Sunday, 11 December 2016

Intercessory Prayer - It's Powerful!

Psalm 106:23
'Moses...stood before God in the breach.'

God is sovereign and sometimes He moves in our lives without any notice or explanation, praise God for that! He needs no man to help Him with His plans in this world, however, in His sovereignty He calls us to walk along side Him as He executes a multitude of works among men.

Moses stood in the breach for God's chosen people, the Israelites, when they had rebelled against their sovereign Lord, the Great I Am. It was the last straw for God after they made for themselves a golden calf. Had not Moses stood in the breach (interceded) for them, Israel would have been destroyed. God would have wiped them all out, but a man, a mere human being prayed and stopped God's hand of judgement.

The Welsh intercessor, Rees Howells, has been credited for thwarting the Nazis and influencing events in World War ll. This man was an intercessor and gave himself to prayer. Who knows where we would be today had it not been for such a man!

God calls us, as believers in Christ, to 'give ourselves continually to prayer.' Acts 6:4, 1 Thessalonians 5:17. Dear reader, behind some of the greatest spiritual awakenings, in Christ, was the unsung force known as intercessors. Many of the victories we hear about were first won in that secret place of prayer by people we call intercessors.

Never underestimate the power of intercessory prayer. It is a specialized, yet unseen, ministry and God could be calling you to it. Dear reader, let the Holy Spirit speak to your heart. He may be calling you to stand up and be His next intercessor. What a privilege it is to be called into the great company of intercessors.

Yes we are all called to prayer and intercession, just like we are all called to the ministry of reconciliation. But just like there are those who are specifically called and equipped to win souls everywhere they go, some are specifically equipped to pray for hours, days, weeks, months, and even years for specific situations.

They never tire, but will pray through until the Lord lifts that burden and moves them onto something else to pray for. If God is calling you to this kind of ministry dear reader, you'll know because for you spending many hours in prayer is pure joy. You'll find yourself praying much in the Holy Spirit as He gives you the unction to do so, and yes that includes praying much in tongues.

FYI, unction is defined as an anointing from the Holy Spirit. Now I'm not going to get into that right here, but if you want to know more on this truth I would encourage you to search the scriptures and ask the Lord to open your heart to this knowledge; a good place to start would be:

1 John 2:20, "But you have an anointing from the Holy One..." 
1 John 2:27, "As for you, the anointing you received from him remains in you..."
Ephesians 6:18 "And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests"

Dear reader, through prayer you can call the forces of heaven into any situation, anywhere, anytime, for anybody, praise God! The Lord has said, "ask of Me, and I will give you the nations (peoples) for Your inheritance, and ends of the earth for Your possession,"

It's time to move past our 'bless me' prayers and start claiming bigger things for God. Remember this today dear believer in Christ: When your prayers line up with the will of God, found only in His Word, it will be done for you as it is in heaven, now that's powerful!

Have a blessed dayPaul
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Wednesday, 5 October 2016

Do We Christians Really Need To Preach About Hell?

Mark 1:15
"The time is fulfilled," He said, "and the kingdom of God is near. Repent and believe in the gospel!"

As a Christian you may be wondering if hell has a place in your public testimony? Well, opinions are divided on this issue, but I think it's well worth looking into scripture to find the answers. 

Even though there are preachers that actually teach that there is not a 'literal hell,' Jesus spoke of hell in 46 verses of the bible. Jesus spoke of hell not to condemn His listeners, but to warn them and to teach them why it was necessary for Him to come into this world to die for them.

If you're an obedient believer who has firmly placed your faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, you'll not be going to that place, praise God! But the question remains, should I preach hell to those who do not know the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior and King?

Dear reader if Jesus preached about hell like it was a real place, then we should follow in His footsteps. I firmly believe that hell should find a place in our pubic witness, as the Lord leads. If we truly love our unsaved family, friends, co-workers, and our neighbor we should make every effort to give the full gospel to them.

The following video is the probably the best testimony of a man's experience in hell that I've ever heard. Dear reader, please grab yourself a coffee; sit back; put your feet up for a little while and listen to what Bill Wiese has to say:

 
Hope you enjoyed the video dear reader. Praise God that Jesus paid the price for you and I to stay out of that horrible place. Praise God that He loved us enough to plan our rescue even before the foundation of the world was laid.

