A heart like His

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“But as for you, be strong and do not give up, for your work will be rewarded.”
2 Chronicles 15:7

King Asa had a heart for the Lord His God. Asa was not perfect, but made a stand against the social and spiritual currents that lead people away from God. He even destroyed the work of his grandmother, rather than let it pollute the minds of the people. He stuck closely to the will of God- to obey Him and spread His ways among the people.
In the political and social turmoil, the prophet of God relayed these words to Asa…
“Be strong and do not give up, for your work will be rewarded.”
Asa worked to bring down the falsehood and rebuild the truth from God, everywhere he could.

People all around came to Asa, as they could see God was with him. They promised themselves to God and rejoiced before Him. God gave them rest from all that was troubling their lives. God knew that Asa loved Him and that Asa’s heart fully belonged to God.

This is what God looks for. He looks for a heart that loves Him. That is all we need. The rest God will easily give us when we need it. May we pray for such a heart and not be satisfied until it beats in time with the living God.

Walking

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A long time on the road has deep blessings and knowledge of the love and wisdom of God. To walk with him is the most precious thing and to feel his nearness is the remedy for every ill. The scriptures are in your hand and mind and heart, and the recall of them brings relief from terror and hurtfulness. The Apostle was right in saying that to know him and the power of his resurrection, is the Christian’s daily experience.

And yet there are times and situations that bring us especial difficulties, and it can seem that there is no one to talk with, or share, or ask questions that are weighing us down. These are times when we have no others to support us, and often, when the way gets hard and the going is tedious and worrying, we feel very alone.

To walk only with Him, is what we are aiming for, a place when his voice only, is our comfort and guide. To be so fortunate to have walked along with him and remain in Him, is the only thing. To bear his imprint in our lives, so that we need no other and to have his character continually impressed on our minds, so that we leave behind the earthly consolations and are satisfied with the Lord.

Why do our difficulties get the better of us? Why do we feel so cast down and perturbed about life? We do not need to be, as he is in complete control and has all things set out for our good and eternal blessing. To hope in him is a true and dependable state of mind, that will last.

His purposes are to make us to stand and even to stand alone for his sake. What if all Christian help and goodwill were taken away? What if people turned against you for some reason you didn’t know? What if you do take a stand for Christ and his purposes, but no one wants to know? Jesus will never leave you, or allow you to suffer unnecessarily, and he will spread the table of his delights before you, in a way that others will never know.

He is the living and glorious Lord, and if we remain in him, we can never fail, and he will bring us safely through everything and teach you his holy ways and will. This is what the Christian wants above all else. The unbelieving heart has no taste for this, or any desire to fight for it, never mind to perhaps suffer. Only those who truly know Him and have seen and submitted to him, can ever appreciate what it means to belong.

Once to have tasted that joy of his presence, makes earthly pleasures fade and seem insipid in comparison. To draw aside from the preoccupations of life and spend time in the presence of the Master, becomes more and more attractive. As our hold on this life and its business becomes less, so we are increasingly thoughtful of the spiritual life and what is being stored up for us in heaven. And conversely, this impacts on our earthly life to make us more aware and careful to follow Christ and be witnesses for him, and the light of his presence shines more in us as the time goes past.

However, the Christian is not meant to manage alone and God sets us in fellowships so that we can relate, share and support each other. When we are troubled, how good it is to have a loving family member or friend to speak to and help us in the way of Christ. It is a real and deliberate blessing from God to have a spiritual family to rely on and a group of people to guide us and point us in the right direction. To have a husband or wife to walk through life with, is an untold treasure, and that relationship should be fostered as no other. At times we can find ourselves justifying our lack of interest with home to follow “God’s service.” This is not God’s way and we ignore these precious relationships at our peril.

It is wonderful to be able to talk about problems we have, but sometimes this can get out of hand and we rely on Christian council, more than the scriptures and our personal walk with God and we stop asking for wisdom for our own minds. My individual walk with Jesus is so important, and is the main thing to pursue and develop.

If we should find ourselves in a situation where we are let down and disappointed and all others leave us, our prayer is that we will know him so well, that his power will be known in us and that we will walk consistently and powerfully in his ways. To seek to tell out that mighty love and bring many to the right path, means we must walk and not baulk at trouble or hardship, because that will lead us nearer and nearer to the one we love.

 

The Divine challenge

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The divine challenge: on matter, mind, math and meaning.

Author: John Byl

God throws down the gauntlet. Come at me with your best logic, reason and argument and I will show you there is more than you know. This book explores the mysteries of the three worlds, mind, matter and math.

John Byl displays for us the prospect that there is a meaning to life and he explores a variety of philosophies as to what that meaning may be.

It begins by exploring the world views, which have given rise to so much contention between the world system and the cause of God. The author rationalises using accepted logic to show inconsistencies between these world-views. The birth of rationalism and its relationship with naturalism, which has led to the accepted “scientific” proofs of origins and all human traits, has come to nothing but controversy. The naturalist cannot explain so many aspects of the human organism.

This is juxtaposed with the position of the Holy Scriptures. The differences could not be clearer and the stakes are high. The prize is the human condition; destitution or salvation.

The chapter “From mind to math” Byl shows the link between the existence of mathematics in the natural world and how it relates to God. It asks the question “Where did maths come from?” The author debates the existence of truth and if it can be known, and the roots of logic and where they originate. He goes on to discuss mathematical axioms, which relate to the various world-views and how these in turn inform our belief systems.

