The Sin of Murder . . .

He who does not love abides in death. Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer; and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him ~ 1 John 3:14,15.

This is the sixth commandment : You shall not murder.

Make what Jesus has done

There was a time in my teens and young adulthood that my hatred of my grandmother went so far as to want to get rid of her. She was a nasty and bitter old woman who lived with us and drove me crazy. It was very sad. But when I got born again, I began to pray for her. By this stage I was married. I heard a preacher talking about his experience of bringing a senile aged relative to the Lord. I was encouraged and inspired. I continued to pray for my grandmother and I sent her a letter to apologise for my part in our differences and I told her Jesus loved her. My mum read it to her but didn’t know if she even understood.

It was coming up to Christmas, so I decided that when we arrived at mum and dad’s place on Christmas day, the first thing I was going to do was go and pray with my grandmother. I had been praying that God would open up a moment of clarity so that her spirit would understand and receive Him.

At this point in time she was not going well and was bed-ridden. I read the prayer for salvation line by line and waited for her to repeat each one and as she did I went on to the next line until we had said the whole prayer. I left her to rest, believing by faith that she had received something.

A little while after Christmas my sister was sitting singing praise songs to her and she responded by singing with her!

Now you had to know my grandmother to appreciate the fact that God had moved in a big way and this was a definite confirmation of her salvation!

I was so thankful to God for His mercy and grace, poured out over a bitter old woman who had not been raised knowing Him, but who had now been saved by grace.

And by faith and a choice to not hate and resent any longer, but to love.

Some scriptures pertaining to this article ~                                                                         Exodus 20:13 ~ Matthew 5:43-47 ~ Luke 6:27-38 ~ Romans 12:10-21 ~ Galatians 5:14-16 ~ 1 John 3:14,15 ~ All 1 John ~ 2 John 5,6

Honouring My Parents . . .

Jer 29 11 (3)

Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. Honour your Father and Mother (which is the first commandment with a promise), that it may be well with you, and that you may live long on the earth (Ephesians 6:1-3)

This is the fifth commandment, repeated here in the new Testament.

There have been many times over the years that I have resented many things that my parents either did, or did not do, in regards to my upbringing. I was a very emotionally charged teenager who was never given any purpose or direction in regard to my life. So I developed into a very emotionally charged adult who spent quite a few years blaming my parents for everything. That is, until one day God showed me that I was wrong to be blaming everything that had happened to me over the years on my parents and others.

Many of us do this, sometimes for our whole lives, without ever owning responsibility as adults for the fact that we can, if we really want to, make changes to our generational inheritances of all the things that went wrong. The bad things that happened, or the opportunities that I missed, cannot be rectified, but God can certainly help to turn my life around. It’s up to me to make the effort, with God’s help, to change.

What my parents did or did not do is determined pretty much by the fact that they were raised by imperfect parents also. When I became a parent, and particularly of teenagers, my whole perspective changed. My parents, I realised, did the best for me, and my sisters, with the education and resources that they had. Amazingly, in fact, when I really take time to think about it. I respect and honour my parents for their input into my life, and thank God for them.

Some scriptures pertaining to this article ~                                                                           Exodus 20:12 ~ Proverbs 1:8,9 ~ Proverbs 6:20,21 ~ Proverbs 20:20 ~ Proverbs 23:22,25 ~ Ephesians 6:1-3 ~ Colossians 3:20

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There is however, the suffering experienced under abusive parents, which I can only imagine would deem respect pretty much impossible. All I can say is that forgiveness, and holding them up in prayer, and fighting in the spirit for their souls, would be the greatest honour that could be shown for them.

Matthew 5:43-48 ~ Matthew 6:14-15 ~ Matthew 7:7-8 ~ Matthew 7:12 ~ John 3:16 ~ Ephesians chapter 6

God Bless You ~ Check out joycemeyer.org

Idolatry . . .

As the first Commandment requires the inward worship of love, desire, joy, hope, and admiration, so the second requires the outward worship of prayer and praise and solemn attendance on God’s Word. It concerns the ordinances of worship, or in other words, the way in which God will be worshipped. The second commandment says to us,

“You shall not make for yourself an idol, you shall not worship them or serve them.”

Matthew Henry points out the fact that, “God forbids us to worship even Him by images, and that our worship must be governed by the power of Faith, not by the power of imagination. Those who truly love God will make it their constant care to keep His Commandments.”

Those Commandments sum up our attitude toward God, in the first four, and our attitude toward our fellow man, in the final six.

Jesus condensed them into two ~ You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and soul and strength and mind, (the first four) and your neighbour as yourself (the final six).