My thought for you today is this: Think about all the unsaved people you know, think about how much you'd like to see them get saved. Now ask yourself if you've ever told them that there is a horrible place of torment that they need to be saved from?

Have a blessed dayPaul
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Monday, 3 October 2016

Looking In The Right Mirror - The Word Of God

1 Peter 3:3-4
'Do not let your adornment be merely outward...rather let it be the hidden person of the heart...'

We're all familiar with the world's fashion designers and how they're concerned for the total overall look of their models. Before these models are allowed to walk down the catwalk they must have their hair just right, perfect makeup, the right fitting clothes, and their bodies must have the right kind of proportions suitable for what they're modeling; that's certainly a lot of pressure! 

God is concerned that you look right too, but the total overall look He's looking for comes from within. The very day you were born, God furnished you with specific qualities, personality traits, and emotional strengths.

He created you and I to be vibrant, feeling, and fully functional human beings with our own unique attractiveness. There's more! As born again believers He's also endowed us with spiritual gifts, fruit, and talents that He wants to develop in us for His kingdom purposes, glory be to God!

Dear reader, you're more than just your outward appearance. It's your inner substance that should be the determining factor in how you see yourself on the outside. What mirror are you looking into, the mirror of the world or the mirror of the Word of God?

If you're looking into the mirror of the world a few extra kilo's can wipe you out, when you're looking into the mirror of the scriptures you're getting your self-worth from God.  

Peter writes, 'Do not let your adornment be merely outward—arranging the hair, wearing gold, or putting on fine apparel— rather let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God, 1 Peter 3:3-4.

When your-self worth does not come from the world but God, you can wear a second hand outfit brought from an opp-shop, or a seven hundred dollar suit and be fine either way because your sense of self-worth is coming from the right source, the Word of God.

Now I'm not saying that you shouldn't make an effort to look good on the outside. Just don't fall into the trap of finding your ultimate sense of self-worth from adorning your outward appearance.

Inner beauty can not be bought as the world would have you believe, no! That kind of beauty is an inside job perfected by a loving Heavenly Father. Dear reader, try to look at yourself in God's mirror today (His Word), and get a revelation of what He values most; your inner beauty.

Have a blessed dayPaul
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Wednesday, 28 September 2016

Let The Holy Spirit Be Your Teacher

John 14:26
"But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you."

One of the best things that could have ever happened to me, after finding Jesus, is getting to know the Holy Spirit. Oh what a difference it makes to know the One whom Jesus sent to abide with us forever! You're not alone dear reader, God is literally with and so very close to you and He's called the Holy Spirit.

The Holy Spirit, who is your teacher if you're born again, wants you to get fully acquainted with Him. He wants to spend time with you just like Jesus did with His disciples. He wants to fill you with the knowledge that Jesus possessed, and He wants to teach you all things that pertain to this life and Godliness.

The Holy Spirit is the greatest teacher of all; here's why:

1) Because He will interact with you.
Unlike earthly teachers who simply give a lecture and then leave you alone, the Holy Spirit will interact with you. In other words He gets right in there with you as you live out your salvation.

He wants you to question Him so that you can find clarity and direction. Jesus said in Matthew 7:7, "Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you." When you're interested enough to ask questions that's when the Teacher will open up your understanding, so start asking!

2) Because our great God and King, the Lord Jesus Christ, sent Him to take His place
Now if Jesus sent Him we can be confident that He (The Holy Spirit) will teach us exactly what Jesus taught the disciples while He walked the earth, Praise the Lord!

3) Because He will teach us how to live.
When Jesus walked this earth the disciples not only learned from their master's teaching but also from their teacher's life. The twelve disciples who followed Jesus for a little over three years, observed and learned much from the way He lived His life.

The Holy Spirit does the same thing for us. He reveals the life of Christ to us as we study and meditate in the scriptures. The Holy Spirit will always point the hungry heart towards Christ and His life. We get to observe the life of Jesus supernaturally through the eyes of the Holy Spirit, glory be to God!

Dear reader, make it your goal to get to know your Teacher the Holy Spirit. I can tell from personal experience that your life will never be the same as you get to know Him. A final thought I'd like to leave you with today comes from 2 Corinthians 13:14, 'The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all. Amen'

Have a blessed dayPaul
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Monday, 26 September 2016

Keep Praying-Keep Believing-Keep Forgiving

Mark 11:24
"Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them."
  
