Friday, December 31, 2010

In the Light of Newness

The year 2010 must set so a new year can dawn. This is the time to reflect and give thanks for God has brought us through. We may have fallen short in certain aspects of our lives but there is still time while we are alive, to make a change, to be the best and do the best we can.

Never forget that there are angels amongst us, some in spirit and some in the flesh. We may or may not know them personally, but they watch over us as directed by God. They can protect, bring a ray of sunshine, make us smile or simply do an act of kindness. Each of which will impact upon our lives for years to come.

The blessings we receive from above, sometimes go unseen but they fall upon us in many ways, and at no point in time should we be ungrateful. They may not always be what we expect but they are exactly what we need in that moment.

2011 is the year not just for possibilities, but conquering what we may think is the impossible. Always keep these true words of faith in mind, “with God all things are possible,” Mark 10:27.

I wrote this post while at work today and even though I was recently shown a truth, I decided not to change the original content. Everyday that we walk this earth, we learn something new. Courage is not built upon happiness it is built from struggle, and where others may take from your life, God has a way of rejuvenating 200% of what was taken away. My resolution for 2011 is to always be proud of who I am because I am a unique and wonderful creation, Psalm 139:14, and no one but God, can take that away from me.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

The Wanderer

In many of his teachings, Jesus focused on God’s love for the sinner and the happiness felt by all of heaven, when one individual decides to change and give his or her heart to him. The story of the prodigal son in Luke 15:11-32 reiterates that point.

A man had two sons, and one day the younger approached his father requesting his portion of the family’s wealth. The father not wanting to deny his child gave to him what he desired, and soon after the younger son left home with his belongings for an adventure into the world. He travelled to a distant country and being na├»ve, spent all his riches on revelry, sex and wastefulness.

After squandering all he had, a great famine came upon that land and he became a vagabond. With no family or friends to help him, he had to labour for someone tending swine and ate the husks fed to those animals. He was an outcast, but sometime later he came to his senses, realizing that even his father’s servants lived and ate better than he did. With that in mind he decided to journey home to grovel at his father’s feet, and no longer being worthy of the title ‘son’ he would work for him as a servant.

So he left for home, but while he was a great distance away his father saw him and ran to greet him, and despite his smelly and filthy state, the father embraced him tightly and kissed him. The son’s request to serve was ignored and even before he was able to complete his statement, his father called for the best robe, a ring and shoes to clothe him. A large feast was then prepared by the servants to celebrate the return of this long lost son. However, not everyone was pleased by this turn of events. After a hard days work, the elder son came home to discover merriment and dancing for the return of someone that disgraced the family’s name.

Refusing to enter the house, the father came out and pleaded with him but in anger the elder son said, “All these years I remained loyal, I was not once disrespectful or ungrateful to you, yet I was never given a small banquet to be festive with my friends, but as soon as this pathetic son of yours had arrived who spent your hard earned income on prostitutes, a big celebration was thrown in his honour.” With love his father replied, “My son as you are always with me, everything I own is yours, but it is right for us to be happy and celebrate the return of your brother who was dead, but is alive once again, lost but is now found.”

Here we are told the true meaning of unconditional love which is the love that God has for our fallen race. When we decide to turn to him, he meets us halfway to embrace us, accepting us regardless of our present condition; regardless of the wrong we have committed, and even if others disapprove of our willing to turn our life around or do not accept our sincerity, God sees the heart, he understands and he will cleanse us.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

A Deep Connection

In the circle of life you are the core.
You know all that exist upon the earth.
Even in solitude we cannot hide our most intimate thoughts from you.
You understand our frustrations and doubts, and reveal to us the path that must be taken to move past them.
When surrounded by chaos there is peace, because you are our shelter.
In our tiredness and inability to make that extra step, you lift us up and carry us onwards.
It is therefore undeniable, that your luminescence brightens the dark trail which leads to the ongoing stream of our existing lives.
From this we know that with our every breath, your love flows inside us.
You are the beauty in every flower, the serenade of tweeting birds and the cool feel of raindrops on our skin.
You are our redeeming grace.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Fishers of Men

I recently came across an article, which focused on spreading the end time message. The headline was so flamboyant I truly thought it was based on sarcasm. I will not repeat it, but it more or less meant to tell others their souls are condemned so they would be obligated to accept Christ as their saviour.

