DO NOT FEAR SUFFERING FOR RIGHTEOUSNESS SAKE

Let Peter reassure you, “But even if you should suffer for righteousness’ sake, you will be blessed. Have no fear of them, nor be troubled…” 1 Peter 3:14 

“Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you; but rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ’s sufferings, that when His glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy. If you are reproached for the name of Christ, blessed are you, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you. On their part He is blasphemed, but on your part He is glorified.” 1 Peter 4:13-14

“But may the God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you.”  1 Peter 5:10.

Most of us don’t know the kind of death we face but there are many in our generation who are losing their lives because they follow Jesus. How are they are received in heaven?

“These are the ones who come out of the great tribulation, and washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. Therefore they are before the throne of God, and serve Him day and night in His temple. And He who sits on the throne will dwell among them. They shall neither hunger anymore nor thirst anymore; the sun shall not strike them, nor any heat; for the Lamb who is in the midst of the throne will shepherd them and lead them to living fountains of waters. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.” Revelation 7:14-17

“And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death. Therefore rejoice, O heavens, and you who dwell in them! Woe to the inhabitants of the earth and the sea! For the devil has come down to you, having great wrath, because he knows that he has a short time.”  Revelation 12:11.

JESUS IS THE REASON FOR THE SEASON

 Jesus said, ” I came from the Father and have come into the world, and now I am leaving the world and going to the Father.” John.16: 28
Image result for picture of Jesus born in a mangerJesus Christ – the Son of God set aside His heavenly mansion and royal throne for an earthly manger and a crown of thorns. His mission; a once- for- all rescue mission, to provide for us His beloved creation, separated by sin and alienated from Him, a way back into a right relationship with our Heavenly Father. A way out of the trouble initiated by Adam’s sin, and in touch with His grace and mercy.

With you and I weighing heavy on His loving heart, Jesus Christ – the Christ of God crossed over eternity and came down to humanity, calling all to repent for the kingdom of God is at hand. He challenges the hearts of those who will listen and hear His word and changes the lives of those willing to learn and heed His will.

The souls that believe His lips and receive His love will enter into an everlasting relationship with Him and the servants who reach out to the world and preach the gospel will enjoy His eternal rewards.

Those who call upon His name to be saved will be counted righteous and considered justified having their adamic debt and its sinful deed totally cancelled, and completely taken care of.

Offering forgiveness of sin and a home in heaven to whosoever will come, Jesus Christ – the Word of God went forth with love and truth, proclaiming the best good news ever – the gospel of our salvation and of the grace and peace of God.

Once received and believed, sinners are transformed to saints. Taken seriously and trusted sincerely, ordinary lay people are turned into extraordinary leaders. The Lord of glory and the creator of mankind brought with him His kingdom, which knows no end from heaven above to hearts within.  He is the ultimate reality in whom we find true meaning and from whom we draw full comfort.  He will replace your meaningless existence with His meaningful living if you would only let Him.

Ready to shed his blood and willing to sacrifice His life, Jesus Christ – the Lamb of God reached out to you and I – His fallen creation to:

  • redeem our spirit from the penalty of sin.
  • reconcile our relationship with the living God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
  • restore our fellowship with the heavenly Father, and reunite us back into His loving arms.
  • resurrection with a new body and eternal life in a new heaven and new earth

 God invites you NOW to take his hand and take a long walk with him from earth to eternity. This lifetime offer is open to all and whosoever will may come and partake of His amazing grace, unconditional love and tender mercy. Do it today.

modified report by Peter Rahme – Grace Through

IN THE CHAOS, THE LIGHT OF CHRIST SHINES BRIGHTLY

Brandon Sanders, assistant pastor at Powerhouse Church in Katy, Texas reports on how their church responded to the devastation caused by Hurricane Harvey.

Epic Flooding Inundates Houston After Hurricane Harvey

Our whole region has been devastated by the lingering rains and flooding of Hurricane Harvey, but the response of our people has been amazing. Powerhouse Church is built on the foundation of a Gospel lived, not just a Gospel preached. For 21 years we have been in Katy, Texas and any time there has been a need we have answered the call, Hurricane Harvey is no different. Members of our church and community made sure their families were okay and then sprung into action to make sure others were safe as well. With over 20 inches of rain, 9 straight hours of down pour, the water rose swiftly and many were overtaken in moments. Calls overwhelmed the emergency lines and we jumped into action via social media and text mobilizing teams alongside the City of Katy officials for shelter and evacuation. We housed over 200 people in our facilities overnight and mobilized rescue teams for high water evacuations. We are now a resource center working hand in hand with other local Pastors, churches, and government agencies to provide resources and relief for all those in need. From bass boats, diapers, dry clothes, high risk rescues or just simple prayers and words of encouragement.

