Monday, 30 September 2013

Sow For Harvest

Proverbs 24:29 Say not, I will do so to him as he hath done to me: I will render to the man according to his work.                                                                                           
      There is a Chinese proverb that says, “He who seeks vengeance must dig two graves: one for his enemy and one for himself.” The word of God advises us not to seek vengeance; but rather allow God to intervene on our behalf because He is the perfect judge. Rom. 12:19 Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord. 
      If we bring vengeance to a personal wrong, then there is a law of sowing and reaping that is at work in our world and the constant exacting of an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth will never end. As someone once said, "You will end up with a bunch of blind toothless people."
       When the concept of sowing and reaping is talked about, it is normally talked about in a negative term as, "Watch out, you are going to reap what you sow." I say that this is a positive word for the Christian believer, because we are sowing to the Spirit and to the good of mankind who needs to know the Lord Jesus. Gal. 6:7 Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man sows, that shall he also reap
      This verse is good news to me because I want to reap what I sow in the kingdom of God for me and my family. I want the favour of the Lord's blessing whatsoever I put my hands and heart to doing. I want the Holy Spirit leading and teaching me how to sow to the Spirit of God that I may excel in my Christian walk. Yes, Lord, let me reap what I sow.
       Someone might say, "I have sown so much to the flesh, what can I do?" An expression that my pastor, David Kalamen often says is, ""Pray for a crop failure." I have to agree with that advice. I believe God says that we can count on His grace toward us when we ask for His forgiveness for our past sins. 
      Heb. 8:12 For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more. With God, there is always a fresh and merciful start. Lam. 3:22 It is of the LORD'S mercies that we are not consumed, because His compassion's fail not. 23 They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness. 
       God's word says that we can sow toward a return in life. Mark 10:30 But he shall receive an hundredfold now in this time, houses, and brethren, and sisters, and mothers, and children, and lands, with persecutions; and in the world to come eternal life. We are encouraged to sow the word of God in our hearts so that it will go well with us here on earth and we can bless the needs of humanity. Mark 4:20 And these are they which are sown on good ground; such as hear the word, and receive it, and bring forth fruit, some thirtyfold, some sixty, and some an hundred. 
      When I think of sowing and reaping, I feel great about God's sowing principle. He enables us to participate in our salvation that Christ has freely given us. We can sow in any season and any condition and still reap blessings. God gives life to the seed sown. 
      When we are sowing according to His will, then how great a crop shall we receive. Isaac sowed in a time of famine and the God-given result was blessing. Gen. 26:12 Then Isaac sowed in that land, and received in the same year an hundredfold: and the LORD blessed him. God loves the success that He helps us accomplish. Now, let's get sowing, and we will receive a joyful crop of God's goodness.

Saturday, 28 September 2013

All That Faith

Proverbs 13:12  Hope deferred makes the heart sick: but when the desire comes, it is a tree of life.

     Our hopes and desires are fulfilled by our faith in God and His word. We know that faith is needed to please God. Heb. 11:6 But without faith it is impossible to please Him: for he that comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him. And yet God will allow us, by grace, to approach Him with whatever level of faith we have even - little faith that is close to none. Mark 9:24 And straightway the father of the child cried out, and said with tears, Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief.
      Faith is a gift from God to each one of us, for maturity in the faith to be used for His glory and our growth. Rom. 12:3 For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith. We also know that this faith will increase through believing God's word. Rom. 10:17 So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
      There are different type and measures of faith, and all faith works in hope of an expected end. Heb. 11:1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. The Lord will even help our faith by infusing it with His faith. One of the gifts of the Holy Spirit is the gift of faith from the Holy Spirit. 1 Cor. 12:9a To another faith by the same Spirit.
      We are encouraged to use mustard seed faith, and the implication being that the smallest amount of God-inspired faith can move any mountain in our life. Matt. 17:20 And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you. 
      This faith is wonderful because the law of the seed is at work here; therefore, our faith will grow over time if we are patient. I heard a teacher once say, "Even grass turns to milk if you have patience." Likewise, faith turns to substance if we have patience.
      As Jesus walked throughout the Holy Land, He looked for people to have faith in Himself. The interesting thing was that He found some great faith with the centurion, the Syrophenician woman, and the woman at the well. It could be said that this verse describes the faith of these people. Luke 7:9 When Jesus heard these things, he marvelled at him, and turned him about, and said unto the people that followed him, I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel. 
      The other poignant fact is that these people were all gentiles, yet they could see the Messiah clearly and could make a draw by faith on Christ's virtue because their hearts were not clouded with religion as His own people. John 1:11 He came unto His own, and his own received Him not. 
      A religious heart will cause our faith to falter even though every endeavour has been provided for us to come to Him by any faith we have. So, let us proceed with His grace, helping us grow in faith, believing from a clean heart. 1 Tim. 3:9 Holding the mystery of the faith in a pure conscience.

Thursday, 26 September 2013

Covered In Grace

Proverbs 22:11 He that loves pureness of heart, for the grace of his lips the king shall be his friend.

