Sunday, 18 June 2017

Be vigilant at all times, the battle never ends

In our day to day battle it is very important to remember that Jesus Christ alone is the one, the only one that we should be totally dependent upon, it is in Christ we move and have our being

Source: PInterest
Did you know that we are in a war? We must be aware that we are living in a war zone; the Christian life is a war and we have a very real enemy who hates us and seeks our down fall daily, he is called lucifer or satan and he has other names. He will use every tactic he can against us and one of his most powerful weapons is deception. 2 Corinthians 11:3 ‘But I am afraid that as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, your minds will be led astray from the simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ’. He tells us that we are not good enough; you can’t preach like them; you can’t pray like them; look how you have messed things up; a Holy God can’t use you; play it safe, go home, what do you know; don’t go to church, and so on…. All these lies are from satan who will do all he can to stop us from serving God, however God has given every one of us gifts which we can use to counteract satan and to lay up treasures for ourselves in heaven; John 16:33 ‘These things I have spoken to you that in me you may have peace; in the world you will have tribulation, but be of good cheer because I have overcome the world’.

In the Second World War both the Germans and Japanese used radio propaganda. The Germans had 'Axis Sally' (a nickname given by American GI’s) and the Japanese had 'Tokyo Rose' who were a group of presenters who would play the latest hits such as the Glen Miller Band etc, and at the same time they would feed false information such as; ‘many American troops missing or dead’; 'American boys you are too young to die’; ‘You are far from home’; ‘Your family miss you’ and so on… They would then go on to discourage the troops by saying things like; ‘This is an unjust war’; ‘You can’t win’; ‘Surrender to us’; ‘Give up and go home’. This is exactly the same way in which the devil speaks lies to discourage us constantly; Psalm 120:2 ‘Save me, LORD, from lying lips and from deceitful tongues’.

Source: Source: keywordsuggest.org
We should always be aware and rebuke the lies of the devil and confidently know who we are in Christ Jesus. We must not let the lies of the devil effect our Christian walk or our church. We must encourage and pray for one another, nor forgetting the Pastor and the Church Leadership Team who are on the front line of spiritual attacks. Satan will be constantly trying to discourage them (and us), in every possible way, so we should always be on our guard and be vigilant.1 Peter 1:13 ‘Therefore prepare your minds for action, keep sober in Spirit, fix our hope completely on the grace to be brought to you, at the revelation of Jesus Christ’.

Just before a serious message one Sunday morning on Spiritual warfare the Pastor said; ‘sometimes I feel like I am in a trench with a crash helmet on, being bombarded on every side with arrows from the devil 24/7’. This really emphasised the constant battle we are in, a battle that never ends, even when we are sleeping. If the battle is constant then so should our vigilance and protection also be; Ephesians 6:11 ’Put on the whole armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes’ and Ephesians 6:6 ‘in addition to all this take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one’

Do you know that Pastors are probably the most noble of the fivefold ministry? They are stayers. The Teacher and the Evangelists move on, but the Pastor sticks around. They are available all hours of the day and night, regardless of how much they get paid. Many Pastors battle to survive month after month with very little financial help from their congregation and yet they remain faithful to the ministry (they stick around). The Pastor and his wife have a lot of responsibility. Many people need their attention and support after a service, so the question I ask myself is how can I best help to support the Pastor and his wife. My prayer before God is that I never add to their pressures. Come on brothers and sisters lets be a blessing to the church God has called us to and use our gifting’s to edify the church and bring Glory to God.

In praying for our Pastors nothing releases the power of a Pastor’s ministry like the prayers of their flock. The Apostle Paul recognised that his effectiveness in ministry depended on the people’s prayers; Ephesians 6:19 ‘Pray also for me, that whenever I speak, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel’. Satan targets pastors who preach the truth and the thing he hates and fears the most is God’s Word. Often when Pastors are preaching, the spiritual struggle is so intense that afterwards they find themselves drained. This emphasizes why we need to fight the battle alongside our Pastors, to help to shield them with prayer and support to ensure that they are continually protected so that they can go fearlessly into battle each day.

In our day to day battle it is very important to remember that Jesus Christ alone is the one, the only one that we should be totally dependent upon, it is in Christ we move and have our being; Isaiah 40:10 So do not fear, I am with you, do not be dismayed, for I am your God, I will strengthen you and help you, I will up hold you with my righteous right hand’.

I pray that you will be encouraged by the song at the end of this blog which is about overcoming the lies of the evil one and knowing who we are in Christ. May the Lord Bless you.


Author : Eileen Greaves

May God bless and enrich your life


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Sunday, 11 June 2017

The Wedding Celebration

If we don`t keep our lives topped up with the oil of the Holy Spirit, by asking the Lord for a fresh supply each day, then when the time comes for us to enter the wedding celebration we will be drained and in the dark and we will miss out

Source: Tell the Lord Thank You
I always like to write about something that is current to me, and at the moment I am in the throes of a wedding, my sons` wedding in fact. It seems that most thoughts these days seem to end up back at the arrangements. The success of the day is all about the planning, but the trouble is that this can lose sight of the real wonder of the day; two lives becoming one in the presence of the Lord (and all the guests of course). This got me thinking about how much Jesus knew of weddings. He actually talked about wedding quite a lot and He had obviously been to a few. He may even have had experience of the planning/preparation around a wedding from members of his own family.

The invitations - Jesus must have known about the excitement of sending out wedding invitations and the expectation that people would be pleased to be invited. In Luke 14:15-24 Jesus talked about a man holding a great feast and inviting many to come however one by one they all made excuses, saying they had different things to do. Imagine the man’s disappointment that people cared so little about his invitation. So, in the end the man sent out invitations to people in the streets and alleys of the town and the country lanes to come to his feast. I know how disappointed my son has been that some people couldn’t attend his wedding, and here is the Lord of Heaven and Earth inviting us to come and partake of His wonderful gift of new life through Jesus. Sadly, so many people find excuses not to accept this offer, yet day after day instead of rescinding His invitation He offers it to anyone and everyone. Let us not find reasons to reject the invitation to come to Him or spend time with Him or whatever else He may be inviting us to do at that moment.

Source: Dee Brestin
The seating plan -  ahh! This has caused many a headache deciding who should be sat by whom, it can be a real dilemma. Jesus knew all about this. In Luke 14: 8-11 He tells us all about this; ‘When you are invited to a wedding feast, don’t sit in the seat of honour.  What if someone who is more distinguished than you has also been invited? The host will come and say `Give this person your seat`. Then you will be embarrassed, and you will have to take whatever seat is left at the foot of the table! Instead take the lowest place at the foot of the table. Then when your host sees you, he will come and say `Friend we have a better place for you!` then you will be honoured in front of all the other guests. For those who exalt themselves will be humbled and those who humble themselves will be exalted’. Oh, how subtle expectation is. It`s my right to sit/be/have all the things I think I should. How disappointed and frustrated and sometimes envious and even resentful we become when we don’t seem to have what we think we `should have`. We feel that it is our right to be in say; a well-paid job, or have a better car, computer or whatever else we may value, even the kind of church we worship in. It's not wrong to desire all these things but when they take over and dominate all of our thinking (pushing us to demand them and to act resentfully if we don’t get them) then we are in danger. Jesus’s advice in the passage above is to take the lower place and wait to be invited by the host to the better place. Jesus summed this up in Mathew 6:33 by saying ‘Seek first the Kingdom of God and his righteousness and all these things will be added unto you’.  In other words, let`s get our priorities right and God will sort out the rest.

The catering - Well, Jesus can turn water into wine (John 2:1-11) so problem solved, just let Him handle the catering and we will always have the best. This just depends what your ‘catering’ needs are today, trust Him with the problem, do what He tells you and leave the rest up to Him.

The right clothes - There is a parable in Matthew 22:11 about a man turning up to a wedding in the wrong clothes however this has a sad ending with the man being thrown out.  It is important for us to ask the Lord to clothe us with the robes of His righteousness in every situation so we will be properly attired ‘equipped’ for every situation we must face.

Preparation - Everyone knows the secret to a successful wedding is preparation. Those poor bridesmaids (or virgins in the more traditional texts) in Matthew 25:1-13. They had started well, they all had lamps, they all had oil and they were all waiting for the Bridegroom. They all got tired and fell asleep but when the Bridegroom finally arrived, the five who had prepared well had enough oil in their lamps to go with Him. The five who had not prepared thoroughly and only taken just enough oil were left in the dark and outside the celebration.  So, what does that all mean for us? Yes, we can get excited about being invited to the wedding (God’s plan of salvation) and accept the invitation, by asking him into our hearts and to forgive us our wrongdoings, by making sure we are seated in the right place and even by wearing the right clothes (His robes of righteousness).  However, if we don`t keep our lives topped up with the oil of the Holy Spirit, by asking the Lord for a fresh supply each day, then when the time comes for us to enter the wedding celebration (either the work He has for us to do, or ultimately the time for us to go to be with Him) we will be drained and in the dark and we will miss out.

And finally, The Bride - Every bride is special and prepares herself for that moment when her Groom turns and looks down the aisle and sees her for the first time in all her loveliness, prepared just for him. It is amazing to me that the Lord would want me (us) as His bride, but He does and He thinks we are very precious, so precious that He gave up His own life to secure mine (and yours). I need to take time today to prepare myself for Him. This can be so hard to do some days in the stresses of everyday life however today could be the day when the Bridegroom comes and calls us either to do something for Him or to be with Him. We must be careful not to be unprepared, so, may our lamps always be full of oil. God bless.


Author: Jan Pearson

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Sunday, 4 June 2017

What is God’s agenda for our lives?

Jesus had no agenda of His own, but what about us? How are we living for God? Is what we are doing to gain praise from man or from God? We need to be honest with ourselves about this

Source: My Little Corner of the World
Do we have an agenda? This is a good question to ask ourselves and then to think about. If we do have an agenda, then what is it? Is it in line with God's agenda for our lives? What is God's agenda for our lives? All pretty deep questions on the surface, but if we break them down it's really quite simple. We'll look at what God's agenda is for our lives toward the end of this article, but first let’s look at:

'What was Jesus' agenda when He came to earth'? - Well, Jesus was quite clear about this; when coming to be baptised by John He said in Matthew 3:15  ‘Let it be so now; it is proper for us to do this to fulfil all righteousness’. So Jesus was being baptised to fulfil all righteousness, He was consecrated, set apart, called by the Father into service for Him here on earth. In essence Jesus' agenda was to fulfil the Father's agenda. He makes this quite clear in John 5:19 ‘Jesus gave them this answer: 'Very truly I tell you, the Son can do nothing by Himself; He can do only what He sees His Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does’. John 8:27-29 also tells us; ‘They did not understand that He was telling them about His Father. So Jesus said, ‘When you have lifted up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am He and that I do nothing on My own but speak just what the Father has taught Me. The one who sent Me is with Me; He has not left Me alone, for I always do what pleases Him’. So the bible shows us that Jesus had no agenda of His own.

Source: The Blueprint
Now, what about us?: 'What's our agenda now that we are in Christ'? - It's clear from scripture that many people in the bible had their own agenda. One good example of this can be found in Acts 8:18-24 where after Simon the sorcerer had believed in Jesus, he followed the disciples and when he saw that the Holy Spirit was given and received by the laying on of the apostles hands, he offered them money and said 'Give me also this ability so that everyone on whom I lay my hands may receive the Holy Spirit. Peter answered: May your money perish with you, because you thought you could buy the gift of God with money! You have no part or share in this ministry, because your heart is not right before God’. He was then told to repent. So, is our agenda to do God's will our way, is our heart right before God? The bible tells us in Matthew 7:21 that not everyone who calls themselves a Christian is going to get into Heaven ‘Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord, will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven’. We have already seen that Jesus had no agenda of His own, but what about us? How are we living for God? Is what we' are doing to gain praise from man or from God? We need to be honest with ourselves about this.

Lastly: 'What's God's agenda for our lives'? - Well I believe it’s the same agenda that Jesus had; to glorify God, to say what He tells us to say and to do what He tells us to do. Quite simple really when you think about it, but that's often the problem, we think about it. We then try to reason with ourselves about it and ask ourselves 'what God might want from us?' Even if we know what He wants from us we often decide to do it our way, which then introduces our own agenda and usually results in us being honoured for it instead of God. So, how can we be sure of what God wants from us? Well that's even simpler, it's not a secret, He's made it crystal clear in His Word of what He requires from us. Micah 6:8 'He has shown you, O man, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God’. Now, ask yourself this question; 'Who do you love more, yourself or Jesus?' but before you answer think for a moment and really consider what this question is asking you. Then be honest with yourself before you make your decision. If what your heart is telling you is yourself, then consider the scripture above from Matthew 7:21. However, if your answer is Jesus, then I leave you with this from John 15-24 ‘If you love me, keep my commands. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you for ever - the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you. I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. Before long, the world will not see me any more, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. On that day you will realise that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you. Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me. The one who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love them and show myself to them.’ Then Judas (not Judas Iscariot) said, But, Lord, why do you intend to show yourself to us and not to the world? Jesus replied, ‘Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them. Anyone who does not love me will not obey my teaching. These words you hear are not my own; they belong to the Father who sent me’.

So God's agenda for us is...’To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God’. And to obey the commands and the teachings of Jesus. Forget what you're good at, what you can offer Him, what great giftings you might or might not have, it has nothing to do with any of that and if we're not careful these things can become stumbling blocks to our walk with Him. God simply wants a love relationship with you and me, He proved that on the cross. My prayer to finish, is that we let Christ Jesus be our example and that we follow in His footsteps.

To God be the glory, for ever and ever. Amen.


Author: Kevin Hunt

May God bless and enrich your life   
  
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Sunday, 28 May 2017

God’s Purpose

The Lord reminds us so often in scripture and in life that He did not just come to take our sins away but also that we should give our lives to Him and walk in His purposes (not ours) and live according to the Spirit (not the flesh)

Source: ChristianQuotes.info
I used to work for a Regional Health Authority and in mid-career the Government decided that they needed to be radically restructured. Out of a Department of 75 staff, 69 lost their jobs, including me. This was a strange experience. I worked in Management Development helping people and organisations change the way that they worked however, all of the knowledge and skills that I had to help people in these situations did not really equip me for the feelings of uncertainty and stress I now experienced. We had a young family and a mortgage and so as in most cases, needed an income to carry on. I remember feeling both calm and fearful. Thinking about the future I was at peace knowing that the Lord would not abandon us and things would work out.

On a day to day basis I was wondering what practical steps I should take next. I started to make plans to start my own business and at about the same time an idea took root in me that perhaps the Lord wanted us to become ‘poor’ and face the challenges posed by this situation. The more that I thought about this the more convinced I was in my own heart that this must be in God’s mind. I started to resist this idea and I did not share it with my wife or anyone really and I did not want to seek the Lord about it in case He confirmed my fears. What I actually did was to work harder at trying to build up my business in preparation for when the redundancy took effect in nine months’ time. Things started to come together but I could not shake off this fear.

Source: YouTube
Everything came to a head one day when I went to a meeting in London. Having caught an unexpectedly early train I found myself with two hours to kill and because it was a nice day I went for a stroll in Regents Park. Suddenly as I walked along I became overwhelmed with what I was trying to do. I realised that I was trying to out-manoeuvre the Lord Himself! I was not taking any account of His purpose in my life - I was taking control for myself and as I thought about this I realised what a foolish path I was on. I realised that no matter what they were, God’s purposes were where I wanted/needed to be and a life outside of this was unthinkable. I found a place behind some shrubs that was fairly private, put my bag on the ground, sat on it and wept. As I confessed my foolishness to the Lord something in me broke and He restored my soul. I went on my way to the meeting with a spring in my step knowing that whatever the future held the best place to be was in God’s purpose.

