Facts you probably don’t know about Angels

Angels are mentioned almost 400 times in the Scriptures, and their influence on the human family has been significant.

Let’s look at two important Bible teachings about the angels:

  1. Angels are spirit persons
  2. Some angels rebelled
  3. Angels are spirit persons
  4. The Bible says that angels “are greater in strength and power” than humans (2 Peter 2:‌11). Angels live in the invisible spirit realm with God, so the Bible sometimes refers to them as spirits (1 Kings 22:21).

Jehovah created the angels as perfect spirit persons, so they are called “the holy angels” (Luke 9:‌26). Like a well-ordered army, they are organized to carry out God’s commands. Thus, the Bible refers to “legions* of angels” and to “the heavenly army” (Matthew 26:53Luke 2:‌13).

The Hebrew and Greek words translated “angel” literally mean “messenger.” Angels convey God’s messages. Let’s examine an account that shows this.

Luke 1:19, 20

“The angel said to [the priest Zechariah]: ‘I am Gabriel, who stands near before God, and I was sent to speak with you and to declare this good news to you.’”

At times, Jehovah God assigns angels to protect faithful humans. For example, the prophet Daniel was thrown into the lions’ pit but was not harmed, because “God sent his angel and shut the mouth of the lions.”‌Daniel 6:‌19-‌22.

The Bible says regarding the angels: “Let them praise the name of Jehovah, for he commanded, and they were created.” (Psalm 148:25) According to this verse, are angels humans who have gone to heaven

Anything worth having is worth fighting for!

In San Diego there’s a famous attraction called SeaWorld. If you go there you can see ducks on roller skates. But when you get close to them, you realize that their hearts aren’t in it! You may smile, but a lot of people are like that – just going through the motions.

Don’t be one of them!

If you want your life to count, find a cause greater than yourself and give your all to it!

Do you recall the story of Nehemiah? He risked life and limb in order to rebuild the wall of Jerusalem. Even though faced with threats and obstacles, he finished the job in record time.

How did it happen?

Because ‘the people had a heart to work’ (Nehemiah 4:6 AMP). An 1828 copy of Webster’s Dictionary defines ‘courage’ as ‘that quality which enables us to face difficulty and danger…without fear or depression’. Then Webster adds the words of Moses as he transferred leadership of the nation to Joshua. ‘Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid…for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go’ (see Joshua 1:9 NKJV).

At age 120, Moses was still telling the people of Israel, ‘You gotta have heart!’ Why? Because anything worth having is worth fighting for!

It takes ‘heart’ to deal with a child’s willful defiance, or face your own fears, or pick up the pieces of your life and start over. It’s easy to talk about what’s wrong, but it takes ‘heart’ to do something about it. And where does that kind of courage come from? God! So talk to him today.

How to spice up your ‘ordinary’ life

 

Variety in Christ.jpg

If we do the same thing over and over, sooner or later we’re going to get bored.

We don’t have to wait for something nice to happen to us; we can be aggressive and do something nice for ourselves.

For many of you, I know this is a new thought that may seem foreign and even unspiritual. But I can assure you that it is part of God’s plan. You can create variety, and it will keep your life more exciting.

I sat with my computer on my lap for about four hours this morning and then stopped for a while to do some other things I needed to do.

When I went back to my writing, I decided to sit in a different part of the house just for variety. I chose a place that had plenty of light where I could look out the window. Simple little things like this cost nothing, but they are very valuable.

No day needs to be ordinary if we realize the gift God is giving us when He gives us another day to live and enjoy. An extraordinary attitude can quickly turn an ordinary day into an amazing adventure. Jesus said He came so that we might have and enjoy life (see John 10:10). If we refuse to enjoy it, then it’s no one’s fault but our own.

I would like to suggest that you take responsibility for your joy and never again give anyone else the job of keeping you happy.

Add a little variety to your life—break up your routine, do something different, and so on. When you do, expect God to meet you and help make your ordinary…extraordinary!

