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Monday, June 29, 2009

Jesus Christ, The Savior of the World - The 5S's of Jesus Christ

By Tumwesigye Wycliffe

Jesus Christ left all His glory in heaven and came down on earth to die for the sins of the human race. He willingly laid down His life to redeem us from both the consequences and penalty of sin. People of all races and ages can find new life in Him if they chose too. For God so loved the world that He gave His own son that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life (John 3:16). Below are the 5S's of Jesus Christ

Search- Jesus searches every sinner where he/she is on the face of the earth. He uses different means including: His word, the Holy Spirit, circumstances around us, dreams and many more so that every individual will not have an excuse for not hearing from God.

Save- Jesus saves every one who accepts Him after being found. The saving grace of Jesus is such that none of the human race will perish but have everlasting life. He saves us from both the consequences of sin such as sicknesses, poverty and misery as well as the penalty of sin, which are death and the everlasting suffering in hell. Because He formed you, He is able to transform you.

Sustain- Jesus is the creator and provider of all our needs. If he feeds the birds and wild animals which are of less importance, what about you who is made in His likeness and was given the ability to look after the rest of the creatures? He tells us not to worry about what to eat or feed on but to pray and put our trust in Him because He cares for us.

Satisfy- Jesus Christ provides the peace and satisfaction that cannot be got from anything else in this world. Believing in Him gives everlasting joy and comfort despite the hardships that may be prevailing in our environment. He fills up the vacuum in every heart that usually yearns for more and grants satisfaction in all situations.

Send- Jesus does not only save you to remain in the comfort of your home but to go and tell others about what he has done for you. This sharing will bring medicine to the many who are undergoing many forms of suffering resulting from sin and this will give you credit before God hence rewards.

The author is an education officer, Science teacher, Evangelist and businessman. If you would like to learn more from him feel free to follow the links below:

http://godandsciencerelated.blogspot.com/
http://makeenoughmoneyfromhome.blogspot.com/

Christ Didn't Have to Grab Me by the Throat to Make Me Know He is the Word

By Cheryl G Burke

When you are filled with insight and you know all the answers to the world's problems, do you find it hard not to shout it from the rooftops? If this describes your everyday life, perhaps you would consider taking a look at the example Jesus set for any Avatar who would follow in His steps.

When you look at the life of Christ as noted in the Canonized group of books, called the Bible, you will find that the man who was and is God, chose not to cram down the throats of the many, His knowledge. So much so, that it seems as though many of His followers of today, believe they are the only ones who know the righteous way of delivering this message!

When you sit in a group of believers, are you ofttimes reminded that there are only a very limited number of people who will be joining Christ after they leave this world? Are you aware that those same people who are professing these words, believe they are some of the very limited number and that another denomination down the street is almost all destined for Hell?

Ever wonder how you got so lucky as to be in this group of eclectic followers who most often give God credit for calling to them, yet must take credit for their own obedience to procure such a position?

What if God has given the call to any who will obey? What if He has said He desires that none should perish? What if He says all we have to do is believe that Christ is the Son of God and that He came to show us the Way? Would that be enough for the group to comprehend that only He can know who will be saved?

I wonder what it would be like to have Him grab me by the throat to squelch the judgment I am so willing to share with others about who and how they are to be saved?

I truly hope I can sit in quiet instruction from my Lord, in the depths of my being and hear Him say, "Well done thou good and faithful child", this because I listened and comprehended the fact that He does not need me to reach a lost land, He is God, He can make worshipers out of the rocks, why should I think I have any more right to Gods blessings than any other.

As a matter of fact, I don't have any more of a right than any other, nor does anyone else! Peace, love and hope are offered for all, the beauty is, at any given moment we can open the channel of this Almighty love, be filled with the greatness of its being, and know peace beyond comprehension. Simply by asking, He freely gives His blessing to any!

Cheryl G Burke

http://cherylgburke.com

Spirit of God - If Inside of Us, Where Does it Reside?

By Cindy L. Herb

If you believe that God encompasses everything, is it not true that His spirit also resides within you? It has to be somewhere in us, but where does the spirit reside within?

Charles Crooks is a shaman and healer/teacher. In his teaching he asks, "What is the component of breath that we find so valuable to ourselves?"

The vital life force is a concept often discussed and many times portrayed in various forms in movies. Do you suppose your breath contains this force? Could the vital life force include the spirit of God, whose light encompasses all?

When you are born, until you take your first breath, you are lifeless. Without that breath, there would only be an unresponsive, physical body. This is why breathing is induced by some means immediately after birth if you do not begin to breathe on your own. It may be as simple as cutting the umbilical cord or slapping you on the butt. Since every human consists of both a physical body and God's light, it is easy to conclude that the breath contains not only yourself and character, but also the light of God within.'

Words of John 4:24 (KJV) give solid evidence to support this fact: "God is a Spirit." The original Greek word for "spirit," used in this verse, is pneuma, which literally means "breath" or "current of air." Since the breath is life, you can deduce that life is a component of your breath. However, how does one define life? The dictionary's definition of life is "existence" or vitality." But, what exactly gives you vitality or brings you into existence?

Charles asserts that the breath consists of multiple components. Most everyone would agree that one of these components is the various gases required to allow the body to function on a physical level. But could there also be a spiritual component?

We have already established that God is everywhere, including living within you. We have determined that breath contains life, and that without breath, there is only a physical body. Therefore, does it not stand by reason that God may live within your breath, giving you your existence?

Copyright Statement: This article was written by Cindy L. Herb and may be reproduced on any related website provided the text is not changed in any form and this copyright statement is displayed unedited in its entirety at the foot of the article and you use the exact same HTML code to ensure a clickable link back to the author's site. Further articles are also available. Contact the author for more information. Copyright 2009 Cindy L. Herb, http://www.cherbchronicles.com. All Rights Reserved Worldwide.

About the Author: Cindy L. Herb, author of Awakening the Spirit: The Open Wide Like a Floozy Chronicles, specializes in Mind, Body, and Spirit healing, and Physical/Sexual Abuse Recovery. As an inspirational speaker, Cindy L. Herb offers others an alternative approach to healing from any trauma, allowing people to view life's tribulations as an opportunity for spiritual growth. http://www.cherbchronicles.com. To download your FREE report, Some Helpful Steps to Healing, please visit the author's website.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Lean in - You Are Being Called to an Abundant Life

By Mark Arens

Let's dive right into the Word and start with
Jeremiah 1:5 where God says: "I knew you before I formed you in your
mother's womb. Before you were born I set you apart."

Let's think about these words for just a moment . . . Before you were born, I set you apart!

I'd
like everyone to hold out their hands in front of your face. Notice how
your thumb is set apart from your fingers! Now look at your thumbprint,
and know that you are the only one in history, the only one out of 6
billion people alive today who has ever had your thumbprint. Even if
you were an identical twin, you would have a different thumbprint.
Truly your thumbs are just one example of your uniqueness and a
reminder that you have been set apart.

