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Post  Admin on Sun 24 Jul 2016, 11:07 pm

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​"In fact, I myself supposed it was necessary to do many things in opposition to the name of Jesus the Nazarene."Acts 26:9.

See how the Good News Bible translates Acts 26:9: 
"I myself thought that I should do everything I could against the cause of Jesus of Nazareth."Here you see the root of Paul' s problem: 
"I myself thought."

And is not that the underlying cause of many of our problems too? 

We say, "I myself thought..." instead of asking: 
"What does God think?"

Sometimes sailors will attempt to establish the position of their ships by estimating the distance and direction they have traveled, rather than by astronomical observation. 

This is called "dead reckoning." 
It is sometimes necessary in foul weather, but it is fraught with peril. 

One mariner has said: "Undue trust in the dead reckoning has produced more disastrous shipwrecks of seaworthy ships than all other causes put together."

There are people who attempt the voyage of life by dead reckoning, but there is no need. 

God has charted the map for us with loving care in the Scriptures-
- and our plain duty is to study the chart so that we might become better acquainted with His purposes and His ways. 

For the better we know the Scriptures-
- the better we will know God.

We cannot ignore the facts of history or science-
- but if our perspective is not drawn from the Scriptures it will lead us astray. 

We must not rely on-
- dead reckoning 
- but on ​​​​​​divine reckoning​!​

"Father, just as the art of navigation requires definite and fixed points from which to take a bearing, so does my voyage through life. I am grateful, dear Father, that in You I have all the fixed points I need. Amen."
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Post  Admin on Thu 21 Jul 2016, 9:40 pm

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"Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might." Ephesians 6:10. 

Historian Shelby Foote tells of a soldier who was wounded at the battle of Shiloh during the American Civil War and was ordered to go to the rear. 

The fighting was fierce and within minutes he returned to his commanding officer.

"Captain, give me a gun!" he shouted. "This fight ain't got any rear!"

In Ephesians, Paul describes the armor that we should put on daily. 

Have you ever noticed that every part of the body is covered except for one? 

​the back! 

The Lord didn't want us to run away and turn our back toward our enemy.

It would leave us vulnerable, with no armor to protect us against his attack! 

And just as a dog would when he senses fear, if we run from the enemy-
- he will relentlessly chase us until we are broken. 

But if we take courage and stand strong in the power of God's might-
- then the battle will be the Lord's,
And He has already won the victory!

The battle is raging! 
It's time to take up our armor and face the enemy head-on! 

There's no turning back! 
We're in this together!
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Post  Admin on Sun 17 Jul 2016, 12:12 am

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“The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me,Because He has anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor;He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted,to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind,To set at liberty those who are oppressed..." Luke 4:18.

On returning to His hometown-
Jesus entered the synagogue and, to the amazement of all who were listening, read His job description from the book of Isaiah.

Perhaps some people in that congregation were confused by His statement that-
He was sent to release captives and set the oppressed free.Luke 4:18.

Who were those captives?
Was He going to storm the prisons?

Jesus was talking about spiritual bonds, not physical ones.

Everyone is born with a sinful nature, and we’re all ​​​​​​enslaved to sin until that bondage gets broken by faith in the Saviour.

But even after salvation-
Jesus is continually setting us free from things that entrap us, hindering our relationship with Him.

He delivers us from-

Errors:
The Word of God protects us-
- from the misconceptions and lies that Satan and his world system use to bombard us.

Evil deeds:
God’s indwelling Spirit empowers us-
- to resist temptation and live a righteous lifestyle.

Emotional bondages:
The Lord doesn’t want us to be controlled by fear, guilt, jealousy, bitterness, unforgiveness, or inadequacy, which steal the peace and joy Christ promised.

When we learn to trust Him in every situation-
He’ll set us free from these negative emotions.

Many Christians live in bondage without realizing it.
They know something is wrong but can’t straighten out their lives.

Despite all their efforts to “be better,” they keep failing.