Walking with the God of impossibilities this 2019 and beyond

 

Extraordinary God

Many people really don’t know there are God possibilities each and every day. Even believers can be blinded by the worlds’ view of life and fail to know what is theirs through God’s Son, Jesus. Briefly stated, there are God possibilities just waiting for people, but sadly so many don’t know how to receive them.

We want to help you move into more of God Possibilities this year through a weekly study. These are meant to engage your mind and heart to receive the truth of God’s Word and provisions. What you glean won’t impact your life until you put it into practice, and we encourage you to do so as you study and dig into the Word. The Holy Spirit will help as your teacher emphasizing certain scriptures to you. Pay attention as the Word pops out to you. Then engage that Word in your heart so it is transformed from what you read and learned to what you know and believe.

Let’s look at the man who brought his demon-possessed son to Jesus in Mark 9. Evidently the father had seen or heard Jesus teach, and maybe had even heard testimonies of people’s lives changed because of Jesus. He came to Jesus not looking for the reason but hopefully for the solution because he loved his son. Yet, he wasn’t totally certain Jesus could heal him because he told Jesus if you can. He thought Jesus might be able to help yet he wasn’t sure Jesus would. He sounds like a lot of believers today. Maybe it sounds like you.

Jesus requested the son be brought to him, yet he spoke first to the father in verse 23 NIV.

“And Jesus said to him, “‘If You can?’ All things are possible to him who believes.”

Jesus presented the key for this man and those listening. If you need Jesus to do something for you that is in line with His finished work on the Cross, you must believe that He can and will do what He says. The man replied, as many of us do at times, I believe Lord…help my unbelief.

Unbelief could have stopped the man, yet even with a small amount ofbelief/faith and because Jesus is full of compassion, he took the man’s initial step of faith and healed his son.

If you can believe all things are possible when you believe God, you’re well on the road to seeing God’s possibilities this year. If you’re still not sure that your believer is not fully operational, you need to convince your heart and mind to believe God’s possibilities. How can you do that? By feeding on the Word. Feed on the promises of God. And you do that with continually meditating on the Word, receiving that Word, making it personal for you, and seeing that Word working in your life.

Here is where the rubber meets the road. Believing takes place in your heart as Romans 10:10, NIV says: “For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.”

Allow God’s Word to change the beliefs of your heart. That’s why it’s important to continually meditate on God’s Word. By doing so you’ll filling your heart with the truth and your ‘believer’ is strengthened. Then from your believing heart, you can speak with confidence God’s promises.

Don’t let unbelief keep you from everything that Jesus has for you and your God-ordained possibilities this year.

How strong is your faith in God?

 

Faith in God.jpg

Faith is a word the apostle Paul used often in his writing. When writing to the Thessalonians, he wanted to know about their faith.

While the word faith means belief or absolute trust, it’s more than that—the word also implies loyalty and commitment.

Faith means being convinced that something is true. In 1 Corinthians 15:17, the apostle told the Corinthians that if Jesus did not rise from the dead, their faith was meaningless. He was saying that all they believed was utterly useless. True faith acknowledges that the message of Jesus’ death and resurrection is true.

True faith begins when we’re receptive—when we’re willing to listen. It starts with a kind of mental assent—it seems reasonable that it’s true. But that’s not true faith. True faith happens when we say, “Not only does it make sense to me, but I’m willing to stake my life on it.”

Paul quoted from Habakkuk 2:4, saying that the just—the righteous—shall live by faith. One way to think of the just is to think of those who were “justified,” or made right, by the death of Jesus Christ on the cross.

If we are justified, it means that God treats us as though we are not and have never been sinners. He treats us as His own—His beloved children. Instead of being God’s enemies, we’re His friends. Instead of fighting Him, we serve Him.

When God calls us just, or righteous, we enter into a relationship of love, confidence, and friendship. We need not fear or worry because there is no punishment for us.

When Paul says the just and upright shall live by faith, he means that those of us who have been made right with God live by our faith. That is, we live by our trust in the God who reaches out to us.

