Saturday, 31 December 2016

FAITH AS OF OLD

For you to be a great achiever and receive great miracle from God you need to have faith. You need to exercise this faith as you eat daily. Barren womb can be revived, your dream job can come, your challenges can turn to success story, et al. “Have faith in God! If you have faith in God and don’t doubt, you can tell this mountain to get up and jump into the sea, and it will. Everything you ask for in prayer will be yours, if you only have faith.” (Mark 11:22-24 CEV) Faith opens the door to miracles. If you study the Bible and history, you find that every time God moves on Earth and does a miracle, it’s because somebody believed. Jesus said in Mark 11:22-24, “Have faith in God! If you have faith in God and don’t doubt, you can tell this mountain to get up and jump into the sea, and it will. Everything you ask for in prayer will be yours, if you only have faith” (CEV). Faith can move mountains! God has set up the universe in a hierarchy of laws, and the law of faith is actually a higher law than the laws of nature. That’s where miracles come in. Because when faith is used, the law of faith goes into practice, and the law of faith can actually do more than the laws of physics. Does God still perform miracles today? Of course he does. Every time you stretch your faith, God does miracles — every single time. My question for you is this: What’s the mountain in your life that needs to be moved? What’s the thing you’ve already decided will never change? That’s a self-fulfilling prophecy. How do you know it won’t change? Maybe God wants your faith to supersede the law of nature. He has in the past, He is doing it today all around the world. God is in the mountain-moving business. Do not doubt or underestimate what he wants to do in your life. Matthew 13:58 says, “[Jesus] did not do many miracles there because of their lack of faith” (NIV). You might say, “I don’t see many miracles in my life.” I wonder why! Are you seeing with eyes of fear, or are you seeing with eyes of faith? Faith opens the door to miracles.

LEARN TO GIVE THANKS

Thanksgiving is one of the God's favourite delicay. When you give thanks to God, you are telling God to do more for you. Why is David God's favourite? The answer is here: David is a thanksgiver to God and not only a benefit taker from God. King David had a tender and grateful heart toward his Creator that endeared Him to God and to millions of believers to this day. David regularly expressed his thanks and praise to the King of Kings. We can learn much about from David’s excellent example. THINGS TO THANK GOD FOR partial list God’s righteousness and holiness—Psalm 7:17, 30:4, 48:10, 71:16, 24, 99:3 All God’s marvelous works—Psalm 9:1, 66:3-7, 71:16-17, 72:18, 92:4-6, 105:5, 111:2-4 Your body—Psalm 139:14-16 God’s guidance and instruction to you—Psalm 16:7, 48:14, 71:17 The hope God has given you—Psalm 16:9 Salvation—Psalm 16:9-11, 71:23, 92:1, 96:2 The joy God gives you in His presence—Psalm 16:11 God is great and worthy of praise—Psalm 18:3, 48:1, 96:4, 145:3 When you were in trouble, God heard your cries for help—Psalm 18:6, 22:24 Deliverance—Psalm 18:49, 54:7, 68:20 Mercy and kindness—117:2 , Psalm 18:49, 31:21, 57:10, 86:13, 100:5, 106:1, 108:4, 145:8-9 For not staying angry with us and not giving up on us—Psalm 30:5 God’s blessings and benefits—Psalm 68:19 God’s laws and commands—Psalm 19:7-8, 48:11, 112:1 God’s judgments and the warning they have provided to you—Psalm 19:9-11, 119:7, 119:164 God’s power—Psalm 21:13, 29:3-10 Faithfulness—71:22 For preserving our ancestors—Psalm 22:4-5 For the strength and confidence God gives you—Psalm 27:1-6, 28:7-8, 29:11, 56:4, 11, 138:3 For listening to your prayers—Psalm 28:6, 66:20, 116:1-2 God’s Word—Psalm 56:4, 56:10 For being truthful—Psalm 33:2, 57:10, 117:2 For filling Earth with His love and goodness—Psalm 33:5 Creation of the stars?—Psalm 19:1-4 God’s thoughts, many and deep—Psalm 139:17-18 WAYS TO THANK AND PRAISE GOD partial list Do it with your mouth, not just your mind—Psalm 51:15, 63:5, 66:8, 66:17, 71:8, 15, 24, 105:2, 109:30, 119:171-172, 145:21 Seek God, thirst for Him—Psalm 22:26, 42:2, 63:8, 105:4 Thank God continuously—Psalm 71:6, 8, 14-15, 75:9, 79:13, 92:1-2, 115:18, 145:2 Tell people about God’s wondrous works—Psalm 26:7, 96:3 Thank and praise God in front of your brothers and sisters in the congregation, among many people- Psalm 22:22, 25, 26:12, 35:18, 68:26, 111:1, 116:19 Among the unsaved of all nations, thank and praise God—Psalm 18:49, 57:9, 96:10, 108:3 Praise God to the next and all generations—79:13, 102:18, 145:4 Sing praises to God, sing with understanding, and make it glorious—Psalm 7:17, 47:7, 66:2, 66:4, 9:2, 27:6, 28:7, 57:9, 61:8, 63:7, 68:4, 32, 69:30, 71:22-23, 92:1, 96:2, 101:1, 104:33, 105:2, 135:3, 146:2 Even sing for joy in your bed Psalm 149:5 Do it with all your heart—Psalm 9:1, 86:12, 111:1, 138:1 Be glad and rejoice in God—Psalm 9:2 Fear God, honor Him, glorify Him, revere Him—Psalm 22:23 Love and respect God’s house—Psalm 26:8, 138:2 Don’t sin, seek righteousness—Psalm 33:1 Play musical instruments to praise God, and do it skillfully—Psalm 33:2-3, 43:4, 71:22, 92:3, 149:3, 150:3-5 Shout for joy, rejoice—Psalm 33:3 Be creative in your praise (write or sing God a NEW song, not always the same old one)—Psalm 33:3, 149:1 Stand in awe of Him—Psalm 33:8 Remember and praise God’s names—Psalm 44:8, 45:17, 54:6 Lift up your hands to Him—Psalm 63:4 Think about God at night—Psalm 63:6 Encourage other to praise and thank God—Psalm 67:3-5 Praise him with dancing—Psalm 150:3, 30:11, 149:3 After reading the Psalmists’ instruction, it would be wise to ask ourselves: Do our lives truly express thankfulness to God? Or are we numbered among those are living a life of ingratitude, failing to act like we understand who God really is and what he has done?

Monday, 26 December 2016

5 Ways to Find Your Hidden Talents

According to the dictionary, a talent is a natural endowment of a person. It is an ability or natural capacity that we have, which may range from our creativity to our athletic abilities. We all have them, but we are not always so good at identifying what they are. Sometimes they can be right in front of us, and we miss them. If you can determine what your talents are, you can tap into an amazing resource that can help you in every aspect of your life, including your business. Whether you are searching for the perfect type of business to open or you want to find ways to grow the one you have, you may find the answer in your personal talents. Ways to Discover Ask 10 people what their talents are and you are bound to get a variety of responses, many of which will include that they simply don’t know. How can that be, you ask? Because people are often too close to what is going on for them to notice their natural abilities. So these gems go unnoticed and untapped, for years! Finding your talent is actually much easier than you may realize. Here are 5 simple ways to find your hidden talents: Listen to others.  Those around you usually know what your talents are, even when you don’t. If you think about it, people have likely been telling you that you are good at something for a long time. You just weren’t listening. Now is the time to listen. Determine what is easy.  Are there things that you find really easy or obvious to do, while others may struggle or muddle their way through? If you have things that you find super easy, you believe that they should be just as easy, or obvious, for others, but that’s not how it plays out. In this scenario, they struggle while you stand there feeling like it was a cake walk! What you enjoy most.  Your talents may be demonstrating itself in other ways. Are there magazine topics that you just can’t get enough of? Are there shows you love? Think about what it is that you love to do most when you have free time. If you are drawn toward it, it is a natural talent. Shut up already.  Is there a specific subject that you love to talk about, often to the point that your friends want to shoot you? Consider the subject, perhaps it may be one of your hidden talents or is connected to one. Just ask.  Ask everyone you know that will give you an honest assessment about what they think your talents are. Ask them to ignore your bad habits and have them share the one or two things that they think you are hands down most talented at. Ask a lot of people who know you, but always ask them one-on-one. Compile the results and there is your hidden talent. Key Components When you know what your talents are, you feel more in tune with your life. You can also use those talents to excel in the business world. Whether you leverage those talents in your product or service, or you use them to network and make quality connections, they are important to know. When you capitalize on your talents, it no longer feels like work, it just feels like living. And anything that makes business and life more enjoyable is bound to be a good thing.   

