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Post  Admin on Fri 06 May 2016, 6:28 pm

My Manna

"And let the beauty of the LORD our God be upon us: and establish thou the work of our hands upon us; yea, the work of our hands establish thou it." Psalms 90:17. 

Charles William Eliot, former president of Harvard University-- had a birthmark on his face that bothered him greatly. 

As a young man, he was told that surgeons could do nothing to remove it. 

Someone described that moment as "the dark hour of his soul." 

Eliot's mother gave him this helpful advice: 
"My son, it is not possible for you to get rid of that hardship...
But it is possible for you, with God's help, to grow a mind and soul so big that people will forget to look at your face."

Yes, it's true. 

All of us have things we'd love to change about our bodies. 
And many of us tend to spend an awful lot of time and money trying to change, fix and cover those things up. 

But I think there is much truth in Mrs. Eliot's words. 

When we are shining boldly for the Lord-
I don't believe anyone sees them!

Do you REALLY want to make a drastic difference in your appearance today? 

Let's stop focusing on our outward issues today and start focusing on what really counts-
- walking uprightly and wholeheartedly with the Lord,
- a spiritual extreme makeover! 

We will glow like never before, at a low low price and 100% guaranteed!
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Post  Admin on Mon 02 May 2016, 9:56 pm

My Manna

"An inheritance gained prematurely will not be blessed ultimately." Proverbs 20:21.

What motivates people to gamble or to buy lottery tickets?

Some will tell you it's the thrill of the game.
Others will say it's just for fun.

The ones who are really honest will tell you the truth:
It's an opportunity to get a big return for a little investment.

Something for nothing.

Shortcuts to success hold tremendous appeal. 

In fact, some folks spend more energy on doomed "get-rich-quick" schemes-
- than they would if they simply resigned themselves to working for a living! 

They're always looking for their big break, the opportunity of a lifetime. 
As someone has said, though, "Opportunities are usually disguised as hard work, so most people don't recognize them!"

Are you obsessed with getting things for nothing?
Do you find it hard to be patient until you can afford something?
Do you have a tendency to use other people for your own gain?
Can you persevere with hard work over a long period of time?

Here's a fact of life: 
Things bought without a cost are usually worth exactly what you pay for them. 

Don't waste your energy looking for shortcuts!
Trust God's timing.
He'll see that you get what you need when you're ready for it.

What might be God's purpose for making us wait a while for our ship to come in?
Read Up: Hebrews 11:8-16, James 5:7-8.
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Post  Admin on Fri 22 Apr 2016, 3:39 pm

My Manna

"Then he took the five loaves and the two fishes, and looking up to heaven, he blessed them, and brake, and gave to the disciples to set before the multitude. And they did eat, and were all filled: and there was taken up of fragments that remained to them twelve baskets." Luke 9:16-17. 

The disciples worried.

We only have five small loaves and two fishes! 
What ever will we do?? 

Five loaves and two fishes could never feed the multitudes in the natural realm! 

But we have a God who is in the multiplication business! 
He works on an entirely different mathematical equation than we are accustomed to.

He takes the little we offer and turns it into more than we could fathom!

How often do we feel as if we have little to offer? 
The Lord is interested in everything we have to give, even if it seems miniscule to our eyes!

Let's not be afraid to offer up our gifts, talents, abilities, accomplishments and material things that we may find insignificant. 
They are not! 

When we give up even the littlest of things to the Lord-
He brings forth an abundance!
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Post  Admin on Mon 18 Apr 2016, 7:16 pm

My Manna

"By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another." John 13:35.

One day, a man was walking across a bridge and saw another man standing on the edge, about to jump off. 

He immediately ran to him and said, "Stop! Don't do it!"

"Well, why shouldn't I?" he replied. 
The other said, "Well, there's so much to live for!" 

"Like what”? 

"Well...are you religious or atheist?" 
"Religious."

"Me too! And are you Christian or Jewish?" 
"Christian." 

"Me too! Are you Catholic or Protestant?" 
"Protestant." 

"Me too! Are you Episcopalian or Baptist?”
"Baptist." 

"Wow! Me too! Are you Baptist Church of God or Baptist Church of the Lord?" 
"Baptist Church of God." 

"Me too! Are you Original Baptist Church of God, or are you Reformed Baptist Church of God?" 
"Reformed Baptist Church of God." 

"Me too! Are you Reformed Baptist Church of God, reformation of 1879, or Reformed Baptist Church of God, reformation of 1915?" 
"Reformed Baptist Church of God, reformation of 1915!" 

