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Put the The Word of God First

January 28, 2017

Usually, most people make some kind of resolutions each January. Often people choose things way too easy or way too difficult for them to keep. Christians should improving consistently throughout their lives. God Himself is transforming us from glory to glory as we pray, read the Word of God, worship and gather as Christians. In His presence we are strengthened and encouraged.

2 Corinthians 3: 2

18 But we all, seeing the glory of the Lord with unveiled faces, as in a mirror, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory by the Spirit of the Lord.

In His presence we are transformed. The glory of God is released over us as we pray and as we desire more of God. God is revealing His light to us – His beauty.Desire God and worship Him with all your being. The Word of God is God’s direct instruction manual written for us so we could know a prosperous, joyful, complete life.

I want to encourage you to invest the Word in yourself spiritually in this year of 2017.

WORD

Holy Bible – Get as much of the Word of God as you can. In Joshua 1 God instructs Joshua to keep the Word of God in his heart and life. He commands him to tell the people to keep the Word of God in their hearts and on their lips. They should know the Word of God and it would be life to them. Proverbs 4: 22

for they are life to those who find them,
and health to all their body.

I mean read the Word of God. Pray the Word of God. Discover some scriptures that can directly apply to your life. Read the Word. Pray the Word over yourself and over loved ones. Say the Word. Come into complete agreement with what the Word of God says about you and about others.

God’s Word is a lamp to our a feet and a light to our path (Psalm 119: 105 )He gives us revelation, understanding and wisdom from His Word. The Holy Spirit can quicken a Word to us and totally change our lives because of it.

Sermons – Make church attendance a priority.Take notes. Apply yourself to get wisdom from the teaching and preaching of God’s Word.  Listen to or watch excellent preaching and teaching on tv or satellite or Internet. Pray about what areas God would give you direction. Sometimes, God can put the exact sermon to feed your spirit there on the tv or radio. You may learn things that can be transformational in your life. God’s Word is true. God’s Word is the plumbline of life. God’s Word is sharp. God’s Word is powerful. God’s Word can be used as a weapon against the enemy. God’s Word reveals the standard for our lives in all aspects of life: relationships, purpose, worship.

Pray that God might equip you with the Word of God to bring light in your spheres of influence.That means in every area of your life where you go including school, church, your job, etc. God goes with you. You could speak life into people by speaking words of encouragement or words of comfort. Memorize scripture. Start to say Scripture as part of your conversation.

Friends – Get together with Christian friends to talk about the scriptures. It can be Bible study class or an informal gathering of friends with the Word of God as the topic. Get the Word of God in your life more than you did last year.

 

May God encourage you, direct your steps and put divine connections in your life. May God give you understanding and wisdom from the Holy Word: the Bible.

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The Birth of Jesus: the Humanity and divinity

December 11, 2016

Luke 2 MEV – The Birth of Jesus – Bible Gateway

Luke 2: 4 So Joseph also departed from the city of Nazareth in Galilee to the City of David which is called Bethlehem, in Judea, because he was of the house and lineage of David, 5 to be taxed with Mary, his betrothed wife, who was with child. 6 So while they were there, the day came for her to give birth. 7 And she gave birth to her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in strips of cloth, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.

The Shepherds and the Angels

8 And in the same area there were shepherds living in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. 9 And then an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were very afraid. 10 But the angel said to them, “Listen! Do not fear. For I bring you good news of great joy, which will be to all people. 11 For unto you is born this day in the City of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. 12 And this will be a sign to you: You will find the Baby wrapped in strips of cloth, lying in a manger.”

13 Suddenly there was with the angel a company of the heavenly host praising God and saying,

14 “Glory to God in the highest,
and on earth peace, and good will toward men.”

This familiar passage of scripture to Christians is a snapshot of Jesus Christ. There are ordinary, everyday things about Jesus because he was born as a boy who became a man. It seemed normal. unless you read how it occurred.

Miraculous

Angels were involved throughout the story of Jesus birth. A messenger angel was sent to inform Mary that she would give birth to the Saviour and that she should call him Jesus. (Matthew 1: 16) Mary became pregnant by the overshadowing of the Holy Spirit – she was a virgin. These are amazing and miraculous aspects of our Christian heritage. Don’t think it was an ordinary birth or an ordinary life. Joseph at first did not believe Mary’s explanation (not many people would believe it) until an angel of the LORD appeared to him in a dream and explained it to him. The angels were involved in announcing the good news and giving instruction.