God himself says you are
set apart. When we study the words, "set apart" we see synonyms such as
unique, one-of-a-kind, special, rare, precious, and holy.

Notice
that being set apart does not mean weird or strange. Nor does it mean
that you are an outcast. I want you to be assured that whenever the
Bible speaks of being set apart, it is always with a higher calling in
mind. It is a call to be holy.

So what does it mean to be holy?
The Bible often refers to God's people as saints. The word saint comes
from the Greek word hagios, which can also be translated as "holy."
When we say that God is holy, it describes the fact that God is
completely different than all of his creation. It describes how he is
truly set apart. When that same word is used to describe his followers,
it means that we have made a choice to follow God.

Now let's see more of what God chooses for you and I by looking at Genesis 1:26.

Genesis
1:26-30 "Then God said, "Let us make man in our image, in our likeness,
and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air,
over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that
move along the ground." So God created man in his own image, in the
image of God he created him; male and female he created them. God
blessed them and said to them, "Be fruitful and increase in number;
fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish of the sea and the
birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the
ground." Then God said, "I give you every seed-bearing plant on the
face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it.
They will be yours for food. And to all the beasts of the earth and all
the birds of the air and all the creatures that move on the
ground-everything that has the breath of life in it-I give every green
plant for food." And it was so.

This passage is full of so many
truths about how God set us apart from all other creation. He told us
to have dominion over every living thing on earth. We are not called to
live based on our natural instincts like animals, but rather we are set
apart and made in God's image. As such, we are called to live a higher
life - we are called to use our God given mind, talents and dreams in a
way that is pleasing to God.

Mark
Arens reveals simple tools and ideas to empower your family to live an
abundant life. You have been called to be set apart. Learn more by
following Mark's blog: http://www.thumbpeople.com/blog/mark.html or http://www.thumbpeople.com/abundant


Worship Leading - A Way to Lead True Worship

By Dave J Brown

In a prior article on worship leading I have talked
about the praise section of church worship, so now I would like to turn
my attention to my favorite part of worship leading, the worship part
of the service. This to me is where the "rubber hits the road," because
this is the time I adore most, getting up and private and private with
the Lord.

Of course, you can worship anywhere, any time, without
singing or music, but that is not the point here. I want to look at the
kinds of songs you can use when worship leading this part of the
meeting. As an element of my worship leading coaching manual, I teach
on the kinds of songs, and where you should be going with the tone of
the service at about that point. I have tons of really useful material
which you can access in the worship leading coaching course, but here's
a little scattering simply to get you thinking...

Worship: My
favorite part of worship is the deep stuff, the quiet stuff, the times
of intimacy with God. And as the track claims, let's get back to the
guts of worship : it's all about You, Jesus! Concerning worship I would
make the following suggestions:

a) It does not need to be soft:
It may be quiet and intimate, or a power ballad! Occasionally you can
lead worship to a crescendo, while at other times you can be gentle and
intimate. For suggestions of how to do this, see the chapters on style
and modulation. Consider the flow of the Spirit, feel it and follow the
premiere of the Spirit. That way you can really have an anointed
worship time.

b ) Let the tracks progress : Personal song:
starting with private songs ( those which use the pronouns I, me) and
lead your worship service to songs that focus only on the Lord. Songs
with I/Me in them are not only private but allow the people to reply to
the Lord and open their hearts to Him. This should lead on to the
ultimate goal of deep worship. You should be planning to flow from one
song to the subsequent easily, as you delicately lead people into a
deep experience with the Lord.

c ) Let the songs progress : High
Worship or Praise : These are worship leading times when you forget
you, the person, or I/Me, and turn towards or concentrate only on the
Lord. Many hymns are superb for this. Sadly , there are few modern
worship songs that are like this. Some older ones which illustrate the
sort of song I am talking about are "Turn Your Eyes On Jesus", "Holy
Ground", "Hallelujah" and "He is Lord". Michael W. Smith's handsome
worship hymn "Agnus Dei" is a great song for high praise.

4. Open
or Free Worship : For some this is terribly frightful, while for others
completely natural. This happens when folks start to praise God in
their own way, without structure or (and note this ) direction for the
front. God, being a creative God, adores it when we present to Him a
spontaneous song from the heart, just as we parents love to hear the
tunes our kids make up.

This style of worship leading isn't
everyone's cup of tea, and neither is it for every church, but the Lord
may do do this one day and surprise you! Let's be open, but not force
it. Through the years I have seen some sensational examples of Open
worship, and some remarkable abuses of it. I have devoted a complete
chapter to this area later in the book.

Finally, Iif you really
need to explore the art of worship leading, please consider obtaining
my worship leading coaching manual. I guarantee it will transform your
worship leading experience and help you progress to become the worship
leader you long to be!

For Fantastic Worship Leading Training Compiled Especially for Worship Leaders visit Amazing Worship Leading Training Resources.


This Love of God is More Than a Liking Love - The Love of God is a Loving Love and it is Unique!

By Sandy Shaw

John, in his first letter, is writing about the love
of God, but he does this after he has written that God is light. How
can you be afraid of someone you love?

As soon as John mentions all this he moves right on to the day of judgement.

One
day, every one will stand before God and appear before Almighty God,
whether they want to or not - whether or not they think it is a good
thing - whether or not they believe it.

When the Love of God is
flowing in a person's life, then even on the day of judgement, there
will be a confidence before God. We are delivered from the fear of
judgment.

We need not fear punishment because Jesus Christ has dealt with that on the Cross.

In verse 19 of Chapter 4, John writes that we love because He first loved us - (no Him) - it is plural.

And,
in verse 20, John is so practical, and so down to earth, as right in
the middle of this love passage, he refers to people being a liar.

Before
us stands the image of God - someone created in the image of God - for
us to love - so love casts out hatred as well as fear.

In one sense we prove our love in annoying places, where we come into contact with people, and sometimes unlikeable people.

Think again of that band of disciples chosen and called by Jesus, and later on men like Paul and Barnabas and Silas.

Our
love is tested, not simply by our words or praying, or even letters,
but in the reality of the situations we come across every day.

God's love is not a liking love. The love of God is a loving love, and it is unique.

Love is not bothered about whether it likes the person. It goes on loving.

Now,
only the Christian can understand this. When we travel from verse 7 to
verse 21, it is as if we have travelled the full circle.

He loves
us - we receive that love - His love flows from us - even to those who
offend us - or irritate us - or repel or reject us. This is the love of
God. This is the love of Christ.

When He was crucified, Jesus
demonstrated the reality and agony of this quality of love which is
different from any other type of love.

The Christian who is
committed to Jesus Christ will go on loving, and that is why we open
our life to Jesus and His Love, so that we can open our heart to our
brother and go on serving - even when people repel or reject or
persecute us.

