Isaiah chapter 43 verses 18-19.
In these verses there is a direction to for get the former things and not to dwell on the past.
18. Remember you not the former things. Neither consider the things of old.
19. Behold i will do a new thing, now it shall spring forth and you will not know it. I will even make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert. NKV
One of our failings is to start going into the past. Be it ours or an others When we are saved God has done a new thing in our hearts and minds We are moving forward into a new life in him. Things should never look the same. We also have a new way of thinking.
That being the case, then we should not be thinking about situations and failures and mistakes we have made. That is a way to rob ourselves of our joy we find in our new life. People will remember us as we were and will talk to us about our past. Particularly if it is somebody we have upset or done wrong to.
They have to see that we have changed and to think i like what i see and hear. I would like to have some of that. That is our witness to the world, to see a lightness and a joy we have obtained. Do you think that Jesus said. Well i am only a carpenters son but i will try to help you.
The only people who would not recognize the change in him. Were people from his home town. They wanted to throw him over a cliff for daring to say who he was. They said this is the son of Joseph who we know well. They could not and would not see the change. The worst people to convince are often your own family.
Why? because they remember the former things and that is who we are in their eyes.
There is a gospel preached today that does not convict.
The scriptures are meant to bring us into conviction
There will be something that is preached that should ring a bell somewhere. If it does not then it is a popular gospel. We all need a nudge from the Holy Spirit about something in our lives that needs to go.
A popular gospel will not do that. It is just nice to listen to and nothing within us will be brought to our mind. Do not get me wrong, a strong gospel should stir our hearts. also it will put us on the right path with God.
There needs to be Holy Ghost fire in a message. Enough to want us to hear more and get on our knees before God. And want to repent what we are convicted of.
“After this prayer, the meeting place shook, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit. Then they preached the word of God with boldness.” Acts 4:31
This is what happened after a prayer like this.
Acts 4.29. And now Lord behold their threatening and grant unto your servants. That with all boldness they may speak your word.
30. By stretching forth your hands to heal: and that signs and wonders may be done. By the name of your Holy child Jesus.
That was a simple enough prayer. It is often the honest and short prayer that touches the heart of God. They asked in faith believing that the answer would come. Can we envisage that happening to ourselves.
Well my God is no respecter of persons. Faith in increased by hearing and reading the word of God. As we go deeper into the word of God and believe what it says. The buildings will shake and fire will come down from heaven.
Not only buildings, ourselves as well. That will be the spirit of God at work. Jesus promised it and none of his promises have been broken.
We are encouraged to listen to the voice of the Holy Spirit. But how do you listen to somebody that you do not really know? We should take heart when we read about Abraham a man who certainly did not know God. So how come the God spoke to Abraham, when Abraham did not know him?.
Well God knew he was a righteous man. When God speaks things happen, for instance, God spoke this world into existence. Have a look at Genesis and you will find “and God said”. that goes on until the forming of man. When he said ” let us make man according to our image”, we means plural. So there was somebody else with God.
That was Jesus, in the gospel of John chapter 1. verse 1. We read, In the beginning, was the word and the word was with God and the word was God. We start to see the beginning of the trinity. God spoke and the spirit of God did what was spoken.
So alright now how does that work out with us. We now have a New Testament that brings all three into play. We know that Jesus and God are the same and it is the spirit of God. The Holy Spirit that is working in our lives just like he did when the world was framed. That should thrill us to know that this is the same spirit that spoke to Abraham, Joseph and then led Jesus into the wilderness. Mathew chapter 4 Where the spirit led Jesus into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil.
The same spirit that confronted Saul ( Paul) on the road to Damascus and spoke to John on the isle of Patmos and told him to come up here. Then Revelation was revealed to him. Now in worldly terms that is some force to do all that.
Well, the same Holy Spirit called us and talks to us and instructs and teaches us. So we are in good company, something else? he loves us and will take us home someday. A teacher a lover and Jesus and God all rolled into one, Wow!. And if we allow him to teach us and let him increase and ourselves decrease. Then all those things that Jesus said we would do, will happen. Miracles signs and wonders? oh yes! they will. If Jesus said it, is as good as done.
