SONG OF THE MONTH, CAROL OF THE YEAR.

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Merry Christmas & a Happy New Year!

Merry Christmas & a Happy New Year!

I don’t know what I have been waiting for to shake me into reality that we are well into the festive month of December, but thanks to this carol that I heard the other day and it pushed my mind back to childhood,and yes, I now know we are in the Famous Festive December! lol

Read the lyrics below or rather sing along them and let them talk to your heart and this Christmas holiday will undoubtedly have some real meaning to you. It is my favorite Christmas carol and I have unanimously (by myself :)) voted it the song of the month! hahaha… and the carol of the year too… two awards! 🙂 Wow… Enjoy!

Joy to the World Lyrics

Christmas Carol Lyrics

Joy to the World , the Lord is come!

Let earth receive her King;

Let every heart prepare Him room,

And Heaven and nature sing,

And Heaven and nature sing,

And Heaven, and Heaven, and nature sing.

 

Joy to the World, the Savior reigns!

Let men their songs employ;

While fields and floods, rocks, hills and plains

Repeat the sounding joy,

Repeat the sounding joy,

Repeat, repeat, the sounding joy.

 

No more let sins and sorrows grow,

Nor thorns infest the ground;

He comes to make His blessings flow

Far as the curse is found,

Far as the curse is found,

Far as, far as, the curse is found.

 

He rules the world with truth and grace,

And makes the nations prove

The glories of His righteousness,

And wonders of His love,

And wonders of His love,

And wonders, wonders, of His love.

 

I hereby want to take this early chance to wish you friends a Merry Christmas and a Happy Happy Happy New Year! God Bless you richly!

Here is a short video of the carol with some lyrics, Enjoy!

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In The Name Of The Lord Almighty.

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In The Name Of The Lord

 David said to the Philistine, “You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the Lord Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied.1 Samuel 17:45

What a majestic statement! How courageous one is when you know that the God Almighty is on your side? And that His name is as strong as He is Himself?

Yes it’s so assuring that defeat is not on your side. What was happening to David in this case centuries ago is happening to us today. Satan is facing us or rather coming against us with all kind of adversities. Like Goliath came to David with a spear, sword & javelin, to make sure David was totally destroyed and fed to the birds. Satan is coming with sicknesses, poverty, lack, separation, hatred, trials & temptations, rejection…name them, the list is long. All these kinds of depressions are on Christian shoulders.

Satan, by proper use of his devious agents here on earth, wants to “feed us to the birds and to the beast of the field”. Satan wants us to hate and go against God and thus share eternally in his eternal condemnation.

In Luke 22:31-32 we read Jesus warning Simon that, “Satan wishes to sift you as wheat. But I have prayed for you Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.” That is exactly what was happening to David and even to this generation! Goliath in 1 Samuel 17:44 says, “Come here and I’ll give your flesh to the birds and the wild animals!” He wished to kill him with his sword or spear but the power of God in David was was far much stronger than the mightiest man in the Philistine with all his weapons.

Tribulations are threatening our existence today. Satan is more at work than ever before, a sign that these are the end days. His will is that we be destroyed and wiped off the map. That we go down the way of the grave not only physically but more importantly, to him, spiritually. He wants our faith, love and service to God to be feed to the birds and the beasts of the field. But that will not be the case if only we come against him with the power in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

In John 10:10 Jesus said that the aim of the devil is to steal, kill & destroy. That’s exactly what he is doing even now. But that should not come to fruition if only we realize that there is power in the name of our Lord Jesus. And all we need to do, when enveloped in adversity, is to invoke The Name and the enemy will be delivered into our hands and the battle will be won. Are we doing that today? Or are we just sitting lame, waiting for the enemy to hold us captive and do with us whatever he wishes?

Do we realize that, no matter the intensity of the worldly wars and rebellious forces we come against, none can triumph against the power in His Holy name. The name Christ Jesus.