Your needs, dear reader, move God's heart like no other being in this universe, but it's your prayer that moves God into action. It's your consistent prayer based on faith that gets God's attention every time, and He's waiting to hear your petitions today.

Jesus explains prayer this way: "Which of you shall have a friend, and go to him at midnight and say to him, Friend, lend me three loaves;  for a friend of mine has come to me on his journey, and I have nothing to set before him;' and he will answer from within and say, Do not trouble me; the door is now shut...I cannot rise and give to you. I say to you, though he will not rise and give to him...yet because of his persistence he will rise and give him as many as he needs," Luke 11:5-8.

Every born again believer is hard wired in, their spirit, to pray. It is the persistent prayer of the believer that God will answer, so keep praying and believing! God is a covenant keeping God, which means He will answer all your prayers based on that covenant. 

You may feel like God doesn't really care to much about your situation, and prayer for you has become just a motion you go through. Well, that can change today because all you need to do is pray believing and you're going to see some wonderful things happen in your life because God is on the throne!

The order in which prayer works is this:

1) Believe
When you pray about something it's really important to understand that you must first believe before you pray. Hebrews 11:6 says, 'But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.' Faith first, then prayer.

2) Pray
Prayer based on faith is powerful. Once you're faith is in place, prayer is easy because you know in your heart that God is listening and He's going answer you. Jesus said this about prayer, "...whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them," Mark 11:24.

3) Forgive
Now forgiveness is one of the terms of being in covenant with our heavenly Father. Jesus said these sobering words in Mark 11:25-26. "And whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him, that your Father in heaven may also forgive you your trespasses.  But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father in heaven forgive your trespasses."

The wonderful thing about being a Christian is that we are truly forgiven by a benevolent God through faith in  the Lord Jesus Christ. It's because of this forgiveness that we can enter God's throne and make our petitions known, and receive answers to our prayers.

Notice the condition here however: We must forgive any that have wronged us while we are standing in prayer. Wow this is serious stuff! We must forgive from our hearts otherwise we are not getting our prayers answered. 

Dear reader, unforgiveness is the leading cause for unanswered prayers among Christians today. Is there anyone you're holding a grudge against? You must forgive that person from your heart, so that God can forgive you this trespass and answer your prayers. Yes, holding a grudge is a sin that needs to be repented from.

God loves you so much, so be quick to obey Him; repent for holding a grudge and forgive that person. The bottom line is this: The God you serve is just, full of compassion, able, and willing to meet your needs, so keep praying, believing, and forgiving.

Have a blessed dayPaul
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Friday, 23 September 2016

Jesus Won For You!

Acts 2:24
'...whom God raised up, having loosed the pains of death, because it was not possible that He should be held by it.'

Oh how hell must have gloated over the death of our Savior King the Lord Jesus Christ. Satan must have thought he won a major victory the day he had Jesus crucified. But any thought of having beaten God soon came to an abrupt end.

For on the third day He rose from the grave having the keys of death and hell firmly grasped in His hand, Revelation 1:18. Satan's defeat was permanent and complete for all eternity, and that's good news for you and I dear reader.

Philip Yancey writes, 'In the most ironic twist of all history, what Satan meant for evil, God meant for Good. Jesus's death bridged the gap between a perfect God and a fatally-flawed humanity. On Good Friday God defeated sin, routed death, and got His family back.'

Do you feel like you're fatally flawed? Well praise the Lord, you're just the kind of person that Christ died for! It doesn't matter how flawed you think you are because God has a plan to grow you into the likeness of Christ, Romans 8:29.

Do you feel fatally wounded beyond all repair? Well praise the Lord, you're fatally wounded Savior offers healing for your soul, you just need to receive it, Isaiah 53:5. Consider this: If God can wrest such triumph from the jaws of the apparent defeat at Calvary, what might He do for you? 

What failures, hardships, and fears are you facing right now? God has set His love upon you dear reader. That means there remains the promise of hope for you; the promise of victory in your life; nothing shall be able to separate you from God's love! 

Paul writes, 'For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come,  nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord, Romans 8:38-39.