To which he said, "Die, you heretic!" and pushed him off the bridge.

The body of the Lord is one big family. 
Yes, we differ in opinion on some issues. 

But we are going to be together for eternity and we must learn to live in peace with one another! 
In order for us to make a real difference in the world, the world needs to see us loving each other.

Let's not be like the man who pushed the other off the bridge. 
Let’s laugh about it and try to learn from one another
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Post  Admin on Mon 18 Apr 2016, 6:54 pm

My Manna

"By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another." John 13:35.

One day, a man was walking across a bridge and saw another man standing on the edge, about to jump off. 

He immediately ran to him and said, "Stop! Don't do it!"

"Well, why shouldn't I?" he replied. 
The other said, "Well, there's so much to live for!" 

"Like what”? 

"Well...are you religious or atheist?" 
"Religious."

"Me too! And are you Christian or Jewish?" 
"Christian." 

"Me too! Are you Catholic or Protestant?" 
"Protestant." 

"Me too! Are you Episcopalian or Baptist?”
"Baptist." 

"Wow! Me too! Are you Baptist Church of God or Baptist Church of the Lord?" 
"Baptist Church of God." 

"Me too! Are you Original Baptist Church of God, or are you Reformed Baptist Church of God?" 
"Reformed Baptist Church of God." 

"Me too! Are you Reformed Baptist Church of God, reformation of 1879, or Reformed Baptist Church of God, reformation of 1915?" 
"Reformed Baptist Church of God, reformation of 1915!" 

To which he said, "Die, you heretic!" and pushed him off the bridge.

The body of the Lord is one big family. 
Yes, we differ in opinion on some issues. 

But we are going to be together for eternity and we must learn to live in peace with one another! 
In order for us to make a real difference in the world, the world needs to see us loving each other.

Let's not be like the man who pushed the other off the bridge. 
Let’s laugh about it and try to learn from one another.
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Post  Admin on Mon 11 Apr 2016, 10:28 pm

My Manna

"Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and exhorting one another with all wisdom, singing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, all with grace in your hearts to God." Col. 3:16. 

A disgruntled church-goer wrote a letter to the editor of a newspaper and complained: 

"I've gone to church for thirty years now, and in that time I have heard something like three-thousand sermons. But for the life of me, I can't remember a single one of them. I think I'm wasting my time and the Pastors are wasting theirs by giving sermons at all."

This began a major controversy which went on for weeks until someone wrote in this reply:

"I've been married for thirty years now. In that time my wife has cooked some three thousand meals. For the life of me, I cannot recall the entire menu for a single one of those meals. But I do know this ... they all nourished me and gave me the strength I needed to do my work...”

So true!

We need our spiritual nourishment to be able to do the work of the Lord effectively! 
Corporate worship, fellowship with our brothers and sisters and Godly counsel are a great means to get it!

God does not want us to isolate ourselves! 

He wants us to be in consistent fellowship with like minded believers, teaching and exhorting one another, singing psalms and spiritual hymns together! 

Let us not forsake the assembling of ourselves together-
- especially as His return is drawing near! Heb.10-25
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Post  Admin on Tue 05 Apr 2016, 10:15 pm

My Manna

There is no circumstance in our lives about which the Lord will not speak to us. 

And we can be sure that when He does-
His words are always purposeful and powerful. 

Read 1 Corinthians 2:9-14.

Consider some of God’s goals for His children:

God wants us-- to comprehend the truth of what He is saying. 

As Christians, we can be confident that this will happen-
- because the Holy Spirit is present within us, 
- and John 16:13 promises that He will guide us into all truth. 

It may take time and effort on our part-
- but the Lord’s intention is for us to clearly understand what He’s communicating.

Our heavenly Father also has a goal-- to conform us to the image of Christ. 

As we read the Scriptures-
His Spirit may point out Jesus’ compassion toward the Samaritan woman as our example for living. 
Or He may warn us, through Jesus’ rebuke of Peter, not to rely on human understanding. 

Our part is to respond to His words by aligning our lives with the truth, and not to resist.

In addition-God reveals truths about life in Christ so we will be able-- to communicate those same principles to others. 

Jesus spoke only what His Father had taught Him. John8:28. 
Likewise, we need to be listening carefully every time God speaks so we, too, will know what to say.

God has something to say: 
- to the obedient and the disobedient; 
- to the powerful and the weak; 
- to the self-assured and the insecure; 
- to the lost and the saved. 