     When we become born again Christians, we take on the new nature of Christ within us, and we become kings and priests of the Lord. Rev. 1:6a And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father. As kings, we rule with righteousness toward all people and as priests, we minister with grace toward all people on behalf of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. As the proverb says, "For the grace of his lips the king will be his friend."
     I was able to experience this type of friendship with the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. I saw firsthand the blessing of living and ministering from a position of grace toward my brothers, sisters, coworkers, family, and everyone I came across. I noticed that there would be a miracle manifested within seconds, minutes, and days of offering grace to everyone who was in need of grace.
      I found a verse that liberated my heart and the simplicity of its words were pure joy. Acts 14:3 Long time therefore abode they speaking boldly in the Lord, which gave testimony unto the word of his grace, and granted signs and wonders to be done by their hands. The words in this verse that touched me were, "Which gave testimony unto the word of his grace." 
      Paul and his ministry team ministered the word of the Lord's grace. What was the result of this word of grace ministered? The word says, "Granted signs and wonders to be done by their hands." 
      I asked God if it could be this simple and I immediately started practising what I had received through the illumination of this word and the results were immediate. Signs and wonders began manifesting all around my everyday life.
      I could see that this was what Jesus was doing when He walked with His disciples in the everyday life of their ministry because Jesus was full of grace and truth. John 1:14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth. 16 And of His fullness have all we received, and grace for grace. 17 For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ. Whenever Jesus did anything He did it from a position of grace first then truth to seal His love toward the people. 
     The woman caught in adultery, Jesus said to her, "Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more." The grace was no condemnation, and the truth was go and sin no more.
     The leper in the synagogue, Jesus says, "I will; be thou clean, but go thy way, shew thyself to the priest." The grace was the cleansing of leprosy, and the truth was show the cleansing to the priest.
     Jairus' daughter had died, and Jesus says, "I say unto thee, arise, and commanded that something should be given her to eat." The grace was healing her from death, and the truth was to give her something to eat. 
     In these true stories, grace was offered to deal with a miracle needed in life, and the truth was given because truth is needed to keep going on in life. We offer grace because grace has been given to us, and we minister the truth because the truth of grace will set everyone who receives it free. 
      Grace for grace. What an amazing grace we have been given. Eph. 2:8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9 Not of works, lest any man should boast. This grace that we have been given, by faith, is ours to give so that signs and wonders would follow. I love the truth of His grace. Amen.

Tuesday, 24 September 2013

A Word In Season

Proverbs 25:25 As cold waters to a thirsty soul, so is good news from a far country.

       In 1986 my family and I lived in the town of Redcliffe in Queensland, Australia. In those days posted letters were still the main way to communicate with family and friends. The Redcliffe post office was right across the street from the Pacific Ocean and its glorious beach. When I got mail from other parts of the world, I would find a park bench or picnic table on the beach and read these letters from a far country. 
      Like the proverb says, it was cold waters to my thirsty soul. If these letters could invoke a sense of fulfillment in my soul and bring a joy that was needed for the day, then how much more is the word of God able to fill our thirsty souls with what will give us eternal life forever on earth and in heaven. 
      A word in season can make all the difference in gaining a victory in Christ. We read in the Gospel of John, in chapter four the story of the Samaritan woman who has a divine appointment with Jesus at Jacob's well. Jesus was the good news from a far country and the word that He gave this woman was to her, cold water to a thirsty soul.
      Her victory begins when she says, John 4:19 The woman saith unto Him, Sir, I perceive that thou art a prophet. The woman's soul had been opened to the good news she needed in her life that day. The change in her was immediate as she began to proclaim the good news to her neighbours. John
4:28 The woman then left her waterpot, and went her way into the city, and saith to the men, 29 Come, see a man, which told me all things that ever I did: is not this the Christ? 
      Her question, "Is this not the Christ?" is so incredible because she gets, in one encounter with Jesus, the whole picture of who Jesus is. He is the Christ, " The anointed one." Its meaning is the same as the Hebrew word "Messiah." 
     The woman's profound declaration of "Come, see a man, which told me all things that ever I did." is the word in season that changed her life forever. She no longer needed men in her life to give her a sense of well being or fulfilment, because she had now met the Man Jesus who filled her heart with real life. 
      I am just thinking out loud here, but it would not surprise me if after she hears of the Crucifixion of this same Jesus that she becomes a major leader in the first church in Samaria.
     Saul, on his way to Damascus, encounters a face to face with the risen Lord. The illumination of that encounter blinded Saul and struck him so hard, spiritually, that he understands his call to the gentiles and soon after uses his name Paul the Apostle of faith in Christ. What was the word in season for Saul? Acts 9:5 And he said, Who art thou, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecute: it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks. 
      I believe the word was, "I am Jesus whom you persecute." After this revelation of who Jesus is and Paul's personal healing is fulfilled, his life is immediately turned around and he begins to preach Christ Crucified. Acts 9:20 And straightway he preached Christ in the synagogues, that he is the Son of God.
     When we are given a word in season, it becomes a healing balm to our parched souls and a strength for our hearts that will cause faith to rise up and become an overcoming faith. The word in season that feels like cold water to our thirsty soul is, "Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith."

