Love God with Your Everything

There are few things so universal and yet so challenging. Love. Most importantly, love for God. Jesus says in Mark 12:29–30, that to love is the most important commandment as it is necessary to enjoy God’s sustained favour.

There are many substantial examples of God’s sustained favour in the face of great love. Moses asserted, “[Yahweh] keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love him and keep his commandments, to a thousand generations,” but he “repays to their face those who hate him, by destroying them”(Deuteronomy 7:9–10). Similarly, Paul declared that “All things work together for good” only for “those who love God” (Romans 8:28).

There is no room here for divided affections or allegiance. As Jesus said, “No one can serve two masters” (Matthew 6:24). God demands total loyalty from you. A loyalty that starts with the heart.

Being loyal is defined as “Being faithful to one’s oath, engagements or obligations. Being faithful to one’s allegiance to a government or state or to a person conceived as imposing obligation”. Loyalty comes out of love, devotion, dedication and commitment to the well being of another. As lovers of Christ we are to prove ourselves loyal in regular devotionals, dedicated time and a commitment to stay faithful through the course of the relationship, choosing God over the world.

We are not to simply reserve God to the weekend or worse, a single day of the week – often Sunday’s and occupy the rest of our time with the pleasure of the world. As important as loyalty is in this day and age in our relationships it serves the same importance to our Maker who reminds us not to let “steadfast love and faithfulness forsake you” but to “bind them around your neck; write them on the tablet of your heart” (Proverbs 3:3).

Loving God with all our Heart
From the heart “flow the springs of life” (Proverbs 4:23), and without one’s will, desires, passions, affections, perceptions, and thoughts rightly aligned, the life of love is impossible. As a result disloyalty beings and God no longer becomes the source of our love as we go out giving out our love to others.

Loving God with all our Soul
Along with our hearts, we are called to love God with all our soul. In the first five books of the Old Testament the “soul” refers to one’s whole being as a living person, which while it includes one’s heart, it includes so much more. It is not only the heart that we live and have our being but also our souls that has a closer meaning to “living being”. For example,   in Genesis 2:7 we are told that “Yahweh God formed the man of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living [soul] creature.

So we are to love God with our everything, beyond our heart. We are to love him with how we talk, and what we do with our hands, and how we utilize our talents, and how we react to trials. Our entire being is to display that we love God.

Loving God with all our Might
What it means to love God with all our might not only points towards the strength a person has, but also what he has at his disposal. This means that the call to love God is not only with our physical muscle or the strength we have in the moment, but with everything we have available for honouring God. Our might is not reserved to what we possess but all that we have around us – which includes our house, our jobs, our time, our family.

Therefore, we must love God with our everything because He is our everything. To love God with our everything includes our heart, soul and might. We are to let the love we feel expand to the love we show. Whether we’re eating or singing, jogging or blogging, texting or drawing – our love for God is to be in felt and seen.

Let us not reserve God to a “side thing” in a time of disloyalty, instead let us remain faithful to God.

This week’s song is You are Everything by Todd Dulaney

Lyrics:
You are everything to me (you are everything to me)
You are everything to me (you are everything to me)
You are everything to me (you are everything to me)
You are everything to me (you are everything to me)

You are alpha and omega
You’re my healer, you’re my Saviour
You are everything, you are everything
(You’re my healer, you’re my Saviour
You are everything, you are everything)

You are everything to me (you are everything to me)
You are everything to me (you are everything to me)
You are everything to me (you are everything to me)
You are everything to me (you are everything to me)
You’re my healer, you’re my Saviour
You are everything, you are everything
(You’re my healer, you’re my Saviour
You are everything, you are everything)

You are more than life to me (you are more than life to me)
You are more than life to me (you are more than life to me)
You are more than life to me (you are more than life to me)
You are more than life to me (you are more than life to me)

The Christmas Story

MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYONE 🙂

“Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all people” (Luke 2:10).

In Luke’s account of the Christmas story, an angel announced the birth of Jesus to a group of shepherds (notice that it’s a group of shepherds and not merely three wise men).

The joy was not for a few people, but for all. “For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son” (John 3:16).