Don’t miss what He has to tell you. 

Let whatever happens in the course of the day draw you to Him-
- and practice giving Him your full attention.
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Post  Admin on Thu 31 Mar 2016, 1:59 pm

Seek to excel
.My Manna

“But just as you excel in everything--in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in complete earnestness and in your love for us--see that you also excel in this grace of giving.” 2 Corinthians 8:7.

A layman once made a covenant with his pastor to tithe ten percent of their income every year. 

They were both young and neither of them had much money. 

But things changed. 

The layman tithed one thousand dollars the year he earned ten thousand, 
- ten thousand dollars the year he earned one-hundred thousand, 
- and one- hundred thousand dollars the year he earned one million. 

But the year he earned six million dollars-- he just could not bring himself to write out that check for six-hundred thousand dollars to the Church.  

He telephoned the minister, long since having moved to another church, and asked to see him. 

Walking into the pastor’s office the man begged to be let out of the covenant, saying-"This tithing business has to stop. It was fine when my tithe was one thousand dollars, but I just cannot afford six-hundred thousand dollars. You’ve got to do something, Reverend!" 

The pastor knelt on the floor and prayed silently for a long time. 

Eventually the man said, "What are you doing? Are you praying that God will let me out of the covenant to tithe?" 

"No," said the minister. "I am praying for God to reduce your income back to the level where one thousand dollars will be your tithe!"
 
No one excels more in giving than the Lord. 
Today in prayer, praise Jesus for all that He has blessed you with and ​​​​​​seek to excel in giving to the Lord.

What I kept, I lost;
What I spent, I had;  
What I gave, I have!
 
“I was young and now I am old, yet I have never seen the righteous forsaken or their children begging bread. They are always generous and lend freely; their children will be blessed.” Psalm 37:25-
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Post  Admin on Thu 24 Mar 2016, 11:18 pm

My Manna
 
" ... come down from the cross and save yourself!" Mark 15:30.

God calls each of us to the cross-- in order for all the things that are alive in our flesh to die. 

Daily we are invited by the enemy of our souls-- to love ourselves and come away from the cross.

What are the signs-- that you have come off the cross? 

When you are overly concerned with appearance, you have come off the cross. 
When the words of others cause you to react and defend, you have come off the cross. 
When you strive to have your world in perfect order, you have come off the cross. 
When you complain about circumstances, you have come off the cross.

The way of the cross means-
- letting go and letting God have His way
- in every matter, every relationship, every outcome.

"When God starts to deal with the old nature He heads straight for the center of all that you hold most dear. 
Allow Him to bring you to the cross in the very center of who you are. 
Don't grumble and become agitated when the process starts. 
Silence and peace will help you much more than being upset. 
To bear the cross simply, without letting your self-love add all sorts of dilemmas to it, will make your life easier. 
When you accept the cross simply allow it to do the work God intended, you will be happy because you will see what good fruit is produced in you."

Those were the words of Francois de Fenelon-
- a man who lived in the 1600s and was considered one of the most godly men of his time.

The apostle Paul sums up the way of the cross: 

"For, as I have often told you before and now say again even with tears, many live as enemies of the cross of Christ. Their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach, and their glory is in their shame. Their mind is on earthly things. But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Saviour from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body." Phil 3:18-21.

Let the cross have its way in you.
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Post  ironman on Sun 31 Jan 2016, 9:19 pm

I understood Manna was the supernatural food God gave to the Israelites during their 40-year wandering in the desert. The word manna means "What is it?" in Hebrew.
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Post  Admin on Sun 31 Jan 2016, 2:47 pm

M​y Manna​

There was a priest of Abijah's division named Zachariah.

His wife was from the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elizabeth.
Both were righteous in God's sight.

But they had no children because Elizabeth could not conceive-
- and both of them were well along in years.

After these days his wife Elizabeth conceived, and kept herself in seclusion for five months.
She said, The Lord has done this for me.

He has looked with favour in these days to take away my disgrace among the people.
Then her neighbours and relatives heard that the Lord had shown her His great mercy.

Wonder why God chose this well-along-in-years woman to amaze with a miracle baby?

We don't know if she had given up hope,
- or if perhaps she still prayed every day for the impossible.

But we do know this God can do anything with someone who seeks him.

There are some very human reasons for wanting a child.

They draw attention like a magnet.
Their little fingers and toes look like the dolls you always played with.
And they're so cute in their costumes at the school play.