Are you needy? That lack has no power but ask in His name and it shall be given unto you… John 14:13

Are you sick? Sickness has no upper hand than the healing name of our Lord Jesus. Just know that He only needs to utter a word like He did to the Centurion and health will be granted not to be taken away again…Matthew 8:8

Are you struggling in sin and guilt is slowly pushing you away from the light of God? Just call upon the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and you shall be saved. For “Everyone who calls on the Name of the Lord will be saved.”….Romans 10:13

Now, finally, my dear reader, I want to give you some ‘homework’. Kindly go and read for yourself  Joel 2:32. Read what it says and God bless you as you do that. Blessings brethren.

 

TO WHOM DO YOU RELAY YOUR PROBLEMS?

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Psalm 146:5-10

” Blessed are those whose help is the God of Jacob,
whose hope is in the Lord their God….”

I like this Jemimah Thiong’o’s song that says Mwambie Bwana Shinda Zako (Tell Your Problems To God). She’s is simply saying ‘Tell your problems to God, not man.’ She’s warning us not to go telling people our problems nor to try to solve them. You may be having some needs. You may be lacking. That is normal but it is dangerous too, especially if you leave them to yourself or to those around you. For it can result to dependence on the wrong hand. Like the hand of man. By the way, the Holy Scriptures in Jeremiah 17:5 warns us, “Cursed is the man who trusts in man And makes flesh his strength, Whose heart departs from the Lord.” And it continues to warn that those who trust in man shall be like a shrub in the desert, And shall not see when good comes, But shall inhabit the parched places in the wilderness, In a salt land which is not inhabited. (v6).

But the singer says, take them to the One who knows them even before they reach you and He will graciously solve them. That’s the challenge this day. Is something bugging you or making you feel guilty? take them to the foot of the cross and all shall be well. Is there a burden that you feel you won’t be able to walk another step with and if you do you might drop dead? Take it to Jesus for He says in Matthew 11:28-30 “Come to Me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”

Last, but not the least, it may be sins. Are you feeling guilty because of something you did and it grieved the Holy Spirit? And you are no longer in peace? Your spirit is in pieces? You feel dirty and unworthy to live before the presence of the Most High? don’t go telling that to a man! For you will only add to the charges before you, rather take it to God in prayer and you will be washed clean and given a promise to one day live with the Prince of Peace. If you read Luke 7:36-50 you will learn about the sinful woman who, when Jesus went to eat in the Pharisees house, went with an alabaster of oil washed Jesus feet it and hers tears, and she never left that place until Jesus told her “Your sins are forgiven…..Your faith has saved you. Go in peace.” Wow. How awesome! Suppose she went to a man, she could have died with her sins, to eternal condemnation. Don’t let that happen to you. Go before the presence of your Lord Jesus and seek forgiveness and He will forgive you. Give yourself to the Father and He will entrust you to His Son who says in John 6:37 that, “Everyone the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will certainly not turn away.” Be blessed. 🙂

DO YOU REMEMBER HIS WORDS?

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Christ_in_the_Storm_on_the_Lake_of_Galilee

Readings : Mark 4:35-41

Compare : Matthew 8:23-27

               Luke 8:22-25

The disciples together with Christ enter the boat to go to the other side of  Sea of Galilee. In the course of the journey a storm, without a warning, sweeps across the waters nearly sinking off the boat. The disciples are so terrified and had nearly given up hope to emerge alive after the storm. They are hereby, as we read, crying to  Jesus, “Master, don’t you care that we perish!”.

We see Jesus at this particular moment of trial (to the disciples) being asleep. Asleep? Yes, you may ask, “How did Jesus manage to slumber at a time when the boat was being rocked this and that way by the heavy waves?” But I think I have an idea… Me thinks Jesus was deliberately sleeping, oblivious of the life threatening situation around the boat, wanting to test the faith and trust of His closest followers, the disciples,  if they had any. And guess what? They were found to be wanting. They failed. And not only in lack of faith but on many others things.

One is that after having stayed with Jesus for some time and having seen Him perform wonders and miracles, all they needed to do was to wait hoping and trusting that He would do the same to the ranging storms and all would be well!