Between the cross and the empty tomb is found all the promises of God, and they are yes and amen in Him. Whatever your need, there's a promise for it in God's Word! Search the scriptures for it and go your way rejoicing in God's love.

Meditate on this scripture today: 'For all the promises of God in Him are Yes, and in Him Amen, to the glory of God...' 2 Corinthians 1:20.

Have a blessed dayPaul
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Wednesday, 21 September 2016

Let God Direct You Where To Go

Genesis 12:1
'The Lord had said to Abram, “Go from your country, your people and your father’s household to the land I will show you."'

You can't fill your car with petrol at a grocery store, but can get as much fuel as you want at a petrol station. What's my point? Just like you need to be in the right location to fuel your car, you need to be in the right location in order to succeed in God's plan for your life.

A good example of this is found in the life of Elijah the prophet: 'Then the word of the Lord came to Elijah: "Leave here, turn eastward and hide in the Kerith Ravine, east of the Jordan. You will drink from the brook, and I have directed the ravens to supply you with food there,"' 1 Kings 17:2-4.

Ravens are normally ravenous birds and will quickly eat whatever food they find, but here they are bringing food to Elijah! This was a supernatural act of provision. God directed Elijah where to go; Elijah obeyed and God supernaturally provided all he needed.

When you do what God tells you and go where He leads you, you'll move from the natural into the supernatural realm of provision. God has a plan for each of our lives, but He also has the right place for it. Yes it's important to have the right strategy, but you must have the right location.

Maybe God's calling to minister right where you are, or maybe it's overseas in a country not yet revealed to you. Perhaps He's calling you to remain in the city, or maybe He's calling you to the country. The point is this: God not only has a plan for your life, He also has the right spot for you to fulfill that plan.

Isaiah 48:17 says, "...I am the Lord your God, who teaches you what is best for you, who directs you in the way you should go." If you're prepared to go anywhere and your heart's desire is to please God in all things, He will reveal the right location. It may even be several locations spanning across the rest of your life.

He will go ahead of you and make all the crooked places strait by arranging circumstance to your advantage. Consider Abraham: 'By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going,' Hebrews 11:8.

Abraham simply obeyed God's word and went even though he did not know, at that exact time, where he was going. He went by faith and God blessed him every step of the way. Yes Abraham encountered some trials along the way, but he was also abundantly blessed because he obeyed God. Dear reader, God has the plan and He has the spot, so ask God and trust Him to direct you where to go.

Have a blessed dayPaul
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Monday, 19 September 2016

Waiting For Things To Change

Psalm 37:7
Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him...'

Are you waiting for your God-given vision to come to pass, or find a solution to a problem you're facing at home, or for any signs of fulfilment of a promise that God has given you? Well you're not alone dear reader.

Christian living can be defined by waiting. Everything that's worth anything in the Kingdom of Christ requires it's subjects (believers) to have patience. God is never in a hurry, but He's never late either. You and I are not the first to struggle with the idea of having to wait for God to move, and we won't be the last.

Here's the thing about waiting: Once you get the thing you've been waiting for, you'll begin waiting for something else.Why is this? Simply because God is taking you on to the next thing He wants to fulfil in your life. Praise God that there's always something new just over the horizon for believers! 

Habakkak the prophet prayed this: "O Lord, how long shall I cry..." In answer to this question God said, "...the vision is yet for an appointed time; but at the end it will speak, and it will not lie. Though it tarries, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry." Habakkak 2:3

If you've been waiting for God for a long time, don't allow discouragement to settle in your heart.  What you've been waiting on God for is set for an appointed time; it's always for an appointed time with God. So take courage and trust God to bring it to pass.

So what should you do while waiting for things to change? Pour yourself into what God has already instructed you to do, and stay focused on living for God in the here and now. David writes, 'Commit your way to the Lord, trust also in Him, and He shall bring it to pass...Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him...' Psalm 37:5,7.

Dear reader, it's worth paying any price and waiting any length of time for what God has in store for your life. So rejoice in the Lord today because good things are over the horizon and things will change for you at the appointed time.

Have a blessed day
Paul  
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Friday, 16 September 2016

What An Encounter With God Will Do For You

Isaiah 6:1
'...I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, high and lifted up, and the train of His robe filled the temple.'