Sandy Shaw

Sandy
Shaw is Pastor of Nairn Christian Fellowship, Chaplain at Inverness
Prison, and Nairn Academy, and serves on The Children's Panel in
Scotland, and has travelled extensively over these past years teaching,
speaking, in America, Canada, South Africa, Australia, making 12 visits
to Israel conducting Tours and Pilgrimages, and most recently in Uganda
and Kenya, ministering at Pastors and Leaders Seminars, in the poor
areas surrounding Kampala, Nairobi, Mombasa and Kisumu.

He broadcasts regularly on WSHO radio out of New Orleans, and writes a weekly commentary at http://www.studylight.org entitled "Word from Scotland" on various biblical themes, as well as a weekly newspaper column.

His M.A. and B.D. degrees are from The University of Edinburgh, and he
continues to run and exercise regularly to maintain a level of physical
fitness.

Sandy Shaw
sandyshaw63@yahoo.com


Baptisms

Scripture speaks of three baptisms: water baptism, spirit baptism and fire baptism (Matthew 3:11). We know about water baptism because the church has universally adopted it as the entrance ceremony for church membership. We are not concerned here about the mode of baptism -- sprinkling, pouring or immersion, or the candidates for baptism -- infants or adults.

John knew about the other baptisms and said to the crowds that followed him, "I baptize you with water for repentance, but he who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire " (Matthew 3:11). The candidates for these baptisms are not specified. The reason that this is important is that Apollos knew only the baptism of John -- water baptism, and lacked the baptism of the Holy Spirit. Fire baptism is for unbelievers not believers, and further discussion of it will take us too far afield at this point.

Contrary to Pentecostal belief, the baptism of the Holy Spirit is not about speaking in tongues, but is about being radically changed by the Holy Spirit. The Greek word baptizo literally means to dip or dye, as in the dyeing or bleaching of cloth. Unfortunately, the passion to defend immersion as the only legitimate baptismal mode has shifted the attention of well-meaning scholars from the purpose of baptism -- dyeing, to the process -- dipping. People have latched onto the meaning of the process of baptizo -- to dip, and ignored the purpose -- to dye, to change the character (color) of a thing.

If there is only one word that means both dip and dye, and I tell you that I have dipped/dyed my shirt a different color, which meaning is the most natural? Obviously, dye. The process may involve dipping, but the purpose of dyeing material is to permanently change the color or character of the cloth. The process is important, and there are many possible dyeing processes. However, the purpose of dyeing is essential to the process. Purpose is always primary to procedure for God. God is not bound by a particular procedure. Because the ceremony (procedure) of baptism does not itself cause the requisite change of character, we know that God is not limited to dipping, pouring or sprinkling. God's greater concern is the end product, His purpose for changing people in the first place, which is a change of character, a change of heart.

God has always been out to change the character of His people, to dye them, if you will, in various stages (covenant administrations) or baptisms, to bring them ultimately "to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ " (Ephesians 4:13). In history there have been many biblical covenants or administrations, but God has always been working to produce only one change of heart, one baptism (Ephesians 4:5).

The fact that God's eternal covenant -- Adam's covenant, Noah's covenant, Abraham's covenant, Moses' covenant, David's covenant -- has now come to Christians through Jesus Christ is shown in Galatians 3:14, "That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith. " God's covenant, given to Adam, Noah, Abraham, Moses, David and others has, through Jesus Christ, been given to the Gentiles -- to us.

How has it been given? Always by the power of the Holy Spirit. How has it been received? Always by faith in Christ, the Messiah. The Holy Spirit falls upon His people, brings them to faith through a change of heart, thus fulfilling God's covenant, so that they may fulfill God's covenant by faith in Christ.

The real issue of baptism is not sprinkling, pouring, or immersion -- but being permanently changed (dyed) by the power of the Holy Spirit. Surely, God is more concerned about purpose than process. And even when the process plays a role, we know that God's power is not mediated by the ceremony of baptism, however it is done! The power is not in the ceremony, but in God's Word. Nor is the result some outward affect, but a changed heart, a changed life, a changed perspective in the lives of individuals.

Surely, God can bring about the requisite change of heart, whether people are sprinkled, poured, immersed or none of the above. The real concern of baptism is the dyeing, the bleaching, the purification, the changing of one's character, the rebirth, the regeneration, the new life. God is always after this one thing -- a new heart through baptism in the Holy Spirit!

And in Acts 18 Paul identified that Apollos had been missing this one thing. In spite of the fact that Apollos had been nurtured by and educated in the essentials of Christianity, and had been teaching and preaching about Jesus in a correct and accurate way, he was for a time still missing the central element of faithfulness -- a changed heart or baptism by the Holy Spirit. Then under the tutelage of Aquila and Priscilla he was born again in Christ. He underwent a radical change, though he had known about and had even taught about Jesus Christ for some time.

It is not that Aquila and Priscilla somehow caused the baptism of the Spirit to fall upon Apollos. We don't control or direct the Holy Spirit. Probably what happened was that Aquila and Priscilla were able to show Apollos that something was missing in his confession. Then through prayer and submission to Jesus Christ, Apollos was subsequently converted or regenerated. And Apollos, being teachable, came to understand that though he had known all about Christianity, he had not been fundamentally changed by that knowledge prior to his regeneration.

Prior to his baptism in the Spirit he had been lost in the foolishness of the world though he had been a teacher of Christianity. He had no doubt excelled in the Greek academy. No doubt he had been a fine scholar, had an exemplary character, and had tried to incorporate what he knew about Jesus Christ into his Greek worldview. He was even able to teach and preach about how Christ fit into his understanding of the world. But Paul saw through it. Paul saw that Apollos' application of worldly knowledge to Jesus Christ produced only foolishness that sounded Christian.

In verse 4 Paul said that he had applied all these things to himself and to Apollos for the benefit of the church, so that we "may learn not to go beyond what is written " (v. 4) in the Scriptures, that none of us may be "puffed up, " to keep us from being in favor of one Christian's view of things over another's. Apollos had gone beyond Scripture by incorporating Greek philosophy (worldly wisdom) into his understanding of Christianity. Paul's minor point was that by doing so Apollos had turned Christianity into worldly foolishness.

His major point was that Apollos had recovered from this error and was now in a position -- precisely because of his recovery -- to serve as a genuine teacher and preacher of real Christianity, not the worldly imitation. Paul knew that Apollos was the right man for Corinth because he had undergone this kind of conversion.

By: Phillip Ross


For over 25 years Phillip A. Ross has been leading churches and writing many Christian books. He founded www.Pilgrim-Platform.org
in 1998, which documents the church's fall from historic Christianity.
He published a exposition First Corinthians In 2008 that demonstrates
the Apostle Paul's opposition to worldly Christianity. Ross's book,
Arsy Varsy—Reclaiming the Gospel in First Corinthians, shows how Paul
turned the world upside down.


Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Your Words Are Producing Your Life

By Franklin Broomfield

The Bible has a lot to say about your mouth. God has
connected your mouth to every area of your life. Your words are
producing your life. People need to understand the power of their
words. The power God has given their words. God gave you a mouth and
told man to subdue the earth. How was man going to subdue the earth?
Just like God by the words of his mouth. God made you in his image and
in his likeness so your words have to have power. How could God make
you in his image and in his likeness and your words not have power?
Just as God created the world with his words you create the life you
want with your words. God created this world by releasing his faith in
words. And you speak things in your life by releasing your faith in
words.

Look at Joshua 1:8 God said by meditating in his word, by
keeping his word in your mouth you would make your way prosperous. By
God's word in your mouth you will prosper. Because understand this
God's word is creative. And whether his word comes out of his mouth or
yours it still will accomplish (Isaiah 55:11). You are made in God's
likeness so by you releasing your faith in God's word by the words of
your mouth you create. When you believe God's word you will speak it (2
Corinthians 4:13). And when you believe God's word and speak it you
will have what you say (Mark 11:23).

But to get that faith you
are going to have to spend time in the word. Because faith cometh by
hearing that's why God told Joshua to meditate in his word day and
night. That was God's way of telling him how to get faith for the
things God was going to work through him. God can only work through you
as much as you can believe for. And time in the word raises your
confidence in God and his word. Therefore you are able to believe for
more so God can work more through you.

But it all starts with
your faith. Faith in God, faith in God's word, faith in the power God
has given your words. God word is incorruptible seed. And seed has to
be planted. That's where meditation comes in. The more you meditate on
the word of God the more that seed is planted and watered (1
Corinthians 3:6-9). And when seed is planted and watered it will
produce. That word has to take root in your heart. And when that word
takes root in your heart the watering of the word will bring it forth
into your life.

So just as God's word was creative in the
beginning it is still creative. In the beginning God said what He
wanted to be. And now it's time you open your mouth and speak what you
want to be. God put you on this earth and gave you power and authority.
He told man to subdue the earth and he was to do just that by the words
of his mouth. You exercise authority with your mouth and he put all the
works of his hands under your authority (Psalms 8:6)

So let the
redeemed of the Lord say so. You have some say about what goes on in
your life. You can decree a thing and it shall be established. You
don't have to let the circumstances dictate to you what will be you can
decree what will be. Stop letting life rule you and you start ruling
it. Like God told man in the beginning you subdue the earth. So by your
words create the life you want. Your life is up to you either you will
rule as God intended by putting his word in your mouth or you will
speak the circumstances and let them rule you.

Go to http://broomy-truth.blogspot.com/


Monday, June 15, 2009

Left Behind.

Left Behind.

The movie Left Behind is on Google Video. Check it out.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Seeking the Kingdom of God

By Jordan Austin

Do you want to ponder an amazing thought? Just think
about this. . . even when we aren't faithful, God is. He loves us that
much. He is continually seeking a relationship with us no matter our
present circumstances. He loves us unconditionally, without failing. He
does not judge us; He does not condemn us. He just continues to pour
out His love to us. How many of us can honestly say that we have
another relationship that is even slightly comparable to this? I can't.
And yet, when I need Him the most, I have a tendency to push Him away.

How
does God do it? How can he love us so much? To this I could not even
conjecture an answer. But, what I do know is that when I turn my life
over to Him- no matter what is happening in my life- things began to
change. Is it always the changes for which I specifically ask? No. Do I
always get what I want? Not even close. However, do things always turn
out even better than I could have imagined? Absolutely.

I have
made a new commitment to Jesus. Throughout the day, I tell Him how I am
doing, how I am feeling- just basically what's going on with me. If
nothing else, it's always comforting to know that someone is listening
who really cares about me.

There are many times in my life I
place my dependence on worldly things instead of placing my dependence
upon God. But, when I do place my dependence entirely upon Him,
wonderful changes really do take place.

I know that God's wish
for me above anything is that I live a life that is happy, joyous, and
free. The only way I am able to do that is to keep Him at the center of
it. I need to stop feeling sorry for myself; stop dwelling on the past.
I need to live each day to the best of my ability realizing that it is
a gift from God. And the greatest gift I can be to Him is to have my
life be a testimony to His power, strength, and never-ending love.

Sure,
I get caught up in the hum-drum of life; I would be a liar if I said I
didn't. However, when these times come (as they sometimes do), I need
to just stop for a moment and look at all for which I truly can be
grateful.

I believe that God is not through with me yet. In fact,
I believe that He has just begun to work miracles in my life by doing
things through me that I could never have possibly done by myself. I
want to share this with others, because I know God can work miracles in
your life, too. All you have to do is trust. Trust in God and honestly
seek a relationship with Him and His son, Jesus. And if you get down
and wonder if it's all really worth it, just remember- the best is yet
to come.

http://www.outskirtspress.com/secondchances


Are You Really There God?

By Merry C. Battles

Are you deep inside of me and all around me? Have you
not created everything I see and all of the unseen? Are your miracles
of life everywhere present? Is your hope of eternal life possible for
me? Do you love me like your child? Is it time for me to grow up?

Grow
into the mystery of life itself...the understanding of our
oneness...the possibility of me hearing Your whispers and being the
love that You are? Is it time to mature, to take my place as
representative of You on this Earth...to fulfill my divine mission...to
express the love I feel in my heart? Is it time to take my wings, soar
like the eagle, to be fearless? Is it time to step up to the situations
facing me every day with grace, acceptance, and understanding...to look
at my trials as being your mighty will in action...to accept whatever
comes to me in the appearance of good or evil? Your will works through
every human, animal, plant, and mineral.

There is the possibility
that truly, all is love. All appearances are You in action. All is
within your allegiance. All is the One Power acting for the benefit of
all. Could this be the hidden truth? Even in the Bible it is stated,
"God creates the good and the evil. He creates the light and the
darkness." (Ezekiel 32: 8)

Matter has become the duality, the
seeming separation of all life forms. This separation is an illusion.
As Yogananda said, "Maya is illusion - the measurer...the magical power
in creation by which limitations and divisions are apparently present
in the immeasurable and inseparable."

Look at the innocence of a
child and remember who you are. In the stillness of your room, recall
the truth. "Be still and know that the I AM of me is the I AM of you."
The I AM denotes God's life in you and me. Remember?

Passage from "Christmas Meditations on the Twelve Holy Days December 26-January 6"

By Merry C. Battles

©2009 Merry C. Battles

Merry
C. Battles has worked in the healing arts since 1977. She has practiced
the art of massage, Jin Shin Jyutsu (an ancient form of Japanese
Acupressure), CranioSacral Therapy, Reiki, and foot reflexology. Merry
is the author and illustrator of Christmas Meditations on the Twelve Holy Days December 26-January 6
Merry's book is a compilation of her 26 year meditation journey with
the twelve holy days. Her book can be used all year as we travel
through each sign of the Zodiac.