Joseph and Mary went to pay their taxes – so ordinary but Mary was about to give birth. As they got to Bethlehem, there was no room for them at any hotel or inn. Because she was about to give birth, the innkeeper had mercy on them and offered his stall – his barn. This is not ordinary. It is unusual. It could have been an insignificant fact none of us knew about except God wanted to announce the good news of Jesus birth.

The first to know

He did not send angels to Herod the King or to rich or famous or influential people. God sent an angel to speak to some shepherds who were watching their sheep. An angel appeared an announced the good news of Jesus birth – a promise – the Messiah had come and been born. The shepherds believed the angels. Suddenly the skies were filled with angels singing praises and glory to God. God chose ordinary people – shepherds to announce the birth of Jesus – yet God sent an angel – not a person to announce the good news. There is no way those shepherds could forget seeing that angel. There was brilliance and importance to the message so the messenger was made memorable. The angels filling the sky with glory and praise would always be remembered by those shepherds. They obeyed the instruction of the angel and were the first to know of the Saviour’s birth.

The humanity and divinity of Jesus

Jesus Christ – the son of God equal with God, born as a mere human baby who was helpless and at the mercy of his parents. God chose those parents carefully. Jesus Christ who would be raised as a human, being fully human and fully God. He lived a mostly ordinary life until he was 30. He never sinned. Our Saviour come to us in a humble manger.

Thank God that Christ is revealed to you

Jesus Christ, is the reason that we have Christmas. Please remember to thank God for the ordinary aspects of your life. You live; you have human needs. Most people might see you are merely human. It is true yet untrue.

As soon as you gave your life to Jesus Christ receiving Him as Saviour and LORD, you became a new born again person – with the Spirit of the living God living in you. Thank God for the supernatural aspects of your life. Thank God that He found a way to reach you with salvation. Thank God for the miraculous. Recollect the last year – the  ways God has provided for you and kept you in both the ordinary and by the Spirit.

Exhortation to Joy, Prayer and Thanksgiving

November 5, 2016

1 Thessalonians 5:

16 Rejoice always. 17 Pray without ceasing. 18 In everything give thanks, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.

(MEV – Bible Gateway )

In this exhortation to the Church the Apostle Paul utters words that are so simple, so ordinary – yet so profound. He is imparting to the believers what he views as top priorities for a Christian. They are placed next to each other because they all correspond. God wants us to be joyful, prayerful and thankful.

  1. Rejoicing – The primary source of Christian joy is in His saving grace. Jesus Christ saved us. The joy that it brings to a human being that understands he or she was destined to eternal separation from God goes beyond human measure. First of all, we are thankful for what He did. Moreover, we are thankful because we know intimacy with God once we are saved. To feel the peace, the joy, the Holy Spirit living on the inside of our human spirit – causes tremendous joy to bubble up no matter what the situation may be. There is a joy beyond all human joy. There is a pleasure beyond all human pleasure – it is knowing God loves you and desires you for a companion and a co- labourer. This relationship releases joy. Praising God and thanking Him and worshipping and desiring to be in God’s presence are all aspects of this joy. Deeper than all human expression is the soul that recognizes redemption and the Redeemer.
  2. Pray without ceasing – God is with you. He never leaves you. Once you have become a Christian, the Holy Spirit is on the inside of you. You never are alone. He is a constant companion, teacher, leader. The Holy spirit can warn us of things, can correct us, can lead us and direct us. I like to call the Holy Spirit my Senior Partner. I read an excellent book by Yonggi Cho from Korea on the Holy Spirit – the title of that book was “The Holy Spirit my Senior Partner. The best possible teacher for any of us is the Holy Spirit. The best advisor, the best planner, the best encourager or life coach is the Holy Spirit. He knows how to teach you so that you learn and it impacts your life. The Holy Spirit never forces; The Holy Spirit is a loving, compassionate, most intimate friend. I so Thank God for His constant company. It also releases joy in a Christian – knowing the Holy Spirit is always with you. It also makes you prone to pray and talk to God because you know He is right there with you.
  3. Being Thankful is probably one of the biggest life changing things someone can decide to do. Yes there are occasions to thank people for gifts or kind deeds, but I am talking about deciding to be thankful moment by moment. Thanking God for the home you live in, or the car you drive, or your family or your friends. The longer I live, the more I have to thank God about. Should you consider 2/3 of the world lives below the poverty level, and there are thousands of people who don’t have clean drinking water or a home – if we were to thank God for what we do have instead of complaining about what we don’t have – it would release joy inside of us. I would literally pray : God show me what you have given me and how I can use it for your glory. God show me how can I impact my generation so that Jesus shines in me and I can build up the Church and encourage others to want to know Jesus. Gratitude – expressing to God constantly though out your day will brighten your outlook on life. It will cause you to focus on what is positive and to enjoy your life. Thanking people for how they have helped you or impacted your life encourages them and sows seeds of joy into them.  May God encourage you to live this week in joy, in prayer and in thanksgiving.

The Relationship: Communing With God

October 22, 2016

1 Thessalonians 5:

16 Rejoice always. 17 Pray without ceasing. 18 In everything give thanks, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.

Praying without ceasing is possible. If were not possible, the Apostle Paul wouldn’t have commanded it. It is possible to pray each day but also to remain in a posture of prayer. What I mean is that I have my personal prayer devotion, but I also want to be able to talk to God throughout the day. I rely on God to help me in my job, in my leisure, with my relationships etc. I would compare a posture of prayer in this way. I don’t hesitate to speak with Him because I know His desire is to help me. I have the Holy Spirit living on the inside of me so I can be an effective witness for Christ on the Earth. Sometimes I speak out loud and sometimes softly to the Spirit praying for God to help me throughout each day.

The posture of prayer is like this: I used to listen to a radio in my office. When a student came in, I would lower the volume until it was inaudible. After the student left, I would turn it back up. I did not turn it off. I believe we too can remain in a posture of prayer so that we could speak with God about all matters of our lives throughout the day. We can be easily given to prayer.

Prayer is relationship with God. I talk to Him and He talks to me. God is the most important relationship in any Christian’s life. Communion with Him is not just for me to get stuff from Him. O I thank Him because He wants to give us all things  Yes – He cares about what we want. He knows the deepest parts of us and is in love with us. He doesn’t just love us at a distance. He loves deeply – having placed every character trait in us, knowing us, knowing our worst – knowing our best and always choosing to see us through the Blood He shed for us. This relationship is love beyond any earthly love. It is not only for now but it is for eternity. We will be communing with God forever. We were created to be His family.

Please pray about what is important to you but also find out what is important to God. Ask Him to share His heart with you for people, animals, nations, His will to be done. Let us as a Church pray what God wants for us: to share His heart. I want to be a friend to Him. He has been so awesome to me.

Revelation 7:

15 Therefore,

they are before the throne of God,
and serve Him day and night in His temple.
And He who sits on the throne
will dwell among them.

There is some religious lie that says that prayer is boring or that it is hard or that it is only for certain people. The truth is – should you be wholly giving yourself to God, He will commune with you. You will feel His presence: joy, peace, love, revelation. Worshipping God is joy beyond all explanation. It is what we were created to do. as we speak to God and listen to Him, joy is released in us. The gifts of the Spirit will bubble forth as we pray in other tongues. We will build up our spirit as we pray and worship.  We are transformed from glory to glory into the image and likeness of Jesus Christ each time we pray and praise.

Psalm 16:

11 You will make known to me the path of life;
in Your presence is fullness of joy;
at Your right hand there are pleasures for evermore.

Please, if you read this and you are thinking that’s not me right now – yeah I remember being like that… please ask God to soften your heart. Ask God to give you your first love for Him as you once had. Please, press in to the deeper things of God by seeking Jesus Christ. Pray and ask God to speak to you. Make it a priority to reconnect with Him. I promise you, connecting with God goes beyond any pleasure of the Earth and is the only way to live your life – Christian.

Motivation of Mercy

October 8, 2016

Romans 12: 6 We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your[a] faith; 7 if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; 8 if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead,[b] do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully.

There are different parts of the body of Christ as we have spent the last several blogs exploring the different gift motivations. The gift of Mercy is often the most required gift so there are many in the Body of Christ who have this gifting. They are attracted to people who need mercy: people who may be grieving the loss of a spouse or who are in need of encouragement because of sorrow or pain or illness.

Mercies will feel deep empathy and weep with the weeping or laugh with the rejoicing. Mercies will have just the right words to speak or be able to sympathize and listen. God uses them to bring healing in the Body of Christ. Example, if I am banging a nail with a hammer and I hit my thumb, my body immediately replies. I will most likely say “OW” and my arm will bring my thumb up into my mouth and I will suck it to help relieve pain. The body responds by giving all the assistance it can to the part in need.

Mercies are often so moved with the compassion of Christ for a person, they will “feel” what the person is feeling.  This is not for its own sake; although it shows sympathy and caring, it doesn’t heal anyone. a true mercy will take it beyond the feeling (I am not saying it is of no value – it is – it brings comfort – just not healing) and give a word of scripture inspired by God. The person will be able to pray with you the scripture in faith believing and interceding for you.