This is where many must fight the wiles of Satan. Instead of focusing on all God has done for us, they listen to the devil whisper, “Do you remember when you lost your temper?” “You’re worried about paying your bills, and if you worry, you don’t have faith, right?” “If you’re supposed to be a Christian, how could you have said what you did?”

The torments are there, and Satan never passes up the opportunity to remind us of past failures. All have failed, and we will continue to fail, but when we do, we can repent and move on.

Joyce Meyer said she went through a particularly difficult time several years ago when there was absolutely no joy or peace in her life. “Unhappiness filled most of my days. I repeatedly asked the Lord what was wrong with me, really wanting to know what my problem was. I was working so hard to please the Lord and trying to be the kind of Christian I thought I should be, but I certainly didn’t feel like any progress was being made.

 “Then one day, I came across Romans 15:13 (AMPC) in a box of scripture cards: May the God of your hope so fill you with all joy and peace in believing [through the experience of your faith] that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound and be overflowing (bubbling over) with hope. That was it! I got it!

 “I had plunged into doubt and unbelief, allowing the enemy to torment me with his evil lies. As a result, I had become negative, grouchy, short-tempered, and impatient. I was making myself miserable, and Satan was thrilled at the stronghold he had over me!

 “This scripture changed all of that old thinking! I knew the answer. Jesus loved me so much that He not only forgave all my sins of the past, but He also looked ahead and forgave me for those moments of weakness when I’d fail in the future. I’m not referring to deliberate sin, but to human weaknesses, those times when I just don’t live up to all the truth I know.”

She continued: “‘Just think,’ I told my husband, ‘two thousand years ago Jesus not only died on the cross for all my sins before I even knew Him, but for all of my sins and failures until the day I meet Him face to face.’ That was such a powerful thought to me.

“Then I pondered the words of Paul in Romans 1:17. I finally understood the concept of living from faith to faith. I don’t have to allow Satan to sneak in with questions or unbelief. I can live every moment moving from faith to more faith to more faith.”

How do you handle opposition and stress?

 

stress

Stress generally refers to two things: the psychological perception of pressure, on the one hand, and the body’s response to it, on the other.

If you recall the line from a hit song by Elvis Presley, ‘Don’t you step on my blue suede shoes,’ you will certainly understand that people will always, or at some point in your life, do this thing we hate with passion.

In fact, you may not get too far in life if somebody doesn’t propel your discovery in that “fearless tiger” in you. But before you get discouraged and throw in the towel, take another look at the life of Jesus. Though he was perfect in all ways, he was criticized continually. His enemies called him a ‘glutton and a drunkard’ (Matthew 11:19 NIV). They even accused him of being possessed by a demon (see John 8:48). Yet he never allowed bitterness or discouragement to defeat him.

To our savior, Jesus, every obstacle was an opportunity to demonstrate grace and grit. His heart was broken by those he loved, yet he understood and comforted others. He saw disease as an opportunity to heal those who were sick; hatred as an opportunity to love his enemies; temptation as an opportunity to overcome the carnal impulses we all deal with; and offences as an opportunity to forgive.

Jesus went through life turning trials into triumphs – and he’s our example. The Bible says, ‘Consider him who endured such opposition…so…you will not grow weary and lose heart.’

Pick up your Bible and reread his teachings. In his famous Sermon on the Mount, Jesus said: ‘ You have heard that it was said, “Love your neighbor and hate your enemies.” But I say to you, love your enemies. Pray for those who hurt you. If you do this, you will be true children of your Father in Heaven… be perfect, just as your Father in Heaven is perfect’ (Matthew 5:43-48 NCV). That’s how Jesus lived – and that’s how he wants you to live too.

 

How to overcome your fear and succeed

Faith at work

‘Faith comes by hearing…the word of God.’ Romans 10:17 NKJV

Every day fear and faith will arise inside you, and you get to decide which one will prevail.

Somebody wrote, ‘Two natures beat within my breast; the one is foul, the other blessed. The one I love, the other I hate; the one I feed will dominate.’

