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Post  Admin on Tue 19 Oct 2010, 4:39 pm

LUKE 15:11-19
The Prodigal Son's journey away from home began with a desire. Perhaps he wanted to leave behind some of the restrictions that come with living under a parent's roof. Or maybe he wanted more money to pursue life's pleasures with friends. Whatever the case, his desire gave birth to self-deceptive reasoning which assumes, There's no harm in what I am doing. I deserve this. That thinking led to a decision—to prematurely ask for his inheritance—and to his departure, both from home and from everything he had been taught.
A Christian who has turned away from God follows a path similar to the prodigal's. It begins in our minds with a craving for something other than what we have. The longer we allow the idea to linger, the stronger our desire to have it. When we cling to a yearning that is outside of God's protective will, then we likewise deceive ourselves and find ways to justify what we want. We will base decisions on our faulty reasoning and move away from the Lord to fulfill our self-centered dreams.
Like the wayward son, we may enjoy the pleasures of the world for a time, but ultimately, we will find ourselves without the essentials we need—unconditional love, security, and a meaningful purpose for living.
We have an Enemy who seeks to divert us from the Lord's will, a world that places desires above God, and "flesh" tendencies which prefer pleasure over obedience. To avoid self-deception, make Scripture your basis for living—and adjust your thought life and choices accordingly (Rom. 12:2).
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Post  Admin on Fri 24 Sep 2010, 3:23 pm

Is God in Everything?
ROMANS 8:28-29
Is God involved in everything that happens throughout the world? How you answer that question is important. What people believe about the Lord's sovereignty affects both their trust in Him and their reactions to struggles. Moreover, believers' thoughts on God's dominion influences their compliance with His requirements. For instance, "in everything give thanks" (1 Thess. 5:18) would be an impossible standard if God were only partially in control of what's going on.
Believing God is present in the positive aspects of our lives is easy. Reconciling hardship to His promises of provision and love is tougher. But think about this: If the Lord has reason to provide a job promotion, might He not also have reason to orchestrate a job loss? If He gives good health, might He not also allow sickness, as He permitted in Job's life (Job 2:6-7)?
The Bible says that the Lord's ways are not like our ways (Isa. 55:8). He has a master purpose for involving Himself in every aspect of believers' lives—namely, conforming them to the image of Christ (Rom. 8:29). Jesus' life was not easy or sweet. He suffered shame, abuse, ill will, and persecution even before He faced the cross. If we are to be like Him, then we must expect that God's loving hand will sometimes hold a tool for reshaping us.
Every believer is encircled by God's protection (Psalm 34:7), so nothing touches our lives unless He permits or directs it. Bitterness and blame cannot take root if we accept that every good and bad thing comes with God's knowledge and permission. We can trust Him to do right by us (Rom. 8:28).
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Post  Admin on Sun 19 Sep 2010, 8:56 am

God Acts On Our Behalf
PHILIPPIANS 4:6-7
We have become so accustomed to this hurried world that we've begun to demand speed in our spiritual life too. However, God "acts on behalf of those who wait for him" (Isa. 64:4 NIV). Wise believers endure until the fruits of His labor appear.
In this devotion, we'll look at three reasons believers are called upon to wait. First, God may be preparing us to receive His blessings. Perhaps we need new skills or greater maturity. Sometimes people require fresh spiritual insight before their hands are ready to hold what their hearts desire. For example, David waited years to sit on his appointed throne. But when he did, he was a wise, strong, and battle-tested king.
Second, the Father is often teaching His children to have confidence in Him. How would believers ever learn faith if God immediately fulfilled their every request? In my own life, the Lord has often said two words: "Trust Me." And He has never been late to meet my needs. No matter how we justify rushing ahead of God, doing so amounts to saying, "I don't trust You."
Finally, the Lord will at times withhold blessing to protect us from harm we can't see. We may never find out what caused the delay. But be assured that God examines the object of our desire closely before placing it in our hands.
Waiting is rarely easy, particularly in this instant-everything world. But rushing ahead of the Lord short-circuits His plan. Believers who do are left unsatisfied, and they often must live with terrible consequences. Be patient while the Lord works out details. His best is on the way.
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Post  Admin on Fri 27 Aug 2010, 10:24 am

