Saturday, 20 November 2010

Paper Prayers

It's summer, it's Saturday and I stand amazed at how God has started answering the prayers on my prayer sheets. "Prayer sheets?" you may be asking. Well, I suppose it's  prayer journaling; writing my prayers down instead of praying them out loud. I'm penning down requests about the things that are causing me to worry or that are making me unhappy. It's short, it's precise, immediate. There are no long term wishes or goals or even rambling. It's God and I, right here, right now. Initially I just folded up that first piece of prayer paper and went about my day. Then God answered one of the prayer requests on the very same day I wrote about it. Bam! Got MY attention! So I have continued my prayer sheets but now I stick them in a folder.  Feels like a FBI dosier. Tehehehe.  Moving on.. Today, God started answering another prayer. I wanted to sit there gaping open mouthed at Person X, but well, she was unaware that what she had just said was so unlike her usual response AND that it was exactly what I've started praying for that I had to keep it all inside. Oh, but inside I was air fist pumping: YES! YES! YES!

Sooooo, I'm very exited about this. It's hard to explain my feelings about these prayers other than to say it's not like I see God as some kind of cosmic genie that grants my every wish.  What it is, is a love relationship with G-O-D, a beautiful majestic royal Spirit Being who loves me and who loves to answer prayer. I'm snuggling up to my eternal Lover and if God answers a prayer it's gorgeous. If God doesn't, well I'm still in awe and adoration, trusting the one that is the very definition of reliable.

Sunday, 17 October 2010

Knowing God

And this is the way to have eternal life—to know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, the one you sent to earth. ~John 17:3

"Knowing" someone is to enter into a close relationship with that person.
John 15 talks about remaining in the Vine (Jesus). The Greek word for remain is "meno" which, according to my NLT Study Bible, means to remain/stay/abide. My Bible's study notes go on to say it means to have a "profound, intimate, enduring relationship."
"I pray that they will all be one, just as you and I are one—as you are in me, Father, and I am in you. And may they be in us." (John 15:21)
"This mutual indwelling between God and the believer/disciple is not a fleeting or temporary commitment but an unending, permanent and eternal relationship."

God wants us to know Him.

Hosea 4:6 My people are being destroyed because they don’t know me. Since you priests refuse to know me, I refuse to recognize you as my priests.

Hosea 6:3 Oh, that we might know the Lord! Let us press on to know him.He will respond to us as surely as the arrival of dawn or the coming of rains in early spring.”

Hosea 6:6 I want you to show love, not offer sacrifices.  I want you to know me more than I want burnt offerings.
Knowing God, being one with Him, to me is a union that fills me with peace, with bliss. So when God says we are to love each other the same way He has loved us in the same passage that speaks about remaining in Him, well, it takes on a whole new meaning. Do we really have any idea what it is to love God, love ourselves, love each other? To have that intimacy, joy, peace, bliss in knowing God, ourselves, each other?


Monday, 05 July 2010

Desperate Hope vs Trust

When we have a "desperate" situation in our lives, it's not always easy to "let go and let God". Somehow we feel that if we stop worrying, then all will completely fall apart. God keeps reminding me through different books and "mentors" to trust Him. Completely. I hope the excerpts below speak to you today as they spoke to me.

Quotes by Florence Scovel Shinn

Anything forced into manifestation through personal will, is always "ill-got" and has "ever bad success."
Man is admonished, "My will (God's will) be done not thine," and the curious thing is, man always gets just what he desires when he does relinquish personal will, thereby enabling Infinite Intelligence to work through him.

Put it in God's hands and use this statement:
-I put this situation in the hands of Infinite love and Wisdom; if this is the divine plan, I bless it and no longer resist, but if it is not divinely planned, I give thanks that it is now dissolved and dissipated.

-Divine Love now dissolves and dissipates every wrong condition in my mind, body and affairs. Divine Love is the most powerful chemical in the universe, and dissolves everything which is not of itself!
-Divine Love floods my consciousness, and every cell in my body is filled with light.

From the Bible:
Matthew 6:9-13 - Pray like this:
Our Father in heaven, may your name be kept holy. 
May Your Kingdom come soon.
May Your will be done on earth, as it is in heaven.
Give us today the food we need,
and forgive us our sins, as we have forgiven those who sin against us.
And don't let us yield to temptation, but rescue us from the evil one.

