was in your heart, whether or not you would keep his commands.  He humbled you, causing you to hunger and then feeding you with manna, which neither you nor your fathers had known, to teach you that man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the LORD. 

Your clothes did not wear out and your feet did not swell during these forty years.  Know then in your heart that as a man disciplines his son, so the LORD your God disciplines you.   Observe the commands of the LORD your God, walking in his ways and revering him.  For the LORD your God is bringing you into a good land–a land with streams and pools of water, with springs flowing in the valleys and hills; a land with wheat and barley, vines and fig trees, pomegranates, olive oil and honey; a land where bread will not be scarce and you will lack nothing; a land where the rocks are iron and you can dig copper out of the hills. 

When you have eaten and are satisfied, praise the LORD your God for the good land he has given you.  Be careful that you do not forget the LORD your God, failing to observe his commands, his laws and his decrees that I am giving you this day.  Otherwise, when you eat and are satisfied, when you build fine houses and settle down, and when your herds and flocks grow large and your silver and gold increase and all you have is multiplied, then your heart will become proud and you will forget the LORD your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery

God warned the people, that when he had set them up in their new land, that there were to continue to follow him and obey him, they were to stay true to him, and if they did, they would be blessed in the land, but if they did not, they were in danger of becoming prideful and forgetting the Lord God, who had delivered them out of Egypt the land of slavery.

This fundamental principle, is what I had forgotten while I was down in South Africa, I thought I was above everything and everyone, because the lord’s hand of blessing was so evident in my life at that time. I had failed to observe God’s commands of “do not become prideful, because if you do, I will oppose you”

Well I was soon to learn that lesson, after a year of living in South Africa we decided to move back to Canada, and this is when the lesson started to really play out. We came back with enough money to last us a long time, but within a few months it was all gone, we ended up living in a friend’s basement, and having to rely on them for our basic needs.

My husband could not find a job anywhere; we did not have money for food, gas, school fees, nothing.

We were reduced to nothing. I even remember having this thought “I need to divorce my husband and find someone who would be able to provide for me and the kids” Yes, I was in a low point of my life I admit it.

It was not until a few months of this did we actually clue in what was wrong, and why we were even in this position. I believe that God put us into this position to discipline us and to snap us back into reality. The reality was that we had become so prideful in our situation and in the blessings that we were enjoying, that we forgot about God.

My friends, the lord reminded me of this this morning when I was praying, and I felt that I needed to share this story with you, If you can relate to this testimony in any way, I pray that you will humble yourself before the lord, repent so that the lord can restore you.

It was a year of great blessing as well as great misery, the misery of course was caused by us, but as I look back I am grateful to have walked through that and learnt a very valuable lesson.

The lesson is this, that God opposes the proud. He wants to bless us, but he also wants us to learn how to handle the blessing in a way that won’t make our hearts turn from him, and onto our own strengths.

We did eventually repent, and the lord did restore us and all that we had lost due to our foolishness, but I promise you, that I never want to find myself in that position again. I learnt that I needed to always have a heart that humbly walked with the lord, in good and bad, so that I could enjoy both seasons knowing that through it all, the lord was teaching, growing and bringing his blessings into my life.

Prayer

I pray that the lord will reveal both to me, as well as to you, areas of our lives where pride has gotten in the way. I pray that he will remind us that if we allow pride to flourish in our lives, we will be in opposition to his will for our lives. I pray that we will chose to walk humbly with the lord, so that we will be able to enjoy the blessings that he has for us. I pray that we will choose to seek the lord wholeheartedly all the days of our lives, walking humbly with him and enjoying all that he has for us.

In Jesus name,

Amen

God showing himself strong

Self-reliance is a deadly trap as a Christian, we often think that by exerting our independence we are conquering the world, but in actual fact we are alienating ourselves from God.

Yes that sounds pretty harsh but it is the truth, you see God wants us to come to him with everything, and for everything, he wants to be a part of the decisions that we make, he wants to help guide us so that our lives will bring forth much fruit.