No prisoner has the key to unlock the door-
- but Jesus is standing outside the cell, calling,
“Trust Me, and I will set you free!”
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Post  Admin on Thu 14 Jul 2016, 9:04 pm

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Have you ever felt as though you were ​​all alone and nobody cared? 

You might be surprised to know that the great apostle Paul felt this way too. 
In his epistle, he wrote, "Everyone abandoned me." 
2 Timothy 4:16. 

Know this: 
God has not abandoned you! 
He can compensate by His own loving presence for every earthly loss.

C.H. Spurgeon wrote:
"If all else forsook him, Jesus was company enough. 
If all others despised him, the smile of Jesus was approval enough. 
If the good cause seemed to be in danger, in the presence of his Master, victory was sure. 
The Lord who had stood for him at the cross now stood for him in the prison. 
It was a dungeon, but the Lord was there.
It was dark, but the glory of the Lord lit it up with Heaven's own splendour."

Listen: 
Better to be in a jail with the Lord than to be anywhere else without Him. 
Jesus is with us as well, in the good and bad times of life. 

God reminds us in His Word​:
"When you go through deep waters, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown. When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you." Isaiah 43:2.

When Jesus hung on the cross, He cried out the words "My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?" Matthew 27:46. 

Those were not delusional words. 
They were factual. 

Jesus, at this point, was bearing the sins of the world. 

Here is the good news: 
Jesus was forsaken for a time that you might enjoy God's presence forever.

Jesus will never forsake you. 
You have His Word on that. 

Jesus said, "I will never leave you nor forsake you." Hebrews 13:5. 

Or from the Greek it would translate out more like:
"I will never, no never, leave you nor forsake you."
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Post  Admin on Sat 09 Jul 2016, 2:50 pm

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The Bible warns against wavering faith.

This is the attitude of someone who goes from feeling certain that God will answer a prayer to merely hoping that He might (or becoming convinced that He won’t).

Of course, since we’re human, we all experience periods of doubt.
But what Scripture warns against is a lifestyle of spiritual ​​​​​​vacillation!

Wavering can have many causes.

For instance-
- ​O​ne might fail to see the Lord at work in a situation.
-​ ​​O​r he might worry that trusting Jesus in a particular predicament conflicts with human reasoning.
-​ ​​A​nother believer, focusing on circumstances rather than on God, may allow feelings to overcome faith.

A person who is “driven and tossed by the wind”-
- may lose confidence in the Lord and find his spiritual growth stunted. James 1:6.

Such a believer can become a “double-minded man”-
- because even as he prays, he tends to jump ahead of the Lord’s timing to manipulate a situation for his own desired outcome. v. 8.

When a Christian pays attention to his doubts in this way-
- he will often make wrong decisions that prove costly.

And then, after all the maneuvering, he will frequently end up dissatisfied with the results and bothered by his lack of peace.

What’s even worse-
- his faith may diminish.

Wavering is dangerous-
- so believers must develop confidence in the Lord.

In Mark 11:24, Jesus says, “All things for which you pray and ask, believe that you have received them, and they will be granted you.”

The closest we get to perfect faith while on earth is-
- the ability to trust that what we ask in God’s will is as good as done.
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Post  Admin on Wed 06 Jul 2016, 11:55 am

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"A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity." Proverbs 17:17.
​​
​​​​Friendships are among our most valuable assets.

Acquiring quality companions—those who will laugh with us in good times and stand by us during trials—requires shared commitment and an investment of time and energy.

Healthy relationships thrive on . . .

Transparency

We must be honest with friends and encourage them to be truthful in return.

To preserve a strong bond, we can’t hide hurts or feelings of rejection they may have caused.
Transparency that is tied to accountability can also help make each individual a better person.

A solid relationship allows each party to gently point out errors in the other’s life and offer loving correction.

Time

Genuine friendship takes time to develop.
We must be willing to put aside other obligations and give priority to moments spent together.

A generous portion of our time with each other should be spent talking—speaking about our thoughts and desires and also asking questions to prompt our companion to open up.

This type of conversation allows a glimpse into the other person’s heart and mind.

Thanks.

Everyone likes to feel appreciated.
Expressing gratitude when friends are helpful will remind them that we’re thankful to have them in our life.