But Elizabeth seems like a woman who had gotten beyond these kinds of desires.
Her lifetime of faithfulness to the Lord indicates that her longing for a child came from a yearning to impart God's Word to a little one.
And she certainly must have.

John the Baptist's life was proof of ​​​​​​powerful parenting!

When parents receive a child from the hand of God-
- their job is to give a saint to God.

And they are responsible for this?
Solely responsible to give a saint back to God!

Sometimes in the hubbub of band practice and ball games-
- you can lose sight of the purpose of motherhood.

Pull back the first chance you get.
And ask God to renew your vision.
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Post  Admin on Thu 28 Jan 2016, 11:56 pm

My Manna​

Zechariah and his wife Elizabeth were good and godly people who were advanced in years. Luke 1:67-80.

Zechariah worked as a priest and had always hoped for children that did not come. 

Then an angel appeared to him in the temple to tell him that he and Elizabeth would be blessed with a son who would be named John.

Elizabeth did conceive even though it was late in her life. 

While she was pregnant, she welcomed Jesus’ mother Mary to their home in Judah. 

Mary was troubled that she was going to have a child, too, but without a husband, and Zechariah and Elizabeth comforted her.

Zechariah prophesied the coming of the Saviour who would redeem his people-
- and he predicted that his newborn son John would prepare the way for the Messiah. 

Zechariah was inspired to create a special song of praise to God-
- to express his joy that the Messiah was coming in his lifetime and that his own son was chosen to pave the way.

We can see that Luke does not tell us about Zechariah’s early years when he grew up and married because Zechariah’s greatest blessings came late in 

life with the birth of John and his vision of the Messiah.

This is significant for those of us who worry that the best days of our lives may have passed. 

We should live our lives in preparation for important ​contributions we still can make and in anticipation of the best days ahead.

"Gracious Father, we thank you for the hope and the peace that the Christ child brings, for the love and joy that surrounds us, and most of all for Jesus, the light of the world. 
May his revealing spirit shine in us so that we shine through the darkness. Amen
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Post  Admin on Wed 27 Jan 2016, 9:52 pm

Lent '16

Welcome to the ​​Lenten Lessons​!​

Lent is a forty-day period before Easter. 
It begins on Ash Wednesday. 

We skip Sundays when we count the forty days-
- because Sundays commemorate the Resurrection. 

Lent is a special season of repentance, fasting and preparation for the coming of Easter. 
It is a time of self-examination and reflection. 

What is Lent? 

The word “Lent” comes from the Old English word “lengten,” which simply means “spring” — when the days lengthen and new life springs forth. 

It is a time in which we anticipate the victory of the light and life of Christ over the darkness of sin and death. 

It is our prayer that as you journey with us from Ash Wednesday to Easter, you would be reminded of the reality of our broken humanity, but as days grow brighter, you would experience with greater abundance the reality of God’s redeeming grace.

And so, just as we carefully prepare for big events in our personal lives, such as a wedding or commencement, Lent invites us to make our hearts ready for remembering Jesus’ death and resurrection.

We are going to send Lenten Lessons for 40 days, beginning from Ash Wednesday, the 10th of February till Easter,the 27th of March, 2016. 

Those who need it freely, please sign up at:
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/lentenlessons 

You may introduce the above link to others or forward our messages to them.
Thank you;God bless you. 

Editor,
​​Lenten Lessons
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Post  Admin on Mon 25 Jan 2016, 9:39 pm

My Manna

"On the eighth day they came to circumcise the child, and they were going to name him after his father Zechariah, but his mother spoke up and said, 'No! He is to be called John.' They said to her, 'There is no one among your relatives who has that name.'" Luke 1:59-61.

Have you ever had to go against public opinion or advice from family members or peers? 

Elizabeth gave birth to John the Baptist. 
It was time to name the child. 

Tradition said the name would be in honour of a family member. 

The family members were insistent. 

When Elizabeth didn't agree with them-
- they appealed to Zechariah who supported Elizabeth.

Zechariah and Elizabeth were told by the angel Gabriel the name was to be "John." 
They were being obedient to the Lord's command which went against tradition and public opinion!

We live in a day when leaders are often driven more by public opinion than what is right. 

We are each called to live a life based on-
- the Bible based decisions, 
- not public opinion. 

Living a life of obedience will often go against the tide of public opinion. 

Jesus lived a life based on a purity of purpose and mission. 

