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KEITH NOTES FROM NANJING Empty Re: KEITH NOTES FROM NANJING

Post  Admin on Sat 16 Jan 2021, 2:39 pm

[size=16]PSALM 32


[size=12]3 When I kept silence, my bones waxed old through my roaring all the day long.

For day and night thy hand was heavy upon me: my moisture is turned into the drought of summer. Selah.


WHEN SILENCE IS NOT GOLDEN


There was a song many years ago, that was called Silence is golden, and indeed it is good that we keep quiet sometimes.


Being silent, when it comes to confessing sin is not golden though, for several reasons.
First of all, we can't hide things from God, he sees absolutely everything. Sometimes I do something and then the next time I read my bible, here is a verse or passage that puts its finger right on the point of my sin and the holy spirit convicts me and then I confess it and can be restored to full happiness and relationship with God.


We need to realise that to live in sin is to live in complete misery, Christians who live in sin and are trapped in unforgiveness are probably the most miserable people on earth, look at the state of David in verses 3-4, he was an emotional and physical wreck, he was roaring, he was totally out of control and worst of all the hand of the lord was heavy upon him.


If I have unconfessed sin in my life, then I am almost impossible to be around, until I come in repentance to the foot of the cross and humble myself under Gods mighty hand and confess it. Please read 1 John 1;1-2;2


The joy of true communion with God is matchless, Christian, don't throw it away because you are stubborn and refuse to come to the throne of grace and seek forgiveness, there is a place of plenteous mercy ready and waiting for you.


Please read the rest of the Psalm and also psalm 51


Be like the man in verses 1-2, who is blessed because his sin is forgiven, but remember to be forgiven,  you have to come and confess and then you can be clean.


God bless you


KK



GUEST DEVOTION


[/size][/size]
JAMES SMITH


[size=15]"Only acknowledge thine iniquity."  Jer 3:13

WILL the Lord receive us when we have backslidden from Him, and
are desirous of returning to Him?  Oh, yes, He invites, He
exhorts, He beseeches us to return.  Nor does He prescribe any
hard conditions, but He says, "ONLY ACKNOWLEDGE THINE INIQUITY." 

He is so ready to forgive, so infinitely gracious in His nature ,
that if we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive
us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.  Have we
wandered?  Have we left our first love?  Let us go and return to
our first husband, for then it was better with us than now.  His
bowels yearn over us, His arms are open to receive us, and He
waits to fall upon our neck and kiss us. 

Let us go to His throne, and there confess our sins, crave His
pardon, sigh for the enjoyment of His love, and He will restore
unto us the joys of His salvation, and establish us with His free
Spirit.  Let us daily confess our iniquities unto the Lord, and
He will pardon our numerous sins.  In His favour is life.  In His
frown is distress and woe.  He delighteth in mercy.  He will
receive, pardon us, and bless like a God.  His mercy endureth for
ever.

This glorious news dispels my fears,
Makes glad my heart, wipes off my tears,
Displays the riches of His grace,
Inflames my love, and claims my praise,
A pardon'd sinner lives to prove
The height and depth of Jesus's love.

                                               
[/size]
[size][size]





Dear friend


Thanks for reading the devotions/prayer requests, if you have got this far, you have been blessed, now what firstly Obey.


Then share, if you have been blessed, others will be too. Please place these devotions on your Facebook groups/profile, send to your friends/contacts and share with your church


Below you can soak into the richness of the word of God, 4 sermons, the best of puritan/today's preaching, nearly 2 hours to let God's word soak into your spirit. Psalm 119 and Colossians 3;16


If you have got this by forward and are wondering, who I am, my name is Keith, and I am a devotional writer, who has been writing devotions for 18 years. If you wish to receive my devotions on a regular basis, or send me a prayer request, please email me at keitherichobkirk@hotmail.com





SOAK IN SCRIPTURE.. OVER 2 HOURS OF PURE BLISS
THE MOTHER AND MISTRESS OF SIN BY JC PHILPOT 5 MINUTES


https://www.sermonaudio.com/saplayer/playpopup.asp?SID=31409116497



WHEN I KEPT SILENCE BY WILLIAM SCOTT PSALM 32;3 40 MINUTES



https://www.sermonaudio.com/saplayer/playpopup.asp?SID=61191921134499


WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT SIN BY PHIL JOHNSON 1 JOHN 3  56MINUTES

https://www.sermonaudio.com/saplayer/playpopup.asp?SID=830101548301


THE TRUE KNOWLEDGE OF HIM WHO CALLED US BY ANTHONY MANTHNIA 
2 PETER 1;1-11 50 MINUTES

https://www.sermonaudio.com/saplayer/playpopup.asp?SID=830121613424
[/size]
[/size]
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KEITH NOTES FROM NANJING Empty Re: KEITH NOTES FROM NANJING

Post  Admin on Sun 10 Jan 2021, 12:53 pm

PSALM 32

VERSES 1-2

[size=19]Blessed is the one whose transgression is forgiven,

    whose sin is covered.
Blessed is the man against whom the Lord counts no iniquity,
    and in whose spirit, there is no deceit.


WHO IS TRULY BLESSED?


We ask who is truly happy and blessed.


We have many motivational speakers who seek to make people happier, religions that seek to make people happy or blessed. but it is only in the bible and in the person of Jesus Christ, that men and women be truly blessed and find the deepest happiness.


Man has a deep and ongoing problem and that is sin, it taints him, taunts him and has torn him away from God. Sin is a disease that is worse than Covid, as everybody has this disease and the result of sin is death and separation from God.


Through Jesus we can find forgiveness, through his precious blood and his sacrifice on the cross. amen.


The bible has three words here doing wrong;  sin, transgression and iniquity, here they are dealt with.


When God dealt with sin, he dealt with it completely, the cross of Christ, dealt with all three aspects detailed here.


Transgression is individual sin, each and every individual sin we have ever committed is forgiven, when God saves us, he forgives all of sin, how glorious and wonderful is that.


Our sin, which means missing the mark has been covered, Paul quotes this in Romans 4;7. What is that covering? It is the precious blood of Christ. In the Old testament, the covering was the sacrificial system, but now there is a better covering and covenant Psalm 85;2. We now have the righteousness of Christ credited to our account 2 Cor 5;17-21


Iniquity means a sinful lifestyle, but God remembers that no more, our past to God is completely forgiven and forgotten. Look at Psalm 103, what God does is incredible. Please read this Psalm, it shows that God deals completely with Sin.. all of it.


So, we are forgiven, what happens? We live a life that is pleasing to God, a life that is empty of deceit. A person forgiven lives a life that is free of deceit.


Forgiveness from God frees us from the twin power of Sin, it breaks these bonds and allows us to live in a way that is pleasing to God.


Have you been forgiven?, if you have, then you are truly blessed.


If you are reading this and haven't been forgiven, then there is mercy and grace waiting for you.


Come to the cross, the only place where sin can be washed away.


God bless you


kk


SERMONS
[/size]
DO MEN MAKE THEIR OWN GODS ? BY CHARLES SPURGEON JEREMIAH 16:20

https://www.sermonaudio.com/saplayer/playpopup.asp?SID=17102237160


THE BEST WAY TO BE HOLY BY THOMAS BROOKS JOEL 2:12

https://www.sermonaudio.com/saplayer/playpopup.asp?SID=1710229358


CHRIST AND THE CITIES OF REFUGE BY CHALAN HETHERINGTON JOSHUA 20

https://www.sermonaudio.com/saplayer/playpopup.asp?SID=1221201646402292

WE PERSUADE MEN BY LESTER HUTSON 2 COR 5;10-15

https://www.sermonaudio.com/saplayer/playpopup.asp?SID=101217114445


GUEST DEVOTION

DR RC Sproul

Sin

[size=19]Sin can be pictured as an archer releasing an arrow from his bow and missing the target. It is not, of course, that failure to hit the bull's-eye in target shooting is a grave moral matter. Rather, the simplest biblical definition of sin is "to miss the mark." In biblical terms, the mark that is missed is not a target filled with straw; it is the mark or "norm" of God's law. God's law expresses His own righteousness and is the ultimate standard for our behavior. When we miss achieving this standard, we sin.
The Bible speaks of the universality of sin in terms of missing the mark of God's glory. "For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23). To say that "nobody's perfect" or "to err is human" is to acknowledge the universality of sin. We are all sinners in need of redemption.
Sin has been defined as "any want of conformity unto, or transgression of, any law of God, given as a rule to the reasonable creature." In this definition there are three crucial dimensions. First, sin is a lack or want of conformity. It is nonconformity to the law of God. A sin of omission is a failure to do what God commands. If God commands us to love our neighbour and we fail to do so, that is sin.
Second, sin is defined as a transgression of the law. To transgress the law is to cross its boundaries, to overstep its limits. Hence, we sometimes describe sin as a "trespass." We walk where we are not permitted to walk. Here we speak of sins of commission whereby we commit actions prohibited by God. When God's law is pronounced in negative terms, "You shall not," and we do what is disallowed, we commit sin.
Third, sin is an action performed by reasonable creatures. As creatures made in the image of God, we are free moral agents. Because we have a mind and a will, we are capable of moral action. When we do what we know is wrong, we choose to disobey God's law and sin.
Protestantism rejects the classic distinction in Roman Catholic theology between venial and mortal sin. Traditional Catholic theology defines a mortal sin as a sin that "kills" grace in the soul and requires renewed justification through the sacrament of penance. A venial sin is sin of a less serious sort. It does not destroy saving grace.
John Calvin declared that all sin against God is mortal sin in that it deserves death, but no sin is mortal in the sense that it destroys our justification by faith. Protestantism affirms that all sin is serious. Even the smallest sin is an act of rebellion against God. Every sin is an act of cosmic treason, a futile attempt to dethrone God in His sovereign authority.
However, the Bible still regards some sins as more heinous than others. There are degrees of wickedness even as there will be degrees of punishment rendered at the bar of God's justice. Jesus rebuked the Pharisees for omitting the weightier matters of the law and warned the towns of Bethsaida and Chorazin that their sin was worse than that of Sodom and Gomorrah (Matthew 11:20-24).
The Bible also warns us about the guilt incurred from multiple sins. Though James teaches that to sin against one part of the law is to sin against the whole law (James 2:10), nevertheless there is added guilt with each particular transgression. Paul admonishes us against heaping up or treasuring up wrath against the day of wrath (Romans 2:1-11). With each sin we commit we add to our guilt and exposure to the wrath of God. Nevertheless, the grace of God is greater than all our guilt combined.
The Bible takes sin seriously because it takes God seriously and it takes human beings seriously. When we sin against God, we do violence to His holiness. When we sin against our neighbour, we violate his or her humanity.

[/size][list=ltr]
[*]The biblical meaning of sin is to miss the mark of God's righteousness.

[*]All human beings are sinners.

[*]Sin involves a failure to conform to (omission) and a transgression of (commission) the law of God.

[*]Only moral agents can be guilty of sin.

[*]Protestantism rejects the distinction between mortal and venial sin but affirms the gradation of sin.

[*]Each sin committed incurs greater guilt.

[*]Sin violates God and people.

[/list]
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Post  Admin on Mon 04 Jan 2021, 11:23 pm

[size=16]SPECIAL NOTICE


Soon, we will be sending out the special China prayer guide, three short requests for each day, so that you can pray effectively for China


Please get your church involved in this venture, if any friends want to receive directly from me ask them to email me at this email address


KIRIBATI


Location: Pacific Ocean




Population 125,000




Christians: around 10,000


These islands are in severe danger because of global warming and rising sea levels, please pray that this would make many of these islanders aware of the severity and grace of God.


Please pray for a wave of revival that would stir the once active church and that the believers would live holy lives to glorify God


Please pray that strong Biblical foundations would be laid and that the gospel would be preached in power all over Kiribati.


Many of the islanders travel across the pacific to find work, please pray that they would find Jesus.


Please pray for young people, sex before marriage is rampant, please pray that God would raise up a generation of holy young people 




SERMONS

THE WRATH OF GOD BY THOMAS BOSTON[/size]

https://www.sermonaudio.com/saplayer/playpopup.asp?SID=91308105436



THE IMMUTABILITY OF GOD BY JOHN MACDUFF

https://www.sermonaudio.com/playpopup.asp?SID=225161614461



LOT'S WIFE- A PICTURE OF A HESISTANT SINNER BY CARIN SALT GENESIS 19;26

https://www.sermonaudio.com/saplayer/playpopup.asp?SID=1262016312511




A MAN WORTH FOLLOWING BY PAUL GIBSON ACTS 21:19-26

https://www.sermonaudio.com/saplayer/playpopup.asp?SID=9202011475589

GUEST DEVOTION

[size=26][size=16][size=48][size=19]My Manna[/size]




"Return, Israel, to the Lord your God.Your sins have been your downfall!Take words with you and return to the Lord.Say to him:“Forgive all our sins and receive us graciously,that we may offer the fruit of our lips." Hosea 14:2.

How do we deal with demandingness? 

We must repent of it. 
Our passage today tells us how. 

First:
Return!

"Return to the LORD." 

The key to ridding ourselves of anything that is spiritually injurious is to return to God. 

The pursuit of God involves a shift away from dependence on one's own resources to dependence on God. 

Doing good and correcting wrong behavior does not automatically make us good people. 

Obedience is extremely important, but it must be accompanied by deep, heart repentance.

Second:
Repent!

The passage says: "Take words of repentance with you."

This phrase means that we must put into words a clear description of what we are repenting of. 

If we are not clear about what is going on inside us, how can we repent of it? 

Next: 
Receive!

"Forgive all our sin." 
Repentance puts us in touch with God's forgiveness. 

We can work to bring about change also-
- but the greatest catalyst for change is humbly positioning ourselves before God and asking for His forgiveness.


Then: 
Rejoice!

"Accept what is good, so that we may repay You with praise from our lips."

The thought here is: 
"Receive us that we may worship You more effectively."

The purpose of all restoration is to worship God. 

We will be drawn into true worship when we give up insisting on our own way and learn to trust God for our own happiness. 

When repentance moves us from a spirit of demandingness to absolute trust in God-
- then we are in the place where God is able to make our feet like "hinds' feet," 
- and equip us with the ability to ascend into the heights with Him.



"Tender and skillful Invader of my heart, I yield my stricken being to You for healing.Drain every drop of demandingness from my being. For I want not only to be better but to be whole. In Jesus' Name. Amen." [/size][/size][/size]
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Post  Admin on Tue 29 Dec 2020, 3:01 pm

GUEST DEVOTION

PASTOR MICHAEL WEIS

[size=19]2 Timothy 3:16-17
[/size]
Conviction and Confidence
[size]
 
2 Timothy 3:16-17 – All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.
 
Paul addresses his last letter to his young pastor and disciple, Timothy.  Paul was going to be martyred soon for the faith.  His last exhortation to this young man and his friend focuses on God’s word.  While the context refers to the Old Testament, it also refers to the things written in the first century by the Apostles, known as the New Testament.  He tells Timothy that all of God’s word is inspired, or “exhaled from God” that is, through men with their own personality to write what He wanted without error in the original texts and we have excellent copies today.  Paul says the Bible is sufficient for a man, or woman of God to be equipped for every good work in this life.  
 
Paul wanted young Timothy to have the conviction that God’s word is true, adequate, authoritative, applicable and useful.  He wanted Timothy to have the conviction that the Bible alone is GOD’S WORD and the confidence it was what it claimed to be.  While other resources are useful, the Bible stands alone!  When a preacher or teacher believes God’s word to be what it is, he has the confidence to proclaim it without fear because he knows it is the means which God uses to change the hearts of people.  This is not having confidence in oneself, but in the One who has always been and will always be.  
 
Do we have this confidence in God’s word?  Do we believe it is what it says it is or do we think we need something more?  While medicine is needed at times, do we think we need more pills?  Do we need a “new revelation” or a “feeling” from God?  God gives no new revelation, but illumination out of His word.  So many Christians are powerless today or have fallen into sin because we don’t have the conviction that God’s word is from Him.  I include myself.  If we had the conviction and confidence that the Bible is something God wrote and is sufficient for all of life, our lives would be drastically changed!  May He grant that to us!  Even if we don’t fully understand it, it is still God’s word and we should obey it.  
 
