God of the Weary . . .

Day 1

There are times in my life when I feel so weary that everything is too much. I don’t mean to the point of despair, but just that the everyday walk through life is just a drag.

I’m not a social being, an out-there do as much as I can in one day person. Those people make me tired, and a little envious at times wishing that I could be more like them. But I believe God makes us and moulds our lives as He has planned. For many reasons throughout my life I have been a solitary person and I believe that is exactly what God intended. He does want me to be part of a church and socialise with other Christians, but we cannot all be the same, it would be boring. God’s purpose for my life requires a certain amount of solitary time.

Matthew 5:3 says “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”

Matthew Henry says of this verse : “Those who are ‘weary and heavy-laden’, are the poor in spirit, and they shall find rest with Christ.”

My daily strength is in knowing that God walks with me and goes before me always.

I get to know Him more and more each day through reading His Word, even if it is only one verse that has captured my interest and that may apply to where I’m at with life. I spend a lot of time reading books written by outstanding men and women of God. They inform me and encourage me in my walk with Him.

Walking with Jesus has changed my life. I know I would not be here now if it was not for God’s intervention in my life.

All of the scriptures below have helped me often. However, recently, through reading one of these books, I learned something in regards to Matthew 11:28-30. When oxen worked they were usually doubly yoked. A strong or lead ox would take the larger side and the younger, weaker ox the opposite side. As they worked, the weaker ox would plough or track with the stronger ox, which bore the main part of the load.

When we are yoked with Christ, the burden is light because He is pulling the weight and making the way as the strong one. How beautiful is that!

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Day 2

Psalm 68:19-20 ~ “Blessed be the Lord, who daily bears our burden, the God who is our salvation.
God is to us a God of deliverances; and to God the Lord belong escapes from death.”

Day 3

Psalm 94:19 ~ “When my anxious thoughts multiply within me, Your consolations delight my soul.”

Day 4

Isaiah 40:28-31 ~ “Do you not know? Have you not heard? The everlasting God, the Lord, the creator of the ends of the earth does not become weary or tired. His understanding is inscrutable.
He gives strength to the weary, and to him who lacks might He increases power.
Though youths grow weary and tired, and vigorous young men stumble badly,
Yet those who wait for the Lord will gain new strength; they will mount up with wings like eagles, they will run and not get tired, they will walk and not become weary.”

Day 5

Jeremiah 31:25 ~ “For I satisfy the weary ones and refresh everyone who languishes.”

Day 6

Matthew 5:3 ~ “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”
Matthew 11:28-30 ~ “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.
Take My yoke upon you, and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart; and you shall find rest for your souls.
For My yoke is easy, and My load is light.”

Day 7

Galatians 6:9 ~ “And let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we shall reap if we do not grow weary.”

God’s Not Dead! . . .

There are some who teach that there is no life after death . . . That we just go to sleep, unconsciously aware of anything anymore, and that God will raise from the dead whom He chooses at the final resurrection.

To live this life with all its sorrows and suffering,  and only end  up in the resurrection living here on earth forever ‘under much better conditions’, is definitely not enough as far as I’m concerned.

It is also, not what the Bible says.                                                           1 Timothy 1:4 says not to pay attention to myths and endless genealogies, which give rise to mere speculation rather  than furthering the administration of God which is by faith.

The God who created the heavens and the earth, is such a glorious God. His heavenly realm is where He originally intended for mankind to live. Eternally with Him in glory. The thing is, that when Adam and Eve sinned, they brought death upon themselves and their descendants. Adam and Eve were never meant to die physically or in any other way. They had a very personal, intimate, loving, and glorious relationship with their Father (God)

That bond was broken by their sin. God cannot look upon sin.