Saturday, 24 December 2016

PRINCIPLES OF GIVING

Giving is one the principles of greatness. Givers never lack. Here comes the irony, the more you give the more you have, the less you don't give the less you have. Very often, people ask or wonder “what are the basic Biblical principles for Christian giving?” As we seek God’s answer to that question and as we contemplate our own giving to the Lord’s Church in response to the clear teaching of His Word, perhaps it would be wise and helpful to review those principles here. First, let us read the Word of God itself, without comment: Matthew 6:1-4 Beware of practicing your righteousness before men to be noticed by them; otherwise you have no reward with your Father who is in heaven. So when you give to the poor, do not sound a trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, so that they may be honored by men. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full. But when you give to the poor, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving will be in secret; and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you. 1 Corinthians 16:1-2 Now concerning the collection for the saints, as I directed the churches of Galatia, so do you also. On the first day of every week each one of you is to put aside and save, as he may prosper, so that no collections be made when I come. 2 Corinthians 8:9-15 For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sake He became poor, so that you through His poverty might become rich. I give my opinion in this matter, for this is to your advantage, who were the first to begin a year ago not only to do this, but also to desire to do it. But now finish doing it also, so that just as there was the readiness to desire it, so there may be also the completion of it by your ability. For if the readiness is present, it is acceptable according to what a person has, not according to what he does not have. For this is not for the ease of others and for your affliction, but by way of equality -- at this present time your abundance being a supply for their need, so that their abundance also may become a supply for your need, that there may be equality; as it is written, “HE WHO gathered MUCH DID NOT HAVE TOO MUCH, AND HE WHO gathered LITTLE HAD NO LACK.” 2 Corinthians 9:6-7 Now this I say, he who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. Each one must do just as he has purposed in his heart, not grudgingly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. In our review of these four New Testament passages, we find at least ten principles for Christian giving. The Lord Jesus expects and requires us to give. Jesus said to His disciples, “when you give” not “if you give” (Matthew 6:2)! Hence, Christian giving is not optional, but rather essential. We often hear folks say: “in the Old Testament they had to give, but not in the New -- now we only give if we want to.” This is clearly not Jesus’ teaching. He expected all His followers to be givers. Christians will give. Are you giving?   The Lord Jesus wants us to give for the right reasons. Jesus warned His disciples not to give for the sake of being admired by men. “Beware of practicing your righteousness before men to be noticed by them,” He said (Matthew 6:1). When we give, we must be careful to examine our motives. We ought to give for the glory of God and the good of His people. We must desire His approval of our giving, rather than the praise and admiration of people. Are you giving for God’s praise or man’s?   The Lord Jesus wants us to practice benevolent or charitable giving. Jesus said “When you give to the poor . . . .” (Matthew 6:2,3). Jesus is specifically teaching about “alms” in this passage: aid, charity, or benevolent offerings for the needy. Do you give amply enough to the Church that she can be generous in benevolent giving?   The Lord Jesus reminds us that our giving is ultimately to the all-seeing heavenly Father. Jesus said “When you give  . . . ; your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you” (Matthew 6:3-4). When we give, we are not simply adding to the Church budget, we are giving up a thank offering to the Father Himself. Thus, we must all give “as unto the Lord.” Our ultimate goal in giving is to please Him. Are you conscious of the fact that your giving is to the Lord and seen by the Lord?   The Bible teaches that Christian giving is an act of worship. In connection with the previous point, we see this truth stressed in another way in Paul’s word’s “On the first day of every week each one of you is to put aside and save” (1 Corinthians 16:2). Paul here teaches the Corinthians that their taking up of the collection is an act of worship which is to be a part of their regular Lord’s Day worship. When we put our money in the plate, we are worshiping Almighty God in accordance with His Word. Note well, Paul is speaking here of a “collection for the saints” –  this is giving by the Church to the Church for the Church. Did you realize that giving is a part of worship? Is your worship in this area abundant or inhibited? Is giving to the Church a priority with you?   The Bible teaches that Christian giving should be done in light of the incarnation. Many Christians argue about whether the tithe (10% of our income) is still the standard for our giving to the Church (disputants usually want to show that less than 10% is fine). Paul scuttles the whole debate in one verse. He says: “For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sake He became poor, so that you through His poverty might become rich” (2 Corinthians 8:9). Christ’s self-giving is now the standard for our giving! We begin from the base of the tithe and aim for emulation of His self-sacrifice. Our giving is to be inspired and instructed by Christ’s inexpressible gift. In light of such a challenge, who could possibly satisfy himself with asking “how little a percentage is acceptable for me to give?” Do you try to get by with giving as little as possible to the Lord, or do you give in view of the Lord’s costly sacrifice?   The Bible teaches that Christian giving should be done in accordance with our means. Paul is quite clear on this: “For if the readiness is present, it is acceptable according to what a person has, not according to what he does not have” (2 Corinthians 8:12). Put another way Paul is saying that you should give in proportion to what God has given you. He said it this way in 1 Corinthians 16:2, “each one of you is to put aside and save, as he may prosper.” This means at least two things: (1) since we are all supposed to give proportionately, those who have more money are expected to give more [we who are particularly blessed materially must remember this], and (2) the Lord never asks us to give what we do not have, or contribute beyond our means. Are you really giving in proportion to the material blessings that the Lord has given you?   The Bible teaches that the liberality of God’s blessings to us is connected to the liberality of our Christian giving. Though it may seem strange, both Jesus and Paul emphasize that there is a relation between our giving to the Lord and the Lord’s giving to us. As Paul says in 2 Corinthians 9:6 “Now this I say, he who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully.” About this matter J.A. Beet once said: “They who in giving think, not how little they can give, as they would if self-enrichment were the aim, but of benefits to be conferred, will receive back on the same principle. As they do to others, so God will act to them.” Jesus reminds us of this in Matthew 6:4, where He teaches that our reward in giving comes from our heavenly Father. As someone once said: “The desire to be generous and the means to be generous both come from God.” Do you realize that the Lord has given you much, so that you can give much?   The Bible teaches that Christian giving must be willing giving, free giving. We learn this in 2 Corinthians 9:7 “Each one must do just as he has purposed in his heart, not grudgingly or under compulsion.” But doesn’t this contradict what we learned under the first principle, that Christian giving is not optional? The answer is, of course, no. True Christian giving is both mandatory and voluntary. It is required by God, but always willingly given by the believer. Is your giving to the Church something you do wholeheartedly, or indifferently, or grudgingly?   The Bible teaches that Christian giving ought to be cheerful  giving. As Paul says “God loves a cheerful giver.” This is a truly amazing assertion. Paul assures us here that the Lord takes a special delight in those who are joyful, energetic, merry givers. Is there joy in your heart as you give? Can you truly be characterized as a “cheerful giver?” We have not come close to reaching our potential for giving. Won’t you pray that we will give as we ought? That we will give for the right motives? That we will give joyously? And that we will give extravagantly?

Friday, 23 December 2016

LIBERTY

Let me start with two questions: Who are the captives that are bound? And what is the nature of their captivity? I would like to consider with you four types of captivity. First is the captivity of physical death that comes to all as a result of the Fall of Adam (see 1 Corinthians 15:21–22). The second is the captivity we experience because of the actions of others or social circumstances. The third is the captivity of physical infirmities. Finally, there is the captivity we bring upon ourselves by our own choices and attitudes. Liberty comes through deliverance and holiness. Get ready to discover how to receive all that God has provided for you—not through your own strength or wiles, but through the path outlined in Scripture. Jesus of Nazareth took himself from the wilderness of Judea to his boyhood home in Nazareth. There, “as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and stood up for to read” (Luke 4:16). He was given the scrolls containing the book of Isaiah and read from the sixty-first chapter, “The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound; to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord” (Isaiah 61:1–2; see also Luke 4:18–19).   Everyone in the room knew that this scripture referred to the eagerly anticipated Messiah. They also knew that when Jesus sat down after reading the scripture, he signaled that he was now going to give commentary on the passage he had read. [1] His next words stunned them: “This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears” (Luke 4:21). In this brief moment in a small, inconspicuous synagogue in the dusty rural hamlet of Nazareth, Jesus calmly and succinctly announced who he was and what he had been sent by his Father to do. Isaiah foretold the great sacrifice of the Atonement, prophesying, “Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him, and with his stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way. Heavenly choirs of angels announced at his birth, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men” (Luke 2:14). Christ’s invitation to all was “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light” (Matthew 11:28–30).

Saturday, 17 December 2016

DO YOU HEAR HIM?

God speaks and can never cease to do. He created the cosmos and universe through words. He said " Let there be .......". After God created Adam, He spoke to him, " And God said, it was not good for man to be alone...." ( Gen2:18). So, Adam was ever first to hear the voice of God.One of the greatest benefits of our salvation has to be that of hearing God speak to us personally. There can be no intimate relationship with our heavenly Father without it. But, as easy as it is for us to speak to Him, the average Christian has a hard time hearing His voice. This is not the way the Lord intended it to be. Learning to clearly distinguish God’s voice is invaluable. Instead of going through life blindly, we can have the wisdom of God guide and protect us. There isn’t a single person receiving this letter who couldn’t have their life radically transformed by hearing the voice of the Lord better. The worst marital problem is one word from the Lord away from a total turnaround. If you have sickness or disease, one living word from the Lord will instantly heal you. If you are in financial crisis, the Lord knows exactly how to turn your situation around. It’s just a matter of hearing His voice. The Lord constantly speaks to us and gives us His direction. It’s never the Lord who is not speaking, but it’s us who are not hearing. Jesus made some radical statements about hearing His voice in John 10:3-5. He was speaking about Himself as the Shepherd of the sheep and the only way to enter the sheepfold. “To him the porter openeth; and the sheep hear his voice; and he calleth his own sheep by name, and leadeth them out. And when he putteth forth his own sheep, he goeth before them, and the sheep follow him: for they know his voice. And a stranger will they not follow, but will flee from him: for they know not the voice of strangers.” Notice that He said in verse 3, His sheep hear His voice. He didn’t say His sheep CAN hear His voice or SHOULD hear His voice. He made the emphatic statement that His sheep DO hear His voice. Most Christians would question the accuracy of that statement since their experiences don’t line up. But it’s not what Jesus said that is wrong; all true believers can and do hear the voice of God; they just don’t recognize what they are hearing as being God’s voice. Radio and television stations transmit twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week; but we only hear them when we turn the receiver on and tune it in. Failure to hear the signal doesn’t mean the station isn’t transmitting. Likewise, God is constantly transmitting His voice to His sheep, but few are turned on and tuned in. Most Christians are busy pleading with God in prayer to transmit when the problem is with their receivers. The first thing we need to do is fix our receivers — believe that God is already speaking and start listening. However, that takes time, effort, and focus. The average Christian’s lifestyle is so busy, it isn’t conducive to hearing God’s voice. For instance, what is your typical answer to the question, “How are you?” Many of you probably answer something about being very busy. I often say, “I’m busier than a one-arm paper hanger.” All of us seem to be busier than ever, and that’s one of the BIG reasons we don’t hear the voice of the Lord better. We’re just too busy. Psalm 46:10 says, “Be still, and know that I am God.” It’s in stillness, not busyness, that we tune our spiritual ears to hear the voice of God. The Lord always speaks to us in that “STILL, small voice” (1 Kings 19:12, emphasis mine), but often it’s drowned out amid all the turmoil of our daily lives. Second, and this is very important, most often we mistake the voice of the Lord for our own thoughts. That’s right. I said the voice of the Lord comes to us in our own thoughts. John 4:24 says, “God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.” This is saying that communication with God is Spirit to spirit, not brain to brain or mouth to ear, the way we communicate in the physical realm. The Lord speaks to our spirits, not in words, but in thoughts and impressions. Then our spirits speak to us in words like, “I think the Lord wants me to do this or that.” The Lord doesn’t typically say “You do this or that,” but He will impress your spirit to do something, and then your spirit says, “I think I should do . . .” Therefore, we often miss the leading of the Lord, thinking it’s our own thoughts.