Isaiah had a supernatural life changing encounter with God that marked the beginning of his ministry. When this man of God saw the Lord high and lifted up he said, "Woe is me, for I am undone! Because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, The Lord of hosts," Isaiah 6:5.

So God sent an angel to Isaiah with this message: 'Then one of the seraphim flew to me, having in his hand a live coal which he had taken with the tongs from the altar.  And he touched my mouth with it, and said:' "Behold, this has touched your lips; your iniquity is taken away, and your sin purged," Isaiah 6:6-7.

Then Isaiah hears these astonishing words: 'Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying:
"Whom shall I send, and who will go for Us?" Then I said, “Here am I! Send me,' Isaiah 6:8.

Here's three things that come from a supernatural encounter with God:

1) When God shows up in a supernatural way, we gain a keen sense of His holiness and our lowliness. There can be no pride in His manifest presence; no arguments; no excuses, only pure worship toward an awesome God.

2) There's an acknowledgement of our inadequacy as we bask in His splendid glory. God then whispers to our heart, "My sufficiency is enough for you; lean on Me."

3) Humility and a hunger for more of Him. As we encounter daily living and experience its wear and tear on our souls, we can become prone to having our spiritual senses dulled. But God has an antidote for that dullness. He calls us to an encounter with Himself to cleanse, empower, and send us on our journey to fulfill His purpose in our lives.

Dear reader, God is waiting for you to seek Him, all the more, as the days ahead grow darker. He has so much to give; He has supernatural encounters stored up for those who desire Him with all their heart.

Have a blessed dayPaul
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Wednesday, 14 September 2016

Groaning In Prayer

Romans 8:26
'...the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.'

When we think of groaning we usually think of it as something we do when we're faced with negative circumstances. The way the world is today, it's not hard to find yourself groaning after watching the latest news broadcast.

But when the Holy Spirit groans for us in prayer it's a good thing; it's a positive thing. Paul writes,
'Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. Now He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God,' Romans 8:26-27.

I like that; the Holy Spirit Himself makes intercession for us according to the will of God! Have you ever come to a point, in prayer, when you're presenting your petition to God that you just get lost for words? Well it's at this point that the Holy Spirit enters the picture and helps us in our weaknesses.

He looks at our pain and deepest longings and presents them to our heavenly Father. What an awesome God we serve! The Holy Spirit connects with our prayers when they come from the heart and joins in with us according to the will of God. Have you ever felt a need so deeply, that when you come to God in prayer all you can do is sigh? I know I have, and it's at these very times that we are to lean on God and trust the Holy Spirit to take over. 

The important thing to understand here is this: Whenever you can't articulate a single word in prayer concerning the burden you carry in your heart, you're making an important connection with the Holy Spirit. All it takes is simple trust; Holy Spirit help me to pray.

God seems to allow us to come to a point when all we can do is groan within. He allows this for a reason. What's the reason? He wants us to learn that effectual fervent prayer is what gets the job done, and this type of prayer has to come from deep within where the Holy Spirit resides.

It is from deep within our spirits that we groan together with the Holy Spirit to bring about the effectual fervent prayer of the righteous, praise the Lord! Dear reader, God has given you a powerful ally (The Holy Spirit) to walk with you in this dark world, so get to know Him and your prayers will take on the dimension of the effective fervent prayer of the righteous, James 5:16.

Have a blessed day
Paul
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Monday, 12 September 2016

Instrument Rated Christianity (3) An Answer For Depression

Isaiah 41:10
'...Do not be dismayed, for I am your God...'

In the last two posts we've been looking at the metaphoric picture of being instrument rated. Just like a pilot needs to be instrument rated, through training, to be able to navigate safely through any storm he may encounter, the Christian needs to be proficiently trained in the Word of God to navigate safely through the storms of life.
Today I want to take a brief look at being instrument rated for depression. If left unchecked, depression can make a person do some crazy things that they otherwise would not do if they're in their right state of mind.

This insidious condition, for example, is responsible for causing people to walk away from good jobs, healthy marriages, turn to alcohol, drugs, and suicide. The dictionary defines depression as: 'To be flattened vertically or dispirited.'

Proverbs 12:25 says this: 'Anxiety in the heart of man causes depression, but a good word makes it glad.' Here's our first clue to gaining the victory over depression. Notice how the bible defines the problem and then says that it's a 'good word' that fixes it.