To touch on the matter of faith a bit, which is the core issue here from this passage, Jesus told them plainly that they had no faith. And that they didn’t know who they were with (they were with God). Considering the power that was around them they failed to have faith inside themselves. They just needed to believe that since the one who had performed other miracles was them He wouldn’t have allowed them to just perish in the sea!

But lastly, it’s the forgetfulness of the disciples that mostly highlighted their inward weakness in faith and thus wreaked havoc in their spirits even to bringing about the idea of death. They forgot the words of Jesus Christ their master at the beginning of their journey. They are the golden words that could have assured them that reaching the other side of Lake Galilee and not drowning was what was intended even by the Higher Powers. Mark 4:35 says, “ On the same day, when evening had come, He said to them, “Let us cross over to the other side.” It was as simple as that. Going and reaching the other side of the lake. There is nothing that could have managed to stop Jesus, His followers and also other boats and occupants from reaching the other side of the sea. In short, there is nothing that can come in between the word of God and destiny, especially that one which is of His will. Not even tempest and storm.

Many of us are like the disciples, we hear the word of God but after some trials and temptations through daily hardships, we tend to forget what he said and think that God has left us to die. We, like the disciples forget His initial words and promises  about our destiny and all we see is our destruction and an evil end. That’s not so. Brethren, try to remember His Holy Words and promises about your life.  He said, “Let’s go over to the other side…” and it’s nothing short of that. He didn’t say, “Let’s try whether we can cross…” No. He was sure they would reach the other side. Even if you are undergoing hard times, just remember that the word of God prevails. Like it did during that time of the disciples. You may tend to think, “Is God really seeing what am going through? Why is He quiet then? Is He waiting that I just die like this?” But no. Just like the way Jesus was asleep so it may seem right now, He knows everything that’s going on around you, even if it’s life threatening. Just remember the words that He uttered concerning you and know that there is nothing, absolutely nothing that can come in between His Holy Words (promises) and the destiny which is the other side of the sea of troubles, temptations & sins,that is, The Heaven. Just have faith in Him, trusting in Him fully, obeying Him totally and submitting unto Him completely. Remind yourself about them by reading and re-reading the Bible, prayerfully and faithfully and the word of God shall surely prevail.

 

A PASTOR WITH GUTS!

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A Truthful Prayer

Thought you might enjoy this interesting
prayer given in Kansas at
the opening session of their Senate. It seems prayer still upsets some people.. When Minister Joe Wright was asked to open the new session of the Kansas Senate, everyone was expecting the usual generalities, but this iswhat they heard:

“Heavenly Father, we come before you today to ask
your forgiveness and to seek your direction and
guidance. We know Your Word says, ‘Woe to those
who call evil good,’ but that is exactly what we
have done.

We have lost our spiritual equilibrium and reversed
our values.

We have exploited the poor and called it
the lottery.

We have rewarded laziness and called it
welfare..

We have killed our unborn and called it
choice.

We have shot abortionists and called it
justifiable.

We have neglected to discipline our
children and called it building self esteem…..

We have abused power and called it
politics.

We have coveted our neighbor’s possessions
and called it ambition.

We have polluted the air with profanity and
pornography and called it freedom of expression.

We have ridiculed the time-honored values
of our forefathers and called it enlightenment.

Search us, Oh, God, and know our hearts
today; cleanse us from every sin and set us free..
Amen!”

The response was immediate. A number of
legislators walked out during the prayer in
protest. In 6 short weeks, Central Christian
Church , where Rev. Wright is pastor, logged more than
5,000 phone calls with only 47 of those calls
responding negatively. The church is now receiving
international requests for copies of this prayer
from India , Africa and Korea .

Commentator Paul Harvey aired this prayer on
his radio program, ‘The Rest of the Story, and
received a larger response to this program than any
other he has ever aired.

With the Lord’s help, may this prayer sweep
over our nation and wholeheartedly become our
desire so that we again can be called ‘one nation
under God.’

If possible, please pass this prayer on to
your friends… ‘If you don’t stand for something,
you will fall for everything.’

Think about this: If you forward this
prayer to everyone on your
e-mail list, it will be heard by the world.

