Monthly Archives: October 2018

Word in you…

WORD IN YOU….

AMPLIFIED VERSION – John 5:

38 You do not have His word (Scripture) abiding in you [actually living in your hearts and minds], because you do not believe in Him whom He has sent.

The word – ABIDING and as expanded ‘LIVING’, – is very important, in this portion of scripture.

We are told that The Word of God, The Bible, The Scriptures, is something they do not have ABIDING (Living) in them.

You may give lip-service to the authenticity of the Bible. You may read it from time to time – but does it abide in you?

That’s the challenge here.

You see this Word is the most powerful thing on earth – in fact it is more POWERFUL than heaven or earth. For we are told heaven and earth will pass away (in exactly what way I’m not sure) – but …read on in – 

Matthew 24:

35 Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.

That’s how powerful this Word is – it will never pass away! That means it is Eternal. If God has said it – it cannot be changed. Jesus said the scripture cannot be broken.

John 10:

35. and the scripture cannot be broken;

Amplified:

35. (and the Scripture cannot be undone or annulled or broken)

That my friends is what you have the opportunity to put inside you, through meditation on this Word day and night (Read Psalm 119 or Psalm 1)

It blows my mind and I cannot live without it!

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Shaken or Stirred

SHAKEN OR STIRRED

II Thessalonians 2/1-3

Now, brethren, concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him, we ask you, not to be soon shaken in mind or troubled, either by spirit or by word or by letter, as if from us, as though the day of Christ had come. Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition,…

Soon shaken in mind – This scriptural ‘turn of phrase’, I have highlighted by underlining it, as you can see.

Because, regardless of the subject it refers to – the experience of being shaken in mind is one we have all had.

There are many examples of this – ranging from spilling a glass of milk – to hearing that a friend has been suddenly taken ill.

Momentarily shaken, (spilling milk) or being shook up for a prolonged period of time (struggling over a friends predicament).

We all know that James Bond preferred ‘shaken’ and not stirred.

But there is a good – being ‘stirred-up’ – and a bad.

The bad – being ‘stirred up’ – is when anger, bitterness and resentment takes over and we seek revenge.

The good – being ‘stirred up’ in mind, – is when we sense fresh resolve welling up within our beings to once again set ourselves to do what is right and good.

Christian or non-Christian can experience this kind of ‘being stirred up’.

Athletes failing to win their race, can feel stirred-up to win the next one. A child failing an exam, with good encouragement from a parent, can feel stirred again to pass the re-sit.

Rescuers trying to reach those trapped, can suddenly feel stirred again by a noise coming from the depths of a pile of rubble, and so redouble their efforts at rescue.

Someone whose father or relative was destroyed by some overcoming weakness or addiction, follow in their footsteps, or get stirred up to resolve that such a thing will never happen to them. 

They stir themselves to not be similarly duped.

So when we are shaken, is it followed by being stirred up?

It certainly is a preferable state of mind.

But notice in this passage of scripture that the shaking referred to can come as the result of different things.

The first source is a ‘spirit’.

Many have come under the deception of spirits – unseen – that propagate lies. Often of the most subtle kind.

Part of the deception they are under is to find it incredulous that spirits even exist.

Many sit with an incredulous mentality that is dismissive of anything spiritual.

Such folks are the easiest to deceive, and spirits know this.

After all if I want to do damage to you, and you know nothing about the source of it – then I have an even greater victory, and can expect no resistance.

Next we are told not to be shaken by ‘word’. There are many voices in the world crying and vying for your attention – many speak to shake us up, to harm us, to get unfair advantage over us, to scare us into submission and so on.

Next we are told not to be shaken by ‘letter’. We can mistakenly assume the source of certain messages and mis-appropriate their source to the wrong person(s).

But many times there is no mistaking the source of the venom.

Emails, social media and all the means of 21st Century communication, take the place of plain old pen and paper, in letter writing.

But they are letters just the same, and can shake us with their content.

Being shaken is similar to being under stress. Many people seem to have no inner resources to call upon as an antidote to stress.

Thankfully Christians can appropriate Christ’s inner strength by faith.