"The Storms of Life
GENESIS 50:15-21
When life gets hard, we tend to get upset and wonder how soon the difficulty will end. But God wants us to focus on Him in times of trouble. As we do, we will discover He is doing important spiritual work during these "storms."
Beliefs. The Bible contains what we need to know about our life in Christ and following Him. When circumstances are beyond our control, what we really believe will surface. The depth of our faith in God's character and promises will become evident, as will any doubts or uncertainties we may have. For example, Joseph revealed strong belief when he acknowledged that God intended his hardships for his good (v. 20). There are bound to be times when we don't succeed—like Peter, whose fear led to denying Christ—but we should think of trials as opportunities to grow and deepen our faith.
Transformation. As God's children, we are to live our lives in a way that displays Christ's character. But we are more like jewels in the rough, aren't we? The heavenly Father can use the storms of life to transform us into His Son's image.
Comfort. This blessing is not only for us but also for others. Our Father comforts us in our sufferings and asks that we share what we have received with other people (2 Cor. 1:3-4).
Difficult times can come from our own mistakes, the schemes of the Enemy, or the hurtful actions of others. They can even be ordained by God. Regardless of the source, our Father works in them to benefit us and to bless others. What testimony about Him can you give to a hurting world?"
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Post  Admin on Tue 24 Aug 2010, 1:19 pm

"A Lifestyle of Forgiveness
EPHESIANS 4:29-32
Showing mercy to those who hurt us does not come naturally—it's easier to get angry and remain that way. We justify our lack of forgiveness by pointing to the injustice that took place or harm that was done. But God commands us to be merciful (Luke 6:36). We, who have been shown divine mercy, are to practice a lifestyle of forgiveness.
So why don't we obey? Sometimes our pride gets in the way. We become angry when treated with disrespect, passed over for a job opportunity, or ignored despite our accomplishments. At other times we get focused on other people's refusal to change, and we withhold mercy until they improve their behavior. Then, some of us have been badly hurt or unjustly treated. Our minds are so filled with pain that we become stuck in the past. We cannot see how we can forgive.
An unforgiving attitude can have all sorts of unwanted consequences, including broken relationships, emotional bondage, and indifference toward the Lord. The longer we hold onto our anger, the more it will affect our fellowship with other people as well as with our heavenly Father. Over time, we may become bitter and hostile, which certainly does not fit who we are in Christ.
It is hard for us to pardon those who tell lies about us, treat us badly, or cause harm to our loved ones. And yet, their behavior towards us is not a reason to withhold mercy. God calls us to forgive just as He forgave us—and with His help, we can do just that."
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Post  Admin on Mon 23 Aug 2010, 6:44 pm

Pastor John
"God's Gift of Forgiveness
COLOSSIANS 3:12-14
Motivated by love, God provided a way for our sins to be forgiven. He sent Jesus to be our Savior; when we trust in His substitutionary sacrifice on our behalf, we receive His gift of forgiveness.
Before placing faith in Christ, we were dead in our sins and objects of divine wrath (Eph. 2:1-3). But our merciful heavenly Father sent His Son Jesus to redeem us. At the cross, the Savior took our sins upon Himself and experienced God's fury for our sake. His death secured a pardon for us—there was nothing we could do to acquire God's acceptance. We are saved by grace—through faith in Christ and what He accomplished (Eph. 2:8-9). Our salvation is a free gift from the Father.
God's will is that we, as forgiven people, show mercy to those who wrong us—to the same degree that He forgave us in Christ. But the human tendency is to attach conditions when extending mercy. We think, I will forgive you only if you apologize satisfactorily. Or, You must fix the problem before I will stop being angry. Or even, I expect you to make restitution before I will let this go. That is not what our Savior did. Romans 5:8 expresses it this way: "But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us."
Depending on how much hurt we've experienced, we may require time and healing before we can truly forgive. But we are to remember that showing mercy is God's will. We're called to pardon those who have caused us pain. Through reliance on God's Spirit, we can become like Jesus and forgive."
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Post  Admin on Sat 21 Aug 2010, 10:51 am