For most of us however, including myself, our confidence is usually in ourselves, our plans, our intellect, wisdom, money, desires or goals.  We leave out our Lord and His word, though not completely at times.  We want to do things “our way” and sometimes God says “ok” and we fall flat on our faces, sometimes literally.  But don’t mistake conviction and confidence someone has in the Bible as arrogance, pride or stubbornness.  No, not at all!  We must hold fast to it for as the old saying goes, “If we do not stand for something, we will fall for anything.”  Only when we have the conviction God’s word is His word, then we will have the confidence to proclaim it and live it out by His grace and through His power without fearing the consequences.  
 
2 Peter 1:20-21 – But know this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture is a matter of one’s own interpretation, for no prophecy was ever made by an act of human will, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God.[/size]
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KEITH NOTES FROM NANJING Empty Re: KEITH NOTES FROM NANJING

Post  Admin on Sun 27 Dec 2020, 11:01 pm

[th]

[size=40]On Whose Side Are You?[/size]

And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed,and all flesh shall see it together.Isaiah 40:5
We anticipate the happy day when every knee will bow before Christ; when the gods of the heathen shall be cast to the moles and the bats; when empty religion will be exploded, and the crescent of Mohammed will topple, never again to cast its harmful rays upon the nations; when kings shall worship before the Prince of Peace, and all nations shall call the Redeemer blessed. Some despair of this. They look on the world as a ship breaking up and going to pieces, never to float again. We know that the world and all that is in it will one day be burned up, and afterwards we look for new heavens and for a new earth; but we cannot read our Bibles without the conviction that—Jesus shall reign where'er the sunDoth his successive journeys run.We are not discouraged by the length of His delays; we are not disheartened by the long period that He assigns to the church in which to struggle with little success and much defeat. We believe that God will never tolerate this world, which has once seen Christ's blood shed upon it, remaining as the devil's stronghold. Christ came here to deliver this world from the detested sway of the powers of darkness. What a shout that will be when men and angels unite to cry "Hallelujah! For the Lord our God Almighty reigns".1What a satisfaction it will be in that day to have had a part in the fight, to have helped to break the arrows of the bow, and to have shared in winning the victory for our Lord! Happy are those who entrust themselves to this conquering Lord, and who fight side by side with Him doing their part in His name and by His strength! How unhappy are those on the side of evil! It is a losing side, and it is a matter in which to lose is to lose and to be lost forever. On whose side are you?1) Revelation 19:6
[/th]
[th]
Devotional material is taken from “Morning and Evening,” written by C.H. Spurgeon, revised and updated by Alistair Begg. Copyright © 2003, Good News Publishers and used by Truth For Life with written permission.
[/th]
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Post  Admin on Wed 23 Dec 2020, 11:47 pm

Special notice, it's Christmas and so I would ask at this time, that you don't forget your brothers and sisters in China. Christmas is not celebrated officially, but many churches including ours will have celebrations and they need God's protection. Please pray for this and for many to come to know Christ personally. This is always the most dangerous time of year for the Chinese church, we are told to watch and pray, don't let your guard down, the devil never takes a holiday.


KEEP CHINA IN YOUR PRAYERS




PLEASE PRAY FOR TUNISIA




[size=16][size=19]Challenges for Prayer

[/size]

[b][size=19]https://prayercast.com/tunisia.html[/b][/size]

 

  

 

Please pray for the small and nominal evangelical church. The church is growing, but it needs training and leadership.

 

Please pray that the government would grant the church recognition, and land to build their own church buildings.

 

Please pray for the calling of more tent-making Christians. There are opportunities 

 

There are needy groups, especially the youth. The Arab spring impacted the youth, please pray that their hearts would be open to the gospel.

 

Women have more freedom than in many Arab countries. Please pray that many women would come to know the Saviour and that Christian families would be established.

 

The south of the country is a desert spiritually, Sfax, Tunis, Gabes and Gafsa are needy cities.

 

The Berber community were touched by the gospel once, but now need reaching again.

 

Kairouan is one of the holiest cities in Islam, may these seekers find JESUS.

 

SAT-7 is openly watched in Tunisia. Please pray that much fruit would be gained through these programmes.

 

Pray for Tunisian communities overseas, that they would be reached with the gospel.

 



[size=19]In earlier centuries the Christian Church was wide spread, producing such leaders as Tertullian and Cyprian. Schism, heresy, failures to put roots deep into the local culture and to translate the Bible into local languages, foreign invasions and finally Islam brought about its demise. There are about 500 committed indigenous believers today, but only one-third of those meet together regularly for worship. Pray that a living, growing Church might become a reality again in this land.[/size]


[size=19]Reaching Tunisians by other means.[/size]




[size=19]Scripture translation into the Tunisian dialect of Arabic is in progress, an important task if the gospel is to be clearly heard and understood by all Tunisians. Pray for Tunisian attitudes about their own language, which many view as inferior to modern Arabic.[/size]


[size=19]Some Christian literature is now sold openly, but is not widely available. Pray that the Bible and Christian books might become more widely distributed through bookshops, and that Christian literature be made available throughout the land.[/size]


[size=19]Satellite TV and radio broadcasts are highly effective in reaching Tunisians. There are many programmes in Arabic, and they can reach to the most isolated and private corners of the country.[/size]


[size=19]The JESUS films is available in two translations - Standard Arabic and Tunisian Arabic. Pray for the wide dissemination of this film and the development of a wider ministry of Christian cassettes and videos in Tunisian Arabic. The Passion of the Christ is also in wide circulation.[/size]


[size=19]More than 6.5 million tourists visit Tunisia each year, including those from other Arab states. Music festivals often feature gospel choirs from abroad. Pray for a ministry to Muslim tourists and also for sensitive sharing opportunities for Christians who come as tourists.[/size]







Sermons


CONSTANT RELIGIOUS ENGAGEMENTS BY RUTH BRYAN


https://www.sermonaudio.com/playpopup.asp?SID=72308134781



THE CHRISTIAN JOURNEY BY MARY WIMSLOW


https://www.sermonaudio.com/saplayer/playpopup.asp?SID=1100910101410





THE ONES WHO NEVER DID BY MARK WARD JOSHUA 1;1-9[/size]


https://www.sermonaudio.com/saplayer/playpopup.asp?SID=611171931326



KNOWLEDGE TOO WONDERFUL FOR Words BY JOSEPH ALLEN PSALM 139;1-24



https://www.sermonaudio.com/saplayer/playpopup.asp?SID=1030201654386209





[size=19]Guest Devotion



[size=19]Disdaining God BY David Ettinger
The world disdains God.

I am defining the word “world” as this earth’s “system” as ordered by Satan. Because Satan reigns in the hearts of unsaved men and women, they are naturally opposed to the things of God as well as those things which contradict the philosophy of the world system.

“Those things” are displayed in the brief but radiant Psalm 8. Let’s look at four truths asserted in this Psalm which oppose the world’s satanic ideology and see why the world hates it.

God Glorified
The opening verse reads: “O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is Your name in all the earth.”

Psalm 8 passionately sings God’s praises, giving Him the glory, He deserves. Such atheists as writer Isaac Asimov must have reviled it. He wrote: “To surrender to ignorance and call it God has always been premature, and it remains premature today.” Another reviler would have been preeminent atheist Madalyn Murray O’Hair, who said: “There is no God. There’s no heaven. There’s no hell. There are no angels. When you die, you go in the ground, the worms eat you.”

Yet Psalm 8 deflates such derision without apology, constraint, or compromise as it exalts: “O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is Your name in all the earth, who have displayed Your splendour above the heavens!”

God Proclaimed as Creator
Verse 3 reads: “When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, The moon and the stars, which You have ordained …”

The Hebrew word for “ordained” is kuwn, which can also be translated as “established” or “fashioned.” To “fashion” something is to “make” it. God here is proclaimed as the “fashioner” of the heavens, again without constraint, explanation, or hesitance: He is the Creator. Period.

Upon such a declaration do scorn and disgust thrive. Judith Hayes, author of The Happy Heretic, stoutly states: “If we are going to teach ‘creation science’ as an alternative to evolution, then we should also teach the stork theory as an alternative to biological reproduction.” I doubt she is keen on Psalm 8.

Nor is evolutionist Scott D. Weitzenhoffer, who penned this ditty: “Debating creationists on the topic of evolution is rather like trying to play chess with a pigeon; it knocks the pieces over, [poops] on the board, and flies back to its flock to claim victory.”

Yet Psalm 8 rejects such detractors, proudly stating with conviction that God is the creator of all things, and that those who believe it need not recoil because of it.

Man Elevated
Psalm 8:4-5 says: “What is man that You take thought of him, And the son of man that You care for him? Yet You have made him a little lower than God, And You crown him with glory and majesty!”

The human race is the acme of God’s creation. The heavens, oceans, and mountains are breathtaking, but pale by comparison to humanity.

This is because God created humanity in His own image (Genesis 1:27), meaning He endowed us with the ability to think His thoughts, respond to His love, and joyfully obey Him.

However, there are those who see humanity differently. British diplomat David Ormsby Gore is one of them: “It would indeed be a tragedy if the history of the human race proved to be nothing more than the story of an ape playing with a box of matches on a petrol dump.”

And Hungarian-British author Arthur Koestler wrote: “The disastrous history of our species indicates the futility of all attempts at a diagnosis which do not take into account the possibility that homo sapiens is a victim of one of evolution’s countless mistakes.”

Mistakes? Psalm 8 contrarily declares man as the product of an all-loving, all-knowing, and all-powerful God.

The Human Race in Partnership with God
Verses 6-8 read: “You make him to rule over the works of Your hands; You have put all things under his feet, All sheep and oxen, and also the beasts of the field, the birds of the heavens and the fish of the sea, whatever passes through the paths of the seas.”

God has assigned man to watch over His creation, and in so doing, has made man the most intellectually advanced of His creatures. This partnership – God as Creator, man as caretaker – means that man is superior to all other creatures.

Yet, many see humans and nature as equal. Said German sociologist Theodor W. Adorno: “Auschwitz begins wherever someone looks at a slaughterhouse and thinks: they’re only animals.” And Native American tribal chief Sitting Bull said: “Every seed is awakened and so has all animal life. It is through this mysterious power that we too have our being, and we therefore yield to our neighbour's, even our animal neighbours, the same right as ourselves, to inhabit this land.”

Such champions of man/nature equality wince at the man-above-all-creation teaching of Psalm 8.

A Final Word of Praise
Psalm 8 closes as it begins: “O Lord, our Lord, How majestic is Your name in all the earth!” (v. 9).

God’s name is to be praised throughout the universe. Even if man chooses not to praise His name, it nonetheless radiates in resplendent majesty. God’s name is indeed majestic, and He gives man the honour of heralding this sacred truth.

Psalm 8 trumpets God’s greatness and glory, and does so proudly and fearlessly. No wonder it is a Psalm the world hates!
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KEITH NOTES FROM NANJING Empty Re: KEITH NOTES FROM NANJING

Post  Admin on Mon 21 Dec 2020, 9:36 pm

12 QUESTIONS
Happy New year everyone. Growth in grace is an ongoing thing: 2 Peter 3:18. 

Have you grown in grace this past year? It's time to examine your life: 2 Corinthians 13:5.

Here are 12 questions to ask ourselves.- Be honest with yourself and God

1. DO YOU LOVE GOD'S WORD MORE?

Psalm 119:97 – ‘O how love thy law! It is my meditation all the day.’

Do you have a passion for the word of God? I am not asking if you read it more. Has it become like honey to you? Every time you read it, does God speak directly to you? Can you say the same words above? I mean when you are slogging through Leviticus or the first ten chapters of 1 Chronicles, can you say Oh how I love to read the bible

2.  DO YOU LOVE SPENDING TIME IN PRAYER?

Now here is a biggie! I struggle here, I must admit. One minute spent praying is worth a hundred doing anything else. Prayer is the Christian's vital breath; it is his lifeblood. We just talk to our heavenly Father. We talk to the ones we love.. Amen! If we love God, then we will spend more and more time with Him. How much time do we spend communing with God? The average daily time is 7-10 minutes for the average Christian, I ask myself, why is that?. Would you give your wife ten minutes per day?

3. ARE YOU MORE INVOLVED IN SPIRITUAL WARFARE?

If you hadn't noticed, the Christian is a warrior. He/she is engaged in a desperate battle. In Ephesians 6, we are told to arm ourselves with spiritual weapons that will overcome the devil, etc. We need to be in hand-to-hand combat. The Roman soldiers whom Paul saw were always ready to fight. They obeyed their Commanding Officer and would go anywhere to fight for his cause. There is no let-up brothers and sisters; let's be engaged in warfare. Let's say like Paul at the end of his life.. I HAVE FOUGHT A GOOD FIGHT!!!

4. DO YOU LOVE GOD AND YOUR FELLOW BELIEVERS MORE AND MORE?

Jesus said the two greatest commandments were to love God and love your neighbour. Is God our first love or just one of many? This was the problem with the children of Israel. They loved God, but He was just one of many loves. He wants and demands your undiluted love. Do we also have pure love for our brethren, whoever they are? I am in China and can't understand much of what people say and likewise they also of me; but we love each other. There is a powerful and pure love between us. Do you show it to your fellow believers, not just in words but in actions?

5. DO YOU LOVE TO HEAR GOD'S VOICE?

Before Adam and Eve fell, they loved to hear God's voice. It is so sad to hear God's words in the garden.. God calls to them when they are hiding. This year when God speaks, let us not say like Adam:. "I am afraid because of some sin," but like Samuel, who said: "Speak Lord for thy servant hears." When God speaks to us, may we have open ears and eager hearts. Jesus says “My sheep hear My voice and they love to hear it..” HOW SWEET IS THE VOICE OF GOD TO THE BELIEVER.? AMEN. HOW SWEET IS IT TO YOU MY FRIEND?

6. DO YOU SHARE THE GOSPEL MORE?

The Great Commission is to share the gospel with people in our locality. Some of us, like me, have been called to China. You may not be called to some far country. You may still live in the same neighbourhood that you were born in, but the Commission remains the same. Go out and share the gospel! We are not to stay in our comfortable churches and expect people to come to us. Remember. what we do is a CO-MISSION, between you and God. It is God's power filling weak vessels like us. Have you spoken to anyone about the gospel this year? Have you invited anyone to church this year?

7. DO YOU LOVE THE WORLD LESS?

1 John 2:15 –“ Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.” Do we obey this command? To obey this command, we truly need to be loving Jesus more. In the words of the chorus:

TURN YOUR EYES OPEN JESUS

LOOK FULL IN HIS WONDERFUL FACE

AND THE THINGS OF THE WORLD

WILL GROW STRANGELY DIM

IN THE LIGHT OF HUS GLORY AND GRACE.

www.casgv.org/Hymnary/Hymnary-H509.pps)

Do we love the world less or more than we did last year?

What do you spend your time doing?

Do you spend more time on worldly or heavenly things?

8. ARE YOU IN FULL CONTROL OF YOUR WORDS?

The tongue is called an unruly evil in James 3. Are you more in control of your tongue than you were last year? One of the evidences of a growing Christian is that you are in control of your tongue. Are your words sweeter than last year? We ask what is the defining quality of a Christian? In my estimation, it is the ability through the Holy Spirit to control his/her tongue


9. ARE YOU MORE OBEDIENT TO GOD?i

Jesus says ”If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.” Obedience to God is one of the greatest characteristics of the Christian. As we said earlier, Paul talks about the Roman soldier. These soldiers obeyed their Commanding Officer. Are you obeying your Commander? - God himself?. Obedience to the commands and call of God is essential to progress in the Christian life. Has God called you to do something this year and you are still refusing?. It is time to obey that call, don't make excuses like Jonah and Moses did, although they obeyed, it took God to virtually twist their arm to get them to obey.

10. IS THERE A GREATER EXCELLENCE IN ALL YOU DO?

Ephesians 6:5-9 and Colossians 3:17 give us a blueprint for living: We are to do all for the glory of God. Whether it is washing up or preaching, we are to do everything for His glory. If we are washing, we should wash up as if Jesus was going to drink out of that cup or glass. Is our work done in an a more excellent way than it was last year?

11. DO YOU WEEP FOR SOULS MORE AND IN REPENTANCE?

I love Jeremiah; he wept so much. But he is not the only one who weeps in scripture. Our Saviour weeps at the grave of Lazarus. We need to cry over our sin... we need to be in sorrow for our sin. We need to have compassion like Jesus had for a world that is dying.. He wept over Jerusalem. Look at Paul in Romans 9:1-3, and his pain for his own people, Israel. Do you have the same pain for your community and country? When was the last time you cried in repentance? When was the last time you cried to God in prayer for your family, community and country? This year has been terrible, Covid has devasted many countries and communities, do we weep for them?

