Posts Tagged ‘Religion and Spirituality’

“a new heaven and a new earth”

We get so caught up in this world that we are living in that we forget sometimes that this is not where we belong.

If our names are written in the Book of Life, the new heaven and earth will be our first destination where we will meet together for the first time.  A time where we will be brought to Christ, and be presented as a glorious Church, without spot or wrinkle.

The new heaven and the new earth will not be separate from each other; the earth of the saints, our glorified, bodies, will be heavenly. The old world, with all its troubles and tumults, will have passed away.

There will be freedom from conflicting passions, temptations, troubles, changes, and alarms. The presence of God will be with us, it will not be interrupted as it is on earth, He will dwell with us continually. All effects of former trouble shall be done away. We have often been in tears, by reason of sin, of affliction, of the calamities of the church; but no signs, no remembrance of former sorrows shall remain. Christ makes all things new.

If we are willing and desirous that the gracious Redeemer should make all things new, He will make all things new in respect of our situation, till He has brought us to enjoy complete happiness.

Sensual and sinful pleasures are muddy and poisoned waters; and the best earthly comforts are like the scanty supplies of a cistern; when idolized, they become broken cisterns, and yield only vexation. But the joys which Christ imparts are like waters springing from a fountain, pure, refreshing, abundant, and eternal. The sanctifying consolations of the Holy Spirit prepare for heavenly happiness; they are streams which flow for us in the wilderness. (Matthew Henry)

For it is said, “He that sitteth on the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And the Lord says, Write all this; for these words are faithful and true. And He said to me, They are done.”  And this is the truth of the matter

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Angel of God

There are so many recorded experiences of angels delivering messages from God, especially when you have just read most of them during the advent season and Christmas day, and Epiphany to come soon.

Even with Paul, such a conversationalist with God, yet he too received messages from angels.

I have to admit that this is striking me awkward today.

Every cult, occult, false religion I know comes at the hand of what the founders call an angel.

Then it dawned on me.

There are angels of light and angels of darkness or angels of God and demonic angels.

There is obvious power in invoking the fact that an angel, a messenger of God, has given you a direct message from the lips of God.  God favouring you as the author and the witness of such a message – leaving no doubt, fully persuading the listening ear.

For these moments in time, God has given us the spirit of discretion, that we might not be deceived.

We do not need to hear or see angels in order to know whether a cause is approved of God or not – by that, we do not need proof.

Sounds like I am on a downer about angels. Contrary – I believe that angels are ministering spirits sent from God to assist us in our darkest hour.

Angels are not kept from us by storms, or hindered by darkness.

We rarely see their hand of involvement in our lives, but the good turns, the safe return home from a dark and stormy night, may show signs of God’s goodness to us at the hands of angels more so than not.

Is this an hour of distress with you? then ask for peculiar help. If Jesus‘ presence is what you are earnestly seeking, it will not be denied. I may struggle with the appearance of an angel, but that is what you might need during this very difficult time, but I do know, that an angel of God will be standing by you in the night of your storm, when nothing matters and when everything else has failed.

“O angel of my God, be near,

Amid the darkness hush my fear;

Loud roars the wild tempestuous sea,

Thy presence, Lord, shall comfort me.”

 

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never lack

There is such a large and never-failing supply of gifts and grace from Jesus – there will never be a lack of the oil and the wine of Gospel truths that we can communicate of to others.

It speaks to the variety, and never-ending discovery, of these Gospel truths and they are all delivered in a manner that we are capable in receiving them.

We have a continual supply in the ministry of the Word.

We can rejoice when we enter into trials, because we know that this is divinely intended to strengthen our faith by producing endurance and if one lacks the wisdom to know how to respond to the trials of life, we need only to ask God for wisdom.

It is my prayer that for the new year coming, you will never lack.

By that I mean that you will understand the incredible character trait of God concerning His generosity – that generosity, reflected in the ability to give our money, time, energy and resources to those in need around us.

One of those oil and wine truths of the Gospel – no one can explain it – but the law of giving looks like this – the more we give, the more we receive from the hand of God.

This year I have been writing along these lines – pointing as best I can to the fact that our prosperity comes from following after God, check out the oil and wine found in His Word.

Almost forgot to be real in this as I write a bit too early in the morning without having my own time with God.

The hands and fingers of givers are always on top during an act of giving, while that of the receivers are always below, thus you’ll notice all around you, givers always seem to have enough to meet their needs, even in times of trouble, while others might find it hard to come out unscathed, givers always come out even better compared to their previous situations. That is not to say that givers cannot be receivers and I posted another friends blog to share some of those thoughts with you.

Any seed planted into the ground grows to produce a multiplication of seeds, thus your act of giving, be it time, energy, kindness or money acts as a seed, and germinates to produce multiples of its kind and the second part of the law of giving – it comes back to you.