Moreover, we affirm our love when we communicate how much we enjoy a certain aspect of their personality or remember an occasion that is special to them.

Being a good friend is-
- a way to serve the Lord.

He designed us to be in relationship with others-
- so we should give our best to every companion the Lord places in our life.
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Post  Admin on Sat 02 Jul 2016, 4:13 pm

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Jesus told His disciples-
“In everything, therefore, treat people the same way you want them to treat you.” Matt. 7:12. 

Most of us refer to this code of conduct as the- “Golden Rule.”

In theory-
- we would probably agree that this is a good foundation for a healthy relationship.

Yet it’s tough to live up to such a standard. 

If we made a list of the ways we hope to be treated-
- and then compared it with our own behaviour, 
- we would likely fall short.

And of course, it’s easy to love when others are treating us well. 

But how do we respond when their behaviour is hurtful or unpleasant? 

The truth is-
Jesus meant for us to love others all the time, not just when they are lovable. 

Regardless of their attitude toward us-
- we are to think about the relationship qualities we value—like loyalty, trust, encouragement, forgiveness, acceptance, and protection—and let these flow from us in their direction.

Unfortunately-
- our society encourages selfishness, greed, and pride, which are enemies of the love Jesus commanded. 

But when we care for others in the way the Lord prescribes-
- relationships can deepen and thrive.

Treating others with this kind of love isn’t natural or easy, especially when people are unkind. 
In fact, loving as Jesus commanded is impossible—on our own. 

But when we trust Christ as Saviour-
- the Holy Spirit empowers us and lives His life through us. Gal. 2:20.

Take time to list the ways that you hope others will treat you. 

Now ask-
Is that how I treat people? 

Pray for God to reveal one area where He will help you to apply the ​​​​​​Golden Rule!
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Post  Admin on Wed 29 Jun 2016, 6:46 pm

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"This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, explaining spiritual realities with Spirit-taught words." 1 Corinthians 2:13.

“I just don't understand the Bible.” 

That’s a comment I hear quite often, even from believers. It is no mystery why those without Christ are unable to comprehend biblical concepts.
But why do those who know Him struggle? 

Some people think that a seminary education is the answer-
- but I have met several trained pastors and teachers who didn't really understand the Word of God. 

They knew few facts, but they had no excitement for the Scriptures or for the Lord.

The key is-
- not education, 
- but obedience. 

As we act on what we read-
- the Holy Book comes alive, 
- and we begin to hear and understand the voice of God. 

However, if we have not obeyed what He’s previously revealed to us-
- why would He give us His deeper truths? 

“The secret of the LORD is for those who fear Him.” Psalm. 25:14. 

So who are “those who fear Him”? 
They're the ones who obey His commandments and are promised “a good understanding.” 111:10.

Living a fleshly lifestyle amounts to disobedience before the Lord. 

It will-
- cloud our eyes, 
- diminish our ability to hear, 
- and fog our thinking. 

Although we, as believers, have full access to the mind of Christ-
- attachment to our own sinful ways can prevent us from tapping into the rich treasures of wisdom that are found in His Word.

As you read the Scriptures each day, look for God’s instructions. 
Then with reliance upon the Holy Spirit, commit to do what He tells you. 

When you obey His voice-
He will reveal deeper truths, 
- and your understanding will grow. 

Soon your time in the Word will become-
​​-​​ ​​a delight instead of a duty.
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Post  Admin on Sun 26 Jun 2016, 11:30 pm

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​​​"The haters of the Lord would pretend submission to Him, But their fate would endure forever." Psalm 81:15.

​What is denial?

It is the attitude that-
- avoids looking realistically at issues and
- pretends that things are not the way they are.

Most Christians are to varying degrees held together by denial.

Deep down we sense that if we were to face the realities of life openly and honestly-
- we might not be able to cope,
- and so we pretend things are not what they are.

I know Christians-
- who pretend that what they have in life satisfies more than it does,
- or pretend they haven't been hurt as badly as they have.