Jesus taught us in John 15, that if we were to be a friend of God we would need to walk in obedience, and one of the most important things that he has been teaching humanity from the time of Adam, is for us to trust him, to rely on him, to let him show us the way so that it will bring life to us.

Often the case is that we run ahead, and then think of asking him later for help. This happened just recently to me as a matter of fact. My husband and I would love to buy an RV, we love to explore, and we love to camp, but tenting is quickly becoming stale. So we have been looking around for an RV that we can afford.

About a month ago, we found an RV that we could afford, and made an appointment to go and see it. I had to rearrange an appointment I had made, in order to see this RV. Off we went, in the rain, with much excitement and dreaming of how we would camp every weekend, we ran ahead to see the RV. As we were nearing the sellers house we get a phone call, I thought it was one of my children, but it was the seller, informing us that she had sold the RV about 5 minutes before. We were 5 minutes from her house!

Needless to say we were most disappointed, I then asked my husband if he had prayed about this RV before we had left and he said no, and I realized that I had not prayed either. It was a lesson to us, I believe that when we run ahead of God and his plans for our lives, things don’t always turn out for the best. The lord might have given us a feeling of unrest and we might not have sped up there to look at the RV, or he might have shown us in another way that it was not going to work out for us, if we had inquired of him first.

I would love to say that I have completely learnt my lesson, and I will never do that again, but I probably will, but I have learnt that God, is trying to train me and my husband to bring all of our choices and decisions to him, to seek his council on things so that he can show us what is best for us. I believe too that he is trying to show us that we are to trust him, he can see the bigger picture and we cannot.

This morning as I was reading my bible, 2 Chronicles 16:9 really spoke to my heart, and it says:

“For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose Heart is loyal to Him.”

God promises that he will show himself strong on behalf of those who are loyal to him, to those who seek him out and have a heart that whole-heartedly honor and love him.

This was spoken to King Asa of Judah, he had served the Lord whole heartedly for 35 years while being the ruler and had led the people to do the same, because of that, the Lord gave them peace with the surrounding nations, and prospered the people.

Then King Asa, had Baasha King of Israel come and fight against Judah. Instead of going to the Lord, and asking Him what they should do, he went to a neighboring king and asked to make an alliance with him, so that they would be able to fight against the king of Israel, the king agreed and they started to fight against him.

This made the Lord God angry, as King Asa, had not come to him for direction and help. It was then that the lord sent a prophet to speak to the king and he told him,

2Chronicles 16:7-8

 At that time Hanani the seer came to Asa king of Judah and said to him: “Because you relied on the king of Aram and not on the LORD your God, the army of the king of Aram has escaped from your hand.  Were not the Cushites and Libyans a mighty army with great numbers of chariots and horsemen? Yet when you relied on the LORD, he delivered them into your hand. “

As you can see, the lord takes his responsibility towards us very seriously, when he says that he is our rock, fortress, defender, salvation, hope, peace, provider, he is those things to us, but when we start to trust in our own abilities, or we run to others around us for help, then the lord cannot do in and through us what he desires to do.

2Chronicles 16:9-10

“For the eyes of the LORD range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him. You have done a foolish thing, and from now on you will be at war.”   Asa was angry with the seer because of this; he was so enraged that he put him in prison. At the same time Asa brutally oppressed some of the people. 

As you can see, the prophet said to King Asa, the Lord will strengthen those people whose hearts are fully committed to him, no exceptions, but because the King had already started to rely on himself, his pride rose up within him and he became angry at the prophet and put him in Jail.

I have found myself in that place of anger, when I have not sought the Lord and then things have not turned out the way I thought that they should and when confronted with my folly, my pride rose up from within me and pushed back.

I would love to tell you that this has happened only once to me, but I would be a liar, the truth of the matter is, that I will have a more fulfilling life when I submit myself to the lord, and ask him to help me in the directions that I need to go.

My life will not always be perfect, but I know that if I trust the Lord to show me his path for my life, it will be way better than the path I tried to forge, with sweat and tears, turmoil and strife.