Sunday, 22 September 2013

A Strongman's Weakness

Proverbs 25:16 Hast thou found honey? eat so much as is sufficient for thee, lest thou be filled therewith, and vomit it.

       I heard someone say, "Too much of a good thing will cause us to eventually lose interest and dislike whatever that good thing was." I say too much of anything that is not God-led will become commonplace and will lose its shine no matter what the good thing is. 
      The Lord must be in our daily choices or we will even become ungrateful for what we abundantly have today that was lacking years ago. Duet. 6:12 Be careful not to forget the LORD, who rescued you from slavery in the land of Egypt.
      When I was 16 years old I worked in a men's clothing store and we would save the shoe boxes that customers did not want. Once we had accumulated twenty-four boxes, we would then trade the shoe boxes with the bakery next door for a dozen honey dip donuts. The bakery would use the shoe boxes for packing box lunches for the pipeline construction crews working the area. 
      For me, in 1968 donuts were a wonderful and rare treat but since then the shine has come off of them because donuts are not a rare speciality anymore. You can throw a stone and hit a Tim Horton's or a dozen other types of donut drive-through windows at the whim of fat cells screaming for a crispy cream. Duet. 8:11a But that is the time to be careful! Beware that in your plenty you do not forget the LORD your God. 
      What happened to the rare treat? Donuts had become commonplace and lost their special rarity to an over-abundant surplus from our consumptive demand. This common surplus has happened to almost everything consumable in the world. In a short amount of time what was once unique and special is poured out in truck-loads at the nearest box depots. 
      I am not complaining. I am just observing a trend that can easily lead to a spirit of entitlement, then eventually leading to an ugly case of ungratefulness.
      Even a strong Christian can get caught up with all the offerings from the altars of the worldwide everything on sale stores. Mark 3:27 No man can enter into a strong man's house, and spoil his goods, except he will first bind the strong man; and then he will spoil his house. 
      Thank God that in our weakness He is strong and gives us the armour of God to protect ourselves from the tricks of the enemy who tries to destroy us. Eph. 6:10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. 11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 
       How do we Christians keep ourselves walking as a strongman? I don't believe a vow of poverty or joining a monastery is the answer. No, the answer is within us. Jude 1:20 But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost. How can we make everyday living special again? 1 Thes. 5:18 In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. 
      Some might say that I have a Pollyanna view of looking at the overwhelming worldliness invading our Christian lives. Not so. I say the written word of God in its simplicity is still the only thing that can get us through the valley of the shadow of death while keeping us strong. 
      The cleansing blood of Jesus that washes us from all sins in this world is still the only healing salve that gives us the right to call on the name of the Lord to work His miracle needed in our lives. Isa. 47:4 As for our redeemer, the LORD of hosts is his name, the Holy One of Israel. True, I am a strongman of God who falls in weakness, but my God is strong all the time and nothing is impossible for Him. Jesus is Lord!

Friday, 20 September 2013

He Is Near

Proverbs 18:24 A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticks closer than a brother.

       How close is our God to us? He is as close as our next thought about Him and prayer to Him. Psalm 5:1b Give ear to my words, O LORD, consider my meditation. Most ministers in the church of our Lord often find themselves in one-on-one counseling sessions with people who have lost their sense of God's presence in their lives. They feel like they have lost the friendship they once had with God. 
      The feeling of loss might seem real, but this is so far from the truth of God's word because the Lord is always letting us know that He is as close to us as our heart's desire to be near Him. James 4:8-A Draw nigh to God, and He will draw nigh to you. Rom. 10:13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.
      God says all we have to do is call on His name. Jer. 33:3 Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and shew thee great and mighty things, which thou knows not. All we have to do is be headed toward Him and His unwavering love toward us and His heart's response is, "Come to me." Matt. 11:28 Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 
      The word says that Jesus is our brother. Rom. 8:29 For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren. In another place, it says that Jesus is our friend. John 5:15 Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knows not what his lord does: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you. 
      Since Jesus is our brother and friend, then how can we not be fulfilled with His admonishment that we can count on Him as a friend that sticks closer than a brother? What a blessed assurance we have in our savior to know that He will never leave us wanting or begging for Himself. Heb. 13:5b For he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. 
      Every one of us has been let down and suffered the effects in life by friendships that turned out less than friendly. Letdowns, betrayals, and disappointments of these friendships were the results of misplaced trust. However, trusting in the friendship that Christ offers will bring into our hearts and lives true love, joy, and peace in the Holy Spirit. 
      The old song, "What a friend I have in Jesus" is worth singing because it is the truth. Nothing can separate me from the friendship and love of my God except by my own doing. I can walk away from His hand extended toward me, but why would I let go of such a true friendship from my God? 
      Jesus is the friend that sticks closer than a brother and I am grateful. Isa. 54:10 For the mountains shall depart, and the hills be removed; but my kindness shall not depart from thee, neither shall the covenant of my peace be removed, saith the LORD that hath mercy on thee.