Quotes from Matha Beck:
-I just keep seeing evidence that we can throw ourselves into the bright void of hope, fully expecting to be lifted right back up. Trust!
-The universe doesn't reward desperation-neither desperate hope nor desperate anxiety. To reward it would only teach us to sustain it.
-Seriously, here's how to make things happen: drop the evil-twin attachments of desperate hope & desperate fear: rest in trust. It works.
-Create only from a place of peace. If you don't feel peace, go inward and heal before you create.
From the Bible:
Isaiah 30:15 - This is what the Sovereign Lord, the Holy One of Israel, says: "Only in returning to Me and resting in Me will you be saved. In quietness and confidence is your strength.

Lastly, this devotional by Joseph Prince appeared on my Facebook newsfeed just after I had posted this blog entry originally:

Rest And Receive Your Miracle

Hebrews 4:9 -There remains therefore a rest for the people of God.
In the healing of the paralyzed man at the pool of Bethesda (John 5:1–16), Jesus knew that for 38 years, the man had been flat on his back, unable to do anything for himself or others, no matter how hard he struggled.

In the case of the woman oppressed with a spirit of infirmity (Luke 13:10–13), Jesus knew that the woman had been bowed over for 18 years. And in that condition, she saw very little that was beautiful in life, only thedusty ground, dirty sandals and bruised feet.

What about the man with a withered hand? (Luke 6:6–10) Jesus knew from His carpenter days how a useless hand could have easily given the man a very poor sense of self-worth.

I believe that all three of them must have struggled for so long to get back on their feet, to try to lift themselves up, to attempt to do something about their situations, only to be disappointed each time they failed. In fact, they got so frustrated with striving to get better that by the time they met Jesus, they had probably given up trying to change their situations.

It was then that Jesus came and extended His offer to turn their situations around. And when they embraced His offer, they received the miracles that they had sought for so long.

You too may have been struggling to get back on your feet, or to lift yourself out of the problem that has sorely weighed you down. You have attempted to do whatever you could, hoping that it would amount to something, but you have been frustrated time and again. My friend, God wants you to cease from all your struggling and accept the offer He extends to turn your situation around.

It is no coincidence that all three of them received their miracles on the Sabbath, the day of rest for the Jews. God’s Word says, “There remains therefore a rest for the people of God.” The day you cease from your own laboring and striving, and rest in the finished work of Christ, is the day you receive your miracle.

Jesus has done all the work. Whatever you need has been provided for at the cross. So just be at rest and receive your miracle!

Thought of The Day
God wants you to cease from all your struggling and accept the offer He extends to turn your situation around.

Tuesday, 29 June 2010

The Drop of blood

I see in my mind's eye, a drop of the blood of Jesus dripping onto the forehead of our spiritual bodies. Then how it penetrates to our physical bodies until the whole person is covered and purified, washed and protected with and by the blood of the Lamb.

This is how I envision spiritually applying the blood of Jesus when I start thinking of covering someone with the blood of Jesus through prayer.

I started thinking about this topic of pleading the blood after feeling prompted to read again about the account of how the Israelites protected their 1st born children during the plagues in Egypt by covering the doorposts with the blood of a pure lamb.

But the blood on your doorposts will serve as a sign, marking the houses where you are staying. 
When I see the blood, I will pass over you. This plague of death will not touch you when I strike the land of Egypt. 
(Exodus 12:13).

Then Retha McPherson started talking about it again in her newsletters on spiritual warfare/protection (Retha McPherson Ministries)

It was also the topic the pastor ended the sermon with at a church service I attended this Sunday - pleading the blood of Jesus over a person by putting your hand on their forehead and praying.

When we think of blood, we think of red... of stains.  It isn't logical to think that washing with blood can make you clean. Spiritually though, the blood of Jesus Christ cleanses us.

They have washed their robes in the blood of the Lamb and made them white.
(Revelation 7:14b)

As that old hymn says: ♪♫ There is power in the blood! ♪♫

Wednesday, 09 June 2010

God, Your will be done on earth

So yesterday evening a friend who has cancer asks for my prayer support because her faith is running on empty a bit.  I "happen" upon Greg Anderson who wrote a book called "Cancer and the Lord's Prayer".  