So I think the things that we can learn from this passage of scripture is this,

  • When you walk with the lord and seek him with your whole heart, the lord will strengthen you and guide you
  • When you start to rely on yourself and others to give you advice, direction and clarity in anything, you will find that God will withdraw and you will not get the desired results that you were after.
  • Trusting in the Lord is the only way to lead a successful Christian life.

 What was sad for me about the story of King Asa, is that he never repented of his arrogance and a few years later he contracted a disease in his foot, and instead of asking the lord for healing and relief, he relied totally on doctors for his healing, this eventually led to his death.

 As you can see that when you start to harden your heart toward God, and never repent, it is not long before you are so hard hearted that you close yourself off from God completely.

 If you can relate to any part of this article today, I want to encourage you to take a moment and ask the lord to Forgive you for trusting in everything but him, for allowing your heart to become hardened towards him, and ask him to soften your heart towards him once again, and let him be the one to lead you and direct your life.

 My husband and I have yet to find the RV that will meet our budget and fit our family needs, but I do know that as I walk with the lord and trust him to show us where it is, we will find something that is suitable for all of our needs and will be beyond our expectations. 

 Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters in the Lord, ask the Lord today, to lead you in all of the ways that he has for you, I know that you will find great joy and deeper satisfaction than you ever have before.

 

Steps to Overcoming Fear

Do you find yourself consumed with Fear? Fear of tomorrow, fear of failure, rejection, hurt, and fear of letting go of people and things, fear of the unknown. If you are prone to these kinds of fears, you are not alone; most of the world’s population is tormented by them as well.

For some people it is debilitating, as it has shut them up in their private worlds of terror, for others it is an occasional fear that rears up, but that too can be debilitating and it can completely prevent them from stepping out and doing things.

I was once a person that was caught up in many what ifs and slowly I discovered that 99% of those what ifs are never actually materialized as I thought that they would. I too used to hide away within myself afraid to try anything, in case I looked foolish, or I failed or I got hurt. As I got older, I discovered a vast array of fears that I never thought possible, a fear for my children, that they would be hurt, stolen, die, that someone would hurt their feelings, ahh, it was endless

Is there hope for the nations from this plague of fear?

I believe that there is.

God started to reveal to me some key truths in regard to fear that I needed to not only learn, but make them a part of who I was as a person. So, he of course led me to scripture and started renewing my mind in regards to what fear was and how to overcome it, in His strength.

I believe that one of the first key verses that he showed me on this subject was found in Romans

Romans 12:2

Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is his good, pleasing and perfect will. 

I first needed to learn a whole new mindset about fear, and figure out what God’s will was in regards to fear and its hold on me.

Then the lord brought to mind the fact that he is with me always, I will never ever be alone, he would be there, when I wake up, and when I lie down to sleep, he would protect and lead me all through the day. I had nothing to fear, because he was way stronger than I was.

 Matthew 28:20b

“… And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” 

God then showed me the significance of him being with me always, and that was, that he was the defender of the weak, and the strength to all who cried out to him.

Isaiah 40:29

 He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.

God promises to strengthen us and to give us the power that we need to do what he has called us to do. The next great verse that the lord used to help set me free from the bondages of fear was the fact that I was an overcomer because of Jesus Christ, and his spirit which was now at work in my life.

1John 5:3-5

 This is love for God: to obey his commands. And his commands are not burdensome, for everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith.  Who is it that overcomes the world? Only he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God.

Therefore, no matter what the Devil tries to trick me with, because I have Jesus Christ as the Lord and Savior of my life, I will overcome the world. Which means that I no longer have to succumb to the evil that once threatened my very life, but now I can believe God and walk in his perfect peace, free from condemnation and free from fear.

The next thing that the lord showed me that as his child, I have not been given a spirit that was a slave to fear, it was not who I now was. Before I was a child of God, I was at the mercy of all that the devil could throw at me, but now, I was a child of the most High God and God said that he did not give me a spirit of fear!

I have to admit that even though I had read these verses, I still had to choose to put them into my belief system; I had to choose to believe God and his word, over what I felt inside of me. It was a process, of me learning to run to God and telling him that I was afraid, and then Him reminding me that I did not have a spirit of fear inside of me, but I had the Holy Spirit inside of me, and he was not afraid!