Wednesday, 18 September 2013

Jesus The Word

Proverbs 13:13 Whoso despises the word shall be destroyed: but he that fears the commandment shall be rewarded.

    To despise means: To regard as negligible, worthless, distasteful, or to look down on with contempt.
      To despise the written word of God is to despise Jesus; even if you do not like what I am saying, this is true. My late Pastor Arnold Kalamen said," If Jesus is not Lord of all, He is not Lord at all." 
      The word of the Lord says that Jesus is the Word of God. John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.
      How precious is the word of God that we have free access to its God-inspired instructions for our lives every minute and day if we want it? This gift exists because of the sacrifice of the early believers from our own Christian history. John 4:37 And herein is that saying true, One sows, and another reaps. 38 I sent you to reap that whereon ye bestowed no labour: other men laboured, and ye are entered into their labours. 
Our forerunners paid for the bible with their lives and today we can live in the blessing of the word of the Lord because of that sacrifice. To despise this living Word is an indictment against our responsibility and stewardship of this good news message for our times.
      Pastor Robert Morris of Gateway Church, says from his series, From Dream to Destiny. "God tests our faith with the prophetic word, then God tests our character with the written word." If we do not take the written word of God to heart and allow that word to cleanse and direct us forward, we will not fulfill our destiny that God has purposed for us.
      Thomas Edison said, "Vision without execution is just hallucination." The Lord said it this way in James
 2:20b That faith without works is dead. We must put our faith in the Word who is Jesus whom God gave us, because He is the only way we will get direction from God. Heb. 1:1 God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, 2 Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds.
      After the book of Malachi was written, there are four hundred years of God's voice being silent. Man finally hears God speak again at the baptism of Jesus and His transfiguration where God says, Luke 9:35  And there came a voice out of the cloud, saying, This is my beloved Son: hear him. 
      That was all God said, "Hear Him." What elaboration is needed here? Hear Him, listen to Him, believe what He says, and have faith in Him. Jesus is the Word of God and God's living Word is in us to fulfill the holy will of the Father. 1 John 5:11 And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. 
       I love the Word of God and the Word loves me. 1 Cor. 3:23 And ye are Christ's; and Christ is God's. May God's face shine on us all.

Saturday, 14 September 2013

Good Or Bad

Proverbs 11:27 He that diligently seeks good procures favour: but he that seeks mischief, it shall come unto him.

        Why do bad things happen to good people? Why do good things happen to bad people? These are the questions that baffle philosophers and theologians alike. Matt. 5:45 That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he makes his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. 
      What we are calling bad in the moment might be the very vehicle that will drive us to the promised land. I will not get on the book of Job soapbox today. I would rather look at Noah who had to work hard labor for years to build an ark of deliverance because of the evil of others. 
      When God closed the door of that ark, Noah and his family might have felt that the arduous years of preparation were finally a good thing.
      When Joseph emerged from the pit of the prison and overnight became the second in command in Egypt, he might have thought, "Praise God that was then and this is now." You will notice that when it has been raining for five or six days in a row, the moment the sun comes out it no longer seems to matter that the weather had been poor. The fact remains that the weather is now lovely. 
       Likewise, are many of the tests that we go through to work out our faith in Christ. Phil. 2:12  Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.
      When Ruth's husband and brother-in-law died, the times were hard emotionally and economically. She had chosen to take care of her mother-in-law and was working where she could in order to find food. When the favour of God came to her by the way of a kinsman redeemer named Boaz, the events and bad memories of the past began to fade. 
      That, again, was then and now Ruth was on her way to becoming King David's great grandmother. Ruth 4:13 So Boaz took Ruth, and she was his wife: and when he went in unto her, the LORD gave her conception, and she bare a son. This possibility for Ruth's life looked bad, back in Moab, but God turned it all around. 
      When the first Christians of the faith were being persecuted and murdered by Saul of Tarsus, it looked grim for the first saints. Acts 7:58 And cast him out of the city, and stoned him: and the witnesses laid down their clothes at a young man's feet, whose name was Saul. 59 And they stoned Stephen, calling upon God, and saying, Lord Jesus, receive my spirit. 
      Saul, the Christians' enemy, would become their greatest Apostle. Acts 9:3 And as he journeyed, he came near Damascus: and suddenly there shined round about him a light from heaven. 
      I once had an employer who had whether, through error or stealth, refused to pay over three thousand dollars owed me. I was trying to collect while living on another continent. This financial setback made it hard for me and my young family. It was difficult, but at the time I forgave and handed the problem over to God. The next day a wonderful solution had come our way and we were fine. 
      When I moved back to Canada I was able to talk to the old employer and we resolved the debt. The bonus was that just arriving back into my country, the money was more than enough to get us going again. What looked bad three years earlier ended up being a savings account for our return. God is Good. Rom. 8:28  And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose.

