Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Dry Bones

Ezekiel 37:1-14

Everywhere dry bones and death lie on the ground. No life comes from them. They do not arise and sing. They do not let out a cry. Silent and barren. No flesh cover them. No sinew connect. No skin covers. No breath comes from them.
They do not know. They have not heard and they have not perceived.

Ezekiel 37:11b "Our bones are dry, our hope is lost, and we ourselves are cut off!"

This is true of things in life. Dry, hopeless and lost souls who need the good news prophesied over them.

Look and see what my King has done. See He has overcome the world. Come and see. Open your eyes, lean in close to hear the voice that spoke you and all creation into being.

He was born to a virgin and lay in a manger. He did not enter with ceremony as some would expect from a King. He did not come for fame. He came for me and you. He had nothing to prove because He is God.
He healed, He spoke life and truth. Lead to the cross like a common criminal. Though having done no wrong they nailed Him there. Body broken, blood spilled. Wounded. For us. Not to prove a point but to put an end to an ancient disease that had caused too much death, disease and destruction for so many.
He breathed His last with a loud cry. It is finished! The sky grew dark and the way to the Father torn open by this amazing act of love. Gasps and sobs. 'Our Christ is dead.'
Women come and care for Him. Anoint His body and prepare Him for the tomb.

What a dark time to be in. What a hopeless place they faced. What happens now?
A return to the tomb on the Sunday reveals an Angel there. "He whom you seek is not here."

Christ had risen from the dead. Can this be that the Christ who died is no longer dead but lives?

He lives! He lives!

Oh Lord Jesus Christ am I just so in awe and amazed and thankful for all you have done for me. You have saved me. You live in me and You breathe life into my weary soul. Your Spirit fills every inch of me.

Arise and Shine and Speak the Good News of what Christ has done for you. It is a message that does not grow old and one that will change the lives of many. The Gospel needs to be spoken and heard.

This Christmas lets share the love of Christ with others and let them know the Good News that brings life to dry bones and breathes into their souls and awakens them.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

He Will Provide

Matthew 14:13-21 and Matthew 15:32-39

In these passages we read how Jesus feeds the 5000 and then the 4000. In the first case He takes 5 loaves and 2 fish and the second He takes 7 loaves and a few fish and blesses them and breaks them and gave the loaves and fish to the disciples to feed the multitudes.
What is fascinating is that Jesus does this not once but twice and that when everyone is full there are baskets full left over. 12 baskets and 7 large baskets full.

I woke up this morning pondering this. We all worry about things and about what we will wear or what we will eat but here is a case where not only did Jesus provide for everyone until they were full but there was enough left over to feed dozens more. Yes things are getting more and more expensive and the fridge and pantry are looking a little empty but God will provide for you. He is the great provider. I have never seen a bird sitting about on the ground saying 'I am so worried that there will be nothing for me to eat and that it will rain tomorrow and I will get wet and have nowhere to sleep'

We do enjoy worrying about things so much that we forget to trust and rely on Christ for our needs. Not just food but finances, clothing and others areas of our lives.
Matthew 6:25-34 25 "Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing?26 Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? 27 Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature? 28 So why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; 29 and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 30 Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? 31 Therefore do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' 32 For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. 33 But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble

Give God your few loaves and fish today and don't try and think up ways you can possibly do something in your own strength when all you need to do is let go and let God do it.

Not only does God provide for all your needs today but He also provides for your needs and then gives you something to take home. I gather that the baskets of food where then shared out and were then taken home by those that were there those two days. This reminds be of when 1 Kings 17:8-16 where God sends Elijah to the house of a widow and asks her for a cup of water and some bread. She says to him that she has no bread only a little flour in a bin and a little oil in a jar and that she is about to make up a loaf of bread as her last meal for herself and her son and that they prepare to die. Elijah then tells her to bake the loaf and to bring him some but that her flour bin would not be used up and her jar of oil would not run dry until the Lord send rain on the earth. She went and did as he told her and she and her household ate for many days.
In 2 Kings 4:1-7 another widow is in trouble and owes money to some creditors and 2 of her children are about to be taken away to work as slaves to pay off the debt. Elisha asks her what she has left in her house and she says she has nothing but a jar of oil. He tells her to borrow empty vessels from her neighbours and not just a few and to shut herself in her house with her sons and pour the oil into each of the vessels until full. She fills each of them until full and when she asks her sons for another vessel  they say there are no more and the oil stopped. Elisha then tells her to take the oil and sell what she needs to pay for her debts and then that her and her sons can live off the rest.

We need to come with what little we have and offer it to God and He will work a miracle and He will provide but not only does he provide but He provides for our future. He provides for more than just the hear and now and exceedingly more than what we require.

If you feel today that you are in need of a miracle and you are in need of provision ask God. He will and does provide for your every need. Just as we provide well for our own children God wants to provide for us as well but so much more.

Matthew 7:9-11 Or what man is there among you who, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? 10 Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent? 11 If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him! 

Father we thank You for the provision in our lives today and Lord Jesus we pray for those around us in need that their cries will be met today and in abundance will they receive from You all that they require. Amen

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Salt and Light

Matthew 5:13-16 13 “You are the salt of the earth. But what good is salt if it has lost its flavor? Can you make it salty again? It will be thrown out and trampled underfoot as worthless.
14 “You are the light of the world—like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden. 15 No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket. Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house. 16 In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father.

What does it mean to be salt and light? 
We all know that when we add salt to food it brings out the flavour. Without salt a meal is rather bland and tasteless. Now the very nature of salt is that it is salty. If you lose the salty flavour what do you have left? Nothing. It serves no purpose.
Light expels darkness. It can be seen from billions of (light) years away. Lighthouses are designed to protect ships from crashing into the reef but also to find land at night. If we cover light up what purpose does it serve? Why is it even there? You may as well be blowing it out or switching it off. It serves no purpose. A light is meant illuminate. 