 Romans 8:15-16

“For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.”  The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. 

The next step in my recovery from fear was discovering what fear actually was, and the bible teaches that fear involves punishment, and because I am a child of God, I will never be punished for the sins that I had committed, not ever, if I have repented of them, I was free, free to bask in the grace of God’s love and Mercy. I now walked in the love of God, and was made perfect in that love, I did not have to fear that the love would be removed from me, or that I was going to end up with my salvation snatched from me, or that at some point, I would have to try to make amends for my sin. No I was free, free to be a child of God, and free of the death sentence that hangs over those who do not choose God.

I want to encourage you to turn all of your worries, anxieties and fears over to God, let him carry your burdens and start turning those worries into faith practices. Believing that God can and will set you free from them.

1John 4:18

There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.

As you can see, fear involves punishment and as children of God we have been made perfect in love, so therefore it is our responsibility as children of God to submit ourselves to God, and let him lead us out of the bondages of fear that the devil would try to put on us.

The lord promises in his word that if we would submit to God, the devil will flee from us. I have found this to be true, the more I practiced believing God about the fear that I felt, and letting him change my mind and ways concerning it, the more the enemy had to flee and had no power to lie to me.

James 4:7

 Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.

Therefore, I want to encourage you today, that if you find yourself in a place where fear is a constant companion, it does not have to be, Submit yourself to our loving heavenly father, and allow him to help you change your mind, about the power you have within you to overcome all fear, doubt and whatever other lie the enemy can throw at you.

If you believe in Jesus Christ, then you are his child and that gives you the authority and power to overcome all that the world and the devil can throw at you.

So, instead of letting fear defeat you for another minute, start using your sword of the spirit (the word of God) and defeat that devil. Stand firm on the word of God and he will help you to overcome it all.

I want to leave you with one more verse that I know will encourage you as much as it has me, it is found in Romans, and it says that when we are weak and do not know what we out to pray for, the Holy Spirit himself prays for us on our behalf, so even if you are caught in a cycle of defeating fear, ask the Holy Spirit to pray that you will be set free, and over time as you pray and seek the lord on becoming free, you will start to see that freedom become a reality in your life.

Be free, in Jesus Name!

Romans 8:26

 In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express.  And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance with God’s will. 

 

 

 

 

Who do you say God is?

I have recently been doing a bible study and the author has a chapter that is dedicated to the subject of, God is who He says He is!

Some people think to themselves that God does not even exist, so they cling to flimsy theories, like evolution and a cosmic power, or they even say that it is the Universe who does things for us. Some even worship the Universe. Others worship statues like Buddha and the other eastern “gods” that were made by the hands of man and hope that because they said it is a “god” that it now has powers.

They try to squeeze him out of their lives and society, all in an effort to fit their desire to not have to face the fact that they would have to be accountable to someone for the sin in their lives.

As for me, I believe that there is a God, who created the Universe and everything in it. Right down to the smallest cell within the human body. I believe that in order to live life here on this earth for the time that we have been given, we need to live it in a way that honors God.

So what does the bible say about who God is?

Romans 1:20

 For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities–his eternal power and divine nature–have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.

Psalm 19:1 -11

 For the director of music. A psalm of David.

 The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands.  Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they display knowledge.   There is no speech or language where their voice is not heard. Their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world. In the heavens he has pitched a tent for the sun, which is like a bridegroom coming forth from his pavilion, like a champion rejoicing to run his course.  It rises at one end of the heavens and makes its circuit to the other; nothing is hidden from its heat.   The law of the LORD is perfect, reviving the soul. The statutes of the LORD are trustworthy, making wise the simple.   The precepts of the LORD are right, giving joy to the heart. The commands of the LORD are radiant, giving light to the eyes.  The fear of the LORD is pure, enduring forever. The ordinances of the LORD are sure and altogether righteous.  They are more precious than gold, than much pure gold; they are sweeter than honey, than honey from the comb.  By them is your servant warned; in keeping them there is great reward. 