In order to share this good news we must correct ourselves from some of the most common misconceptions about Jesus Christ’s birth. The problem is, the Christmas story may be entirely wrong. The events surrounding the birth have been retold so many times and in so many ways- in plays, poetry, books, songs and movies – that mot people have a distorted view of the true events. The only accurate record is found in the Holy Bible, God’s Word.

Firstly, there were not three wise men as movies or plays would suggest, rather, many wise men or shepherds as Luke noted. scripture does report wise men (“magi”) came, but it does not say how many. Also, the wise men did not visit Jesus when he was still lying in the manger, as commonly shown on greeting cards  and in plays. The “magi”did not arrive until sometime after Christ’s presentation in the Temple in Jerusalem (Luke 2:22-39).

Secondly, Jesus was not born in a manger as the songs would suggest, rather, he was placed in a manger after birth. Scripture simply reports that they laid Jesus in a manger because there was no room for him in the guest room.

Thirdly, there was no little drummer boy. Th drummer of is, of course, not in the biblical story, but his presence has become legendary in our modern Christmas imagination.

As we share the life changing message of Jesus with others, like God intended, we join the worldwide chorus proclaiming “the glories of His righteousness and wonders of His love.” We must share the Christmas story, free from myths or tales with only what the Word of the Lord tells us an account given by Luke who saw no little drummer boy, witnessed not three but many shepherds who came to see Jesus after his birth. We must share why Jesus came – to seek and save the lost (Luke 19:10), save people from sin (Matthew 1:21), and tone the saviour of the world (1 John 4:14).

“Joy to the world, the Lord is come!”

Xoxo

For the Cause of Christ

Hello lovely subscribers, bloggers, friends, family, and passers-by let me preface my blog post with an apology. I have been, as the teens say MIA – missing in action. The last two weeks have been, busy to say the least. I am in my final years of my undergraduate studies and with the end being so near so is the pressure, the assignments and the tests. But, this week serves as my last week of exams – can I get an amen? So, here I am. Back to my love of leisure, unbiased, unstructured and God focused writing!

This morning I want to tell you why I feel hopeful and optimistic in the midst of exams within what appears to be a world that seems to be collapsing under the weight of its unprincipled and God-ignoring ways of thought and life.

Being submerged within a world that devalues God and all he stands for is difficult to say the least. We all face it in our workplaces, secular relationships or school. I have been taught in almost all my university courses that “God is dead” or the Bible serves as the worst piece of literature out there. In spite of all the critiques, and criticism I am the first and sometimes the only voice against the odds and superiority. Professors, and Teaching Assistants are more concerned about how one writes or even speaks on the institutions beliefs as opposed to a person’s individual truths. Doing this was not easy as on many occasions my grades took a beating along with my hope.

Now why am I optimistic and hopeful in the midst of all this? It’s because there are signs that even here on this earth God has a saving and reforming work to do. His work is not only restricted to a few scattered individual lives or the education system, but in the larger social fabric of this world.

What I know is that God has taken decadent, self-destroying societies and remade them by the power of his Holy Spirit through the preaching of the gospel of the grace God, and through the social impact of thousands of remade men and women, but he needs us.

God is calling us. All the things we experience in life and the questions we have of God pails in comparison to the reason we are on this earth. We are going to go through difficult things, but the cause of Christ is what it’s about. The Lord says to go out into all the world and preach the Gospel of the good news of the Cross. This means taking up our cross although we might not fully understand what we’re going through. We might not fully understand the pain we experience, but we should want Jesus more than we want to understand. For this cause we’ll live, for this cause we’ll die. We surrender everything for this cause, there’s joy found in Christ.

My favourite verse of this weeks song says:
“It is not fame that I desire
Nor stature in my brother’s eye
I pray it’s said about my life
That I lived more to build Your name than mine”

If we all take this stance in our life we realize it’s all about God, it’s about worshipping and bringing fame to the Glory and the name of Jesus. Whether you’re leading worship, or in the pews the real challenge is to say “God no matter what it’s for your Glory and not myself”. At the end of the day it is for the cause of Christ that we live – even if our grades, our relationships, or our reputation takes a beating.