You are the salt of the earth and light to the world. Are you salty or has compromise made you bland and tasteless? Is your light shining or is your shame covering it up?

We need to know what we believe, and we need to know what we stand for. God's Word, the Bible, is God breathed. It is the words coming direct from God. Jesus died on the cross for my sins and was victorious. He rose from the dead. I want others to know Jesus and be saved from eternal suffering. 

People think that doing good deeds can make you good enough. That doing the right things can make you good enough. But hear this nothing is good enough if you aren't salt and light. If what we believe is being compromised by worldly thinking then I fear we are in danger of being bland and dark. 

Are we ready to step out in our faith and declare out loud the Glory of our God despite what redicule, shame and trouble may befall us? 
We all rejoice at the verse the Harvest is Plenty but we don't read the next part But the workers are few.
We need to change our thinking and stop worrying about trivial matters and press into what God has for us so that we can be salt and light and reach people for Christ. You would think that with the many professing to be Christian that there would be many workers. Alas compromise and idleness has made many Christians purposeless. Yes it is harsh to say this but if we do not stand for something we will fall for anything, if we do not have a purpose and we don't live in it, what are we doing here then? 
Yes being a Christian in word only will still get you to Heaven but what will it do for your fellow man going to Hell?

Now I can numb down this blog post to make it nice, pretty and happy and as unoffensive to as many people as possible but I am not here to please people because you can never ever please everyone. I am here to please God. I have to answer back to Him one day and pleasing Him is what I aim for so if I die pleasing Christ then I die but I do not cease to exist I will fall before His throne and will worship Him for all eternity.

Church. Do you go or did you get hurt by something someone said or did you used to go but don't anymore because it wasn't for you? I suggest you find a church and join it and serve in it. It is so good to meet with others and be grown and challenged in Church. I know church is not just a building but the people and you could sit there at tell me that you have church at home in your living room in front of the TeleEvangelist or TV Pastors because church is the people and not about the building you go to. In the Bible it says we are to meet together. Hebrews 10:24-25 And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, 25 not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching. 
Are you in the habit of not going to church? People in church are there to encourage you and spur you on toward love and good deeds. You see church is not about you it is about God and the unsaved and we have been put on earth to serve a purpose to be salty and to be light. I cannot stress how important this is. I have been serving in church for over half my life and as those who are serving alongside me can tell you it is hard work. It feels as if there never is enough people on our team to carry the load. As if some people are missing. Are you missing from Church? God has a place for you in His family. 
When we have guests come over we serve them and we make sure their needs are cared for. When you are family you get given a job to do and you serve each other. Family is about serving, giving and spending time together and loving each other so that we can go out and love and serve others who are not yet our family.
Don't miss out and don't be missing. You are family and we need you, God needs you and the unsaved need you.

Stand up Church! Stand up and worship your God together. For He is worthy of all praise and worship. Spread the good news without shame or reserve. We do not have the time to wait for one day when. Time is short. Far too short to wait for when we are good enough. 

Ignite the passion and flame within you. Read the Word and become salty. Do this and you will impact many for Christ so that none may suffer but have eternal life.

Shine your light, be faithful, be salty.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Praising in the Storm

         Psalm 121
I will lift up my eyes to the hills— From whence comes my help?  My help comes from the Lord, Who made heaven and earth.
He will not allow your foot to be moved; He who keeps you will not slumber.  Behold, He who keeps Israel Shall neither slumber nor sleep.
The Lord is your keeper; The Lord is your shade at your right hand.  The sun shall not strike you by day, Nor the moon by night.
The Lord shall preserve you from all evil; He shall preserve your soul.  The Lord shall preserve your going out and your coming in From this time forth, and even forevermore

There were so many things I could write about today but every time I hear this song I feel I need to write something about it. Everyday I hear about a storm someone is going through in their lives.

Life can be one big tornado. I felt many a time like there was just chaos everywhere. Nothing made sense and I was stuck in this relentless tornado that threatened to tear me apart or destroy me. 
I think we can all relate to being in this place. Maybe you are going through something now that just seems like it will never end and life is just going crazy around you.
In the center of a tornado is the calm of the storm. When we make Jesus our center and we draw near to Him we find peace and strength. The more we move away from the center the closer we get to the fringe of the tornado and our outlook becomes unclear and frightening. 
Sometimes we are put in the tornado because that is the safest place for us. It is a place where we will find Christ in the center and praise Him.

I just want to encourage anyone who is facing a storm in their lives to praise God. Lift your hands and come before Him and know that no matter what the storm is, no matter where you are God is right there in the center of it all. He isn't sleeping, He is waiting for you to draw in close to Him for your strength.

We cannot do this alone. A lot of the time we do do things alone. We try in our own strength to cope and put on a brave face and dust ourselves off and carry on. In reality though we burn out and we realise that we have done it on our own but at great cost to our health, well-being and the relationships with others.
Worry, anxiety and stress all damage our health. Christ heals our hearts. Plants our feet firmly and lifts our heads.

Fear not the storm that rages but turn your eyes to the Lord. That is where your help comes from. Not from mortal things and not by your own effort.

Don't tell God how big your problem is. Tell your problem how big, mighty, awesome and great your God is.

Dear Lord
I pray for all who are hurting today. I pray you will give them courage and strength to praise you through the storms in their lives. We lift our hands to you Lord and praise your name forYou are our all Lord. You are so awesome Father and so Holy and worthy to be praised.
Thank you Father for always being there in the storm and for saving us when we cry out to you.