Friday, 16 December 2016

8 PRINCIPLES TO KNOW THE WILL OF GOD

When I was a teen man, I seemed to continually wrestle with knowing God’s will for my life. I wanted more than anything to follow His plan. Interestingly, I still wrestle with doing His will in my life. I have come to learn that this is not just something that a young person does early in life; it is a lifelong pursuit in order to stay in the exact center of His plan. So, here comes 8 keys to know the will of God, they are: 1) Walk with God. For starters, if you are interested in knowing God’s plan for your life, then you must learn to walk with God. You need to develop a relationship with Him. Christianity is all about relationship rather than just religion. And so you must cultivate your relationship with God. You must seek to know Him and not just seek to know about Him. You will cultivate that relationship best by spending time in His Word, taking time for prayer, and taking every opportunity you can to be involved in church and small group Bible study opportunities. When you seek these disciplines in your life, God will begin the first steps to revealing His plan to you. Proverbs 3:5-6 5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; 6 In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths. 2) Surrender your will to God’s. Many times when we say we are seeking God’s will, what we are really wanting to say to God is this: “OK, God, here’s what I’m planning to do. Now I need you to rubber stamp this, all right?” I must tell you that this is not really effective in finding His true will. Before God will begin to reveal His will to you, you must be committed to doing whatever it is that He desires for you to do. God will likely be slow to show you His plan if He knows you will likely not do that plan anyway. Romans 12:1-2 1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. 2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. Jesus was willing to die for us, so shouldn’t we be willing to live for Him? When we surrender to Him, that is when He really begins to direct our steps. 3) Obey what you already know to be God’s Will. Many people seem to want to know what God’s plan is for their lives, but they overlook the fact that 98% of His will is already delineated carefully through His Word. God is very clear about many, many aspects of His will. For instance, it is clearly His plan that we abstain from sexual immorality (1 Thessalonians 4:3). If we do not obey the things that God has shown us clearly to be His will, why would we think He would reveal any further information regarding His plan for our lives? Obedience is an important first step. 4) Seek godly input. One key component to finding God’s will is to seek the input of godly advisors in your life. If you don’t currently have 3-4 godly mentors, then I would highly recommend that you seek them out right away. Think of it this way: you should understand that you are basically a composite of the five people you spend the most time with. So, then, it is vital that you choose those five people well. If you choose to surround yourself with godly advisors, they will be instrumental in helping you discern God’s plan for your life. But if you surround yourself with people who are far from God, your hope of finding His best for your life will be greatly diminished. Proverbs 11:14 Where there is no counsel, the people fall; but in the multitude of counselors there is safety. The church is designed to help you greatly with this. I would encourage you to be in church every single time the doors are opened. The more you involve yourself with a community of believers, the greater your chances will be of finding godly men and women who can help you discern God’s will. 5) Pay attention to how God has wired you. God has created you to fulfill a specific role in this world. There is no one else who can achieve completely what God has purposely created you to do. The Apostle Peter gives us this admonition: 1 Peter 4:10 As each one has received a gift, minister it to one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God. God has gifted every one of us to perform a special mission for which we alone were created. How amazing is that? Wow! So, when you seek to discover God’s will for your life, pay attention to how He has gifted you. His plan for you will always be directly related to the gifts that He has bestowed upon you. The great news is that you will automatically be good at whatever it is that He has called you to do! 6) Listen to God’s Spirit. I experienced a major turning point in my own prayer life when I learned simply to shut up while I was praying. That may sound odd to you, and it seemed odd to me at first. You see, I used to do all the talking when I prayed to God. But then, several years ago, I read Bill Hybel’s book, Too Busy Not to Pray. That book completely changed the way I approached God through prayer. Since reading that book, I have added a significant component to my prayer life: listening. I take time to listen to what God might have to say to me. Practically, the way I go about this is to bring a notepad with me when I sit down to pray. Then I write at the top of several pages things like the following: “What is the next step in my career?” “What is the next step in my ministry?” “What is the next step for my family?” “What is the next step for my marriage?” “What is the next step in my education?” “What is the next step in my finances?” During my prayer time, I meditate on questions such as the above. Often, God will start flooding my heart with ideas and information regarding one or more of those questions. I write as fast as I can as He speaks to my heart. What a glorious experience that is to sense His Spirit on me, guiding my thoughts and words. Through experiences like this, He has shown me many times with great clarity what His will is for my life. I long for those experiences when He speaks to me like that. Those times are truly life changing. John 10:27 My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. 7) Listen to your heart. In addition to listening to the Spirit, I also recommend listening to your heart. To understand my point here, consider the following passage: Psalms 37:4-5 4 Delight yourself also in the LORD, and He shall give you the desires of your heart. 5 Commit your way to the LORD, trust also in Him, and He shall bring it to pass. (NKJV) I love this passage, because it shows me that, when I am walking with the Lord, He will actually let me do many really cool things that I actually love to do! When you are close to Him, He actually begins to shape your desires so that you desire the things that He has already called you to do. So then, His plan actually becomes a super-exciting adventure. I always have the most fun in life when I am doing God’s will. And that is because He shapes my “wanter” to want to do the things for which He has actually created me. 8) Take a look at your circumstances. God often clearly demonstrates His plan for our lives by lining up circumstances in obvious ways. And He also shows us what His will is NOT for us to do in that same way. It is not His will for you to take the job that is not offered to you. If you are 5’ 6” tall and weigh 125 lbs., it is not likely that God has created you to play professional football. Over the years, I have discovered that God is pretty good at opening and closing doors. He even did that for the Apostle Paul and his enterouge in Acts. Take a look at this passage: Acts 16:6-10 6 Now when they had gone through Phrygia and the region of Galatia, they were forbidden by the Holy Spirit to preach the word in Asia. 7 After they had come to Mysia, they tried to go into Bithynia, but the Spirit did not permit them. 8 So passing by Mysia, they came down to Troas. 9 And a vision appeared to Paul in the night. A man of Macedonia stood and pleaded with him, saying, “Come over to Macedonia and help us.” 10 Now after he had seen the vision, immediately we sought to go to Macedonia, concluding that the Lord had called us to preach the gospel to them. So, even Paul had to face closed doors in his ministry. God often uses closed doors to show us clearly what He does NOT want us to do. And He also uses open doors at times to show us what He DOES want us to do. Of course, this does not mean that every open door is definitely God’s plan, but it does help to give you some basic direction. A Closing Thought: The next time you begin to ponder God’s plan for your life, I would encourage you to mull over the above eight keys. Use these principles to help you to hone in on His plan. And when you seek His will earnestly, you will find it!

Wednesday, 14 December 2016

Friendship Qualities

  • A true friend may have many different good qualities, but the basic qualities that all good friends share with one another are the most important. Although true friendships can begin very quickly, they do take time to build into lasting and valuable relationships. Many people have said good friends are hard to find and even harder to keep, but everyone needs good friends even if they are far and few between. A true friend can have many different good qualities, but the qualities that add up to true friendship may be the most important. If you have a few good friends, you are lucky, and if you take a closer look at the qualities that your friends have that make them true pals you will find that they share an essential group of traits, values and beliefs that all add up to honesty and good character. People can have many good qualities, but the traits that your true friends have are all tied together by a core of basic qualities that all good friends share with one another. Listed here are some of the most essential qualities that a person needs to have in order to qualify as a true friend: Loyalty – Loyalty is a quality that everyone looks for in a friend. A loyal friend will stick with you no matter what the situation is and you can always count on them being on your side. Intelligence – Being a good friend involves being aware of your needs and recognizing your values, and when a person is ignorant and uncaring, it is hard to consider them as a friend. Sensitivity – Sensitive people make good friends because they often see life on their own terms which allows them to understand the thoughts and feeling of others. Humor – Life is better when approached with a good sense of humor and people that are happy and outgoing are a lot more fun to be around than someone who is depressed, moody and sees the empty half of the glass all the time. Honesty – Honesty may be the most important quality for friendship as it is difficult to befriend anyone who tells you lies and can’t be trusted. If you can trust someone to do the right thing in all situations and they are not tempted by temporary gain, it’s a good bet they will make a lasting friend. Listening – If someone just doesn’t “hear” what you’re saying when you confide in them, they won’t make a very good friend. Communication is a two-way street and being a good listener is one half of the equation. Supportive – A good friend will be supportive of you and your goals, and they will act accordingly. A true friend will help you become the person you want to be and know how to help you handle problems. Generosity – A good friend is openly generous in personality and character. They will be generous with both their time and their money, and they won’t hesitate to help you when needed.

Sunday, 11 December 2016

WHO HAS THE FINAL SAY?

There are times when we find ourselves in situations that are not convenient; we find ourselves in moment of sorrow, disappointments, discouragement and despair. Many of these times it is due to some utterances; some words of information; some words of facts; some words of reality. Thought bad situation is real, factual and visually clearly seen, but it is not final. Many at times these negative situations are diagnosed and revealed by very professional experienced expert; the main reason why the situation seems like it is final. But hear this; they do not have the Final Say; Jehovah Has the Final Say!!! "Who is he that saith, and it cometh to pass, when the Lord commandeth it not?" {Lamentations 3:37} There is this song which we usually sing; it goes like this รจ “Who has the final say, Jehovah, has the final say. Jehovah Turns My Life Around (*2). He has made a way, where there is no way, Jehovah has The Final Say” Many people sing this song but the song does not minister to our spirit permanently; it is a powerful song of Truth. The truth of the matter is this: only God has the FINAL say. Not man. No human. Only God. People can say whatever they want about you, even ‘prophesy’ from today till tomorrow…yes God uses people but God has the final word. Even preachers can throw confusion in your midst (some carelessly, unknowingly or selfishly). Some distort the truth to draw a following (Acts 20:30). WHEN YOU KNOW GOD’S WORD FOR YOURSELF, NOBODY CAN DECEIVE YOU. Whatever you do, make sure you get your instructions from headquarters – GOD, the Author and Finisher of our faith, the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. What else do you need to know?  “God has the last word” (Proverbs 16:1).