It was then handed down through the bloodline, from generation to generation.
When Adam and Eve sinned, it was not because of their lack of appreciation for God’s kindness, but because they were deceived and tempted and believed the devil’s word over God’s. When God had told them that if they ate from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, they would surely die, He was speaking not only of physical death but eternal spiritual death. Eternity separated from God. Because of their sin, the curse over Adam and Eve became one of pain, separation from God, tyranny and death. Because of their sin, they would now physically deteriorate and eventually die and return to the ground from where they had been taken. But because they were made, each as a spirit, who had a soul and all this lived in a body, when death came for the body, it would drop off and die, and spiritually they would live on.

Whether or not they repented and asked forgiveness would have determined their eternal destination. Eternal life or eternal death.

In Genesis 2:7 the Bible tells us that God formed mankind of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and man became a living being. The difference between mankind and all other creation is the fact that we have God’s life breathed into us.

Who’s breath of life do we have?

God’s.

He is an eternal God, always was, always is, always will be. Therefore we have the same life flowing through us. We will live eternally. We had that right from the very beginning, but sin stole it from us.

However, God began to put in place a plan, to redeem us from the eternal death we brought upon ourselves by disobeying, and not trusting God. The entire Bible is the account of that plan, and all it entailed, to bring about our redemption.

The Bible is a love letter to mankind.

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Those who receive into their hearts the promises of God’s Word, and believe in His Son, Jesus, will live forever. This amazing book that has survived centuries of persecution, stands strong today as the most read book of all time. It shows us unquestionably that God is a living God who created mankind to love and serve Him and live with Him.

The Bible is Oh so much more than just living, dying and hoping to be chosen as one of the resurrected few. Living ‘under much better conditions’ is nothing compared to the glory that is before us.

1 Corinthians 2:9  says, “Things which eye has not seen and ear has not heard, and which have not entered the heart of man, all that God has prepared for those who love Him.”

In other words, things which we have never seen or experienced, or heard of, or even imagined in our wildest imaginings; wonderful, glorious things ~
All THAT, God has prepared for us ~ for those who love Him.

In Ezekiel 18:4-9, we see that the sinner will die and the righteous will live. This refers to eternal life or death. The whole Bible is about the journey, and ultimately leads us to the doorway to eternal life.

In the gospel of Luke 8:40-56, we see Jesus heal two people. One, the lady who touched His cloak and the other, a young girl who had died. In verse 55, it says that after Jesus commanded her to arise, her spirit returned. It is not our immortal soul that gives us life, it is our immortal spirit, designed to live forever. The girl’s spirit had not ceased to exist, it had just left her body. So when her spirit returned, it returned  to her  body to give it  life. Plus, whatever had caused her death in her body was obviously fully healed.

In the case of Lazarus, John 11:11-44, when Jesus met Martha and she proclaimed that she believed her brother would rise in the resurrection on the last day, it was her FAITH that Jesus saw in her. And just because there is no account by Lazarus as to where he  was when he was dead, does not prove at all that he was only unconscious in his dead state. Jesus may have asked him not to speak of his death experience; after all Jesus had not yet been to the cross, and heaven was not readily available to those who had already died.

There was another Lazarus in Luke 16:19-31, who was very poor, very sick and very hungry. There was also a very rich man who ignored Lazarus and did nothing to help him, but lived in his own splendour and fine living each and every day. When the rich man died, he went to hell. He was in such agony he called out to Lazarus (who had also died) across the chasm which separated them, for help. But it was too late. The place that Lazarus was in was where all who had already died (Abraham, Moses, all the prophets, etc) with faith in God and His promises, went, like a part of hell that separated them from the suffering,  until such time as Jesus went to the cross and redeemed mankind, and opened the gates of heaven for us. That doesn’t look to me as though they were unconscious.

Everything does not stop at point of death, our bodies might, but our spirit lives on.