They refuse to face and feel what is going on inside them-
- due to the strange belief that it is lack of faith on their part to admit to anything that is negative.

This faulty teaching, that we ought to ignore what is going on inside us instead of facing it and dealing with it, is responsible for more casualties in the Christian life than anything I know.

A Christian psychologist says:
"I am convinced that much of what we admire as spiritual maturity is a fragile adjustment to life based on the foundation of denial."

I would agree.

My own observation would lead me to say that-
I have found some non-Christians to be more open and honest in facing what is going on inside them than some Christians.

Is denial a wise plan for life?

Absolutely not.

The choice, then, is stark:
- either to deny and live comfortably or
- to face every painful issue, and go on to climb the heights with God.

"Father, help to see that I need never be afraid to face anything, for in You I have the resources to resolve all problems, not just skirt them. Show me how to blast denial right out of my life - once and for all. In Jesus' name. Amen.​"​
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Post  Admin on Tue 21 Jun 2016, 2:40 pm

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​"Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers." 3 John 2.

​We have stacks of emails from readers from the East and the West who all want to know about yoga. 

Is it mere physical exercise or unavoidable participation in eastern spirituality? 

One reader writes:
“As a healthcare professional I am interested in the benefits of eastern practices like yoga and tai chi for the documented health benefits. 
Can a Christian practice such things with roots in mysticism in good conscience?” 

One of the first things that I would want to say is that-
- there are two kinds of approaches to questionable practices in life. 

One I would call a minimalist.
The other maximalist.

In the first case, your typical question is, “Well, what is wrong with it?” 

And the other approach is not to ask, “What is wrong with it?” mainly​ but-
- “Will it make me more Christ like? 
-​ ​Will it make me more devoted to Jesus? 
-​ ​Will I be more powerful and full of the Holy Spirit? 
-​ ​Will I be more effective in prayer because of it? 
-​ ​Will it make me more bold in witness or weaken me? 
-​ ​Will it help me be spiritually discerning of the ways of Satan in the world​?
- Will it help me lay up treasures in heaven? 
-​ ​Will it help me find joy in God and all that he is for me in Jesus?”

You can see that there are these two kinds of approaches to life. 

I want to maximize my godliness and my holiness by drawing nearer and nearer to God.
And the other one is just trying to do as many things as you can do without being tripped up explicitly by sin. 

So I don’t mean to suggest that every time you face a questionable activity, you will opt for renunciation, because you have weighed things that way.

I just want people to approach questions with the greatest passions for godliness and to not think minimalistically. 

That is the first thing I would want to say.

Secondly,I would want to say that-
- both yoga and tai chi, the little I know and the little research I have done, have their roots in eastern religions and are profoundly in those roots antithetical to a Christian understanding of God and the way he works in the world. 

So yoga is to the body what mantra is to the mouth​.
That is the way I would put it anyway. 

One explanation says that for the mantra, “One has to chant a word or a phrase until he or she transcends mind and emotions and in the process the superconscious is discovered and achieved.” 

Note the use of “word” in that mantra-like way in order to move into the superconsciousness. 

In other words, yoga exercises are a spillover from that kind of verbal repetition and philosophy of how one moves physically and emotionally and intellectually to this superconsciousness.

So yoga focuses on harmony between mind and body. 
Yoga derives its philosophy from an Indian metaphysical belief. 

And the word yoga comes from the Sanskrit language and means “merger” or “union.” 
And the ultimate aim of that philosophy then is to strike a balance between mind and body and attain a kind of self-enlightenment through the use of mantra and through the use of certain kinds of physical exercises or meditative stances. 

To achieve this state, yoga uses breath, posture, relaxation, and meditation in order to bring about a healthy, lively balanced approach to life. 

Christians have a radically different worldview than either of these or the view shaped by yoga, the view shaped by tai chi. 

