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.

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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.

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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 :

 

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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!

God’s Heart . . .

The heart of God has always been for you and for me. From the very moment Adam and Eve sinned and lost eternal life, God planned our redemption.

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Imagine that you are an angel and live in a place called Heaven. It is so clean and pure and joyful and every soul there is perfect as well. You all love and worship your  creator, God. But one day there is a revolt against the One that is responsible for your existence. There is such a clear probability that if those causing trouble through their  jealousy and greed for power are not banished, then there would be irreversible damage done for eternity to this Holy and Glorious place. So that is just what God does. He kicks them out of Heaven and banishes them forever to a place He creates just for them. Hell.

The leader of these exiles is Satan. He is so angry at God that he decides to attack His ultimate creation. Mankind. He tempts Adam and Eve with the very thing that he epitomises. Pride and Greed. They turned their eyes off God and His loving provision and were deceived into thinking that they could be like Him. You see, God made us with a free will, to be able to make free choices. They lost their relationship with God, and therefore their eternal life. Heaven, as has been said, is too Holy and Pure to accept anyone that could mar that Beauty and Glorious Light. God cannot live within the remotest distance of sin.

God loved us so much even though we had chosen to go against Him, that He put into place a plan to redeem us from the loss of eternal life with Him.

He sent His Son from that most Glorious place to earth, to live a human existence, to take upon Himself the sin of the world for our freedom from the pit of Hell. What does this mean?

When Jesus cried out to His Father, God, when dying on the cross, “Why have You forsaken Me?” that was the moment God transferred OUR sin to His Son. For us.
Salvation includes healing, prosperity, our sanity and so much more. Jesus hung on that cross after having been betrayed, mocked, beaten to within an inch of His life, and tortured with all the sin and sickness of the history of the world also upon Him.

Let’s be blunt here. He took on the filth of murderers, thieves, haters, sexual abusers, rapists, paedophiles, torturers, liars, deviants and any other horrible sin, from the beginning of the world to the end of the world. He took on cancer, cystic fibrosis, malaria, aids, multiple sclerosis, herpes, STD’s, heart disease, lung disease, liver disease, kidney disease, schizophrenia, and any other sickness you can think of, and any we don’t even know about. That’s why it has been said that He was unrecognisable as He hung on that cross.

He went to hell. But He was without sin, because He was God, and hell cannot hold a sinless soul. So God His Father by the power of the Holy Spirit, raised Him up out of the grave victorious. Jesus had done for us what we could never do for ourselves. Jesus, Our Saviour, He’s God, and He subjected Himself to all that evil for us. Only a soul without sin could successfully do that for mankind.

That is why if we deny Jesus and all that He did for us, God the Father will deny us access to eternal life. The price He paid was way too high for us to ignore.

Jesus died for us with forgiveness in His heart. He forgave those who betrayed Him, tortured Him, sentenced Him, and crucified Him. We are told to do the same. The Lord’s Prayer tells us to do this very thing in Matthew 6:9-13. Then in the next verses Jesus says,
“For if you forgive men for their transgressions, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men, then your Father will not forgive your transgressions.”

You see, God, through Jesus, did an amazing thing for us so that He could be reunited with His creation, created in His image. He never wanted any to be lost, but also needed us to come to Him by our own free will. And all He asks in return is for you and me to acknowledge the sacrifice He made (just as we would a friend who saved our life) and accept His Son Jesus into our hearts.

The whole Bible is about this sacrifice, and there are many, many, many scriptures that show us His Love.

Psalm 103:1-8 tells us how He forgives all our sins, and heals all our diseases. John 6:35 tells us that He (Jesus) is the bread of life, and in Him all our needs will be met. Isaiah 55:6 tells us to seek the Lord while He may be found. There is a time when the Holy Spirit will be removed from the earth, and it will be a lot harder to find God.

Romans 10:9,10 says that if we confess with our mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in our hearts that He was raised from the dead, we will be saved. For with the heart we believe, and with the mouth we confess that belief, resulting in salvation.

And here’s a thought for those who love finding little gems in the scripture ~ what I see in Luke 22:44 where Jesus was praying in the garden of Gethsemane ~ “He prayed more fervently, and He was in such agony of spirit that His sweat fell to the ground like great drops of blood” ~

Even at this stage Jesus was beginning to shed His blood for us.