Thursday, 12 September 2013

Pride Of The Worm

Proverbs 16:18 Pride goes before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall.

      There is an ugliness about pride and it can look so ugly that it has a stench to it. As my uncle with a strong French accent says, "Pride is hugglly." There is a pride, however, that is even uglier, and that is the pride of the worm. This is a reverse pride that is always in contrary to what God is saying about us. God says, we are the righteousness of God through Christ. 2Cor. 5:21 For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. 
      The reverse pride says, "Oh no, I'm just a sinner saved by grace." God says, "He loves us as equally as he loves Jesus." John 17:23 I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me. Reverse pride says, "Oh no, how could God love a person like me," and so on and so on. 
      These people beat themselves up and bring themselves down and are harder on themselves than God is, all in the name of trying to be humble. In reality putting on a performance of "The pride of the worm," coming to a church near you. These people become proud of their unworthiness and it manifests into false humility.
      Where pride will cause most people to be arrogant and haughty, reverse pride will cause one to react in fear and laziness. This is the case with the servant who was charged with investing a talent of gold. Matt. 25:24 “Then the man who had received one bag of gold came. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘I knew that you are a hard man, harvesting where you have not sown and gathering where you have not scattered seed. 25 So I was afraid and went out and hid your gold in the ground. See, here is what belongs to you.’ 26a “His master replied, ‘You wicked, lazy servant! 
      God will keep building us up and keep helping us grow toward what He knows we can be. If we keep undermining the word of the Lord and His leading in our lives, we end up in a perpetual saga of crawling like a worm through our Christian life, always a victim and not a victor. 
      Whether we believe it or not, God thinks and knows we are His children washed in the blood of His Son and that is our position by grace. We cannot keep saying this is not so by trying a humanistic type of humbleness. We are what the word of God says we are. The sooner we accept that fact and begin to live within the freedom of the word, the sooner we will be like the servant who was given ten talents. We will become the loved children who go on to rule ten cities in humble appreciation of God's grace.
      We need to stop this false humility and break forth into the joy of the Lord which is our strength. We need to start singing a new song of belief to our mighty God and saviour. Psalm 40:3 And he hath put a new song in my mouth, even praise unto our God: many shall see it, and fear, and shall trust in the LORD.
      Father, In Jesus name I humble myself by believing what your word says who I am in Christ. Amen.

Tuesday, 10 September 2013

Be Redeemed

 Proverbs 3:5 Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.    
       Why do movies that tell stories about redemption do so well at the box office? The reasons are many, but the underlying fact is that everyone is looking for redemption and it has already been given to us. 
      Why do we not accept the redemption that God offers through Christ His Son? It might be the deep-seeded feelings of guilt and the unreasonable belief that we have to pay for the wrong or sin that put us in the place of needing redemption in the first place. 
      What a vicious circle. We want and need redemption, but we want to redeem ourselves our own way. Prov. 14:12 There is a way which seems right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.
      The word of the Lord is clear that God's way is the only way. John 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man comes unto the Father, but by me. Acts 4:12 Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved. 
      Even though we know these verses to be true in our heart of hearts, we still try to cover up and redeem ourselves from all the messes we end up in. After a long attempt at failing in our own way of redemption, we finally call on God to deliver us. Lam. 3:58 O Lord, thou hast pleaded the causes of my soul; thou hast redeemed my life. The process is long and arduous, but we do it anyway.
     The beauty about the finished redemptive work of Christ is that everything has already been done that will ever have to be done. Gal. 3:13 Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangs on a tree. There is no more need for fig-leaf religion; Christ has redeemed us. This is past tense and it is done. 
     What do we do when we find ourselves starting to act out our redemption our own way after we have sinned? 
     First, realise that the sin just committed has been paid for in full and, by faith, repent then and there. 1 John 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
     Second, if there is still a temptation to think that there has to be some kind of self-flagellation then go, call, or text a brother or sister and pray together. James 5:16 
Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.
     Third, change the way we talk about ourselves and say what the word says about our redemption. Psalm 107:2 Let the redeemed of the LORD say so, whom he hath redeemed from the hand of the enemy.
     Fourth, express gratefulness, because where there is no gratitude for what Jesus has done for us there will be no victory in anything we do. Thankfulness is the key to enjoying the redemptive work of our Lord and saviour. Gratefulness will help us be redeemed and stop us from trying to redeem ourselves. 1 Thes. 5:18 In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.
     I, who have been redeemed by the finished work of Christ's gift of salvation, am grateful and I give thanks for all of you who love the Lord. Blessings.

Sunday, 8 September 2013

Who Said It?