Greg and his wife Linda responded to the following question in an interview on the Kyria website
Your book talks about the Lord's Prayer. What role did that play?
Greg: One clause that's often overlooked is, "Thy will be done." A lot of people pray, "Lord, help me. Heal me. Take the cancer away." But there comes a spiritual maturity that says, "Lord, above all, make known to me your will. And I will do whatever possible to make that my life." I didn't say take away the cancer. I said, "Use the cancer." I didn't say, "Perform a miracle," I said, "Lord, help me reveal your will."
Linda: When we started to concentrate on that during Greg's cancer, God started to move emotionally, spiritually, and physically.
(You can read the rest of the article here: 30 days to live)

So I go read the Lord's prayer again in the Bible (Matthew 6) and it lists a reference to 1 Chronicles 29:10-12
 “O Lord, the God of our ancestor Israel, may you be praised forever and ever! Yours, O Lord, is the greatness, the power, the glory, the victory, and the majesty. Everything in the heavens and on earth is Yours, O Lord, and this is Your kingdom. We adore You as the one who is over all things. Wealth and honor come from You alone, for You rule over everything. Power and might are in Your hand, and at Your discretion people are made great and given strength.
Then I "happen" upon a website of Pieter van Rooyen called Business Unusual (Banking on God)

He lists a prayer on his website under the following heading:
If you are desperate for miracles in your Life, Health, Family, Finances or Business please pray this prayer out loud:
“Lord Jesus I come to You today to give You all praise and glory for who You are. I declare You are the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords. Lord You alone reign over the universe. I thank you that you love me so much that you even created me into your image (Gen1:26-27) and that you have given me authority here on earth over all things, except man (Gen1:28). Lord you taught us to pray: “…let Your kingdom come, [here] on earth as it is in heaven” (Matt 6:10). Lord I declare that in heaven there is abundance in every area of my life. In heaven there is no sickness and no diseases, in heaven my family are well, happy and are all serving you, in heaven there is no lack of finances and in heaven my business is prosperous! Lord You call me an ambassador (2 Cor 5:20) of the Kingdom of Heaven, You call me a son (child) of the Most High (2 Cor 6:18) and an heir to Your throne (Gal 4:7). As a born again citizen of the Kingdom of Heaven, I declare I have authority (Gen. 1:28) over every area of my life and I plead Lord that Your kingdom come in my (life/health/family/ finances/business), as it is in heaven. Lord I ask that You protect me and that You put a hedge around (Job 1:10) me and my (life/health/family/ finances/business). I declare greater miracles (John 14:12) in my life and receive it now by faith only. I ask this in the name of Jesus, AMEN.”
Take a new look at the Lord's prayer. Don't say it just as a ritual but let it come alive as you talk to God.

For Yours is the kingdom and the power and glory, forever.

Tuesday, 08 June 2010

Praying is YOUR responsibility

Now don't get me wrong, if someone asks for prayer support, of course you pray with them.  At other times, God will even lead you to pray for someone who may never even know that you prayed for them.

What I am talking about here is people who say " I don't know how to pray", or "God doesn't listen to my prayers, so please will you pray FOR me." (The implication is "I am not going to pray for this myself", and "your prayers carry more power than mine")

You don't get saved because someone else believes in Jesus Christ on your behalf. God gives us free will to choose to believe in Him.  Expecting someone else to do your praying work for you, well, ultimately that's not going to work either.

God is not a genie in a bottle - there to grant your every wish while you couldn't be bothered to talk to Him. He is your God, who also longs to be a close and intimate friend.  He wants you to get to know Him, love Him, trust Him, spend time just breathing in His presence ... as you reach out to Him, pour out your heart to Him, believe in His goodness, rest in Him, you will find your trust in Him growing.

This is not going to happen if you continually ask others to pray for you while you go on your merry way.

Start believing that God is who He says He is: LOVE
Start doing what He says: forgive, bless and pray for your enemies; have faith

It's God who answers the prayer and it's got nothing to do with any "special powers" the person praying may appear to have.  He is available to all who seek Him.  The death and resurrection of Jesus gave us all direct access to the Father.  Believe it!

My prayer today is that all of us will grow closer to Him, reach out to Him, receive His love peace guidance and yes, even miracles!
Thank you, Jesus

2 Corinthians 1:24 (New Living Translation)
But that does not mean we want to dominate you by telling you how to put your faith into practice. We want to work together with you so you will be full of joy, for it is by your own faith that you stand firm.