This week’s song is The Cause of Christ by Kari Jobe ❤

Lyrics:
The only thing I want in life is to be known for loving Christ to build His church, to love His bride
And make His name known far and wide

For this cause I live
For this cause I’d die
I surrender all
For the cause of Christ
All I once held dear
I will leave behind
For my joy is this
Oh the cause of Christ

He is all my soul will prize
Regardless of the joy or trial
When agonizing questions rise
In Jesus all my hope abides

For this cause I live
For this cause I’d die
I surrender all
For the cause of Christ
All I once held dear
I will leave behind
For my joy is this
Oh the cause of Christ

Jesus my Jesus
For Your glory for Your name
Jesus my Jesus
I will only sing Your praise

For this cause I live
For this cause I’d die
I surrender all
For the cause of Christ
All I once held dear
I will leave behind
For my joy is this
Oh the cause of Christ

It is not fame that I desire
Nor stature in my brother’s eye
I pray it’s said about my life
That I lived more to build Your name than mine

 

Let Your Words Be Few

Words play a large part in our world. Words can get us out of trouble or make us a bed in destruction. If only our worship was as extensive as our words or we valued words the way Our God intended. We see the great use of words displayed in our God, the Bible tells us that the universe was created by the word of God (Hebrews 11:3) and that he holds it together by the word of his power (Hebrews 1:3).

Even given the Lords extensive words and teachings I was made aware of the importance of the size of the Bible by a friend who asked, “Have you noticed how small the Bible is?”

The definitive book intended to gather and guide from the all powerful, authoritative,  accumulated written record of God is tiny. There are sixty-six “books” with some only a few pages long.

To help put this into context here are rough numeral estimates of popular books or authors (DesiringGod):

  • William Shakespeare: 960,000
  • Harry Potter: 1,084,170
  • The Bible: Only 750,000

Numbers like these simply make us pause and wonder why God chose to use so few words.

Our wonder grows larger when we consider that the average person can speak 20,000 to 24,000 words a day and Jesus, the Word that became flesh, can only be quoted a few odd times. There was more he could speak but he guarded his mouth, speaking carefully, only when it brought teachings or deliverance.

It can be argued that the one voice that we hear throughout the Word is Satan’s, he has filled the airwaves, cyber-waves, print-waves, brainwaves, and every other wave of human communication with lying words (DesiringGod). He is the father of lies (John 8:44). He is working to exponentially increase words, and in doing so, to increase the snares of human transgression. After all, it is our words that are our greatest enemy. Our words, when used out of context or without the consent of the Father exposes us to dangers. The human tongue is now considered a world of unrighteousness.

Many of us are guilty of speaking out of turn, using hurtful words, or putting in our “two cents.” But we also need to speak less. When speaking to God, perhaps we need to take more seriously these few words of counsel:

“Be not rash with your mouth, nor let your heart be hasty to utter a word before God, for God is in heaven and you are on earth. Therefore let your words be few”
(Ecclesiastes 5:2)

We see in the Word that Jesus limited himself to speaking only what the Father gave him to speak, he could have said more at times but held back, what does that mean for us? If you’re anything like me you use words as your weapon. Physicality’s don’t interest you as much as words when it comes to defending yourself or getting your point across. Have you ever been accused of something you didn’t do or had others define you untruthfully? What was your response? Did you respond? Jesus didn’t. He didn’t need to. Not because he didn’t have the words to respond or didn’t know what to say but because of the importance of keeping words few. I challenge us this week to be “slow to speak” (James 1:19) and to “let no corrupting talk come out of [our] mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear” (Ephesians 4:29). Some things aren’t worth a response if not given the direct say from God.

Our God is a speaking God. He is not silent, “listen to him” (Matthew 17:5). We would do well to listen more and speak less and when we do speak, to only speak what he gives us the say.

Let your words be few but your worship be LARGE just by listening.

This week’s song is Are You Listening by United Pursuit feat. Brock Human

 

You Covered Us

Happy Music Monday!

Is it just me or did this past week fly by? The allure of the weekend is definitely there but there’s something about Monday’s that gets me giddy. Lets make this week a great one filled with good vibes and the Word. May this weeks post reside in you all for this week ❤

A while back there was an article published outlining a burned bird in a forest fire. A ranger who found this bird literally petrified in ashes at the base of a tree was desperate to help. He gently moved the bird with a stick and when he did, some baby chicks scurried out from under their dead mother’s wings. We see an example of this loving mother, aware of the fire about the descend upon them, carried her chicks to the base of the tree and gathered them under her wings. Inside of flying to safety to save herself alone she covered her chicks with and wings and saved them instead of herself.