Proverbs 26:28 A lying tongue hates those that are afflicted by it; and a flattering mouth works ruin.
      One of the political dirty tricks used in slandering an opponent during an election is to spread rumors of questionable character about the person running for office. Within a short time, everyone is talking about the rumor as if it is fact, and no one is asking where the information came from. 
      I once heard that a method used to discredit a person is when two or three people with a prepared script get on the packed elevator in a downtown skyscraper during the early morning rush. They then say, "I heard through a reliable source that so and so did this and that." They are counting on the fact that all the people in earshot of the performed elevator dialogue will be repeating the story from the "reliable source" around the water cooler all day long. 
      They are counting on the fact that the juicy piece of gossip will be screaming to come out of everyone who heard it because the character of man is corrupt. Prov. 18:8 The words of a gossip are like choice morsels; they go down to the inmost parts. 
      We tend to believe falsehoods very easily without credible proof. Then we turn around and ask God, who cannot lie, to give us unwavering proof of His character. Num. 23:19 God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent: hath he said, and shall he not do it? or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good? When we are reading the bible we should realize who is speaking to us. It is God and, therefore, His word is trustworthy. 
      I was reading Mark 11:22-24 and I kept seeing the words, "Therefore I say unto you." Jesus was saying this. Christ was saying, it is me Jesus who is saying this. God is saying this. I AM the one saying this to you. I, God in the flesh is saying this to you whom I would never lie to. Suddenly I got it. Oh! Lord, YOU are saying this to me, not someone who is saying, "You said it to me," but it's actually you saying to me. 
      Mark 11:22 And Jesus answering saith unto them, Have faith in God. 23 For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith. 24 Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have themJesus is saying  "I say unto you," and the credibility of His name surpasses all contrary arguments. All I have to do is believe what Jesus says is truth and possible. 
      Even when it seems impossible, if the Lord said it, then we can count on it even though we cannot wrap our minds around it. When the angel of the Lord appeared to Mary to proclaim the Annunciation of the birth of Christ, Mary had to process some natural complications in her heart and mind, "What will the neighbours think when they see me with child and I am not married to Joseph yet? How is God going to pull this off?" 
      God is amazing in how He is working His plan of salvation for mankind here. In the Garden of Eden a fallen angel, Satan, brought a destructive lie to the woman, Eve, who was the mother of all mankind to come. Now the word of the Lord had come through the angel, Gabriel, to a woman, Mary, who would give birth to the One who would save mankind. 
      What an awesome God we serve. Mary's response to the message was incredible until we realise who was announcing this message. God was saying it, and Mary said, "So be it!" Luke 1:38 And Mary said, Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word. And the angel departed from her. 
     Oh, that I had that kind of faith. What I see here is that if God is saying it, then I must make the choice to believe it with unwavering faith no matter how my mind tries to rationalize the extent of the miracle. Just believe Jesus when He says, "I say to you."  Father, in Jesus name, help us to believe everything you say to our heart and help us pray it with conviction. Matt. 9:29b According to your faith be it unto you.

Friday, 6 September 2013

I Have The Answer

Proverbs 15:6 In the house of the righteous is much treasure: but in the revenues of the wicked is trouble.
       I was talking with a brother in the Lord who was excited that he was headed out of town and Province to see a well-known healing-evangelist. He said he was going to get hands laid on him so he could be healed. I asked him if he had asked any of our elders or prayer team within our assembly to pray for him? He looked at me with some confusion and said, "Do any of them have a healing ministry?" 
      I said, "The word of God says we should ask the elders to pray." James 5:14 Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord: 15 And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him.
      Please don't get me wrong. I was not trying to stop him from his trip to get healed, on the contrary, I was trying to help him get healed right on the spot. I love the gifts within the body of Christ and the more healing-evangelist the better; however, at that moment in time I was thinking of the words my wife often says, "The answer is in the house." What she is saying is that the answer or anything we need right then and there can be sought within the church body. 
      There is always something in our possession or someone praying that can take care of our needs. I have found that my wife's conviction in this idea to be a reality. I am blessed to have often found the answer within our spiritual environment where there is always someone who will pray or step up to help. 
      One of the amazing things about the body of Christ is the diversity of ministry and the individuality of people working in submission to God who can help through ministry, service, or supply for any situation. Joel 2:27 And ye shall know that I am in the midst of Israel, and that I am the LORD your God, and none else: and my people shall never be ashamed.
       How often have we wondered, how is God going to get the miracle to me in time? How is He even going to pull it off?  We look for things that are often found right under our noses, and I find this to be a truth in my spiritual walk as well. 
      When Moses was trying to explain his distressful situation to God, whether the enslaved Hebrews would believe that God had sent him, God simply responded with these words. Ex. 4:2 And the LORD said unto him, What is that in thine hand? And he said, A rod. 17 And thou shalt take this rod in thine hand, wherewith thou shalt do signs. Moses did not have to look far for the answer, because the answer was in his hand. 
      When the widow asked Elisha for his help to get out of a difficult situation 2 Kings 4:1 Now there cried a certain woman of the wives of the sons of the prophets unto Elisha, saying, Thy servant my husband is dead; and you know that thy servant did fear the LORD: and the creditor is come to take unto him my two sons to be bondmen. 
      Elisha asked the widow a few simple questions. 2 Kings 4:2 And Elisha said unto her, What shall I do for thee? tell me, what hast thou in the house? And she said, Thine handmaid hath not any thing in the house, save a pot of oil. The instruction that Elisha gave the widow was within her capability and neighbourhood. 
      She was instructed to borrow vessels from her neighbours, close the door and fill the vessels with oil, then sell the oil to get out of debt and live off of the rest. The answer for her and her sons was literally, "In the house." 
      Prove. 15:6a In the house of the righteous is much treasure. If we are His righteousness, then the answer is very close and within reach. We read of a scribe who had asked Jesus what was the first commandment of all. Jesus gave this scribe a heart-felt satisfactory answer. Mark 12:32 And the scribe said unto him, Well, Master, thou hast said the truth. Then Jesus says to the scribe that his answer was close to reaching the Kingdom of God. Mark 12:34a And when Jesus saw that he answered discreetly, he said unto him, Thou art not far from the kingdom of God. 
      I can almost hear Jesus whisper to the scribe's soul, "As a matter of fact, you are looking at the Kingdom maker." Jesus is not only the King of the Kingdom, but everything the Kingdom of God represents. The answer for this scribe was within reach of touching the creator of all.
      I would encourage all of us to use the five-fold ministry gifts that God has given to the church for the perfecting and building up of all Christians. Eph. 4:11 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; 12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ. 
      The answer is in the word of God. The answer is in the body of Christ, so let us take care of each other so we can manifest the glory of God through His written word that clearly pronounces our victory in Christ. What is in your hand, or sphere of influence? Work with it and see what God can do. Blessings on us all.