Reverence for God is the basis of the Ten Commandments. Halley’s Bible says that, “Jesus indicated that He considered it the elemental quality in man’s approach to God, and made it the first petition in the Lord’s Prayer.” Hallowed be Thy Name ~ Matthew 6:9-13.

I have dwelt quite a bit upon this subject of Idolatry, because it is a very serious thing to turn our backs on God and serve other things. For that is all they are. Habakkuk 2:18,19 says, “What profit is the idol when its maker has carved it? It is a speechless thing overlaid with gold and silver and there is no breath in it at all.”

Idolatry is absolutely forbidden. Yet we continue to worship movie stars and musicians and models and TV personalities. We worship and immortalise sportsmen and women, bushrangers, and members of the underworld. We worship Jesus’ beautiful mother, Mary (she would be horrified) saints, religious leaders, and in some nations, their political leaders.

God demands our attention to Him as the One and Only God who delivered the Hebrews out of slavery, and ultimately, through Jesus, delivered all mankind from eternal death.

I don’t want to serve death, I would prefer to serve The Living God.

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SOME SCRIPTURES PERTAINING TO THIS ARTICLE ~

Exodus 20:4-6

Habakkuk 2:18-20

Matthew 6:9-13

Matthew 22:37-40

Ephesians 5:5

Colossians 3:5

Spending Time With God . . .

DAY 1

Spending time with God is not just attending church on Sunday. In fact, it is far from it. I have my ups and downs when it comes to doing this, because what happens is I start to think of all the other things I could be doing instead. The enemy loves distracting me from time with God. I’ve had great times for weeks at a time, and then weeks or even months of dragging myself through the desert, so parched for lack of time spent with God that it’s ridiculous. But, you know what, God is Good, and He gently steers me back on track, because He knows I have a heart to serve Him and that I want to succeed at doing His Will.

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There are many ways of spending time with God. I believe that it’s not always quantity of time, but quality of time. Praising and worshipping God with my favourite music, reading His Word, listening to a good teaching, going for a walk and quietly praying/appreciating His wonderful creation, or just sitting quietly and listening for what God wants to say to me.

I don’t get to know God unless I spend time with Him, just as in any other relationship.

You may have a very demanding job and find it difficult to set aside time every day ~ you may do shift work ~ you may be a busy mum who has trouble finding any time to herself. Whatever your situation, it is very important that you commit to a time each week if not each day to spend time with God. You may want to do just one of the suggestions above each day, or each second day or incorporate them all into one time set aside each week, it doesn’t matter. God knows your heart and your situation and He will work with you. Really, it only takes a moment to be prayerful or thankful. It’s not quantity, but quality. Getting ready for work, putting your make-up on, driving, sitting on the train or bus, anywhere, anytime.

In “The Purpose Driven Life,” Rick Warren says, “God wants to be our best friend. Friendship with God is built by sharing all your life experiences with Him.”

To do this we need to spend time with Him, not only a weekly appointment as suggested above, but in all we do. Thinking of Him, praying to Him, handing over the cares and worries we may have for the day ahead, thanking Him for the days blessings, praising Him. Walking, shopping, driving, washing the dishes, cleaning the house, washing the car, mowing the lawn, on holiday and even at work. Being mindful of Him in every aspect of our lives.

The little things He does for us each and every day. That’s Friendship.

DAY 2
Psalm 27:4 ~
“The one thing I ask of the Lord, the thing I seek most, is to live in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, delighting in the Lord’s perfections and meditating in His temple.”

DAY 3
Psalm 34:1-3 ~
“I will praise the Lord at all times. I will constantly speak His praises.
I will boast only in the Lord; let all who are helpless take heart.
Come, let us tell of the Lord’s greatness; let us exalt His name together.”

DAY 4
Psalm 46:10 ~
“Be still and know that I am God!”

DAY 5
1 Corinthians 1:9 ~
“God will do this, for He is faithful to do what He says, and He has invited you into partnership with His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.”

DAY 6
Philippians 3:8 ~
“Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with the infinite value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord.”

DAY 7
Colossians 3:1-4 ~
“Since you have been raised to new life in Christ, set your sights on the realities of heaven, where Christ sits at the place of honour at God’s right hand.
Think about the things of heaven, not the things of earth.
For you died to this life, and your real life is hidden with Christ in God.
And when Christ, who is your life, is revealed to the whole world, you will share in all His glory.”

If you can, it’s always worth reading the before and after verses surrounding these scriptures, or the whole chapter. That will give you the whole picture instead of just a piece. Shalom.

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.

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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.”

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!