Wednesday, 26 May 2010

Cold Love

Last night reading the Bible a verse caught my attention in Matthew 24:
Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, but he who stands firm to the end will be saved. ~Matthew 24:12-13 (NIV)
I started wondering why the love of most would "grow cold as wickedness increased" and I can think of 2 reasons why people's love for God would decrease:

1)  "If you can't beat 'em, join 'em!"
     We become more and more desensitised to violence, lust, etc so that we accept it as normal and join in.

2)  "What's the use when there's all this evil and suffering in the world?"
     We start questioning if God exists because of the presence of evil and suffering.

Love is what it's all about. God is love, and God wants us to love Him, ourselves and all others.  

Don't allow circumstances to rob you of your love for God.  Rather focus on His goodness, His nature, His love and allow the Holy Spirit to keep your heart open, flexible and responsive.

It makes life worth living!

Have a blessed day!

Sunday, 02 May 2010

The women in Jesus' bloodline

Matthew 1 starts with the genealogy of Jesus.  Now genealogies don't really spark much excitement for most people, myself included.

However, I have been pleasantly surprised to learn a few valuable lessons from a dry old list of names.

It is worthy to note that the genealogy in Matthew 1 mentions five women!  It's rare for one woman to be named in a genealogy like this, let alone five. The five woman are: Tamar, Rahab, Ruth, Bathsheba and of course, Mary, the mother of Jesus.

Besides the fact that imperfect people ("sinners") make out part of the genealogy of Jesus, the first wow is .... 

David & Bathsheba, the parents of Solomon
Mistakes can be part of God's plan

Their relationship started out as adultery. Bathsheba was married to Uriah.  David sent Uriah into battle, making sure all his supporting men would withdraw as the battle heated up so Uriah would be killed. Murder, adultery.. not exactly a spotless background.

What stands out for me in this is that even though we may sin, make a sinful, wrong choice and have to deal with consequences of that sin (David & Bathsheba's first baby died) ... many times what we want to think of as a "mistake" or wrong choice is something God uses in the bigger picture of life as part of His plan.  He uses everything for His glory.

The second wow is...

Prostitute by profession

I read about Rahab again recently while reading about the fall of Jericho and then someone pointed out to me that she is mentioned in the genealogy of Jesus.  I immediately checked for myself!  *smile* I never made the connection that it was THIS Rahab.  What it boils down to is that Rahab was a prostitute, not a Jew, who hid some Israelite spies and saved their lives, and therefore she was saved when the city of Jericho was destroyed.  She went on to become the mother of Boaz, who married Ruth.

Our sin, our past, doesn't keep God from using us.  Those whom the church would judge as unfit outsiders are sometimes the very people God wants to use!

   1 Samuel 16:7
The Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.
   Romans 2:11
For God does not show favoritism.
   Romans 8:28
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.

To end, my bible's footnote says Romans 8:28 can also read:

And we know in all things God works together with those who love him to bring about what is good—with those who have been called according to His purpose.

Wednesday, 21 April 2010

Make Jesus your Guru

I've been reading a book by Lester Levenson that made the suggestion to constantly think of your Master, constantly read his words, as though he's talking to you directly.

Well, I have only one Master in my life, Jesus, so let's rephrase that:
Constantly think of Jesus, your Saviour, constantly read His words, as though He's talking to you directly.

I wanted to give it a go, so I thought of the passage where Jesus says I am the way, the truth and the life.  Settling down I imagined a fuzzy image of a human form of Jesus saying these words to me as I read them in the Bible, and I suggest you do the same thing. Imagine Jesus saying this directly to you:

... "Lord, we don't know where you are going, so how can we know the way?"
 6Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. 7If you really knew me, you would know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him."
 8Philip said, "Lord, show us the Father and that will be enough for us."
 9Jesus answered: "Don't you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, 'Show us the Father'?10Don't you believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in me? The words I say to you are not just my own. Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing his work. 11Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; or at least believe on the evidence of the miracles themselves. 12I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father."  (John 14:5-12)

You know what happened to me when I did that?  I realised for the first time how that must have sounded to His disciples ... here is this "man" Jesus, saying God the Father is in Him and He is in God the Father. Wow.  He must have known too how our little minds would try to wrap themselves around that because in verse 11 he says, "BELIEVE ME WHEN I SAY that I am in the Father and the Father is in me."

I've since tried this experiment with the passages on loving your enemy and judging in Luke 6.  It really makes you see things you may not have seen before!

So next time you read the Bible, go to a passage where Jesus is speaking and imagine Him saying the words to YOU.

God bless,

Wednesday, 24 March 2010

Sing over you

Sometimes, when we think of loved ones going through a tough time, we start feeling despair. We start feeling a sense of hopelessness, because we want to help them and we can't. We get so lost in the negative details of their lives and not seeing a way out for them that we find it hard to even pray for them. Right then, focusing on the impossible, we can't see what IS possible.

At other times, someone may have hurt us. It could have been inadvertently or it could have been on purpose. Either way, hurting, we find it hard to pray for them, let alone pray blessings over them.

What if you don't have to say a prayer for them?
What if you could sing over them instead?

Sing? Yes, Sing!

Sing God's heart over them. God after all is good and loving to all. God is mighty to save and the God of the impossible. God is also singing over you. Heaven is singing over you.

For the LORD your God is living among you. He is a mighty savior. He will take delight in you with gladness. With his love, he will calm all your fears. He will rejoice over you with joyful songs."
Zephaniah 3:17

All this went through my mind as I listened to THERE IS ALWAYS A SONG on the Compassionart album. I've heard it many times before, but yesterday I really listened.

Please read through the lyrics below, and if you can, watch the youtube video link given below it.


There is always a song

I don’t know how to breathe
I don’t know how to leave you
I don’t know what to say
And who am I to say it anyway

But there is always a song
And I’ll try to sing along over you
I can hear it being sung
All of heaven sings along over you

I hardly know your name
I didn’t come to save you
Your smile just broke my heart
Now in my heart I know you’ll never leave me.

Sing, sing like you’ve never sung
Sing for your joy to come
Sing, sing like you’ve never sung
Sing of our joy to come

© 2008 GloWorks Limited for CompassionArt

Tuesday, 16 February 2010

Finding meaning in your life

We generally all want to believe that God created us for a specific reason or purpose, and that we have some mission to fulfill for Him.

Last night I was pondering the fact that it really may not be any kind of  "official" mission (like preacher, prophet, singer, etc.), but just simply living your life where you are and serving God and others with it. Still, a part of me feels there must be some specific mission we all need to fulfill in our lives.

While following up some verses on "grace" in my Bible study, my eyes lighted on Acts 20:24, "But my life is worth nothing to me unless I use it for finishing the work assigned to me by the Lord Jesus- the work of telling others the good news about the wonderful grace of God."

Our lives really does not feel like there is any lasting meaning / purpose to it unless we serve others in a way shown to us by Jesus, for Jesus.

With that in mind, let's give of ourselves to serve others in some way, and ask God to make it clear how He would use us individually.

2 Corinthians 9:12-13
..this ministry of a result of your ministry they will give glory to God.

Acts 20:35
It's more blessed to give than to receive.

Thursday, 11 February 2010

A private audience with God

Last night I was feeling tired and drained after a difficult day at work, dealing with a difficult applicant all via email.  Although I had done nothing wrong, I had been the one this person vented on all day long.

So at one stage in the evening I aimlessly paged through my Bible, emotionally not really open to anything I read.

Then I focused on the heading "Hezekiah asks for help" in Isaiah 37. That slowly got my attention, especially this part:

Isaiah 37:14-16
After Hezekiah received the letter from the messengers and read it, he went up to the Lord’s Temple and spread it out before the Lord. And Hezekiah prayed this prayer before the Lord: “O Lordof Heaven’s Armies, God of Israel, you are enthroned between the mighty cherubim! You alone are God of all the kingdoms of the earth. You alone created the heavens and the earth.

From the Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary:
The phrase, "dwellest between the cherubim," arose from their position at each end of the mercy seat, while the Shekinah (glory), and the awful name, Jehovah, in written letters, were in the intervening space. They are so inseparably associated with the manifestation of God's glory, that whether the Lord is at rest or in motion, they always are mentioned with Him (Nu 7:89; Ps 18:10).

I just got this sense of God calling me to enter into His presence, to come right into His throne room, and just tell Him how terrible my day had been and soak in His peace and awesome Presence.

But so many times we just feel sorry for ourselves and don't feel like praying.  What God wanted me to see is this is not "praying" in the traditional sense, this is just running to God's inner sanctuary and being with Him there while He restores my soul.