Merry has been a student of the
ancient mysteries for as many years. Her greatest joy in life, along
with her grandchildren, is to learn about the spiritual. This is
reflected in all of her work.

http://merrybattles.com/
http://walkingthespiritualpath.com/


What is God Like?

By Tom Dennis

Good question; one that has been discussed for as
long as time has existed. What do you think? If I had never heard of
God and I asked you to describe God to me, what words would you use?
Judgmental? Distant? Unimportant? Sweet and caring? Maybe you are one
of the lucky (and rare) ones who would use words like ruler but friend,
strong but loving, distant but at the same time close. For too much of
my life I would have used the judgment words. Then I got to know Jesus
and discovered that God wasn't at all like I thought he was.

A
follower of Jesus once asked him, "Lord, show us the Father..." Jesus
replied to him that "Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father." Find
this conversation in the Bible at John chapter 14 verses 8-14. Jesus
was saying that he, himself is God and that if you get to know him, you
will find out what God the Father is really like.

As I have read
the stories about Jesus from the Bible, I have developed a much
different picture of God than I once had. I now think of God as very
patient, forgiving, more loving than I could ever even totally
understand. I also am beginning to get a grasp for how infinitely smart
and wise God is. Oh, is God judgmental? Someday, the Bible tells us, we
will have to stand before him and answer for how we lived our lives.
Have you lived your life perfectly? I know I haven't. Far from it. Even
Mother Teresa claimed to be terribly self-centered in comparison to a
holy and perfect God. Is God judgmental, though? No, not at all. How
great is that? God offers forgiveness for our guilt and perfect
acceptance for any and all who will simply accept that forgiveness. God
continually offers, offers, and offers. God continually gives, gives,
and gives. All he asks is that we'll accept what he has to offer.

What
does he offer? We'll be talking more about that in coming blogs. Want a
preview? Read the book of John in the Bible. You'll find there a wealth
of what God offers.

Tom
is a seminary graduate and former missionary in western Europe. He now
works in business to pay the bills, but his real love is telling people
about Jesus. Check out Tom's blog at http://www.livinginthekingdomnow.com


Don't Let The Fiery Trial That is Coming to Your Life Surprise You!

By Matthew Robert Payne

The Father has got many methods to bring out our
fruit and how to mature us for greater things and greater
responsibilities in the Kingdom. Here is one of them...

OUR TEXT:

1 Peter 4:12-13 (New King James Version)

12
- Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is
to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you; 13 - but
rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ's sufferings, that
when His glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy.

Now
when Peter says beloved he is meaning saints of God who are precious to
Him and that includes us. A fiery trial is something that I have been
living in for three years now.

For three years I have been waking
up chronically depressed because of too much sleep and yet I can't get
out of bed as I am just too tired. The doctors don't know how to fix
it, but it seriously hampers my life. I have fought it by staying up
all night twice a week and having fun.

Of late I have been having more of the presence of the Lord life when I get up and this has put the depression at bay.

Trials
are to make us stronger. Fiery trials you might say are more serious
and hurt much more than just a day to day trial. We have to be
conformed to Christs image, so how can we get to that place without
suffering like He did as he cried most nights because of all the
hurting on the earth that He couldn't reach. Isaiah 53 says that Jesus
was a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief.

There is
something like partaking of Christ's sufferings that makes you get so
much closer to the Lord Jesus. When you weep like him over the lost and
how many people are going to hell, and you can't warn them all, you
draw closer to Jesus in the process.

Some people in my life have
been saying that my face is a bit shiny and what they are seeing is a
touch of the Glory of the Lord on my face. You see the more you cry,
the more you weep over the things that made Jesus weep, the closer you
com to the heart of God and the more of his anointing he drops on your
life. The more you are anointed, the more the trials come to make you
press in further in your relationship with Jesus and the Father

If
you have prayed to be refined by the Lord or you have prayed with all
your heart to be used in the Kingdom in a big way, well don't be
shocked when a fiery trial comes into your life.

God allows trials for two major reasons:

1. So that as you experience your fruits of the Spirit will grow as well as your faith.

2.
So he can prove that talk is not cheap when it comes to you. Many
people want to be used and have a big ministry and a huge anointing and
they say all this to the Lord and then mid way through the first trial
they are getting upset with the Lord and begging for it to stop. These
are the people that give up on their dreams as they cannot deal with
the Refiners Fire in their life.

So readers if you want to do big
things for God and you are having a very hard trial, let me encourage
you to keep praising God and push though. I am proud of you.

And
readers who want to do big things and have read this, as sure as I am
about my own Salvation, let me say God is going to test you in some
hard trials.

Be Blessed

Matthew Robert Payne

If
you would like a personal prophecy (A personal message off God) please
write to one of our gifted team members with your request to http://www.personal-prophecy-free.net

Readers in Sydney, Australia:

If
you would like a team of us come to your church and do an extensive
workshop in the prophetic/ an impartation of the gifts and us oversee 9
days of practical experience as you practice your new gifts in the
marketplace? Click the following link for more information. http://www.personal-prophecy-free.net/prophetic-evangelism.htm


Thursday, June 4, 2009

Faith at Work

By Angela Mwema

In the Bible, there is a famous story of the woman
with an issue of blood. This lady had suffered for twelve years and had
spent all that she had searching for a cure. I am sure she was very
weak and frail due to losing blood for all that time. When she came to
Jesus, all she wanted is to touch the hem of his garment. She did not
even want Jesus to know what she was about to do. She made her way
through the crowds to where he was. This must have been very tiring and
cumbersome for her considering how frail and weak she was.

She
refused to give up for she knew where her miracle was. She believed
with all of her mind that touching his garment would make her whole.
She did exactly that and immediately, the blood ceased to flow. Jesus
felt the power leaving him and looked around to find out who had
touched him. He even asked around although am sure he knew who had
touched him. The lady, greatly afraid explained to the Master what she
had just done.

As the crowd was jostling and pushing to have a
glimpse of Jesus, some may have touched him. But this touch was
different. This was a faith touch. As a result there was a result. This
woman was healed for she had faith that she would if only she touched
him.

Today, what do you want God to do for you? Do you have faith
to believe that he can do it if only you believe? Do you doubt God? If
you do, don't even bother asking anything from him for you will not
receive anything. Put your faith at work today and he will make it
happen for you. He said if you can only have faith as small as a
mustard seed, you can say to this mountain move and it will relocate to
wherever you want. Speak to that mountain in your life through faith
and it shall move. It can be any situation, nothing is impossible for
God. If you lack faith, ask for it in Jesus name and he shall give you.

