Monday, 27 August 2012

Always be a child

You'll find this post over at the KJV blog too

I'm finding it difficult to think of something to write this week but as I sit here and type I'm remembering a song I heard last night called 'Always be a Child'

When I think on this I am reminded of my own father and how I saw him as my hero, my friend, my protector. I looked up to him but I realise that not everyone can say the same about their father. Some have been abused mentally and physically by their father and I cannot for one minute comprehend what life must have been like for them, what growing up must have been like for them, what they must have felt knowing that the abuse they suffered was at the hand of someone who should have been there for them protecting them, taking care of them. The joy they should have known taken from them so that all they knew was tears, heartache, cruelty ... No, I can't comprehend it at all ...
but I am reminded of the parable Jesus told in Luke 15 and I see here in this parable the Father heart of God.
I see here a father loving his child no matter what. This son had become dis-satisfied with his life and had decided he would leave the family home, decided he could do better on his own and asked his father for his inheritance now. His father gave him his portion but the son spent every last penny and ended up with nothing, having to work feeding the pigs and he would have eaten what they ate, he was so hungry.
The son finally came to his senses, realised that even the servants in his father's house were better off than he was and so he returned home. You can read how his father ran to him when he saw him, perhaps he had been out each day looking to see if his son had returned and this particular day here he was coming toward him; what joy as the father ran to him and embraced him. It didn't matter where his child had been or what he had done he was glad he was home and brought out the best robe for him and put rings on his fingers and shoes on his feet and organised a feast because his son had returned to him.

I know this parable usually speaks of how the prodigal son returns after being away from his father and tends to speak of reconciliation but this parable shows me too the father heart of God, a father sending his only begotten son into this world, so filled with darkness and cruelty, that the path to the father's house would be found, the way to it would be made clear and light would flood the way.

My heart goes out to those whose own earthly fathers do not treat them right but I do know we have a heavenly father who will always treat us right, who will not let one of them fall from his hand of protection, care, and love. He loves us with an everlasting love and we are ever before his face because of what Jesus Christ did for us at Calvary. Isaiah 49 says Behold I have graven thee upon the palms of my hands. Our heavenly Father loves us, knows us, we can cry out to him knowing he hears, knowing he cares and will do nothing to harm us, knowing he loves us and knowing we will always be a child -

Always be a child

Ephesians 1:4
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ: According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will

We have been adopted, chosen and my prayer is that we will ever run to Him in times of trouble, struggle, turmoil, fear, doubt, heartache - he waits with open arms.

Luke 15:11-32
And he said, A certain man had two sons: And the younger of them said to his father, Father, give me the portion of goods that falleth to me. And he divided unto them his living. And not many days after the younger son gathered all together, and took his journey into a far country, and there wasted his substance with riotous living. And when he had spent all, there arose a mighty famine in that land; and he began to be in want. And he went and joined himself to a citizen of that country; and he sent him into his fields to feed swine. And he would fain have filled his belly with the husks that the swine did eat: and no man gave unto him. And when he came to himself, he said, How many hired servants of my father's have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger! I will arise and go to my father, and will say unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before thee, And am no more worthy to be called thy son: make me as one of thy hired servants. And he arose, and came to his father. But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him. And the son said unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in thy sight, and am no more worthy to be called thy son. But the father said to his servants, Bring forth the best robe, and put it on him; and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet: And bring hither the fatted calf, and kill it; and let us eat, and be merry: For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found. And they began to be merry.
Now his elder son was in the field: and as he came and drew nigh to the house, he heard musick and dancing. And he called one of the servants, and asked what these things meant.
And he said unto him, Thy brother is come; and thy father hath killed the fatted calf, because he hath received him safe and sound. And he was angry, and would not go in: therefore came his father out, and intreated him. And he answering said to his father, Lo, these many years do I serve thee, neither transgressed I at any time thy commandment: and yet thou never gavest me a kid, that I might make merry with my friends:
But as soon as this thy son was come, which hath devoured thy living with harlots, thou hast killed for him the fatted calf.
And he said unto him, Son, thou art ever with me, and all that I have is thine.
It was meet that we should make merry, and be glad: for this thy brother was dead, and is alive again; and was lost, and is found.