Ecclesiastes 9:5, says that the living (the righteous) know they will die; but the dead (sinners) do not know anything, nor have they any longer a reward, for their memory is forgotten. If we look at verse 1 in this chapter, then the living referred to are the righteous, and their deeds are in the Hand of God. ‘Man’ here, is referring to those unrighteous, who are so not wise; have no wisdom, knowledge or understanding; that they know not what is in store for them, it could be anything. They are the dead, who have lost their reward, because they continually sin, deny God, live unholy lives, and therefore, will be remembered no more. It does not say they are unconscious and have no memory, it says that they won’t be remembered any more.

In Romans 6:23, it says that the wages of sin is death; but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

The entire Bible leads up  to Jesus’ death and resurrection and ultimately this following statement :

 

I am the way 2

Why did He die and rise again from the dead? (He rose again, He’s not dead anymore!)

So we could live!!!

So, if God is a God of the living ~ Luke 20:38 ~ then, why on earth would we be unconscious and unknowing, when we die. It is only our body that will die. If God is a God of the living, and we have His breath in us, then He intends for us to live forever with Him in Heaven.

I’m very excited about that!

New Life . . .

A couple of years ago my Dad passed away. He was ninety-one and had lived a very full and productive life. I was not present when he passed so I decided I wanted to go to the funeral parlour prior to the funeral to view his body. During a very restless sleep the night before I began wrestling with the problem of whether I really wanted to do that or not. I asked the Lord whether I should or not because I didn’t want to have any regrets, and in that moment I saw very clearly that my Dad was not here anymore because he had risen to be with Jesus, and I would only be looking at his earthly body.

The real man was gone to heaven.

It is so beautiful and exciting and truly wonderful that because my Dad loved the Lord and lived a life accordingly, he is now in that life eternal existence we call heaven.

This is what we can look forward to when we give our hearts to Jesus.

I do not know how anyone can live without a relationship with the Lord, especially at times of loss and the grief that ensues. It is this closeness to God that brings us through these times. Yes we grieve and miss our loved ones, but when we know and understand the things regarding life and death there is much less anxiety and so much more peace and comfort from the Holy Spirit that makes it much easier.

My Dad now has a new life free from pain, loss, grief and any suffering or sadness, along with my Mum who passed into glory to be with him and Jesus only 7 months later.

I long for the same eternal glory for myself and all my family and friends and acquaintances.

With the help of God’s Word and His Holy Spirit revelation and power we can achieve marvellous things in our lives. In the name of Jesus we can be healed, we can have all our needs met, we can go to God in prayer and believe for the healing of relationships, of marriages, of those we know who are struggling with life. And God is more than able to perform miracles when needed. He has calmed storms, fed five thousand with only a few fish and bread rolls, stopped the waters so that Moses could lead his people out of Egypt, healed leprosy, paralytics, and raised from the dead.

There is a verse in Revelation that describes the main street in heaven as being made from gold, like glass. Can you imagine that? And that’s where my Dad and Mum are now! And my Grandma and Grandpa and countless others. And if you’re not sure about all this then I have a testimony regarding my Grandma.

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She was a lady who was not really brought up in church at all. She experienced great loss in her life by the death of her second daughter. She grew into a very bitter woman. In her early eighties she was quite senile and this is where God is so gracious. I prayed that God would open up a moment of clarity for her to receive Him into her heart. We prayed the prayer ever so slowly until it all was said. I left wondering about how I was going to know if she had received anything. A little while later one of my sisters was singing praise songs by her bedside and she joined in.

You had to know my Grandma to understand that this was a fair dinkum confirmation of what God had done!

Because, you see, we are firstly a spirit, and we have a soul (mind) and we live in an earthly body, so it was her spirit that God appealed to.

He can do anything!

God so loved the world, He sent His only Son, so that when we believe in Him, we may have eternal life!

When God raised Jesus from the dead, it paved the way for us to be able to follow Him (Jesus) when we pass from this life, to Life Eternal. A new dimension. A New Life in the presence of our God.

Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, and whose trust is the Lord ~ Jeremiah 17:7

Out of the Mouths of Babes . . .

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A couple of years ago my two grandsons Levi and Archie (who were at the time 8 and 5) were building a cubby in the lounge room with their mates Felicity and Silas.

