HOW DO YOU INTEND TO LIVE THE REST OF YOUR LIFE?

Obviously the decision is yours to make, but as we are living in the “last days”, ETERNITY and where you spend it hangs in the balance. This article by Fulton Sheen, which I received at the end of 2014, should challenge you, as it did me then and NOW.

The Decision is Yours (12/24/2014) Fulton Sheen

Like the rain washes away the dust and the dirt and replenishes and purifies the rivers, the streams and waters in the earth for all living things to continue to live and flourish, so My Spirit waits for those to enter, that I may do the same to the hearts and spirits which have freely yielded to Me. It is a decision and act and every decision and act has consequences. What will you do today, how will you live the moments which have been given to you? Will you yield; will you live the day I have set aside for you? Will you follow the path I have laid for you to walk or will you find your own way? This choice, this decision is yours to make every day and every morning, for every day is a new beginning. The consequences of that choice and decision will determine whether you go deeper into My plans and purposes, you stop short or you regress.

For those that regress and choose another path, they will drink of the consequences of that decision. They will step out of the walled city which they had previously chosen to inhabit and are now on their own. They have made themselves subject to the world and have rejected My will and replaced it with their own and they rejected My plans, My purposes and My protection. They have chosen their own path. In these days and the days to come, retracing ones steps and taking back ground will become more difficult and the consequences greater.

For those who stop short, you will continue to walk in the revelation and grace you had been given up to that point, but the former revelation and grace will not be sufficient. It will be harder and harder to stand your ground without fresh revelation and grace. You will be like a stagnant pond, no longer connected to the river which once replenished, purified and allowed it to expand. In time you will become polluted with things which can only grow in water deprived of cleansing and eventually dries up and disappears.

But for those who daily choose the path I have laid out for them, for those who have chosen My will, My plans and purposes over their own, they will not be disappointed. They will receive fresh revelation, fresh grace for the day and they will move forward and the enemy will not have his way with them. I will renew their strength, I will give them wisdom, insight and direction they need for the day and for the days to come. The consequences of this choice will be peace, joy and rest in the midst of the battle. They will have eyes to see, their ears will hear and their mind will understand what My Spirit is saying. Like the sons of Issachar they will understand the times and they will know what to do.

THE DECISION IS YOURS?

 

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.

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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.

WHAT IS GOD DOING IN YOU & YOUR CHURCH?

Us Christians, we should be continually astounded by what God has done and is doing for us and those in the world around us. Consider just a few of his mind-boggling blessings:

  1. You have been forgiven. If you’re a Christian, you carry absolutely no guilt for your past sins. Like a criminal who was released from death row, you have been declared not guilty, and you no longer face punishment. When you wake up every morning, you should pinch yourself as you realise how merciful God was to pardon you!
  2. The Father has adopted you. Adoption is a foreign concept in many cultures. There is not even a word for adoption in some languages. Yet God loved you so much that He brought you into His family, called you His child and shared His eternal inheritance with you. Have you taken time to ponder what that means?
  3. You can read and treasure God’s Word. There are still many people today who do not have the Bible in their language. There are others who live in countries where Bibles are restricted. Do you realize how high a price was paid by previous generations so you could have the Bible now? Do you read it with a sense of grateful humility? Do you realise it prepares us for coming events? There are more prophecies about Jesus second coming, than there were of His first coming, and there were over sixty of those. The Pharisees and Sadducee’s did not get His first coming, what about the church and His second coming. Is the church asleep, as were the ten virgins in that parable, five had oil in their lamps but all were asleep at the time of their Lord’s coming? I believe we are in the “last days” and as we watch events unfold, particularly in the middle east, we can line them up with the O.T. and N.T prophecies. As the world descends into increasing darkness, just as the Bible prophesied, is your church preparing you for these events?
  4. You have continual access to God’s presence. In the days of the Old Covenant, people who worshipped the true God could only do it from a distance. They stood outside the door of the temple while priests made sacrifices for them. You should pinch yourself now! Because we live in the New Covenant era, every born-again Christian can approach the throne of God with confidence. We worship the Lord in “spirit and truth” as Jesus prophesied to the Samaritan woman at the well.
  5. The Holy Spirit lives in your Spirit. Before Jesus came, the Holy Spirit only “came upon” certain people—prophets, kings or special messengers and sometimes only for a specific purpose or season. But today, because of Jesus’ atonement, the Father sent the Holy Spirit to rebirth your Spirit (died at The Fall). The Holy Spirit now lives in you 24/7. He is your counsellor, your comforter and your teacher. He prays for you, refines you, refreshes you, empowers you and leads you deeper and deeper into God’s truth. He is the one that produces the nine fruits of the Spirit in your life: love, joy, peace, patience, faithfulness, goodness, gentleness, kindness and self-control. He is also the one that enables your use of the nine spiritual gifts: Wisdom, Knowledge, Faith, Healing, Miracles, Prophecy, Discerning of Spirits, Speaking in Tongues and Interpretation of Tongues. Shouldn’t you be in awe of a God who does that?
  6. You can enjoy God’s house and His people. Jesus said when we gather together, His presence is there. He dwells in His congregation. Yet many Christians have given up on the church because they got hurt, or because pastors weren’t perfect. But do you realise that the church is a miracle? It is the living body of Christ, and until He returns it will be the place where God accomplishes His purposes but find a church that stands on the authority of God’s Word. Don’t miss this profound blessing!
  7. You get to experience the Holy Spirit moving all around you. Ministries such as that of the Danish evangelist Sorben Sondergaard are experiencing Church as in the time of the “Book of Acts” where Holy Spirit healings and miracles are commonplace. The Holy Spirit is moving in profound ways today. Churches are growing rapidly in parts of Africa, Asia and Latin America, and many new churches are now being planted in the United States which stand on the authority of God’s Word. Instead of focusing on the negative trends you see in the media, you should stand in awe that we live in a day that ancient prophets longed to see.
  8. You are going to heaven. No matter what pain, sickness, disappointment or trial you face during your short time on Earth, you are going to step into an eternity where there is no darkness, no death and no tears. As Paul said, “For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain.Phil. 1:21. When this life is over, you are going to live forever. It will take an eternity to comprehend a God who would treat us so mercifully.