How many people in your address book will
not receive this prayer…..do you have the guts to pass it on?

Amen!

YOU SLEEP IN CHURCH?…OR YO NIEGHBOUR DOES…? PLEASE READ THIS…

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Stop Sleeping In Church!

I just read this sermon by Chuck Sligh, so touched me and, as a positive-change loving Christian….. You said it! I had to share! 🙂 Enjoy…. and please, don’t sleep halfway, read to the end!

The Man Who Fell Asleep in Church
Series: Acts
Chuck Sligh
August 5, 2012

A PowerPoint presentation of this sermon is available upon request at chucksligh@hotmail.com.

TEXT: Turn to Acts 20

INTRODUCTION

JOKE – There was a man who always fell asleep in church because the preacher was so long-winded. The pastor got so agitated about it that he gave one of the deacons a stick to hit him over the head with every time he fell asleep. Once the man dozed off, the deacon tapped him on the head and woke him up. A few minutes later, he starting dozing again, so the deacon hit him again, this time a little harder, again waking him up, but only temporarily. When he fell asleep the third time, the deacon hit him so hard he knocked him out of the pew and onto the floor, almost knocking him out. Rather than responding in anger, the delinquent church member was heard to say, “Hit me again; I can still hear him preaching!”

You can get into a lot of trouble falling asleep at the wrong time.

Illus. – Tell the story of my falling asleep at Maranatha Baptist Church in the community of Snuffyville, Georgia, a suburb of Summerville, Georgia—snoring in church, Susan laughing, etc.

Most of the stories people have about falling asleep in awkward situations are simply humorous. There are some situations in which it would be DANGEROUS to fall asleep—like while driving, for instance.

In our text, we have a story of a man who fell asleep in church which we wouldn’t normally think of as dangerous (some of you do it all the time with no ill effects), but in this case it was. We find this story in Acts 20, beginning in verse 6.

In this passage of Scripture, note with me the following points:

I. FIRST, IN VERSES 6-7, WE SEE A FAITHFUL ASSEMBLY – “And we sailed away from Philippi after the days of unleavened bread, and came unto them to Troas in five days; where we abode seven days. And upon the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread…”

These believers were faithful to gather to worship on the Lord’s Day.
In this passage it’s obviously evening because the rest of verse 7 says Paul preached until midnight, so this wasn’t the Sunday morning crowd—this was Sunday night church!
The thing that we want to see first is the faithfulness of these people to be in the Lord’s house whenever the church met for worship and fellowship.
Hebrews 10:24-25 says, “And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: 25 Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.”
As we see the day of the Lord approaching—the day of His return—the writer of Hebrews exhorts us not to forsake the assembling of ourselves together.
We need to be faithful to gather with God’s people to hear the Word preached, worship, and pray.

II. NOTE SECOND, AN EARNEST PREACHER – VERSE 7b – “…Paul preached unto them, ready to depart on the morrow; and continued his speech until midnight.”

I get teased sometimes for being a long-winded preacher.
Well, let me tell you something: I NEVER PREACHED TILL MIDNIGHT!
J.W. Burn said, “The most popular preachers have not been short preachers; witness Chrysostom, Henry Smith, Whitefield, James Parsons, Punshon, Liddon, Spurgeon, Knox…”

Sometimes people wonder why preachers are often long-winded.
So in defense of myself and my brethren who preach the Word week after week, let me offer two excuses—I mean REASONS—why we’re sometimes long-winded:

First, there’s so much to say, it’s hard to keep it in three quick points and a poem.
Second, we get so excited about what we have studied and are sharing that sometimes we just can’t hush up!

That’s the way Paul was: when he got a chance to preach, he would just “let her rip”—and I guarantee you, the LENGTH of his sermon wasn’t his overriding concern!

Paul always had a sermon in his heart like any good preacher does.
In 1 Corinthians 9:16 he said, “For though I preach the gospel, I have nothing to glory of: for necessity is laid upon me; yea, woe is unto me, if I preach not the gospel!”
And you see, when you’ve got a sermon burning in your heart, you can’t always contain it in 30 minutes!
So have a little heart for your preacher, will ya?