Monday, 28 November 2016

THE SIX-FOLD SECRET OF A POSITIVE CONFESSION

  • God deals with us on the basis of what we say or confess,according to Matthew 12:34-37. In Mark 11:23 Jesus promises us that we shall receive whatsoever we say.We are informed in Romans 10:10 that confession is the means by which we obtain possession of what we  believe,while Proverbs 18:21 declares that "death and life are in the power of the tongue." The secret of a positive confession is six-fold: 1.)First,you must set a watch on your lips,and guard your mind. If we expect to walk in health,prosperity,and victory,then we must,first of all,pray like  David did:"Set a watch,O Lord,before my mouth;keep the door of my lips"(Psa.141:3),confessing to The Lord,"I will take heed to my ways,that I sin not with my tongue:I will keep my mouth  with a bridle"(Psa.39:1). In order to develop a positive confession it is necessary to see that we must first learn how  to be quiet,before we attempt to learn how to speak effectively. As infants we struggled,slowly learning how to speak;moreover,we have spent years developing  our vocabulary,only to discover that much of what we have learned must be unlearned,as it is  a primary cause for much of our problems and failure.The Lord admonishes us to stop confessing  our doubts,symptoms,and fears,as well as our uncertainties,and to "be still and know that I am  God"(Psa.46:10).In Ecclesiastes 5:2 He warns us:"Be not rash with thy mouth,and let not thine  heart be hasty to utter anything before God...therefore let thy words be few." A positive confession begins with a sanctified silence.Learning how to be quiet,and speaking  only those things which edify both ourselves and others is the secret of positive confession. Guard your heart and mind,for this is the place the enemy usually attempts to work,as he knows  you will generally confess what you think and believe,for "...out of the abundance of the  heart the mouth speaks." 2.)Never confess doubt,nor anything of a negative nature. Never confess symptoms--confess the Word,and resist symptoms just as you would any temptation  from satan. Develop a vocabulary of faith from God's Word. You must refuse,moreover,to listen to the doubts of others,as this can adversely affect your  own confession of faith. 3.)Harmonize your confession with God's. Bring your confession into harmony,not with what you feel or see,not with what others may say, nor with what the circumstances might appear to be,but into agreement with the Word of God. Study,and then begin to confess the Promises of such Scriptures as,for example:Exodus 15:26; Psalm 37:91;103:1-5;121;Matthew 6:33;18:19;21:22;Mark 11:22-24;Romans 8:28;I Corinthians 3:21-22;II Corinthians 1:20;Philippians 4:13,19;Hebrews 13:6;James 1:2-4;and III John 2. God's answers always keep pace with your confession. 4.)Confess victory before you see it. Gideon and his small band of 300 men shouted the victory beforehand,and as a result the enemy  became so frightened that the Midianites destroyed one another in their confusion. The Israelites did not wait until the walls of Jericho began to crumble,before believing that God had given the city into their hands,but they shouted the walls down by faith. Apostle Paul tells us in Hebrews 11:1 that "faith is the evidence of things not seen." Faith is not sight.Faith can only operate in the realm of the invisible. We are never to depend upon feelings or appearances,for satan works through the realm of the  senses,and can manipulate the feelings with symptoms and pains,and can also deceive by what  appears to be true to our sight. Appearance can deceive. Faith is confessing the victory ahead of time. 5.)Hold fast to your confession of faith without wavering. When you claim healing,you have thereby challenged satan's right to oppress you.You have,as it  were,entered his domain,and a battle often ensues. When satan discovers you have learned the secret of using God's Word to overcome him (Rev.12:11),he will eventually be forced to release his hold on you,or on your circumstances.But often he will not withdraw until he has exhausted his resources in attempt to break your confession of faith in the integrity of the Word of God.The devil trys to implant fear and doubt into your  mind to confuse you;at times he will cause persecution to come upon you for your faith;on  occasion he will try to oppress with new symptoms and pain,or cause the ailment to appear to  return;he trys to surround you with contradictory advice from friends,or will cause your family  to think that you have become a religious fanatic because of your stand on the Word.But he knows that your confession and integrity,if well maintained without wavering,will ultimately defeat  him and his work in your life;therefore,"let us hold fast the confession of our faith without  wavering;for He is faithful that promised",and "cast not away therefore your confidence,which  has great recompence of reward.For you have need of patience,that,after you have done the Will  of God,you may receive the Promise"(Heb.10:23,35-36). 6.)If satan tempts you to doubt,boldly take the initiative away from him. As we have seen,frequently after claiming some Promise in God's Word,satan will challenge your  decision,and you may find yourself undergoing a period of trial.In such instances,a bold  reaffirmation of your faith in God's Word when tempted to doubt will generally kill doubt at  the roots. It is also necessary many times,especially during a period of trial,to take offensive measures  against the powers of darkness.There will be times when you must boldly move deeper into satan's territory by faith when he challenges your confession.When Goliath threatened David,saying,"I will  give your flesh unto the fowls of the air,and to the beasts of the field,"David immediately  replied,"And I will smite you,and take your head from you!"When the giant then rose and drew  near to meet him,instead of retreating in fear,we are told that,"David hasted,and ran toward  the army to meet the Philistine"(I Sam.17:44f). When satan advances one step against you in an effort to break your confession of faith--resist  him in faith,and boldly advance two steps against him,and the Scriptures assure you that "he will flee from you." A bold step of faith when tempted to doubt is one of the most effective strategies and weapons  that the believer possesses against satan,for it takes the initiative away from him and keeps  you in control of the situation. If Christians could be made to realize just how much of their own illness,depression,problems, and defeat stem from emotional stress resulting from wrong attitudes and thoughts,as well as  from negative statements concerning these matters,they would never again allow such attitudes  and expressions to rob them of their health,joy,peace,and victory,but would begin each day with  a positive expectation,confessing:    This is the day that The Lord has made;    I will rejoice and be glad in it. It was because of the Apostle Paul's positive attitude and his positive confession that he was  able to keep his courage and walk in victory through all his many hardships and trials. His positive mental attitude and victorious confession are an inspiration to all. Instead of taking his trials,persecutions,and hardships to heart and grieving or complaining  over them,he joyfully confessed:    "We are troubled on every side,yet not distressed;we are perplexed,     but not in despair;persecuted,but not forsaken;cast down,but not      destroyed;always bearing about in the body the dying of The Lord      Jesus,that the life also of Jesus might be manifest in our body."                                                                                 II Corinthians 4:8-10 His Life and Resurrection Power are released in us through positive thinking and through a  positive confession.

Saturday, 26 November 2016

ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE TO HIM WHO BELIEVES

A father was questioning Jesus’ ability to cast a demon out of his child when Jesus responded with the following statement: And Jesus said to him, “If you can?! All things are possible to him who believes.” Mark 9:23 What is meant by the words, ‘All things are possible’? What exactly are included in the ‘all things’? God’s ‘All things’ – God Has No Limitations And looking at {them} Jesus said to them, “With people this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” Matthew 19:26 Looking at them, Jesus said, “With people it is impossible, but not with God; for all things are possible with God.” Mark 10:27 And He was saying, “Abba! Father! All things are possible for You; remove this cup from Me; yet not what I will, but what You will.” Mark 14:36 “For nothing will be impossible with God.” Luke 1:37 Man’s ‘All things’ – Are Determined By What We Can Believe Each time ‘all things’ is mentioned concerning man, a qualifier of belief is added. And, all things, whatsoever you shall ask in prayer, believing, you shall receive. Matthew 21:22 “…. All things are possible to him who believes. Mark 9:23 The ‘all things’ is limited to only those items that can be believed. Jesus is saying, “If you can believe it, then it is possible.” The limitation is on our believing. Over-and-over again, the Gospels communicate a simple concept – ‘There are no limitations with God, and the limitations that man received in the Great Fall are neutralized by his faith in God.’ In effect, faith in the ‘God of no limitations’ takes away the limitations of man. This is not elevating man, it is elevating the blessing of God upon man. The source of the power is not man but rather faith in God – “If you can believe it, it will happen.” God is saying, “I have no limitations, if you can believe in me, I can do it.” That is what is meant by walking in God’s authority. Authority is the authorized use of someone else’s power. In this case, it is us walking in God’s power (Ephesians 1:19, 20). What ‘Things’ Can We Believe? This begs the question – For what can we believe? Can we believe for ‘all things?’ No, for if we could, then we would be like God. We would be able to have ‘all things.’ Jesus did not say, “It is possible to believe for all things,” but rather, He said, “All things that are believed are possible.” There is a huge difference between the two wordings. The inclusiveness is determined not by a definition of ‘all things,’ but rather on the extent of our possible faith. This makes sense if you understand that faith in God is based solely on items granted to us by His word. The ‘all things’ are determined by the ‘things’ promised in His word. We Can Believe Only What the Word Says We Can Believe Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may know the things freely given to us by God, I Corinthians 2:12 So, for man, ‘all things’ equals – God’s promises that are believed. The difficulty then is not with God, but it is with us, our getting to a place of faith. Faith is the God sanctioned ability for man to trust what God can and will do. It is trusting His faithfulness and His character. ..and being fully assured that what God had promised, He was able also to perform. Romans 4:21 Only faith is able to grasp the reality of the possible in the face of the impossible. Only faith has the power to move seemingly impossible mountains. Only faith has the ability to look directly at an impossible situation and know that it will change. Abraham had a clear understanding of how impossible his situation was. Both he and Sarah were way past the age of bearing a child, but God had promised that they would. In Abraham’s heart, the reality of God’s promise was more real that the facts about their situation. He did not ignore the facts, but rather he considered the facts as temporary and God’s promise as permanent and real. Only a heart filled with faith can face the impossible and still know that God can change it. Read how Abraham had sufficient faith to look directly at the impossible and yet be fully persuaded that God was able to perform what He had promised. (As it is written, I have made thee a father of many nations,) in the presence of Him whom he believed, even God, who quickens the dead, and calls those things which be not as though they were. Who against hope believed in hope, that he might become the father of many nations, according to that which was spoken, So shall thy seed be. And being not weak in faith, he considered not his own body now dead, when he was about an hundred years old, neither yet the deadness of Sara’s womb: He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God; And being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform. Romans 4:17-21 Faith is not ignoring the problem. Faith is the tangible knowing that God is bigger than the problem, and that He is willing and able to help. Acknowledging the problem is the first step in obtaining faith. Faith has the courage to look at what currently is and still know what will be. Faith ‘calls those things which be not as though they were’. This is the creative power of faith. It brings the power and presence of God into any situation. Denial, on the other hand, ‘calls those things which be as though they are not’. This is not creatively running to the issue with the power of God. This is running from the issue with the weakness of man. Run to the roar with the faith of God. He can change any situation. How then do you receive this faith? By running to the Word of God, and by seeking Him till you get the answer. When faith comes, so comes the answer and the victory. The Bible says that, ‘Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the (spoken personal) word of God’. Seek Him till you hear Him. You are literally one hearing away from victory in any seemingly impossible situation. Faith is the tangible knowing that God is bigger than the problem, and that He is willing and able to help. Search the Word and find out for yourself what is available for you to trust in and believe for. His promises are His will. Find them out, meet their conditions, hear His voice, and glorify His name. Let me say this again – Search the scriptures, meet their conditions, hear His voice, act in faith, and glorify His name. All things written therein are possible for him who believes. The ‘all things’ = God’s promises that are believed.