Please take time to ponder God’s marvellous, mind-blowing love. Pinch yourself and be reminded that the truths we read in the Bible are not just words on a page or dry doctrinal concepts. They are living realities that should shake you to the core and produce the purest form of wide-eyed, awestruck worship.

Modified article by J Lee Grady former editor of Charisma Magazine.

 

RIO 2016: FIJI TEAM GIVES THE GLORY TO GOD

fiji-rugby4

“First of all, I thank the Lord, he has been our source of strength… We reminded each other how God had taken us through the last two years and that the same God that we serve is here with us in Rio.”

That’s what the Olympic Rugby Sevens winners told the media when asked the reason for their success.

The island nation of Fiji has won its first ever Olympic medal – a gold – but while fans hailed one of the great Olympic achievements, the players have given the glory to God.

Rugby Sevens became an Olympic event this year for the first time. Though Fiji are ranked number one in the world, the country had never won a medal at any event before so the pressure was on.

The team came through that pressure to win the tournament – defeating Great Britain 43-7 in the final – and dominating far bigger countries such as New Zealand.

The players dropped to their knees and prayed upon the outcome of the match. Many pointed to the sky before joining in wild celebrations.

WHERE WILL YOU SPEND ETERNITY?

JESUS TELLS US WHAT IT WILL BE LIKE ON THE NEW EARTH

In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.
John 14:2

The largest private home in the world is Istana Nurul Iman Palace, the official residence of the Sultan of Brunei, Hassanal Bolkiah. The home consists of more than 2 million square feet of space, 1,788 rooms, 257 bathrooms, 5 swimming pools, a 110-car garage, air-conditioned stables for 200 polo ponies, a banquet hall, and a mosque large enough for 1,500 worshippers. It cost around $1.4 billion to build in the mid-1980s.

Grand as it is, that mansion pales in significance to what Jesus is preparing for His followers. The home He is preparing is called the New Jerusalem in the book of Revelation 21:2—and it is large.

John sees it descending from the new heaven to the new earth. Shaped like a cube, it measures 1,500 miles in each of its three dimensions—length, width, and height (Revelation 21:16). It is built of precious stones and minerals, and its worth, in human dollars, would be incalculable. But more important than its worth in dollars is its worth in security and joy for all who dwell there for eternity.

When comparing man’s greatest with God’s greatest, there is no comparison. Make sure you have secured your reservation in the mansion Jesus is preparing.

The nearer to heaven in hopes, the farther from earth in desires. William Gurnall, from The Christian in Complete Armor

Another great testimony from an indigenous brother and his granddaughter.

Let us declare with Pastor Anthony: “Today, I stand for righteousness. Righteousness will exalt a nation. We proclaim that this nation will have righteousness. We will go back to the cornerstone, which is the Lord Jesus Christ, and build our foundation on truth (God’s Word). Truth will build our family house. Trust in the word of God will establish and confirm our house.”

Watch Ps Anthony Edwards Snr. and Tilly Fejo’s story below: