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.”

God is Love . . .

Day 1

Sitting in my hospital bed holding my new-born son, I counted his fingers and then I counted his toes, and suddenly I had a revelation of the One True God, and that only a loving and amazingly creative God could have given me in all my weakness and frailty such a beautiful thing. It was a defining moment in my life.

You see, I had been raised in a mainstream church and was taught about God, but never learned how to make Him real in my life. So I turned my back on church and even God. There was a few years then, that I did not acknowledge Him at all, even doubting whether He did exist.

That moment holding my first-born changed my life.

God’s love for us is so great that He gave us His only Son as a sacrifice for our sins. Imagine willingly giving your only son to a bunch of bitter hateful murderers to nail to a cross, and not only that, but willingly load him with every sin ever conceived and every disease ever suffered.

All for the sake of you and me and even those that crucified Him.

It’s inconceivable to us, what God did for us, and that Jesus was willing to do it. He went to that death willingly, not dragged, but walked right up to that cross and spread His arms out, for you and for me.

I have learnt that if I am searching for truth in my life God will reveal it to me. He has brought me a long way, but I still have a long way to go. I want to encourage you today, to not give up on God.

john 14 6 (2)

He has worked wonders in my life since that day and I am so very thankful for the mercy and grace He has shown to me.

Even if you have been saved for decades, take time this week to sit with God and get a fresh revelation about the sacrifice Jesus made for you.

If you do not know Jesus yet as your personal Saviour, there is a link at the top of this page that will take you to the place where you may like to pray to receive Jesus into your heart.

Welcome to our walk together with God !

Day 2

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

Day 3

Romans 5:8 ~ “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”

Day 4

Romans 8:35-39 ~ “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?
Just as it is written, ‘For Your sake we are being put to death all day long; we were considered as sheep to be slaughtered.’
But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us.
For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers,
nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Day 5

Ephesians 2:4-7 ~ “But God being rich in mercy, because of His great love by which He loved us,
even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved),
and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places, in Christ Jesus,
in order that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.”

Day 6

1 John 3:1,16 ~ “See how great a love the Father has bestowed upon us, that we should be called children of God; and such we are.
“We know love by this, that He laid down His life for us; and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.”

Day 7

1 John 4:7-9 ~ “Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God.
The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love.
By this the love of God was manifested in us, that God has sent His only Son into the world so that we might live through Him.”

Walking with God . . .

I’ve been a Christian most of my life, but it was not until early 2009 that I made a commitment to read the entire Bible.

So then about 2012 I thought I would have a go at producing my own Weekly Devotional, because sometimes I need a week to meditate on stuff. As you can see it is taking me a long time to complete. It was a lot harder than I thought. I put it aside for a long time. Whether I ever do finish it time will tell. But for now I have twenty six or seven weeks worth of a fifty-two week booklet.

The following weeks are designed to get you interested enough to do your own searching. As we go through each week the subjects carry you just a little bit further in your walk with God. Therefore, I want to encourage you to continue to go further than you’ve ever been before and to search for your own Word for YOUR life related to the week’s theme and get your own personal revelation for YOU. I have only just touched upon each subject with what I hope is the basics, for you to search and study more. There will be scriptures at the end of each week for you to use each day. Designed as one per day for the week, relevant to the subject.

There are a few situations, especially throughout the Commandments pages, that may require more. I strongly urge you to seek professional Godly advice regarding any issue seriously needing to be addressed in your life.

God is Good. He is the great I AM. His Word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.

He has done amazing things for me and my family over the sixty plus years I have been on this earth. I can see His hand in everything that has happened to me over the years, even the not-so-nice experiences.

By taking the time to read His Word, which has radically changed my life, I have discovered so much more about God my Father, and His Son Jesus. He has given me revelation and spoken to me about my life, like reminding me of my childhood dream of writing a book.

I have learnt a lot putting together this booklet. In writing this, I simply just want to share with you God’s amazing goodness, and what He can do for you.

Reading His Word is the only way to really get to know God. I know.

Psalm 66 16

If you have been desiring to come back to God, and been unsure how to take the first step, the following weeks are for you.

If you do not know Him but desire to, this also is for you.

If you are already walking with God, this is for you too.

 

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!

Passover and Easter . . .

I have over the past few months been studying more about the Feasts of Israel.

So, we gentiles are about to celebrate Easter. If we have been raised  in a family devoted to the Christian faith, then we know that Easter is about the sacrifice Jesus made for us at Calvary. We are aware of His death and resurrection. Unlike most of the world, it’s not just about chocolate overload and bunny rabbits.

Passover and Easter are so inextricably interwoven. Passover being the celebration of the Hebrews deliverance from Egyptian tyranny. Easter being the celebration of the world’s deliverance from eternal death.

Victor Buksbazen, in his book The Gospel in the Feasts of Israel, says this:
“In the light of the New Testament we obtain a full understanding of the Passover, while the deepest meaning of the Lord’s Supper cannot be fathomed without the historic background of the Jewish Passover.

Passover and Easter generally coincide, usually March or early April. The central point in Jewish history is their deliverance from Egypt. The central point in the Christian faith is Calvary.