But often as a result of mental shaking – a nervous breakdown can ensue, and many Christians similarly prone to such an experience, testify that it was only their faith in Christ that brought them through.

Shaken by spirits, shaken by words heard, or letters read.

This is where a post such as this is limited, in that, I have highlighted the experience of being shaken, but as yet, have only hinted at solutions.

There is much to say on how to stand, having done all to stand, in these days, when things are beginning to be shaken all around us.

Other blogs may need to be written.

But we know as human beings that avoiding the ‘all shook up’ condition is not always easy.

We spill the milk – and stir ourselves with the words: ‘No use crying over spilt milk’, – sorted – we soon forget it, and move on.

Many in the past, and in the present day, have been shaken to the very core of their beings, and no common quip is going to solve their problems.

In the scripture quoted above the Christians are told not to allow themselves to be shaken from the truth. The truth – as it was communicated at that time – was that Christ as yet had not returned.

Concerning The Second Coming of Christ, we are not to be shaken from what the scripture reveals to us.

There is to be a ‘falling away’ first, and a deceiving, plausible spirit with words and doctrinal ‘letters’ will appear and will deceive many.

Don’t be shaken from believing it to be so, but don’t be shaken either by that same malevolent spirit, who has come to steal, kill and destroy, as he works through men.

In light of the anti-Christ spirit already at work – Look up – all you who believe that Jesus is the Christ – for your redemption draws near!

Healed from a distance…

Healed from a distance.

Mark 7:25-27 Amplified Bible (AMP)

27 He was saying to her, “First let the children [of Israel] be fed, for it is not right to take the children’s bread and throw it to the pet dogs (non-Jews).” 28 But she replied, “Yes, Lord, but even the pet dogs under the table eat the children’s crumbs.” 29 And He said to her, “Because of this answer [reflecting your humility and faith], go [knowing that your request is granted]; the demon has left your daughter [permanently].” 30 And returning to her home, she found the child lying on the couch [relaxed and resting], the demon having gone.

A woman came to Jesus on behalf of her daughter. Who had been taken hold off by a demonic spirit.

The mother was not a Jew.

The Jews were God Almighty’s chosen people.

God – since way back – wanted the Israelites to follow Him like no other nation would, upon the earth.

At certain times they failed to do so, miserably, throughout their history.

But it’s not over yet.

After Jesus – the lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world – died on the cross – God turned to the gentiles and offered them salvation through The Lord Jesus Christ, and the Jewish people would need to recognise Jesus as the Messiah if they too were to join God’s sons (children) – 

Romans 8/14 –

For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.

The Syrophenician woman was a gentile, but not able yet to avail herself of Christ’s full salvation.

History had still to take it’s course, before Jesus would die for the sins of the world.

Jesus would die to answer the correct demand of justice, and at the same time release God’s offer of forgiveness to a lost and dying world.

So she could not avail herself of the perfect salvation God was in the process of accomplishing through His Son on the cross.

But she did get her request answered.

Interesting, that in her case, because of her chronic need should there have been on her part – any ‘race-snobbery’, or anti-semitism, it was dispensed with.

Need, as they say – is a great leveller.

She just knew this was no ordinary man, and all else must be set aside if she was to avail herself of what she intuitively knew Christ could offer.

Her daughter, received no direct encounter with Christ. She was not present when her mother interceded on her behalf.

But rather – the power or God hit her and she was set free, even though no doubt miles away.

No laying on of hands, no application of clay, no instructions to go to the local priest, no outward sign of Christ’s involvement. 

Just His spoken word(s) in response to her need and her mother’s spoken request mixed with faith, on her behalf.

We can be far from persons in need. Jesus is no longer in the flesh on the earth. Yet the power of God can be released to those who make their requests known unto God, on behalf of others.

The Holy Spirit is a very present help in times of trouble.

Psalm 46/1 God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.

 

Who in their right mind..?!

WHO IN THEIR RIGHT MIND…?!

Who in their right mind refuses to believe in the God of All Grace and Love?

Who in their right mind believes God to be an ogre sitting in heaven like some giant at the top of Jack’s beanstalk?