Angela
Mwema is a messenger to the world with the true and living word of God.
Please visit her site for more spiritual nourishment. http://angiepages.com/tag/faith-put-to-test/


Psalm 1 - Why and How to Memorize Scripture

By J Koos Vanderspek

Psalm 1 reveals that the secret to success is to fill
our thoughts with Scripture and to make them continually the focus of
our imagination and meditations. Here is what it says:

Blessed is the man who
walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stands in the path of
sinners, nor sits in the seat of the scornful; but his delight is in
the law of the LORD, and in His law he meditates day and night. He
shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that brings forth
its fruit in its season, whose leaf also shall not wither; and whatever
he does shall prosper.

Meditating follows repentance

Unfortunately,
it is easy to misunderstand this teaching and to hope for the benefits
and promises of Psalm 1 by meditating on God's word without first
turning away from sin. However, eliminating sin comes first according
to the psalmist. For those in fellowship with Christ, this may mean a
simple confession of sins and a request for forgiveness, even as Jesus
taught us to pray, "Forgive us our sins." For others who have
become enslaved to sin, whether or not they are Christians, a more
intensive solution must be implemented. Merely patching Bible
meditation into such a life will not be sufficient. Effective
meditation and fellowship with God can only come about after we have
decisively turned away from sinful behavior and begun walking in the
Spirit. Doing this is a precondition to delighting in the Word of the Lord.

Habitual,
life dominating, indwelling sin need not enslave Christians and part of
a game plan that sets one free involves a deep immersion in God's word.
However, such immersion does not exercise power in the life of one who
is unwilling to crucify his flesh and dedicate his members (faculties)
to righteousness, as Paul clearly teaches in Romans 6-8. Such a one
will be drinking clean water from one cup and deadly poison from
another. If you are unclear on this issue or expect study and
meditation on God's Word to automatically overcome indwelling sin, I
suggest that you consider another article that I have written on this
specific subject.

Meditating is not the same as studying.

Clearly,
the study of God's Word is a useful and necessary exercise. Done with
the proper spiritual motivations, it teaches us sound doctrine and
makes us wise to salvation. However, the Scriptures themselves tell us
that studying is an incomplete and somewhat dangerous activity. The
Scribes and Pharisees in Jesus' day were the ones least likely to
follow him. This is because studying is essentially an intellectual
activity. By engaging the mind we learn, but learning can easily become
a deadening exercise. Disconnected from an obedient heart, studying
Scripture produces negative outcomes, such as religiosity, pride and
rebellion. As Paul wrote, the letter kills. Clearly, the
generous promises of Psalm 1 are directed specifically to those who
meditate upon the Word, rather than to those who merely study.

Meditating is not the same as reading or hearing.

There
is a similar problem with simply reading Scripture. For most of us,
reading God's word is an integral part of our devotional activity. For
those without literacy or who do not have the availability of
Scripture, which is the norm in human experience, hearing is equivalent
to reading. Both hearing and reading may involve dedication and energy
but need not produce a righteous response. In fact, Jesus specifically
condemned those who hear, yet refuse to obey. For that reason, merely
reading through the Bible on a regular basis or exposing oneself to
even the finest Bible teaching does not guarantee a beneficial result.

Inevitably,
those who continue in sin while maintaining or increasing their
knowledge of truth develop hypocrisy, spiritual stagnation and hardened
hearts. We must avoid absorbing truth without letting it affect how we
actually live. The apostle James described this as being double minded. In contrast, meditating is by its very nature designed to permeate every part of our lives.

Memorization is the key

Clearly
then, Psalm 1 is not referring to simple studying, reading or hearing
the Word of the Lord. In fact, many have taken those roads without
success. Something much more powerful is going on in the life of one
who is meditating on God's word. Yet, how exactly should this be done?
To me, first and foremost, meditation as described by the Psalmist
results from memorizing Scripture. This somewhat neglected activity was
presented very early on through Moses when he said, "You shall
therefore impress these words of mine on your heart and on your soul;
and you shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as
frontals on your forehead. You shall teach them to your children,
speaking of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way,
when you lie down, and when you rise up." (Deuteronomy 11:18,19)

Joshua condensed this with the related teachings of Moses in a way that undoubtedly laid the foundation for Psalm 1, This
Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall
meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to
all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous,
and then you will have good success. (Joshua 1:8)

Although
studying, reading and hearing the Word of the Lord can profit, such
activities do not fully engage the heart. It is only as we meditate on
the Word of the Lord to the degree described by Moses that it exercises
full impact on our innermost being. Until we have memorized a passage
of Scripture, it remains fleeting and subject to distortion. We are apt
to be as those who look in a mirror and then quickly forget the image
we have seen. On the other hand, once Scripture is firmly committed to
our memory, we can draw upon it or the Holy Spirit can bring it to our
remembrance as He desires.

When we meditate, we are mixing a
knowledge of that which has great spiritual power with all the other
parts of our mental arsenal while being led by the creator of the
Universe and the author of the life giving text. Application takes
place as the mighty and powerful Word of God does its cleansing and
strengthening work guided by the Holy Spirit.

The way our minds work

Our
minds are certainly the most complex and wondrous parts of our being.
With one part of our mind we direct functions like breathing and heart
rates. We have barely any control over this subconscious activity and
it works in ways we can only imagine. On the other hand, we do attempt
to control other parts of our mind, directing it to work, study or
concentrate on what we are doing. Between these two extremes is where
most of our inner lives take place. Our minds have an incredible
ability to take us into all kinds of areas, some of which we control
and some of which seem to have a life of their own. This is the area of
our imagination, our dream lives, recurring thoughts and obsessions.
This is where we really live.

It is this part of our minds that
we need to bring under the control of our God and Creator. We fool
ourselves if we think we can control it ourselves. Inevitably, left to
our own devices, our thoughts will wander into sins such as worrying,
pride, bitterness, lust or greed. Eventually, as we turn this "member,"
as the Bible calls this and all of functions, over to one of these
sins, we become a slave to that sin. The only true freedom from such
inner slavery is through the freeing action of becoming a slave to God
and to righteousness. As Bob Dylan sang, "you gotta serve somebody."
Being free in an abstract sense is not an option.

We have a responsibility to make our inner default meditation focused on things above, not on things of the earth. Some
may argue that this advice is unreasonable and that we have no choice
but to dwell on a variety of important items like our health, business,
sports, family, or politics. Others see no escape from constantly
dwelling on sinful thoughts or being "scatter brained." However, only
of the one who marinates his mind in God's Word is it said that whatever he does will prosper. Or as Jesus taught, He who loses his life will find it. Keeping
our inner focus on godly thoughts is the way to succeed in every other
part of life. Confusion on this issue comes from a refusal to accept
that everything that is in us, our hearts, minds and souls, were
designed specifically to be drawn in deeply and primarily by the
flawless Word of God. It is sad that even among those who claim to know
God there are so many who choose not to do this.

The Bible describes this process as bringing our thoughts into captivity to the obedience of Christ.
This inner life we all live is the music that the rest of our lives
dances to. The very best music for this purpose is Scripture. If we
impress Scripture into our thoughts and make it our constant default
meditation, then we will be living in the Spirit and abiding in Christ. Jesus uses a similar word picture as that found in Psalm 1, when He says that abiding in this way makes us like living branches drawing our sustenance from Him.