Isaiah 45:5-8

I am the LORD, and there is no other; apart from me there is no God. I will strengthen you, though you have not acknowledged me,  so that from the rising of the sun to the place of its setting men may know there is none besides me. I am the LORD, and there is no other.  I form the light and create darkness, I bring prosperity and create disaster; I, the LORD, do all these things.  “You heavens above, rain down righteousness; let the clouds shower it down. Let the earth open wide, let salvation spring up, let righteousness grow with it; I, the LORD, have created it.”

As you can see, the bible teaches that not only are God’s invisible qualities seen throughout the whole earth, but they are there so that man will have not excuse to deny that he is actually God and the creator of all things.

If you are a person, who has struggled with the concept of there being a creator of all that you see, I want to urge you to take a serious look around you, to really look at all that you see, feel and touch, and even examine your own breath, in doing so you will come to the realization that it did not just all evolve or magically appear, it is all there because of a loving creator, who wants to have a relationship with the people whom he created.

So where do you go from here?

Romans 3:22

 This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.

Every person that has ever walked this earth, has had sin separate them from God, but because God wants to restore the relationship between us and him, he has given us grace, and promises that all who believe in God through having faith in Jesus Christ, his son, will be given the gift of eternal life.

Therefore,

Romans 10:9 – 13

 That if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.   For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved.   As the Scripture says, “Anyone who trusts in him will never be put to shame.”  For there is no difference between Jew and Gentile–the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on him,  for, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”

Therefore, when we confess that Jesus is lord, and believe it in our hearts, we will never be put to shame, nor will we ever be separated from God.

If on the other hand we continue in our unbelief the bible is pretty clear about the consequences for those who reject God

Jesus told this parable to the people so that they would understand that there would be two places where people would go at the end of their lives. Either you would go to heaven or to hell. There is no other option for the people of this earth.

 

 Matthew 13:24-29

Jesus told them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field.  But while everyone was sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat, and went away.  When the wheat sprouted and formed heads, then the weeds also appeared.   “The owner’s servants came to him and said, ‘Sir, didn’t you sow good seed in your field? Where then did the weeds come from?’  “‘An enemy did this,’ he replied. “The servants asked him, ‘Do you want us to go and pull them up?’   “‘No,’ he answered, ‘because while you are pulling the weeds, you may root up the wheat with them.  Let both grow together until the harvest. At that time I will tell the harvesters: First collect the weeds and tie them in bundles to be burned; then gather the wheat and bring it into my barn.'” 

The explanation

Matthew 13:36 -43

 Then he left the crowd and went into the house. His disciples came to him and said, “Explain to us the parable of the weeds in the field.”  He answered, “The one who sowed the good seed is the Son of Man.   The field is the world, and the good seed stands for the sons of the kingdom. The weeds are the sons of the evil one, and the enemy who sows them is the devil. The harvest is the end of the age, and the harvesters are angels.  “As the weeds are pulled up and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of the age.  The Son of Man will send out his angels, and they will weed out of his kingdom everything that causes sin and all who do evil.  They will throw them into the fiery furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.  Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears, let him hear. 

If you have never considered a relationship with God as important, my prayer for you today is that you would reconsider your position.

God is the creator, he is a Holy God and he wants to have a relationship with those whom he has created. Sin has separated us from him, convincing us that we are not in need of him any longer. That cannot be furthest from the truth.

My prayer for you today, is that you will make an eternally altering decision today, and have a different future than what you might be heading into.

 

Faith without action is dead!

I have been under the false assumption for most of my Christian life that faith is something that I believe about God, or a situation and the work is done. As long as I did not waiver on that faith and stood firm in that then I would be ok. When thoughts of doubt would come, I would quickly push them away believing that I was being a good strong Christian. I did not realize that there was a bit more to faith than that.

I was given a great example of true faith and actions that accompanied it this past week.

I had gone with a friend to visit her mom in hospital, and before I had gone I had asked the lord to prepare my heart for what I was to see, and what he said about the situation. He had led me to various scriptures about faith, and how by people believing him, they were healed from their diseases.