Tuesday, 22 November 2016

YOU ARE LIGHT TO SHINE



  • What does it mean to shine? Do all things without grumbling or disputing, that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, holding fast to the word of life, so that in the day of Christ I may be proud that I did not run in vain or labor in vain. —Philippians 2:14-16, ESV (emphasis added) In the Gospel of John, Jesus is called “the true light, which gives light to everyone” (John 1:9). Throughout the New Testament, the followers of Jesus are called to be lights in the darkness. So, what does it mean to shine? It means: Being counter-cultural. We live in a dark world, full of lies, hate and confusion. But God’s Word tells us to “cast off the works of darkness and put on the armor of light” (Romans 13:12). While others are chasing after physical pleasures and selfish gain, we’re commanded to live a different way—to “put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires” (Romans 13:14). Putting yourself out there. Jesus said, “Let your light shine before others” (Matthew 5:16a). He explained that no one lights a lamp just to hide it under a basket. A lamp is meant to be placed on a stand to give light to everything around it. Whether you’re timid or outgoing, you’re called to be a light to the people around you. That’s only possible if you’re taking time to interact with people and cultivate relationships. Are you the shy type? Here’s some guidance. Always pointing back to the light source. When Jesus said, “Let your light shine before others,” that wasn’t the whole sentence. He went on to give the reason why it’s important to shine: “so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven” (Matthew 5:16b). Our goal should never be to bring recognition to ourselves, but to bring glory to God. There’s a fine line between being a light and putting on a show to get attention. It’s a matter of the heart. What keeps you from shining? Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? –Matthew 7:3, ESV It’s easy to see the shine of a new diamond ring from across the room. But over time, that shine can dull as dust collects on it. In the same way, sin can dull our shine as lights for Jesus Christ. Our lives which once sparkled with the joy of Christ can become clouded with a love for things of this world. Before you can be a light to others, take a look at your own life. Has sin dulled the evidence of Christ in you? Maybe it’s time to stop, take a moment and ask God to reveal any sins you might be ignoring. If there’s a sin you repeatedly struggle with, write it down and pray over it continually. Ask God for His forgiveness and help in changing your heart. We’ll never be perfect, but we need to address our sin—partly because it impacts others. So how exactly do you shine? Do not be conformed to this world … —Romans 12:2a, ESV “Being a light” sounds great, doesn’t it? But it’s also a little abstract. How exactly do you become this brilliant beacon to people around you? Here are 4 practical tips: Be careful what you say. The Bible calls the tongue “a restless evil, full of deadly poison” (James 3:8). Yikes! That’s pretty serious. And that’s how we should take our speech—seriously. Maybe a parent once told you, “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.” It’s not bad advice, even as an adult. Words are powerful and can be used for good or bad. You might even post this verse somewhere as a reminder: “Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear” (Ephesians 4:29). Read How to Tame the Tongue. Consider your entertainment. Where do you go for fun? What shows or movies do you watch? What kind of music do you listen to? Would you go to the same places, watch the same things or listen to the same music if Jesus were sitting next to you? Or would you be embarrassed? It might sound silly, but asking those questions is a good way to keep yourself in check, whether you’re alone or with others. Use social media wisely. People are watching what you post, whether they interact with your posts or not. Think about the things you’ve posted recently—articles, comments, photos and so on. Could they be seen as prideful? Self-centered? Rude? What’s your motive? To put others down or make them jealous? Hopefully not. Aim to make informed, respectful posts that represent the One you claim as Lord. Think of others. Consider other people’s needs and help meet them. Encourage instead of criticize. Be patient. Give others the benefit of the doubt. If you hear gossip, distance yourself from it or change the subject. When you encounter a difficult person, remember that they were made and are loved by God. Above all, “Treat others the same way you want them to treat you” (Luke 6:31).