As I continued to read the article I realized the author is convinced that we should terrify people into giving their souls to Christ. This individual also stated that God does not have time to spread the word himself as he is too busy worrying about the weather, and making sure the planets remain aligned, that’s why he put us in charge of letting others know.

I agree that God has instructed us to spread the message, becoming fishers of men, but I offer a word of caution, it’s not what you say, it’s how you say it.

This author painted a picture in my mind which was, God is cold, strict and frightening, and if I learnt the message of Christ for the first time reading that article I would ignore it. I should not be manipulated into serving God out of fear for my life, I should serve him because I understand who he is, how much he loves me and what he was willing to sacrifice so I could have a chance at eternity.

As disciples we can talk about it all. Adultery, homosexuality, drugs even crime, that’s what we are supposed to do. Let others know God loves the sinner but hates the sin, God wants us all to have a part in his kingdom and that he wants us to accept him before it is too late.

However, we cannot force anyone to choose as we do or believe as we do, the choice must always be theirs, because even if they accept Christ now due to fear of damnation, if they do not understand God fully they can easily fall away, and reaching them will be near to impossible the second time around.

Another point, God is not busy worried about the weather, he is not a superficial or silly being. Our lives are important to him, and everything he has done from the time sin came into the world till now, has been to secure our position at his right hand.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Facing Our Deadliest of Fears

Elijah, one of the most powerful prophets mentioned in the Old Testament, slew in one day, four hundred and fifty of Jezebel’s (wife of Ahab who was the King of Israel at that time) false prophets after he publicly humiliated them through a contest of sacrifice, revealing to the nation that these people served a weak god called Baal.

Even though Elijah had the ability to call fire down from heaven, striking fear into the hearts of those in the armed forces, he had his own fear to wrestle with and that was death at the hand of a woman. Jezebel wanted his life in return for killing her prophets. It seems rather odd that Elijah would be so afraid that he went into hiding after such an act of courage, but really it is not.

God last spoke to Elijah about the false prophets, and on receiving Jezebel’s decree for his death he had not received any other instructions from the Lord. Therefore his first instinct was to flee for his life since he did not know what the end result would be. It simply dawned on him that he was alone, the only prophet of the true God still alive as Jezebel ordered that all the prophets of the Lord be killed sometime before, it was a great burden for him.

Given our weakness due to our sinful state we sometimes forget who our Father is, his promises to us and our ability to overcome. It is not easy to stand alone for what is right but at some point in time we will all have to do it, and we will have to face the outcome of that action. Do not doubt for a second whether God understands our fears because he does, and like Elijah he will find us wherever we are even in the deepest and darkest cave. He will bring us into the light of day again and he will bring us comfort. Wait on the Lord.

Reference:
1 Kings 18-19

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Our Capability

You may think that being a Christian simply means partaking in prayers, reading the bible and living as humanly possible in righteousness, but there is more to Christianity than just following protocol, attending church and carrying the name. We are children of the Most High and believers in Christ and as such, have access to a fortress containing power and strength.

God never intended for us to be weak, helpless or destitute. We do not need to shy away from society, be worried about what others may think concerning our beliefs or live in fear of being ridiculed. We are leaders who stand upon the rock of truth, unashamed to proclaim our love for God and be defenders of morality.

In Christ we are influential, undeterred and a distinct group of people. Authority has been given to us to speak the word and see it come to pass. We can testify of God’s goodness because of our ability to rise above the difficulties of this world, conquering our greatest challenges. Through the might of God we are destined for greatness, this is our blessing.

Reference:
Psalm 68:35
Proverbs 10:20
I Chronicles 29:12
Philippians 4:13

Monday, August 2, 2010

Into the World of Witchcraft

Through the centuries witchcraft has taken an appealing transformation, it has drawn many to practice the art or seek out someone who does. It is classified as a pagan religion known as Wicca, wherein its followers worship nature which embody their god or goddess. Wiccans channel through meditation and practice the casting of spells. Their symbol is a pentacle or pentagram which is a five-pointed star, representing the five elements earth, water, air, fire and spirit

Under the New Age movement, individuals have risen up calling themselves psychics, who have extrasensory perception giving them the ability to sense unknown information. Furthermore, psychic mediums communicate with spirit guides and the dead. In all, they dispute the claim of Satan worship and state that their practice of ‘magick’ is based upon good.