Saturday, 18 August 2012

I've had quite an interesting time looking through some old letters that I received way back from a relative living in Papatoetoe, New Zealand. What a lovely lady Evelyn was and very instrumental in encouraging me in my new walk with the Lord.  My beliefs at the time were nowhere near biblical and Evelyn and I had great discussions albeit in letters.  She never said anything horrible about my beliefs but continued to tell me about her love for the Saviour.  I am so glad the Lord put me in touch with her as I came to realizethat I must have been quite mixed up spiritually and the Lord used Evelyn to gently get my feet back onto that narrow path.  What a wonderful Saviour.  Evelyn went to be with the Lord a number of years ago but she is someone who, despite never having met her, I am thankful was part of our family and was someone who loved the Lord Jesus Christ as her Saviour.  

Thursday, 16 August 2012

Ps 24 - The earth is the Lord's and the fullness thereof: the world, and they that dwell therein.

A passage of scripture I so easily forget. I know I am a child of God because of my salvation but this verse is telling me the whole world is the Lords. Not just the creature comforts of lush greenery, blue skies, turquoise seas, food in the fields but those who dwell there and that means me and you - everyone in the world. We are the Lords - and what a wonderful place it would be if everyone took that on board.

If everyone looked at scripture and saw the goodness and mercy of God. We were made in his image, to have fellowship with him but sin entered the world when Adam and Eve disobeyed God, and that disobedience has passed down through the generations and so it goes on today. Oh that men would look to the Lord,
He that came down and dwelt among us;
He that was obedient while here on earth, obedient even to death on the cross;
Making a way for man to draw closer to his maker and fellowship once more with him.

Who shall ascend into the hill of the Lord? or who shall stand in his holy place? David asks.

The bible says He that has repented of sin and accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as their Saviour,  can stand with clean hands and a pure heart before the throne of God, clothed in the righteousness of our great and wonderful Saviour Jesus Christ.  Trust in the Lord with all your heart and see the blessings that he bestows upon you.

Psalm 24:
The earth is the Lord's and the fulness thereof: the world and they that dwell therein.
For he hath founded it upon the seas, and established it upon the floods.
Who shall ascend into the hill of the Lord? or who shall stand in his holy place?
He that hath clean hands, and a pure heart; who hath not lifted up his soul unto vanity, nor sworn deceitfully.
He shall receive the blessing from the Lord, and righteousness from the God of his salvation.
This is the generation of them that seek him, that seek thy face, O Jacob Selah.
Lift up your heads, O ye gates, and be ye lift up, ye everlasting door: and the King of glory shall come in.
Who is this King of glory? The Lord strong and mighty, the Lord mighty in battle.
Life up your heads O ye gates; even lift them up ye everlasting doors; and the King of glory shall come in,
Who is this King of glory? The Lord of hosts, he is the King of glory. Selah.

Saturday, 11 August 2012

Church Youth Day

Fabulous day yesterday at the Open Day for our Youth Club.  Our church opens it's doors every Friday evening to a group of 11-16 year olds and they come in and have a great time playing pool, table tennis.  They use the Wi and Exbox or just sit around on bean bags and chill, chatting to their friends. We have a 15 minute God slot where we either show a video, have a question and answer time and the nice thing is most of these kids are not from Christian homes but they come regularly each weekand ask some really good questions.
Well during the school holidays we opened our doors for 2 days and invited all the kids in the area to come and see what we did.  We did breakfast from 9.00- 10.30 and then did lunch for them around 1 p.m.  It was 2 very successful and fun filled days.  They played a type of golf game, sang on the karioki, played with the other games and just had a great time.  We even played the chocolate game where you roll the dice, if you get a 6 you put on a coat, hat, scarf, gloves then try and cut into a bar of chocolate with a knife and fork.  Once through the paper you get to eat a square of chocolate but if another person gets a 6 you have to take the hat, scarf etc. off and it's there turn.  I've never heard so much laughter from a group of kids.

We didn't think we'd have enough food the second day but the Lord was good and provided with even enough for seconds.  Sad part is, we didn't get any photographs but who knows next year we may have to put on extra days.

Tuesday, 7 August 2012

The battle belongs to the Lord - Part 3

And what of Moses - his battle, among many, was crossing the Red Sea and even being brought out of Egypt didn't mean he would have it easy, there were still battles to face.

Exod 17 - Then came Amalek, and fought with Israel in Rephidim. And Moses said unto Joshua, choose us out men, and go out, fight with Amalek: tomorrow I will stand on the top of the hill with the rod of God in mine hand.  So Joshua did as Moses had said to him, and fought with Amalek: and Moses, Aaron and Hur went up to the top of the hill.  And it came to pass when Moses held up his hand, that Israel prevailed: and when he let down his hand, Amalek prevailed.  But Moses' hands were heavy; and they took a stone and put it under him, and he sat thereon and Aaron and Hur stayed up his hands, the one on the one side, and the other on the other side; and his hands were steady until the going down of the sun.  And Joshua discomfited Amalek and his people with the edge of the sword.