There is a prophecy that is out. That God is speaking to the churches. Not in that dramatic voice that we would like to hear. But in that very quiet voice , just like it was to Elijah when he was in a cave. He had run away from Jezebel and God asked him what are you doing here.
Elijah was not in a right place with God. Fear does not belong to us. Are we waiting for the dramatic, instead of that gentle voice?.
In 1 John chapter one verse seven. But if we walk in the light as he himself is in the light. We have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his son cleanses us from all sin. This a dramatic statement from the throne of God, first of all, we have to walk in the light.
This is telling us that if we want to hear that voice, we are instructed to walk in the light. How do we do that? by coming away from darkness. Giving more time to the reading of the word. Getting closer to God and listening. Sounds simple, But this takes time and practice, but if that is what we really want. then as the saying goes. Just go for it and be patient, and it will happen. Need help? then ask the Holy Spirit, and this renowned teacher is there for us.
Jesus said in Mathew 11. verses 29-30
Take my yoke upon you and LEARN from me. For i am gentle and humble in heart. And you will find rest for your souls.. 30. For my yoke is easy and light.
So when we are struggling to hear his voice, we need to learn from him. I say again learn from him. Jesus is offering to teach us and learn about him. He said in verse 30. My yoke is easy and my burden is light.
So the yoke of learning from him is easy and light. Now Jesus said this and it is so true. We want to hear that voice, then we need to learn from him. We can remember the voices of our school teachers. because we spent time with them. Do it with Jesus and that voice will become so very real.
We all look forward to a church where there are signs wonders and miracles. In 1 Corinthians chapter 1. Paul greets the church at Corinth. In verse 4. He states that he thanks God always concerning you. For the grace of God that was given to you by Christ Jesus.
5. That you were enriched in every thing by him, in all utterance and all knowledge This means that this church was moving forward in Christ Jesus. Spiritually they were they were so blessed beyond measure. Then they started to lose some of it.
So what went wrong?, they started to have divisions among themselves. When that starts in any church. Then do not look for the fruits of the Holy Spirit. They will have not been taken up, fruits of the spirit are the bedrock of the gifts. We have to be as one with no divisions if we want to see Jesus moving in the church. It will be no use asking where is he? Jesus is there alright, but we will have hindered him.
Today i was a bit under the weather.Not feeling quite right, so what did i do?. I had a praise session with Jesus, there is nothing like praise to dispel feelings of sickness. Praise God for he alone is worthy.
In this last few days we have had a lot of turmoil in this country. There will have to be a healing and a coming together so that we can move forward as a country. We have as servants of the most high God the duty to pray.
Prayer can move mountains, there is nothing that can not come to pass as a result of prayer. I remember a time when it looked as if the U.K. army would be annihilated. The church bells rang and as many people as could went and prayed. The rest is history and it can happen again if we as Christians get on our knees and pray.
Jesus said in Luke chapter 19. verse 46. That my house shall be a house of prayer. Prayer can move and turn around any situation. Does not matter if it is a personal prayer or a church praying. Our God will listen, but he sees the bigger picture and will answer in his way and his time
I was at one time involved in active service. We all depended on one another. This is what a church should be. depending on Jesus, the gospels and each other in love. This is a love that we as humans can not understand. But when we are as one in the Holy Spirit we can.
As we look in Galatians chapter 5. We see the fruits of the Holy Spirit. charity,joy,peace, patience, kindness,goodness,forbearance,meekness,faith,modesty,abstinence,chastity. Against which there is no law. We need the help and guidance of the spirit of God. He will help and transform us to be the servants of God, we were made to be.
Then the unsaved in this world will run to the gospel of salvation. Then when we come home Jesus can say. Well done you true and faithful servants. We are all different and sometime we will rub each other up the wrong way. Then is the time to put our arms around each other and settle our differences. I say again no divisions.
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If we are to see an advancement of the gospel: then we must agree with the Bible as it is written.
Revelation chapter 22. verses 18-19. States very clearly what the penalty will be for anyone who tries to alter the bible. Especially the prophetic words in revelation.