Jesus and His disciples, in the upper room, were celebrating Passover, and it was at this time  that it obtained its deepest significance.”

Passover and Easter

Jesus, the Lamb of God, became the sacrificial lamb of the Passover. He shed His blood, all of it, just as the Passover lamb had to be prepared. My understanding of the significance of the Hebrews not being able to be subjected to blood in the Old Testament, because it was so unclean, is that in our bloodlines sin is carried from generation to generation, and Jesus had not as yet borne that sin at Calvary. Have you ever wondered why the woman in the Gospels, with the issue of blood, only came up behind Jesus to touch the hem of His cloak? I think it was because she had no place even being  close to everyone because of her uncleanness, but she was so desperate for healing that she thought that if she just touched the hem of His garment (not Him, for that would have been against the law of Moses) then she could be healed. And she was!

The bread and wine on the table at Passover are very significant. The bread (afikomen) is shared by all, but some of it is hidden away and brought out again at the end of the meal. This is also a symbol of the broken body of Jesus at His death, and His resurrection.

And Jesus took this bread, blessed it and broke it, and said:
Take, eat; this is My Body, which is broken for you: do this in remembrance of Me.

The wine is a symbol of the blood of the lamb that was wiped over every door post of the Hebrews, so that they were saved from the angel of death. It is also very symbolic of the blood that Jesus shed for us that saves us from eternal death.

And Jesus drank of this wine after blessing it, and said:
This cup is the New Testament in My blood: do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.

“Jesus Himself, was the final reality of what the Passover lamb sought to convey originally. It is His blood that saves Jew and Gentile alike from the death of sin and eternal condemnation and makes the believer a child of God” ~ V. Buksbazen.

The preparation for the Passover lamb was thorough. It had to be slain and prepared outside of the camp. All its blood had to be drained. Not one bone was to be broken. All of it had to be consumed.

Jesus celebrated Passover, then He walked out of that warm comfortable room and became the ultimate Passover for our sins.

He was crucified outside the city. His entire blood supply was shed. Not one bone was broken. Unreal considering where they put those nails. He gave His all.

God the Father had to turn away from His Son as He laid all the sin of the world on Him. Jesus cried out for His Father, and then as He declared that all was finally accomplished, He hung His head and died.

For you. For me.

There has never been and never will be any greater sacrifice.

SOME SCRIPTURES PERTAINING TO THIS ARTICLE
Exodus 12 / Psalm 22 / Psalm 34:20 / The Hallel sung at the end of the Passover meal: Psalms 113-118 / Matthew 9: 19-22 / Matthew 26:17-30 / Luke 22: 7-28 / John 19 and 20 / 1 Corinthians 11: 23-33

Redemption . . .

When God asked Abraham to sacrifice his only son, it was a test. This type of sacrifice was a common practice amongst the people (who worshipped idols) where Abraham had lived before God directed him to leave and seek the promised land, so he obviously did not see anything odd in doing this.

Abraham is known as the Father of Faith, so his assurance from God that he would become the father of a great nation was at the forefront of his mind as he climbed the mountain with his beloved son confident that God would not go back on His word.

And He didn’t.

Because Abraham was willing to sacrifice his son for love of Yahweh, at the same time knowing, by faith, that God was about to do something extraordinary, God was willing to sacrifice His Son for the redemption of mankind.

Fast forward to the first Passover.
“Judaism and Christianity are as inseparable as seed and flower or tree and fruit. In the light of the New Testament we obtain a full understanding of the Passover, while the deepest meaning of the Lord’s Supper cannot be fathomed without the historic background of the Jewish Passover.

Israel’s deliverance from Egypt is the central point in Jewish history and worship, even as Calvary is the central point in the Christian faith, for on Calvary the work of redemption was accomplished for every believer.

Passover, the story of deliverance, is the harbinger of a greater redemption yet to come, the vehicle of the undying Messianic hope. It was in the upper room (where Jesus and His disciples  celebrated the Passover) that it at last obtained its real meaning and deepest significance”

(Excerpts from “The Gospel in the Feasts of Israel”, by Victor Buksbazen)

jn316 final

Blood sprinkled on the doorposts on the night of the first Passover to save them from the angel of death ~ Jesus’ blood shed for our deliverance from eternal death.

The Passover lamb slaughtered outside camp/city confines ~ Jesus crucified as the Lamb of God at a place called Golgotha, outside of the city of Jerusalem.

All the blood drained from the Passover lamb ~ All Jesus’ blood was shed, for when the soldier pierced His side only water flowed.

Not one bone of the Passover lamb was to be broken ~ Not one bone in Jesus’ body was broken.

There are so many things related to each event, referred to as Types in the Old Testament of things to come.

Finally another word from Mr Buksbazen ~

“Jesus Himself was the final reality of what the Passover lamb sought to convey originally. It is His blood that saves Jew and Gentile alike from the death of sin and eternal condemnation and makes the believer a child of God.”

You can read the account of the Passover in Exodus chapter 12 and the account of Jesus’ death in the Gospels of Matthew chapters 26,27,28  or Mark chapters 14,15,16 or Luke chapters 22,23,24 or John chapters 13-21.

 

Out of the Mouths of Babes . . .

GLORY TO GOD 2

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.