The Pharisees wanted Him to conform to the rules of religious tradition. 
The result was He died because He lived to obey an audience of the One, not public opinion​!​

Are you challenged to live a life of-
- conviction versus 
- compromise?
Be true to what God has called you to do no matter the cost.
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Post  Admin on Sun 24 Jan 2016, 8:23 pm

My Manna

Mary set out and hurried to a town in the hill country of Judah-
- where she entered Zachariah's house and greeted Elizabeth.

When Elizabeth heard Mary's greeting-
- the baby leaped inside her, 
-​ ​and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit.

Then she exclaimed with a loud cry:
"Blessed are you among women, and blessed is your offspring! How could this happen to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For you see, when the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby leaped for joy inside me! Blessed is she who has believed that what was spoken to her by the Lord will be fulfilled!" Luke 1:39-45.

Mary was a maze of emotions on her hurried trek to Elizabeth's house.
She was going with congratulations on her cousin's pregnancy.

But to be honest, she needed someone to talk to.
Elizabeth was one of those people who would really care.

We Christians are actually pretty good at responding to a crisis-
- throwing our arms around a hurting friend, 
-​ ​calling to check on someone who needs a listening ear.

But too often when someone-
- encounters a victory in her life, 
-​ ​finds the man of her dreams, or 
-​ ​takes a new job that doubles her salary, 
-​ ​our congratulations are cloaked and guarded.

It seems we're better at mourning with those who mourn than-
- at rejoicing with those who rejoice.

Try going into a new day with your eyes open for the people you'll encounter at the store, the office, the school outing, wherever you're headed.

Give someone your full Attention today.

Promise for Today: God’s Care for Us

God's Care for You Never Ends

“I created you and have cared for you since before you were born. I will be 
your God throughout your lifetime–until your hair is white with age. I made
you, and I will care for you.” (Isaiah46:3-4 NLT)
God’s Care for Us

Does God really care?

Absolutely. You were in His heart and mind long before you first took a 
breath. Does He stop caring for you once you’re born?

I love this promise. As my dark brown hair strands begin to turn more gray, 
I don’t mind the white that will eventually follow. It will be another 
reminder
that God’s care is still with me.

There may be times when you wonder if this promise is really true. You look 
at your circumstances–or at others. You look at our world situation. And you
think, did God take a vacation?

As long as we live in a fallen world, we–and others–will experience 
difficulty, trials, and unbelievable challenges. But those whose faith is 
planted firmly
in God’s promises and in His Word, will not be shaken.

God’s Care Never Ends

Treasure it. Believe it. (And enjoy that graying hair!) God cares for 
you–and He will never stop caring for you!

It’s Your Turn
What about you? What Bible promise will you claim this year?
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Post  Admin on Thu 21 Jan 2016, 8:03 pm

My Manna
For months-Zechariah has been ‹silenced. ‹Luke 1:68-75.

He was silenced by an angel because of his lack of faith in God's ability to cause his old, childless wife to become pregnant. 

I imagine these have been difficult months-
- months in which Zechariah has longed to process this wild miracle and to verbalize his amazement. 

And I'm sure his wife, Elizabeth, has yearned to know what had happened and, like her husband, to talk through the experience.

Perhaps, though, the silence in their household has allowed Zechariah to consider his wife's pregnancy in light of the ancient prophecies. 

He knows that the prophets spoke of a messenger-
- one who would appear ahead of the Lord to proclaim the Lord's coming and prepare God's people for God's arrival.
And now Zechariah has had nine whole months to let it sink in that this messenger is his son. 
More than that, it means the prophecies of old have been realized. 

This is the moment.

If the messenger is here, the Lord is not far behind. 

The Lord is looking favourably on his people and redeeming them. 
He is showing the mercy he promised ages ago. 

He is remembering his covenant.

God has given Zechariah the power of speech once again.
And Zechariah is putting it to good use-
- telling the Israelites what he has come to understand over these months of silence:

The messenger is here. 
The Lord is on his way.
"Faithful God, thank you for remembering your covenant. 
Thank you for not forgetting your people; especially me.Amen"
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Post  Admin on Tue 05 Jan 2016, 1:49 pm

My Manna​

"The Lord has done this for me...he has shown his favour and taken away my disgrace." Luke 1:25.

Like Zechariah, Elizabeth is described as “righteous.” v. 6. 
We know that she was “childless” and “very old.” v. 7. 