It is a beautiful thing to watch the heart of God in action as his people selflessly put their lives aside for the sake of others. This how we witness for our King; we stand strong in perilous times, we remain faithful in times of fear, we are courageous in the face of danger, and we allow love for our fellow man to move us into action and watch ordinary people do extraordinary things.

ARE WE BLOCKING THE FLOW OF THE HOLY SPIRIT?

“Do not quench the Spirit.” 1 Thess. 5:19  “And do not grieve the Holy Spirit..” Ephes. 4:30

This testimony by J Lee Grady will challenge you. He was editor of Charisma Magazine for 11 years before he launched into full time Holy Spirit led ministry.

flow-of-holy-spirit

A few years ago the Lord challenged me about my level of spiritual hunger. He showed me that even though I had stood in many prayer lines and repeatedly sung the words, “Lord, I want more of You,” I wasn’t as passionate for Him as I thought I was.

My church sponsored a conference on the Holy Spirit. At the close of one service, I was lying on the floor near the altar, asking God for another touch of His power. Several other people were kneeling at the communion rail and praying quietly for each other.

Suddenly I began to have a vision. In my mind I could see a large pipeline, at least eight feet in diameter. I was looking at it from the inside, and I could see a shallow stream of golden liquid flowing at the bottom. The oil in the giant pipe was only a few inches deep.

I began a conversation with the Lord.

“What are You showing me?” I asked.

“This is the flow of the Holy Spirit in your life,” He answered.

It was not an encouraging picture; it was pitiful! The capacity of the pipeline was huge—enough to convey tons of oil. Yet only a trickle was evident.

Then I noticed something else: Several large valves were lined up along the sides of the pipeline, and each of them was shut.

I wanted to ask the Lord why there was so little oil in my life. Instead I asked: “What are those valves, and why are they closed?”

His answer stunned me. “Those represent the times when you said no. Why should I increase the level of anointing if you aren’t available to use it?”

The words stung. When had I said no to God? I was overcome with emotion and began to repent. I recalled different excuses I had made and limitations I had placed on how He could use me.

I had told Him that I didn’t want to be in front of crowds because I wasn’t a good speaker. I had told Him that if I couldn’t preach like T.D. Jakes does, then I didn’t want to speak at all. I had told Him that I didn’t want to address certain issues or go certain places. I had placed so many cumbersome conditions on my obedience.

After a while I began to see something else in my spirit. It was a huge crowd of African men, assembled as if they were in a large arena. And I saw myself preaching to them.

Nobody had ever asked me to minister in Africa, but I knew at that moment I needed to surrender my will. All I could think to say was the prayer of Isaiah: “Here am I. Send me.” (Is. 6:8). I told God I would go anywhere and say anything He asked. I laid my insecurities, fears and inhibitions on the altar.

Three years later I stood at a pulpit inside a sports arena in Port Harcourt, Nigeria. As I addressed a crowd of 8,000 pastors who had assembled there for a training conference, I remembered seeing their faces in that vision. And I realised that God had opened a new valve in my life that day when I was on the floor of my church. Because I had said yes, He had increased the flow of His oil so that it could reach thousands.

Many of us have a habit of asking for more of God’s power and anointing. But what do we use it for? He doesn’t send it just to make us feel good.

We love to go to the altar for a touch from God. We love the goose bumps, the shaking, the emotion of the moment. We love to fall on the floor and experience one filling after another. But I am afraid some of us are soaking up the anointing but not giving it away. Our charismatic experience has become inward and selfish. We get up off the floor and live like we want to.

Pentecost is not a party. If we truly want to be empowered, we must offer God an unqualified yes. We must crucify every no. We must become a conduit to reach others, not a reservoir with no outlet.

Search your own heart today and see if there are any closed valves in your pipeline. As you surrender them, the locked channels will open, and His oil will flow out to a world that craves to know He is real.

HOW A WELL KNOWN SECULAR JEW CAME TO FAITH IN JESUS CHRIST

Edgar Award-winner and New York Times bestselling novelist tells of his improbable conversion from agnostic Jewish-intellectual to baptised Christian and of the books that led him there.
No one was more surprised than Andrew Klavan when, at the age of fifty, he found himself about to be baptised. Best known for his hard-boiled, white-knuckle thrillers and for the movies made from them—among them True Crime (directed by Clint Eastwood) and Don’t Say a Word (starring Michael Douglas)—Klavan was born in a suburban Jewish enclave outside New York City. He left the faith of his childhood behind to live most of his life as an agnostic in the secular, sophisticated atmosphere of New York, London, and Los Angeles. But his lifelong quest for truth—in his life and in his work—was leading him to a place he never expected.
Klavan’s coming to faith took place over a process of many years where he wrestled with many philosophical quandaries and the author is quick to point out that reason can only get you so far.