18. I testify unto every man (or woman) that hears the words of the prophesy of this book. If any man shall add onto them. God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book.
19. And if any man ( or woman) shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part from the tree of life. And out of the Holy city which are written in this book.
Strong words and a very strong warning. Notice the tree of life which was in the Garden of Eden. It is there again, think about loosing all of that is promised to the people of God.
There is much preaching and teaching about today, that does not line up with the word of God. Test the spirit behind it and walk away. To agree with such teachings brings us into 18-19 of Revelation. We have far to much to lose. Listen to good teaching and take it to heart. That is where Jesus wants to be. In our hearts.
1 Samuel chapter 28. verse 7. Then said Saul to his servants, seek me a woman who has a familiar spirit. That i may go to her and inquire of her. And his servants said to him there is a woman with a familiar spirit at En-dor.
Saul should have known better, because he inquired of God and got no answer. He should have asked why, and he had been disobedient to God and so he went elsewhere. If we are not getting answers from God we should ask ourselves why. Often it is the simplest thing that stands in the way. Something from our comfort zone. I know i have been there and worn the tee shirt.
– FaithWriters.com, the Ultimate Community for Christian Writers.
We often sing that song in our meetings.
But i wonder if we truly think about what it really means. There are so many choruses and hymns that we sing. Often out of knowing them and once sung and forgotten about. Until the next time around and then we will gladly sing them again.
I am preacher, and i can tell you that a gospel message can be preached. Just on the content of one song. You see most of these were written by inspiration of the Holy spirit. Which means that there is message for all of us in these songs or hymns.
That is why,if i have not got any notes. Or asked to preach on the spot, i only need to pick one of these. Then the Holy Spirit ministers through me. Then there is conviction in that message. That will be for me as well.
Psalm 147. verse 1. Praise the Lord, for it is good to sing praises to our God. For it is pleasant and praise is becoming. Praise is so good for us, there is constant singing in Heaven. In praise and worship there is healing and restoration of relationships that have been lost.
I was once involved in a church that would praise for an hour at least. Then it was almost like changing gear as they slipped into worship. Worship would last about an hour. Then came the word, there was the fruits of the Holy Spirit in that place.
Now what is the difference between them and ourselves? nothing really. What they were doing so can we. Jesus is building his end time church and it will be full of praise and worship. Miracles and signs and wonders will be the norm. What a lovely place to be in, you see that church had dedicated themselves to praise and worship.
We can do the same it is the same Holy Spirit and Jesus will be in the middle of it. God will smile and say these are my people. They were bought by my son on the cross. So come on let us praise and worship and then be fed on the word of God. Now i do not know about you but i am all for that!.
In Joshua chapter 5. verses 13-15 Joshua was coming to Jericho, he met a man with a drawn sword. Joshua asked him are you for us or against us. The reply was i am the captain of the hosts. Joshua fell down and worshiped him. He was then told to take of his shoe because he was standing on Holy ground.
History records that Joshua went on to conquer Jericho. You see Joshua did what was asked of him. and after 7 marches around Jericho and the trumpet sounded and the people shouted. The walls came down and the city was taken. Modern day scientists who have examined the ruins. Tell us it must have been an earthquake, we know different it was the power of God.
Had any walls in front of us that do not seem to come down?. Then we must meet the captain of the hosts. Bow down and worship and then praise, the walls will come down. But we must stand on Holy ground, take our modern day shoes off. Then follow what the Lord tells us to do to the letter. What letter? the bible of course, there will be a scripture that will come to mind. Then praise, they will come down according to the word of God.
Mathew 11. verse 29. Take my yoke upon you. AND LEARN OF ME, for i am meek and lowly in heart. And you shall find rest for your souls.
30. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.
I often include these two verses when i am preaching. We have to take this yoke, after all it is being offered. The big one is learn of me, who will teach us. The Holy Spirit himself, there is no better teacher. So where is he going to lead us? Galatians 5. verses 22-23 the fruits of the Holy Spirit. This is the learn of me bit that we often find so hard.
It is the meek and lowly that we struggle with most. The world takes the opposite view. Like be yourself, we are asked here to lose self and gain Christ through being lowly and meek. Notice it says in the heart. God looks at the heart but we think of the mind. How many times have we been distracted from Godly thoughts by our mind. More often than we admit to, then is the time to cry help to the Holy Spirit. He will come he never fails to.
– FaithWriters.com, the Ultimate Community for Christian Writers.
Jesus had a lot to say about riches and the poor.
ARE YOU A FOLLOWER OF JESUS
Mark 16:15 King James Version (KJV) And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel, heal the sick the lame and the broken hearted some Christians are very nervous about this one After all it requires a lot of commitment.
We seem to think that we must have a special anointing to do this. But we need to remember that in Joel chapter two verses 28=29. and in Acts chapter two. We are told that the Holy Spirit will be poured out on the young and the old. Visions, prophetic words and dreams . There is no favoritism in the house of God
In our society today with all the push toward materialism. it is as well to remember what our lord Jesus had to say about it.
We are to be givers, of ourselves and from our money. So that the gospel can be preached around the world. There are people who can be encouraged to walk in the fruits of the Holy Spirit.
It is thought that riches means money all the time. Not so, there are some that are rich in the spirit and some poor. We need to level the playing field and encourage those who think they are not capable. Some think i could not do that, how will they know if they are not encouraged.
We see the evidence of poverty death and sickness in the news media every day. The wars and children being beheaded. Families that have lost every thing. Jesus said we would always have them with us. But now we can see them on our television screens. Brings them into our homes to see. We need to pray and do all we can.
– FaithWriters.com, the Ultimate Community for Christian Writers.
If you look at the refugee crisis as it is being called. We see people who have lost everything desperate for a way out. Some with very young children who are frightened and wondering what is happening to them. A third person not a Jew tended to the man who had been robbed and assaulted. Let us pray that not many people turn away from these people.
You see these people are looking for a sanctuary where they can find peace. Away from the turmoil of war and all that it entails. A roof over their head, warmth and food, The basics that we take for granted like running water and a bed to lie down on. Not much to ask, but for some of these people it would be a dream come true.
I have seen genuine refugees a few years ago. You will see a vacant look in their eyes and the children? bewildered and to see that in a child is awful. Man in the scheme of things does not seem to care about the consequences of wars and disturbances. There are people who care, but how sadly outnumbered they are.
This is the duty of the church, to do what it can to help. Jesus said. In Mark chapter 9 verses 41-42. For whoever gives you a cup of cold water because of your name, as followers of Christ. Truly i say to you he (or she) will not lose their reward.
42. Whosoever causes any of these little ones who believe to stumble. It would be better for him ( or her) with a heavy millstone around their neck. and had been cast into the sea. L A S B. I have put the her in in brackets. We all have to appear before the judgement seat. For some people who cause these people to suffer. The chapter of Revelation Chapter 21. Talks about such people. They will not enter the Kingdom of Heaven.
You see their are lots of people who would believe. But because of what they see in the world do not. Not realizing that none of this is the work of God. Yes the church of God has a lot of ground to make up.
Luke Chapter 4. verse 7.
And the peace of God which surpasses all understanding will guard you hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
Did you hear that? the peace that God gives us can never be understood by a human mind. It is a peace that guards our heart and minds.
Ever heard the saying, my heart is troubled? Not so with the peace of God. Have a mind that is troubled?. not so with the peace of God. You can get all sorts of programs and lectures about peace. They will be expensive, not so with the peace of God. It cost nothing, all we have to do is to pray and spend time in the word of God.
Ah! you say but i have tried and i do not get there. Well we have a helper and a comforter who will help us, and he is free as well. Go for it and i will promise you it works. Never mind the doubters or the anti God squad. You see the peace you will get they will never understand it.
The Holy Spirit is always available and ready to answer us and teach us. But we must remember, that when we ask and we get an answer that is not what we want. Then it could just be that the timing of what we are asking for. Might just be something that God has planned for us at a different time in our lives.
Or that this particular thing is for somebody else to do. God has a plan for our lives and we can not alter his plans. We just need to let the spirit of God speak to us and listen. And that takes practice and much prayer and reading of the word. Then he will teach us
and love us through to his ways and thoughts.