Wednesday, 4 September 2013

Reversing The Curse

Proverbs 26:2 As the bird by wandering, as the swallow by flying, so the curse causeless shall not come.


      The subject of reversing a curse in one's life is too spooky, odd, or even out-there for some Christians to believe possible, and that is sad since the Lord has given us the ability and blessing to do so. Matt. 18:18 Truly I tell you, whatever you bind on earth will have been bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will have been loosed in heaven. We can bind the curses that fallow our family, but it will take faith and God’s instruction to get it done. We have to use our faith in Christ to become free of whatever binds us. James 2:26  For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also

      The reason for not dealing with some unexplained hurts, bondages, memories, and repeated failures in our lives is just not wanting to face these devils that have come to accuse our hearts. Some of us have become weary and wary of the whole thing. I would encourage you to try one more time and trust the Lord's word by using this powerful gift of deliverance.

     My first encounter with the need to deal with a hurtful event from my past would come around every September to October. I would go through the most horrible feelings of depression, worthlessness, self-hatred, and sluggishness to the point of craving death for relief. If I would have been able to explode from the inside out and all my particles were to spread throughout the universe, I would still not have found the release from the anguish and self-hatred I carried. 

      Once November came around, I was fine. What curse was I living under and how could I get rid of it? Even after I was saved in Christ, I would still experience this yearly unwanted visitation in my life. The difference was that now I had a way to be healed because I believed in the healing power of the Lord Jesus. 

      I was praying and asking God to reveal to me the root of this yearly battle when I felt I should call my mother and ask her if I had been conceived out of wedlock. Thank you, Lord, for my courageous and loving mother who confessed to me during that phone call that, yes, I was a year old when my parents were finally married.

      I had found the accusation the enemy of my soul was using to keep me in self-hatred. Satan was using the broken law of fornication to try and kill me from the first day of my conception. Duet. 23:2 A bastard shall not enter into the congregation of the LORD; even to his tenth generation shall he not enter into the congregation of the LORD. 

      Thank God that there are no illegitimate children on this earth; there are only sinful parents. Praise the Lord that the sins of these parents have been paid for in full by the blood of our Saviour Jesus Christ. 

      Is the devil determined to destroy your life? We better know that Satan is cursing us and our existence all the time. Psalm 10:7 His mouth is full of cursing and deceit and fraud: under his tongue is mischief and vanity. Psalm 109:17 He loved to pronounce a curse may it come back on him. He found no pleasure in blessing may it be far from him. 18 He wore cursing as his garment; it entered into his body like water, into his bones like oil. 19 May it be like a cloak wrapped about him, like a belt tied forever around him. 20 May this be the LORD’s payment to my accusers, to those who speak evil of me.

     The weapon that I have learned to use is the act and participation of communion. Who am I showing the Lord's death to? Who am I reminding that I have been saved and completely delivered? I am showing it to the enemy who cannot stand in the presence of Christ's holy blood. 1Cor. 11:23 For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, That the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread: 24 and when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, “Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me.” 25 After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, “This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me.” 26 For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do show the Lord's death till he come. 

      The key here is the deliverance that comes from Christ's words, ‘Do this in remembrance of me.’ The doing of communion is the act of faith on your part because of who you are in Christ, and the result is the testament of His blood covered once and for all the events of your hurtful past. 