12. DO YOU HAVE A DEEPER WONDER ABOUT YOUR SALVATION?

It has been 45 years since I first trusted Christ. It is incredible to me that God loves me and that He sent His Son to die for someone like me. Has the wonder of your salvation grown in the last year? Ever wonder why God should pour his love, mercy and grace upon you? I do.

David prayed that he wouldn't lose the joy of his salvation. I hope you still have the wonder of a little child when it comes to your salvation. I hope it is something that brings you joyful amazement, joyful wonder, and makes you raise your voice in praise to your Saviour.

There are other questions you can ask yourself, but these are a good way to start.

When we get to the end of 2021, may we be able to answer all the questions, by saying "YES I have."

God bless you,

Keith


SERMONS

Ecclesiastes 7:8 by Charles Spurgeon

https://www.sermonaudio.com/saplayer/playpopup.asp?SID=1214161942473

2 Samuel 2:26 by Charles Spurgeon

https://www.sermonaudio.com/saplayer/playpopup.asp?SID=1214161915189

SEEKING GOD BY JASON PARKER PSALM 63

https://www.sermonaudio.com/saplayer/playpopup.asp?SID=102918238432

HAND ME A TOWEL, PLEASE BY MARK WARD JOHN 13

https://www.sermonaudio.com/saplayer/playpopup.asp?SID=611171211610

GUEST DEVOTION

A “Stop Doing” List

“But have nothing to do with worldly fables fit only for old women.  On the other hand, discipline yourself for the purpose of godliness; for bodily discipline is only of little profit, but godliness is profitable for all things, since it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come, it is a trustworthy statement deserving full acceptance…1 Timothy 4:7-8.”

It’s that time of year again - time for me to make my list.  No, not my New Year’s “to do” list of resolutions, but one far more significant - my “not to do” list.  Call it my New Year’s non-resolutions.

When it comes to New Year’s resolutions, our problem isn’t the “what I need to do” piece–-that comes easy.  We all know what we would like to be different.  What eludes our thinking is what has been keeping us from pursuing the various resolutions in the first place.  Most of the time, it is because of something we are doing. 

This is far from original to my thinking.  Though I have followed this simple discipline in one form or another intuitively for years, it was an address by former Stanford professor and current author and business consultant Jim Collins that put it into direct application form.  He later published those ideas in his bestselling book, “Good to Great” (2001).

Think of reading.  Many would like to resolve that in the coming year they will read more.  Those who are savvy about themselves know they will need to sharpen that up a bit and be specific:  “I would like to read twenty-five books this year.”  Some will go further and categorize the twenty-five books into categories, such as five books in history, five in biography, and so on. 

But those who will actually read twenty-five books this year will tend to be those who accompany their resolution with an accompanying change in lifestyle.  It isn’t enough to simply want to read more; you have to also decide to spend less time on the internet, or watch fewer DVD’s, or limit yourself to American Idol and season four of Lost, but no more.

There are only twenty-four hours in a day, seven days in a week, and 52 weeks in a year.  Time is finite, which means something has to give.  It’s not about whether you can read more, exercise more, pray more – it’s whether you will decide to invest your time accordingly.  You have the time – it’s simply a matter of reallocating it toward what you most want to do, and be.

A great deal of our lives – the people we want to become, the impact we want to make – is tied not simply to desire, but whether we will exercise disciplined ambition.  Desire is simply longing, or wishing.  Ambition has to do with such desire becoming focused on an objective, and thus resulting in someone driven toward a particular goal.  Discipline has to do with a management of life which results in self-control, orderliness and efficiency.  

In truth, desire alone is little more than a dream.  Ambition, by itself, can be little more than a “loose cannon” of activity.  And even the most disciplined of lives often result in little more than structure, achieving little or nothing at all.

We need a hunger for something more for our lives, and through our lives, for this world; we need an ambition that refuses to be satisfied until we reach our full potential, and chase God through every opportunity we can imagine; and we need to exercise the kind of discipline that exerts the necessary life-change to see those opportunities realized.

So, let’s make our annual, New Year’s “to do” lists.  Desire, and even ambition, will lead the way.  But if you want anything on your list to happen, add a good dose of discipline.  Which means that along with your “to do” list, you’ll make a list of another kind.

A “stop doing” list.

James Emery White
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KEITH NOTES FROM NANJING Empty Re: KEITH NOTES FROM NANJING

Post  Admin on Wed 16 Dec 2020, 11:09 pm

~Cheers~
 
Our Lord gave us many reasons to be cheerful. 
*There are three cheers to remember that bring
 joy to our hearts.
 
The first one is when our 
Lord said, "Be of good cheer; thy sins be forgiven thee."
With these words of the Master, one was forgiven and 
set free. They were told to be joyful. We can know the 
same words apply to us  when we receive our Lord and 
Savior and his amazing grace.
 

Another cheer spoken by the Savior was when He said, 
"It is I, be not afraid." Jesus still walks on the 
water today and through the storms of our lives to say,
 "I'm here, you don't need to fear,"  as He speaks to us 
through His Spirit and Word.
 

The Lord also gives us a cheer of freedom. Jesus tells us, 
"Be of good cheer; I have overcome the world." In Christ, 
we also have power to overcome the world, the flesh, and 
the devil. Jesus has already won the war. We have read the 
back of the book. If we endure until the end. Believers are 
assured victory in Jesus and an eternal home in heaven.
 

What a Mighty God we serve! He still tells us to be of good 
cheer today!  We can sing for joy.....for the joy of the Lord 
is truly our strength!
 

Blessings In Christ,
Jo Ann Kelly ........2018, 2006
J. P.'s Inspirations


The Consequence of Disobedience
But Jonah rose to flee to Tarshish from the presence of the Lord. He went down to Joppa.
Jonah 1:3

Instead of going to Nineveh to preach the Word, as God told him, Jonah disliked the work and went down to Joppa to escape from it. There are occasions when God's servants shrink from duty. But what is the consequence? What did Jonah lose by his conduct? He lost the presence and comfortable enjoyment of God's love. When we serve our Lord Jesus as believers should do, God is with us; and though we have the whole world against us, if we have God with us, what does it matter? But the moment we retreat and seek to establish our own agenda, we are at sea without a pilot. Then we will bitterly lament and groan out, "O my God, where have You gone? How could I have been so foolish as to shun Your service, and in this way lose all the bright shinings of Your face? This is a price too high. Let me return to my allegiance, that I may rejoice in Your presence."

In the next place, Jonah lost all peace of mind. Sin soon destroys a believer's comfort. It is the poisonous tree whose leaves distill deadly drops that destroy the life of joy and peace. Jonah lost everything upon which he might have drawn for comfort in any other case. He could not plead the promise of divine protection, for he was not in God's ways; he could not say, "Lord, I meet with these difficulties in the discharge of my duty; therefore help me through them." He was reaping his own deeds; he was filled with his own ways.

Christian, do not play the Jonah unless you wish to have all the waves and the billows rolling over your head. You will find in the long run that it is far harder to shun the work and will of God than to at once yield yourself to it. Jonah lost his time, for he had to go to Tarshish after all. It is hard to contend with God; let us yield ourselves to Him immediately.

One-Year Bible Reading Plan

Exodus 8
Luke 11
Job 25, 26
1 Corinthians 12
Devotional material is taken from “Morning and Evening,” written by C.H. Spurgeon, revised and updated by Alistair Begg. Copyright © 2003, Good News Publishers and used by Truth For Life with written permission.
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KEITH NOTES FROM NANJING Empty Re: KEITH NOTES FROM NANJING

Post  Admin on Wed 16 Dec 2020, 9:59 pm

[size=24]"Christmas Cleaning"

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                 Psalm 51:10 Create in me a clean heart
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Diocletian, a cruel persecutor of Christians, found that multitudes of Christians had gathered in a church in Nicomedia to celebrate the nativity of Christ. He ordered the church doors shut and commanded that the building be burned. Everyone and everything was soon ashes.
"T'is the season" is upon us. In honor of the season, today I took out my only ornament, a 1/2 inch santa penguin, and looked at it. However, if you are waiting for the Winnie the Pooh Christmas special or the Beauty and the Beast enchanted Christmas special, both on ABC, you missed them, they were on last night … sorry. Rudolf the Red Nose Reindeer was on last week.
Everyone is talking Christmas stuff. So what of it? What is the "Christian" position on Christmas? Should we dive into the culture, max out our credit cards, purchase everything red, green & snowy frosted, and gain 13 pounds? Maybe the righteous thing to do is to thumb our nose at the whole party and condemn it as a pagan practice. After all, there is no evidence that the New Testament church celebrated the birth of Christ, and even if we were to celebrate it, scholars put His birth at another time of the year anyway.
Maybe we can avoid these extremes by doing a little of both. We all hear talk about how the meaning is lost in the commercialization of the "real" message of Christmas. And yet the same person who says this will often confess at a different time that they really "overdid" it on gifts this year. Even when finding a balance, there is often a lack of balance.
I have an idea for Christmas this year. Give yourself a gift. Examine your heart, look deep, and confess to God that this year you have not lived up to the high standard of being a follower of Christ. Confess specific sins that come to mind and resolve in your heart and before God to live like a Christian from now on. This is the greatest gift you could get or give. Give it to yourself!
Spend as much time this year vacuuming the filth in your heart as you do vacuuming your rugs for your guests. If you plan to fill your stomach with good chow, spend equal time filling your heart and refreshing your spirit with spiritual food. And most of all, if you are planning to give good gifts to others, do something for yourself also. Ask God to bring the sanctification that is a reality in Christ, into the experience of your life on a deeper, fuller level. In doing these things and those like them, Christmas will take on a new significance to you and those close to you this year.
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Coffee Break

"Hear the Babe"

"To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation." 2 Corinthians 5:19

Do you need a word from the Lord this morning? Do you need to hear from Him? Do you need for Him to speak to you? Did you know that it is His desire to speak to you? It has always been God's desire to speak to and with His people. It's always been His desire to have fellowship and communion with us. This was evident in the Garden of Eden. God came down in the cool of each day to commune with Adam. That was the reason we were created-- "and for Thy pleasure we were created". (Rev. 4:11)

Man's sin is what broke that fellowship with God. Man's sin put God on one side and mankind on the other. Man's sin caused a problem in our communication with God. Even though man's sin caused the division in our fellowship with God, it did not change God's love for man nor His desire to have fellowship, communion and a relationship with us. This was God's desire from the beginning and because He does not change, it has still always been His desire.

Because of God's desire to have a relationship with us- one where we walk and talk together- He had a plan to make that possible once again. That plan began to manifest when in the fullness of time God sent His Son to be born of a woman- a virgin woman named Mary. The birth of Jesus was God speaking to mankind. It was God saying, "I love you. I desire a relationship with you. If you will put your faith and trust in my Son, then you will have access into my presence once more." God loved us so much, He wanted a relationship with us, He was so willing to forgive us and bring us back to Himself that He sent us a gift- the gift of reconciliation- and it came wrapped in swaddling clothes laying in a manger.

A relationship with God grants us the opportunity and ability to "hear from the Lord", to have Him "speak to us", to communicate and fellowship with Him. The relationship between mankind and God that was broken was "mended" back together through Jesus Christ. So, when you look at the Christ child laying in a manger, don't just see Him, hear Him- hear what He is saying. He is speaking volumes. He is speaking loudly. He is speaking the depth and breadth and length and height of God's love for you.

Have a great day. Don't just see the babe in the manger, "hear" Him, listen to what God is saying to you through Him.




SERMONS

THE SCIENTISTS FIND CHRISTMAS JOY BY JEFF NOBLIT

https://www.sermonaudio.com/saplayer/playpopup.asp?SID=1224171317578



THE CHRISTMAS FAMILY TREE BY IAN WILSON[/size]

https://www.sermonaudio.com/saplayer/playpopup.asp?SID=1216181239473733

GOD PARTOOK OF FLESH BY FRANK JONES

https://www.sermonaudio.com/saplayer/playpopup.asp?SID=1221141646320


A VIRGIN PREGNANT! BY FRANK JONES


https://www.sermonaudio.com/saplayer/playpopup.asp?SID=1216121312329
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Post  Admin on Fri 11 Dec 2020, 6:29 pm

The Wednesday Word: More Light from the Manger.


Luke 2:12, ‘And this shall be a sign unto you; You shall find the baby wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.'
 

I sometimes think there should be a ‘Selah’ (pause and think of that) after this verse.
 
Think of how God entered our world, not as a mighty invader from outer space but as a baby, a little, helpless, human baby. He didn’t arrive as a war Lord filled with anger. He arrived as a harmless infant dependant on others to feed and provide for Him!  The Angel sent the Shepherds to Bethlehem saying this shall be a sign unto you, you shall find the baby.
 
And what did they find?  They found the baby. What was the sign? The sign was a baby …a helpless, humble baby. Yes indeed, but what a sign!  This baby in a feeding trough for cattle was none other than the Mighty God Himself! This sign, therefore, points to immense truths about God. Sometime today, I hope we can take time to meditate on this.

Although He was fully and truly God from all eternity, He became human. He was not half-God and half-man, but fully God and fully man. Although He laid aside the outward glory and trappings of deity, He did not cease to be God. The Lord Jesus Christ was and is the God-man, two natures joined together in one Person.
 
He came here to save us.  What we could not do to bring about our salvation He did for us. If He had not been born as a human, He could not have represented us.   For us to be saved required that we have a substitute to die in our place and stead. One of us, a human, had to die.  

Many battles have been fought over this basic truth of the divine/human saviour. In the first century, the battle raged over his genuine humanity. Did God really become a man? Some people said no. But 1 John 4:2 reminds us if we deny the humanity of Jesus Christ, we are not Christians.
 
Our friends the Jews do not believe that God became a man.  They may occasionally say nice things about Jesus but they vigorously deny that he was God manifest in the flesh. Such a thought is blasphemy to them. The Hindus do not believe that Christ is the Mighty God incarnate. In their religion, Jesus may perhaps be a god, one among millions of gods, but they don’t believe that Jesus is the human revelation of the Supreme Deity.
 
For Christians, Luke 2:12 teaches us that the Lord from heaven entered this earth as a human … a tiny, helpless, little baby. He did not rent a body to be used and be discarded after 33 years. No, He joined Himself to humanity and became fully and genuinely human. As Luther said, ‘The mystery of the humanity of Christ, that He sunk Himself into our flesh, is beyond all human understanding.’
 
An unknown writer wrote,
‘If our greatest need had been information, God would have sent us an instructor.
If our greatest need had been technology, God would have sent us a scientist.
If our greatest need had been money, God would have sent us an economist.
If our greatest need had been pleasure, God would have sent us an entertainer.
But our greatest need was for a substitute so God sent us the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ.’
 
And that’s the Gospel Truth! 


SERMONS

A CHRISTMAS QUESTION BY CHARLES SPURGEON

https://www.sermonaudio.com/saplayer/playpopup.asp?SID=121603132444

A MERRY CHRISTMAS BY CHARLES SPURGEON JOB 1

https://www.sermonaudio.com/saplayer/playpopup.asp?SID=1116091912283




CONFESSING BODLY BY FRANK JONES ACTS 9



https://www.sermonaudio.com/saplayer/playpopup.asp?SID=1227152029439




CONFESSING CHRISTMAS BY FRANK JONES 1 TIMOTHY 3


https://www.sermonaudio.com/saplayer/playpopup.asp?SID=121315134406





[size=13][size=48][size=16]My Manna
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When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go now to Bethlehem and see this thing that has taken place, which the Lord has made known to us.” 





So they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the child lying in the manger. 





When they saw this, they made known what had been told them about this child; and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds told them. 



But Mary treasured all these words and pondered them in her heart. 





The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them.

This scene is among the most beloved of not just the Christmas story but the whole Bible. 



It is the source of all of our Christmas crèches and nativity scenes. 


It is a story of wonder and beauty and tenderness in which we see God’s parental heart revealed.

But today, this part of the story also captures my dream for church. 


Not just on Christmas Eve, though that’s a good place to start, but throughout the year.

There are three movements in this brief scene.


         

Expectation

The shepherds are filled with ​         

expectation so that once they’ve heard the report of the angels they go as quickly as they can to find Mary and Joseph.




​Enjoyment
They are not disappointed, as they find the angels spoke truly. 

Indeed, they are filled with wonder and delight by the family gathered around their newborn son.