As I was writing this article I thought about the time that Jesus was tempted by Satan at the end of His fast in Luke 4:9-12 ‘Then he brought Him to Jerusalem, set Him on the pinnacle of the temple, and said to Him, If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down from here. For it is written: He shall give His angels charge over you, to keep you, and, In their hands they shall bear you up, Lest you dash your foot against a stone.  And Jesus answered and said to him, It has been said, You shall not tempt the Lord your God’. In a way the temptations are all about ‘another way of doing things’ – outside of the Father’s purpose for Jesus’s life. It is interesting that Satan quotes that scripture above, but leaving out one point (To keep you in all your way); Psalm 91:9-12 ‘Because you have made the Lord, who is my refuge, Even the Most High, your dwelling place, no evil shall befall you, Nor shall any plague come near your dwelling; For He shall give His angels charge over you, To keep you in all your ways. In their hands they shall bear you up, Lest you dash your foot against a stone’.

It is this ‘keeping us IN ALL OUR WAYS’ that it is easy to miss - to claim the promises but only when I/we want or need something. Particularly in Western culture we are seduced into thinking of God’s provision like a corner shop; go buy something when we need it. The whole of bible teaching is not like that though, it is the everyday walk that counts:

Joshua 22:5 ‘But be very careful to keep the commandment and the law that Moses the servant of the LORD gave you: to love the LORD your God, to walk in obedience to him, to keep his commands, to hold fast to him and to serve him with all your heart and with all your soul’

Romans 8:5-6 ‘Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace’

The Lord reminds us so often in scripture and in life that He did not just come to take our sins away but also that we should give our lives to Him and walk in His purposes (not ours) and live according to the Spirit (not the flesh).

One little addition to the story; three years later when I was in fact working for myself and God had blessed us in unexpected ways for which I had never planned, I went back to one of the meeting rooms in the Regional Health Authority and I entered the room I felt anger and resentment build up inside me for what ‘these people’ had done to me three years ago. However this time I had learned my lesson. I struggled with the feelings for 30 minutes and then brought them before the Lord praying forgiveness for everyone involved and that the Lord would seal it up for me. His peace came and I don’t remember thinking about it again. Take a look at Psalm 91 and Romans 8 - go on do your heart good!!


Author: Chris Pearson

May God bless and enrich your life?

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Sunday, 14 May 2017

Is it time for a change of heart?

If we pray every day for a discerning spirit and for an extra portion of grace then this will help us to discern what is happening in the supernatural. This is important so that we don't blunder through situations in the natural that are not a true reflection of what is actually happening.

Source: Pinterest
When we are going through the storms of life does our attitude towards other people and God change? I am sure that most of us would reply ‘I don't think so, I would hope not; my love for God and His people remains steadfast and secure’. The reality however is often very different. Outwardly we may appear to be exactly the same but inwardly we are in such turmoil. Our change of attitude starts with small but very subtle things; ‘I won't bother ringing or texting that person this week, they have lots of friends’, ‘I don't need to give that person a lift to church, someone else can’; ‘that coffee we have arranged to go for can be postponed’ and so on….. As we can see; we can find lots of reasons to break fellowship and friendship, if we are not careful. Proverbs 29:25 ‘Fear of man will prove to be a snare, but whoever trusts in the LORD is kept safe’.

With God, it is slightly different. It is us that decide that we don't need to get up early today or indeed any day to pray and to read the Word before our day unfolds. We say to ourselves; ‘maybe I'll read the bible tomorrow or even next week!! I don't need to include God in all my plans just the ones I think are important’. Sometimes we even convince ourselves that we are taking the moral high ground in a given situation, however, have we asked the Author and Perfecter of our faith if our opinions/ thoughts or proposed actions are right/true? He is the only one who can judge. Psalm 62:7 ‘My salvation and my honor depend on God; he is my mighty rock, my refuge’. I have been a Christian for 35 years and have come to the conclusion that if we pray every day for a discerning spirit and for an extra portion of grace then this will help us to discern what is happening in the supernatural. This is important so that we don't blunder through situations in the natural that are not a true reflection of what is actually happening. Psalm 91:1-2 ‘Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the LORD, He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust’.

Source: Pinterest
A great example of this for me can be found in the book of Esther, when Haman set up a pole 50 cubits high (Esther 5:14) by his house to impale Mordecai, but despite all of his boasting Haman ended up being impaled on it himself (Esther 7:10). As if that wasn't punishment enough the King gave Queen Esther the estate of Haman and she appointed Mordecai over it! Haman wanted to put to death all of Mordecai's people (the Jews) throughout the whole kingdom of King Xerxes but all he achieved was his own early demise and the loss of his inheritance for his family. What we must remember is that when we encounter people who irritate us (Christian or non-Christian) God does not love them any less or any more than us. When we are lovely to the unlovely God credits it to us as righteousness and I am sure this is because He realises exactly how difficult this can be for us as human beings. So, next time somebody behaves badly towards you, try to approach the situation in the opposite spirit, the spirit of kindness and gentleness, and see what peace floods your soul instead of frustration or bitterness. Psalm 37:5-6 ‘Commit your way to the LORD; trust in him and he will do this: He will make your righteous reward shine like the dawn, your vindication like the noonday sun’.

I am certain that if we make ourselves accountable to God and in addition; to one or two people of Godly counsel then this will help us to stay on that narrow path. Jeremiah 17:9 tells us not trust in our own heart as it can be deceptive; ‘The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?’ and in Proverbs 3:5-6 ‘Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways submit to Him, and he will make your paths straight’. I pray that each person reading this blog will allow the Holy Spirit to come into their hearts in such a powerful way that all the things which are troubling will become insignificant. I pray that we remember that absolutely nothing is a surprise to God, it is us in our humanity that gets side swiped and clobbered. 1 John 2:28 ‘And now dear children, continue in Him, so that when he appears we may be confident and unashamed before him at His coming’.