The importance of transforming our minds

This
explains why Jesus directed His teaching towards the inner movements of
the mind and our thought lives. He taught us not to lust, not to worry,
not to be greedy, to be humble, to love others, to forgive and to
pursue righteousness. Obedience in all these areas is not achieved by
outward action. It requires action of the heart. There is no other way
to conform to His will than to be inwardly and actively considering and
applying the truths that he has set before us. Further, Scripture is
exactly suited to provide nourishment for our inner lives so that we
can achieve these results. Nothing else is comparable.

This is why David could write in Psalm 19: The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul; The
testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple; The statutes of
the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart, The commandment of the LORD is
pure, enlightening the eyes.
Committing ourselves to God's Word
helps us in reflexively guarding our hearts against thoughts, ideas and
images that are harmful and oppose truth. We have long passed the point
where we can expect our cultural gatekeepers to filter out the bad
stuff. As a result, we have little choice but to give up popular
entertainment and even popular news, which is mostly aimed at
generating market share rather than informing us. By turning and
keeping our focus on the truths in God's Word, we are inviting full
fellowship with God. We become trees that are firmly planted right next
to the water so that we have no fear of failure, wilting, or becoming
fruitless.

Meditation on God's word is the best use of our thought life.

Understanding
this, we must diligently direct our thought lives so that they become
pleasing to God and function as they were designed to do. Let the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be pleasing in your sight O Lord, my strength and my redeemer. It
was for this purpose that God designed our incredibly complex and
active thought lives. We are to use these abilities to create,
collaborate, imagine and understand. Such functions are fully engaged
when we meditate on His Word and surpass anything we accomplish through
our physical bodies. It is only our inner life and the faculties of the
heart that will survive our body. Should we find ourselves old or
disabled, we can hope that our minds will still be working and fully
stored up with God's Word. Our goal should be to be filled with all the fullness of God, so that we are always ready to shed these fragile mortal frames.

We
also know that our inner lives are intensely private so that no one
other than God can know what we are thinking at any time. Only He
searches our hearts. He has a keen interest in the inner lives of those
who are his children. In a very mysterious sense, God designed the
inner workings of our reason, emotions and imagination so that they can
function in a way that He is eager to participate in. We should not be
ashamed to have our inner lives transparently open for Him or anyone
else to see. This is done by diligently bringing our hearts into
intimate fellowship with Him and by meditating on the Word He has
provided for this purpose. As a practical matter, then, we must be sure
to not use our thoughts to sinful ends.

It is only in Christ that
this can be achieved. Unless He has set us free, we will remain in the
grasp of sin with no hope of deliverance. However, having been set
free, we must put to death our bad habits and not fall into bondage
again. Runaway sinful thoughts are a sure way to slip into a bondage
that can seem inescapable. It is by presenting our members, especially
our thought lives, as slaves to righteousness that we accomplish this.
There may be a variety of ways to go about this. However, it is clearly
God's will that meditating on Scripture is a primary means to this end.

Enhancing memory is now a growth Industry

An
entire industry has sprung up in recent years to assist those getting
older, primarily baby boomers, promising to enhance memory skills. This
is based on the observation and belief that one's ability to memorize
can be strengthened. Along that line some take up mindless exercises
including the game of Sodoku solely for this purpose. There are also
competitions held to determine the champion with the best memory, which
involves memorizing random, useless things like the card sequences in a
shuffled deck of cards.

Christians should take up the challenge
of memorizing Scripture, not primarily because it will enhance our mind
functions, but because it grafts new living power into their lives. The
Word of the Lord is called the sword of the Spirit and is used by Him to strike corrupting sin from our lives. It can do this because it is living and powerful, sharper than any two edged sword. The impact of implanting this living agent into our inner lives is incalculable and continually beneficial.

How it worked for me.

Let
me tell you about my experiences with this. Most of my life, I have had
poor memory skills. I have trouble remembering names and phone numbers.
In a connected world this is usually not a problem. I am in the tax
business and when I first started, I knew those who could easily recite
relevant tax codes and regulations, walk over to a wall of books and
pull down the right volume to refer to. Fortunately, the volumes have
vanished and nimble computer searches have replaced them. The same can
be done with Scripture. Merely Googling a key phrase will quickly lead
you to any scriptural passage you seek.

Recently, I acquired a
"GoBible," which is a small audio Bible that can be dialed into any
verse. At about the same time, I committed to working out on a
treadmill for about half an hour every other day. I determined to
combine the time spent on the treadmill with systematically listening
my way through the Bible. This worked out great and is a practice that
I still continue to great profit. At one point it struck me that I
could use my GoBible as a way to memorize Scripture. Some, such as my
wife, can readily memorize things that are written. She can somehow
"photograph" it and then visualize it later. My mind does not work that
way. Phrases and words get all mixed up when I try. As a result, the
cumulative number of Scriptures committed to my memory was pathetically
small.

Philippians 4: 4-9 is the passage that I first chose to
memorize. Included here is the teaching that prompted me to this action
in the first place. Finally, brethren, whatever things are true,
whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things
are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good
report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything
praiseworthy-meditate on these things.
I started out just listening
to these verses over and over. Then I painstakingly memorized each
verse by backing up and replaying the audio until my recollection
matched word for word what I was hearing. To my amazement this worked
great even though it was very time-consuming. Listening to the rhythm
of the words and sentence patterns made it possible for me to commit a
passage to memory and to eventually keep it there indefinitely.

Discovering
this new ability, I set a goal of committing to memory other passages
and eventually selecting one favorite part, large or small, out of
every book in the New Testament. Narrowing down which ones to memorize
was a great exercise by itself. I am more than half done with this and
am making steady progress. Along the way, I took a detour and started
adding certain passages from the Psalms as well. Granted, this is not
remarkable. Many are way beyond anywhere that I will ever be because
they have done it much longer. For example, when Billy Graham and Grady
Wilson were preparing for their ministry both memorized the entire
Gospel of John so that they could recite every other verse to each
other starting at any point.

Choosing the New King James Version.

It
was really no contest for me as to which version to use when
memorizing. The New King James Version is the most current update to
the venerable King James Authorized Version. If you want to read about
how the original translation came into being, I recommend Adam
Nicolson's book called God's Secretaries. Here we learn that a
primary task given to the 17th century translators was to make sure
that the final translation sounded great when read publicly. Since
those selected to do the work were all accomplished linguists, getting
the meaning right was not the main issue. Further, unlike modern
translators, they were not distracted by textual criticism, using the
traditional original language texts that were widely accepted at the
time.