The scripture encourages Mercies to show mercy with cheerfulness – that is that they should see things with Divine perspective – in light of eternity – not simply showing compassion but showing compassion with faith and the word of God that is able to bring healing to that member of the body of Christ. Example, if I cut my finger, I must wash it but I should also apply a medicine – antibiotic to it – and put a bandage on it. It isn’t ok to leave the wound not cared for. A mercy motivated by the Holy Spirit will show compassion but also be praying the Word of God over you and with you so there may be healing. May God use you to encourage and show mercy towards someone this week. It could be a words you speak to someone or a prayer you pray for someone. Ask God to use you and He will.

Motivational Gift of Leadership

September 24, 2016

Romans 12: 6 We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your[a] faith; 7 if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; 8 if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead,[b] do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully.

A leader is someone who God inspires with ideas and plans and other people agree to follow him or her. God gives leaders the ability to see potential in people and situations. They are visionary in terms of seeing what could be. They think of possibilities and usually can see people’s talents and gifts. They seem to know what should be done, are able to plan and organize people and resources for the purposes of God to be fulfilled. Because of them, ministries are started; churches are built; outreaches are formed; the gospel is spread throughout the earth.

A leader can see strengths in others and usually help others develop their spiritual gifts because of it. The leader will encourage the sheep to use their gifts and talents. A true leader cares for the people with him or her as a shepherd does for the sheep. A true leader never exploits the gifts of someone. Caring deeply about your people is an important aspect of leadership. A true leader is always ready to release trained people into ministry, train new people and do new projects for God’s glory.

Leaders may be Apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors or teachers. God uses them within the body of Christ. Servants who are faithful in ministry usually are appointed leadership roles. God has special words for those in leadership. He holds them to a higher standard because they are examples to the sheep.

Acts 20:

28 Therefore take heed to yourselves and to the entire flock, over which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood.

1 Peter 5:

2 Shepherd the flock of God that is among you, take care of them, not by constraint, but willingly, not for dishonest gain, but eagerly. 3 Do not lord over those in your charge, but be examples to the flock. 4 And when the chief Shepherd appears, you will receive a crown of glory that will not fade away.

 

Should you be in some type of leadership role, pray over yourself that God would direct you, use you and help you to serve by connecting people with purpose. Read 1 Timothy 3: 1-4 concerning the standards of leaders.

 

Motivational Gift of Giving

September 10, 2016

Romans 12: 6 We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your[a] faith; 7 if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; 8 if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead,[b] do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully.

The gift of giving  is a strong drive to give finances or possessions or services to further the gospel. Givers often have an ability to gather finances for the purposes of the gospel. Teens or those in school may have the motivation of giving but not have the full expression of it until they have careers or regular financial income. The giver sometimes gets supernatural provision for the giving. They may be radical or extravagant in their giving as they are lead by the Holy Spirit.

I have known people who have given their homes to finance the gospel. Some people give cars or services. Some take a second job so they can give more to the gospel. The giver knows he or she is doing God’s will by financing the gospel. Christians are the only ones who will give to the furtherance of the gospel. Jesus commanded us to preach Christ to all people groups all over the earth.

Mark 16:

15 He said to them, “Go into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. 16 He who believes and is baptized will be saved. But he who does not believe will be condemned. 17 These signs will accompany those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; 18 they will take up serpents; if they drink any deadly thing, it will not hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.”

There are some who give their lives as missionaries; there are some who do short term missions. There are also Givers who help to send others who preach Christ to effectively do it. Rarely are there multimillion dollar missionaries who can finance themselves. Truly there is much to bring to all types of people groups. The gospel being preached is important. Those who respond should receive Bibles. We should build churches for them to gather in. Some need education and training to get them out of a life of poverty. Some require other types of practical things that cost money.

Missionaries see the reality of the people’s everyday life and those who want to make a difference provide more than evangelism. Evangelism is necessary and important. But Jesus cares for the individuals as well as the crowds. If the Church of Jesus Christ in North America would give financially faithfully to the gospel – more people could be saved, healed, trained, educated and discipled so they can improve their society.

The giver’s Drive for the gospel is so strong, it is one of the first things he or she thinks of when meeting a new person ” What can I give?” It is God’s way of providing for things, materials, buildings etc for the work of missions.

Givers might also be very generous within the local church and within their sphere of influence. The giver is blessed with the finances or the faith for God to release the finances so that there is always more than enough and extra to sow into someone’s life. Pray that God may entrust to you things of the earth so that you might give to the gospel. Be faithful to give cheerfully in simplicity that Christ might be glorified. Even if all of us only gave the cost of a meal, we could impact nations. Givers pray that God will give them finances, resources, buildings, transportation, land, resources of all types so they can reach people with the Gospel. God uses them because He knows they will give to the Gospel.