Our greatest battles are fought in the arena of our minds. Our spiritual enemy, the kingdom of darkness, seeks to undermine our lives by planting thought bombs in our minds. What's the answer? Reading, meditating on, and speaking out the Word of God.

When Jesus was in the wilderness being tempted by the devil, He used the Word of God to defeat him, See Matthew 4:1-10. The Word of God is the sword of the Spirit, and a mighty sword it is too. 'And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God,' Ephesians 6:17.

The Holy Spirit is authorized to act on the Word of God when you put it in your mouth and speak it out. When you agree with what God has said in His Word you're flying by your instrument panel, and depression will not be able stay on you. Sure, it might take a little while for it to move off you, but move it will!

When you agree with your problem you're flying by your sight and senses. Dear reader, get the Word of God into your heart and start speaking it over your situation. Listen to this promise: 'So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; it shall not return to Me void, but it shall accomplish what I please, and it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it,' Isaiah 55:11.

When King David and his men returned to Ziklag hoping to be reunited with family and friends, they found their city burning and their families abducted. This sent David into much distress; he became downcast (depressed); what did he do? He encouraged himself in the Lord, 1 Samuel 30:6.

David knew the Word of God, and He used it to remember how big His God was compared to any problem he faced.  In times of distress it was David's custom to remember God and speak out the victories that God had given him, and it was his custom to speak out the Word of God. When David faced off with Goliath, for example, he came running at that giant declaring the covenant (Word of God), See 1 Samuel 17.

Depression can be like a giant in the life of the one who suffers with it, however, the sword of the Spirit will defeat it! Praise the Lord. I will leave you with this promise from God's Holy Word: 'For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says,' Mark 11:23.

Have a blessed day
Paul
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Saturday, 10 September 2016

Instrument Rated Christianity (2) Rated For Trouble

John 16:33
"...In the world you will have tribulation..."

One of the biggest mistakes that believers make in this life is thinking that no trouble will ever come their way. Talk to any Pastor or counselor and they will tell you that they are constantly picking up the pieces of broken lives. These broken people scarcely gave it a second thought that trouble could come their way. So they never prepared for it, big mistake!

Paul wrote, 'we are troubled on every side, yet not distressed...' 2 Corinthians 4:8. I don't mean to paint a gloomy picture here, but it needs to be understood that trouble often comes to even the most dedicated of believers; we must be prepared for this.

Now it would be foolish to go looking for trouble, and it would be just as foolish to ignore the fact that trouble will come. The key to dealing with trouble is to believe what the scriptures say about it. That is to say: Believe that trouble will most likely come to you at some point in life because scripture says that it will.

God's promise is this: 'He shall call upon Me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble;
I will deliver him and honor him,' Psalm 91:15. The promises contained in scripture are what's going to put you over when trouble comes. God's precepts and promises are your instruments, metaphorically speaking,
that will see you through any trouble.

It is, therefore, your responsibility as a believer to be thoroughly trained in your spiritual instrument panel (God's Word). When a believer takes the time to know the promises he/she becomes thoroughly equipped to handle anything that is thrown at them.

Maybe some of your work colleagues don't like your Christian witness and are spreading nasty rumors about you. Maybe someone is blaming you for something you didn't do. It could be that your child gets busted for drugs, or there's an affair in your marriage, to name just a few things. What are you going to do when trouble comes and you're not prepared?

Many Christians find themselves in exactly these kinds of predicaments; some blame God and eventually suffer a  ship wrecked faith. Others go for never ending counseling sessions, but never seem to gain the victory. What about you dear reader? Don't get caught unprepared; get into God's word; get familiar with God's precepts and promises.

Jesus said this to encourage His disciples: "These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world," John 16:33.

Dear reader, if Jesus warned us that we would have trouble in this world, then we had better be ready for it. If Jesus overcame the world, so can we, because greater is He that's in us than he that's in the world, Praise the Lord!

John writes, 'You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world,' 1 John 4:4. Praise God we're on the winning side, but it's up to us to be instrument rated. That is, it's up to us be thoroughly trained in God's Word that we might successfully fight the good fight of faith, 1 Timothy 6:12.