"It Was Done By God’s Power
(Romans15:18-19)
The Holy Spirit empowered Paul to minister, and enabled him to perform mighty signs and wonders. The miracles God gave Paul to do were “signs” in that they came from God and revealed Him to others. And they were “wonders” in that they aroused the wonder of the people. But their purpose was always to open the way fro the preaching of the gospel. Miracles were given to authenticate the messenger and the messages (Heb2:1-4). Miracles by themselves can never save the lost. When Paul healed the crippled man at Lystra, the immediate response was pagan: the people called Paul and Barnabas gods and tried to worship them! When Paul shared the gospel with them, they did not respond so enthusiastically. Finally, the people stoned Paul and left him for dead outside the city walls.
The Spirit of God empowered Paul to share the word, and the purpose was to “make the Gentiles obedient” (Rom. 15:18). It was “by word and deed” that the apostles shared the good news."
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Post  Admin on Fri 20 Aug 2010, 9:22 am

Pastor John
"How Righteousness Works in Daily Life
(Matthew5:21-48)
Jesus took six important Old Testament laws and interpreted them for His people in the light of the new life He came to give. He made a fundamental change without altering God’s standards: He dealt with the attitudes and intents of the heart and not simply with the external action. The Pharisees said that righteousness consisted of performing certain actions, but Jesus said it centered in the attitudes of the heart.
The Pharisees had a list of external actions that were sinful, but Jesus explained that sin came from the attitudes of the heart. Anger is murder in the heart, lust is adultery in heart. The person who says that he “lives by the sermon on the Mount” may realize that the Sermon on the Mount is more difficult to keep than the original Ten Commandments!"
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Post  Admin on Sun 15 Aug 2010, 12:26 pm


"His Knowledge
(John 2:23-25)
While in Jerusalem for the Passover, Jesus performed miracles that are not given in detail in any of the Gospels. It must have been these signs that especially attracted Nicodemus. Because of the miracles, many people professed to believe in Him, but Jesus did not accept their profession. No matter what the people themselves said, or others said about them. He did not accept human testimony. Why? Because, being God, He knew what was in each person’s heart and mind.
John was not discrediting the importance of our Lord’s signs, because he wrote his book to record these signs and to encourage his readers to trust Jesus Christ and receive eternal life. However, throughout the book, John makes it clear that it takes more then believing in miracles for a person to be saved. Seeing the signs and believing in them would be a great beginning; in fact, even the disciples started that way and had to grow in their faith. Amen"
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Post  Admin on Sat 14 Aug 2010, 12:52 pm

"Heeding God’s Word
(Luke8:22-56)
By the time the Lord had finished giving “the parables of the kingdom” the disciples must have felt like postgraduate students in the school of Faith! They now understood mysteries that were hidden from the scribes and rabbis and even from the Old Testament prophets. What they did not realize (and we are so like them!) is that faith must be tested a new spiritual truth, but quite something else to practice that truth in the everyday experiences of life.
Satan does not care how much Bible truth we learn so long as we do not live it. Truth that is only in the head is purely academic and never will get into the heart until it is practiced by the will. “Doing the will of God from the heart” is what God wants from His children. Satan knows that academic truth is not dangerous, but active truth is.
Watch the Lord Jesus Christ as He meets four challenges to faith and comes forth the Victor. His people face these same challenges today and can also overcome by faith. Amen"
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Post  Admin on Thu 12 Aug 2010, 7:09 pm

"We Must Pray in Faith
(John14: 12)
This is a promise for us to claim, and the claiming of it demands faith. The double “verily” assures us that this is a solemn announcement. The fact that Jesus did return to the Father is an encouragement, for there He is interceding for us. He will have more to say about this intercessory work later in His discourse. The “greater works” would apply initially to the apostles who were given the power to perform special miracles as the credentials of their office. These miracles were not greater in quality, for “the servant is not greater than his Lord” but rather in scope and quantity. Peter preached one sermon and three thousand sinners were converted in one day! The fact that ordinary people performed these signs made them even more wonderful and brought great glory to God.
We do not obey the Lord simply because we want our prayers answered some what like the attitude of a child just before Christmas. We only obey Him because we love Him, and the more we obey Him, the more we experience His love. To “keep” His commandments means to value them, treasure them, guard them, and do them, “I have esteemed the words of his mouth more than my necessary food”
Believing prayer is wonderful medicine to soothe a troubled heart. Meditate on Philippians 4:6-7 and then put it in to practice! Amen"
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Post  Admin on Wed 11 Aug 2010, 7:36 am

