Happy New Year 2016

Many people make New Years resolutions. We wait until midnight on December 31 and then rhyme off a number of ways that we will change in the new year. Stop smoking, eat less, not work so much, even read the Bible every day are just a few of the promises made.

I looked up the word resolution –my new year

“resolution is a noun that means a decision to do something or to behave in a certain manner. The noun resolution has a few related meanings having to do with being firmly determined about something. If you lack determination, you’ll never fulfill your New Year’s resolutions.”

So the dictionary says that it’s keeping the determination that makes the difference as to whether we fail or succeed.

Definition of determination-

“a quality that makes you continue trying to do or achieve something that is difficult. : the act of finding out or calculating something.”

We all start off with a lot of determination. “I’m really going to stay on my diet this time. I’m determined to make this the year”. But then a week or two later we give up “oh I’m so sick of rabbit food!  It’s just not worth the effort. I’ll try again another time. I’ll be careful as to what I eat from now on (said while eating a cookie)”. These are the type of words that we all use at times. Notice how many “I’s” (I, I’m, I’ll) are in this paragraph.

So it seems that we think it’s all about us, to succeed. We need to be strong and determined. On top of that apparently we need willpower to succeed.

Definition of will-power-

“Willpower is defined as discipline and self-restraint.” Did you notice the word self-restraint?

Another source said –

“willpower (self-restraint or self-control, as the Bible refers to it) is crucial for success in life”.

So, for our entire lives, we are told that we need to exhibit our self-control, self-restraint, willpower and determination to succeed.

Hmmm…Let’s see what the Bible has to say…

2 Timothy 1:7 “For the Spirit that God has given us does not make us timid; instead, his Spirit fills us with power, love, and self-control.”

Proverbs 25:28 “A person without self-control is like a city with broken-down walls.”

Godly self-control is like a muscle that will waste away if it is not developed. When we decide to forgive someone who has wronged us, we are exercising spiritual power over our will. When we do this again and again, repeating the pattern, it becomes more natural for us, and even second nature.

Matthew 18:22 “Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven.”

It’s no wonder why Jesus Christ said we must forgive our brother “seventy times seven” He wants us to develop the habit of forgiving others. He wants our self-control “muscle” to be well exercised!

Hebrews 12:1 “Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us”

Paul described the spiritual journey as a race to be run with endurance. He emphasized that Christians do this by using God’s Spirit, which brings many benefits, including self-control.

Galatians 5:22-23 “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law”.

So do we just leave it up to the Lord to give us more self-control and the likes? No! Look at the gifts (above) he has already given us! Are we using them properly? We are to turn to The Lord and ask for his help in all areas of our lives. With his help and by continued practice on our part, we will have a much better success rate.

Will our lives be perfect? No! Even as Christians, we will still have difficult times, but the good news is, God will be there with us, by leading, guiding and helping us to carry that burden. The secret is to keep our strength in Christ. Lean on him. The best way to do that is to have Jesus in our lives.

If he isn’t, then firstly accept Christ as your Lord and Saviour. If you don’t know how to do that read my post above on salvation.

The acceptance of Jesus Christ makes a new person. We are no longer trying to make life work for us. We are partners with God and as such, he will help us make better choices.

A new year is coming soon and many will make resolutions. Don’t do it alone, include the Lord in this year’s resolution.

Christians – read your Bible every day this year, if only for a few minutes. (Leave it beside your TV and read it during the commercials if you must) but read it. As we commit to the Lord, He will commit to us.

Non-Christians – Please read the post marked “salvation” above if you haven’t already done so. If you are not ready to make that commitment yet, at least get to know him a little better.
It is God’s desire that no one is lost. Start today to learn about Him through the Bible and or a Church. If that seems too much for you right now, at least start to make some effort. Instead of sitting on YouTube go to GodTube instead. There are videos, songs, comedians, cute animals. GodTube is a wonderful way to get your heart turning toward Jesus.

So to sum it up, get closer to God. The Bible has words that can fill our souls with hope and lead us to peace.

The following scriptures fit in with the start of a new year.

HOPE and PEACE

Jeremiah 29:
[11] For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.
[12] Then shall ye call upon me, and ye shall go and pray unto me, and I will hearken unto you.
[13] And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.