​Evangelism
Filled with joy, they go and tell others of what they have seen, who are themselves also filled with a sense of expectation and wonder as well.

So there it is: 


-          
​E​
xpectation,          
​Enjoyment, Evangelism. 




What would it be like if church were like this? 



That we worked together to create a community of faith – worship on Sundays; education, service, and fellowship throughout the week – that made it easy to invite people to, expecting that as they did they would be filled with wonder and delight and share what they’ve found with others? 






​​
Can we do this?


​          
E​
xpectation,          
​Enjoyment, Evangelism.




"Dear God, fill us again with a holy awe and joyous delight at the gift of your son, that we might invite others to know the goodness of faith and life in you. In Jesus’ name, Amen."
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KEITH NOTES FROM NANJING Empty Re: KEITH NOTES FROM NANJING

Post  Admin on Tue 08 Dec 2020, 10:53 pm

First of all, I wish to say 

HAPPY CHRISTMAS AND A BLESSED 2021 TO YOU ALL

THANK YOU FOR ALL YOUR LOVE, PATIENCE, PRAYERS AND ENCOURAGEMENT


I am Keith, but everyone calls me KK

I am an ordinary Christian, who loves to share devotions and pray for others

I hope you enjoy the devotions and prayer requests I send out, am not asking for money. All I ask is the following

That you read them
Re Prayer items, you pray about them
You share them in whatever way you see fit
Occasionally respond, I am not looking for praise, if you send back saying received and blessed that would be enough
You listen sermons, these have been carefully chosen to bless you


Please also count me as a friend, I am here to share with you, I am not a robot sending out emails , but a real person who is willing to pray with you. Please send me your prayer needs. Everything is in confidence

Please feel free to share what is going on in your ministry, I love hearing what is happening in your area of Gods vineyard

I want our friendship to be a two-way thing, I am want to bless you by sending these mails out, all I ask is that you share, pray, listen and read. I will pray for you and your family

written with love to you all

Please check your junk mail inbox as I don't want you to miss any blessings

Let's work together to glorify God

amen

with deep love and prayers

your friend 

kk
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Post  Admin on Thu 03 Dec 2020, 8:17 pm

[size=16]DELIVERING YOUR REPORT

 
ISAIAH 53

 
1.Who has believed (trusted in, relied upon, and clung to) our message [of that which was revealed to us]? And to whom has the arm of the Lord been disclosed?

 
When I was thinking about a verse to share with you, this one didn't immediately come to mind and when the Lord shared it with me, I thought, 'Lord it's not a Christmas verse'.  But as I have pondered and thought about it, I have come to see its relevance to Christmas.

 
Isaiah was written 700 years before Christ was born, and there were many prophecies in the OT about the birth of Jesus. Micah the prophet said Jesus would be born in Bethlehem, so why wasn't that town being watched night and day by the people and indeed the rulers?

 
No one truly believed the report of Isaiah. The only people God spoke to were the wise men and the shepherds. He alerted people from modern day 
Iran/Iraq and some of the lowliest people in the Kingdom of Israel.

 
The arm of the Lord has been revealed to man, but is man interested? Well, no. The birth of Jesus was announced by thousands upon thousands of angels, but 
no one else heard them apart from the shepherds.

 
As it was with His first coming, so it will be with His second coming, no one will believe us when we tell them that Jesus is coming again. Indeed, Jesus said 
that when He comes a second time, it will be like in the time of Noah.

 
You will be a voice crying in the wilderness. That is the role of the church and of the individual believer.

 
Even if people do not believe our report, we have to tell it. We have to tell people that Jesus has come to deal with sin, because that is why He came. He did not come to show us how to live a good life (although He did) or to give us a good moral example (which He also did), but to deal with the main problem that man has and that he is a sinner cut off from his God and Jesus came to die for a world where the majority rejects HIM.

 
This Christmas, let us give our report, whether or not people believe it or not; let us open our mouths boldly and share the true meaning of Christmas.

 
Too many believers and churches say, people have heard it all before. But there is no option to say that! You are ordered by Jesus Himself to share His story, the story of what happened at that first Christmas.

Jesus left the glory of heaven. HE exchanged being worshipped every minute of every day by millions of angels for the cold of a Bethlehem stable and  the cruel torture of the Cross of Calvary.
 
I think the least we can do is to share His story, don't you?

 
God bless you,

 
Keith
 
 
 
 
 
 
SHARE JESUS THIS CHRISTMAS

 
MICAH 5

 
2 But you, Bethlehem Ephratah, you are little to be among the clans of Judah; [yet] out of you shall One come forth for Me Who is to be Ruler in Israel, Whose goings forth have been from of old, from ancient days (eternity).
3 Therefore shall He give them up until the time that she who travails has brought forth; then what is left of His brethren shall return to the children ofIsrael.
4 And He shall stand and feed His flock in the strength of the Lord, in the majesty of the name of the Lord His God; and they shall dwell [secure], for then shall He be great 
[even] to the ends of the earth.

 
 
The birth of Jesus is probably the most foretold event in history, as there are many prophecies stating various details about his birth

 
One of the greatest is about his birthplace and this is in the prophet Micah. Surely, He was going to be born in Jerusalem. After all that was God's city, the home of the Temple, but the privilege went to Bethlehem.

 
The birth of Jesus was planned in meticulous detail. Everything was done in order.


 
The choice of Bethlehem tells us something about what God uses. It is not the biggest that gets used, it is not always the loudest and most glamorous that
gets chosen.
 


Bethlehem was a backwater village. It was somewhere that people passed through, when we are on the freeway/motorway, we go past towns and say, “ Well there 
is nothing there. It is of no relevance.” In that day, there were 2 Bethlehem's and God was very specific which one was going to have the blessing of the Messiah's birth.

 




Your town sometimes has plaques placed up for its most famous residents or people who were born there, and so has Bethlehem. It was the birthplace of the ONE, the one true Saviour/Messiah/Redeemer. The sign in Bethlehem today is JESUS WAS BORN HERE.

 
So, if you think your life is a backwater, that no one else notices, take heart. The sign on your life is JESUS LIVES HERE, and by Him living in you, you can share Him with others.

 
Jesus was born in Bethlehem and that town has shared Him with the world. They have shared the Saviour. Now it's your turn.

 
Who are you going to share Jesus with this Christmas?

 
God Bless you,

 
Keith

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SERMONS

JOB 1;5 BY CHARLES SPURGEON

https://www.sermonaudio.com/saplayer/playpopup.asp?SID=1214162033374


ISAIAH 41;10 BY CHARLES SPURGEON

https://www.sermonaudio.com/saplayer/playpopup.asp?SID=1214162046437


A 15 MINUTE CHRISTMAS MESSAGE BY PAUL MAHAN LUKE 2;10-11

https://www.sermonaudio.com/saplayer/playpopup.asp?SID=122317194500

NAME ABOVE ALL NAMES BY JAMES SHARP ISAIAH 9:6

https://www.sermonaudio.com/saplayer/playpopup.asp?SID=31019131511183


GUEST DEVOTIONS

[size=16]Coffee Break


"Eventful Days"


"And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered."  Luke 2:6


I don't know how long it was from the time Mary and Joseph arrived in Bethlehem until she gave birth to Jesus.  It could have been that day or a few days.  In our Christmas plays we portray it as being the same day.  Maybe it was.  Maybe it wasn't.   Regardless, it was certainly an eventful day for her. 


Have you ever had "eventful" days?  They start out like any other day but before the day is over many things have happened that change your life forever.  Mary's world, the day that Jesus was born, was changed forever.  It would no longer be the same.  Though her world changed, her God stayed the same.  He was still leading, guiding and providing for her/them.  He was still with her.  He didn't leave her.  He was still faithful and trustworthy.


We never know if the events of our day will be good or bad; bring prosperity or poverty; pain or joy; life or death.  But this we can always rest assured of-- The Lord God will always stay the same.  He won't change just because our circumstances do.  He won't run out on us and leave us by ourselves.  He won't forsake us and leave us to "fin for ourselves".  He won't neglect us.  He will still be there for us and with us.  He will still be the friend that sticks closer than a brother.  He will still be faithful and true.  He is Emmanuel-- God with us.  Just as He was "with" Mary, He will be with you.   


Have a great day.  When you get to the end of the day and things are not the same, remember the Lord is still the same.
 


[/size]
Silent Night



 
It is silent tonight, in an empty house;

Devoid of the laughter of kids.

Reflecting the past, I realize all

The blessings that (back then) were hid. 




More friends are making Heaven their home,

Every day that I live.

I feel really bad that I cannot do ...

Give, like I used to give.



I miss so many and know so few;

This is truly a foreign land.

I am homesick, tonight, for faces I miss

And a land with an angel band ...



Familiar smiles and genuine love

From someone who knows me well.

Yes, it is silent. The beat of my heart

Wishes there was someone to tell.



That's what I did, for all my years;

In pictures, in verse, or song.

But when time writes her story and old eyes grow dim,

There's so few who sing along.




 
:copyright: 2013 by Joan Clifton Costner
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Post  Admin on Thu 03 Dec 2020, 12:50 am

PROCLAIMING THE GIFT OF CHRISTMAS

“For the lips of a priest should preserve knowledge, and men should seek instruction from his mouth; for he is the messenger of the Lord of hosts...Malachi 2:7.” 

How wonderful is the gift of Christmas.  It is ageless in beauty, couched in eternal truth, framed by the touch of God’s love and sealed in each heart of those willing to believe.  The gift of Christmas has never lost it power to reach to the lowest depths or ascend the highest levels of society; if only people will believe.  Yet, how will people believe in a society which lives as if God does not exist? How will they hear without voices of truth willing to stand boldly and proclaim the Christmas message? 

In the Old Testament, Ezra was such a voice and example.  He was one of the sons of Aaron and from a priestly line.  His name signified “helper”.  Ezra set his heart to study the law of the Lord and to practice it.  The word “set” in this context implied being erect or standing perpendicular.  The image is one of a fence post firmly fixed in the ground so it cannot be shaken by the forces of nature.  Ezra’s heart was driven by the combination of his emotions, intellect and will.  Therefore, he was firmly established in the faith and not tossed to and fro by every wind of doctrine. 

The Apostle Paul says to us, “Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, handling accurately the word of truth.” (2 Timothy 2:15)  Likewise, Paul advises: “Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth.” (Colossians 3:2)  And this should be done as the Scripture says, “not by way of eye service, as men pleasers, but as slaves of Christ doing the will of God from the heart.” (Ephesians 6:6) During this special season of the year, we are God’s priests to stand against the forces trying to take Christ out of Christmas.  We must be that voice and be that helper to preserve the greatest gift God has given to mankind. 

This priceless gift of Christmas remains from season to season as the foundation behind a love that frees souls, changes hearts, saves marriages, reunites families, and gives hope to the hopeless.  When this gift is revealed to the individual heart, love springs eternal and cannot be separated or overcome by any known power on earth.  So let the redeemed of the Lord say so!  The Lord has come! 

Are you one of those voices?  Share with others that the baby lying in a manger is the One who suffered and died on the Cross of Calvary for your sins.  He alone conquered death as evidenced by his empty tomb and by over 500 witnesses among the brethren who saw Him after his resurrection.  He alone is the true source of life and peace given under heaven among men and by Him and no other can man be saved. 

Now is the time to speak up.  Hearts are tender and open to The Hope behind the message of Christmas!  The glorious opportunity is ours to go tell it on the mountains, over the hills and everywhere that Jesus Christ is born. 



AN EXTRAORDINARY LIFE

From:         Karen Parrish 

"Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night.  And behold, an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid…Luke 2:8-9.”

Shepherds in Christ's day were the lowest of the low.  They were looked upon as robbers and thieves. In fact, they were so low that they were never permitted to serve as witnesses in Jewish courts of law.  So why do you think Abba Father chose these "ne'er do wells" to reveal the birth of the Son of God? 

Isn't it interesting through out the Bible, wealthy, influential people were rarely the receiver of God's glory.  Does that mean they are never receivers of God’s glory?  Absolutely not, however, Abba Father chose the lowly, average people to proclaim His glory.  Jesus birth was an extraordinary happening to invade the average world.

How many times do we Christians hear, "I cannot receive Christ because I am not good enough" or I have sinned too much to ask Christ into my heart."  If any of this were true, Abba Father would have had His dear Son born in a palace, with all the latest technology of the day.  However, I am so thankful He chose a stinky, cold manger, and took on the humblest of form to enter this world for you and me. 

Jesus birth was smallest enough to ignore, but big enough to change our lives forever.  I have just come through a desert time in my life, and I rejoice in saying, that same Jesus was so faithful to me, and I never lost sight of His great love for me. Praise the Father, Son and Holy Ghost!

What have you done with Jesus?  What are you going to do with Jesus?  Will you continue to let Him lay in the manger, or will you pick him up, hold him, love him and turn every area of your life over to Him?  He is an extraordinary life in an ordinary, average person, like you and I...if we will only let Him. 

Rejoice in His birth, death and resurrection, because without all three of these happenings, we would be permanently lost forever.  Praise God, we will all fall at the feet of Jesus someday and worship Him in a way we can't even begin to imagine!  Look up dear saints, for the coming of our Lord and Savior will come again soon!  Grace, Peace and the love of Abba Father be to you all during this blessed Christmas season, and may it reflect in your life until He comes again!
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Post  Admin on Mon 30 Nov 2020, 8:42 pm

MATTHEW 1 
 
23 Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a Son, and they shall call His name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.
 
GOD IS WITH ME

It was nearly 700 years since Isaiah's prophecy, and the Jewish people were still waiting. Generation after generation passed and still God remained silent. 

But now, God steps into human history in a new way, in the form of a man: Jesus, God's only Son, who came down to earth to dwell with us. 

This was and IS the turning point of history! History revolves on this axis. God the Son came down to earth in the form of a man, as fully God and yet fully man.
 
He had all the bodily functions we have, experienced all the emotions we do and yet was without any sin or fault. 

To be living in Bible times and to have actually seen Jesus in the flesh, must of been incredible! Do you wonder what it was like? Did people realize who He was? 

He lived a normal life for thirty years. HE was a carpenter in Nazareth. Can you imagine Jesus making something for you? It must of been the most beautiful piece of furniture ever made, perfect in every detail.

He walked around Nazareth; He went to the synagogue every Sabbath, as a faithful Jew. He lived thirty years in obscurity, and the three years He lived in public view changed the world forever.

In everything He did, there was perfection and now like that first Christmas, Jesus wants to come and live with you in your heart. 
 
I hope this Christmas time, of all the people you receive into your home and all the presents you get, that you will receive Jesus as your Saviour and Lord by faith alone and that you will be able to say:

GOD IS WITH ME
 
Jesus is my Saviour and My Lord!

God bless you,

Keith
 
MATTHEW 1 
 
21 And she shall bring forth a Son, and thou shalt call His name Jesus: for He shall save His people from their sins.

 
WHY JESUS CAME? 
 
Here's an interesting question. 

Why did He come? 

Did He come to show us the right way to live? 

Did He come to show up the religious leaders of the day? 

Did He come to do the most shattering miracles ever seen on the earth?

He did all these things, but the main reason was: He came to die. 
 
Sin is man's problem and he can do nothing to eradicate it. The stain of sin remained even with a series of animal sacrifices in the Old Testament that ultimately pointed to Jesus. But these animal sacrifices did not remove and could not remove the penalty of sin from man's record. 

For that to happen a perfect sacrifice had to be provided, and that was the Son of God. He was born supernaturally, lived perfectly and died and rose again victorious over sin and death. 
 
Jesus came for one reason and one reason only. Sure, He was the greatest teacher who ever lived; the greatest worker of miracles ever and the greatest critic of religious hypocrisy who ever walked the planet.

But this fact is paramount: HE IS THE ONLY SAVIOUR. He and He alone through His death on calvary and His resurrection, can and does save sinful man, when someone trusts in Him.

The only medicine that can heal sin is the precious blood of Jesus, who died for you. 

Let's make this personal: He came to save and has, praise God, saved Keith Hobkirk from his sin. He came to save (your name) from his/her sin, and to give them eternal life. 

Jesus is waiting for you. What will you do to find Jesus, this Christmas?
 