It does not matter which form witchcraft may take or the varied use of it within different religious groups. It can be called white magic, black magic, vodou/voodoo, obeah or the occult, God hates the practice declaring it as an abomination and a sin of the flesh. We can lose or connection with the true God if we choose to follow this path.

There is a popular quote spoken amongst witches. “If you take the Christian Bible and put it out in the wind and the rain, soon the paper on which the words are printed will disintegrate and the words will be gone. Our bible IS the wind and the rain.” [Anonymous Native American woman]

Well that is true as the bible is a book made up of paper, but the message it contains has survived the rigour of time, and will live on in every Christian that walks on this planet now and forever. The Word as a template is burnt upon our hearts and can never be erased, broken or lost. We do not need to study the wind and the rain, the Most High, the Alpha and Omega, the First and the Last created this earth and the elements, and HE alone controls everything around us. That is our pentacle.

Reference:
Deut 18:10-12
Gal 5:19-21

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Standing on the Promises

Standing on the promises that cannot fail, when the howling storms of doubt and fear assail, by the living word of God I shall prevail, standing on the promises of God.
Hymn: Standing on the Promises by R. Kelso Carter [Verse 2]

The bible is filled with promises from God and they are meant to be used in times of comfort and need. Our loving Father is true to his word, so rest assured that what he said, he will do. These promises do not only help to strengthen our faith but they also provide a shield during tribulation. By an oath we are guaranteed deliverance and restoration for our God cannot lie.

God desires that we live happy and prosperous lives, but even though these promises are given to us for reassurance, they must never be used for selfish gains or be based upon malicious reasons. If we send a request to God with the expectation that our lust for worldly pleasures will be fulfilled, we will forfeit our blessings and in the end profit nothing.

The pledge states, that what is impossible for man is not impossible for God, ask and it will be given to you, and even in dire circumstances you will be protected. Nothing shall rise up against you and prevail.

Reference:
Isaiah 54:17
Luke 11:9
Luke 18:27
Titus 1:2
Hebrews 6:17-20

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Listening When God Speaks

In the days of old before sin dominated the world, God and man communicated directly. Face to face they would meet daily to discuss the beauty of life and enjoy each other’s company. Sadly however, evil later touched the heart of man, which placed a barrier between the Creator and his creation. Mankind could no long look upon the face God without being struck down immediately.

Yet even then, God still visited with a select few who were open to receive him though only his voice could be heard. Now in this time, with every generation our link with the Father becomes weaker and more corrupted, we have no choice other than to rely on his guidance through thought, with the hope that his energy would continually surround us as we grow older.

Hearing him through the noise of our everyday lives is difficult. He is drowned out, by our busy schedule, when we allow ourselves to be distracted by material desires, when we trust more in humanity than in the divine, by our reluctance to accept righteousness and the belief that we do not need spiritual healing. Arrogance and stubbornness are preventing us from communing with the Lord.

We will not be able to hear the words that are spoken unless we are actually listening. The truth is, we can find the time for everything else, but what should be an integral part of our lives is set aside and forgotten. There is a joy in serving God, so we must take a moment everyday to spend quality time with him. He listens when we speak, he comes when we call for him, it is only fair that we do the same and allow him to say his piece.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

The Battle for Our Minds

There is a war raging. A battle is being fought that cannot be seen with the naked eye. Two powerful entities are fighting to control the masses. It is a war between good and evil, God and his army versus the forces of Satan, and the battle is for our minds.

Do not for an instant believe that you cannot be influenced to do a wicked deed, we must make a conscious effort to be righteous but sinfulness is in our nature. If we dwell upon the things of this world, being entangled in the web frivolousness, then we will be easily manipulated by the devil.

He knows our weaknesses and because of his smooth and conning approach, if we do not put on that breastplate of righteousness, we would not be able to recognize his act of deception. His aim has always been to blind our view of the holy by twisting the truth, to make immorality seem desirable and wanting to pursue it becomes habitual.