I also pray that each one of us is transformed into the likeness of Jesus more and more every day. God's peace and blessing. Amen.


Author: Lyn Hunt

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Sunday, 7 May 2017

Being Victorious

We must never forget that we are in a war and the battle begins from the moment our eyes open each morning. To win the battle we must be strong in the Lord and keep ourselves protected by keeping on the whole armour of God

Source: Seek To Know The Truth
Although the enemy will always have a negative plan for us each day, we can change the course of the day by spending time with the Lord. This is especially important when we sense and discern any attitude or behaviour in ourselves that is not of Christ Jesus said in John 15:5 ‘I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing’. If we can do nothing without God then it seems foolish if we do not to come into His presence and to seek His guidance. Therefore, at the beginning of each day we must first seek God’s plan and purpose and allow ourselves to be led by the Holy Spirit rather than by our own worldly thoughts and motives. Matthew 6:33 ‘But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well’.

Negative feelings are like unwelcome house guests and the worst thing we can do is to invite them in. We may not be able to override them in our own strength but the bible tells us that we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us; Philippians 4:13 ‘I can do all this through him who gives me strength’.  We can therefore conquer the feelings of negativity and all the emotions that they bring by seeking God’s guidance. When we do this, He will enable us to walk according to His ways, not by our own negative emotions and perspective. Even when somebody upsets us or offends us the bible tells us that we are not to be oversensitive or easily offended, in fact we are commanded to forgive those who hurt us and not to let things fester; Luke 6:27-28 ‘But to you who are listening I say: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you’ and Matthew 6:14-15 ‘For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins’. Sometimes we want to forgive and to do what is right, but we often find it difficult to do so. Psalm 119:11 ‘I have hidden Your word in my heart that I might not sin against You’. More often than not doing the right thing is not easy; in fact, it can be the hardest thing to do. This is exactly the moment when we need to pray and to allow God to communicate with us and to direct us through His Word. Only then will we find the strength to do the right thing.

Source: Zedge
We must never forget that we are in a war and the battle begins from the moment our eyes open each morning. To win the battle we must be strong in the Lord and keep ourselves protected by keeping on the whole armour of God, having girded your waist with truth and the breastplate of righteousness, having shod your feet with the gospel of peace, taking the shield of faith and putting on the helmet of salvation, using the sword of the Spirit, praying always in the spirit and speak boldly (Ephesians 6:10-20).

The morning is a critically important time of day, we should never face the day until we have talked with God, and we should never look into the face of others until we have first looked into His. We cannot expect to be victorious if we begin our day in our own strength alone. In Exodus 34:2-3, God told Moses to be ready in the morning and then to come up, present yourself to me; ‘Present yourself to me there on top of the mountain. No one is to come with you or be seen anywhere on the mountain; not even the flocks and herds may graze in front of the mountain’. God is telling us that He wants us to present ourselves to Him every single day, not through any religious ritual, but borne out of an unconditional love for us by a Father who wants to guide and safeguard His children. Why would we ever want to miss out on this daily blessing?


Author: Herbert Jean

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Sunday, 30 April 2017

Eternal Life Insurance

When I became born again our Lord Jesus cleansed, washed and redeemed me by shedding His precious blood so I can truly say I am no longer a slave to fear I am a child of God

Source: Sizzle
In these times of chaos, confusion, desperation and fear, we are advised to take out insurance to cover all eventualities that may occur in our lives. This includes property insurance, life insurance, home Insurance (building/contents), health insurance, car insurance, pet insurance, holiday/travel insurance, and so on….. Not everyone is able to afford or pay for these and other types of insurances which provide us with a certain level of ‘protection’ in the event that an insured risk is realised. Last year we had to make a claim from our home insurance, both building and contents, as burglars had broken in causing external and internal damage. Whilst we were compensated for most of the items that had been taken and the damage that had occurred it brought to my mind God’s Word in Matthew 6:19-21 where it tells us not to store up treasures here on earth; ‘Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also’. The important thing to remember is that none of these insurance policies compare to the blessed life insurance we have in Father God, which is actually; ‘eternal life insurance!’

Source: Tricia Goyer
When I became born again our Lord Jesus cleansed, washed and redeemed me by shedding His precious blood so I can truly say I am no longer a slave to fear I am a child of God, as I am born of the water, spirit and the blood.  Yes, I am set free to worship, praise and give thanks to Abba Father forevermore because I am given an eternal life insurance policy. Unlike earthly insurance policies, my eternal life insurance policy requires no payment or premiums, it was freely given to me when I accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Saviour. From the beginning of the book of Genesis to the end of the book of Revelation Father God has ransomed me by His blood, by His life and by His love, He has become my overcomer and elevates my soul. Praise God.

Through granting me ‘eternal life insurance’ my Father in heaven has healed, restored and forgiven me. It's not a myth, it's for real and He the Bridegroom is coming back again for His bride which He has purchased with His precious blood. All glory and honour to our Triune God forever and ever, Hallelujah and Amen.

John 1:1-5 ‘In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.  He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it’


Author: Inie Jean

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Sunday, 23 April 2017

How do I know If I am a Christian?