Fear and faith will always be present in your life, and the one you feed will come out on top. You can’t expect fear to simply disappear. If you focus on your fears, entertain them, and give in to them, they’ll increase. The way to overcome them is to starve them. Don’t give them your time or energy. Don’t feed them with gossip, negative news reports, or frightening films.

Focus on your faith, and each day feed it through God’s Word (see Romans 10:17).

The more energy and time you devote to your faith, the stronger it will become. Anytime you feel afraid of something but do it anyway, you reprogramme your attitude. In other words, when you feel afraid, it means ‘go’ instead of ‘stop’; it means ‘fight harder’ instead of ‘give up’.

The most important step you can take to overcome fear is trusting God to do the thing you think you can’t do.

No matter how strong a hold fear may have on you, it can be overcome. That’s because fear is in your mind, and your mind can be renewed by the Word of God.

Here’s the key: ‘Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God’ (Romans 12:2 NKJV).

Source: Rhema

Discovering your creative nature

Discovering your creativity.png

‘They made an opening in the roof.’ Mark 2:4 NIV

Mary Engelbreit always wanted to illustrate children’s books, but a school guidance counselor told her, ‘You can’t do that. Be practical. Get a degree and teach.’

Mary started working at an art shop, learned all about the business, and got to know artists who made a living doing what they loved.

Bolstered by the support of her parents, she told herself, ‘You can become an artist. If you can imagine it, you can achieve it.’ By refusing to let obstacles on the conventional path to success hold her back, Engelbreit became a nationally recognized artist and launched her own magazine.

Proust said, ‘The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes.’

Learn to think outside the box, and remember, inspiration comes with perspiration!

Expect problems, and don’t let them weaken your resolve.

Four men who couldn’t get their paralyzed friend to Jesus because of the crowd ‘made an opening in the roof…lowered the mat the man was lying on’ (Mark 2:4 NIV). Jesus saw faith in action and rewarded it by healing the man. You can find a way around almost anything when you give legs to your prayers and persevere.

Rebecca Barlow Jordan says, ‘True creativity doesn’t stop at the stage of inspiration. Many wannabes have tried and failed, because they failed to overcome the hindrances.

“The true artist sees the completed picture by faith. All of us are artists, and God has work for us to do. [He] encourages us to enjoy the fruits of our labor. But the true blessing comes not just in knowing we’ve overcome…[it’s] when creativity validates its divine origin and brings honor to God.’

Soulfood: Gal 5:23, Prov 16:32, 2 Pet 1:5-8, Heb 11:23-27.

 

Who is your favorite Bible character?

We all have a character in the Bible who strikes a particular cord; be it Job, Abraham, Benjamin, Moses, Noah, Peter or even Satan.

Interestingly, the Bible has stood the test of time. While it continues to enchant and transform lost sinners into children of God, we never get tired of the knowledge and inspiration it offers daily.

The Bible is unarguably, the most popular book as no bestseller has recorded more sales than it.

Vince Cheok, a retired lawyer, said in response to this question, ‘I presume you mean “who”?

‘Otherwise I would nominate the ‘Serpent’ or ‘Satan’ and his other references in the Bible because this ‘Joker’ is why we are all here today as sons of exiled Adam after his Fall. And I am here right now writing out this answer.’

Favourite Bible Character

There are lots of amazing stories one can enjoy reading from the Bible, especially about God’s disciples who were saved from terrifying ordeals. The stories are innumerable.

Moses is remembered for his patience

Moses displayed an extreme amount of patience with the Israelites during his 40-year leadership in the wilderness. No one suffered as much as he did leading the hopeless generation that were excited and thankful to God in one minute and complaining the next minute.

Most people would get mad at trivial offenses, but Moses kept on the fight for over 4 decades. Despite the fact that he missed the promised land as punishment from God, I wonder if there are yet people who would have kept their sanity for over year with such a an unfaithful generation.

Abraham is called The Man Of Faith and Noah, The Man Of Endurance

Abraham and Sarah were childless until he was 100 years old and his wife, 90, when God finally promised him a son. The birth of Issac came with so much joy and relief from shame, as most people would have it today. Yet, God tested his loyalty with the only thing that mattered to him.