      The communion becomes a reference point as to when you actually dealt with the traumas of your life. When a new accusation arises, your faith will say, "No, this is covered by the blood forever and I walk in that freedom." 

     I have had great personal deliverance from using this powerful and spiritual gift that God has given us to use as a weapon against the devil and other sicknesses. Today, I love the months of September and October. I am free from all the terrible feelings I used to experience and have learned to deal with any memory that comes to haunt my soul by partaking through faith, in the act of worship and communion. Isa. 12:4 And in that day shall ye say, Praise the LORD, call upon his name, declare his doings among the people, make mention that his name is exalted.

Monday, 2 September 2013

My Generation

Proverbs 30:11 There is a generation that curses their father, and doth not bless their mother. 

       How easy it is to sit back and pontificate on the shortcomings of our youth who apparently are exemplifying all that is wrong in the world. Stop the madness, oh self-righteous, and remember the days of your own youth. Eccl. 11:9 Rejoice, O young man, in thy youth; and let thy heart cheer thee in the days of thy youth, and walk in the ways of thine heart, and in the sight of thine eyes: but know thou, that for all these things God will bring thee into judgment. 

      True, there is a generation that curses their parents and all authority, but this malady belongs to every generation. Rom. 3:10 As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one. The same generation, or type of people, are the same ones who think themselves justified in their own eyes. Prov. 30:12 There is a generation that are pure in their own eyes, and yet is not washed from their filthiness. 
      We should remember that God is ministering today and can meet every type of generation, people group, race, and living status there is. Nothing or anyone is beyond God's reach of power and redemptive love. Rom. 8:38 For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, 39 Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. 
      To simply blame all our woes on generation X or Y is an exercise in futility and misdirection of personal responsibility. Historically, every generation has had something to be proud of and to be ashamed of. 
he Lord Himself had to bring attention to the problems of blessing parents or cursing them through religiosity in His generation. Mark 7:11 But ye say, If a man shall say to his father or mother, It is Corban, that is to say, a gift, by whatsoever thou might be profited by me; he shall be free. 12 And ye suffer him no more to do ought for his father or his mother; 13 Making the word of God of none effect through your tradition, which ye have delivered: and many such like things do ye. 
      Joseph's brothers worked with the same misguided spirit when they elaborated an evil story for their father, Jacob, concerning the death and disappearance of his beloved son. Gen. 37:31 And they took Joseph's coat, and killed a kid of the goats, and dipped the coat in the blood. 33 And Jacob knew it, and said, It is my son's coat; an evil beast hath devoured him; Joseph is without doubt rent in pieces. If what Joseph's brothers did to their father is not cussedness, then what is?
      Every generation has a segment of people who are wicked and whose fallen nature will manifest by cursing their fathers, mothers, and all authority because these ingrates do not, and will not, recognize their need for guidance throughout this life. Many of these malefactors will tell their sad story at the drop of a hat, but their stories are not unique in hardship. 
      Most of us come from dysfunctional families, but through our own choices, we chose to walk in the blessing of the Lord. One of the many by-products of walking in Christ is the desire to bless our parents with respect, honor, and substance.
I believe God will get through to this new generation that sits in a restaurant with their hats on, texting each other while ignoring the waitress to answer a call on their multitasking communication devices that seems to stop all natural communication. 
      We elderly think that it is hopeless for them, but as my pastor David Kalamen likes to say all the time, Luke 1:37 For with God nothing shall be impossible. God was not suddenly caught off guard by this new generation who thinks the only way to express themselves is to get an often misspelled tattoo or drive a nail through their body parts. 
      The Lord is a contemporary God. He will meet this highly energized and volatile generation right where they are at, and will accomplish His work within them. 2 Pet. 3:9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.
      Years ago in the 1970's, just before I received Christ as my personal Lord and Savior, I was one of the generation that cursed his father, and did not bless his mother, or have respect for anyone in particular. There was a woman who worked at a Greyhound bus depot who thought I was one of the most obnoxious human beings she had ever met. 
      She hated serving me when I came into the depot to pick up parcels because she found me crude, rude, crass, and probably ugly. Looking back she was right in her opinion of me, because I was one of the lost generation of that time. After I had become a blood-washed son of the living God through acceptance of Christ's finished work on the cross, this same lady became my friend and sister in the Lord and we prayed for her children together. Eccl. 3:11a He hath made everything beautiful in His time. 
      This same woman would brag to others, and my mother, as to the miracle God had done in me. She once said that if God could save me, then He could save anyone on earth. I'm not sure if that was a compliment but I will simply say, "Thank you Lord for saving me."
      I have no illusions that there is a lot going wrong in the world today; however, I trust my Lord's eternal plan for all generations - including the one struggling right now and the one to come. Our God Almighty is able to accomplish His purpose for all of us who walk with Him and those from the next generation who will be His. Matt. 19:26b With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible. 

      Lord, In Jesus name, we ask for the next generation to be saved and filled with the love and power of God to accomplish Your will in the earth, and everyone said, "AMEN."