God bless you,
 
Keith



SERMONS

PATERNAL PITY BY JOHN MACDUFF

https://www.sermonaudio.com/saplayer/playpopup.asp?SID=513151829562

THOUGHTS UPON THOUGHTS BY JOHN MACDUFF


https://www.sermonaudio.com/saplayer/playpopup.asp?SID=1022152356589

CHRISTMAS ACCORDING TO JOHN BY MIKE RICCARDI JOHN 1;14

https://www.sermonaudio.com/saplayer/playpopup.asp?SID=1227121320254

THOSE WHO MISSED CHRISTMAS BY ROSS FITCHER JOHN 1;10-12

https://www.sermonaudio.com/saplayer/playpopup.asp?SID=24202043572


GUEST DEVOTIONS

If Christ Had Not Come
 
A clergyman fell into a short sleep in his study on Christmas morning and dreamed
of a world into which Jesus had never come.
 
In his dream he found himself looking through his home, but there were no little stocking
 in the chimney corner, no Christmas bells or wreaths of holly, and no Christ to comfort gladden
 and save us.   He walked out on the public street, but there was no church with it spire pointing
 to Heaven.  He came back and sat down in the library, but every book about the Savior had
disappeared.
 
A ring at the door-bell, and a messenger asked him to visit a poor dying mother.  He hastened
with the weeping child and as he reached the home he sat down and said “I have something
 here that will comfort you.”  He opened his Bible to look for a familiar promise, but it ended at
Malachi, and there was no gospel and no promise of hope and salvation, and he could only
bow his head and weep with her in utter despair.
 
Two days afterward he stood beside her coffin and conducted the funeral service, but there was
no message of consolation, no word of a glorious resurrection, no open Heaven, but only “dust
to dust, ashes to ashes,” and one long eternal farewell.  He realized at length that “He had not come,”
 and burst into tears and bitter weeping in his sorrowful dream.
 
Suddenly he woke with a start, and a great shout of joy and praise burst frm his lips as he heard
his choir singing in his church close by:
 
“O come, all ye faithful, joyful and triumphant,
O come ye, O come ye, to Bethlehem:
Come and behold Him, born the King of Angels,
O come let us adore Him, O come let us adore Him,
O come let us adore Him, Christ, the Lord.”
 
Let us be glad and rejoice today, because “He has come.”
 
Let us remember the annunciation of the angel,  “Behold I bring you good tidings of great joy, which
shall be to all people, for unto you is born this day in the city of David, a Savior, which is Christ the Lord.”
 Luke 2: 10-11.
 
“He comes to make His blessings flow,
Far as the curse is found.”
 
May out hearts go out to the people in heathen lands, who have no blessed Christmas day. 
“His name shall be called Emmanuel…God with us.” Matt.1:22
“The Prince of Peace.” Isa.9:6.
 
“There’s a song in the air!
There’s a star in the sky!
There’s a mother’s deep prayer,
And a baby’s low cry!
 
And the star rains its fire
While the beautiful sing,
For the manger of Bethlehem
 Cradles a King.        


 "The Star"
Matt 2:10 And when they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy. (NAS)
Ask someone to give you a list of things associated with Christmas and Jesus and the appearance of the star over Bethlehem will almost certainly be in that list. God had a plan nine centuries before Jesus' birth to take Daniel and his friends as captives to a far away land to the east. Daniel became a trusted member of the Kings court. The wise-men that arrived to give gifts to Jesus were guided by a star their distant descendants had been told of by Daniel. In those days a new star appearing or a comet hailed an important event. These men were persons of importance. They had risked their lives to cross the distance following the star for likely more than a year to honor this child.

What star are you following? Do you have dreams and goals? It is very hard to reach a goal that is never set. If you have a goal, what are you doing to achieve that goal? The wise-men set their purpose to honor the newborn King. Their actions were to pack up and drive a caravan west and follow the star at great personal risk. Storms, bandits and robbers, food and water, and the difficulties of extended travel were against them. It would have been very easy to continue to observe the star from the comfort of their observatories and palaces. The importance of this event had not been lost on them or they would not have made the daunting trip. The local King had to be informed by his guests of the event.

The star had one purpose; to announce the birth of the Messiah to the world. The angels informed the shepherds and they left their flocks - their livelihood. The star appeared and only the wise-men from the east came, but they took serious risks to honor the announcement. Today, we are the star to the world. We have good days and tough days just like anyone else. But if we can stop and remember the star, which reminds us of the Messiah, then we will have the assurance that all is not lost. God controls the appearances of stars and He knows when a sparrow falls to the ground. And in all of the uncounted details of the universe that happen second by second He knows the number of the hairs on your head. He knows your hurts, failings and successes and is with you through all of them. That is worth announcing.

Luke 4:18-19 "The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, Because He anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor. He has sent Me to proclaim release to the captives, And recovery of sight to the blind, To set free those who are downtrodden, 19 To proclaim the favorable year of the Lord. " (NAS)
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Post  Admin on Fri 27 Nov 2020, 10:14 pm

[size=16]THE FAITHFULNESS OF GOD IN 2020


This year has been like no other in living memory, in all my sixty years, I have never seen anything like it.    I remember the 31st December 2019, we had a friend from Canada in our home.   We looked forward to the year ahead, never thinking that the world would be in lockdown


Many of you have gone through much this year, some of you have had Covid-19, some have lost friends and family through it. My deepest  sympathy to all who have lost loved ones.


This year has been one of loss in our family, we lost our dear Baba (Helen's father) in August.   We miss him and are thankful that he put his faith in Jesus before he died. His quiet manner had a deep impression on everyone he met.   He was a good man and the poem at the bottom of this writing sums him up perfectly.


Covid-19 started in China and we experienced lockdown from late January to May, Helen was off school until mid-June, it was wonderful to take time to be together to cook and just hang out. Being British, (the song Mad Dogs and Englishmen go out to buy food, during the Covid crisis), I went out every day to buy food, and was tested up to four times per day.   When I went in and out of the complex, at the market and supermarket, so I am the most tested person in the world!. Surely the testing process is flawed as my tests all came back normal.    Since coming to China, I have never worn a face mask, I do now.


Despite not being able to teach and losing that income, God was faithful and provided by a pension from my time in the health service in the UK, I now have a regular income every three months, Praise God.    We haven't been able to travel outside China, but we did take a trip to Henan province to attend a wedding of two church members.   We had a great feast on the day before the wedding and that caused me to be pretty sick on the way back home.


In March, I had a first, having a hairline fracture of bones in my left foot.   I ended up on crutches for a month.   Seeing me using or trying to manoeuvre myself around the flat, was truly a sight to behold.    Talking of feet, we are now going to have our feet and back massaged once per month.   It takes years off you and we will be taking BD there when and if he comes


As I write this, we are awaiting the arrival back to China of our beloved Daughter.   It has been six years and to have her back will be a joy.


As always, I want to thank my beloved wife Helen. We celebrated eight years of marriage.   She has unlimited patience and love and is so beautiful. Also, I thank to my wonderful daughter.   She is so precious.   It will be great to have her back with us.   I love them both.


I want to thank some very special friends especially BD, who continues to furnish me with goodies and other dear friend, who blessed me with a wonderful parcel in September.


Thanks to Jeffrey, David and Michael for helping my walk with God.    Thanks for all those who help me in many ways, you know what you do.    Thanks to everyone who has spoken encouragement into my life.


The title of the email is the faithfulness of God in 2020, everything has been turned upside down this year, everything that we trusted in, has been torn down, but God remains faithful.    Through everything, we see God's faithfulness.   We see his hand in everything we do.
You might ask, why do we trust him?    We can trust his faithfulness, because He never fails us or lets us down. In a world, that is crumbling around us, we can trust God simply because he has kept all his promises and has never let me down


A song that has become one of my favourites is Faithful God by I am they, check it out on YouTube or QQ music. The song is my testimony:


I can say with the words of the song, as you listen to this song, you will echo these words


You are faithful God


You know despite what I go through every day, one thing I know: God is Faithful and good in all things.    Thank you, my precious Father, words can't express my thanks for all you have done, are doing and will do in the future.. I love you


SERMONS


MARK 9:23 BY CHARLES SPURGEON


https://www.sermonaudio.com/saplayer/playpopup.asp?SID=1216162325580



MATTHEW 10:25 BY CHARLES SPURGEON


https://www.sermonaudio.com/saplayer/playpopup.asp?SID=121516034269

WHAT IS A CHRISTIAN? BY DAVID INNES ROMANS 1[/size]

https://www.sermonaudio.com/saplayer/playpopup.asp?SID=927082039282


IS GOD IGNORING YOU? BY OLIVER BAKER LUKE 18

https://www.sermonaudio.com/saplayer/playpopup.asp?SID=65111437402

[size=16]Guest devotion
Tribute to Helen's father and my Baba


A Good Man
When a good man dies, a thousand lights go out.
And it's said, a giant library is lost.

Oh, I've tried to make comparisons and wise clichés
To estimate, in part, a good man's loss.

For, I know the way it feels to have your heart bend low
And understand how dark the nights can be.

But a good man has a heritage beyond the grave.
And we would be so foolish not to see


That, a good man leaves a light his children follow;
No groping through some wilderness or maze.


And howe'er their lives, it shines on in a brilliance
That they can see 'til ending of their days.
His words come ringing deep, in vibrant stereo,
Within the keen recesses of their minds.
There's guidance there, enough to get to Heaven
Where once again, their hearts and arms entwine.
I'm so sorry for your loss here, on the earth below.
But, I'm proud to say, A good man went away.
You'll see him soon. It won't be long.
Just follow the lights a good man left upon the way….
    ©Joan Clifton Costner
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KEITH NOTES FROM NANJING Empty Re: KEITH NOTES FROM NANJING

Post  Admin on Tue 24 Nov 2020, 11:07 pm

But God... a story of amazing grace!

Ephesians 2


[size=16][size=19]And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience— among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body[size=19][a]
 and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind.[b] But[c] God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God,not a result of works, so that no one may boast. 10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.[/size][/size]


[size=19]My wilderness years were between 1986-2001. Yes, I did go to church on occasion, not the best one to be honest... I picked up my Bible on occasion and I prayed, but not with same love and fervour I once had.[/size]


[size=19]Something was happening, and the Holy Spirit was speaking.  At this time, I was back home with mum after living away for a long time.  I had put all my effort into trying to do it my way.  I had a computer and through that I came into contact with a Christian who challenged me to repent and to come back to God.  My answer was that although God would forgive, HE would never trust me and would never forget MY sin.[/size]


[size=19]I remember one day being in my bedroom, when I broke down in tears.  The Lord restored me!  He is truly the God of the second chance, and I was a prodigal who had come home.[/size]


[size=19]I found a church and settled there, but my computer turned out to be my enemy.  I was led away by my own lusts and the devil, and made friends with a so-called female "pastor" in the USA.  Being very foolish, I moved there in 2004 and got married, losing not only my testimony, but also my mother, the respect of my family and nearly my life.  The three years spent in America were a sobering experience.  I blame no one but myself, but again God was gracious and merciful, giving me the mercy and grace that I didn't deserve.[/size]


Thankfully, I was able to spend three months at my brother's in Canada, taking lots of time to restore my relationship with him and most importantly the Lord.  I then returned to the UK and went back to my old church, and they looked aghast when I turned up, and I heard lots of "Well, I told you so."


Over the next four years, the Lord restored me.  I thought that was it for me, but God had another surprise for me.  I thought I would not be moving again. Relationships took a back burner, as I remember, and I had the latest let down and said to the Lord, "No relationships and no internet relationships ever Lord."


The summer of 2011 was a time of great fellowship between me and the Lord.  I spent hours in prayer, fellowship was sweet, and I also had a website, which was getting hits from all over the world, including Nanjing China.  Wow China... that's great, but I gave it little thought.


I had an old email, so I decided to move to Gmail, and told these few people on Hotmail that I was moving, never expecting to receive a reply.  I did, from a lady who was in China.  She didn't know if I was a sister or a brother, or a strange person.  I thought she was the person that viewed the site, and thought, "Hey that's cool.  She wants to be friends. Wow a Chinese friend!!"


Over the summer of 11, something happened.  I didn't hear from my friend for a few weeks, but then she wanted to skype.  "Okay, I thought... we can see what the other looks like, and that will put her off for good."


We soon found ourselves chatting every day.  Something was happening... No come on Lord!, are you joking with me? We all know the end of the story.


As autumn came around things moved quickly.  Our friendship had deepened, and on October 1st, God spoke to Helen clearly about me being her husband.  On the following Tuesday, He spoke to me about her being my wife.  I remember it clearly; it was early morning and He spoke clearly and decisively.


But I had just moved into my caravan and I was settled.  What did my family think?  My niece went bonkers and my brother refused to talk to me for two weeks.  Everything was becoming obvious, and as we both prayed and sought the Lord, He made it even clearer.  Obstacles were removed and I bought the ticket to China on 29 feb 2012.  I went in June, lost my luggage (fortunately I had tag and track, and they found it) and was the last one off the plane.  Helen must have thought I wasn't coming, but we met and things changed forever.


We became engaged in China and I returned after a month to the UK.  My static had to be sold, along with my furniture, which the Lord graciously blessed.


Now I live in China.  My life here is not easy, the language is still a mystery to me, but I am thankful to my two wonderful girls, my dear wife and our special daughter.


But God is my story.  I was dead totally dead... not just sick.  I had no hope.  Spiritually we aren't sick... we are dead, in rebellion against God and His ways, lost to His wonderful grace and truth, and under His wrath


I could do nothing to help myself.  You see we are all like that.  We are dead spiritually, and it takes God to step in and to spiritually activate us.  Someone has said it's all about grace.. amazing grace to be exact:


G - God's 
R - Riches
A - At
C - Christ's
E - Expense


I have been saved by God's grace, and it's all about His amazing grace.  God has intervened in my life.  BUT GOD... because of this I have been redeemed.  I have nothing to offer to God except my sins, but what He offered to me was His love, mercy and grace, all of which was totally underserved.


I hope what I have shared is used by God to open someone's eyes to the Saviour, who I love and treasure, to His finished work on the cross.  It is because of this that I can sing the words:





[size=19]Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound,


That saved a wretch like me....

I once was lost but now am found,

Was blind, but now, I see.





T'was Grace that taught...

my heart to fear.

And Grace, my fears relieved.

How precious did that Grace appear...

the hour I first believed.





Through many dangers, toils and snares...

we have already come.

T'was Grace that brought us safe thus far...

and Grace will lead us home.





The Lord has promised good to me...

His word my hope secures.

He will my shield and portion be...

as long as life endures.





When we've been here ten thousand years...

bright shining as the sun.

We've no less days to sing God's praise...

then when we've first begun.





Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound,

That saved a wretch like me....

I once was lost but now am found,

Was blind, but now, I see.




God bless you,

Keith 



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KEITH NOTES FROM NANJING Empty Re: KEITH NOTES FROM NANJING

Post  Admin on Sat 21 Nov 2020, 6:46 pm

"But God"... a story of Amazing Grace


Ephesians 2


[size=16]And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience— among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— and raised us up with Him and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages He might show the immeasurable riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God,not a result of works, so that no one may boast. 10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.


I pray that my testimony touches your heart! My name is Keith, but everyone knows me as KK. The first thing to say is that I am just an ordinary person; I am not a pastor; I have no special gifts or abilities: I am what I am because God has showered His grace upon me. 

Well, I had better start at the beginning. I was born in Bradford, Yorkshire, U.K., and then lived most of my life in Morecambe, a beautiful seaside town on the Lancashire coast. My childhood was difficult. My parents were great, but they were consumed with work and as I spent much time on my own, I gained a very rebellious and angry streak from an early age. I was a very troubled and restless child. . .I craved attention, and sought in all ways to find it.

Sent to Sunday school, I listened to the stories of Jesus and thought that they were just stories. My favourite hymn was "There was a Green Hill Far Away". This hymn said that He died to save us all. "Great," I thought, "Jesus died - I can live as I want."

I was in the church; I even did the collection for upstairs at the church. Sad to say, I was a Judas-- not just from the church, but from my parents. By the age of 14, I was placed in the lowest class at school; I was a very nasty and angry person; a sinner who had all the appearance of a good person, but was a devil on the inside. . . in all my churchgoing, I have never heard the true Gospel that Jesus saves personally.

At school, I was known as trouble; teachers thought I had no hope, but my parents didn't give up-- they fought for me to be placed in a higher class. They finally got their wish and I was placed in Class 4S, along with two very special people, both whom are close friends today, David and Andrew, the person whom God used to bring me to faith.

As I said, I was trouble at school: if there was trouble in class, it usually revolved around me; Keith had said or done something to upset them. Well, I created havoc in class, tormenting virtually everyone: I was a mixture of Dennis the Menace and Homer Simpson, loveable and dumb but just a pain in the bum: well. . . except for Andrew.