Elizabeth was descended from the line of Aaron, the priestly line. 
Her reputation and lineage were impeccable. 

She and Zechariah had prayed for God to give them a child-
- but now the realities of biology had led them to think that God’s answer was no.

Zechariah left the temple, unable to speak, and those who were present realized he had seen a vision. 
He motioned to them but was unable to explain. v. 22. 
He returned home, which was probably not far from Jerusalem.

Scripture doesn’t tell us how he conveyed the wonderful, shocking news to his wife-
- but the text implies that they responded to this news in faith. 

Elizabeth indeed became pregnant.

As was the custom of the time, Elizabeth kept herself in “seclusion” for five months. 
This pregnant elderly woman saw her growing belly as an outward sign of God’s favour. v. 25. 

Indeed, in Scripture, children are a blessing from God. Deuteronomy. 28:4; Psalm 128:3. 
The child growing in her womb was a miraculous answer to her prayers.

Many women throughout the Bible struggled with infertility: 
Sarah, Rebekah, Rachel, Hannah, and now Elizabeth. 

Each prayer was answered-
- but not always in an expected way. 

Their stories also reveal something about the tender heart of God toward these women who longed to be mothers.

At Christmas, when we celebrate the birth of our Saviour-
- we can also give thanks for the children in our lives. 

Also pray for those who struggle with infertility-
- that God will provide hope and comfort in their times of need. 

Pray to the God who blessed Sarah, Hannah, and Elizabeth that-
He will continue to answer prayers in unexpected ways.
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Post  Admin on Sat 02 Jan 2016, 11:05 pm

My Manna​

“Do not be afraid, Zechariah; your prayer has been heard.” Luke 1:13.

​T​he angel tells Zechariah that his prayer for a child has been heard; his wife, Elizabeth, will have a son. 

Does this mean Zechariah has been praying continually until this time, even though he and his wife were both “well along in years”? 

That would be a very persistent prayer-
-​ ​like a farmer praying for a harvest even in the dead of winter!

Maybe the angel is referring to prayers that Zechariah offered to God long ago, before Zechariah’s face was lined with wrinkles and Elizabeth was past the age of childbearing. 

Maybe at some point they looked up after offering yet another “Please send us a child” prayer and said to each other, “It’s no 
use.” 

Either way-
God’s answer to Zechariah’s prayer was a miracle.

But the prayer of this couple isn’t the only prayer God is about to answer. 

There’s Simeon’s prayer for the consolation for Israel​.​ Luke 2:25​Anna’s prayer for the redemption of Israel (Luke 2:38)​.
A​nd countless prayers for a Messiah to fulfill the old promises. 

God is about to respond to all these prayers and more!

What are you praying for these days? 

Is it okay with you if God responds according to his own timetable, in ways that serve his perfect plan? 

In the meantime, simply trust that someday God will show you too that your prayer has been heard.

​"​We trust you, O God. Help us in our mistrust. And help us to ​​pray persistently. We know you hear us. Help us to see that by your will and in your time all will be complete. Amen.​"​
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Post  Admin on Tue 29 Dec 2015, 8:36 pm

My Manna​

Luke 1 also tells of a miraculous birth to the high priest Zechariah and his wife, Elizabeth. 

Both are “advanced in years” and Elizabeth is barren, so a baby would be considered virtually impossible. 

Yet, while he is praying and burning incense in the temple, an angel appears to him. 

“But the angel said to him, ‘Do not be afraid, Zechariah, for your prayer has been heard, and your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you shall call his name John” Luke 1:13. 
Like Mary, he questions the angel. 

“And Zechariah said to the angel, ‘How shall I know this? For I am an old man, and my wife is advanced in years” Luke 1:18​.​ 
So the angel tells Zechariah that he will be silent and unable to speak until the day these things come to pass, because he did not believe his words.

Why did the angel answer Mary’s question but punish Zechariah? 

Because Mary believed that the miracle would happen​.​S​he was simply questioning how it would come to pass, whereas Zechariah wondered if he could trust that the angel’s prophecy would really happen at all. 
It was just a slight difference in wording​-- but a huge ​​gap in belief​!​

God doesn’t expect us to have all the answers. 
And He doesn’t even mind us wondering how in the world He’s going to get something done. 

All He asks of us is that we believe that it can be done
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Post  Admin on Tue 22 Dec 2015, 12:01 am

My Manna

Do not be afraid, Zechariah; your prayer has been heard. Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you are to give him the name John. Luke 1:13

w‹hen Zechariah's division was on duty and he was serving as priest before God, he was chosen by lot, according to the custom of the priesthood, to go into the temple of the Lord and burn incense. 