This story reminds me of Jesus and how He covers us with His wings. Psalm 91:4 says, “He will cover you with His feathers, and under His wings you will find refuge.” He died to that we could be forgiven and have eternal life. The promises of God’s word remind us that His covering did not stop with Jesus’ death and resurrection.

We also see his covering when Adam and Eve sinned in the garden, they became aware of something they had previously had no realization of – God’s provision. When they sinned they became aware of God’s provision because that’s when they realized they were naked. Genesis 2:25 reads, “The man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed.” Now there is shame. Why? Suddenly they are self-conscious about their bodies. Before their rebellion against God, there was no shame. Why then the shame? Because the foundation of covenant-keeping love collapsed. And with it the sweet, all-trusting security of marriage disappeared forever. Keeping love between a man and a woman is the unbroken covenant between them and God—God governing them for their good and they enjoying him in that security and relying on him. When they ate from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, that covenant was broken because they went against God who was the foundation of their own covenant.They now needed help with their nakedness and God even given their sin and broken covenant swooped in and covered them. Genesis 3:7 says, “Then the eyes of both of them  were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves.”

Along with the covering of our nakedness He covered us with His blood. We see the use of covering with blood on many occasions. Exodus 12:7 says, “And they shall take of the blood, and strike it on the two side posts and on the upper door post of the houses, wherein they shall eat it.” On this night wherein they were to go out of Egypt, each family was to kill a lamb. This lamb was to be eaten in the manner here directed, and the blood to be sprinkled on the door-posts, to mark the houses of the Israelites from those of the Egyptians. The angel of the Lord, when destroying the first-born of the Egyptians, would pass over the houses marked by the blood of the lamb: hence the name of this holy feast or ordinance. Their safety and deliverance were not a reward of their own righteousness, but the gift of mercy and covering.

We are not covered by figs and leaves like Adam and Eve were. We are covered with His blood, righteousness, mercy and grace. Like the bird with her chicks, Jesus spread his wings and is still spreading them to shield us while also bleeding and dying for us! It’s not because of anything we did that makes God cover us for in Romans 4:7-8 (NIV) he said “Blessed are they whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered. Blessed is the man whose sin the Lord will never count against him.”

For He made you worthy so set out this week and forever to live under HIS covering, not covering up but being covered.

This weeks song is You Covered Me by R.A Vernon & The Word Church Praise Team

Lyrics:
I don’t wanna sing the latest song
I don’t want to percolate the crowd
I just wanna make you smile
I don’t care who thinks I’m right or wrong
I don’t care who tries to calm me down
I just wanna praise you now

You covered me in the midst of it all
You love me
Gave me another chance
You saw my needs when others saw my faults
You forgave me

I don’t have to listen for my name
They don’t have to walk me down the aisle
I just wanna make you proud
Should I make the hall of fame
Or they save a special seat
I just hope that you’ll be pleased

You covered me in the midst of it all
You love me
Gave me another chance
You rescued me I was going to fall
You saved me
(So in my life)
In my life Be glorified Be glorified (Repeat)

You get the glory
You get the praise
You take the honour
(I just want to say) thanks (4x)

(I’ve come back to say)

Thank you
Thank you Lord
Thank you (For everything you’ve done) (4x)
You get the glory You get the praise You take the honour (I just want to say)
Thank you (4x)

More Than A Conquerer

Happy MUSIC Monday! 🙂

Romans 8:37 says that Christians are “more than conquerors” in this world. But do we really know what it means to be more than a conqueror? It’s time we learn what it means to be and live like a conquerer – no – MORE than a conquerer.

This weekend was one that brought some great perspective on the Christian walk. As myself and a few others set out to take a 5.5 hour hike/walk through Bruce Peninsula in Tobermory, ON it seemed almost impossible. The trail lead through jagged rocks, water, bushes, animal habitation, snakes and insects the walk was nothing compared to the realization that we are more than a conquerer. It didn’t matter what the people who were passing us on the opposite end telling us that the walk was too long or that we were less than half way to our destination or that it was impossible, we pushed through because we knew that we can do anything! Nothing is beyond reach for us when we trust and believe in our Sovereign God.