He showed me through scripture that there were various kinds of requests that came to him from the people that he ministered to, some came from people who had the ailment, then others were for a friend or family member with the ailment, and others were out of pure desperation, knowing that if Jesus did not intervene then all hope was lost. The bible says, that Jesus responded, like this, “By your faith you will be healed, he had compassion on the people seeing that they were harassed like sheep without a Shepard.” He responded to the faith of the people who approached him, begging for his intervention in their lives.

All of these people had to act on their faith, they had to make themselves heard over the noise of the crowd, they had to come to him and ask, they had to brave the social stigma’s and believe and ask anyways.  That is what God desires of us, that we will believe and push through and act as if what we have asked for has been given. Just like these people, and Jesus gladly gave them their requests because their actions, of pushing through despite all of the social issues involved.

So with my faith bolstered I went with my friend. While there we encountered some opposition to the faith that we came with but without knowing it, my friend showed me the principle of faith and action put together, will produce a good result.

In the book of James, he is teaching the people that faith and deeds need to go together, now to be honest I have read this many times, and agreed for it to be true, but I guess I never really understood what the lord was trying to get through to us. Read the following scripture and let’s discover together this great treasure that he has for us.

James 2:14-26

 What good is it, my brothers, if a man claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save him?   Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food.   If one of you says to him, “Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it?  In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.  But someone will say, “You have faith; I have deeds.” Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by what I do.   You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that–and shudder. 

 You foolish man, do you want evidence that faith without deeds is useless? Was not our ancestor Abraham considered righteous for what he did when he offered his son Isaac on the altar?  You see that his faith and his actions were working together, and his faith was made complete by what he did. And the scripture was fulfilled that says, “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness,” and he was called God’s friend.  You see that a person is justified by what he does and not by faith alone.  In the same way, was not even Rahab the prostitute considered righteous for what she did when she gave lodging to the spies and sent them off in a different direction?  As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead. 

I would like to take a moment and concentrate on Abraham, God had asked Abraham to take his son Isaac up to the mountain and sacrifice him, he did not give him a reason, but just asked him to do it. Now you have to remember that Abraham and God had history together at this point, Abraham knew that God was true to his word, he knew that God could be trusted and so if he asked him to sacrifice Isaac, the son of the promise that God had given him, Abraham believed that God could raise him from the dead.

Hebrews 11:17-19

 By faith Abraham, when God tested him, offered Isaac as a sacrifice. He who had received the promises was about to sacrifice his one and only son, even though God had said to him, “It is through Isaac that your offspring will be reckoned.” Abraham reasoned that God could raise the dead, and figuratively speaking, he did receive Isaac back from death. 

Abraham believed that God would deliver his son from harm, so therefore he set off to do what God had told him to do, he took his son to the mountain, had his son carry the fire wood and the flaming stick to burn the sacrifice and when they reached the place wanted the sacrifice made, Abraham built the alter. All the while believing that God had a plan and purpose for it.

For those of you who are familiar with the rest of the story, God did indeed have a plan, and just before he was about to kill his son, they heard a noise in the bush and found a ram, stuck there. They knew that that is what was needed for the sacrifice.

Scripture tells us that God was pleased that Abraham put his faith and his actions together, he believed God would deliver them, so he acted as if that deliverance was already a fact even though it was not yet seen.

That is where the next verse of scripture that God gave my friend and I came in very handy this past week,

Hebrews 11:1-2

 Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.   This is what the ancients were commended for. 

The lord had us repeat this verse over and over this weekend as the evidence before our eyes, says that there is no hope for my friend’s mother, but God tells us to have faith for what we do not see and act on that faith.

This is exactly what my friend did, she could see the evidence, but her faith being stronger than the evidence, kept her from crumbling, and she would speak to her mother with the assurance of life being brought back into her frail body.

That is how we prayed to, with the assurance that God is at work in her mother’s body, raising her up and bringing healing and hope to her.