And you pray for me—not that I would preach SHORTER SERMONS, but that I would preach soul-stirring, life-changing messages that challenge you and stir you and make you think and which God uses to change you through the power of the Holy Spirit.

III. NOTICE IN VERSES 8-9 AN INATTENTIVE LISTENER – “And there were many lights in the upper chamber, where they were gathered together. 9 And there sat in a window a certain young man named Eutychus, being fallen into a deep sleep: and as Paul was long preaching, he sunk down with sleep, and fell down from the third loft, and was taken up dead.”

Now when I read this, I immediately asked myself, “Why did Eutychus fall asleep?”

Illus. – Andrew Fuller was a great preacher of the Gospel and wrote several books that are considered classics in Christian literature today.

One time when he was preaching, he observed that several in his congregation dozed off almost at the beginning of the service! He banged his huge pulpit Bible three times loudly on the pulpit and exclaimed, “What! Asleep already! I often fear I preach you asleep, and grieve over it; but the fault cannot be mine today, for I have not yet BEGUN!”

Well, there are a number of reasons Eutychus might have fallen asleep that evening.
Let’s examine them:

• First, he might have been a servant and was required to work long hours, and therefore arrived at church in an extremely tired condition.

If so, you really can’t blame him for being tired. In fact, he should be commended for being there at all.

Illus. – I’ll never forget a number of soldiers in my church in Wiesbaden who would pull CQ on Saturday night, and sure enough—there they were in church on Sunday morning in their fatigues, showing an amazing commitment to the Lord and worshiping on the Lord’s Day in His house with His people.

Illus. – Tom Mowers, an MP who works with police dogs, has to work all night just about every Saturday night, and yet he comes in and works in the sound booth every Sunday after staying up all night. – Tom’s only fallen asleep at the computer back there once or twice and I never get on his case because he misses a slide because I’m just thankful he’s here…every Sunday…week after week.

If this was the case with Eutychus, you wouldn’t be able to blame him.

• Second, Eutychus might have stayed up late Saturday evening involved in some purely innocent pleasure or activity, like staying up and playing Bible Trivia (I’m sure they had that back then), visiting with Christian friends, or some other harmless pursuit.

In that case, then I guess you would have to say that he brought this upon himself.

I have two thoughts I’d like to leave with you on this before moving on:

1) First, you should honor the Lord’s Day.

I know that we’re not under the Mosaic Law, and therefore do not have to strictly observe the Sabbath or its Christian replacement, Sunday. But the idea of a special day set aside to worship and honor the Lord goes back to before the Law, and fits in with Jesus’ instruction to seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness in Matthew 6:33.

So, though I wouldn’t lay down any legalistic practices you must or must not do on the Lord’s day, I’m well within mainline Christian thought to say we ought to set aside Sunday as different from every other day of the week—a day to worship God, to rest from the labors and cares of the rest of the week.

2) Second, you should PREPARE for the Lord’s Day:

To the Jews, a day began at sundown the evening before. So for Jewish Christians, the Lord’s Day really began on Saturday evening when the sun went down, not Sunday morning at sunup. If we started thinking of the Lord’s Day on Saturday night instead of Sunday morning, I think we’d get much more out of the Lord’s Day. Let me share three ways to prepare for the Lord’s Day:

1) First, prepare yourself for the Lord’s Day SPIRITUALLY.

Spend some time in the Word and prayer Saturday night and Sunday morning—asking God to bless the services and to work in people’s hearts, and especially to prepare your own heart.
Go to bed with a prayer and a Bible verse on your heart.

2) Second, prepare yourself PHYSICALLY.

a. Get plenty of rest Saturday night. – One of my commentaries said: “One doubtless needs a fair amount of sleep, but during the sermon is not the time to seek such refreshment. The house of God was never intended for a dormitory.”
b. Second, get to bed early.
c. Don’t stay up watching TV late Saturday night!
d. Don’t stay up late visiting friends.
e. Don’t stay up late reading an interesting book.
f. Instead, go to bed at a decent hour so your you’re refreshed to worship the Lord and receive the preaching of God’s Word.
g. Get some rest on Sunday afternoon so you can be fresh for the evening service.