CP asked Klavan how important he thinks experiencing God is in light of how contemporary culture values thinking over feeling, particularly the reasoning that what we think is objectively true and the things we experience are subjective and therefore invalid.

Among other things, Klavan noted, the subjective experience of falling in love with his wife over the course of many decades was an epiphany of sorts; love showed him that just because something might be subjective it does not mean it is not real.

“That led me to start to think ‘Now, wait a minute, maybe if you can be deceived in your subjective perceptions, then maybe you can be right in your subjective perceptions,” Klavan said.

Along the way, Klavan’s rejection of atheism was in part because he found important truths in places many devout Christians rarely look. Klavan told The Christian Post that one of the most important engagements he had with a work of art was with French author and philosopher Marquis de Sade.

“De Sade wrote some of the most sadistic pornography — some of the most disgusting stuff I ever read — and his books are laced with atheistic philosophy. And when I read that atheist philosophy and I saw that pornography that accompanied it, I said to myself, ‘That is honest atheism. That is only true, truly reasoned atheism I ever saw, that if you wanted to be an atheist, this was the logic of it and it turned me away.’ I turned my back and walked away from it.”

“So here’s this ugly guy but writing brilliant art, brilliant psychopathic art, that contained a truth that I needed to find,” he continued.

“The one thing I would love to see Christians do, is to stop leaping to condemn art that doesn’t immediately echo their deeply held beliefs. Because I truly believe that all great art is speaking truth. God is god of the real world, he’s not God of fantasy land. When you shut people off from the ugliness of life, from the physicality of life and the passion and the lust that are in the Bible and in the arts, you shut people off from the real God,” he said.

“I think that the arts are one of the ways that human beings relate their inner experience to one another. And I think in that inner experience is where we are going to find our faith and find our God. So learn how to read the arts, learn how to read something that repels you, it actually may have a truth inside that people need to know.”

When asked what he would most like readers to take away from his memoir, Klavan reiterated the importance to examining the evidence for faith for oneself, against the fierce cultural tide of unbelief.

“You have to step out of that current, as hard as it is, and see the world fresh and start to find the truth from there,” Klavan said. “Because as the X-files always told us, the truth is out there. And it really is staring you in the face, and it really is speaking to you, singing to you, virtually, from every corner of the world.”

“The Jews are the chosen people of God and they brought the notion of God back into humanity after we lost track of it after The Fall, they were the doorway for God to re-enter the world and people hate them for it. To take it even one step further, people hate the Jews because they hate God, and you hate God because you hate yourself. I really do think that that is the failure to accept original sin.”

“And I feel like if you will experience my story with me, it might resonate. You might turn to your own life and say, ‘You know, once I start to listen I hear that song and it might help to draw you out of this tide that is washing you in something that is utterly untrue,” he concluded.

Andrew Klavan’s story demonstrates that God can use whatever, whenever to bring us to a knowledge of the truth – His truth about His world. A world which He judged on one occasion (Noah’s worldwide flood that laid down all the fossils), and He tells us in His Word that He will pour out His wrath upon all the earth again in the not to distant future, if my reading of the signs are correct.

 

 

 

What is more important than life? ETERNAL LIFE

God defends the eternal life of all who, in true faith, stand for Him. This raises the question: If God defends them, why do they die? Which begs an answer to this question: What does it mean to be defended by God?

The story of Stephen in Acts 7 gives insight. When Stephen stood firm for Christ in the face of Jewish persecution in Jerusalem, he was stoned. But just before the stones began to fly, Stephen had a vision of Jesus in heaven standing at the right hand of God, waiting to receive Stephen’s spirit. Normally, Jesus is pictured seated at the right hand of God (Ephesians 1:20; Hebrews 8:1). But Jesus stood in honour of Stephen’s courage and commitment. It also says, “Then he (Stephen) knelt down and cried out with a loud voice, “Lord do not charge them with this sin.” And when he had said this he fell asleep. Acts 7:60

picture of Stephen being stoned
There is something more important than life, and that is eternal life. God defends the eternal life of all who, in true faith, stand for Him.