Much like this walk through the woods, our journey through life can be very similar but we have hope because we know that impossible is easy for our Lord, it’s made simple!

To be more than a conqueror means that before you ever get a problem, you already know that whatever problem comes your way, you can overcome it through Christ. This means that you choose to live with confidence that God loves you no matter what and He will never leave you nor forsake you. And when you have this kind of relationship with Christ, you aren’t constantly afraid of bad news or of things that may happen that aren’t in your plan or the few that doubt you.

In 1 John 4:4 we see that when you get a revelation of who you are in Christ, as more than a conquerer, with Christ on the inside of you, there is nothing that can happen that’s more than you are because there’s nothing that’s too much for Him!

All the enemy wants to do is kill, steal and destroy what God wants us to have and the faith we have in him. He wants to diminish you – make you small – make you small minded – make you believe the lie that your problem is too great, that this journey is too hard. BUT whatever your situation is today, God knows about it. He sees you and hears the cry of your heart. And if you allow him to take your problems and do what he tells you to do you will experience his overcoming love, power and grace and be more than a conquerer.

This week’s song is I Can Do Anything by Isaiah Templeton

Lyrics:
I can do anything
I am more than a conqueror
More than a conqueror

Chorus
Impossible is easy for you
It is Simple

 

 

Break Out!

With only minutes left of Monday I am eager to bring a much needed post on breaking out!

“And Jesus, walking by the Sea of Galilee, saw two brothers, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea; for they were fishermen. Then He said to them, “Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.” They immediately left their nets and followed Him. Going on from there, He saw two other brothers, James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, in the boat with Zebedee their father, mending their nets. He called them, and immediately they left the boat and their father, and followed Him” Matthew 4:18-22.

What do you think of when you hear the words “break out?” Some might think of a “break out” sports star that has an unusually great game or games. Some might think of a person who “breaks out” of jail or prison by escaping. Some may think of a “break out” financial move that gives someone a financial windfall (Wrather 2003-2004). Others might think of it as a physical breaking out that many go through in the stages of puberty. Often we think of it as a bad thing that’ll change a person’s life for good but I’m talking about the spiritual kind!

A spiritual break out is one thing, however, that is guaranteed to change your life for the good. Long ago Jesus walked along the shore of the Sea of Galilee and called out to some of the fishermen there and changed their lives forever. Peter, Andrew, James and John would never be the same after their encounter with the Lord. Those four men left their lifelong careers that they thought they would always pursue and in a moment of time became not fishers of fish but instead “fishers of men.”

These men are not the only ones to be seen breaking out spiritually. If we look at John 4 we remember the woman at the well who also had an encounter with Jesus she was forced to think outside of the box of her little world. Once she experienced the “break out,” she cared little what anyone might have thought of her as she told everyone about the Lord. Another example is in Mark 5 where the man from Gadara was released from demonic oppression “broke out” of his enslavement to freedom in the Lord’s service.

These examples can go on forever, the Bible is filled with spiritual breakthroughs or “break outs” in other words and it doesn’t have to end within the pages of the Bible. The Lord wants to write a story for you. He wants you to experience your breakthrough and BREAK OUT. You must first allow your spirit to reach a breaking so you can fully accept the Lord. What these few had in common is that they were willing to receive what the Lord had to say and not only that but they responded. We need to stop looking for a response from the Lord when we fail to respond to him and his plea. If God were speaking to you right now and calling you into a deeper experience would you be ready to respond? If you have a willing and listening heart will bring you to a higher level and you too will “break out” spiritually.

This week’s song is Spirit Break Out by William McDowell ft. Trinity Anderson

Lyrics:
Our Father
All of Heaven roars Your name
Sing louder
Let this place erupt with praise
Can you hear it
The sound of Heaven touching earth
The sound of Heaven touching earth

Our Father
All of Heaven roars Your name
Sing louder
Let this place erupt with praise
Can you hear it
The sound of Heaven touching earth
The sound of Heaven touching earth…

Spirit break out
Break our walls down
Spirit break out
Heaven come down…

King Jesus
You’re the name we’re lifting high
Your glory
Shaking up the earth and sky
Revival
We wanna see Your Kingdom here
We wanna see Your Kingdom here

Copyright © 2003 – 2004 Ed Wrather. All rights reserved. This material may be used on a non-profit basis with source noted.

Biblical Unity

 

This Music Monday post will be focused on Biblical unity.

I spent (currently spending) this week in Orlando, Florida partaking of Church of God of Prophecy’s 99th International Assembly at the Rosen Shingle Creek Resort & Convention Centre where over 135 nations were present. A collective whole all unified in the same building serving the same God. This week was filled with great, influential leaders but there was also another, the presence of the majestic God of the ages, the most pure spirit, immense, eternal, incomprehensible, most Holy, most absolute, most just THAT God was in the midst. Surely the presence of the Lord was in that place, I could feel his mighty power and his grace. With that it was great to receive a word from these preachers on a mission of unity, one that brought an unprecedented yet needed view on the church and unity was Pastor Greenaway as spoken about in this post.

It is amazing what God can do with any vessel that is willing to pay the price of entire consecration to him and his cause. He can use a David and Paul just as he can use a Noah and a John. Each mans work is important as we all complement each other. We are all gifts to the body of Christ. There are many more that God will save and use. People that we least expect will come in and take on leading roles, people who did not even plan to get involved get involved but it is our responsibility that they have that ability through our message of the Gospel.

In Acts the Holy Spirit was pushing the church to move beyond its borders and its narrow confines of its strictly Jewish identity and to carry the message onto the uttermost part. Similar to back then this world needs to be evangelized. Wherever the world wants it or not God will arrange for the Gospel to be expanded and for all men to hear. Sometimes it’ll take angels, visions, divine interventions and occurrences of the supernatural to change minds. This Gospel message must be preached to all nations to realize the people we thought were ineligible God has already qualified them to be participants of his grace. We cannot keep the church kosher, or Jewish, or white, or black, or Southern, or American, or English, or Caribbean or partial to any ethnic group or culture. We must do as God calls, it is still his church we are just passing through but he is the divine order and operator of this organization. It seems the church these days lack the desire to move past culture, ethnicity, and tradition to unify. What we need are bold people, those who are truly religious, devout and careful to realize the presence of God in all nations.

There is too much madness going on in the church today and it makes you wonder if we’ve lost our sense of God. To think, some want to adjust the Bible to support the rulings of the Supreme Court concerning same sex marriage as to appear modern and enlightened. In the words of Pastor Greenaway, we cannot adjust the book; the book causes us to adjust. We can’t fix the book; the book fixes us. We can’t change the book; the book changes us. We can’t judge the book; the book judges us. It doesn’t matter what the Supreme Court says, there is another supreme court that is ruled by a man named Jesus. I say this not to be mean to any segment of society but it’s important to draw attention to anyone trying to take out pages of the book and the words of this prophecy. The church should fear God too much to misinterpret the word. We should fear God too much to live as we please and still call ourselves Christians. There is a way that leads to life and a way that leads to death. Some things just ain’t right! Let the church be the church. There is love in the fear of God but there must also be fear in the love of God that’s what constitutes our sanctity. We must say, “I love him too much” or “I fear him too much.” It’s too late for us to try and fit in, we don’t want to fit in we can’t fit in, the world won’t allow us to fit in. The mandate is “be not transformed by the world but be ye transformed by the renewing of your minds that you might prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God” Romans 12:2.

What’s key is that we realize Biblical unity doesn’t mean conformity. We believe in ecumenism but not at the expense of loosing our souls and our ways. We must make adjustments to come together but we cannot come together around falsehood, the world has already done that. We must come together around the truth of God’s word. As Pastor Greenaway put it, “this is not Babylon this is Zion, the habitation of God’s place.”

In order for unity we must pray. We must pray at all times like Cornelius in Acts 10 who prayed and was heard. We must pray for Canada. We must pray for America. We must pray for Donald Trump. We must pray for Obama. We must pray for Hilary Clinton. We must pray for Paris. We must pray for Orlando. We don’t have to agree but we do have to PRAY for those not prey on those who don’t know the Lord. We must come together in prayer for that’s where great power lies. We are on a mission and that mission only works once we unify!

We cannot unify if we focus on the racial and cultural differences. God said it’s time to break down the walls, “we can no longer be divided by culture and race and nationality and politics and denominations and other superficialities” Pastor Greenaway says. Jesus is neither white conscious nor black conscious or brown conscious but he brings all to the consciousness of life and Holy living. Jesus is white and Jesus is black and Jesus is brown and Jesus is yellow and Jesus is Caribbean and Jesus is Northern and Jesus is Southern and Jesus is from the West and Jesus is from the East. Jesus made all from the same blood, black, white, yellow, brown, it doesn’t matter. ALL are welcome in the body of Christ and we, as Christians must unify despite race, culture and gender. We must be in charge of tearing down walls and keeping them down. The desire is that every nation has that fear of God for God so loves the world and if God so loves the world then we as believers must love the world including all people of the world. We as Christians cannot be racist, there’s no such thing it’s not possible that the love we should have within us is subject to colour and if it is we must re-evaluate the love within us. For this reason, we cannot be driven by race, culture or nationality in fact that’s not how the book ends. In Revelation 7:9-11 we read “a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands. And cried with a loud voice, saying, Salvation to our God which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb. And all the angels stood round about the throne, and about the elders and the four beasts, and fell before the throne on their faces, and worshipped God.” We read that all nationalities, all tongues (languages) stood before the throne to the same God and worshipped! We must find that very same unity. God is a big God and he expects a big church with every man, woman and race coming together to worship him.

This week’s song is I Know Who I Am by Sinach (theme song of the National Assembly 2016)

Lyrics:
We are a chosen generation
Called forth to show His excellence
All I require for life, God has given me
And I know who I am

I know who God says I am
What He says I am
Where He says I’m at
I know who I am

I’m walking in power,
I’m walking miracles
I live a life of favor,
‘Cause I know who I am

Oh oh oh, oh oh oh
I know who I am

I am holy, I am righteous oh…
I am so rich, I am beautiful

I’m walking in power,
I’m walking miracles
I live a life of favor,
‘Cause I know who I am

Take a look at me, I’m a wonder
It doesn’t matter what you see now
Can you see His glory?
‘Cause I know who I am

Oh oh oh, oh oh oh
I know who I am

Pulling Me Through

 

Do you hate to wait? Do you grow anxious in waiting for a situation to turn around?

Anxiety holds our hearts bondage. Impatience is an acute strand of anxiety that can mesmerize and trap a soul. It usually starts slow and then the innocent desire increasingly becomes a torrent of want: “I want it”… “I want all”… “I want is all now, RIGHT NOW!

As ferocious as impatience can be it usually starts off innocent from waiting on a text message, a spouse, a child, or even a job.

When God Says “Later”
We need to recognize that no matter what, NO MATTER, God will pull us through. He’s currently doing the pulling. We just have to understand that the pull sometimes takes time, we must understand when God says “later.

When God says “later” he’s turning up the emotional volume knob to reveal what our heart’s actually saying.

Delayed Gratification
We don’t know if we’ll get a “yes,” “no” or maybe a “later” until after the fact. But what we do know is that no matter the situation or the answer, God is making a way. It’s important that we use this wait time to:

1. Increase faith
Firstly, if God didn’t want a deep and affectionate relationship with you, he would give you everything you wanted immediately. He would never subject you to any of the injustices of the world and placate you with pleasures of this world. For those who know our God, that is unlike him – not unlike him to bless, but unlike him to appease. God did not send his Son to satisfy our temper tantrum. He wants us to wait. He wants us to trust. He wants us to believe.

2. Instill appreciation
Secondly, immediacy can depreciate the value with which the recipient receives the gift. Exercising patience is an investment in future enjoyment and complete appreciation for the waiting process.

3. Engrain permanence
Thirdly, in order for some gifts goodness to last it requires time to implant and grow; like a seed needs lots of water, sun and time to make a strong, lasting tree!

“He brought me up also out of an horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings.” Psalm 40:2

God has the power to help the weakest and enough grace to help the unworthiest of all that trust in him. The psalmist waited patiently; he continued believing, hoping, and praying. This is applicable to Christ and his agony on the cross. But those that wait patiently for God do not wait in vain. Christ is the Rock on which a poor soul can alone stand fast. Where God has given stedfast hope, he expects there should be a steady, regular walk and conduct. God filled the psalmist with joy, as well as peace in believing and he wants to do the same for you. Multitudes, by faith beholding the sufferings and glory of Christ, have learned to trust in the mercy of God through Him.