"You Know The Father Right Now
(John 14:7-11)
We do not have to wait until we enter heaven to get to know the Father. We can know Him today and receive from Him the spiritual resources we need to keep going when the days are difficult.
What does it means to ‘know the Father?” the word know is used 141 times in John’s gospel, but it does not always carry the same meaning. In fact there are four different “levels” of knowing according to John. The next level is to understand the truth behind that fact. However, you can know the fact and know the truth behind it and still be lost in your sins. The third level introduces relationship, “to know” means “to believe in a person and become related to him. When Jesus said that knowing Him and seeing Him was the same as knowing and seeing the Father, He was claiming to be God. From now on, they would understand more and more about the Father, even through Jesus was leaving them. Amen"
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Post  Admin on Sun 08 Aug 2010, 7:34 pm

"“Love One Another”
(Romans15:1-7)
True Christian love is not selfish; rather, it seeks to share with others and make others happy. It is even willing to carry the younger Christians, to help them along in their spiritual development. We do not endure them. We encourage them!
Jesus Christ our Lord is a greatest example. He paid a tremendous price to set us free from sin by giving His life on cross for us. Does a strong Christian think he is making a great sacrifice by giving up some food and drink? Then let him measure his sacrifice by the sacrifice of Christ. No sacrifice we could ever make could match Calvary.
A person’s spiritual maturity is revealed by his discernment. He is willing to give up his rights that others might be helped. He does this, not as a burden, but as a blessing. Just as loving parents make sacrifice for their children, so the mature believers sacrifice to help younger Christians grow in the faith.
Paul shared the two sources of spiritual power from which we must draw if we are to live to please others: the Word of God and Prayer. We must confess that sometimes get impatient with younger Christians, just as parents become impatient with their children. But the word of God can give us the “Patience and encouragement” that we need. Paul closed this section praying for his readers, that they might experience from God that spiritual unity that He alone can give.
Jesus prayed for the unity of the church to the glory of God. Receive one another; edify one another; and please one another, all to the glory of God. I pray that we may think on this and act upon it. Amen
Pastor Fahim"
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Post  Admin on Sat 07 Aug 2010, 10:34 am

Pastor John

"The Priority of Prayer
(Luke 11:1-10)
We usually think of John the Baptist as a prophet and martyr, and yet our Lord’s disciples remembered him as a man of prayer. Jesus said that John was the greatest of the prophets and yet John had to depend on prayer. Jesus Himself gave much importance to prayer in his life, we see it’s noted that He sometimes prayed all night long. In the garden of Gethsemane, the Bible states that He sweated blood, so great was His conversation with His Father.
When His disciples asked Him to teach them to pray, He told them what is called “ The Lord’s prayer” the prayer taught them to honor God, seek His perfect will for their lives, to petition for their needs, expect His supply and to offer themselves in service.
The bible teaches us that we should be in an “attitude” of prayer at all times. One of the coolest things about prayer is that we can pray while we are at work, in the home, or at our job, we can even pray while we are driving down the road. An attitude of prayer means that we are very aware of the presence of God and that He is always listening. We should always focus on the prayer. Amen
Pastor Fahim"
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Post  Admin on Thu 05 Aug 2010, 2:20 pm

"“We Should Believe in Prayer”
And they prayed and said, “You, O Lord, who know the hearts of all, show which of these two you have chosen “to take part in this ministry and apostleship from which Judas by transgressim fell, that he might go to his own place.”
(Acts1:24-25)
If we see prayer plays a significant role in our practical life and spiritual life. These verses force us to think about the power of prayer, as the believers prayed for guidance in making decisions and for courage to witness for Christ. In fact, prayer was a normal part of their daily life. Stephen prayed for as he was being stoned. Peter and John prayed for the Samaritans, and Saul of tarsus prayed after his conversion, Peter prayed before he raised Dorcas from the dead, the believers in John Mark’s house prayed when he was in prison, and the Lord delivered him both from prison and from death. If we read Acts we will see almost in every chapter in Acts we will find reference to prayer, and the book makes it very clear that something happens when God’s people pray.
This is certainly a good lesson for all of us today. Prayer is both the thermometer and the thermostat of the local church, of the “Spiritual temperature’ either, goes up or down depending on the God’s people pray.
John Bunyan, “prayer is a shield to the soul, a sacrifice to God, and scourge to Satan.” “in the book of Acts, you see prayer accomplishing all of these things. So today we should take a decision and give most importance to prayer. I pray may the Lord grant us Grace so that we may focus ourselves to prayer. Amen