Oh, don’t get me wrong, the thoughts of “are you nuts, can’t you see what is going on before your eyes” were right there alongside us, but my friend taught me a very valuable lesson, one that I hope to carry with me for the rest of my days;

That even though the evidence in front of you says one thing, our faith and our actions need to speak a different thing if we are to see God’s hand at work.

God honors our faith, when we show him through our actions that we believe him over the reports of man.

This was such a valuable lesson for me, as I discovered that Faith is all about, us seeing through God’s eyes, and believing for his power to work in our situation.  

My prayer for you, is that you too will begin to ask the lord to give you his eyes to see your situation as he sees it.

 

Dear brothers and Sisters in CHrist

I came across this video this evening, and loved it, so I thought that I would share it with you. I know that as you watch it, you too will be encouraged to Hate Religion and love Jesus.

The Christmas Story

From the beginning of the world, God’s intention was to bring his beloved creation back into a relationship with him. He told the people of Israel 500 years before Christ came, that he would be sending a Child, born of a virgin that would become the savior of the world.

Read along with me as we follow the prophecies of the coming King.

Isaiah 9:6 – 7

For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.  Of the increase of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever. The zeal of the LORD Almighty will accomplish this.

This is the account in the book of Luke, that describes how the Angel Gabriel came to Mary to tell her that she would become pregnant by the Holy Spirit.

Luke 1:26 – 55

 In the sixth month, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee,  to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin’s name was Mary.  The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.”   Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. 

But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favor with God.  You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus.  He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever; his kingdom will never end.” 

“How will this be,” Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?”   The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God. 

 Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child in her old age, and she who was said to be barren is in her sixth month.  For nothing is impossible with God.” 

 “I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May it be to me as you have said.” Then the angel left her.   At that time Mary got ready and hurried to a town in the hill country of Judea,  where she entered Zechariah’s home and greeted Elizabeth.   When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit.  In a loud voice she exclaimed: “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the child you will bear!   But why am I so favored, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? 

As soon as the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy.  Blessed is she who has believed that what the Lord has said to her will be accomplished!”

 And Mary said: “My soul glorifies the Lord  and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,  for he has been mindful of the humble state of his servant. From now on all generations will call me blessed, for the Mighty One has done great things for me–holy is his name.  His mercy extends to those who fear him, from generation to generation.   He has performed mighty deeds with his arm; he has scattered those who are proud in their inmost thoughts.   He has brought down rulers from their thrones but has lifted up the humble.   He has filled the hungry with good things but has sent the rich away empty.   He has helped his servant Israel, remembering to be merciful  to Abraham and his descendants forever, even as he said to our fathers.” 

The lord in his great Mercy sent his son Jesus Christ to become the savior of the world, why did we need a savior, because sin came into the world and because God is a holy God, those who are sinful cannot come into in his presence. Therefore he needed to make a way back for us.

Romans 3:22

 This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.  as done has been done through God.”

The bible teaches us that God loves us, read this verse and see how much.

John 3:16-21

 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.  For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.  Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.  This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil.   Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed.  But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what he h

The moral of the story is this, God loves you, and he sent his son Jesus Christ to this earth so that you could have a relationship with him, so that he can set you free from sin and death. He can give you peace, help you to walk in love and fill with his Holy Spirit power.

He wants to give you hope, hope for the future, both here on earth and for eternity.

Jesus is the reason that we take time to celebrate christmas, God have us the gift of his son, and so therefor we give gifts to others in appreciation for what God has done for us.

I pray that you will enjoy the gift that God has given us, and accept him as your lord and savior today!

Being empowered by the right source

Living by the truth of God can sometimes prove to be a real challenge for those who have ever had problems with insecurity, doubt and fear of man.

Yes, I have just described most of my life, but I want to tell you about the amazing way in which God has not only transformed my thinking and my heart, but he has transformed my life through the power of his Holy Spirit.

When I was young, I lived my life according to a lot of the principles of the prevalent culture of the time. Partying, drinking and living for myself and my desires. My thoughts were that if I could have as much fun as I wanted then it would dull that ache and pain that I felt inside of my heart.