With that in mind, these verses below took on a much richer meaning for me.

Hebrews 4:14,16
So then, since we have a great High Priest who has entered heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to what we believe...So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most.

Hebrews 6:19-20
This hope is a strong and trustworthy anchor for our souls. It leads us through the curtain into God’s inner sanctuary. Jesus has already gone in there for us. He has become our eternal High Priest in the order of Melchizedek.

Hebrews 10: 19-22
And so, dear brothers and sisters, we can boldly enter heaven’s Most Holy Place because of the blood of Jesus. By his death, Jesus opened a new and life-giving way through the curtain into the Most Holy Place. And since we have a great High Priest who rules over God’s house, let us go right into the presence of God with sincere hearts fully trusting him. For our guilty consciences have been sprinkled with Christ’s blood to make us clean, and our bodies have been washed with pure water.

Ephesians 3:12
Because of Christ and our faith in him, we can now come boldly and confidently into God’s presence.

Ephesians 2:18
Now all of us can come to the Father through the same Holy Spirit because of what Christ has done for us.

Monday, 08 February 2010

Loving God with your all

"You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind."
Matthew 22:37

That verse took on a new meaning for me today.

It happened because I'm studying some material by Ariel & Shya Kane about living in the moment.

They are passionate about the concept of being present in your own life, because you are either living your life, or thinking about your life. You can't do both at the same time. You miss your own life if you become preoccupied.

So in that context, what does loving the Lord with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind mean?  Bringing all of your attention to God when you love Him.

It's just like when we talk to a loved one, we want all of their attention at that time.  We want the gift of the whole person engaged with us in that moment.

Love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.

Wednesday, 03 February 2010

The Lord really is good

We have all heard that verse "taste and see that the Lord  is good" (Ps 34:8) so many times that we don't even "hear" what is says anymore!

The Lord is good.

The problem is that many times and for some people all the time, we don't actually believe God is good. We've got our evidence to the contrary.  Life has dealt us some heavy blows, we get depressed, someone breaks our heart, we don't get that job we so desperately needed... and we're left thinking God doesn't really care.  Or worse, that's He's vindictive and spiteful.

Psalm 118 starts by saying give thanks to the Lord for He is .... *drumroll please*... good.  And continues on to say "His faithful love endures forever."  It says so again in Psalm 136, oh and in 2 Chronicles 20:21...and so forth and so forth. 

The Lord is good.

Lamentations 3:25 goes on to say "The Lord is good to those whose hope is in Him, to the one who seeks Him."

And what about Isaiah 30:18-19? It doesn't specifically mention the word good, but that's pretty much what  it means..

So the Lord must wait for you to come to him so he can show you his love and compassion.

For the Lord is a faithful God. Blessed are those who wait for his help.
O people of Zion, who live in Jerusalem, you will weep no more.
He will be gracious if you ask for help. He will surely respond to the sound of your cries.

If you are weary and longing to experience the Lord's goodness, listen to the song on the youtube video below.

The lyrics to Peace Be Still
Come to Me, you who are weakLet My strength be yours tonight; Come and rest, let My love be your bed
Let My heart be yours tonight

Peace be still, Peace be still; Please be still and know that I am God
And know that I am God

Come empty cup, let Me fill you up; I'll descend on you like a dove tonight
Lift your head, let your eyes fall into Mine; Let your fear subside tonight

Hallelujah, Hallelujah

Tuesday, 02 February 2010

To this end was I born

The New Living translation of John 18:37 reads as follows:
Pilate said, “So you are a king?”
Jesus responded, “
You say I am a king. Actually, I was born and came into the world to testify to the truth. All who love the truth recognize that what I say is true.”

Most translations read as follows:
"You are a king, then!" said Pilate.
Jesus answered, "You are right in saying I am a king. In fact, for this reason I was born, and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone on the side of truth listens to me."

The second version make us focus more on the fact that Jesus confirmed He is a king, than on what he stated as his life's purpose (born to testify to the truth), whereas the New Living Translation, by not confirming what Pilate asked, brings the focus to the fact that Jesus "was born and came into the world to testify to the truth".

Okay, go read them again to see what I mean.  :-)

Neat huh, but it gets better!  The following two emails I received later on pretty much confirmed what that verse means to me when I read it. That I too was born with a purpose, to testify to the truth.  The first devotional, The purpose of life, doesn't mention who wrote it, which is a pity. The second devotional is a prophetic word (I love you) that gets sent out to all members on the list.