3) Third, prepare yourself for the Lord’s Day PRACTICALLY.

a. Get your Sunday clothes out and ready to put on in the morning.
b. Press your clothes on Saturday night, not Sunday morning.
c. Polish your shoes Saturday night, not Sunday morning.
d. Give the kid’s their baths Saturday night.
e. Get your Bible out and find a pad of paper and a pen to take notes on and place them at the door to take in the morning.
f. Calculate the time you need to get ready for church in the morning, and then set your alarm 15-30 minutes EARLIER to be prepared for contingencies so that you don’t get to bed late, get up late, run around like chickens with your heads cut off getting ready for church, and then race to church at breakneck speed!

Illus. – [ACT OUT] Some of you hurry through breakfast, shouting at the kids to hurry up, yelling from the car, “Hurry up! Let’s GO!” screaming and arguing all the way to church and the moment you get to church—you put on a BIG SMILE, and greet someone and say, “Hello, brother, how are you?”

It’s no wonder people aren’t ready to worship the Lord in spirit and in truth Sunday morning! It’s no wonder people aren’t able to receive the preaching and teaching of God’s Word! They need two hours at church JUST TO UNWIND!

So after all these preparations on Saturday, on Sunday morning do this: Come to church EARLY; drive to church at a leisurely pace; and enjoy fellowship with other believers.

• A third reason Eutychus might have fallen asleep is that he might have been indifferent to the things of God and thus cared not to listen to Paul’s preaching and fell asleep out of indifference or boredom.

In that case, it was a SPIRITUAL problem before it became a PHYSICAL one. Paul tells us in Romans 13:11 – “And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed.”

If Eutychus had been awake SPIRITUALLY, he might have been able to stay awake PHYSICALLY. If that was his problem, then he needed to get his heart right with God.

IV. NOW IN VERSES 10-12, NOTE WITH ME A LIFE-GIVING TOUCH – “And Paul went down, and fell on him, and embracing him said, Trouble not yourselves; for his life is in him. 11 When he therefore was come up again, and had broken bread, and eaten, and talked a long while, even till break of day, so he departed. 12 And they brought the young man alive, and were not a little comforted.”

Paul brought Eutychus back from the dead. Imitating Elisha’s procedure in restoring the Shunammite woman’s son to life, Paul stretched himself on Eutychus and miraculously brought him back to life.

CONCLUSION
So there you have it: the story in the Bible of a man who fell asleep in church; a situation we can all relate to in some degree or another. But it’s not just a humorous story—there are things that the Lord wants you to learn from it:

• First—you need to be faithful to meet together in God’s name at church and in our homegroups, like Eutychus and others in this church were.

• Second, understand the urgency of your preacher’s heart and pray for me—not that I would preach SHORT SERMONS—well, I guess you could pray for that too!—but mostly that I would preach powerful, penetrating, soul-stirring, Spirit-filled sermons.

• Third, why don’t you make a decision to prepare adequately for the Lord’s Day so it will be a blessing to you and so you can be a blessing to our God whom we come to worship?

Illus. – I preached this sermon in England and my cousin’s wife was stirred by it. She came to me afterward and said, “Chuck, I’ve had a habit of staying up late Saturday night, getting up as late as I can to get more sleep, and stressing out Sunday morning, and by the time I get to church, I’m not in a state to worship the Lord.” She and Larry made some changes, and in the process, ended up coming earlier to church where they started being a real blessing just fellowshipping before church and greeting folks as they came in. Sunday became a time of leisure and ministry instead of hurry and stress.

• Finally, deal with any spiritual barrier in your life that prevents you from experiencing full and unfettered worship and the reception of the Word of truth.

QUESTION: Do you need to deal with a sin in your life that’s robbing you of your spiritual vigor, causing you to come to church in a spiritual stupor? Perhaps you’ve become lukewarm and sluggish in your walk with the Lord.