Our approach towards history and towards God and towards well-being is radically different. 
In Christianity progress toward wholeness moves from a God who communicates intelligibly-
- through language to be understood, 
- through a person, Jesus Christ, who becomes fully human and speaks to be ​  ​​ ​understood by the mind, not the  cancelling of the mind— through his death and resurrection objectively overcoming a real Satan and real  guilt before God through a real gospel message for us, once for all in history with historical events  behind 
it, 
- through an understanding of that message in our minds consciously, 
- through faith in Christ, through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, 
- through the promises understood and believed, 
- through joyful meditation on those objective promises, 
- through the transformation of the Holy Spirit, through objective word understood as we meditate in  progressive likeness to Christ as we see his glory in the Word and in the gospel, 
- through practical deeds that lead to help other people,
- and through a life of transformed godliness into eternal life where God is our joy forever.

That is Christianity. 

And it is totally different than the kind of worldview that lies behind the meditative, physical and emotional and intellectual practices that flow out of yoga and tai chi. 

So, ​​consider ​​​​Christian wholeness of the health and the body. 

If you ask, “How does that relate to the body? 
How does that relate to exercise and stuff you do with your body?”

I would say Christian wholeness of the health of the body is​ ​marked by these facts:

1. We are fallen and physically under a curse and emotionally and intellectually under a curse on the whole of creation. And, therefore, we will all die.

2. We will be raised from the dead if we have faith in Jesus, and this is the health we are ultimately aiming at mainly. We will be perfectly healthy — body, soul, and mind — in the new heavens and the new earth after resurrection, and that is our glory — that is our hope.

3. In the meantime, our outer nature is wasting away, bu our inner nature is being renewed day by day.2 Corinthians 4:16.

4. So bodily exercise is of a little value as Paul says in 1 Timothy 4:8. But spiritual exercise is of value in every way in the way I described it a minute ago.

5. We should not unnecessarily damage our bodies which are the temple of the Holy Spirit, and we should seek their maximal usefulness in the goals that God has given us. So physical health is wonderful, but it is not the goal. It is a means to much greater goals and a qualified means at that, because there are more important means than having a body that is super fit.

6. We may accomplish our greatest goals by dying, by risking our lives and getting Ebola or malaria or river blindness in some missionary activity. We don’t strive for maximal physical well-being. That is a subordinate useful goal as a means to something greater. And it may be compromised intentionally by risking our lives for 
the sake of somebody else.

7. So any physical regimen that begins to take the place of the pursuit of holiness and sacrificial service by which we may lay down our lives is starting, probably, to become a religion for us. And it seems to me that yoga and tai chi have already declared themselves by their very names on that score. They have run up the flag 
of the eastern religions by the very name yoga and tai chi.

As I assess maximizing rather than minimizing my pursuit of God’s goals and the flourishing of my own soul-
I would go another way and find another kind of exercise.
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Post  Admin on Sun 19 Jun 2016, 7:00 pm

Blessed fathers' Day!
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For God, who said, "Let light shine out of darkness," made His light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ. 2 Corinthians 4:6.
    

Years ago after completing high school, a Christian girl got her first job. 

The first day of work showed her she was hardly ready to deal with the lurid language, ungentle jokes, and cruel comments that shocked her. 

Shaken, she told her parents she wasn't going back. 

Before she had finished sharing her lament her father interrupted and asked:
"Honey, where do you put a light?"

She continued telling them about the stuff she had suffered, but Dad again asked, "Where do you put a light?" 

Exasperated, she replied, "Dad, what does that have to do with what I'm saying? You put light where it's dark." 

"Good," said her dad and continued, "As a Christian you are to reflect the light of Jesus into a dark place. Go to work tomorrow and let His light be reflected to those folks in the darkness so they can see Jesus."

Jesus was born into a world that loved and preferred the darkness. 

When the Christ confronted humanity with God's call to repentance, forgiveness, and hope, His world, like ours, didn't want what He was offering. 

The truth is, evil never likes to be exposed. 

So intense was their hatred toward Jesus, they ended up nailing Him to a cross. 
With great confidence that the darkness had once again descended, they placed a stone and a guard before His grave. 

But death and darkness didn't have the final say. 
Jesus' sacrifice for us was accepted, and on the third day He rose from the dead.