Though we have fleshly bodies that are prone to sin, there is still a line of defence that can keep us on the straight and narrow, and that is in serving God, we must offer up ourselves with a burning desire to do only his will, giving him full authority to inhabit our minds. In doing so, our thinking patterns will be different, and we will achieve a form of perfection through godly behaviour.

Reference:
Ephesians 6:11-13
Romans 8:4-6
Romans 12:1, 2

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Affirmation of God’s Existence

As God is unseen, cannot be touched and his voice not physically heard, it is very easy to believe that he is not there or never existed.

If that is the case, when you handle your daily activities doing what needs to be done, you are likely to take full credit for completing the task because you did it all on your own, and the strength you use to carry you through each day only comes from within, you do not need support. So for you, life is a gamble, either you win or lose. In simpler terms, being upon this planet was by chance as you just happened to draw the longer straw.

Well then you may ask, where is the proof that God exists?

Only the spiritually dead, morally blind and deceived cannot see that the proof of his existence is in this sphere, we call the world.

You do not need to see God to know he is there, his presence will be felt if you desire to have him in your life.

You do not need to literally hear his voice to have a conversation with him, if you would only listen, he will speak to your mind

You do not need to touch him to know that he is real, he touched you when you were formed. If you understand this, you will see that you were made in his image and likeness.

Do not expect the answers to be plain. God has prevented us from knowing certain things, but one thing is sure, when looking for him earnestly, you will be enlightened on the way of righteousness and your eyes will be opened to see beyond the physical. He was there from the beginning, he is here in the present and he will be there in the future. If you directly seek God instead of searching for different concepts and drawing your own conclusions, you will definitely find him.

Reference:
John 1:1-3
Romans 1:20
Colossians 1:15-17
Hebrews 11:6
1 John 1:1-3
Revelation 4:11

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Being Religious vs. Honouring God

During the time Christ walked the earth, the religious leaders of that day had their own ideas on how to govern the church. Their beliefs and practices were profoundly rooted on their self righteous nature, and the true reason for living godly was lost under a cloak of hypocrisy.

The Pharisees and Sadducees honestly believed that they were above sin and direct communicators with God. Jesus however proved that they were worshippers unto themselves, and did not understand God’s instructions handed down from generation to generation.

Even in our time, many are caught up in confirming a religion, instead of actually building a firm relationship with God. They do not realize that they have strayed from an underlined principle, that is, God must be worshipped in spirit and in truth, John 4:24. We should not only speak of God with our lips, but our hearts should also overflow with admiration for him. Our goal must always be to represent Christ in every aspect of our lives.

Additionally, it is important to remember that in following the doctrine of our respective faiths, we must not become so immersed in conforming to the regulations of the church, that the meaning of God’s word is misconstrued, and no longer properly recognized as the main guide for living in righteousness.

Reference:
Matthew 3:5-10
Matthew 5:20
Matthew 9:10-12
Matthew 15:1-9

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Year 2012

It is greatly anticipated that the year 2012 is the year of enormous disaster.

Here are some predictions you may be aware of:

Mayan – Interpreting their calendar, the end of the world should take place around December 2012 through the occurrence of a polar shift. In other words meaning, massive earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and so on.

Nostradamus – World War III, which could mean twenty seven years of great bloodshed though an invasion of Europe by Islamic forces. It has also been said that WWIII should begin December 2010, be global and involve nuclear weapons.

Then there is Planet X, ‘the great star for seven days will burn’ this has been interpreted as an appearance of a heavenly being, causing worldwide destruction. Another interpretation states that Planet X is the eleventh planet in the solar system, many times bigger than earth and will cause comets. Planet X has also been declared as a myth.

NASA – A solar storm is expected to occur in 2012, they say that the sunspot cycle to come will be worst than the last. However it is claimed that the solar maximum should begin between 2010 and 2011. What this basically means is the activity on the surface of the sun will destroy our technology, for example there will be power outages. It will in addition create overall economic disaster and cause the death of millions. All this will be due to the highly charged energy particles (plasma) of the sun, travelling to earth.