Have a blessed dayPaul
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Wednesday, 7 September 2016

Instrument Rated Christianity (1)

Matthew 22:29
"Jesus answered and said to them, “You are mistaken, not knowing the scriptures nor the power of God."

You may or may not know that most small-plane crashes are caused through pilot error, not mechanical failure. Most crashes happen because the pilots were not 'instrumented rated. 'If a pilot is not instrument rated they need to rely on two things to able to fly that plane:

1) Sight: The non-instrument rated pilot needs to rely on his/her sight; so long as the pilot can see landmarks such as, roads, bridges, rivers, and mountain ranges they can fly safely. However, if a storm was to cloud their vision they'd be in serous trouble.

2) Senses: If you were to blindfold a person and then spin them around in a chair, then stop it and ask that person which way they are spinning, they would not be able to tell you with certainty. Why? Because they're experiencing something called, in aviation terms, vertigo. 

If the person being spun in the chair was not blindfolded they could ignore the sensation, brought on by vertigo, and have no difficulty knowing whether they were spinning to the right, left, or if they were stationary. 

Now I'm not going to go into the science behind the problem of aviation vertigo. It's enough for us to know that it's a very real problem that pilots have to deal with, and it's a problem that can bring disastrous results. When a pilot is experiencing vertigo their sense of direction does not line up or agree with reality.

It takes many hours of training, in simulated storm conditions, for a pilot to ignore the sensation of vertigo and fly by the planes instruments alone. So what does all this have to do with your Christian walk?

Well dear reader, please understand this: As a born again believer you must not be lead by your sight or by your senses, but only by the Holy Scriptures. When you find yourself locked into a storm of life you must be lead only by God's Holy Word; this is the only way you'll be able to navigate your way safely through the storm.

I've been walking with the Lord for nearly three decades now, and I can tell you from personal experience that only when I've been lead by the scriptures have I gone safely through and out of the storms of life. Whenever I chose to live by my senses I failed miserably!

Dear reader, let me leave you with these scriptures to dwell on today: 'All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness,' 2 Timothy 3:16.

'Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth,' 2 Timothy 2:15.

'Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom...' Colossians 3:16.

Have a blessed dayPaul
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Monday, 5 September 2016

Dealing With Temptation (3) Removing The Sources

Genesis 39:12
'...she caught him by his garment, saying, “Lie with me.” But he left his garment in her hand, and fled and ran outside.'
  
The bible says, '...Now Joseph was handsome in form and appearance. And it came to pass after these things that his master’s wife cast longing eyes on Joseph, and she said, “Lie with me.” But he refused and said to his master’s wife, “Look, my master...has committed all that he has to my hand....how then can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God?” So it was, as she spoke to Joseph day by day, that he did not heed her, to lie with her or to be with her. But it happened about this time, when Joseph went into the house to do his work, and none of the men of the house was inside,  that she caught him by his garment, saying, “Lie with me.” But he left his garment in her hand, and fled and ran outside.' Genesis 39:6-12

I want you to notice five things about this story of Joseph's temptation:

1) Joseph's temptation always happened when he was around a certain person: Potiphar's wife.

2) Joseph's temptation kept happening when he was in a certain place: Potiphar's house. 

3) For Joseph, being around Potiphar's wife and being in his house meant daily pressure to sin.

4) Joseph did not run because he was weak, but because he was wise.

5) Joseph understood that if you stay to close for to long around temptation, you're going to get burned. Paul writes, 'Flee sexual immorality. Every sin that a man does is outside the body, but he who commits sexual immorality sins against his own body,' 1 Corinthians 6:18.

Dear reader, what people and places do you need to avoid? What person arouses your flesh? Is there a certain place where you always feel temptation nipping at your heals? What sources of temptation do you need to remove from your life in order to live victoriously?

These are questions that you need to ask yourself honestly; your spiritual life may depend on how you answer and what you do about them! If you're not sure then ask your heavenly Father to show you. James writes, 'If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him,' James 1:5.

So go ahead and pray believing that God will show you, and remember this dear reader: God wants you to live in victory more than you do! So obey His Word and run if you have to; there is no dishonor in running from temptation, but you may become dishonored if you don't.

Have a blessed day








 

 


Friday, 2 September 2016

Dealing With Temptation (2) A Plan For Victory

Luke 10:19
"Behold, I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy..."