Because Jesus lives, His people no longer languish in the black prison of sin. 
Because Christ has risen, His light shines into the hearts of those who once were filled with darkness. 

In joy they say with Paul, "The same God who brought light into the world at the time of creation, is now making His light shine in the hearts of humanity." 

Christians who live in the light of the Lord are, like the young lady of our story, able to reflect Christ's radiance with those who still are stumbling in the darkness of sin, death, and Satan. 

If you are among the stumblers please join us in the Light. 
It is ever so much better and brighter than where you are now.
​​​​Blessed fathers' Day!
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Post  Admin on Thu 16 Jun 2016, 9:15 pm

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"But that on the good ground are they, which in an honest and good heart, having heard the word, keep it, and bring forth fruit with patience." Luke 8:15.

An official of a mission board, who knew it takes more than just desire to make a missionary-
- was appointed to examine a candidate for the mission field. 

He told the young man to be at his house at six o'clock in the morning. 

The young man complied and arrived a six o'clock sharp. 

The examiner kept him sitting alone in the room until ten. 

Then he finally came in and said abruptly-
" Young man, can you write your name?"

A little taken aback by the simplicity of his question, the man paused. 

Before he could get a word out, the examiner blurted, "What, you don't know what it is?" 

The mission board official put him through a series of questions of that nature and then went to report to the mission board.

"Okay," he said, "he will do." 
I tried his patience for hours and hours and he did not break down; 
Then I insulted him and he did not lose his temper. 
This candidate answered with patience, fortitude, and gentleness. 
His faith was vindicated by the very quality of his character. 
He will make a good missionary."

Whether we realize it or not-
- we all are in the mission field. 

Our patience is bound to be tested in ways we've never imagined and we'll most likely find it unfair and unkind at times. 

But standing strong in the Lord in the face of offensive treatment and enduring seasons of long-suffering is a testimony in and of itself.
And that will win souls!

Are you ​​​​weary from the walk? 
Get your second wind! 
Count it all joy! 

You have endured much and you will see victory! 
Not only here on earth but when we meet the Lord!
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Post  Admin on Fri 03 Jun 2016, 9:03 pm

My Manna

Over time believers should become increasingly like Christ. 
Look at Luke 19:1-10.

We’re never more like Him than when we are selflessly reaching out to meet somebody else’s needs.

As servants-
- we need to incorporate the following into our lives:

Awareness. 
Jesus stopped under the sycamore tree because He was aware that Zaccheus was up there. 
How many needy people are “hiding in trees” while you walk by them without looking up?

Availability. 
On spotting the tax collector, Jesus didn’t make an appointment to go see him a few weeks later. 
Being available was such a priority that He dropped whatever agenda He may have had and went right to Zaccheus’s house.

Acceptance. 
Jesus did not wait until Zaccheus got cleaned up and straightened out his life. 
The Lord accepted him just as he was. We must never forget how Jesus embraced us, filthy rags and all.

Abiding. 
When we are saved, we become grafted into the vine of Jesus Christ. 
Abiding in Him is the only way to find the resources to serve other people in the way that they need to be served.

Abandonment. 
God calls us to abandon our selfish desires. 
Only in leaving behind self-seeking ways will we be free to truly serve others.

Jesus came, not as a superstar to be served-
- but as a servant who would give His life as a ransom for many. Matthew. 20:28. 

He tells us to go and do likewise. 

When we’ve received Him as Saviour and then yield to Him as Lord-
- our lives become a living expression of the One who came to be a servant to all
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Post  Admin on Wed 25 May 2016, 6:13 pm

My Manna

Which term is a better description of your life as a Christian: 

Believer or a Follower? 

A believer can be intellectually certain about a lot of things without necessarily putting them into practice. 
But saying “I’m a follower of Jesus Christ” narrows life down to a single path.

How can we follow the path to which God calls you? 

First-
We must stay with Him. John 14:1.
Because we will not follow someone we don’t trust. 

Trust develops as we abide in Him-
- and discover the beauty of His character, the depth of His love, and the perfection of His plan.

Secondly-
We must submit to Him. John 14:15. 

When it comes to obeying God, there are only two responses: 
I will or I won’t. 

A true follower of Jesus combines trust with obedience, endeavouring to say-
 “Yes, I will” when it’s difficult,
 “Yes, I will” when it’s unpopular, and 
“Yes, I will” even when it may cause heartache or suffering.

Lastly-
We must serve Him.1 Peter 2:9-12.

As God’s children-
- we are not to be observers; 
- we’re to participate actively in the Lord’s work. 

Spectators sit and watch-
- but we are called to use our spiritual gifts and serve continually. 

In the Body of Christ-
- each member is called to do his or her part. 1 Corinthians. 12:27-28.

Jesus-
- was/is with His Father eternally, 
- obeyed sacrificially.Philippians. 2:8, 
- and lived a life of service. Matthew. 20:28. 

We are called to emulate Him!1 Peter 2:9-12.

In which of those areas do you need to follow Christ more closely? 
Ask the Holy Spirit to give you a trusting servant’s heart and an obedient spirit.
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Post  Admin on Sat 21 May 2016, 3:46 pm

God Gives You Undeserved Preferential Treatment

                       
        When you fly first class in an airplane, the cabin crew gives you first-class treatment. They ask you, “Is everything okay with you, sir?” They ask you what magazines you want to read. They give you a blanket if you are cold. They give you the best kinds of food. They give you preferential treatment compared to those traveling in economy class.

             The grace of God is defined as “undeserved, unearned and unmerited favor”. And one of the definitions for favor is “preferential treatment”! Today, God wants you to know that you have His favor on you. He wants you to know that He gives you preferential treatment which you do not deserve. And He wants you to depend on and take full advantage of it in your life.

         God also wants you to know that His favor in your life can be increased. You can experience more of His favor from day to day. How? The Bible tells us in 2 Peter 1:2 that God’s grace (or favor) is multiplied to us “in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord”. The more you behold Jesus and His love for you, the more you believe and confess that God’s favor is on you, the more you will see His favor work for you.

          So if you are a doctor, you will find patients favoring you and you will have more patients than you can handle. If you are a businessman, you will find people just wanting to do business with you because they like you and feel good about you. Then, you will have more business than you can handle and you will need to plan for expansion!

           When the favor of God shines on your church, you will find its premises too small for the people who queue up week after week to attend the services! So when people wonder and ask, “What is happening here?” you can tell them, “It is the favor of God multiplied all over us!” And it is all undeserved, unearned and unmerited!

    Romans 1:7            

Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Matthew 18:3-4
And God said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. . Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven.

   © 2015 Mrs. P's Haven of Refuge
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Post  Admin on Wed 18 May 2016, 9:43 pm

My Manna

If we could choose the number of difficulties we would face in a month, most of us would pick zero. 

Yet the Lord sees value in troublesome times. 

Through His mighty power-
He uses trials to achieve His plans.
Companionship! 
One of God’s purposes for us is a growing companionship in our relationship with Him. 

But He knows we struggle to put Him first over our own interests. 

Many of us place higher priority on family and friends than on  intimacy with God. 
For others, finances, the workplace, or even pleasures interfere. 

When the Lord sees our attention is drifting away from Him-
He might use hardships to draw us back so that we’ll give Him His proper place.
Character!Another reason God allows difficulties is to conform us to the image of Jesus. 

Pain is a tool that brings areas of ungodliness to the surface.
God also uses it to sift, shape, and prune us. 

The sanctification process-
- the building of Christlike character into our lives,
- starts at salvation and ends with our last breath.
Conviction!
A third aim for stressful circumstances is to reveal true convictions. 

Our faith is tested in tough times!

It’s easy to say, “God is good” when things are peaceful. 
But when everything goes awry, what do we believe about Him? 

At such times, do our words and actions reveal an attitude of trust?

King David endured many heartaches—a disintegrating family, personal attacks, and betrayal by those close to Him. 

But through trials, he gained deeper intimacy with God, stronger faith, and more godly character. 
Romans 8:28-29.
Won’t you let the Lord use your present situation to accomplish His good purpose?
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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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