Joshua frustrated/defeated Amalek and his people but the battle made Moses weary.  His hands grew tired but the Lord didn't leave him, there were two who had gone with him up that hill, two who lifted those feeble, weary worn hands.  They were Moses' support.
Brothers and sisters are waiting to support you in your battle - ask the Lord to send them to hold your weary hands up by praying for you or to physically hold them up for you.  The Lord will help you prevail.

I could speak of Gideon, Samson, David, or countless others who had their battles to face but Jesus doesn't only want to fight our battles with us, he wants us to gain a victory over them - Why? because he wants to equip us, to equip us to go to battle for him. He wants us on the battlefield.

A few friends and I took part in the Race for Life (fund raising for Cancer Research) a few weeks ago and we made sure we had on the right clothing and footwear. It wouldn't have done us any good to go off and try to do a 5k walk, or run as the case was for some people, in stiletto heeled shoes.  We needed to dress appropriately for what we were about to undertake. 
It's the same when we get up on a morning to go out ready for the day, you're dressed for whatever the day will bring.  If you're going to work you may have on a suit or a skirt and blouse, if you're cleaning the house you might just be in jeans and a t.shirt but whatever job you are going to do you will have dressed appropriately.  We need to equip ourselves to get onto the battlefield. If we are to face the enemy, to speak out for what we believe is right, to speak out and tell others about the love of Jesus, we need to dress apprpriately, we need to put on our armour.

Eph 6:10 - Finally, my brethren be strong int he Lord and in the power of hi smight. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.  For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world ,against spiritual wickedness in high places.  Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.  Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; and your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.  And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:
Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit,and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints; and for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel.  For which I am an ambassador in bonds; that therein I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.

In other words, we need our armour on.  We need the

Belt of truth - buckle it around your waist
Eph 4:25 Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbour; for we are members one of another.

Breastplate of righteousness - wrap it around your chest
Phil 3:9 And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith.

Gospel of Peace- take it to others, spread it abroad
Rom 10:15 And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, how beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, an dbring glad tidings of good things.

Shield of faith - sometimes it's not just our own faith we need to rely on, the Lord is our shield, our faith is in Him.
Psalm 3:3 - But thou O LORD, art a shield for me; my glory, and the lifter up on mine head.
Psalm 28:7 - the LORD is my strength and my shield, my heartt rusted in him, and I am helped: therefore my heart greatly rejoiceth; and with my song will I praise him

Helmet of Salvation - The Lord covers us. He is our covering.
Psalm 140:7 God the Lord,the strength of my salvation, thou has covered my head in the day of battle.

Sword of the Spirit - the word of God.  We know that everything that is written in the word is our defence.
Heb 4:12 for the word of God is quick, and powerful,and sharper than any two edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow ,and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.

We most definitely need to put the whole armour on but how do we do it - praying always with all prayer and supplication in the spirit.

Prayer is our lifeline- it's how we talk to the Lord, it's how we are built up.
If we are to equip ourselves to get onto the battlefield then we most certainly need to pray.  To pray for those lost in sin.  But there's a battle going on for our minds too, even as Christians the enemy doesn't just leave us alone so we must continually pray. 1Thess 5:17 Pray without ceasing.  Applies to every part of our life.

We are being prepared for the battle to win souls.  Let's go into our prayer closet and pray, pray pray.  Pray to be filled with the Holy Spirit, for courage to openyour mouth and speak out.

There's a grea tday coming friends.  A day when our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ returns to this earth. He will set foot on the mount of Olives, it will cleave in two and eyes that didn't know him will.  Eyes that do know him will rejoice because they know the victory is won - the battle is almost over but until then we must battle on.  We must face our battles one day at a time calling always on the Lord to help us fight them.  Praying continually.

The victory was won at Calvary, the day the Saviour of the world gave his life for us.

Just before I finish I'd like you to listen to this great song by the Gaithers, it says it all, just click on the link below
Phil 4:13 I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me
He will strengthen you on the battlefield for him.  He will strengthen you to face any battle you are going through and he wont let you face it alone.  Trust him to be the Lord, strong and mighty in battle (Ps 24:8)

Zechariah 4:6 - Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the Lord of Hosts.