And when the time for the burning of incense came, all the assembled worshipers were praying outside. 

Then an angel of the Lord appeared to him, standing at the right side of the altar of incense. 

When Zechariah saw him, he was startled and was gripped with fear. 

But the angel said to him: Do not be afraid, Zechariah; your prayer has been heard. Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you are to give him the name John. Luke 1:8-13

At the time that Zechariah was visited by the angel, there were thousands of priests in Israel. 

His experience was literally a once in a lifetime opportunity- 
- because there were so many priests, 
it was not allowed for a priest to burn incense in the temple more than once in his lifetime. 

God had thousands of men to choose from and yet Zechariah was ‹ingled out to be the father of the forerunner to Jesus Christ!

What have you been singled out to do? 
Why did God create you? 
What is He calling you to do that only you can fulfill? 

If you don't know- why not ask Him? 
God wants to use you in a powerful way to expand His Kingdom!
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Post  Admin on Sat 19 Dec 2015, 8:29 pm

My Manna

Can you imagine how excited Zechariah and Elizabeth were? 

Zechariah was about to experience a once in a life time experience.​​Luke 1:5-20​​.​

I'm sure he would have felt concern about leaving Elizabeth at home to take care of all that needed to be done by herself, but his two week session at the temple was part of his yearly duties as a priest.

He was chosen, by lot, to be the one and only priest to enter the Holiest of Holies in the temple-
- to burn incense while presenting offerings morning and night. 

He was to offer prayers up to God for God's people. 

This entering of the Holiest of Holies only happened once in a priest life. 

He had a huge responsibility​.
A​nd God was right there waiting for the prayers and offerings.

Elizabeth and Zechariah were a Godly couple. 
Luke said they were blameless. 

They were getting on in years but one thing was missing all those years. 
They missed the joy of having children.

As a priest Zechariah taught the Israelites the Laws of God. 
As a Jewish man one of his pleasures would be to teach his own son about God. 

So Elizabeth and Zechariah lived with the emptiness of not having children and the stigma attached to being Jewish without children. 
Maybe they still secretly prayed for the child they longed to have even at their older age. 

God knew them and their hearts and God had a Wonderful plan for Elizabeth and Zechariah.

The big day finally came. 

He was in the temple smelling the rising incense and burnt offerings going up in the smoke with the prayers being sent up to God. 

Who knows if he might have even mentioned in this special place and time his heart's desire for a child. 
But suddenly to his right at the altar the angel Gabriel appeared. 

Since Zechariah was to be there alone it startled him. 
But Gabriel told him not to be afraid, He said, "You're prayer has been heard and Elizabeth will bear you a son."
​​
Well ​​w​​orth the wait wouldn't you say? 
He is the one before Jesus and his life and name are important to this very day!

Do you ever pray and pray for weeks even years the same prayer and wonder if God hears or cares about your prayer. 

Do you ever think it's too late...this prayer is never going to be answered. 

Just look what God did for Elizabeth and Zechariah. 

In God's infinite wisdom and timing he answered their prayer in a magnificent way. 
Something they couldn't have imagined to pray for themselves. 

Be patient we don't know God's whole plan for us and He will answer you.

"Heavenly Father, I know you hear every word we speak to you and You know our hearts desires.
Help me to be Godly person, help me to see Your will for me each and every day. 
Help me be patient and consistent in my prayer life." Amen.
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Post  Admin on Sat 19 Dec 2015, 7:52 pm

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Do not be afraid, Zechariah, for your prayer has been heard, and your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you shall call his name John." Luke 1:13. 

Zechariah is not a name-
- that is mentioned often when faithful men of the Bible are spoken of. 

He is only mentioned in the Gospel of Luke-
- because he is the father of the great John the Baptist, the fore runner of the Messiah, Jesus. 

While there aren't books written about him or any other mentions in the Bible-
- he is someone we can look to as an example of faithfulness.

Zechariah and his wife Elizabeth were old in age and did not have children. Luke 1:7. 
In that day, being childless usually brought sorrow to the family and shame from those around them. Luke 1:25. 

Outsiders would often think that there was sin in the lives of the couple-
- and that childlessness is the means by which God is punishing them. 

During all of this though-
Zechariah chose to remain faithful to God in his work as a priest and in his prayers for a child of his own.