Everything I tried to do to him, it didn't upset him at all! What is it with this guy? Why is he so calm? OK, he's a Christian; well, so am I! I go to church, so what's the big deal? Also, we had R.E. (Religious Education) in our school, led by Mr Curnow. I just sat the back of the class and mocked him. He said at the end of the class, "Jesus loves you and is the Answer!" "What?" I thought, "Why doesn't he tell it to us through all the class, if Jesus is so good?" Many years later I had the pleasure of meeting him and his wife, who was my French teacher; also, my history teacher, Mr Waterhouse, who were all Believers-- the ones I had mocked were Christians.


Andrew was getting under my skin; he invited me to these meetings, and on a Saturday night! "What, you go to these Bible meetings on a Saturday? You are a fanatic, man!" One day he invited me: and to be honest, just to stop him asking me, I said "OK, but look, I have to be home by 10, the football is on."


So, on Saturday, the 15th of February, I set out to Moorlands Gospel Hall in Lancaster. Meeting me at the bus station, we made our way to the meeting. It was different to everything I had ever been to: this was lively, hymns were sung truly and powerfully, people stood up and told how Jesus had changed their lives, and finally Victor Jack (an evangelist) stood up and preached. He said "If Jesus came tonight, where would you spend eternity? You  are a guilty sinner, condemned by your sin; but Jesus has provided salvation through the Cross." For the first time I had heard the true Gospel. Victor said he was going into a side room, anyone who would like to talk with him, please do so. I remember closing my eyes-- the curtain was raised; the light went on! I turned to Andrew, "I want to go into that room!" I got there first, just before someone else; this was something I just had to do. Victor took me through "Journey into Life" (tract by Norman Warren). I said the prayer, and trusted Christ. My prayer was sincere. Something happened that night-- something life changing! Thanks, Andrew and Victor!


I remember going home: I shouted out in glee, "I've become a Christian!" My parents weren't impressed. "It will wear off," they said. My form teacher had said to Andrew, "Keith will never get saved." Things did change. I went to church and got baptised, but still had many problems. . . but I knew something had happened-- I had new affections and new interests; I loved reading the Bible and praying.


For the first 10 years of my Faith walk I went up and down, but I still made progress. But I was now to enter the "wilderness years". For nearly 15 years from 1986-2001, I went off the rails completely. Not terrible sin, but just rebellion and disobedience: no prayer, no church, living in the world; yet through all that time God Who had saved me, held me.


He was drawing me back to himself. . . 


More of that in part 2


SERMONS


 A new existence by JC ryle


https://www.sermonaudio.com/saplayer/playpopup.asp?SID=7230813592610


The bible by Henry law

https://www.sermonaudio.com/saplayer/playpopup.asp?SID=617092223166



The Christian and Culture by Robert Gianserra Daniel 1

https://www.sermonaudio.com/saplayer/playpopup.asp?SID=1011201326443020


Sowing righteousness, reaping revival by Roger Higginson Hosea 10;12

https://www.sermonaudio.com/saplayer/playpopup.asp?SID=1018201151546878






Guest devotion[/size]

[th][/th]


[th]
His head is the finest gold;his locks are wavy,black as a raven.Song of Songs 5:11
Comparisons all fail to set forth the Lord Jesus, but the spouse uses the best she can find. By the head of Jesus we may understand His deity, “for the head of Christ is God”;1 and then the mold of purest gold is the best conceivable metaphor, but all too poor to describe one so precious, so pure, so dear, so glorious. Jesus is not a grain of gold, but a vast globe of it, a priceless mass of treasure such as earth and heaven cannot excel.The creatures are mere iron and clay—they will all perish like wood, hay, and stubble; but the ever-living Head of the creation of God will shine on forever and ever. In Him is no mixture, nor smallest taint of alloy. He is forever infinitely holy and altogether divine. The wavy locks depict His manly vigor. There is nothing effeminate in our Lord. He is the manliest of men—bold as a lion, strong as an ox, swift as an eagle. Every conceivable and inconceivable beauty is to be found in Him, though He once was despised and rejected of men.His head the finest gold;With secret sweet perfume,His curled locks hang all as blackAs any raven's plume.The glory of His head is not shorn away. He is eternally crowned with peerless majesty. The black hair indicates youthful freshness, for Jesus has the dew of His youth upon Him. Others grow weak with age, but He is forever a Priest like Melchizedek; others come and go, but He remains as God upon His throne, world without end. We will behold Him tonight and adore Him. Angels are gazing on Him—His redeemed must not turn their eyes away from Him. Where else is there such a Beloved? Oh, for an hour's fellowship with Him! Be gone, you intruding anxieties! Jesus draws me, and I run after Him.1) 1 Corinthians 11:3
[/th]
[th]
Devotional material is taken from “Morning and Evening,” written by C.H. Spurgeon, revised and updated by Alistair Begg. Copyright © 2003, Good News Publishers and used by Truth For Life with written permission.
[/th]
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KEITH NOTES FROM NANJING Empty Re: KEITH NOTES FROM NANJING

Post  Admin on Sat 21 Nov 2020, 12:54 am

[size=18]A HEBREW SAGE MIGHT SAY. . .
Even if you are on the right track, you will get run over if you just sit there!

LACKING KNOWLEDGE

"Mpeople are destroyed for lack of knowledge, destroyed because of your disobedience! Because you have rejected knowledge and spurned the Law (teachings) of your GOD, I reject you as Mpriest. I, in turn, will spurn your children." [Hosea (Hoshea4. 6 Tanakh, Nevi’im][/size]
This grievous bewailing lament applies to all nations nowadays.  Though they once knew the MAGNIFICENT GOD OF ISRAEL, apostasy and humanism has taken over and has hardened the hearts of the masses.  Therefore, the supporting principle of reaping what one sows is well-founded and appropriate. Parents and grandparents in today's world are seeing the awful scourge of moral debauchery (wickedness, dishonestybetrayal) among their children and the young people. And, the shackles of wickedness are tightening because "you have forgotten the Law of your GOD."
GODly knowledge is rejected throughout the human race, therefore people are being "destroyed for lack of knowledge" and their willful disobedience. This ignorance exists despite an abundance of supposed actual knowledge (science) in our educational institutions, for the ALMIGHTY CREATOR has been outlawed.  The intellectuals (?of the day have forgotten that "the fear of the LORD is the beginning (best part) of knowledge, they are fools who despise wisdom and instruction." [Proverbs (Mishle) 1. 7 Tanakh, Kethuvim] "The beginning of wisdom is the fear of the LORD, and knowledge of QADOSHYM (the HOLY ONE) is understanding." [Proverbs (Mishle9. 10 Tanakh, Kethuvim]
Even in the churches, to our mortifying and embarrassing shame, there is very little emphasis on knowledge.  Instead, the enthusiasm that is endorsed and promoted is for an experience and/or entertainment.  True CHRIST-following faith is not a feeling, it is a committed desire to be of one mind and purpose with GOD SUPREME.  To have an intellectual understanding of the PERSON and work of the LORD MESSIAH YESHUA, the BREAD OF DELIVERANCE, one must first have a reverential fear of the LORD, that is the beginning of knowledge. [Proverbs/Mishle 1. 7]  Htaught imperatively— "unless you repent you will all likewise perish." [Luke 13. 5]
To believe right, one must first think right, and this requires finding GODly knowledge, discretion and discernment. "All who separated themselves from the peoples of the lands to follow the Law of GOD, everyone who had knowledge to understand, joined with their noble brothers, and took an oath with sanctions to follow GOD'Law, given through Moses the servant of GOD, and to observe carefully all the commandments of the LORD our LORD, HIS rules (ordinances) and laws (statutes)." [Nehemiah (Nechemah) 10. 28 - 29 Tanakh, Kethuvim]
"Hear the WORD OF THE LORD, O people of Israel! For the LORD has a case against the inhabitants of this land, because there is no truth or mercy, no knowledge or obedience to GOD in the land." [Hosea (Hoshea4. 1 Tanakh, Nevi'im]  "They sow wind, and they shall reap the whirlwind." [Hosea (Hoshea) 8. 7 Tanakh, Nevi'im] The people and the land are bewildered, entirely consumed; like an unwanted vessel in which there is no pleasure. 
"You therefore, beloved, since you know this beforehand, beware lest you also fall from your own steadfastness, being led away with the error of the wicked; but grow in the grace and knowledge of our LORD and SAVIOR JESUS CHRIST. To HIM be the glory both now and forever, Amen" [2 Peter 3. 17 - 18]  All who know HIM will serve and obey the MASTER — they are truly rich for the ALL-KNOWING ONE lives within; how very blessed they are.
 
Sha'alu (Pray) for the Shalom (Peace) of Jerusalem and all of Israel!
Redeem Israel,
 O ELOHIYM, out of all their troubles!


 Renew my strength and draw me nearer to YOUGLORIOUS GOD OF TRUTH  allow me to serve YOU and be YOUR friend, be my GOD and I will not be afraid; I will sing with a contented heart and be joyously blessed with salvation.
 We remember and celebrate the HOLY ONE WHO is the GREATEST GIFT to the world, the TRUE LIGHT that was given to all who will receive HIM. Such a great blessing the day MESSIAH YESHUA came into this dark world, though the world did not understand; those who do, rejoice in HIS PRESENCE still. 

A HEBREW SAGE MIGHT SAY . . .
Let the honor of your fellow man be as dear to you as your own.

GOD'S BOOKS
"A river of fire streamed forth before HIM; thousands upon thousands ministered to HIM; myriads upon myriads stood before HIM; the court sat and the BOOKS were opened." [Daniel (Danyel7. 10 Tanakh, Kethuvim]
This great vision of the Coming Day of Judgment is apparently the same as John saw later, "and I saw the dead, small and great, standing before GOD; and the BOOKS were opened. And another BOOK was opened, which is the BOOK OF LIFE. And the dead were judged according to their works, by the things which were written in the BOOKS." [Revelation 20. 12]
These BOOKS OF JUDGMENT are evidently record books of men's works.  They must also include the books of HOLY SCRIPTURE, for the works of men must be measured and judged in accordance with the WORD OF GOD. . . MESSIAH YESHUA said, "He who rejects Mand does not receive MWORDS has that which judges him  the WORD that I have spoken will judge him in the last day. For I have not spoken on MOWN authority; but the FATHER WHO sent Mgave Ma command, what I should say and what I should speak. And I know that HIS command is everlasting life. Therefore, whatever I speak, just as the FATHER has told ME, so I speak." [John 12. 48 - 50]   The LORD GOD speaking to Moses, said—  "I will raise up for them a PROPHET like you from among their brethren, and will put MWORDS in HIS mouth, and Hshall speak to them all that I command HIM. And it shall be that whoever will not hear MWORDS, which Hspeaks in MNAME, I will require it of him." [Deuteronomy (Devarim18. 18 - 19 Tanakh, Torah]   The awful and horrifying truth is that all who are trusting in their works alone are lost, for "by the deeds of the Law there shall no flesh be justified." [Romans 3. 20]
"Another BOOK was opened (at the Judgment Seat), which is the BOOK OF LIFE. And anyone not found written in the BOOK OF LIFE was cast into the Lake of Fire ." [Revelation 20. 12, 15]   That BOOK has the names of all who are trusting in the blessed REDEEMER, MESSIAH YESHUA alone for their salvation.
Still there is another BOOK that the LORD GOD is keeping — "In this vein have those who revere the LORD been talking to one another. The LORD has heard and noted it; and a SCROLL OF REMEMBRANCE has been written at HIS behest (order) concerning those who fear the LORD and esteem HIS NAME. And on the day that I am preparing, said the LORD OF HOSTS, they shall be Mtreasured possession; I will be tender toward them as a man is tender toward a son who ministers to him. And you shall come to see the difference between the righteous and the wicked, between him who has served the LORD and him who has not served HIM." [Malachi (Malakhi) 3. 16 - 18 Tanakh, Nevi'im]
"For we must all appear before the Judgment Seat of CHRIST, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad." [2 Corinthians 5. 10]   Though we will all stand before the Judgment Seat of CHRIST to give an account of our lives, the true saints of GOD will receive an extra privilege by having their names in GOD'special BOOK OF REMEMBRANCE (for revering HIS NAME, talking to one another about HIMfearing HIM, esteeming HIS NAME, obedience, etc.as well as the LAMB'BOOK OF LIFE. The advantages of belonging to the KING of kings are simply too numerous to count.

Sha'alu (Pray) for the Shalom (Peace) of Jerusalem and all of Israel!
Redeem Israel , O ELOHIYM, out of all their troubles!
 One of the most powerful ways we experience GODcloseness is through coincidences. Contemplate how awesome that is! GOD is literally customizing a series of events unique to you just to make known to you how close HE is at that moment. In TORAH this is what we call an “ays ratzon” -  a favorable moment. But if we translate the Hebrew literally, it’s even more powerful. It means, “a time of desire,” a time when GOD is expressing HIS longing for us. During these moments our sages teach us that the Gates of Heaven are open to our prayers. Now we know what to do the next time a coincidence happens! Pray! And thank GOD.
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Post  Admin on Tue 17 Nov 2020, 11:42 pm

Welcome to a special battle stations


Please continue to pray for the church in China, the current reality is that the church is in the midst of a harsh winter.


BAD NEWS


The devil is seeking to defeat, deceive, disrupt and ultimately destroy the Church in China


He is using various means;


In recent months the TSPM or registered church has been blessed by God, but persecution is now rampant among them as bibles are in great need and crosses have been torn down and church demolished.


They are forced to sing patriotic songs and the gospel is being changed to fit the culture, the story of the woman caught in adultery now has Jesus stoning her, according to the new Chinese version of the bible


Pastors like our own are being targeted, they are told they can have huge ministries, if only they would compromise and join the registered Church. They are called in to take tea with local police officials.


As long as the church is filled with old people it doesn't matter, but children and students and educated people are another matter.  Please pray as if you are a child, young person or student, it will cost you to be a Christian.


Members of our own church, have been asked to join the registered church.


Websites are being shut down and connections to the worldwide body of Christ curtailed, 




So, the situation in China is bad, persecution is serious, but God is in control and he is working.


Let's Share the


GOOD NEWS


First and foremost, God remains on the throne and is in control. He promises to keep, sustain, bless and strengthen his people. We stand on every promise of his precious word.


Despite persecution, thousands of people are coming to faith every day, the church is growing in both numbers and maturity


Our church continues to grow, we meet for bible study, three mornings per week at 5;30am (Tues, Thurs, Sat). Many members come and ongoing bible studies go on during the day.


Communication remains open, we are still able to meet virtually and on occasion in person.


Prayer is constant, many believers gather at 3-4 am every morning and read many chapters of the bible each day.


Believers are now focused like never before on kingdom work. They know that their lives must back up their words. Many people have been reached by powerful acts of compassion.


God is leaving no stone unturned as Hs spirit is working in China, things you wouldn't believe are happening. 


Many divine opportunities are opening up, people's hearts are being opened to the truth of the gospel


WHAT YOU CAN DO


Pray Pray Pray


How you say;


Go on the websites; Pray for China, Open Doors and Voice of the martyrs', be informed
Ask a speaker from one of these ministries to your church
Start a prayer meeting for China in your church
Buy the books Operation World and Operation China. Read the website Joshuaproject.net to find out the unreached peoples of China


Yeah, it will cost, you don't have to do any of the things above. You can ignore this email, but the church in China needs you!


We ARE IN THE BLEAKEST OF WINTERS, but all winters end. God will uphold us, by his mighty hand.


Please share this with your church, social media groups, pastor, prayer groups and contact list.


On the 12th February 2021, Chinese New Year's Day, we will be having specific prayer for China. More details nearer the time, plese join us as we pray. We challenge people to pray for as long as the Holy Spirit leads them to







SERMONS


PSALM 103


https://www.sermonaudio.com/saplayer/playpopup.asp?SID=114101856527



JOB 38:16 BY CHARLES SPURGEON


https://www.sermonaudio.com/saplayer/playpopup.asp?SID=1217160320



SUCCESSFUL SPIRITUAL FISHING ESSENTIALS BY ROB CRAIG LUKE 5;2


https://www.sermonaudio.com/saplayer/playpopup.asp?SID=11520040385418





THE VANITY OF PLEASURE BY ANDREW BARNES ECCLESTACIES 2


https://www.sermonaudio.com/saplayer/playpopup.asp?SID=11320132573927










GUEST DEVOTION



DR KENNY MCCLINTON.. A GREAT AND BELOVED BROTHER







                    Cross-Bearing?                                 Matthew 16:24-28

Text: “For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.”