BUILD UP TREASURE IN HEAVEN – IT LASTS FOREVER

Amazon image of LEN

My ebook Living Eternal Now – Empowered by the Holy Spirit will be available on Amazon as a FREE download from June 1st to 5th, 2016.

If you don’t believe God exists, the Bible is God’s Word, that God loves you and that He has provided a way for you to restore the lost relationship with Him, then you need to read my ebook “Living Eternal Now – Empowered by the Holy Spirit”.

You need to be born again by the Holy Spirit. You then know God is real and you have eternal life. The world becomes a different place, you notice the beauty of God’s creation in a new way, your priorities change. His priorities become your priority. The Holy Spirit living within your spirit (your body becomes a temple of the Holy Spirit) produces the fruit of the spirit in your life: love, joy, peace, faithfulness, goodness, gentleness, kindness, patience and self control. As the Holy Spirit enables, many of the nine gifts of the spirit will become evident in your life. Each one of these gifts are major power gifts, and they are all direct, supernatural, miraculous manifestations direct from the Holy Spirit: 1. Word of Knowledge, 2. Word of Wisdom, 3. Gift of Prophecy, 4. Gift of Faith, 5. Gift of Healing, 6. Working of Miracles, 7. Discerning of Spirits, 8. Speaking in Tongues, 9. Interpretation of Tongues.

Your life is transformed and God will use you to build His Kingdom on earth as it is in heaven. You will truly enter into the joy of the Lord knowing you are a child of God, loved by your heavenly Father.

LIFE’S BIGGEST QUESTION HAS ETERNAL CONSEQUENCES

In Matthew 16, Jesus is having a conversation about His identity with Simon Peter, and Jesus asked him an all-important question: “Who do you say I am?” Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.” And he got it right.

Getting this question right is both the quintessence of salvation and the starting point for an eternal journey. You are saved when you come to know and believe in Jesus as your Lord and Saviour, but that is only the beginning of your relationship with Him.

When Simon correctly identified who Jesus was, Jesus identified who Simon was.

He said, “I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church.” From then on, Simon was known as Rock. That’s what petros, or Peter, means in Greek.

“And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” Matthew 16:18 ESV

What changed in that moment wasn’t who Peter was but rather his view of who he was. Jesus said he was a rock. Suddenly Peter could see the man he really was. Mind you, when it looked like his world was about to end, he denied Jesus three times just as Jesus said he would. Our journey will be no different. There will be times we need to repent and ask God for His forgiveness, which He freely grants.

Knowing God is paramount to finding out why He made you and who He means for you to be.

So who do you say Jesus is? It’s life’s biggest question.

God wants to give you a revelation of who you are too. He wants to show you your value now, and He wants to open your eyes to who you can become in Him. Jesus made it possible for our heavenly Father to send the third person of the Trinity, the Holy Spirit to dwell within you to be your Counsellor, Comforter and Teacher. You have all you need to be who God meant you to be.

Stop talking about who you are not and what you cannot do, and start listening to what God says about your life. Stop labelling yourself, and start letting God do whatever He wants in, through, and with you. Dead to self, alive to Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit.

I would like to thank Pastor Steven Furtick for providing much of the content for this post. For more information, please visit:   http://www.iamunqualified.com

AS MANY AS I LOVE, I REBUKE AND CHASTEN

Yes, this quote is by Jesus. We don’t like to think of God’s discipline, chastening and judgement but it is essential we do.

As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Revelation 3:19
Christ_in_the_house_of_Martha_and_Mary_1654

As you read the Gospels, notice that some of Jesus’ sharpest rebukes were directed to those He loved the most.

To Martha, Jesus said, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things. But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part” (Luke 10:41-42).

Jesus told Peter, “Get behind Me, Satan!” (Matthew 16:23)

Jesus told His disciples, “Why are you fearful, O you of little faith” (Matthew 8:26).

Jesus rebuked James and John, telling them, “You do not know what manner of spirit you are of.” (Luke 9:55)

Jesus never rebukes us to tear us down but to build us up. When He reproves us, it’s to prove His love. Sometimes He uses our conscience to rebuke us. Sometimes it’s a sermon, book, or article. Occasionally, He will send another person to admonish us. As you read the Bible, sometimes a verse will strike you with conviction.

Don’t shrug off the chastening word. As many as He loves, He rebukes and chastens. But it’s always out of love and designed to help us, to make us pleasing to Him and more effective in our service for the kingdom.

Chastening is not God getting even—it is preparing that person for something better, more valuable, and worthwhile.
R. T. Kendal

Extract from Dr David Jeremiah’s article “The Lord’s Rebuking Ministry”