Repentance . . .

Some people say that I am too hard on myself. But it is only me and God who really know who I am, what I’m thinking, what sin is in my life, and what I am or am not doing about it. I believe I need to be my greatest critic, with God’s help. Not condemnation, but coming to God daily and keeping myself pure. God cannot look upon sin.

Instead of continuing on a course that excludes God, and walking toward destruction, I need to recognize who God is and ask Him for His forgiveness for my sins.

To repent means to be reformed, actually turning around and going in a new direction.

Back in the garden of Eden original sin marred man’s relationship with God. Sin entered man’s soul and he was now too unclean to commune with God.

John 3 16 (3)

All the outrageous ceremonies that the Hebrews went through to atone for their sins in the natural, were all they could do, because they had no saviour to stand in the gap between them and God. That’s why God formulated a plan to send His only Son to stand in that gap for us. It needed to be someone who was free from sin, and because of that could outstrip the devil at his own game.

Because of what Jesus did for me, I respond with recognition of this great act of love and repent for my sins that He died for, and accept and receive the Lord Jesus, once again into my life.

In his book, The World Aflame, Rick Joyner says that “All sin must be confessed to God and we must repent. The church has to be cleansed. Have I forgiven everybody? Unforgiveness separates us from God. We must obey the Holy Spirit.”

And not just one time, but as a Christian, a way of life.

So, repentance is, to recognise that I am born with sin (inherent from Adam and Eve) and therefore a sinner. I admit to my sins and ask God’s forgiveness.

And really, it’s this daily act of contrition that carries me much more easily through my life and my walk with God.

 

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!

Ps 118 24 (2)

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.”

Without Him ~ I Can Do Nothing . . .

Day 1

I cannot imagine what my life would have been like if I hadn’t come to know Jesus. I was lost at the time I discovered I was pregnant as a single mum. My life was going nowhere and I had no goals or direction. In fact, upon reflection, I would not be here, either from lung cancer or self harm. I heard God knocking at the door of my heart that day my son was born, and I responded. I’m so grateful.

As I reflect upon this week’s devotion I am reminded of the fact that as a mother, I would not have survived without knowing Jesus. There were many times I prayed for healing and protection over my children as they were sleeping and many times I let my praise music envelope me when things were nearing desperation.

There is one particular moment I remember, when my eldest son came home after having passed his driving test and having promised him my car to go and pick up a mate to celebrate with him, as I closed the front door after him, I prayed, “Lord, send your ministering angels to surround my son, keep him safe and help him drive responsibly. I leave him in your hands.”

In his book There Were Two Trees in the Garden, Rick Joyner says, “There is no formula given for Salvation, it is a person. Truth is not just a systematic theology, it is Jesus. He is the deepest desire of the human heart. Only in Him do we really begin to live.”

My FIRST LOVE should be for JESUS.

When I go full speed ahead with my own ideas without consulting God, they usually fail. But when I pray and seek God’s Will, my life is so much easier. Putting Him first in my life puts everything else into perspective and helps me to deal with life’s challenges without worry or panic.

Because of my commitment to Jesus, God has provided me with a wonderful husband and three more beautiful children. I am truly grateful for His help in raising my children, who are all serving God passionately, because I relied on Jesus to help and guide me in the process.

Without God on my side, my life would be very empty.

Psalm 3 3

Day 2

Psalm 3:3 ~ “But You, O Lord, art a shield about me, my glory and the One who lifts my head.”

Psalm 5:11-12 ~ “But let all who take refuge in You be glad, let them ever sing for joy; and may You shelter them, that those who love Your name may exult in You.
For it is You who blesses the righteous man, O Lord, You surround him with favour as with a shield.”

Day 3

Psalm 42:1 ~ “As the deer pants for the water brooks, so my soul pants for You, O God.”

Psalm 91:1-2 ~ “He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say to the Lord, “My refuge and my fortress, my God in whom I trust!”

Day 4

Proverbs 3:5-6 ~ “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.
In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.”

Day 5

Matthew 6:33 ~ “But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added to you.
Therefore do not be anxious for tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”

Day 6

John 14:21 ~ “He who has My commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves me; and he who loves Me shall be loved by My Father, and I will love him and disclose Myself to him.”

Day 7

John15:5 ~ “I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me, and I in him, he bears much fruit; for apart from Me you can do nothing.”

Gethsemane . . .

He walked away, about a stone’s throw, and knelt down and prayed, “Father, if You are willing, please take this cup of suffering away from Me. Yet I want Your Will to be done, not Mine.” Then an angel from Heaven appeared and strengthened Him. He prayed more fervently, and He was in such agony of spirit that His sweat fell to the ground like great drops of blood ~ Luke 22:41-44

In the Gospel of Mark, chapter 14, verse 34, Jesus says, “My soul is crushed with grief to the point of death.”

I have been meditating upon this for some time and I want to throw out to you a few thoughts.

Firstly, that Jesus while He was here on this earth was fully human and fully divine. In His humanity He experienced everything we do. Everything that afflicts our mortal bodies. The temptations in the wilderness, which He overcame with the Word of God. All the grief and loss and sickness that He saw around Him and was gracious enough to help and heal.

Secondly, in His humanity He would have experienced fear, and since He died for all our sicknesses and diseases and afflictions as well as our sins, fear would have been in that list.

So, in the garden, I believe He was experiencing such an horrendous fear of what was before Him, that His blood began to be shed at that point, even before His arrest. After all, that is why He came, to bear all our sins and sicknesses and all the rest of our afflictions. I think the fear was so great because He was about to take the whole world upon Himself that it became the world’s fears as well, and after His arrest and when He was tortured and mocked and scourged He was suffering all our illnesses and on the cross He bore our sins.

It’s very difficult for me to write what is in my head about this, because it so profoundly moves me.

Jesus’ whole life on this earth was our redemption. From the moment He got up and proclaimed:

“The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, for He has anointed Me to bring Good News to the poor. He has sent Me to proclaim that captives will be released, that the blind will see, that the oppressed will be set free, and that the time of the Lord’s favour has come.” Isaiah 61:1-2

This statement covers it all ~ fears, illnesses, and sin. Jesus bore it all for us while we were yet sinners. He loved us to death. I don’t know whether it’s scientifically possible for someone to experience such grief and fear that they sweat drops of blood, but I am very certain that Jesus did, not only because that is what the Word tells us, but because that is who He was. Our redeemer, our saviour, our freedom fighter and our healer.

He overcame temptation in the wilderness, and lived to fight many more days here on earth to accomplish that which He was sent to do.

He overcame fear in the garden of Gethsemane and went to the cross anyway, and gained freedom for us from that fear.

He had to have experienced all of humanity to be able to free us from tyranny and know and understand all the struggles we have as human beings here on this earth.

He shed drops of blood as He prayed about His fear and therefore understands your fears today. Whatever they may be, sit down somewhere quiet and give them all over to the one who understands and cares for you. Because He’s been through it too.

Jesus Grass

Give all your worries and cares to God, for He cares about you ~ 1 Peter 5:7

 

 

 

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.

prov 21 21 (1)

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!