At its entrance they placed one of my paintings that Levi had chosen as his own (pictured above) and then wrote three pages of rules that must be met before entering the lounge room.

When their mum, Heidi, walked in to bring them dinner Felicity and Levi hurried out of the cubby and Felicity demanded of her, “Did you give glory to God before you entered this room?” To which mum said, “Uhhh…I think so…” And Levi  replied, “Was it in the highest? ‘Cause it can’t just be any glory ya know!”

In the gospels Jesus tells us that we must come to Him as little children. Just as a child has faith in the promises of his/her parents and does not doubt that they will do what they say, so we are to come to God in the same way.

Levi is so right. It is not just any glory that we bring to God. ‘Glory to God in the highest!’ (Luke 2:14) was sung out by the angels at Jesus’ birth. In verse 13 it says that a multitude of the heavenly host were praising God. It was a rip roaring party of the ages that sang of the coming, finally, of the Saviour that God had promised for hundreds of years. As the heavenly host were praising God for this wonderful event, they had no qualms as to what baby Jesus was called to do as He grew and developed into a man.

They would not have been celebrating the awful death He was to die but the eternal life that he was to obtain for the world. From Adam and Eve to the very last soul that will be born here on this earth before He (Jesus) returns in all His Glory.

God’s love for us is so great that He was willing to sacrifice His only Son, just as Abraham was willing to do, because God had already promised him that he would be the father of many nations, and that could not come to pass if his heir was killed. Abraham knew his God so well that he was confident that God would raise his son again even if the sacrifice had gone ahead. This act of faith is what is called a foreshadowing of what was to come.

God needed to test Abraham’s faith to see if there was a man willing to give his only son for Him (God) Because of Abraham’s response, God was willing to sacrifice His Only Son to redeem mankind. And, although He died on a cross, He was raised to life again by God, just as Abraham had known He would have done to his son, Isaac.

In several places throughout the gospels Jesus tells His disciples to have faith in God and they can move mountains. In other words, the mountain of sin in our lives can be forgiven, the mountain of debt can be worn down, the mountain of sickness, disease, infirmity can be demolished and therefore healed.

Hebrews 11:6 says, “And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that HE IS, and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him.”

The whole story of Salvation is tied up in His Glory.

It is a Glorious Heaven that was momentarily tainted by Satan’s rebellion and therefore the need to exile him forever to a place that disallows return.

It is a Glorious Heaven that celebrated His coming to redeem the world’s loss because of that rebellion and mankind’s fall.

It is a Glorious Heaven that we will live in forever with Jesus when we accept the sacrifice He made for us and His Glorious Resurrection.

Heaven is Light and Life and Purity and Love and Holiness and Glory beyond our wildest imagination.

Romans 8:18 “For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the Glory that is to be revealed to us.”

Levi is so right . . . It’s not just any Glory. God’s Glory encompasses the entire universe, God’s amazing Love, Mercy and Grace, with a depth so profound it is inexpressible.

Far beyond what we could ever ask or think or imagine, is what God has for us (1 Corinthians 2:9)

Joy immeasurable, forever.

When we confess with our mouths Jesus as Lord, and believe in our hearts that God raised Him from the dead, we shall be saved. For with the heart man believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in Salvation ~ Romans 10:9,10

And verse 11 says that whoever believes in Him will not be disappointed.

I’m certainly not!

Without Jesus in my life, I could never have made it this far.

There is a link at the top of this page if you would like to pray the prayer of Salvation.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Choose Life . . .

If there is no point to life, no reason to be here, no life after death, no purpose, then why in the first place are we here?

It stands to reason that after all the suffering that this life entails, there must be something happening when we die. Otherwise, what’s the point?