Imagine a man building a boat for 55 good years in preparation for the flood, which people thought was a hoax. Noah was 500 years old at this time. Although he used help from his sons, arranging both animals and birds in pairs would have proved a hard task for anyone, but he did it. That is endurance at work!

Yvonne from the United Kingdom said, ‘Ruth is my favorite. The lifestyle and commitment of a godly woman, Naomi, influenced another, Ruth, to dedicate her life to God. As a result, Ruth became an ancestor of Jesus. What a powerful witness and example to follow.’

Hans Zeit from New Zealand picked Job, saying, ‘Job’s three friends are an example, if not necessarily a positive one. How easily we judge people without understanding what’s going on behind the scenes.’

Max Williams, an armchair physicist with a love for explanation and argument, said: ‘Hmm, seems kind of obvious but I think I’ll go for Jesus Christ, who was killed for trying to get people to behave towards each other in a more kind, and less selfish, way. Someone who sacrificed everything to try to make the world a nicer place to live in, and to spread a message of “love thy neighbor”.’

Why you should trust God with your Life

‘He makes everything work out according to his plan.’ Ephesians 1:11 NLT

The Bible says, ‘The Lord will withhold no good thing from those who do what is right’ (Psalm 84:11 NLT).

1

Sometimes we pray for a certain thing, believing it’s good for us. But God, who has a plan for your life, knows what would be ‘good’ and what wouldn’t be.

Billy Graham’s wife, Ruth, said if God had answered all her prayers when she was young, she’d have married the wrong man – several times.

Two teardrops were floating down the river of life. One asked the other, ‘Who are you?’ The second replied, ‘I’m the teardrop from the girl who loved a man and lost him. Who are you?’ The first teardrop replied, ‘I am the teardrop from the girl who got him.’ That’s the way life goes, isn’t it?

We cry over what we don’t have, not realizing we might have cried twice as hard if God had given it to us.

The expression ‘walking by faith’ means trusting the plan God has already worked out, and will reveal to you on a need-to-know basis.

Paul said, ‘I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content’ (Philippians 4:11 NKJV). Clearly his contentment didn’t come from his surroundings, since he spent all but seven years of his ministry in prison. So where did it come from? The knowledge that God ‘makes everything work out according to his plan’ (Ephesians 1:11 NLT).

Does that mean Paul understood every detail of God’s plan? No, but when he didn’t understand the plan, he trusted ‘The Planner’! And that’s where Paul’s peace, joy, and contentment came from. The same goes for you.

Soulfood: Col 1-2, Mark 11:1-11, Ps 78:9-16, Prov 23:22-25

Why condemn yourself when God still has Faith in You?

‘We all stumble in many ways.’ James 3:2 NIV

When you sin, God’s Spirit will convict you of your need to repent and change your ways. But until you get your glorified body in Heaven, you’re always going to deal with sin.

The apostle James wrote, ‘We all stumble in many ways’ (James 3:2 NIV). But falling down isn’t what makes you a failure – it’s staying down! Get back up, dust yourself off, receive God’s grace, learn from the experience and move on.

The Bible says, ‘There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus’ (Romans 8:1 NIV).

God is not condemning you, so stop condemning yourself.

A few decades ago, people used to wear a little badge with the letters GNFWMY. It meant, ‘God’s not finished with me yet.‘ And he’s not finished with you either.

Sometimes we’re guilty of doing the wrong thing with the right motive. For example, in 1957 Ford Motors described the new Edsel as ‘the car of the decade.’

Try telling that to all those drivers whose doors wouldn’t close, whose horns stuck and whose transmissions failed! And remember the Leaning Tower of Pisa in Italy, where the architect designed a 3-meter-deep foundation for a 54-meter-tall building? How’d you like to have that on your r?sum??

The fact is, the most talented people often make the biggest mistakes.

Solomon wrote, ‘There is not a righteous man on earth who does what is right and never sins’ (Ecclesiastes 7:20 NIV). And Paul added, ‘I am not perfect. But Christ has taken hold of me. So I keep on running and struggling to take hold of the prize’ (Philippians 3:12 CEV).So stop beating yourself up.

Soulfood: 2 Chr 16-18, Mark 6:30- 44, Ps 119:113-120, Prov 22:1-3

*Article culled from Rhema [http://bit.ly/2vQwDYc]

Pastor – Christian men should never spank their wives

Spanking of women is a sin against God and a disreputable act among Christian men, says a cleric at the Sheperd International Assembly, Jos.

Pastor Tim Gbasha preached against quarrels among couples, and advised married men to resist the temptation of spanking their wives no matter the provocation.

While delivering the sermon, Pastor Gbasha described women as the ‘weaker sex,’ stressing that they’re easily provoked and prone to shooting thoughtless words through a man’s heart, especially when he’s faced with some of life’s challenges.

However, the man of God advised Christian men to apply some form of control on their temperaments.

Pastor Gbasha said marital problems are part of the Trials of Faith, a theme for last Sunday’s version.

“Women get angry easily and could shoot hard words at their men, but true men must resist the temptation to hit their wives when provoked,” he advised.

“Women, when angry, can provoke their husbands. They can go round, like an aircraft in the runway, raining insults on their husbands.

“At such moments, the husbands should never hit them because that period is a trial of their faith.”

The pastor cited Job as an example of such faith, explaining how he lost all earthly treasures — children, wealth and health — but held on to God as the author and finisher of his faith.

“Job kept the faith despite losing everything he held close to heart. Yet, he did not complain,” the man of God added.

Pastor Gbasha urged Christians to show strength in the face of trials just as Jesus did on earth. He also advised Christians to be watchful even when they think they’re in good standing.

“The devil can used your children, wives, neighbors and even friends to bring you down,” he said.

Contrary to the teachings from Pastor Gbasha, a large number of American couples believe husbands should be allowed to ‘spank their erring wives’ in order to ‘keep them in check.’

The act is referred to as ‘corporal punishment,’ and not violence as women rights activists portray it.

Learning Domestic Disciple, a website owned by husband and wife, Clint and Chelsea, described ‘spanking of wives’ as Christian Domestic Discipline [an arrangement between two adults who share the belief that the husband is the head of the household and with that position comes the right to enforce his authority].

CDD is not exclusive to spanking and may not necessarily be sexual in nature. It includes all methods of punishment, the couple said in their teachings.

Laura Rubino, a writer with XOJane said some women, Christians and non-Christians alike, see corporal punishments differently.

“Most of the women who write about their CDD experiences online are not complaining,” Rubino remarked.

“Many of them report feeling extremely calm and relaxed after being disciplined, and believe it is an expression of their husband caring about them and their marriage, enough to help them modify their behavior.”

However, she argued that bringing positivism in this context makes nonsense of the underlying violence and fear it brings.

“Walking around my own home, conscious of the fact that any perceived transgression could result in physical pain and a surrendering of control of my body? That would stress me the f*** out. I don’t find that sexy at all. Scary, yes. Hot? Not so much,” she added.

Blessed are the pure in heart

At dinner with friends and family Johnny was asked to say the prayer. “But I don’t know how to pray,” he replied.

“Just pray for your family, friends and neighbors, the poor, etc,” said his father.

“Okay,” the boy said.

“Dear Lord,.. Thank you for our visitors and their children, who finished all my cookies and ice cream.

“Bless them so they won’t come again. Forgive our neighbors son, who removed my sister’s clothes and wrestled with her on the bed.

“This coming Christmas, please send clothes to all those poor ladies on my Daddy’s Blackberry who do not have any clothes.

“And provide shelter for the homeless man who uses Mom’s room when Daddy is at work….AMEN”

Dinner was cancelled.

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Bible Quotations For The Day:

What comes out of the mouth proceeds from the heart . . . For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, fornication, theft, false witness, slander. These are what defile a man. (Matthew 15:18–19)

Either make the tree good, and its fruit good; or make the tree bad, and its fruit bad; for the tree is known by its fruit . . . For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. (Matthew 12:33–34)