Maybe it’s not a major sin per se, but you’ve just let the cares of this life crowd God and His things out of your life. Like the church of Ephesus in Revelation 2, have you lost your first love?
Jesus told that church in Ephesus how to restore their first love in Revelation 2:5: “Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent.”

Jesus’ prescription in this verse is really very simple, though by no means easy:

1) First, “remember from whence you are fallen.”

In other words, remember where it was you lost your way. Maybe you stopped reading your Bible or spending time in prayer, or you stopped sharing your faith, or you coddled a habit you knew was wrong, and you let it overtake you. Go back to where you first started to be defeated and you lost the sweetness of your love for Christ.

Second, “repent.” – Just go to God in prayer and admit you were wrong and tell Him you’re sorry.

Third, “do the first works”.

That is, do what you did when you first fell in love with Jesus. Remember when you first became a Christ-follower?—You couldn’t stop reading your Bible; you couldn’t keep your mouth shut about God; you prayed all the day long; you had a constant sense of the presence of God; as soon as you sinned, you felt so convicted, and immediately confessed and forsook your sin.

What happened?—You lost your first love. Go back and do THOSE things again, Jesus tells you in this verse. Do the first works.

And don’t go to sleep spiritually. Paul says in Romans 13:11 – “And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed.” Wake up!…and get back in the battle for the Lord.

ABUNDANT LIFE IS THROUGH GIVING, NOT RETAINING!

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Give and It Shall Be Given Unto You

LUKE 6:38

Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.

A writer called Barbara Bush once wrote: “Giving frees us from the familiar territory of our own needs by opening our minds to the unexplained worlds occupied by the needs of others.” Wow… What an insight! How many times do you groan in want and you never take a moment to think that your right hand neighbour has MORE need than you are crying of? And that you, as a believing Christian, can justify and quench your needy heart and spirit by giving? Yes, giving is a source of our wants satisfaction, in disguise.

And it is not only a source but a source of an abundant life.

Just the other day was re-reading an article about some two contrasting natures of two Seas in Israel. The Sea of Galilee and the Dead Sea, they share the same source which is the famous River Jordan all the way from Mt. Hermon. The water flows clear and cool from Hermon and the roots of cedars of Lebanon to the waiting of these two lakes. Now, here is the big difference. The Sea of Galilee takes the water makes the beauty of it and then passes it on to fertilize the Valley of Jordan. Contrary to that, the Dead Sea takes the water and THAT’S ALL! It holds back the water never to give it out again.

If you study carefully, you will learn that as a result of Sea of Galilee having an outlet it has a lot of benefits. It has a lot of LIFE. It is a major source of fish and other marine food in Israel and its disposed water has also been used to irrigate the fertile valleys in Israel. On the other hand, the Dead Sea with the same water is just HORROR, it has NO LIFE. It is literally DEAD, hence the name. Reason? It has NO OUTLET. After getting its share of water from Jordan it just holds it and the water becomes acidic & salty, habouring all the dead materials and thus there is no life that can be found there in the salty blackish water.

Is not that the difference between the selfless and the selfish Christians? Do we realize that despite our need and poverty we have a chance to provide unto those that are needy than we do? Are we enlightened to know that in giving we actually make a room to be provided for by the One above us? If we harbour that which was supposed to be passed on it will die in us and thus turn poisonous in our lives just like the case of the Dead Sea. Hence the urge as true Christians to give out always even at the point of our biggest need.

Paul in 2 Corinthians 8:2 points out something from the Macedonian Christians, that, “In the midst of a very severe trial, their overflowing joy and their extreme poverty welled up in rich generosity.” Despite what was being done to silence the spreading of the early church, them knowing that their cause in following the way of Christ was joy enough that physical torment was not to be considered an existing danger. They gave out though they had nothing.

Somebody said, “No one is too poor to give.”
Believer, you might be in need spiritually or physically but you don’t yet have “nothing to give”. You can assist a needy person or an institution in any way that you will and our Father in Heaven will see it and just like the way He said in our leading verse at the top, Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. That’s exactly what will be done unto your needy life if you take a step of faith and GIVE.

God bless you all and have a blessed week ahead.

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