NEW CREATION

2 Corinthians 5:
[17] Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.

FORGETTING THE PAST

Phillipians 3:
[13] Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before,
[14] I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.

WAIT ON THE LORD

Psalm 37:
[7] Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for him: fret not thyself because of him who prospereth in his way, because of the man who bringeth wicked devices to pass.

GODS TIMING IS PERFECT

Ecclesiastes 3:
[11] He hath made everything beautiful in his time: also he hath set the world in their heart, so that no man can find out the work that God maketh from the beginning to the end.

EACH NEW DAY IS SPECIAL

Lamentations 3:
[22] It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not.
[23] They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.
[24] The Lord is my portion, saith my soul; therefore will I hope in him.
[25] The Lord is good unto them that wait for him, to the soul that seeketh him.

Happy New Year everyone. May God’s blessings rest upon you and your loved ones.

ALL FOR HIS GLORYchristian_happy_new_yearchristian_new_year_graphics_faith_frog_christian_graphics_255x218_jpg-92e85cf87d3eaa6f8eb7e5abbafc0e09

2015 Christmas Message

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Along my journey this week, I found myself reading prophecies, from the Old Testament, that have been fulfilled in the New Testament.

I thought, in the Spirit of Christmas, I would wander away from my usual type of post and examine just a few of the many prophecies that foretold the coming birth of Jesus.

God showed us, thousands of years before Jesus was even born, that one day He would come to earth.

The following are only thirteen of the prophecies already fulfilled. There are so many more that have been completed, but for today, I will only concentrate on some of the verses declaring his birth and younger years.

The prophecies begin in the very first book of the Bible; Genesis.

NumberPromisesOld Testament ProphecyNew Testament Fulfillment
1Jesus would be born through the Seed of AbrahamGenesis 22:
[18] And in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because thou hast obeyed my voice.
Matthew 1:
[1] The book of the generation of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham.
2Jesus would be in the Line of IsaacGenesis 21:
[12] And God said unto Abraham, Let it not be grievous in thy sight because of the lad, and because of thy bondwoman; in all that Sarah hath said unto thee, hearken unto her voice; for in Isaac shall thy seed be called.
Luke 3:
[34] Which was the son of Jacob, which was the son of Isaac, which was the son of Abraham, which was the son of Thara, which was the son of Nachor,
3Jesus will be of the Tribe of JudahMicah 5:
[2] But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting.
Matthew 1:
[2] Abraham begat Isaac; and Isaac begat Jacob; and Jacob begat Judas and his brethren;
4Jesus will be in the Family of JesseIsaiah 11:
[1] And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots
Luke 3:
[32] Which was the son of Jesse, which was the son of Obed, which was the son of Booz, which was the son of Salmon, which was the son of Naasson,
5To be born in the House of David (King)
*see note 1 below.
Jeremiah 23:
[5] Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and a King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth.
For Joseph’s family,
Luke 1:
[27] To a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin's name was Mary.

For Mary’s family,
Matthew 1:
[16] And Jacob begat Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus, who is called Christ.
6Born of a virginIsaiah 7:
[14] Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.
Luke 1:
[34] Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man?
7His name will be ImmanuelIsaiah 7:
[14] Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.
Luke 1:
[31] And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS.
8Born in BethlehemMicah 5:
[2] But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting.
Luke 2:
[4] And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:)
[5] To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child.
[6] And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered.
[7] And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.
9Worshipped by Shepherds
*see note 2 below.
Psalms 72:
[9] They that dwell in the wilderness shall bow before him; and his enemies shall lick the dust.
Luke 2:
[15] And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us.
[16] And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger.
[17] And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child.
10Worshipped and presented gifts by KingsPsalms 72:
[10] The kings of Tarshish and of the isles shall bring presents: the kings of Sheba and Seba shall offer gifts.
Matthew 2:
[10] When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy.
[11] And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense, and myrrh.
11Flight to Egypt
*see note 3 below.
Hosea 11:
[1] When Israel was a child, then I loved him, and called my son out of Egypt.
Matthew 2:
[13] And when they were departed, behold, the angel of the Lord appeareth to Joseph in a dream, saying, Arise, and take the young child and his mother, and flee into Egypt, and be thou there until I bring thee word: for Herod will seek the young child to destroy him.
[14] When he arose, he took the young child and his mother by night, and departed into Egypt:
12Weeping for the ChildrenJeremiah 31:
[15] Thus saith the LORD; A voice was heard in Ramah, lamentation, and bitter weeping; Rahel weeping for her children refused to be comforted for her children, because they were not.
Matthew 2:
[16] Then Herod, when he saw that he was mocked of the wise men, was exceeding wroth, and sent forth, and slew all the children that were in Bethlehem, and in all the coasts thereof, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had diligently inquired of the wise men.
[17] Then was fulfilled that which was spoken by Jeremy the prophet, saying,
[18] In Rama was there a voice heard, lamentation, and weeping, and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children, and would not be comforted, because they are not.
13He is the Son of GodPsalms 2:
[7] I will declare the decree: the LORD hath said unto me, Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten thee.
Luke 3:
[22] And the Holy Ghost descended in a bodily shape like a dove upon him, and a voice came from heaven, which said, Thou art my beloved Son; in thee I am well pleased.

Matthew 3:
[17] And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.

Mark 1:
[11] And there came a voice from heaven, saying, Thou art my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.

*Note 1: Luke 3:23 says that when Jesus was born, the people thought he was Joseph’s son and so they traced the line of Jesus through Joseph’s family back to David.
This shows that Jesus was the legal heir of Joseph through adoption. Joseph claimed Jesus as his own adopted son by marrying Mary and in doing that Jesus had the rights of the first born son, including the lineage.
But it is very important to see that throughout every genealogy, all of the other listings say (name of person) was the father of (so and so) but then the last line says “Mary was mother of Jesus”. It doesn’t mention Joseph as the father of Jesus but rather as the husband of Mary. Mary is called the mother of Jesus. (Mathew 1:16)
To fulfill prophecy, Jesus had to be born from the line of David. The above scriptures show that both Joseph and Mary’s line went back to David.

*Note 2:Other translations say “desert tribes” and “they that dwell in the wilderness” and “desert nomads” or “let the people of the desert”. These are all descriptions of shepherds.

*Note 3: God is remembering how he brought Israel out of Egypt about 500 years before this scripture was written. In Matthew 2:15 of the NT are the words “out of Egypt I called my son”. This is an “unexpected prophecy” fulfilled in the life of Jesus.

These prophecies (and many more) were written, memorized and read by people of the OT times. Centuries have passed since then. How could they possibly have been fulfilled, if not by God?

How could someone plan all of the above and line up every prophecy?

How could someone convince the shepherds to visit Jesus?

Who would be able to convince the Wise Men to travel so far and give away very expensive gifts? How could someone convince King Herod to kill all of the male children in Egypt?

How? Because Jesus (God) already existed before his earthly appearance. He already knew what was going to happen when he came to earth as Jesus.

God gave those thoughts and the words to the prophets. They were spoken and written by man, but given by God so that we could see them fulfilled in Jesus’ time and believe.

Today ALL of the prophecies in the Old and New Testaments have been fulfilled except for the ones dealing with Jesus’ second coming. And as for them, many are very close to being fulfilled.

I will end today’s post with the following scripture:

Revelation 22:

[20] He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus.

Wishing everyone a very merry Christmas.

All for His glory.th (2)

Temptation – 1 Corinthians 10: 12-13

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1 Corinthians 10:

[12] Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.

[13] There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.(KJV)

Paul was very blunt when speaking to the Corinthians. He told them they would have troubles and temptations because they lived in a world of sin.

Anyone who thought they could overcome the temptations on their own were wrong and Paul told them they would keep having the same problems over and over again.

They needed to overcome the problem and to do that they should lean on the Lord. Not to lean on Him only in the times of trials but to continually be in prayer and have faith on a regular bases.

He continued by saying that no temptations would be unique to them, but every temptation they received were common ones.

Today is no different than it was when Paul was talking to the Corinthians. The same advise applies to us.

The enemy will bring troubles and temptations to every one of us. Sometimes we wrongly assume that since we are close to God that troubles won’t affect us. This is wrong thinking! We live in a world of sin and ALL of us will have our times of troubles.

The good news is that God won’t allow more than we can handle and God has always left a way of escape for us. We must be aware that the way of escape won’t be a swap between living in a bad situation and instantly being in a good situation. The way of escape will have its challenges also.

God is a loving Father who is suffering along with us in whatever situation we are in. We need to remember that we live in a sinful world and also that we have free will. Every choice we make puts us in a certain position and those choices determine our outcome.

The best thing we can do is to draw close to the Lord, ask for his guidance and then follow it.

pray

Divine Father

Thank you that you have complete control over ever situation, every temptation and absolute control over everything in Heaven and on earth.

I know that the sin of the world puts many temptations and road blocks in my way. I also know that you have allowed whatever they are, so that I can learn from them and grow.

I am thankful that your Word says a temptation that is too great for me to bear will never be placed in my way and that with you there is always a way of escape.

Your Word also says, that if I try to overcome the stumbling block on my own, then the same one will keep appearing in front of me and I am guaranteed to have to redo the lesson time and time again. I am thankful that I can come to you and ask for help and you will show me why I am not able to get past it.

I know Father that some lessons are beyond my comprehension and I can’t see or even understand why horrible and painful events are allowed by you to take place.

In the hard set of circumstances please help me to have faith that you know the why and that one day I will be given to understand. In the meantime allow me to lean on you so I can move forward.

As a Christian it gives me peace that you will never leave me alone. I know you are always standing right beside me no matter what the situation is.

May I always be close to you Father, in prayer and in faith. Let me never assume that I can be left on my own or that I can handle things by myself. I can’t!

I need you in my life on a continual basis. It is my privilege to enjoy a wonderful relationship with you.

Please Father allow me to stay close to you everyday.

In the name of your son, Jesus, I pray.

Amen

This paragraph written by J.R.Miller 1909 explains this scripture best…

“What I am doing you do not understand now. It seems to you unnecessary, perhaps even severe and unkind. You cannot see goodness and love in it. You cannot conceive how it ever can prove to have blessing in it for you. But wait—some day you will understand. Then you will find that this strange, hard thing—is really full of love.”

Perseverance – 1 Peter 1: 6-9

Perseverance 1 Peter 1:

[6] Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations:
[7] That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:
[8] Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory:
[9] Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls. (KJV)

Peter is saying that living on this earth is just for a season, not really long in the scheme of time.

Even though, we (who are living now) have never seen Jesus, we have all that we need to know in the Bible. It explains how to keep the faith and believe that Jesus is exactly whom the Bible tells us he is.

Yes the Bible tells us that we will go through difficult situations but those are allowed as a teaching tool to build our faith in Jesus.

We are to stand strong, knowing, with faith, that he watches over, leads and guides us through the good and the hard times. We can rejoice that we know the Lord and know that he is always in control of all things.

Faith is more precious than gold. Gold can be melted and so at the end of time it will mean nothing and have no value. But as long as we keep our faith, the Lord will never fail us and our faith in him will always remain valuable.

Upon His return to earth, Jesus, the King of all kings, will call to those who have believed and kept the faith in Him and we will follow Jesus and live eternally with him.

Divine Lord,

Thank you that you are who the Bible says you are. You are God our Father, the creator of the entire universe and beyond. You are Jesus, the son of God and the Saviour of the world. You are the Holy Spirit that leads and guides us, reminding us right from wrong and how to use Gods word to fight the enemy. Many, many people cannot believe in you because they cannot see you.

Some may say “well I asked him for something and I didn’t get it” or (and this I believe is the most common) “I asked him to show me a sign of his existence” and nothing happened.

The Bible says those who can believe without seeing are blessed. A lot of people want proof before they will believe but God, you want our hearts first.

When we believe with faith, you Lord fill our hearts and souls with your love and we are transformed. In our love and joy for you Lord, we can’t help but believe with a deeper faith. It’s a never ending circle of love.

Then on that day when Jesus returns to earth, our faith will be rewarded and we will be swept away with Jesus (in His full glory) and we will live forever in His presence.

Thank you Father that I can have faith in you right now without seeing you in the person, knowing that that time is coming soon when everyone (both believers and non-believers) will see you for who you truly are. God!

I will praise your mighty name now and forever.

In the precious name of my Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, I pray.

Amen