When the translation committee for a particular section of
scripture would meet, each member had already thoroughly digested the
passage beforehand. Everyone involved was thoroughly skilled in the use
of Elizabethan English, the most splendid and evocative English ever
used before or since. Taking turns, they would recite their finished
product before the committee. Then, together, they would deliberate
until they had hashed out the very best sounding translation by
incorporating the most accurate and pleasing English possible. That is
why no rough drafts survive. No one bothered writing it down until it
had been decided upon orally.

As T.S. Eliot, who was among the
version's many admirers put it, the KJV has "auditory imagination...a
feeling for syllable and rhythm, which penetrates far below the
conscious levels of thought and feeling, invigorating every word."
Modern versions which start from scratch cannot hold a candle to the
vocabulary and phrasing of the majestic Authorized Version which is
widely recognized as the greatest literary document every written. The
NKJV, built upon the original masterpiece, is certainly the most
beautiful and fluid modern English version available for use when
memorizing.

Nevertheless, I have stepped away from the NKJV at
times. Sometimes I prefer to revert to scripture song versions, when I
am familiar with them, such as Psalm 23. These add another dimension to
the text and help with recall. Also, the NKJV is sometimes not clear
when the underlying original language is not easy to decipher. In those
cases, I dig around until I come up with a version that makes better
sense. An example of this is Psalm 16:5.

What to memorize

There are a variety of ways that you can pick verses to memorize and, fortunately, there are no wrong choices! All scripture is profitable.
I am drawn to verses and passages that speak directly to my heart.
These will not be the same ones that will speak to you. I also have
determined to learn verses in context, so that they encompass a
complete thought found in a passage. Some of these passages have long
been very familiar to me but had never been fully impressed upon my
mind. Here is an example. Galatians 5:22 lists the fruit of the Spirit.
Although I could always name some of these, I could never recall them
all from memory. Now, I am able to recite these along with verses 23
and 24, which complete Paul's thought on this subject.

The effect on my life

The
affect on my life of taking up the practice of memorizing Scripture has
been profound. Like many men deep in their fifties, my nights include
periods of wakefulness. In the past, this time was either wasted or
misused. A thought life that is not filled with Scripture is one that
is easily distracted and prone to sin. Anxiousness, lust and other sins
of the mind must be constantly guarded against. On the other hand, I
now draw from my small but growing library of memorized passages.
Reciting and meditating on these Scriptures is invigorating and
fundamentally transformational.

Beyond that, I find that I
continue the same practice during the day. Whether in the shower or
driving my car, my "alone time" is used either to brush up on or learn
new passages. For example, while planning a recent five-hour drive to
work with a particular client, I determined to use this time to
memorize I Corinthians 13. With the help of my trusty GoBible I
accomplished this by the time I had completed the round trip. After
quite a few rehearsals since, the great "love chapter" is now pressed
into my heart so that my recollection is becoming automatic and precise.

Now,
I can identify with David as he lay on his bed or woke up in the
morning meditating on God's Word. The instruction in Deuteronomy makes
perfect sense to me as does the love and devotion for the Word
expressed in passages like Psalms 119 and 19. Moreover, I find an
increasing dislike for popular entertainment and "news", whether radio
or TV. Like with other exercises, I have found that memorizing
Scripture is something that becomes easier with practice. Sometimes I
do not even need my GoBible! It may be that God has given to each of
His children a specialized capacity to obey Him in this regard. I urge
you to identify an approach that works best for you and to commit
yourself to a practice that guarantees success.

Note: To see a list of Scripture that I am memorizing go to: http://memorizedscriptures.blogspot.com/2009/04/scriptures-i-am-memorizing-now.html




In the Kingdom of God We Have No Rights, But We Can Give Thanks That God Has Called Us to Serve

By Sandy Shaw

We hear a lot about 'our rights' but not too much
regarding our responsibilities. We have the decisions of The European
Court of Human Rights but is there a similar Court dealing with Human
Responsibilities?

In Luke Chapter 17, after warning us about
causing people to stumble and sin, Jesus then goes on to speak about
forgiveness - about forgiving people - "when those around us ask for
forgiveness, forgive them."

Then Jesus speaks about 'faith'.
Don't ask for more faith - use the faith you have - let it grow and
develop and mature and become strong. Faith is like a muscle - the more
it is used the stronger it becomes.

Now, Jesus says - Suppose one
of you had a servant, and the servant has been ploughing or looking
after the sheep, when the servant comes in, will you say to your
servant - 'Now, you just sit down and eat'?

Much of our Christian
work is either ploughing or shepherding. We are either breaking up
ground in which the seed of The Word of God is being sown and planted,
or we are dealing with the problems of the sheep.

When the
servant comes in, he has more work to do. He now has to prepare the
master's meal, and later on, when his duties are finished and
completed, he can sit down himself and eat.

Does the master offer
a special vote of thanks to the servant just because he did what he was
commanded to do? NO. Then Jesus adds - so you also - when you have done
everything you were told to do - just say - "We are unworthy servants -
we have only done our duty."

Jesus is challenging us in these
words - these are searching words - which can shake us in so many ways.
What is Jesus saying to us? Jesus is teaching disciples of all ages not
to look for thanks and praise for simply doing their duty.

When
we do things in Jesus Name, yes, it can be encouraging to receive a
word of thanks, but we are NOT to look for it. And, we are not to
become disappointed or depressed when the thanks does NOT come. But, it
is good to express thanks. Thank people for what they do - what they
say - how they minister.

When you have finished your first task,
there is another waiting for you. Jesus Christ is preparing these men
for service - for work and ministry in the Kingdom - and there was
going to be lots of it - and there is still is.

Jesus is teaching
us here - that we have no rights! We hear people speak about their
rights. None of us here has rights, except to serve with devotion and
duty and faithfulness, because we love our Saviour and Lord, Jesus
Christ.

We never hear Jesus speaking about His rights. He laid all that aside. He laid aside position - glory - everything.

We
are not doing God a favour when we serve in some way in The Church of
Jesus Christ. When we are given the opportunity to serve God, we should
be grateful - "Thank You Father that YOU have called us to serve YOU
and to do this work. Thank You Jesus that we can minister in this way.
We praise YOU for this."

Sandy Shaw

Sandy
Shaw is Pastor of Nairn Christian Fellowship, Chaplain at Inverness
Prison, and Nairn Academy, and serves on The Children's Panel in
Scotland, and has travelled extensively over these past years teaching,
speaking, in America, Canada, South Africa, Australia, making 12 visits
to Israel conducting Tours and Pilgrimages, and most recently in Uganda
and Kenya, ministering at Pastors and Leaders Seminars, in the poor
areas surrounding Kampala, Nairobi, Mombasa and Kisumu.

He broadcasts regularly on WSHO radio out of New Orleans, and writes a weekly commentary at http://www.studylight.org entitled "Word from Scotland" on various biblical themes, as well as a weekly newspaper column.

His
M.A. and B.D. degrees are from The University of Edinburgh, and he
continues to run and exercise regularly to maintain a level of physical
fitness.

Sandy Shaw
sandyshaw63@yahoo.com