Romans 8:18.


Good morning, cross-bearing Christian!  Whatever your particular cross of suffering may be this day: always remember dear friend, Emmanuel - God is with us.   Hallelujah!  We are NOT alone!  (Matthew 28:20b)

I wrote the following words 41 years ago, while serving two Life sentences in the Maze Maximum Security Prison for Ulster terrorists.  It was after the Sovereign Lord God saved me in a solitary confinement cell (1979) while taking a militant part in the Loyalist Blanket Protest.  Read it, and be encouraged in the Sovereign grace of a truly loving Lord God towards Hell-deserving sinners.

Emmanuel 


Muse on then Blood-cleansed Christian mind;


Of foes before thee, foes behind!


Mid mad adversities to find:


Emmanuel, God with us.


 

Chorus:  Christ before me, Christ behind;


Everywhere a cross I find.


Yet, no more sin-sick, cursed, and blind:


Emmanuel, God with us.


 

I’ve faced the bear of poverty,


And hungered much, and so have ye;


Yet, slain the beast, ‘cause e’er we see:


Emmanuel, God with us.


 

The lion, so wicked, roared in rage;


My back was blistered in its cage;


Yet, Victory was my Master’s wage:


Emmanuel, God with us.


 

The giant despair with me did grapple.


He held me fast in Doubting Castle;


Yet, Blood-bought faith my chains unshackled:


Emmanuel, God with us.


 

The king of Hades’ realms, demented,


With fiery passions sore tormented;


Yet, all my failings, Jesus mended:


Emmanuel, God with us.


 

Then Satan’s servants, Philistines!


Defamed my name with evil lies.


Yet, Christ the Lamb my pardon signed:


Emmanuel, God with us.


 

The bear, the lion, the giant, the king;


The Hell-bound, evil, Philistines;


Are ever vanquished when they find:


Emmanuel, God with us.


 

Christ before me, Christ behind;


Everywhere His Cross I find!


Now, no more sin-sick, cursed, and blind:


Jesus gives me Victory!


 

Dr C.K. McClinton, BA (Hons); MA; Ph.D.; D. Litt


Ulster/American Christian Fellowship


(Sinner, saved by God’s Sovereign grace)


J.C. Ryle Comments:

Let us learn, in the first place, from these verses, that men must make up their minds to trouble and self-denial, if they follow Christ.

“Our Lord dispels the fond dreams of His disciples, by telling them that His followers must “take up the cross.” The glorious kingdom they were expecting was not about to be set up immediately. They must make up their minds to persecution and affliction, if they intended to be His servants. They must be content to “lose their lives,” if they would have their souls saved.

“It is good for us all to see this point clearly. We must not conceal from ourselves that true Christianity brings with it a daily cross in this life, while it offers us a crown of glory in the life to come. The flesh must be daily crucified; the devil must be daily resisted; the world must be daily overcome. There is a warfare to be waged, and a battle to be fought. All this is the inseparable accompaniment of true religion. Heaven is not to be won without it. Never was there a truer word than the old saying, “No cross, no crown!” If we never found this out by experience, our souls are in a poor condition.” (J. C. Ryle’s Expository Thoughts on the Gospel of Matthew, 1816-1900)

Lift up the feeble hands then, beloved suffering saint, the Living Lord Jesus has been there before us, is ever there with us in every trial, testing, and tribulation; and shall ever be behind His elect souls - yea, all the way!  He will NEVER leave us nor forsake us and is, at all times, only a prayer away.  Flee fast, therefore, to the Divine Comforter.  (John 14:18)


[size=15][size=19]Thought:  Only Christ’s Cross-bearers, become Christ’s Eternal Crown-wearers!




Ulster Christians

www.ulsterchristians.org
[/size][/size]
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Post  Admin on Sun 15 Nov 2020, 9:55 pm

Welcome to a special battle stations


Please continue to pray for the church in China, the current reality is that the church is in the midst of a harsh winter.


BAD NEWS


The devil is seeking to defeat, deceive, disrupt and ultimately destroy the Church in China


He is using various means;


In recent months the TSPM or registered church has been blessed by God, but persecution is now rampant among them as bibles are in great need and crosses have been torn down and church demolished.


They are forced to sing patriotic songs and the gospel is being changed to fit the culture, the story of the woman caught in adultery now has Jesus stoning her, according to the new Chinese version of the bible


Pastors like our own are being targeted, they are told they can have huge ministries, if only they would compromise and join the registered Church. They are called in to take tea with local police officials.


As long as the church is filled with old people it doesn't matter, but children and students and educated people are another matter.  Please pray as if you are a child, young person or student, it will cost you to be a Christian.


Members of our own church, have been asked to join the registered church.


Websites are being shut down and connections to the worldwide body of Christ curtailed, 




So, the situation in China is bad, persecution is serious, but God is in control and he is working.


Let's Share the


GOOD NEWS


First and foremost, God remains on the throne and is in control. He promises to keep, sustain, bless and strengthen his people. We stand on every promise of his precious word.


Despite persecution, thousands of people are coming to faith every day, the church is growing in both numbers and maturity


Our church continues to grow, we meet for bible study, three mornings per week at 5;30am (Tues, Thurs, Sat). Many members come and ongoing bible studies go on during the day.


Communication remains open, we are still able to meet virtually and on occasion in person.


Prayer is constant, many believers gather at 3-4 am every morning and read many chapters of the bible each day.


Believers are now focused like never before on kingdom work. They know that their lives must back up their words. Many people have been reached by powerful acts of compassion.


God is leaving no stone unturned as Hs spirit is working in China, things you wouldn't believe are happening. 


Many divine opportunities are opening up, people's hearts are being opened to the truth of the gospel


WHAT YOU CAN DO


Pray Pray Pray


How you say;


Go on the websites; Pray for China, Open Doors and Voice of the martyrs', be informed
Ask a speaker from one of these ministries to your church
Start a prayer meeting for China in your church
Buy the books Operation World and Operation China. Read the website Joshuaproject.net to find out the unreached peoples of China


Yeah, it will cost, you don't have to do any of the things above. You can ignore this email, but the church in China needs you!


We ARE IN THE BLEAKEST OF WINTERS, but all winters end. God will uphold us, by his mighty hand.


Please share this with your church, social media groups, pastor, prayer groups and contact list.


On the 12th February 2021, Chinese New Year's Day, we will be having specific prayer for China. More details nearer the time, plese join us as we pray. We challenge people to pray for as long as the Holy Spirit leads them to


SERMONS


HIS WINDOW IN ALL OUR HEARTS BY THOMAS BROOKS


https://www.sermonaudio.com/saplayer/playpopup.asp?SID=829121942574






THE MOST PRECIOUS THING ON HEAVEN AND EARTH BY JOHN FLAVEL


https://www.sermonaudio.com/saplayer/playpopup.asp?SID=41608144350



POTRAIT OF A CHRISTIAN WARRIOR BY JEFF GREGORY 2 COR 6


https://www.sermonaudio.com/saplayer/playpopup.asp?SID=923203125594





GREAT COMMISSION CHURCHES BY RICK RUST ROMANS 10


https://www.sermonaudio.com/saplayer/playpopup.asp?SID=11520210227936









GUEST DEVOTION




[size=48]My Manna


"But the end of all things is at hand: be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer." 1 Peter 4:7.

A soldier was brought before his commanding officer and accused of communicating with the enemy.

He had been seen emerging from an area where their troops were known to patrol.

The poor man summed up his defence in a few words, stating that he had slipped away to spend an hour alone in prayer.

"Have you been in the habit of spending an hour in private prayer?" demanded the officer.
"Yes, Sir," he replied.

"Well" said his commander, "never in your life have you been in more need of prayer than right now. Kneel down and pray aloud so that we all may hear you."

Expecting cruel punishment, maybe even death, the soldier dropped to his knees and poured out his heart to God.

His prayer revealed a deep intimacy with God.
His earnest fluency, humble appeal for divine intervention, and very evident trust in one who was strong to deliver, told without a doubt that he came regularly to the throne of grace.

"You are free to go," said the officer. "No one could have prayed that way without a long apprenticeship -- soldiers who never attend drill are always ill at ease for the review."

I heard a statistic not long ago, that the average Christian only spends about seven minutes a day in prayer.

We need to practice prayer in our lives that we may be able to endure when trials come our way and stand strong against the enemy and his tactics!

Let's ask the Lord to help us become disciplined in this area today.
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Post  Admin on Wed 11 Nov 2020, 4:06 pm

Welcome to Noonday Devotion


These devotions come from my own bible study; they are what the Lord shows me from his word. I have listened to the sermons and the guest devotion, which is the best from the literally thousands I receive every year. All I ask is that you read, listen and then share







PHILIPPIANS 4
17 Not because I desire a gift: but I desire fruit that may abound to your account.
18 But I have all, and abound: I am full, having received of Epaphroditus the things which were sent from you, an odour of a sweet smell, a sacrifice acceptable, well pleasing to God.

FRUITFUL ACCOUNTS

Paul is giving beautiful instructions... on giving.


This is a church, that made Paul very happy, as they blessed Paul time and time again.


Some people to whom you give, are not asking for gifts or donations. Hudson Taylor in China in the 1860's had needs and the post took 6 months to come, but every need was met, exactly on time. [size=16]He did not ask for gifts, but God supplied every need at just the right time.



When you give a gift to the work of God, it is a sweet smell in the nostrils of God. Paul did not want a gift because he wanted a gift, but he wanted that gift to be in their account, and he wanted their account to abound and grow. This isn't an account that grows by putting money in, but by taking money out.

The next time you give a gift to the Lord's work, remember that it is well pleasing to God, and it has a sweet aroma to the receiver, but also to God.



Heavenly bank accounts are different than earthly ones; the more you take out and give to others for the glory of God, the more the account grows.


How fruitful and abounding is your heavenly bank account?


God bless you,


Keith
 [/size]

SERMONS

The Christian's safety by James smith

https://www.sermonaudio.com/saplayer/playpopup.asp?SID=917131518355

Such lessons by Thomas brooks

https://www.sermonaudio.com/saplayer/playpopup.asp?SID=57121754533

Five pivotal questions by Bobby Decker Philippians 2;15-16

https://www.sermonaudio.com/saplayer/playpopup.asp?SID=11220224924088

Can two walk together by Todd Abbey Amos 3

https://www.sermonaudio.com/saplayer/playpopup.asp?SID=10620191827195





Guest Devotion


joan blake

[size=16]"Be the Blessing"

[/size]
1 John 2:15, “Do not love the world, nor the things in the world. If any one loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.”
[size][size]
We live in the world, but we do not belong to it. We are likely to have a troublesome time being in the world when we don’t really belong here. It is not an easy thing. There is stuff here. It is the kind of stuff that we easily set our affections on, and then we are acting like we are part of the world – the world to which we are aliens and strangers. It is a most difficult thing, to live among the ungodly and still be godly. It takes work to keep our perspective. We mix with those who do not think like us. We mix with those that we are not supposed to think like. Keeping an eye on Christ, eternity, salvation, eternal life, sanctification, the living God we serve, and our true mission here (2 Cor. 5:20), is not an easy task. It is not about forsaking blue jeans or running shoes. Our separation is more than outward appearances. We are separate in our hearts, morals, and faith more than in appearances. The Christian seeks a truer life – a life lived in the presence of the Lord – and part of that is our duty, “Do not love the world, nor the things in the world.”
A separated life – do you have it? Do you keep to the narrow way? It is the blessing of God that brings us there, and it is also His blessing to be kept there. Each of us has cares and trials, but they are, to the believer, blessed cares and blessed trials, because we live our lives unto the Lord. The world is not our home. No one finds it easy to trust God in the hard times. We believe His promises, and we trust His sovereignty. When we put off anxiety, fears, and worry, what does the believer replace them with? We replace these with contentment, a quiet heart, happiness in the things God has given - rather than fear in what He has not, or has taken away. Our life is a blessing from God. It is His gift. May I suggest one way we can make this gift useful? God has certainly blessed us – every one of us - and I would like to suggest that part of loving the Lord more than the world is our call to be a blessing to others.
Wherever you go, seek to be a blessing. The follower of Christ is light in the darkness, wherever he/she is placed. Are you in a tough environment? Do not seek easier ground. Stay right where you are, and be a light right where God has placed you. There is no better place for a child of God, than where light is needed. Count yourself rich, if God has given you opportunities to serve Him where there are hard ground, little prospects, and much that might make someone with weaker faith flee. What am I saying? I am saying this: Be a blessing. Be a blessing right where you are. First find the blessing that is given to you in Christ, and then share that blessing with those who, as yet, don’t know or can’t understand the joy and peace that Christ brings. Bring it to them. You might say, “This is hard. It will mean rejection. It likely means failure and heartache.” Yes, this is true, but this is exactly what living by faith looks like. Living by faith is seeking to be the blessing where no blessing is present or sought. It is a high calling. There are many who love the world too much to attain here. I encourage you to go all out in this very area. Give your life to it: Be a blessing where blessings are rare things.

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Post  Admin on Thu 05 Nov 2020, 2:48 pm

Welcome to Noonday Devotion


These devotions come from my own bible study; they are what the Lord shows me from his word. I have listened to the sermons and the guest devotion, which is the best from the literally thousands I receive every year. All I ask is that you read, listen and then share







EPHESIANS 4
 16 From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.
 


THE BODY WORKING AS ONE


I have a confession.. my body is sometimes a little un-coordinated, and my brain moves quicker than my arms, and I end up knocking something over. Oh for the time we will have perfect bodies with Jesus in heaven!!!


This is one of the greatest verses on the unity of the church and Paul uses the analogy of the human body, every single part of it, working together and growing together.


That is the deepest wish of our Saviour as outlined in His great High Priestly prayer in John 17. Unity is ONE OF the greatest weapons of the church, and therefore the devil seeks to undermine the unity of the true church at every turn. He seeks to bring schisms and strivings into it, and arguments about every little point of doctrine.


In verse 15, Paul says that we can speak the truth in love, which means we are walking in the same direction. So often we speak correction to people and they reject it.  What would it be like if your arm and leg started going in opposite directions? That is how the body of Christ acts sometimes. We go in direct directions, but we are part of the same body, and if you doubt how Paul felt and how Jesus feels about unity, read 1 Corinthians 12 and John 17.


Why is it so important for us to walk in true Biblical unity, so that every part of the body can be used to its full potential, as the verse puts it:


...according to the effectual working in the measure of every part so that each member in the body can work effectively.



There are two other reasons why we need to be in biblical unity. First, so the body can grow, more people can come to our Saviour, and when the world sees a church that is filled with love and unity, it sits up and takes notice... Amen.


Secondly, the members edify each other in love, as they are compacted together. Look what the text says about joints; how they help us move, though we can't see them, but if we didn't have them, we couldn't move... Amen.



We can only see a small amount of what happens in our bodies, but every organ is vital.  [size=19]What would happen if our pancreas suddenly stopped or decided, "No one loves or appreciates me." Then the body would die or be in big trouble.

 
We are part of a great big family, each one supporting each other as we grow up to be like Christ. 


What was one of the defining characteristics of Christ?  His unity with the Father.


Let us live in Biblical unity with our brothers and sisters and show the world what a unified and glorious Church Christ has... Amen


God bless you,
 
Keith




SERMONS


Follow the lamb by Horatius Bonar


https://www.sermonaudio.com/saplayer/playpopup.asp?SID=1025071028523er



How to think as a Christian by Aw Tozer


https://www.sermonaudio.com/saplayer/playpopup.asp?SID=1025071028523





The sunsets of the bible by Glenn Bruce Jeremiah 15[/size]

https://www.sermonaudio.com/saplayer/playpopup.asp?SID=1030202322575859


Our identity with Christ by Monte byrd Romans 6:1-3


https://www.sermonaudio.com/saplayer/playpopup.asp?SID=1030202354293764



Guest Devotion





WALTER KAHLER


I have heard many great sermons preached on God’s truth. Those pastors are pouring out their hearts to spread God’s words. They motivate, inspire and encourage me to live for God. But the most excellent sermon I’ve ever read is the Sermon on the Mountain and the one sharing is Christ Himself.

Understanding the Sermon on the Mountain (Matthew: Chapters 5-7) is of the utmost importance. In fact, this speech speaks volumes and describes the Christian qualities God’s expects from his faithful followers.

Those chapters are Christ’s blueprints for building a spiritual foundation anchored in God’s Spirit. Here Christ gives us the tools of righteousness and leaves no doubt of the will of God.

Contained within those three chapters are God’s real truths and corrects every wrong presentation of the Lord’s word. In the Old Testament, the stubborn attitudes from God’s chosen ones continued to place distant between them and God. They became misled, and their spiritual leaders taught them an incorrect understanding of God’s word.

They practiced Jewish traditions giving little or no focus on God’s law. And when the time came for God to deliver Christ to them they were unprepared for the Lord’s truth.

As soon as Christ taught His Disciples the wisdom behind the Father’s words everything they knew changed. The scriptures written in The Sermon on the Mountain directly result from God’s voice expressed through Christ.

Christ’s opens His sermon with the Beatitudes (Matthew 5:1-12) and ends it by telling the disciples His role as God’s Son (Matthew 7:24-27).

The Sermon on the Mountain shows the actions a member in Christ’s kingdom needs to take to find favor with God. In fact, the other three Gospels support its validity. Everything Jesus spoke of in this powerful sermon is in each Gospel. God is constant, never deviates from His words and we understand this from the way the Gospels tells the same truths.

In this sermon, Christ’s delivers God’s message of how a believer needs to respond to life’s terms. In other words, it spells out the solutions to the way we approach God (Matthew 6:5-15) and how to treat our neighbors (Matthew 5:43-48). Christ made sure He spoke on the actions God wants humans to take to live in His kingdom. 

Christ shows God’s way of handling anger (Matthew 5:21-24), lust (Matthew 5:27-30), marriage (Matthew 5:31-32), and hatred (Matthew 5:43-48). Jesus explained the reason not live by oaths (Matthew 5:33-37) and how to avoid selfishness (Matthew 5:38-42).

In Chapter 6 the sermon identifies the proper way to please God (Matthew 6:1-4). Jesus spoke on how to pray (Matthew 6:5-15) and fasting (Matthew 6:16-18). The rest of this chapter places the focus on building a relationship with God (Matthew 6:19-20, 24) righteousness (Matthew 6:22-24), and trusting God (Matthew 6:25-34).

Chapter seven begins with Jesus sharing God’s command of taking a non-judgmental towards others. Then Christ points out going to God by asking, seeking and knocking on God’s door. The last sixteen verses of chapter seven cover the narrow way, false belief, and reliance on Christ himself. 
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Post  Admin on Sat 31 Oct 2020, 10:19 pm

Welcome to Noonday Devotion


These devotions come from my own bible study; they are what the Lord shows me from his word. I have listened to the sermons and the guest devotion, which is the best from the literally thousands I receive every year. All I ask is that you read, listen and then share







[size=16]Noonday Devotion

 
Isaiah 31
 
Woe[[size=16]a] to those who go down to Egypt for help
    and rely on horses,
who trust in chariots because they are many
    and in horsemen because they are very strong,
but do not look to the Holy One of Israel
    or consult the Lord!
And yet he is wise and brings disaster;
    he does not call back his words,
but will arise against the house of the evildoers
    and against the helpers of those who work iniquity.
The Egyptians are man, and not God,
    and their horses are flesh, and not spirit.
When the Lord stretches out his hand,
    the helper will stumble, and he who is helped will fall,
    and they will all perish together.
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WHO ARE YOU TRUSTING?



One of the reasons that God sent the children of Israel into captivity was that they looked to other nations to defend themselves. Zedekiah the final king of Judah sought help from Egypt, and looked what happened to him.



Our help comes from the Lord, not man.  Human agencies have many human resources and they have a lot of money.



How many Christians, who get into financial trouble, go to the banks or lending agencies, who charge massive interest, and then they get into financial disaster. We hear of so many Christians who get into financial trouble because they do not consult the Lord or seek Him.



What is your first response when you get into some kind of trouble?



Do you go to outside agencies or even to family or even church members?



Why do we run to everyone other than God?
Why don't we trust God?
 
God so often is one of our options, when he should be the only option.
 
So many Christian lives have been wrecked, because that believer has trusted in something that is not God.
 
Do we think that God can't be trusted?
 
It's time to stop trusting in our own individual Egypt's, because it will lead to disaster.
 
Let's put all our trust in the Living God!
 
God bless you
 
KK


SERMONS


TRUE CHRISTIANITY BY JC RYLE


https://www.sermonaudio.com/saplayer/playpopup.asp?SID=723081358396





TRUE GROWTH IN GRACE BT ARCHIBALD BROWN


https://www.sermonaudio.com/saplayer/playpopup.asp?SID=822161754387





ANCHORED IN CHRIST BY CHALAN HETHERINGTON HEBREWS 2;1-2

https://www.sermonaudio.com/saplayer/playpopup.asp?SID=102820138385997

KEEPING CONFIDENCE IN THE COVID CRISIS BY ROGER HIGGINSON PSALM 46;10

https://www.sermonaudio.com/playpopup.asp?SID=1025201242287173[/size]





GUEST DEVOTION



MICHAEL WEIS


[size=16]Genesis 45:7 and 50:20

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Seeing God’s Plan – Looking Beyond the Immediate
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Genesis 45:7 – And God sent me before you to preserve a posterity for you in the earth, and to save your lives by a great deliverance.
 
Genesis 50:20 – But as for you, you meant evil against me; but God meant it for god, in order to bring it about as it is this day, to save many people alive.
 
Joseph, the son of Jacob, speaks in the above verses to his brothers. They first wanted to kill him, but decided to sell him.  They were jealous of him because he had 2 dreams where his family bowed to him and angry with their father because Joseph was his favourite, Genesis 37:12-30.  Joseph ended up in Egypt, hundreds of miles from home, Genesis 37:36 at 17 years old, Genesis 37:2.  Joseph was sold to Potiphar, the captain of the guard, Genesis 39:1.  Joseph was made overseer of his entire house.  He was faithful but Potiphar’s wife lusted after him and demanded he sleep with her, but he refused.  She accused him of rape and Joseph was put in jail, Genesis 39.  No matter where he was though, “the LORD was with Joseph,” Genesis 39:2, 3, 5, 21, 23.  
 
While in jail, Joseph was given the responsibility to oversee all that occurred there and by God’s leading he interpreted dreams of 2 servants of Pharaoh correctly and asked one to remember him, Genesis 40.  2 years later, Pharaoh had 2 dreams and Joseph was called to interpret them, which he did.  He was placed as 2nd in command of the most powerful nation on earth, Genesis 41.  An abundance of crops was in the land of Egypt for 7 years, then 7 years of great famine hit, as Joseph said.  Nearly 2 years into the famine, Genesis 45:6, Joseph’s father sent 10 of his brothers to Egypt to buy food. They did not recognize him and through a series of events the brothers returned and Joseph told them who he was.  During this time, they thought they were suffering because of what they did to their brother over 20 years ago, Genesis 42:21, 44:16, 50:15-18.  But Joseph assured them God was at work.
 
Joseph’s family was dysfunctional, he was hated and sold by his brothers, accused of a crime he didn’t commit, put in jail for over 2 years yet faithful to God.  We read nothing of bitterness.  I’m sure he cried, was hurt, confused and maybe got angry, but we are not told.  We are told Joseph had a perspective many of us, including myself, lack the majority of the time.  We don’t see beyond the immediate to God’s plan beyond our circumstances or ourselves.  God gave Joseph 2 dreams as a promise He would place him in a position of authority.  Joseph held on to that.  He trusted God during, and looked beyond the immediate situations in his life to God’s plan.  Will we be faithful during those tough times?  God was working on Joseph’s character and preparing him through pain to exalt him one day.  This didn’t lesson the pain of loss or question of “why,” but it gave him hope to persevere no matter what happened.  
 
By God’s grace, Joseph didn’t hold on to what his brothers did, but forgave them and told them that God was involved in everything.  They were accountable for their actions, but Joseph chose by faith to see God’s plan and look beyond the immediate. You may say, “He hasn’t given me 2 dreams.”  God gave Joseph His word, and He has given that word to us too.  Do we focus on our immediate circumstances or failures?  Do we blame our past or others for the problems in our life?  Will we look beyond ourselves and beyond the immediate to God’s plan, by faith like Joseph?

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Post  Admin on Thu 22 Oct 2020, 7:03 pm


[size=19]Welcome to Noonday Devotion




These devotions come from my own bible study; they are what the Lord shows me from his word. I have listened to the sermons and the guest devotion, which is the best from the literally thousands I receive every year. All I ask is that you read, listen and then share


LUKE 5:3-5

3 And he entered into one of the ships, which was Simon's, and prayed him that he would thrust out a little from the land. And he sat down, and taught the people out of the ship.
4 Now when he had left speaking, he said unto Simon, Launch out into the deep, and let down your nets for a draught.
5 And Simon answering said unto him, Master, we have toiled all the night, and have taken nothing: nevertheless at thy word I will let down the net.

TRUE FAITH
True faith is taking God at His Word.  There are many examples of true faith in the Bible, and in this passage, Peter is about to learn that walking with Jesus requires faith in Jesus.  
To many of His day, Jesus was the new teacher in town, and when He talked, people listened.  In this text, Jesus request the use of a boat in order to keep the crowd from smothering Him as he spoke.  The boat that He got into belonged to Peter.  What Peter did not realize is that the moment Jesus stepped into the boat, life would never be the same.  After preaching to the multitude, Jesus turns His attention to a crowd of one: Peter.  He directs his future disciple to launch the boat out into the sea for a catch.
Peter’s response was based on experience...He was being real with Jesus.  Many times, when Jesus ask us to do something that appears not to make sense, we feel the need to get real with Jesus and tell Him what is going on as if He does not know our situation.  Peter shared with Jesus the fact that he and his friends had been fishing all night long and caught nothing.  However, Peter did not stop there.  What he says next would change his life forever: “Nevertheless, at They Word I will let down the nets."
Faith looks beyond our obstacles! Perhaps you have toiled all year at your church and seen no fruit…don’t give up!  Keep letting down your nets.  The fish will come in due time.
Peter obeyed Jesus, even when it did not make sense.  After all, Jesus knew little about fish other than how to cook them and eat them.  And now he was telling men with years of experience at sea to let down their nets and get ready for a catch.  Listen carefully: Jesus did not need to know anything about fishing, because He was in control of the sea and the fish that were in it!  As soon as Peter let down the nets, Jesus called for the fish to fill them!  And that principle works for you and me today.  Jesus knows what we are dealing with, and He has the power to command every situation to bow to His will.  So, take Him at His Word, and wait patiently on Him to move on your behalf.  
Faith is summed up in this verse in Hebrews 11:1 "Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen."
Peter and his fellow fishermen were tired.  They were frustrated.  They were demoralized.  But, this one act of obedience by Peter transformed a long night of failure to a moment of overwhelming success!  However, there is another important lesson that we must consider here.  After looking at the abundance of fish, and the financial benefit that would come from the catch, Peter took another leap of faith:  He walked away from the fish, and the financial success to follow Christ.  As Christians, there are two insights we gain from this passage: First, we need to take God at His Word and let down our nets.  Second, we need to be willing to walk away from the “catch” and follow Christ, depending on Him and Him alone to meet our needs.
God bless you,
Keith




SERMONS


WHY DOES HE LOVE ME? BY JAMES SMITH


https://www.sermonaudio.com/saplayer/playpopup.asp?SID=126112339332


SONG OF SOLOMON 1;2 BY CHARLES SPURGEON

https://www.sermonaudio.com/saplayer/playpopup.asp?SID=122616142190




TIMELESS TRUTH FOR TROUBLED TIMES BY GREG NICHOLS

https://www.sermonaudio.com/saplayer/playpopup.asp?SID=1018201759377338




THE LOVE OF A HUSBAND FOR HIS WIFE BY TODD CURTIS


https://www.sermonaudio.com/saplayer/playpopup.asp?SID=330192237195052

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GUEST DEVOTION

JOAN BLAKE



"Who You Are in Christ Jesus"


When we sin, we are separated from God. We are told in Isaiah 59:2, "But your inquiries (our sins) have separated you from your God; and your sins have hidden His face from you, so that He will not hear." There is no greater loneliness or emptiness than to be living a separated life from our Heavenly Father.

He wants us to grow in the grace and knowledge of His fellowship. Once we acknowledge and repent of our sins, we will begin to learn who we are in Christ Jesus. It is important to understand who you are in Christ. Our life goes through a change when we accept Christ - much like having worn, old, dingy, holey, smelly clothes - and getting brand new ones! Think to a time when you received something brand new. Do you remember the new smell, maybe the way it shined or its crispness? It's the same when you begin to look at your new life in Christ, and begin to recognize who you are in Him. There are three characteristics you should recognize almost immediately.

First, you are REDEEMED:

Just as Jeremiah, we see that we, after years of sin, we are redeemed. In Lamentations 3:58 Jeremiah said, "O, Lord, You have pleaded the case for my soul; you have redeemed my life." We are redeemed as Luke in all of his sophistication stated in Luke 1:68, "Blessed is the Lord God of Israel, for He has visited and redeemed His People." Surely, one of our banners should and can boldly be presented as in Revelation 5:9, " … and you have redeemed us to God by Your Blood."

Not only are we redeemed in Christ, you are, ADOPTED:

Romans 8:15, "For you did not receive the Spirit of Bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of Adoption by whom we cry out, "Abba, Father." Because of our identity in Christ, because of who we are in Christ, we too are as sons (daughters) becoming Joint-Heirs with Christ. We are now children of God. He petitions us time-after-time to fellowship in His sufferings, but not his sufferings alone, but also in the strength and knowledge wherewith we are redeemed. As Paul said to Timothy in his second letter while in prison, "For this reason I also suffer these things; nevertheless I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed, that He is able to keep what I have committed to Him until that day." Our adoption was signed by His death on Calvary, and made ready to stand against the enemies attack to cause us to doubt that adoption.

Thirdly, you are, SEALED:

In 2 Corinthians 1:21,22, "Now He who establishes us with you in Christ and has anointed us is God, who also has sealed us and given us the Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee." Sealed; no longer can Satan have authority over you because of Christ Jesus and the shedding of His precious blood. You may now stand confident in His love for you. He has sealed you for all time. Ephesians 1:13 guarantees that, "you were sealed with the Hold Spirit of promise."

These are only three evidences of who you are in Christ. Each identification declaring that you are redeemed, adopted and sealed. Only three, as who we are in Christ remains many. Walk in the joy of your salvation. Continue to seek Him with your whole heart. Allow Him to show you himself as He works in you and through you. Love and accept His instruction. Learn of His precepts; then apply and teach them to others. His Word will not return void. Abide in His redemption, adoption and sealing. Always keep pressing in to Him.
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Post  Admin on Wed 14 Oct 2020, 7:12 pm

Sermons

So many millions of nominal Christians by AW Pink

https://www.sermonaudio.com/saplayer/playpopup.asp?SID=42816162184

Hard work and bad pay by Archibald Brown

https://www.sermonaudio.com/saplayer/playpopup.asp?SID=531162111383

The feast of unleavened bread by Dennis Lyle Exodus 12

https://www.sermonaudio.com/saplayer/playpopup.asp?SID=12208151537

Depression and the bible by Roger Higginson Psalm 42;5

https://www.sermonaudio.com/saplayer/playpopup.asp?SID=73111541575



Guest poems by Julie Clark


Seek my face.
At the start of the day.
And I will show you. 
The living way.

Seek my grace. 
Before you eat. 
Seek my love. 
Before you speak.

Seek my hope.
Before you pray. 
Seek my joy.
Before your nerves fray. 

Seek my healing.
When you are sick. 
Seek my wisdom.
When you are confused.

Seek my life-giving stream.
When you're filled with guilt.
Seek my heart. 
When you're led.
To bring my compassion. 

Seek my peace.
When day is done.
Seek my protection. 
As you lie to sleep.


SEEK MY FACE

 

Seek my face my precious child.

Don’t run ahead and turn from me.

Don’t strive my child just rest.

And I will give you peace.

In the middle of the storm.

 

Talk to me my precious child.

I am always here for you.

And when you come.

To talk to me.

I will listen to what you say.

 

I know your worry; I know your need.

And I want to meet each one.

I’ll open the doors for you to walk through.

And give you the treasures of heaven.

If you would just trust my word.

 

So, rest for a while my precious child.

Come and talk to me.

I never made you to walk alone.

So come take my hand at the break of day.

And let me be your constant friend
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