Sunday, 20 November 2016

CLOSE TO GOD

If God responded supernaturally to Moses, Solomon and Elijah, we can expect Him to respond supernaturally to us. I have often said, "The only thing unchangeable in this world is the God who said, 'I am the Lord; I do not change' (Mal. 3:6)." Everything else is subject to change, especially when God's people pray in faith and the Almighty responds. Don't minimize yourself. Elijah was a man who faced temptations and human frailties like the rest of us, but he walked in the supernatural. In fact, God was so appreciative of Elijah that when Elijah finished his time in this world, God carried him supernaturally to heaven in a chariot of fire. How did he become such a history maker and world changer? The biblical explanation is, "He prayed" (James 5:17). Other people in the past have prayed with such power that the world was changed forever, including the following intercessors. Abel—Drawing Heaven to Earth After the insurrection in Eden, spiritual darkness settled on the world like a thick, impenetrable fog—that is, until Abel, attempting to offer God true worship, presented a lamb without blemish as a burnt offering to God on an altar. As far as we know, his was a wordless prayer, yet that sacrificed animal, consumed with fire, was a prophetic statement representing Abel's desire to present his life as a sacrifice to God and to be consumed with on-fire devotion to Him. The Most High honored his faith, and "Abel ... was approved as righteous, with God testifying concerning his gifts" (Heb. 11:4). By faith, Abel offered to God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain offered. Through this, he still speaks through his faith, though he is dead. What was this "witness"? We don't know for sure, but supernatural fire quite possibly fell from heaven and consumed Abel's sacrifice, since that happened later when God found a sacrifice acceptable (1 Kings 18:38; 2 Chr. 7:1; Lev. 9:24). Whatever took place, there must have been shrieks of terror among the evil principalities that thought they had erected an impassable barrier of satanic control in this fallen world. But God responded to Abel's prayer, the spiritual wall was breached, and a stream of blessing began flowing downward. Like a barely burning ember coming back to life, renewed hope started glowing in this world from that moment forward. Things may look impossible for you now, but don't you think they looked even more impossible then? Yet one praying person made the difference. Noah—Lifting a Curse After the flood was over, Noah's family and all the animals exited the ark. Genesis 8:20-21 says, "Then Noah built an altar to the Lord and took of every clean animal and of every clean bird and offered burnt offerings on the altar. The Lord smelled a soothing aroma; and the Lord said in His heart, 'I will never again curse the ground because of man, for the inclination of man's heart is evil from his youth, nor will I again destroy every living thing as I have done.'" Another wordless prayer had profound global impact. It seems that up until that time, it was almost impossible to grow any kind of substantial crop. Gripped with a suffocating curse, the ground primarily brought forth "thorns and thistles" (Gen. 3:18). Once again, though, a single individual touched the heart of God with his worship, and this time, a debilitating curse was lifted from nature. Prior to the flood, there had been only a mist rising up from the ground (Gen. 2:5-6). From that point forward, however, nourishing rain fell from above. After He saw Noah's reverential act, consecrating the new world, and He "smelled" the "soothing aroma" of passionate praise, the Most High God pledged: "While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, and day and night will not cease" (Gen. 8:22). Mary, Jesus' Mother—Releasing God's Will The most monumental event ever to happen was the incarnation of the Son of God. Each major stage of His journey through time was activated by intercession. His first coming took place because many thousands of Jews had prayed for centuries that the Messiah would come. When the angel Gabriel announced that the ordained time had arrived, a humble Jewish girl prayerfully confessed: "I am the servant of the Lord. May it be unto me according to your word" (Luke 1:38). That was a prayerful outburst, not only toward Gabriel but toward God Himself. The will of the Almighty was released, and nine months later, God became flesh, born of a virgin in a manger in Bethlehem. Jesus' Disciples—Interceding for Salvation Approximately a third of a century later, at Jesus' triumphant entry into Jerusalem, His disciples jubilantly heralded the coming of the King of kings to the city of God, exclaiming, "Hosanna to the Son of David! 'Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!' Hosanna in the highest!" (Matt. 21:9). What a moment for a unique worship word to surface in the Bible: Hosanna. You won't find it anywhere else, except in its original form in the Hebrew language. You see, the New Testament word "Hosanna" actually evolved from a fusion of the traditional Hebrew praise words hoshiah na, which are a prayerful plea meaning, "Save now, I beseech You" (translated this way in Psalm 118:25 of the King James Version). The Jewish worshippers of that day understood this was a prophetic plea for the Messiah to set up His reign. Even though "Hosanna" is a prayerful request, strangely, it is never spoken in a pleading tone of voice, as a petition. Instead, it is normally an ecstatic shout of praise. When I was first confronted with this paradox, I couldn't quite wrap my mind around it. So I brought up the subject to a dear Messianic Jewish friend, and he explained, "Oh, yes, hoshiah na is a request, but it is made in full expectation of performance. It is similar to a wife asking her husband, 'You will take out the garbage, won't you?' She may be 'asking,' but she has no doubt that her spouse will comply with her wishes and the action will take place." And so it is with the beautiful praise word "Hosanna." Technically, it is an appeal, but it is spoken with an assurance of divine response. Though the strict translation is, "Save us, we beseech You," the implied meaning is: "Lord, we fully believe You will save us and so we praise God for our deliverance in advance!" When worshippers tag the phrase "in the highest" after the word Hosanna, it becomes an even more powerful proclamation: "Lord, I believe You are going to save me in every area of my being to the highest degree possible for God!" How intense is that? The phrase "Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord" was also understood to be a prophecy of the Messiah—a declaration that He would represent the Father and be filled with His authority. The crowd of disciples waving palm fronds, casting their garments in the road and shouting these words had no idea how profoundly their prayers would be answered in the next few days. Jesus—Praying for Spiritual Transformation After Jesus ascended to heaven, He sent back the power of the Holy Spirit to His disciples on the Day of Pentecost. Even this grand infilling was the result of intercession—by the greatest intercessor of all, the Son of God Himself. Right before He collapsed in agony in the Garden of Gethsemane, He uttered the most powerful and pivotal petition ever to ascend to the Father of creation (John 17:1-26). How mightily the great High Priest stood in the gap for the disciples, who would be waiting for the Holy Spirit in the Upper Room just over 50 days later! How powerfully that prayer has lingered ever since, hovering over the world in full potency for two millennia, released into manifestation each time a new convert receives the Lord Jesus into his heart. Here are the main things for which Jesus prayed: That believers would receive the gift of eternal life That we would actually know God and receive the revelation of His name That we would receive and understand the Word of God That we would be kept from the evil one That we would be sanctified (cleansed from the defilement of sin and consecrated to God) That we would be accepted into the same oneness with the Father that Jesus enjoyed That we would be brought to perfection That the love of the Father would abide within us That the Son of God would live within us What an awe-inspiring event it was when that first group of believers received the fruit of this intercession. The Holy Spirit came into the upper room like "a mighty rushing wind," and divided "tongues as of fire" hovered over them (Acts 2:2-3). Surely that "wind" was the very breath of God breathing into His people the restoration of what Adam had lost in the garden. The supernatural transformation forecast in this prayer has been only partially implemented but will be brought to complete fulfillment in the not-so-distant future when the "dead in Christ" rise and "we who are alive and remain" are caught up with them to meet the Lord in the air at His Second Coming (1 Thess. 4:16-17). We will then be made utterly perfect, changed and glorified in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, when the King of kings comes "in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him" (Matt. 25:31). We will then be so filled with His magnificence that we will shine "as the sun in the kingdom" of our Father (Matt. 13:43). The Church—Praying for the King's Return When the Lord returns, the prayer Jesus told His followers to pray will be finally gloriously fulfilled: "Our Father who is in heaven, hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come; Your will be done on earth, as it is in heaven" (Matt. 6:9-10). So you see, you are already doing it—you and around 2 billion other believers currently in this world. Every time you petition God with the inspired words, "Your kingdom come; Your will be done," you are praying a prayer that will inevitably change the world forever. Every time you plead, "Father, deliver us from evil," God's answer extends far beyond your own personal life to ultimately encircle the entire globe with His deliverance power. Maybe you thought that kind of prayer power was reserved for the recognized champions of the faith, but God loves to use common people to accomplish uncommon things. Yes, of all the prayerful utterances that have been uttered in this world, this "powerful prayer" really will produce "supernatural results." And it will absolutely be answered—gloriously and permanently—in a moment. After many centuries of petitions ascending to heaven, the answer will come in one blinding flash of power. Your prayers and the prayers of the rest of the body of Christ, like burning incense swirling around the very throne of the Almighty, will soon attract an incomparable response from on high (Rev. 8:1-6). When that happens, Jesus will descend in flaming fire, accompanied by all His holy angels. Every eye will see Him, the dead in Christ will rise, living believers will be translated, the kingdom will fully come to earth, and the world will finally be changed forever. Anything can happen when God's people pray. Don't ever give up. Keep seeking His face. Supernatural results are awaiting. Mike Shreve has been involved in full-time ministry since 1971. His passion is to see authentic New Testament Christianity, the release of God's glory and the manifestation of His gifts. 

WHY YOUR HATERS HATE YOU


  • Life is filled with choices and every choice has consequences. In grammar school, a student who befriends an unpopular boy or girl will lose friends and be made fun of. In high school, a student who refuses to give up his or her virginity will lose dates and be laughed at. In the workplace, if you live a life of integrity you’ll be passed over for a promotion. In the senior years, if you invest your time and money in the church you’ll miss out on various memories and material possessions. In the political realm, if you’re vocal about your favorite candidate, there will be those who disagree with you. In the spiritual realm, if you follow Jesus Christ, you will be hated. That’s right: HATED! Whether you like it or not, the Bible is clear that Christians will be hated and rejected by the world. In John 15:18-16:4,1 Jesus explains why the world hates Christians. Naturally, I recognize that this will not be welcomed as a “feel-good sermon.” However, it does feel good to know that Jesus warned us in advance. As you reflect on Jesus’ words, ask yourself: Have I adopted a cultural Christianity or a cross-centered Christianity? Today, Jesus will say: It’s better to be loved than liked. In other words, it’s better to experience Jesus’ unconditional and eternal love than to win a popularity contest and be liked by the world. In 15:18 Jesus declares, “If the world2 hates you, you know that it has hated Me3 before it hated you.”4The particular form of the word “if” assumes something is true. Jesus is saying, “If the world hates you—and it does.”5 There is a certainty in Jesus’ words: “You will be hated! You can count on it!” Jesus then reminds His disciples that the world hated Him first. Jesus is commanding His disciples to remember that He was hated from the time of His birth to the time of His death. Think about this: Jesus’ life began with King Herod attempting to kill Him. Jesus’ life ended in a death of sheer hatred. He was crucified at the wishes of His own people—the Jews. Thus, we must not be surprised by hatred.6 The word “hate” (miseo) is used seven times in the first eight verses (15:18-25).7 It is the dominant word in this passage. Jesus’ point is: Friendship with Me comes with a hefty price tag—the world’s hatred.8 Jesus wants you to be forewarned. In some circles, you will be public enemy number one. Here are the reasons why your haters hate you 1. Because you have something that they don’t. Whether is it your new decision you want to take, not staying with them again , your new house, or your life in general, you possess something they don’t — and that upsets them. Because they realize that life can be unfair, and that some people can have things or do things in life that others can’t. Perhaps they even desire what you have but don’t quite know how they themselves can achieve those things. When haters can’t figure why they lack the things they lack, or how they can get the things they lack, they become very angry individuals. To help themselves cope with this sense of frustration, they hate. This is how they deal with their feelings of inadequacy and inferiority after comparing themselves with others — by putting it on you. I say God will with them , like He did to Pharoah in Exodus. 2. Because they think you don’t deserve it. They look at your fame, your popularity, your friends, your career, etc., and think that you are not worthy of these things, because they are only looking at things at surface level. They don’t care about the hard work you had put in behind the scenes — your sacrifices, your worries, your fears and the pains you’d gone through. Because they are superficial like that. I say God will destroy your haters. 3. Because they don’t want to lose to you. They see life as some kind of competition — who’s more popular, who’s richer, who has more friends, who has more victories, who has the better job, - and they want to win. Their eagerness to do better than you is not based on their zeal towards life, but stems from their fear of losing to you and being seen as failure in their own eyes. They sort of made you their goal, and the further the distance between you and them, the more they hate. That’s why your haters never want to hear that you are doing well in anything.God will definitely deal with them. 4. Because they can’t get over the past. You two had a thing in the past. Perhaps you were close friends but unfortunately fell out. Perhaps you were lovers but things didn’t turn out as planned or expected. Perhaps there was no closure for whatever issue there was between the two of you. Whatever it is, this hater of yours is still bitter about the past. He/she still can’t get over it; he/she is unable to forgive, yet. Well maybe after some time that troubling affair had quietly slipped off his/her mind, but because of the grudge still buried deep inside, whenever he/she gets reminded of you, emotions can run wild all over again. And there go the nasty comments and passive aggressive posts, again. 5. Because they can’t get over you. You were important to this person and you broke his/her heart. And even after all this time, the wounds never really heal completely, and perhaps, never will. Maybe cognitive dissonance has a part to play in this as well. It is natural instinct to undermine the significance of the things we lose, so as to help us cope with loss and the grief that follows after. Haters overcompensate this aspect — the deeper they loved, the stronger they hate. Haters are people who (still) care, but they do so far too much. Sometimes you could feel that they care more about you and the things you do than you care about yourself, and they care about what other people think of you more than you actually do. All my haters what are you waiting for, die by fire in Jesus ,name. 6. Because they have nothing better to do in life. All these activities give them that momentary sense of purpose and achievement in life. Perhaps your haters don’t even really dislike you that much. They just like hating on other people. Hating has sort of become a lifestyle for them. We can only wish them the best. 7. Because their life just ain’t as great and exciting as yours. It’s true. 8. Because they need attention. What haters are most afraid of is silence. They feel their existence when they know that you heard their voice. So don’t talk back or argue with them. They would only get more excited. Don’t try to reason with them. Don’t. Even. They won’t bother listening. They just need your response to know that someone actually cares about what they think or what they have to say. 9. Because they can. Because anonymity allows them to spew nonsense without taking responsibility for it. It is convenient. It is easy. It is cowardice at its finest. 10. Because they are such bigots. It’s not you. It’s them. 11. Because they are such self-righteous, moral high priests. No matter, they will always think of themselves as the better person compared to you. They would use your past against you, judge and criticize you using their own morals and values, and dismiss any good that you do. They don’t feel the need for humility when talking to you because they believe that they will always be (more) right. But we all know that such beings do make the biggest hypocrites around. 12. Because they are big green-eyed monsters. They are jealous people. They curse and wish for your downfall because they want you to lose the things you have that they don’t. They see life as a zero-sum game. They think, perhaps if you lose a couple of friends/fans, they could gain some themselves. And if they can’t have the things you have, they rather you not have them at all as well. They are basically pretty fucked-up human beings. 13. Because they are unhappy with some things in their own life. And they try to make someone else unhappy too — by being the nuisance that they are. They want to pull you down to their level of unhappiness. They want you to be disturbed and not have peace. If they can’t enjoy their life, they make sure you can’t enjoy yours too. 14. Because they need to put someone down to feel good about themselves. 15. Because they are, in general, just losers. But losers who need much love.

Saturday, 19 November 2016

BREAKING EVERY HIDDEN CURSES

People are just too wicked ! They don't even give it a dawn a to think. However, God is able to deliver me. My redeemer liveth. AMEN The most stubborn curses to deal with are hidden curses. Men and women who know that they are under some kinds of curses often get delivered with ease. Those who have no inkling whatsoever concerning the kinds of foundational curses which have been in hiding in their lives since they came into the world often remain victims of stubborn curses throughout their life time. Hidden curses are the most wicked weapons used by the devil, the enemy of our souls. You owe yourself the duty of reversing all hidden curses in your life. Your life will be transformed the moment all hidden curses are cancelled. You will begin to experience the joy of living life at its fullest. Curses are the direct opposite of blessings. When you curse a person, you utter an evil wish against that person, causing mischief or injury to come upon that person. To curse a person is to bind that person with a spell like witches do. To curse is to engage in a violent expression of evil against a person. Curses are words put together to torment with great calamity. When we study evil effects of curses on mankind, we find that they have been vehicles of problems. You can also curse a thing. A curse is an invisible barrier that keeps people or things away from what God has for them. Let us look at some characteristics of curses as recorded in the books of Nehemiah and 2 Kings. Nehemiah 13:2 says, Because they met not the children of Israel with bread and water, but hired Balaam against them that he should curse them: howbeit our God turned the curse into blessing. God has the power to turn curses into blessings. Again 2 Kings 2:13-21 says: He took up also the mantle of Elijah that fell from him, and went back, and stood by the bank of Jordan: And he took the mantle of Elijah that fell from him, and smote the waters, they parteth hither and thither: and Elisha went over. And when the sons of the prophets which were to view at Jericho saw him, they said, The spirit of Elijah doth rest on Elisha. And they came to meet him, and bowed themselves to the ground before him. And they said unto him, Behold now, there be with thy servants fifty strong men; let them go, we pray thee, and seek thy master: lest peradventure the Spirit of the Lord hath taken him up, and cast him upon some mountain or into some valley. And he said, Ye shall not send. And when they urged him till he was ashamed, he said, Send. They sent therefore fifty men, and they sought three days and found him not. And when they came again to him, (for he tarried at Jericho,) he said unto them, didi I not say unto, you, Go not? And the men of the city said unto Elisha, Behold, I pray thee, the situation of this city is pleasant, as my Lord seeth: but the water is naught and the ground is barren. And he said, Bring me a new cruse, and put salt therein........ Here are the steps to be delivered: RECOGNIZE THE CURSE. In order to get set free and stay free, you have to admit you have a problem. That sounds simple, but we live in a day and age of denial. No matter what has happened to us in our lives, each of us are responsible for the choices and decisions we make. If you really want to be free, you will accept that responsibility. BREAK THE CURSE. As we apply God's Word and power to our lives, and as we choose to walk in righteousness and obedience to God, the chains of bondage will be broken. There are three steps to breaking a generational curse: (1) Give your life to Jesus; the blood of Jesus removes our sin; (2) Fight the battle with spiritual weapons (such as the Word of God and the armor of God); and (3) Regain control over the power of your will. When Jesus shed His blood, he bought back our willpower. Through the blood of Jesus, we can say no. REVERSE THE CURSE. There are three keys you can use to reverse the curse and live in victory: (1) Recognize your enemy. We battle not with flesh and blood. Our enemy is Satan, and the battle is spiritual. (2) Forgive people who have hurt you. (3) Treat causes, not symptoms (for example, insecurity, jealousy or fear). RELEASE THE POWER OF LOVE. To become people whose lives are transformed by the love of God, we must not only get rid of what holds us captive and keeps us in bondage, but we must also be filled up with love--for God, for self and for others. Unconditional love will release blessing. To know more of the love of God in your life, love those who have hurt you, those who have opposed you and those who have sinned against you. DEVELOP A GODLY ATTITUDE. A good attitude does not make everything go perfectly all the time. Matthew 5:45 tells us that God sends the rain on the just and the unjust. But our attitude determines whether the rain will water the seeds of our harvest or wash those seeds away. Get serious about where you are going with God by getting your attitude lined up with His Word, having faith and trusting in Him. ALIGN YOUR WORDS WITH GOD'S WORDS. Your words give evidence of your faith, and they should reflect God's good purposes for you. Exchange your negative words for positive words, exchange your negative thoughts for positive thoughts, and exchange your negative actions for positive actions. ACCEPT GOD'S ACCEPTANCE. Jesus didn't come to condemn us or punish us. He came to give us hope that our lives really can be different. We don't have to live under the burdens of pain, hurt, shame or sorrow. All the power in heaven is available to you to set you free from every chain that binds you. Corrie ten Boom said, "There is no pit so deep that God's love is not deeper still." WALK IN OBEDIENCE. In order to break free from the curses and walk in freedom, you must learn to walk in obedience to God's ways. We don't have to be perfect or without mistakes, but our hearts need to be surrendered and pliable toward God. We need to be moving forward in the things of God every day of our lives. Today's decisions determine our tomorrows. There is a miracle on the other side of your obedience. 

Thursday, 10 November 2016

10 Characteristics of Jesus Christ and How to Develop Them

 During the Last Supper, Peter asked the Savior, “Lord, whither goest thou?” Jesus responded, “Whither I go, thou canst not follow me now; but thou shalt follow me afterwards” (John 13:36). Still confused, Thomas replied, “Lord, we know not whither thou goest; and how can we know the way?” (John 14:5).  Sometimes we may feel, like Thomas, that we are lost, not knowing the right way to go. But we can trust the Savior’s sure answer: “I am the way, the truth, and the life; no man cometh unto the Father, but by me” (John 14:6).  As we study these 10 characteristics of Jesus Christ and try to develop them in ourselves, we can know that Jesus Christ is the way to true happiness and joy. FAITHFUL To be faithful is to hope for and act on things which are not seen, which are true In mortality, Jesus Christ did all things by faith, even performing mighty miracles such as walking on water.   He asks us to exercise faith in Him and His purposes by trusting Him and keeping His commandments. PRAYERFUL Prayer is pure communication with our Father in Heaven. Jesus Christ prayed often for friends and enemies as well as for help during trials. We too have access to divine help and guidance through prayer. We can follow the Savior as we pray daily, expressing thanks and seeking divine assistance in our lives. WISE From His earliest moments, “Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man” (Luke 2:52). In many cases, the Savior used the scriptures to rebuke offenders and teach important principles. We can likewise increase in wisdom as we study the scriptures. VIRTUOUS The scriptures teach that “no unclean thing can dwell with God”. Jesus Christ is pure and virtuous. If we are to be virtuous like the Savior in an unclean world, we must turn away from things that pollute our minds, bodies, and spirits. Choosing carefully our entertainment and actively avoiding pornography will greatly increase our virtue and cleanliness before the Lord. No matter the past, choose to be virtuous today. HUMBLE Jesus taught, “For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me” (John 6:38). As we look to the Savior’s example, we will submit our will to God in humility and trust in His plan. OBEDIENT The Savior was perfectly obedient in all things. He promises, “If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love” (John 15:10). Obedience is a choice to trust God more than we trust our own limited knowledge (see L. Tom Perry, “Obedience through Our Faithfulness,” Ensign or Liahona, May 2014, 100–103). We can strengthen our obedience one good choice at a time. PATIENT The Savior patiently waits for us to choose to follow Him. The scriptures teach, “Behold, hath the Lord commanded any that they should not partake of his goodness? Behold I say unto you, Nay; but all men are privileged the one like unto the other, and none are forbidden.“ We can follow His example by exercising patience with others and ourselves in our efforts to improve. CHARITABLE Charity is Christ’s pure love, which He gives freely to us each day. He admonishes us to love God and love our fellowmen (see Mark 12:30–31). We can show love to others each day through small and simple acts of kindness. Each time we reach out to another in love, we reflect Christ’s love. GIVING Jesus Christ’s ministry was filled with service, often given along the way. He healed one woman as He journeyed to raise another from the dead (see Mark 5). To be like Him, we should open our eyes and hearts to the needs of others along our way and give meaningful service each day. FORGIVING With open arms the Savior says, “Yea, and as often as my people repent will I forgive them their trespasses against me”. We can develop this trait as we sincerely forgive those who have wronged us. To forgive is sometimes difficult. But to withhold forgiveness is bondage. As we forgive and trust the Lord, our hearts will soften and we will be freed to become more like our Savior. 

Sunday, 6 November 2016

IN THE HOPELESS SITUATION ~GOD IS THERE !

The Valley of Dry Bones 1 The hand of the Lord was on me, and he brought me out by the Spirit of the Lord and set me in the middle of a valley; it was full of bones. 2 He led me back and forth among them, and I saw a great many bones on the floor of the valley, bones that were very dry. 3 He asked me, “Son of man, can these bones live?” I said, “Sovereign Lord, you alone know.” read more » THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Introduction: The Devil was having a yard sale, and all of his tools were marked with different prices. They were a fiendish lot. There was hatred, jealously, deceit, lying, and pride--all at expensive prices. But over to the side of the yard on display was a tool more obviously worn than any of the other tools. It was also the most costly. The tool was labeled DISCOURAGEMENT. When questioned, the Devil said, "It’s more useful to me than any other tool. When I can’t bring down my victims with any of the rest of these tools, I use discouragement, because so few people realize that it belongs to me." Satan’s is never happier than when he sees people giving in and giving up to despair and becoming lost in hopelessness. Have you ever felt like your whole world is caving in around you and there is absolutely no hope. Your troubles seem to mount up insurmountably. Cheer up I have good news. There is hope for the hopeless! I. There are situations , which appear to be totally and absolutely hopeless. A. Ezekiel 37:1-2 "The hand of the LORD was upon me, and carried me out in the spirit of the LORD, and set me down in the midst of the valley which was full of bones, and caused me to pass by them round about: and, behold, there were very many in the open valley; and, lo, they were very dry." B. The picture portrayed here was that of the nation of Israel in their Eastern captivity and Diaspora. The nation was virtually dead. It was lifeless, scattered, and bleached just as this conquered army’s corpses, which were strewn across a battleground. There was no way humanly possible that they would ever arise from this defeat. It would be impossible! C. A man approached a little league baseball game one afternoon. He asked a boy in the dugout what the score was. The boy responded, "Eighteen to nothing--we’re behind." "Boy," said the spectator, "I’ll bet you’re discouraged." "Why should I be discouraged?" replied the little boy. "We haven’t even gotten up to bat yet!" D. Job 7:6-7 "My days are swifter than a weaver’s shuttle, and are spent without hope. O remember that my life is wind: mine eye shall no more see good." E. There is no greater state of hopelessness than of man without Christ. Jean-Paul Sarte wrote: "Man can count on no one but himself; he is alone, abandoned on earth in the midst of his infinite responsibilities, without help, with no other aim than the one he sets himself, with no other destiny than the one he forges for himself on this earth." Those apart from God have a feeling of meaningless and abandonment that they cannot explain. (H. Lindsell) F. Ephesians 2:12 "That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world:" II. God alone holds the answer to hopeless situations. A. Ezekiel 37:3 "And he said unto me, Son of man, can these bones live?

Sunday, 23 October 2016

THE BIRTHDAY CELEBRATION

   THE BIRTHDAY CELEBRATION - some observe it, some do not. Whether in THE WORLD or in THE CHURCH, the question of the innocence, or evil, of the tradition arises periodically. Again, in both venues, some celebrate, while others abstain. So where is one to go to discover THE TRUTH about birthday celebrations?      The truth isn't the personal opinion of you, me, or anyone. Truth is absolute, unchanging, and discoverable through Him from whom it flows. Desiring to be honest and upfront, I will inform the reader that this article is written to show the SCRIPTURAL and HISTORICAL view of birthday celebrations. I know the subject is very dear to many people. I would ask, whatever your current belief, that you take the time to read this brief article and PRAY for the truth to be revealed. As believers, we are instructed to "PROVE ALL THINGS" before we "hold them fast."      Annual celebrations of the anniversary of one's birth abound in America today. People like to have their own 'special day' and children especially enjoy getting presents! The adults love to see their children delighting in their gifts (Everyone, churched or un-churched, knows that it feels good to give and then to see the recipient appreciate or enjoy the gift.)      The celebration of birthdays often include very self-indulgent behavior, and sometimes obvious sinful behavior, such as excessive drinking, fornication, and various other forms of covetousness. These are all sins in and of themselves, as is the celebration of birthdays, even apart from them.      There is not simply just one line you can point to for determining where 'celebrating birthdays' originated.  This may be why the question arises periodically today about whether or not its okay to celebrate birthdays. This article should help to make you CERTAIN where those IN THE FAITH should stand in regard to this TRADITION. PRAYER Proverbs 1:7 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.      I wouldn't be much of an example, or a good servant, if I failed to start you off on the right foot. Please take a moment to ASK THE FATHER to open your mind to the Truth, to make your heart flesh (not stone), to take away the stiffness of neck, and to let you have ears to hear. The Scriptures instruct us to ask YHWH when we 'lack wisdom' or to gain knowledge: Proverbs 2:6 For the LORD giveth wisdom: out of his mouth cometh knowledge and understanding. James 1:5 If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.      Jesus (Yeshua) Himself said in Matthew 21:22 "And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive." ORIGINS      The next step a Believer should take is to look into the WORD OF GOD. God can reveal much truth through what is said, or not said, in the Scriptures. This is another way to 'put on the mind of Christ' and to have our will transform to match God's Word/Will. Let's see what we can glean then by BLOWING THE DUST OFF OUR BIBLES and reading about our subject matter. THE SCRIPTURES In the Beginning      The very first place you can pinpoint a celebration of a person's birth in the Bible is in in the very first book - Genesis - which means "in the beginning." Genesis 40:20 And it came to pass the third day, which was Pharaoh's birthday, that he made a feast unto all his servants: and he lifted up the head of the chief butler and of the chief baker among his servants. 21 And he restored the chief butler unto his butlership again; and he gave the cup into Pharaoh's hand: 22 But he hanged the chief baker: as Joseph had interpreted to them. 23 Yet did not the chief butler remember Joseph, but forgat him.      The first occurrence shows the Egyptian Pharaoh celebrating his own birthday with a birthday feast that gathered all his servants. The Pharaoh was a priest, king and god to the masses and this was a root of the reason for their celebrations. Originally, the birth of common people was not celebrated, but only the birthdays of the gods; and later kings and great ones. As time went on, and since each day had a god associated with it through astrology, as the common people observed these they began to associate the celebrations with their own birthdays as well.

Tuesday, 6 September 2016

WATCH POEM

Watch ! Watch!! Watch!!! Watch your thoughts; for they become words. Watch your words; for they become actions. Watch your actions; for they become habits. Watch your habits; for they become character. Watch your character; for it will become your destiny. Watch! Watch!! Watch!!!

Sunday, 4 September 2016

MORE FAITH, MORE LOVE AND MORE CHARITY.

Our everyday usage of "hope" includes a blend of temporal and spiritual. Some may say that they hope it rains tomorrow (or that it doesn't rain). Others might say that they hope to come into a large sum of money. In some situations, we might allege to hope that someone falls and breaks their neck. At other times, we hope that something we said did not hurt or offend another. All of these usages of "hope" can help us to find meaning in the way that the word hope appears in scripture. Now, when considering the scriptural trivecta of faith, hope, and charity, I often stop to pause more and consider what I mean by faith and charity more than I reflect on hope. Clearly, with the three appearing together repeatedly in scripture, there is more than a coincidental connection between them. Even so, however, the differences between the three may prove instructive in augmenting our implementation of each. I focus here primarily on the distinction between faith and hope, with the anticipation that such a line of thought will assist us in applying both (not to the exclusion of charity, also).    From these everyday usages, we can find hope in things both future and past. Hope can apply to things that are morally good or bad. In addition, hope might lie in something with a remote possibility or in something with a significant likelyhood of obtaining. As we analyze this, we may conclude that hope does not necessarily lend itself well to a categorizational approach of definition. Although many times hope involves confidence in an outcome, it does not always involve such confidence (i.e., the hope to come into a large sum of money). Nevertheless, it seems that one could not truly hope for the impossible (i.e., saying "I hope that the lawn mows itself tomorrow" seems to mean more that "it would be cool if..." than a true hope that I'll arise in the morning to find the grass has mowed itself).  In this context, a necessary component of hope is belief that the outcome desired or hoped for is within the realm of possibility. From the example of hoping that something already said and heard did not offend another, we can see that hope does not have to be always forward-looking. Some hopes look forward, others look backward. We can truly hope that an accident victim who passed away did not suffer too much before passing. Similarly, we can hope that we will avoid a similar fate in the future. As such, hope suggests an openness to possibilities, or to a desired possibility, that is probable to some degree or another. Under such an approach, Elder Maxwell's distinction between proximate hope and eternal hope can guide the connection between our understanding of hope and faith. Proximate hope centers on things connected to our current, mortal, horizon. We hope for safety for our family or for professional success. Eternal hope seems to add to the general understanding of hope the component of faith. When Paul refers to a "lively hope" it seems he may be alluding to the same idea. Hope takes on added life when coupled with a choice to accept or believe as true a worldview that assists us to orient ourselves toward God and others and that allows us to organize our lives accordingly.  Thus, faith seems to occupy the position of a belief-choice regarding a worldview. Faith does not imply knowledge (indeed, the two notions are considered distinct in the canon of scripture), but does imply a course of life predicated upon the choice to believe. At its root, any living in the world requires that we make certain belief-choices. We choose to believe in the connection between certain choices and consequences and reorder our lives based on this belief-choice. Similarly, we choose to accept a worldview including (or excluding) God's existence and reorient ourselves to our world, to ourselves, and to others as  a result. In this manner, faith becomes a stabilizing force in our lives, supplying us with assurance and evidence for the life we have built upon it. Hope occupies the role of an openness (tied to optimism) to the possibilities in our lives and worldviews. In this way, faith and hope intertwine, with belief-choices contributing to our worldviews and the limits of our possibilities and hope reinforcing our faith, motivating us to take the needed steps to reorient ourselves to the new world (kingdom) created through our belief choice. (And, interestingly, this reorientation, when premised upon the doctrines of Jesus Christ, of necessity involves a charitable reorientation to the world.) In sum, faith and hope do not express the same thing, but mutually reinforce one another (again, not excluding charity, also), in a manner that makes hope enlivening. The perfect brightness of hope spoken of in holy writ comes through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ as our Messiah and Redeemer. This principle opens up eternal possibilities and creates for us a new identity and thrusts us into a new creation. To instill faith and hope, however, requires that our initial interest or desire be met with the Lord's Spirit to infuse that interest or desire with the requisite change in worldview and orientation to possibility that the result is that we become new creatures in Christ--new, faithful and hopeful persons. Thus, again, the beginning and end of our study turns and returns us to seeking and obtaining the Spirit of the Lord, which will fill us with faith, hope and charity. More love,more charity and faith.

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