See what they mean to you.

"To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth."-- John 18:37.

This was our Lord's answer to Pilate's inquiry, and to a certain extent each of us may appropriate His words. Wordsworth's immortal lines suggest that we stood before God to receive our commission, ere we became clothed with this body of humiliation. Whether or not the poet is right in his surmise, that "not in utter nakedness or forgetfulness do we come from God, who is our Home," we need not argue. It is enough that God, who hates nothing that He has made, sent us forth to realise an ideal, to fulfil a purpose, to bear witness to some phase of Truth! Shall we not ask ourselves, as in His Presence, whether we are fulfilling the

Divine purpose of what the Apostle calls "our high calling"? (Phil 3:14).
God created each soul with a purpose. The potter takes in hand a lump of clay with a distinct design. He means, when he places it on the horizontal wheel, to make of it a vessel to adorn a temple or palace, or he has in mind to serve some household use. The revolving wheel on the one hand, and his skilful manipulation on the other, will evolve and complete his purpose. "Cannot I do with you, as this potter? saith the Lord."

"Thou hast made me and fashioned me. Thou didst choose the time and circumstances of my birth, my parentage and heredity, my mental equipment and my physical frame. From the first Thou didst know the constitution of my body, which Thou didst fashion in secret, and curiously work in the lowest places of the earth."

To our humble challenge: "Why hast Thou made me thus?" God does not always give an audible reply. His answer is often voiceless, it steals in upon the soul insensibly, and we know that we are fulfilling His purpose. If you are engaged in some unwelcome task, which evidently is your duty; if you are shut up as companion with some uncongenial charge; if you are called to minister to people who seem unresponsive or unsympathising, ask that the Saviour and you may be yoked together, that His Will may be done through you, that His love and kindness may bear and forbear in you, and that you may witness to the truth, as it is in Jesus.

O God, some of us shrink from our life-work, from those with whom we have to associate, from unwelcome toil and irksome tasks. Enable us to see Thy plan, and to trust Thee who art working out Thy plan in our lives. May the love of Christ constrain us no longer to live unto ourselves, but to Him. AMEN.

This word is submitted by Vanessa Whittaker
I created you all for a reason and I embrace you as My child. Stand
strong in what I have given you, for I chose you from eternity. My
hand is overcoming your enemies. Let Me work, and you will see wonders,
for My hand is on you, and I am looking after you.

I love you, My child, and you have been bought by the blood of the
Lamb. You don't realize how precious you are to Me. I am your Loving
Father, and I wish to guide you all though Life. Just take My hand.
The adventure is about to begin...

Tuesday, 12 January 2010

Live a life filled with love

I work with the public and as such there are days when the people can get on your very last nerve.  It was at the end of one of those days that I paged through the new testament, looking at scriptures I've highlighted.  Funny how the Lord made the verses following  "jump" off the page.  

As you start reading you'll notice that we fail many, many times to follow the guidelines and commandments below. It is only through relying on the Holy Spirit to guide and change us that we will improve in loving others. That will only happen as we spend time with Him, "disgarding everything else, counting it all as garbage, so that you can gain Christ and become one with Him." (Philippians 3:8b-9)

Prayerfully and peacefully read through the list of scriptures below, allowing the Holy Spirit to change your heart and attitude.

What is important is faith expressing itself in love.  (Galatians 5:6b)

He has told us about the love for others that the Holy Spirit has given you. (Colossians 1:8)

Live a life filled with love, following the example of Christ. (Ephesians 5:2)  

You must all be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry. (James 1:19b)

They must not slander anyone and must avoid quarreling. Instead, they should be
 gentle and show true humility to everyone(Titus 3:2)  
Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them. (Ephesians 4:29)  

A servant of the Lord must not quarrel but must be kind to everyone, be able to teach, and be patient with difficult people(2 Timothy 2:24 )

Instead, be kind to each othertenderheartedforgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you. (Ephesians 4:32)

Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others. (Colossians 3:12-13) 

Do everything without complaining and arguing  (Philippians 2:14)

Don’t grumble about each other, brothers and sisters, or you will be judged. (James 5:9)

I'm sure the Lord will lead you to more scriptures as you read your Bible. 

Be blessed.