Zechariah could have easily-
- stopped praying, 
- became bitter, and 
- stopped working for the God who was not providing a child for him. 

However, this is not how Zechariah's story ends. 

We know that God did in fact answer his prayers and proved himself faithful by blessing him with a son, John the Baptist. 

We can be encouraged that God hears our prayers-
- and answers them in His timing for a greater blessing than we could have ever imagined.

Let us remember to recall the story of God's faithfulness to Zechariah at moments in our lives when we are tempted to ‹give up on God.
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Post  Admin on Mon 14 Dec 2015, 10:11 pm

My Manna
He will bring back many of the people of Israel to the Lord their God.to make ready a people prepared for the Lord. Luke 1:16-17. 

One day Zechariah was doing his duty as a priest before the Lord. 
Suddenly an angel appeared before him. 

As you can imagine, Zechariah was terrified. 

But the angel told the trembling priest unbelievable news
Do not be afraid, Zechariah; your prayer has been heard. Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you are to give him the name John.

The angel explained that many would rejoice in John's birth, for he will be great in the sight of the Lord. 

This son would bring many back to the Lord. 
He would live in the spirit and power of the great prophet Elijah. 

This miracle baby would-
make ready a p‹eople prepared for the Lord.

God has the same promise for you. 

He is working in your heart to do great things for him. 
Every believer lives with the power of the Holy Spirit. 

You have everything you need to do-
- what God has called you to do. 

God is writing his story in you! 

He will use you for eternal purposes. 
He will use you to prepare yourself, your family, and your friends for God.

Father, thank you for using me to prepare others for Jesus. 
Help me be ready and willing to be used by you.
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Post  Admin on Sat 12 Dec 2015, 6:32 pm

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"In the time of Herod king of Judea there was a priest named Zechariah, who belonged to the priestly division of Abijah; his wife Elizabeth was also a descendant of Aaron. Both of them were righteous in the sight of God, observing all the Lord'¹s commands and decrees blamelessly. But they were childless because Elizabeth was not able to conceive, and they were both very old. Luke 1:5-7.

Zechariah was a priest. 
His wife, Elizabeth, was a descendant of Aaron, Israel's first priest. 
Both came from a long line of God-fearers and followers. 

Zechariah and Elizabeth continued in this spiritual heritage. 
They lived their lives in a way that honoured God. 

While they were not perfect, both observed the Lord¹s commands with consistent obedience. 

They desired to serve the Lord. 
And they had another deep desire that had gone unfulfilled for many years.

Zechariah and Elizabeth longed to have a child. 
They wanted a son or daughter running around their home bringing noise, laughter, and joy. 

They rejoiced with the other couples that had children. 
They knew many families with a house full. 

But now they were past childbearing years. 

God had a plan
He used this godly couple to bring into the world the one who would prepare the way for Jesus.

Maybe you can relate to the emotions of Zechariah and Elizabeth. 
Maybe a longing of your heart has not been fulfilled. 

I challenge you to keep believing. 

God is not finished writing your story. 
He may still meet the longing of your heart€ ¢â’ ¦or he may give you a new dream.

"Lord, help me continue to believe. 
Don'’¹t let me give up on you. 
If my dream is not yours, help me to lay it down and embrace your desire for my life. 
In Jesus name. Amen.
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Post  Admin on Thu 10 Dec 2015, 10:55 am

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Sometimes, when things aren't going as well as we hope-
- we are tempted to give up on our righteous commitments to God. 

"What's the use?" we sometimes think to ourselves, "It surely doesn't seem to be paying off for me!" 

God gives us Zechariah and Elizabeth to help us-
- not give up in our discouragement, impatience, and frustration. 

The beginning of the Gospel ​of  Luke ​is found in two, old, faithful followers of God. 

They were righteous in God's eyes-
- even though their most fervent desire to have a child had not been granted by God. 

They honoured God because it was right. 

Out of that faithfulness came the beginning of our salvation story in Luke. 

So the next time you find yourself discouraged and ready to give up because your prayers seem unanswered-
- remember this old couple and their ​​​​​​j​​oyous surprise! 

It’s worth the wait to share in God’s glory!

"Holy and righteous God, my Abba Father, forgive me for the times that I have let discouragement and impatience cause me to stumble and even give up for a time. I do believe that you are at work in my life and want to use my life to help others find Jesus. Please give me strength to live before you righteously as Zechariah and Elizabeth did. In Jesus' name I pray.​"​ Amen.
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