Who in their right mind thinks they can begin to correct God, the God who created heaven and earth – who’s infinite knowledge and wisdom is way beyond anything man could conjure up?

Who in their right mind believes that God, as revealed in the Bible, can sanction – mankind believing in any another god than Himself?

Who in their right mind thinks that God would be right to acquiesce to whatever seems right to you or I?

Who in their right mind – after the supernatural experiences that Elijah, Moses, Lazarus, Elisha, Samuel, Paul, Peter, and so on and so on – can simply ‘intellectualise’ – these away, as humbug?

Who in their right mind whilst accepting the Christian gospel of Love can fail to see that love also involves an attribute of love called justice?

Where a holy, loving, righteous God cannot overlook the extermination of millions and simply put it down to someone just having a bad day?

And therefore not punishing those responsible for this and similar atrocities because of a skewed idea that we have of what love truly is?

And lastly –

Who in their right mind would stubbornly run away from the offer of forgiveness that Jesus Christ offers as a result of His death?

Dying – in order to appease God’s correct wrath-of-judgement on sin?

RIGHT MIND?

Philippians 2/5

…Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus…, 

Seeing is believing – Oh really!??

SEEING IS BELIEVING? (Oh really!??)

Many skeptics say: “Seeing is believing”

Yet some of you have loved ones living in far-off lands, and you never see them in the flesh – for years. Yes you keep in touch and you can see them on a screen, if you wish.

But seeing is not believing that they exist, you already know they exist and who they are, without a shadow of doubt, even though right now at this moment – you do not see them.

In fact believing is (in this context) another word for knowing and vice-versa, knowing is believing.

Paul the Apostle says:‘…for (first) I KNOW whom I have (second) BELIEVED…’ (in brackets – mine)

Now to be fair to those who use their logic a lot – He could be saying he – e.g. – knows which person he has chosen to believe, this person and not that person.

But we know through his Damascus road experience that he was speaking of his spiritual-family relationship with Jesus – “I know whom…”

So knowing Him is first. Secondly, because we know Him, (and His perfect non-lying character) we believe what He says.

But here is the interesting thing – (almost paradoxical) we need to know what He says first – before we can ever hope of knowing Him. And when we believe what He says – we begin to know Him personally.

So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

As we take God at His word – He reveals Himself to us, and He shows Himself to be true to His word.

There you go – take Him at His word. Come to Him in prayer and you will (if you are patient) get to KNOW HIM.

Faith first – knowing, second. Or – maybe you know Him already (?) – now listen to what He says to gain more faith!

Let’s grab hold of an example –

Matthew 11/28 – 

Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

Come to me (prayer) – stop labouring – tell Him of the heavy burden – and believe to receive rest.

I KNOW – I BELIEVE – (Amplified versions of the bible):

II Timothy 1/12 This is why I suffer as I do. Still, I am not ashamed;for I KNOW Him [and I am personally acquainted with Him] whom I HAVE BELIEVED [with absolute trust and confidence in Him and in the truth of His deity], and I am persuaded [beyond any doubt] that He is able to guard that which I have entrusted to Him until that day [when I stand before Him]

So in this context seeing, knowing and believing – they all amount to the same thing.

Starting off again

STARTING OFF AGAIN

I look out across the vista before my eyes, on the outskirts of the city of my birth.

It could be anywhere – any city to look down upon – rather like The Christ of God looked out on the kingdoms of the world in a way we don’t fully understand – once again confirming that God is not God unless there is much we do not understand.

But He was shown the kingdoms of the world by another spirit – who looked for the God-man’s worship.

The only ever perfect man was not for conforming to this world.

He, before becoming a man had created it all, – and now He would not allow the limitations of a human body to overrule the knowledge He possessed – present even before the world was created.

Now His message remains between the pages of scripture. His knowledge (plain to be seen but also hidden) is there for the enquiring mind to find.

But not without His help, – will you or I find

Seek and you will find.

The spirit of the doubt planting ‘If’ – had spoken.

So esteemed was that which was already written – it was sufficient and perfect for the Son of God’s use.

He answered: 

(Jesus said to him) “Away from me, Satan! For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.’ ”

Full story – Matthew 4/1-11 (in the book we have named the Bible).