"What Is the Unpardonable Sin?
Matthew 12:22-32
In Matthew 12, Jesus talked about the unpardonable sin. Christians sometimes misconstrue His comments and end up fearful that they could commit an unforgivable offense. The context of today's passage helps us understand why that is not the case.
Christ used the power of the Holy Spirit to heal a demon-possessed man who was deaf and mute. Amazed onlookers began to suspect He was the promised Messiah (v. 22), so religious leaders tried to quell the crowd's growing excitement: they claimed the Lord was Satan's fellow worker, who had used the Devil's power to accomplish this miracle. Christ refuted their statement and in verse 32 said, "Whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit, it shall not be forgiven him."
Jesus' comments addressed a very specific situation unique to His time. Though the Pharisees had themselves seen the Lord heal many people through the Spirit, they attributed the miraculous work to Satan. Jesus declared that this sin—claiming that God's Holy Spirit was the unclean spirit of the Devil--was unforgivable.
The sin was blasphemy, done deliberately and without repentance, by knowledgeable religious people, despite irrefutable evidence to the contrary. This situation--personally witnessing Jesus' miracles and blaspheming the Spirit--cannot be repeated today.
Numerous New Testament verses assure us that no iniquity committed today is beyond the scope of divine forgiveness. The unpardonable sin Jesus referred to was something that could take place only when He lived on earth. So if guilt threatens to overwhelm you, read Romans 8:1 with gratitude."
Pastor Fahim"
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Post  Admin on Wed 04 Aug 2010, 7:02 am

"“Preaching the Gospel”
“And he said unto them, go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.”
(Mark16:15-16)
Jesus commanded us to take the gospel to all the world. That can be done in many ways. Since we now have radio, Tv, Internet to reach the messes, wouldn’t it be wise to take advantage of these tools to speed up this process?
We see many times God does wonder things happened in our lives to show us the right track to walk through different resources. I personally heard the gospel through my parents, on becoming a Christian, I decided to preach the gospel, and almost from the beginning I had the opportunity to translate teachings into Urdu language and distribute among the believers. Then I started preaching in the pulpit as well as in different villages. The gospel of Christ must be taught for man to understand his responsibility to God. So God has a plan for each one of us we only need to see his will for our lives. We should not consider that we can only preach in the pulpit it is not necessary there are different ways of preaching. We can preach through radio, Tv, Internet, Phone, our writings etc. Today we have to think and ask God in what ways I can preach. I pray that God may grant us wisdom and grace so that we may know His will for our lives. Amen
Pastor Fahim"
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Post  Admin on Mon 02 Aug 2010, 12:22 pm

"God's Loving Outreach
John 4:1-42
This story of the Lord's encounter with a Samaritan woman is a wonderful example of His loving response to hurting individuals. Jesus is always reaching out in love, even when we do not recognize His extended hand. Although this meeting may have appeared accidental, it was really a providential appointment with the Messiah.
As the woman reached the well, Jesus initiated conversation by asking for a drink of water. His direct approach surprised her and opened the door for a dialogue that would change her life forever.
Throughout the exchange, Jesus' goal was to help the woman recognize her greatest need so He could supply her with the only gift that would meet that need: salvation and the forgiveness of her sins. She had spent her life trying to find love and acceptance in all the wrong places. Christ offered her the living water of the Holy Spirit--the only thing that would quench her spiritual and emotional thirst.
Like the Samaritan woman, we can at times be so intent on getting our immediate needs met that we fail to see God's hand reaching out to us in love, offering what will truly satisfy. Only Christ can fill our empty souls for eternity and provide for our essential emotional needs now.
This world is filled with wells that promise to provide love, acceptance, and self-worth but never fully satisfy. When your soul is empty and the well runs dry, look for Jesus. He has a divine appointment scheduled with you, and He will quench your thirst with His Spirit--if you let Him."

---
"God of Goodness
Psalm 25:4-15
Although the Lord showers His goodness on all men, the ability to perceive and enjoy it is limited by a refusal to reverence Him as God. To experience the fullness of His kindness, we must honor Him by choosing His pathway of submission and obedience. The Lord will never withhold good from those who walk uprightly with Him.
In love and wisdom, the Father has specifically designed a pathway for each of His children. Because no two people are alike, each path will look different. What may be best for one person may not be good for another. Comparison of God's ways in different lives will lead only to discouragement and misjudgment. We have neither the wisdom nor the eternal perspective to understand why the Lord leads some people down paths of pain and hardship, but we can know that He is always good.
Every step on God's pathway represents a deliberate choice to follow Him. By looking around instead of fixing our eyes on Jesus, we may start thinking that we are missing out on some really good experiences or possessions. If we leave the Lord's course to follow a path that looks better, we will forfeit His good blessings and discover, as Adam and Eve did, that any other way leads to loss.
Take time periodically to ask yourself, Am I on the path the Lord has chosen for me, or have I taken a detour to follow another direction that looks good? To build our own course and ignore the goodness and abundance of His pathway is foolishness. God alone knows the way we should take."
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Pastor JOhn Empty Re: Pastor JOhn

Post  Admin on Fri 30 Jul 2010, 6:14 pm

"What Is the Unpardonable Sin?
Matthew 12:22-32
In Matthew 12, Jesus talked about the unpardonable sin. Christians sometimes misconstrue His comments and end up fearful that they could commit an unforgivable offense. The context of today's passage helps us understand why that is not the case.
Christ used the power of the Holy Spirit to heal a demon-possessed man who was deaf and mute. Amazed onlookers began to suspect He was the promised Messiah (v. 22), so religious leaders tried to quell the crowd's growing excitement: they claimed the Lord was Satan's fellow worker, who had used the Devil's power to accomplish this miracle. Christ refuted their statement and in verse 32 said, "Whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit, it shall not be forgiven him."
Jesus' comments addressed a very specific situation unique to His time. Though the Pharisees had themselves seen the Lord heal many people through the Spirit, they attributed the miraculous work to Satan. Jesus declared that this sin—claiming that God's Holy Spirit was the unclean spirit of the Devil--was unforgivable.
The sin was blasphemy, done deliberately and without repentance, by knowledgeable religious people, despite irrefutable evidence to the contrary. This situation--personally witnessing Jesus' miracles and blaspheming the Spirit--cannot be repeated today.
Numerous New Testament verses assure us that no iniquity committed today is beyond the scope of divine forgiveness. The unpardonable sin Jesus referred to was something that could take place only when He lived on earth. So if guilt threatens to overwhelm you, read Romans 8:1 with gratitude."
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Pastor JOhn Empty Something Has to Change

Post  Admin on Thu 29 Jul 2010, 12:16 pm


"Something Has to Change
Ephesians 4:30-32
Ephesians 4:22-24 describes two different "bents" that are found within every believer: the patterns of the corrupted old self--also known as "the flesh"--and the righteousness of a new nature in Christ. The characteristics of these opposing inclinations are vividly portrayed by today's verses. The quality of forgiveness, or the lack of it, will largely determine which tendency predominates in our lives.
The inevitable result of an unforgiving spirit is anger, bitterness, and malice. By refusing to forgive, we allow the old sinful nature to dominate and produce its poisonous fruit. Every area of our life is affected when we refuse to extend to others the pardon which Christ so generously extended to us--in essence, we are treating those around us as we would never want the Lord to treat us. His mercy toward us has no limit.
Although the pain and injustice of an offense can break our heart or damage our sense of self-worth, a refusal to forgive denies God the opportunity to redeem the hurt. We want Him to change the offender and make him sorry for what he has done, but the Lord wants to transform us. A forgiving spirit frees us to live in our new Christ-like nature and enables us to see others though eyes of grace and mercy.
Look again at verses 31 and 32. Which one's characteristics describe you? As believers, we all long to exhibit the qualities of our new nature, but the Lord can produce them only if we are willing to exchange offenses and grudges for tender hearts that forgive. Something has to change--let it be you."

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Pastor JOhn Empty Re: Pastor JOhn

Post  Admin on Tue 27 Jul 2010, 11:48 am


"The God of Comfort
2 Corinthians 1:3-7

When I am praying about a situation, I call upon the Lord, using one of His names that identifies my need. So in periods of difficulty or pain, I ask for my Comforter to come (Is. 40:1, 51:12, 66:13). I trust that He will encourage my heart, relieve my burdens, and help me through trials.
However, many people cannot see God as a comforter. They misinterpret names like "Judge" to mean a tough disciplinarian or "King" to mean a distant and distracted deity. They imagine He is either waiting to rain down punishment or too busy to notice our puny life. Someone with such a wrong concept won't even notice the Lord's offers of consolation as they walk through valleys. Instead, that person is likely to struggle with unbelief, frustration, and perhaps bitterness toward God.
Jesus Christ was the representation of God the Father on earth--and the symbol of all His names. He always responded to hurt and distressed people with soothing words and kind actions. He did not judge the Samaritan woman for her serial marriages. Instead, Jesus offered her new life (John 4:14). He gave relief to the bleeding woman (Luke 8:48) and solace to Jairus' grieving family (Luke 8:52). And the Lord is as ready to comfort and strengthen believers today as He was back then.
Human beings heap shame and blame upon themselves and each other, but the Lord doesn't operate that way. He is the God of comfort, a trait that shows up in another of His names: Shepherd. The Shepherd uplifts His followers, even through the valley of the shadow of death (Ps. 23:4)."
---
"The Gift of Forgiveness
Colossians 3:12-17
Webster defines gift as "something given to show friendship, affection, support." Using this definition, it seems logical to give gifts only to those we love, not to those who hurt or abuse us. Yet Scripture clearly commands us to offer one of the greatest possible gifts--forgiveness--to those who mistreat us.
To forgive means "to give up all claims to punish or exact a penalty for an offense." No strings or conditions can be attached, or else it ceases to be a pardon. Ephesians 2:8-9 expands on this concept by contrasting the gift of salvation with works. Neither salvation nor forgiveness can be earned; both must be freely given. Just as God granted us forgiveness, which we did not deserve and could not earn, so we are to release every offender from any form of penalty.
Unforgiveness is emotional bondage that consumes minds with memories of offenses, distorts emotions with revenge, and fills hearts with churning unrest. Its tentacles reach deep into the soul, affecting both spiritual and physical health. But the one who chooses to put on love and offer forgiveness is ready to receive the peace of Christ. Let God's Word help you release hurt and anger into His caring hands--then watch as vengeful thoughts are transformed into praise and gratitude to the Lord.
Thankfully, the gift of pardon is not something we have to manufacture in ourselves. This present is wrapped in the love of God and tied with the red ribbon of Christ's sacrifice. It is freely given to us by the Savior, and our job is simply to pass it on to others."
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Pastor JOhn Empty Re: Pastor JOhn

Post  Admin on Sat 24 Jul 2010, 9:33 pm

"Blinded by Love
2 Corinthians 12:9-10

If someone we care about hurts, our first instinct is to remove the pain. We want to offer money, advice, or a way out of a mess. However, if God is not ready to have the problem patched up, then the believer who repairs it gets himself into a fix. The Lord will discipline a Christian who obstructs His work in another person's life.
Love can blind us to the fact that God bring a person to a position of utter desperation so that she will give up her self-sufficiency. Only when His strength is manifested in her weakness does she finally know what it means to rely upon God. We do not want to hinder such an essential lesson!
Our heavenly Father's ways often do not make sense to humans. We wonder how pain could be the means of bringing about spiritual victory. Yet His greatest triumph--overcoming sin and death--was achieved through Jesus Christ's sacrifice, which involved physical and emotional anguish. And the example in the paragraph above helps us understand why God uses hardship to mature believers: Hurt and despair often strip away the "props" we depend on and expose our need for a Savior. Man's weakness is a showcase for God's strength.
It is only natural that we want to rescue hurting loved ones. However, we may not be the tool God wishes to use for that purpose. The wise course of action is to ask God if He wants us to get involved. Then, we must be sensitive to His will and ready to stand aside so that His plan can move forward."
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Pastor JOhn Empty Re: Pastor JOhn

Post  Admin on Fri 23 Jul 2010, 10:50 pm

"Forgiving An Abuser
Ephesians 4:30-32

When I tell abuse victims that full healing requires forgiving their abuser, many will argue. Their message is generally the same: "You don't understand the hurt I've endured." They're right. But I do know that a bitter spirit penetrates every part of our life like a cancer. Anger and resentment are symptoms that cannot be pushed away and ignored. They spill out, harming relationships and leading to risky decisions.
Withholding mercy feels as if we are punishing someone who inflicted harm. But people cannot take revenge on one another without destroying themselves. That's why the Lord calls us to follow His example of extending grace to all (Eph. 4:32). No one can justify holding back forgiveness when God has given His so generously. An abuser does not deserve pardon, but neither are we worthy of Jesus' sacrifice on the cross.
The cross was a torture device. Death was slow and excruciating, but at least the physical pain was temporary. Jesus' worst torment began when, because He'd taken our sin upon Himself, He was rejected by God and severed from perfect love and companionship. I may not know your pain, but I assure you that Jesus does. He'll help you overcome hurt, anger, and bitterness if you'll simply give up your unforgiving spirit.
Forgiveness is a choice--an act of service to the Lord and a witness to the person who inflicted our pain. No matter how terrible the acts committed against us were, God demands that we show mercy. For our good and His glory, He wants us to give up the "right" to punish an abuser."
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Post  Admin on Thu 22 Jul 2010, 9:50 pm

"When We Are Abused
Matthew 5:43-48

Abuse is rampant in our world. It seems new stories are constantly emerging of one person inflicting harm upon others. Sadly, few victims know where to seek respite and restoration. You likely know someone who needs to hear that God is a hiding place for the mistreated. Perhaps that someone is you.
The heavenly Father is faithful to comfort His children and heal their wounds. When His strength undergirds us, we can respond rightly to abuse and the abuser.
1.Ask, "Lord, what would You have me do?" There's no standard answer, since so many kinds and degrees of abuse exist. God knows when the right response is to leave home, seek counseling, stay and pray for the abuser, or follow some other course of action. The Lord will never tell you to do anything that violates His Word.
2.Pray for the abuser. Specifically, ask the Lord to show you what motivates the person to injure others. I wish I had prayed this way earlier for my own stepfather, who physically abused my mother and also hit me. My healing process accelerated when I finally learned that he had endured cruel treatment from his father. A harsh past did not excuse his actions, but I was able to feel compassion for him, thanks to God's love at work in me.
God's tender grace heals the wounds of abuse. Only He can replace resentment with compassion, erase the pain from bitter memories, and give the abused a renewed sense of their worth as His treasured children. From our hiding place in His love, we can thrive even in a harsh environment."
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Post  Admin on Mon 19 Jul 2010, 10:49 am

"The Pathway of Faith
Genesis 12
Faith is the foundation of our Christian lives. Hebrews 11:1 gives us the biblical definition of this term: "faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see (NIV).
True belief is more than something we express verbally; it is a pathway you and I follow. Throughout life, our heavenly Father takes us on a journey, allowing us to experience a real relationship with Him as we encounter each circumstance.
Today's passage illustrates that God has a purpose for everything we encounter. The Lord promised Abraham descendants as numerous as the stars visible in the sky. (Gen. 15:5). Then He directed His servant to obey several commands, such as moving from home. Abraham was not told the details of this plan.
We now know that he was the father of the Jewish nation, and his lineage included Jesus Christ, the Savior of mankind. Though the patriarch did not obey perfectly, he did step forward in faith, trusting in God's ultimate purpose.
We, too, can know with certainty that the Lord is weaving together a beautiful plan. He isn't obligated to explain His reasoning or reveal every detail. Instead, God shows us the next step (Ps. 119:105), and our job is to obey, even when it doesn't make sense.
If you want to know what God is doing in your life, obey Him. Often, you won't understand the intricacies of the plan, but you can trust the goodness of His heart. Rest assured that all He does is purposeful and for your benefit. So step forward in faith, and you will see His faithfulness."
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Post  Admin on Sun 18 Jul 2010, 11:40 am

"Eternal Life
John 3:16-18

Each of us faces the same dilemma. We have a sin debt that we owe to God but no way to pay for it. None of our solutions--living a moral life, being religious, or doing more good deeds—can take care of our problem.
God Himself has provided the solution--one that both satisfies His justice and grants us mercy. He sent His Son to pay the penalty we owed. Jesus was qualified to be our substitute because He never sinned (2 Cor. 5:21). He willingly took our place on the cross and experienced the full measure of the Lord's wrath against our sinfulness. In dying for us, Christ secured our salvation by paying the debt for all our past, present, and future sins. When we trust in Jesus and surrender our life to Him, He becomes our personal Savior and Lord.
The great tragedy is that many have heard the gospel and rejected it. Some are like the rich ruler who placed his trust in material possessions and turned his back on the truth. Others have refused to even listen. Another group is convinced they are heaven-bound, based on erroneous confidence in their own good deeds. Only those who have entered into a relationship with Jesus through faith in Him will be welcomed into heaven.
If you're wondering, How can I have eternal life? there is only one answer: through faith in Jesus Christ (John 14:6). We have an Enemy who actively seeks to blind people to the truth (2 Cor. 4:4). Pray that many who are separated from the Lord will trust in the Savior and gain everlasting life."
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