This new year coming,  I pray God touches your heart and as you follow Him, that you will never lack.

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Is your soul getting along well?

In every respect, I pray that it may go as well with you as it does with your soul; that in your worldly prosperity, your comfort, and your bodily health, you may be as prosperous as you are in your relationship with God.

I can”t say this is not the common way to express a blessing to our friends, basing the value and volume of prosperity on the advancement of ones relationship with God but it is an expression that identifies a desire of prosperity to one in respect of how much they give and do  to and in others, included in their walk with God.

I pray that it is your desire to engage in this prosperous journey, to lead others in this way, to have success with your plans and purposes, in business and in family, your engagements and your transactions all done to the glory and honour  and in the character of God.

I pray also that this message will find you in good health, both in body and in soul.

It is my prayer that should your soul be found to be living and engaging and growing in truth, in your relationship with Jesus, then I pray that your physical health would reflect that of the health of your soul.

You know your soul is doing well when your sins have been forgiven, when you have an appetite for getting to know God, drinking in the “sincere milk of the Word,” feeding upon it, nourished by it, growing in grace and knowledge of Christ; when your inward person is renewed day by day with fresh strength and when you enjoy communion with God, reflect the light of His glory and the joy of His salvation and when you are fruitful in every good task.

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Accuser who accuses

In my world, I see the power of God almost every day.  It is an amazing thing, it is a beautiful and life changing thing.

I do not give myself to much thought of the forces that come against God each day, as I find myself to be very trusting and safe in His protection.

I try to see the world through the eyes of God and see the incredible, unrelenting, persecution of the good in our society – the children, the simple, the old, the unborn, the women, the poor, the lonely…

Lately I have allowed myself attention to seeing the work of the ungodly, the accusers of the good, they seek their own gain, they will seek whatever means, at whatever is at their disposal to accomplish what they want, when they want it and give no regard to how that happens.  In other words, the end justifies the means.

There is an invisible force helping these ungodly people to be as evil as they are.  This is not a natural drive built into the human race.

Is there success in these arenas of life?

What is my role when the ungodly rape the land, allow their people to starve or thirst to death, put their youth in armed forces at the age of 8, slaughter people who are just different then they are and no one really knows the definition of different or why that is worthy of being slaughtered, they just do it.

I realize that the onslaught happens to all of us each day.  Happens to me too.  If our family is to have an argument of any kind, it will happen just before church, during church or right after church – for those with family – you know what I mean.

This is only the accuser trying to accuse.

I have decided that love wins all the time.  No matter what, the default has to be love.  Even when Jesus hung on the cross and the evil in the world thought they had won, they did not – LOVE did.

I pray that I will learn how to love, default to love, in everyone – see the image of God, in everything – see how the hand of God in my hand can make a difference, and learn how not to serve to someone, but come alongside and to serve with them.

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unintentionally

I am currently reading a book of an author who spent quite a number of years in Yemen, Somalia and Pakistan and still how difficult it was for her to establish friendships with Muslim women in North America because she was always messing up unintentionally, but none the less permanently.

We probably do not understand that unintentional miscues are read as either intentional or that you are one ignorant person.

My first trip to Germany was such the case.  Visiting my aunt and uncle (my uncle served as an interpreter after the war and then government service after that), we went to see a relative in a small village.  It happened to be a very cool early summer and I did not have enough warm clothing to last me through the three-month visit.  This was mentioned in conversation with the family who had a boy a few years older than I.  He came out with about five warmer shirts for me.  I loved them – thanked them and then thought I said in German that “I really need these – thank you” and instead it was interpreted as “These are used – thank you,” a much more sarcastic rendition. and you guessed it, my uncle thought I was being sarcastic and I committed a sin unawares until his letter came to my mom after I returned home.

At the end of the day, when we stand before God, I think it will be the unintentional sins that will mess us up.  Ignorance of the law or of grace is no exception.

That’s what I love about Jesus.  When I said to Him that I could not save myself, I needed Him to help me, He gave me a surety, a confidence, a refuge so that when I stand before God one day and He asks me why I think I deserve to spend the rest of eternity with Him – I will simply point to Jesus.

 

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the Lord stood near

Have you ever wanted to see Jesus?

I personally have no desire, but my mom really would like to see Jesus.  That’s probably because her mother had an opportunity to see Jesus walk into the room while she was praying.

There is only one reason why we would…or even to sense His presence – for Jesus to encourage us and cheer us on in the direction and for the purpose He has called us too.

I am sure there are times in your life as there are in mine where you think you might have made a mistake, missed the boat, put on the shelf and Jesus is nowhere to be found.  Maybe there was a fork in the road and you took the wrong turn, or maybe on the Highway of Holiness, we got off.

I believe that He does stand near, cheering us on, telling us in His still small voice not to fear…

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