In my previous post we learned how to recognize what usually precedes temptation and what to do about it. Today I want to present to you a simple yet effective plan for victory over temptation.

1) No matter how often you fall, get back up.
'...Though the righteous fall seven times, they rise again,' Proverbs 24:16. Growing into spiritual maturity is a life long process, and stumbling along the way happens to the best of us. Every time you turn to God in your weakness and allow Him to do what you can't do for yourself, you grow a little more spiritually.

2) Don't deny it, take it to God and deal with it.
'The Lord is near to those who have a broken heart...' Because God always responds to a repentant heart, He'll meet you at your lowest point. He'll walk you through your valley of regret and repentance and bring you out stronger.

3) Write down what the Lord has taught you through the temptation.
There's always a lesson to be learned; as you reflect on this you'll see what needs to be transformed by the renewing of your mind, Romans 12:2

Be sure to write down what new habits need to be integrated into your life. For example, it may be regular bible reading, prayer, or accountability to a trusted Christian friend. Perhaps you may need to identify weak spots in your character, or it may be a simple matter of watching yourself more closely.

4) Use what you've learned.
"And the Lord said, "Simon, Simon! Indeed, Satan has asked for you, that he may sift you as wheat.  But I have prayed for you, that your faith should not fail; and when you have returned to Me, strengthen your brethren."

Dear reader, today is a new day! Let this day mark a new beginning by using what you've learned to not only avoid falling again, but to help others facing the same temptation. You just never know how far reaching your personal testimony could be to another believer who may be struggling as you have.

5) Believe you can gain the victory.
'The sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ... Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord,' 1 Corinthians 15: 57-58. Dear reader, it's time to drop the 'I can't' attitude, and draw upon God's strength today, amen!

Have a blessed day
Paul
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Wednesday, 31 August 2016

Dealing With Temptation (1)

2 Chronicles 20:12
"...nor do we know what to do, but our eyes are upon You."

There came a time in the life of Peter when Jesus said to him, "...assuredly, I say to you that this night, before the rooster crows, you will deny Me three times." In reply to this Peter boasted, "Even if I have to die with You, I will not deny You!" Matthew 26:34-35.

Well most Christians know the story; only a few hours after Jesus predicted Peter's denial he did in fact deny Jesus. Now Peter had spent around three years with Jesus when this temptation beset him; my point? Just like Peter we all have our areas of vulnerability which, if not dealt with through discipline and character development, could defeat or even destroy us.

So what can we do to gain the victory over temptation?

1) Recognize what usually precedes temptation.
Before a Christian yields to temptation they go through certain stages. Neglecting prayer and bible reading is how it usually starts. When you do this, you become indifferent to God and insensitive to danger.

The next step is you'll start to rationalize your disobedience thinking to yourself, 'nobody knows, and besides what harm will it do?' Once you begin to silence your God-given conscience your carnal appetites will grow stronger.  When your carnal appetites start taking hold, you'll begin to surround yourself with people who do the same things, or are at least are willing to turn a blind eye.

Jesus said, "Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation..." Mark 14:34. In others words, be aware that sin is always crouching at your door waiting to get a foothold, so pray for strength to stand against temptation. Genesis 4:7 says, "...sin lies at the door and its desire is for you, but you should rule over it."

2) Reach out for help.
When Jehoshaphat found himself in a battle with an enemy much greater and stronger, he turned to God and prayed, "...we have no power against this great multitude that is coming against us; nor do we know what to do, but our eyes are upon You,"  2 Chronicles 20:12.

Jehoshaphat knew that he could not defeat this enemy on his own, but he knew who to turn to for help. The secret to gaining the victory over temptation is found in knowing that you can't do it by yourself; it's found in leaning less on yourself and more on God.

3) Confess your faults.
Sometimes a Christian can be so weighed down with temptation and sin that they don't even have the strength to turn to God. What are you to do? Turn to a trusted believer; confess your faults and be healed. Great blessing is released when faults are confessed, and prayed for by others.
James writes, 'Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much,' James 5:16

Dear reader, whatever temptation you're facing, take it to God. Take it all to God no matter how ashamed you might feel about it. God loves you; He's seen it all, and He's there for you.

Have a blessed dayPaul
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Next post: Dealing with temptation (2) A plan for victory.