It might not look as though your situation is changing but just know he’s in the process of pulling you through!

This week’s song is Pulling Me Through by Todd Dudlaney

Lyrics:
Lord its been you
Through all I have gone through Lord it was you

Chorus: Through all i have gone through Lord it was you
Lord it was you x2

It was You , It was You that now pulling me through

It was you, Lord it was You pulling me through

when I stumbled, when I cried when it felt like I wanted to die

when my friends turned and they walked away
you were right here right here to stay

It was You It was You pulling me through

It was you, Lord it was You pulling me through

Yes, when I stumbled, when I cried when it felt like I wanted to die

When my friends turned and they walked away
You were right here, right here to stay

It was you, Lord it was You

He’ll never walk out on you
No never, no never (lead x2 chorus x4)

I’m a witness that He’ll never, no never x2

Oh ohhhhh ohhhhhh oh oh ohhhh oh ohhhhhh x3

You Are Cordially Invited

 

Not everyone will believe the gospel, but everyone is invited.

We know from scripture, and experiences, that not everyone will trust in Jesus and be saved. In fact, many sitting in the pews of the church across the country are cold to Christ and are harboring impenitent hearts, deceived into believing their presences will get them into heaven.

Have you ever been skipped over in class where the cool kid was handing out invitations to their birthday bashment? Well, consider Jesus as the invitation holder, ultimately the “cool” kid. We don’t have to sit in the corner giving googly eyes in hope of getting an invitation because he invites everyone. The invitation he’s holding out is into the Kingdom of heaven there’s no age limit, no physical or mental requirements. We all have been presented with the invitation the real challenge is our RSVP. Will we regrettably decline or accept with a large smile? Like Jesus we should offer this news of the Kingdom to everyone because of the foundational certainty that Jesus accomplished. John Piper captures it well:

“By his death and resurrection, Jesus has acted out God’s discriminating, definite electing, regenerating, faith-creating, every-promise-guaranteeing, new-covenant love, and thus has purchased and secured irreversibly for his elect everything needed to bring them from deadness in sin to everlasting, glorified life and joy in the presence of God.” (Does God Desire All to Be Saved? 54)

In other words, one of the great blessings that would come to the people of God because of Christ’s death and resurrection is that all the nations would be touched. Christ’s redemption is not just for Jews. It’s not just for us. It is for all the nations.

And this leads us then to The Great Invitation in Isaiah 55.

Let’s look at Isaiah 55:1-3 and ask three questions:

  1. Who are invited?

The answer is, two kinds of people. In verse 1 the first kind is described: “Ho every one who thirsts, come to the waters; and he who has no money come buy and eat! Come buy wine and milk without money and without price.”

But there is a second kind of person whom God invites as described in verse 2. In verse 2 he talks to someone who has money, who has strength to labor. God said in verse 1: “He who has no money come!” but the second kind of person has got money and is spending it.

So two kinds of people are invited by the Lord: the thirsty who are broke and cannot pay, and the thirsty who think they can pay and work their way to satisfaction.

  1. What are we offered?

In verse 1 we are offered water, milk and wine: “Ho every one who thirsts, come to the waters; and he who has no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without price.”

Water corresponds to the need for refreshment, milk corresponds to the need for ongoing nourishment and wine corresponds to the need for exhilaration.

  1. What are we told to do to get these benefits?

There are 12 imperatives in these three verses numbered below.

“Ho, every one who thirsts, come to the waters [#1]; and he who has no money, come [#2], buy [#3] and eat [#4]! Come [#5], buy wine and milk [#6] without money and without price. 2) Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread, and your labor for that which does not satisfy? Hearken diligently to me [#7] and eat what is good [#8], and delight yourselves in fatness [#9]. 3) Incline your ear [#10], and come to me [#11]; hear [#12] that your soul may live; and I will make with you an everlasting covenant, my steadfast, sure love for David.”

What the 12 above have in common is… nothing. We don’t need to be like our neighbour in order to get an invitation. It’s already there; it’s time we RSVP

Ask. Seek. Knock

Blessings
xoxo