Ah, Autumn at Last! . . .

The thoughts I’ve had in my mind lately have been in regard to autumn. I love Autumn. It is crisp and clear and cool. And filled with the beginnings of new life. For after all the leaves have died and fallen, the spring then brings forth new life.

Just as the leaves die and wither before the tree can produce new life, so we must do the same.

Even Jesus had to die, albeit on our behalf, before new life could begin to bloom for us.

There’s a song with the words ‘Love grew where the blood fell . . .’ and it sings of the flowers of love springing up where Jesus’ blood hit the ground as He was dying on the cross. It impacted me greatly.

His death brought forth for us, new life.

Before any seed can germinate it has to die in the ground and as it is watered and the sun shines on the soil it then springs forth new life. The writer of that song I believe had quite a revelation of the importance of death to new life.

Jesus died for our sins so that we could inherit eternal life!

He rose from the dead to prove the existence of eternal life!

The death of the body however, is just that. It then decays, but if we choose to follow Jesus, our spirit lives on forever with Him in heaven!

So what I’m trying to say, is that we need to die to self, and accept Jesus as our Lord and Saviour, and we will inherit  eternal life.

Invite Him into our heart.

Confess our sin.

Accept His forgiveness.

Allow the sunshine of His salvation to shine on us.

Water ourselves with reading His word.

And watch new life emerge.

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But first, sit back, relax, and just rest, as the autumn tree does, just swaying in the breeze or standing in the fog, and let go of those things in life that are unimportant to the great scheme of things as far as the universe and God are concerned.

There’s not one thing that can be taken into the next life, so let go.

We may sometimes feel we are in a fog, but it doesn’t last long before the sun breaks through.

And when it does it is usually a bright, clean, clear and crisp day!

Clarity. I love that word.

That’s what walking with God does for us ~

Gives us clarity.

 

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

The mountains melt like wax before the Lord, before the Lord of all the earth ~ Psalm 97:5

Jesus is the Lord, therefore when we have faith in God and believe like He says that we can move the mountains in our lives, in the name of Jesus our Lord, then why not see those mountains melting away like wax!

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All praise and glory to God!

Ephesians . . .

Paul’s prayer in this first chapter of Ephesians in verse 17 is that ~

The God of our Lord Jesus Christ ~ the Father of glory ~  May give to us a Spirit of wisdom ~ and of revelation ~ in the knowledge of Him.

He then goes on to write in verses 18-21 about  ~

1. The Hope of God’s calling upon our lives ~

This is eternal life.

2. The Riches of the Glory of God’s inheritance that we have in Him ~

This is forgiveness, healing, provision, peace and comfort, and so much more.

3. The surpassing greatness of God’s Power toward us who believe ~

This is His love, mercy and grace.

These three things are ~

In accordance with the working of the strength of God’s might, which He brought about in Christ, when He raised Jesus from the dead, and seated Him at His (God’s) right hand in the heavenly places ~ Far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age, but also in the one to come.

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God’s strength and might is what raised Jesus from the dead, therefore ~

Any Hope we may have in our future is guaranteed through God’s strength and might that is so great He can even raise souls from the dead. Even ours when our bodies die.

Therefore, Salvation through Christ, and Eternal life.

The riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, is comforting. Because of Jesus’ great sacrifice, He inherited the seat at the right hand of God the Father, where He  continually intercedes for every one of us. When we accept what Jesus did for us and Who He Is, we become inheritors of the same riches and glory.

Salvation, healing, our sins forgiven, and eternal life with Jesus and God the Father and Holy Spirit.

God’s amazing greatness and power and ability to do astounding works for us is outmatched by no-one. He created us. We turned away from Him, our Maker, and sinned, and He in His great love and mercy, put a plan into place to redeem us, to save us, to give us the opportunity of reclaiming our eternal life.

So, if we accept Jesus as our Saviour, we can be assured of a future of ~

Hope ~ given to us from God’s great abundance of riches ~ and

Love, and mercy and grace ~ Our inheritance ~

Along with all other believers ~ in the Glory of God ~ and eternal life in the presence of that amazing Glory.

“By grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God.” ~ Ephesians 2:8

Prayer for Salvation ~ Click on the link at the top of this page.