The book of Revelation by John the apostle, estimated to be written around A.D. 95, tells us everything we need to know about the end time.

Here are a few key points mentioned in the biblical book:

There will be a great earthquake, the sun will become black, the moon will appear in a blood like colour and the stars will fall from the sky. Revelation 6:12-13

Revelation 16
Sores will come upon both mankind and animals.
The waters will become like blood.
The Sun will scorch men with fire.
Hail will fall from the sky.

Moreover, there will be death, mourning and famine. Revelation 18:8

Matthew 24:3-44 also in summary, explains in simpler terms what is to take place. It furthermore mentions, that the actual end of the world is unknown though many will try to predict how and when.

One thing is certain, the world we live in is a ticking time bomb and is set to destroy itself at some point. We do have the assurance however, that before that time approaches and no one is left alive on this planet, Christ will come to take his people home.

The Lord requests that we be vigilant, not allow anyone to deceive us, not worry when we hear of wars and witness the destruction, and more importantly to be ready for his second appearance on this planet.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Cloaked by Angel’s Wings

God has given his angels the directive to watch over his children. We cannot see what lies ahead, nor do we know the evil that was planned against us, and as our lives are not our own, without divine protection we will be open to great misfortune beyond our understanding.

This does not necessarily mean we will not encounter moments of danger or be hurt, for at times the Father wants us to gain experience and become more grounded in faith. Additionally, preparing us for greater things as well as setting us as an example to others.

We do have the assurance that when we pass through the fire of tribulation, the angels of the Lord will be there shielding us. Therefore we do not need to be afraid; a way has already been cleared to provide relief.

Nevertheless, this does not give us an excuse to intentionally place our lives in harms way to test God, he will not be tempted. He has simply given us the guarantee that each day we have an unseen companion, guarding our lives.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

The Chapter of Potiphar’s Wife

Genesis 39 begins the story of Joseph’s time in Egypt. He was purchased by Potiphar (an official) to be a slave in his house, and because Joseph was favoured by God, Potiphar benefited from the blessings Joseph received.

It is easy to sympathize with Joseph’s plight, as he was treated harshly by his brothers, tossed into a pit and then sold into slavery, yet even with that, as time went by it seemed as though things were improving for him. He became the manager of his master’s home, nevertheless there is an important factor which was true then as it is now. Every time the Lord builds you up, the devil will do everything in his power to break you down.

Potiphar’s wife decided to sink her claws into Joseph, enticing him daily to have sex with her. In every sense she was a temptress and a vixen, but Joseph refused her requests due to respect for his master, and having the great understanding that it would displease the Lord. The day came however, that Joseph had to run for his life leaving his garment in her hands. Potiphar’s wife of course would not allow a mere slave to trample over her desires, lied and had him sent to prison.

Each of us will encounter a Joseph experience. Temptation can come in any form, by any means, through anyone. It can be drugs, alcohol, sex, money and even the urge to be violent. You can try with all your heart to do what is right, but the call to follow the wrong path always appears more attractive, however, like Joseph who lived with God embedded in his soul, you can overcome.

You may risk losing everything saying no to temptation but by standing for righteousness, God will find a way for you through to the trial. The question that Joseph asked Potiphar’s wife in Genesis 39:9 is indeed nerve racking, “how then can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God?”

The Meaning of Prayer

As a child you may have been taught to say a prayer at meal times, or before you sleep at night, you may not have understood why, but you knew it was needed to be continually blessed each day.

Saying a prayer is in fact talking with God, not only expressing thanks or asking for protection, but also telling him (though he already knows) your intimate feelings, desires and dreams. By taking a moment to pray, you are actually giving God the opportunity to be a part of your life, since he will not force himself upon your heart.

Prayer is a powerful tool that is able to lift the spirit, bring comfort in times of suffering and rest to a weary soul. It can open the mind to spiritual things and further understanding of the ways of God.

Some may say “with all the suffering in the world, why bother to pray?” And the answer is simple, if you have to face the heavy burden of pain and torment everyday with no where to turn, no hope of relief and no one to provide comfort, then the dark pit that you think is your life, will stifle your soul and you will become as nothing.