We have amazing rest and peace in knowing the debt of our sin has been paid. There are plenty of things I sometimes lie awake at night worrying about, but my eternal salvation is not one of them. Jesus says it, and I trust it.

Source: Audrey Mabley
If your life is anything like mine it’s full of activities, appointments, and a never-ending to-do list. Yet underneath these things, we feel something more — a deeper longing for a peace and greater purpose. Surely life is about more than rushing from activity to activity? In their search for peace and a greater purpose, sometimes people have heard of God and Jesus from the Bible but aren’t sure where to begin, what Christianity is or what it means to be a Christian. Perhaps you have experience with family members who are Christian or you visited a church in the past. Maybe you attend a church now but you question if what your church teaches is Christian. You actually start to wonder: ‘how do I know if I am a Christian’?

Who Are Christians? - People sometimes assume that being a Christian means; going to church, reading the Bible and being a good person, however, whilst all of those activities are important to a Christian life, none of those are what makes a person a Christian. In Acts 16:25-28, which takes place after Jesus’ life on earth, His followers Paul and Silas were in prison. They were singing hymns and praising God despite their awful circumstances, then suddenly there was a huge earthquake causing their chains to be broken. When the jailer realized, his prisoners were about to escape, he prepared to kill himself but Paul and Silas cried out to him, ‘Don’t harm yourself! We are all here’. This is what happened next in Acts 16:30-31 ‘Then he (the jailer) brought them out and said, ‘Sirs, what must I do to be saved? And they said, Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household’.  This Bible account gives a clear answer to the question, ‘What should a person do to be saved’? The answer is the one given by Paul and Silas; ‘Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved’.

Source: Pinterest
What did Jesus do for us? - Jesus was a man who lived over 2,000 years ago in what is now modern-day Israel. Jesus was fully man and is also fully God. He lived a perfect life then suffered and died on the cross to pay the penalty for our sin — my sin, your sin, and the sins of everyone who has ever lived in the world. Amen. After three days Jesus rose from the dead (this is celebrated at Easter). Jesus ascended into heaven and reigns in heaven with God the Father and the Holy Spirit. God is also present among all believers because of the work of the Holy Spirit who gives Christians faith and we can trust God for salvation after we die.

What do Christians believe? - Christians believe that the Bible is God’s Word. Christians however do not believe the Bible contains the Word of God, but that the Bible is the Word of God. This means that Christians do not believe that some parts of the Bible are true and some parts are untrue, but rather we believe that the whole Bible is true. Christians also believe that Jesus is the Son of God and the He is part of the Trinity, which is the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. As Christians we worship all parts of the Trinity as equally one God.

Following Jesus -  While Jesus was on earth He was the greatest teacher, and Christians follow the teachings of Jesus. However, it is important to make a strong point of clarification here; many times, when you ask people; ‘What does it mean to be a Christian’? they will say, 'I’m a Christian because I try to be a good person’. A Christian however is someone who trusts in Jesus as his Saviour and trying to be a good person will never get you into heaven. The Bible tells us in Romans 3:23 ‘for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God’. It is sin that separates us from God. God is perfect, and when sin entered the world through Adam and Eve, it is our sin that separated us from God (Genesis 3). It is only because of the saving work of Jesus that we are able to find salvation. The good works of a Christian life are important and Jesus spoke of them often. Other places in the Bible explain how a Christian is supposed to live, but the distinction is that these works are not to earn salvation. One of the clearest Bible passages about the role of good works in the Christian life can be found in Ephesians 2:8-10 ‘For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them’. This makes Christianity different from all other religions, which usually teach that people need to work to earn salvation by their own efforts. Christians trust that salvation is a free gift from God.

Peaceful Assurance - People often wonder, ‘how can I know for sure that I am a Christian? I believe, but I have doubts. How do I know for sure I’ll go to heaven when I die? One example is the gift of incredible, life-giving peace, a peace that goes far beyond anything we can humanly understand; Philippians 4:7 ‘And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus’. Any religion or system that attempts to rely on good works or our own self-righteousness, can and will leave us feeling doubtful, because none of us can be good enough for God. We will forever attempt to make amends, try harder, and hope for the best. This is not the case with Jesus! We have amazing rest and peace in knowing the debt of our sin has been paid. There are plenty of things I sometimes lie awake at night worrying about, but my eternal salvation is not one of them. Jesus says it, and I trust it.

The most important question - When Jesus was on earth, He had the following conversation with his disciples; Mark 8:27-29 ‘Jesus and his disciples went on to the villages around Caesarea Philippi. On the way he asked them, Who do people say I am? They replied, ‘Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, one of the prophets. But what about you? he asked. Who do you say I am? Peter answered, You are the Messiah’. The disciples were responding to the local town gossip. Some people said Jesus was John the Baptist (who had already been beheaded at this point — so in other words, was Jesus a ghost?), some people said Jesus was Elijah (a prophet of importance, believed to impart wisdom in Jewish tradition), who had come back to earth as foretold, and some people said Jesus was a new prophet. Then Jesus asked the disciples the most important question, ‘Who do you say that I am?’ This is the same question Jesus is asking you and I today and is the most important question you will ever answer in your life, because the answer will determine how you spend eternity. Peter’s answer was an example for us because he proclaimed with great faith; ‘You are the Christ’.

When we say, ‘Jesus is the Christ’, we are also saying that He is ‘the anointed one’ and ‘the King chosen by God’. The titles of ‘Christ’ and ‘Messiah’ are therefore meaningful ones because we see the whole Bible, and in fact all of history, coming together in the person of Jesus. The Bible is a collection of books written by different people yet each book was divinely inspired by God. The books of the New Testament tell of Jesus’s life and the beginning of the church on earth. The books of the Old Testament point to the Saviour, or Messiah, who is to come. Here we see Jesus as the fulfilment of that promise. Christians trust in Jesus as the Messiah, both the King and Ruler of the world and the King of their lives. Amen

This article has been published with the kind permission of the author. You can find out a little more about Sara and her ministry by visiting her website at the following (Link)


Author: Sara Borgstede

May God bless and enrich your life

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Sunday, 16 April 2017

Step inside the empty tomb

We miss so much when we don’t enter fully into God’s marvelous works. The people who get most from the Christian life are those who ‘step inside’. Christianity is not a faith for ‘peepers’ – Get Inside!

Source: Connie York - blogger
John Chapter 20 records the details of the first Easter morning marathon. Mary Magdalene, who was first to reach the tomb of Jesus, came ‘running’ to Simon Peter and John, having seen the stone removed from the grave and announced news of ‘Removal’ not Resurrection. The first message from the empty tomb was false – someone had nicked the corpse! There was no conspiracy theory here - the first Easter Sunday hunt was for a corpse! Then we meet the next two runners with John getting to the tomb before Simon Peter. Imagine winning the race but staying outside the tomb. ‘He bent over and looked in… but did not go in’. John was a ‘peeper’ which typifies many believers today who ‘peep’ into the scriptures, ‘peep’ into worship, ‘peep’ into service, ‘peep’ into prayer and ‘peep’ into commitment. But then in John 20:6, Simon Peter arrives and ‘went into the tomb’; ‘Then Simon Peter came along behind him and went straight into the tomb. He saw the strips of linen lying there’. He went past the ‘peeper’ and saw more! Then finally in John 20:8, John ‘also went inside’; ‘Finally, the other disciple, who had reached the tomb first, also went inside. He saw and believed’

Source: Apologetics.com
We miss so much when we don’t enter fully into God’s marvelous works. The title of a Beatles song ‘Step inside love’ comes to mind here: The people who get most from the Christian life are those who ‘step inside’. Christianity is not a faith for ‘peepers’ – Get Inside! In this wonderful Easter week ‘Step inside’ and spend some time in the empty tomb and…

Smell the Fragrance: There’s no smell of death, just the strips of linen loaded with 34 kilos of spices filling the air with beautiful fragrance.

See the grave clothes: Take a good look and see how they’re arranged. A body has obviously passed through them, they are undisturbed and unoccupied!

Breathe in the air of Resurrection: The breath of the risen Jesus is in that empty grave, let it fill your lungs and thrill your heart!

Soak up the truth: Step inside and revel in the truth that the tomb is empty not because of removal but because of RESURRECTION!

That truth means: Jesus IS the Son of God; Your sin HAVE been paid for; The Scriptures ARE true; Satan IS defeated; Death HAS been conquered and Jesus WILL come again!!! Amen

STEP INSIDE! Easter is not about a missing corpse but about a RISEN SAVIOUR! Hallelujah.

He’s ALIVE – to answer your prayers
He’s ALIVE – to heal your body
He’s ALIVE – to fulfil your destiny
He’s ALIVE – to banish your fears
He’s ALIVE – to meet your needs
He’s ALIVE – to build His Church

Heaven invites us; ‘Come and see’, or to STEP INSIDE LOVE!  Nine times Jesus gave us an ‘EMPTY’ promise and on that first Easter Sunday He delivered it in style!

That’s my Jesus!


Author: Alan Hewitt - AOG UK National Leadership Team  

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Sunday, 9 April 2017

Who am I?

God will never disown you, desert you, dump you, because you cost too much! His love doesn’t increase when you’re more spiritual or decrease when you’re distant!

Source: Cherie Burbach
The Apostle John writes in 1 John 3:1 ‘See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!’ Read that again and note the ‘we’! If that doesn’t make you say ‘wow!’ you need to keep reading it until it does!

So many Christians live a lifetime without discovering who they really are. It’s so tragic because a victorious Christian life actually depends on it! Christians are first and foremost Children, we are not merely supporters, followers, devotees, comrades, workers, ministers, labourers……We are children of God!. God is not merely building a workforce but a family and you’ll never function properly unless you understand that it’s from the position of being a child. Adults can easily lose the wonder of what it means to be a child! Brennan Manning wrote ‘The two pivotal words in the teaching of Jesus are both ‘A’ words – Amen & Abba’.

Source: Crosspoint Church Online
When Jesus spoke of His Father as ‘Abba’ (a colloquial form of address used by Jewish children to their father) He opened up possibilities previously unknown, the new dawn of incredible generosity and blessing. Romans 8:15 states; ‘By Him, WE cry, ABBA Father’. In no world religion, would it be thinkable that a human being could ever call ALMIGHTY GOD, ‘Daddy’!  Receiving Jesus – the One & Only – gives US the power to call God – ‘Daddy’! I love how Max Lucado describes this blessing: ‘The Christ of the galaxies is the Christ of your Monday mornings. You have a Friend in high places. Does the child of Arnold Schwarznegger worry about tight pickle jars? Does the son of Nike founder Phil Knight sweat about a broken shoelace or trainer? If the daughter of Bill Gates can't turn on her computer, does she panic! No, neither should you, your God has walked your streets, He knows your name, He loves you more than you'll ever know’. You’re not merely a friend of God; you're a Child of God! We are to live in His embrace and be eternally secure in His love. This fact should take our breath away – that ‘in Christ’ we are accepted by God just as much as Jesus is!!!

Why is this so important to understand? Because it’s only when you know how much God loves you that you can really begin to love God. 1 John 4:19 ‘We love Him because He first loved us’. God will never disown you, desert you, dump you, because you cost too much! His love doesn’t increase when you’re more spiritual or decrease when you’re distant! One of hardest things is to accept that you are an object of God’s delight.

Jesus is not a subject; He’s not something you can say, ‘I get that, what's next?’ - well, there is no next! He is the ultimate! We can never move on from Jesus, there is nothing else worth moving on to! Let your thoughts today focus on the truth that you through Christ are a child of a Heavenly Father who is ‘crazed and drunk’ with love for YOU!


Author: Alan Hewitt - AOG UK National Leadership Team 

May God bless and enrich your life


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Sunday, 2 April 2017

Cast your cares on the Lord

All of us have things that we need to deal with in our lives, but ignoring them, holding onto them or even trying to run away from them will certainly not resolve them

Source: Prophetic Light
Wouldn’t it be wonderful if life was so simple that we didn’t experience difficulties, hardship, sorrow, disappointment, grief, sadness and all of the other things that challenge us as part of our day to day lives? God knew that we would experience all of these things, however in His Word He shows us what we should do at these times; Psalms 55:22 ‘Cast your cares on the Lord and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous be shaken’ and 1 Peter 5:7 ‘Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you’, Amen. Jesus, whilst talking to His disciples just before He was arrested told them that they too would experience troubles; John 16:33 ‘I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world’. Notice that Jesus does not say ‘if you have trouble’, but, ‘you will have trouble’. If we expect the World to be anything but challenging in our lives then we would be living in false hope because, the Word of God clearly tells us to expect these situations and circumstances throughout our lives.

So, we accept that we are going to encounter difficult times in our lives however it is the manner in which we deal with them which will determine what impact we allow them to have on our lives. Sometimes we may let things consume our thoughts and to dominate our lives, to a point that other parts of our lives become affected such as relationships with family and friends, work, sleep, our health etc. We hold onto things that have happened in the past and just won’t let them go, things that are denying our freedom to be able to move on. Why do we continually hold onto things that only serve to prolong our pain? Why do we allow our minds to be consumed with things from the past that make us unhappy, anxious, worried, frightened and often lead to us feeling unwell? Why do we keep living in the past, when the past is where it actually belongs? All of these are distractions which take away our freedom to love, serve and glorify our Father.

Source: Year 27
All of us have things that we need to deal with in our lives, but ignoring them, holding onto them or even trying to run away from them will certainly not resolve them. We could run to the other side of the World to try and outrun our problems however the reality of this is that the only thing that would change is the destination. We may enjoy our new destination for a few days or weeks but it is only a matter of time before whatever it is we are trying to run away from re-emerges back into our lives.

Last year my wife and I went on holiday to Malta and on the return journey, at the airport check-in counter, we were politely informed that we had very slightly exceeded the excess baggage limit. How this happened, I have no idea however the young lady behind the counter suggested that we should take some items out of our suitcase and put them in our hand luggage. I could not see how this would be of any benefit whatsoever as effectively we would be taking exactly the same weight onto the plane, but that is a story for another day!  My wife and I proceeded to root through our suitcase, in full view of a very excited queue behind us (what other excitement can there be standing in a check-in queue?), and we tried to ‘discreetly’ transfer some items from our suitcase into our hand luggage. I can’t speak for my wife but I was quite embarrassed and it was not the greatest moment of my life.

In hindsight, the whole event in the airport made me think about ‘excess baggage’, not in relation to luggage but more about the type of baggage that we carry around inside us. Image a scenario where we turn up at an airport check-in, where no suitcases or other luggage allowed, however all of the ‘baggage’ that we are carrying inside is going to be put through an airport scanner and displayed on a screen behind the counter for everyone to see, and weighed. Firstly, how embarrassing would that be and secondly with all of that extra weight it is unlikely that the plane would ever be able to get off the ground! This is exactly the problem that we can create in our lives. We weigh ourselves down so heavily with all of the burdens of our lives, especially the past, that we never give ourselves the chance to ‘fly’ or move on. If, on the other hand we were to hand our situations onto Jesus and allow Him to deal with it then we will find rest; Matthew 11:28-30 ‘Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light’. Amen.

You can listen to the wonderful hymn, ‘And can it be’, written by Charles Wesley, at the end of this article. The words are amazing particularly where we sing ‘My chains fell off my heart was free, I rose went forth to follow thee’ and ‘Bold I approach th' eternal throne, and claim the crown, through Christ my own’. In Christ, let us be bold and confident to know that ‘we are the head and not the tail' (Deuteronomy 28:13) and ‘we are more than conquerors’ (Romans 8:37), we can release the chains of the past that imprison us in the present and deny our future and claim back freedom in our lives.  We need to take responsibility ourselves and not look at others, that is between them and God. We need to leave the past where it belongs, we need to look forward rather than back and only then will our chains fall off and our hearts will be free so that we can rise, go forth and follow thee. We can then, with confidence, boldly approach the eternal throne and claim our crown through Christ our own. Amen.


Author: Gary O’Neill

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