I therefore partied harder; I became increasingly miserable but felt unable to change what I felt to be my lot in life. All of this time however, I had been going to church and I had been learning about God, but up to that point I had not grasped the concept of living for God, by believing in his truth and being willing to be obedient to all that he asked of me.

Then God stepped into my life in a very dramatic way and I was truly saved, I gave my life to him and desired to be more like him. The problem was that even though in the word of God, he had made many promises to me as his daughter, (and for all of his children) I was still in the pit of unbelief.

I call it a pit as it felt like I would sometimes never get out of it. I felt like I was doomed to repeat the same stupid mistakes over and over again.

Then the lord showed me a few verses that have helped me reverse that destructive pattern.

Romans 12:2

Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is–his good, pleasing and perfect will. 

Through this verse he revealed to me, that his will for me was that my life need to be transformed, from the old way of doing things to a new way, his way and when I did that I would discover his good and pleasing will for my life. The trick was I had to choose to change my thinking.

I believed that I was stupid, no good, shameful, and had no value to give to the world, but God said otherwise. God said because of my son and his sacrifice on the cross for your sins, you are now a new creature, you have died to the old way of living and have been made new. That newness that you are experiencing is my Holy Spirit living within you; empowering you to live a life that you would not have been able to live without him.

The Holy Spirit comes from God, and his job is to teach us, lead us, and guide us in a real relationship with God. There is no sin or evil within him and therefore we can trust him explicitly to help us to become more Christ Like.

Unfortunately for me, I took a long time to actually believe God, and I believe it did not come from me “not doing enough, or believing enough or God not empowering me enough” It came from a place deep inside of me that I refer to as the unbelief box, and in that box I find crusty old pieces of paper, on which is written lies that I had believed about God and his love and grace that he had extended towards me.

 I had relied on the lies I had been told by others, myself and the enemy that because of my past, I was no longer capable of achieving anything, doing anything, and being anybody. I loathed even the image of myself in the mirror.

Oh how thankful I am for the grace of God and his great love for me.

Philippians 4:13

I can do everything through him who gives me strength. 

God in his great mercy began to show me, that the only way for me to truly walk in triumph with him, was for me to clean out my box of unbelief, and start to renew my mind about who he said I was and what he said that I could do when I placed my trust in him.

I have to admit, that many times when I read the above verse I felt that I needed to feel even more worthless, than I already felt in order for God to work through me and for me to affect the world.

What I came to discover is that, once again, my insecurities were speaking, loud and clear and they were saying that unless you show God you can grovel at his feet you will never be truly humble enough to be used of him.

Yes, I realize that my thinking was warped, because the truth is, that God wants us all to realize that it is him that empowers us to be overcomers in this world. He gives us the power to overcome the lies that we believed. He gives us the power to choose righteous living over the old patterns of sinfulness.

He wants us to realize that it is him who goes in and fights on our behalf and empowers us to come out victoriously in the end, regardless of what we face in this life.

Joshua, before he went into the Promised Land, had the captain of the Lord’s army come in and tell him that he was there, and that the city of Jericho would be delivered into their hands. How was that victory won, not with swords and spears, but with obeying the lord, marching around the city and then giving a great big shout of victory in the end. The walls fell and they were able to go in and finish the job.

That my dear friend is how God empowers us, he wants us to put our trust in him so that He can lead us in triumph always.

2 Corinthians 2:14

But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumphal procession in Christ and through us spreads everywhere the fragrance of the knowledge of him. 

As a Christian we have to realize that God will always ask us to do things, that are often way out of our comfort zone, and often completely out of our natural ability to achieve, it is in these cases that through his grace and his great love for us, he will empower us to achieve what he desires.

Victory in these situations is not dependent on what we deserve because we are a child of God, but it is all about whom we follow. He is the one with the power and when we trust in him, we truly can do all things through him who gives us the strength.

My prayer for you today is this,

Lord Jesus, thank you for you grace and mercy, thank you that though we are weak, you chose to use us to spread everywhere we go the delightful fragrance of the knowledge of you. Father empower us today to do all that you have called us to do in your name. I praise you Lord.

Amen.