We feel pain in our bodies. We feel pain in our hearts. Some of us suffer, some a little bit, some a great deal. Some of us live with disaster after disaster in our families and some for generations. You may think you are cursed. Well, perhaps that’s just what it is. If there is no purpose to this life, and no life after death, I ask again, then why all this suffering? To get to where? To just suffer through this life, and then be no more? To come back as a dog or cat or caterpillar? What a scam! But there is an answer to all these questions!

There IS a purpose to life, and there is a greater being who guides us toward that purpose and beyond. There is hope in a dying and immoral world. There is success for what may seem a lost and hopeless life, for those who genuinely seek truth and freedom.

There is, however, only one way to this salvation from the bondage of suffering, loneliness, poverty, sickness, infirmity, loss and grief and the hopelessness that life can bring. There is only one way to find the truth about your purpose here on this planet, and to be able to walk in freedom.

Firstly, we begin with the fact that we are a spirit, we have a soul (mind) and we live in a body.

The spirit is our real self. It will live forever. Our soul is where all information is stored, mulled over, and where decisions are made. All of this lives in an earthly body, which when the time comes will drop off and die and our spirit will spend it’s time in eternity. The condition of our spirit at point of death, determines where we will spend eternity.

Because we have the freedom to make decisions we are given the chance to learn about God, His love for us, and what He achieved for us. We are given the choice to accept Him or deny Him. He is our Creator and our Redeemer. If we are genuinely searching for the meaning of life and the truth about life, He (God) will reveal Himself to us. We are free then, to choose to walk with Him or not.

Jesus said : I am the Way, and the Truth, and the Life;  no-one comes to the Father, but through Me ~ John 14:6.

Jesus also says to come to Him, if you are weary with life, and greatly burdened, and that He will give you rest, because He is the resurrection and life to all who believe in Him, and even if you die, you shall live forever with Him. He came for those who are in darkness, that they may believe in Him and live in the light ~ Matthew 11:28 ~ John 11:25,26 ~ John 12:46

Jesus Christ, the Saviour of the world, He died for us, and He rose from the dead, and then sent His helper, His Holy Spirit, to strengthen us, guide us, comfort us, give us boldness, and be a constant companion, a true friend, who can be relied upon in any situation life brings.

God’s great love for us is summed up in this verse from the Gospel of John :

“For God so loved the world (that’s you and me) that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life” ~ John 3:16

So choose life!

Choose to ask Jesus to come and live in your heart and walk with you and help you to succeed in life with the help of His Holy Spirit.

Choose life, because the alternative is not pleasant. Jesus says in the Gospels, that if we deny Him, our Father who is in heaven, will deny us.

Choose life, because Jesus is the resurrection and the life, and if you believe in Him, you will never die!

John 316

And it all began with the birth of a baby in a manger . . .

Peace came to Earth . . .

“Glory to God in the Highest, and on earth peace, goodwill toward men!” Luke 2:14

The night Jesus was born, the heavenly messengers said there was peace on Earth.

Peace is a prized state of existence that so many seek today. Since the creation, the only true time of peace mankind experienced occurred before the fall of Adam and Eve in the garden. Since the original sin, mankind has been unable to obtain harmony and tranquillity on Earth.

So why did the angels declare there was peace on Earth when our Saviour was born?

From the beginning, God’s plan was to use the seed of a woman to provide a Son who would crush the leader of the rebellion against God (Genesis 3:15) namely, that serpent of old, also called the Devil and Satan. This Son would bring true and lasting peace.

Through the prophet Isaiah, God called this promised Son the “Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9:6) On the night Jesus was born, the Prince of Peace came to Earth. Indeed, there was Peace on Earth, exactly as the angels had declared.

However, the apostle Paul reminds us that Christ is peace to all who confess their sin and place their faith in Him. When He takes residence in our hearts, He instils in us a peace that cannot be obtained any other way. It is the peace of reconciliation with God and the comfort of knowing we will spend eternity with Him.

(Excerpts from the Friend’s of Israel Gospel Ministry letter accompanying the December 2017 Israel My Glory magazine.)

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