The two chapters, at the end of the book, tie up the ends of our thinking and give a rationale for a Christian view of mathematics. It has strengthening consequences for faith and the knowledge that God is also the God of mathematics, that subject which often seems so inaccessible to many. Byl discusses logic and God, infinity and the existence of the mystery of the Triune God. He explores the idea that numbers were created, they exist like God. Natural numbers have real, objective existence. These ideas many seem divorced from our lives, but the truth of them run through everything.

I thoroughly recommend this book to those who continue to seek answers to the critics of what we believe. We are on firm ground and God is the God of reason and logic, as he is of everything. “We can make proper sense of reality only if we abandon our vain pretensions of human wisdom and recognise it for the foolishness it is.” (J. Byl 2004)

Maybe we as Christian people should be more involved in throwing down the gauntlet to a world with no answers and empty arguments…

 

Child to maturity

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When I was a child, I thought as a child, I spake as a child. But when I became a women, I put away childish things, including the love of childishness and the desire to never grow up.

Maturity is not that celebrated in any circle. In fact it is denigrated and laughed at as quaint and old-fashioned. Especially funny are the ideas and thoughts of older sisters, who are handy for a cheap laugh from the pulpit. They are too gracious and polite to speak up…

To run from maturity is folly. It is a crowning glory on the heads of older saints of God. The young are wise to listen to their teaching and instruction, as the mature sisters are familiar with the deep words and promises of God. How privileged it is to learn from those who have gone through deep trials of all kinds, and can teach with illustration from real life.

Lack of respect is ignorant and short sighted. We may feel elevated at first, but people soon see our prejudice and bad attitudes.

Let us fix our ways before God himself teaches us respect. Who would fall into His hands?

Grow up. Get rid of the toys and childish preoccupations. Look at role models who lived for Christ, served Him incessantly and died proclaiming His praise.
Put off the folly of childhood and become the woman of God that you were intended to be – mature, wise, godly, full of good works and always pointing the way to God.

Is Jesus exclusive?

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The claims of Jesus resound in the Holy Scriptures. He makes it clear that He is not a “good teacher” He is not a “good man” – a man slightly elevated and set apart from other men. Jesus claimed and demonstrated that He is the holy God. He created the Universe, the Cosmos and the many distant world’s. He has always been with the Father. He is an infinite being who never had a start and will never end. He is Eternal Life. He is the Word of God made flesh. He is the Son of God incarnate, who came to save people from everlasting punishment. He alone is the way to God, the only mediator and Saviour of human-kind. Only He is able and willing to sacrifice Himself for the destitute race that is human beings.

This is who He is. The way to freedom, salvation and forgiveness is through Him. Only Him. There is only one way to heaven, and that way is on a His terms, not ours.

The path of repentance and faith is the only way to heaven. We face our sinful selves and bring our rottenness to Christ and He is able to forgive anyone who comes and trusts in Him. This is a supernatural process that only God the Son can perform.

Christ died so that humans don’t have to. He offers free salvation to anyone who will humble themselves and give up their selfish lives to Him. Our destruction is that we refuse Him and insist on our own way.

This is the only way to God. It is an exclusive way and has a single Saviour.

All honour, glory and praise is unto His name for ever and ever.

All those who believe and worship Him, JESUS the LORD of ALL, say “Amen”

The power to save

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Hebrews 2:14-15
“Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might break the power of him who holds the power of death—that is, the devil— and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death.”

If we are to reach out with the saving message of Christ, we must closely identify with those God has put on our hearts. It may not be pretty. The vision is usually given to those who are willing to change and make themselves into whatever is necessary for the rescue of lost souls for God. All earthly comforts are set aside and sacrifices made. Often it is a silent and hidden agenda that is not recognised or regarded by officialdom. The reward is in Christ, as He understands the calling, as it was His also.

The way to winning souls is supremely difficult. Self is denied and all is placed on the altar of love, before the God of love. There is nothing half-hearted. This is the laboured praying for souls at all costs. His way was no different. This is never giving up, even when no one really cares enough to commit to serving alongside.

This is not about getting a position in society to influence others. Nor is it about making a profile for yourself and being noticed by the right kind of people (with money and clout that will pick up your expenses and salary) This is about identifying yourself with the risen Christ, and being willing to do without and deny your nearest and dearest, things they would like, and involving yourself with people who may never understand what you are doing, or your motivation.

There is no career path to getting recognised. There is no lauding or showy blessings. This path is so alone. Yet the opportunity to know the Lord Christ in such a single hearted way, is the greatest privilege we will ever experience in this fallen world. If Christ is not real, His power operational and His Spirit filling every part of your person, you will not survive. If you harbour self, pride and complacency, you will not survive. You may get another place to serve out time quietly, but the closeness of the Holy Spirit will not be the same.

Do you really want to serve God? Do you have the vision and love, or is the selfish pushing of our human need for recognition your motivation?

The road to heaven is paved with suffering, heartache and heart break…
Will you walk it?
The Lord Jesus walked it for you.

“Go, labor on; spend, and be spent;
Thy joy to do the Father’s will;
It is the way the Master went;
Should not the servant tread it still?

Go, labor on: ’tis not for nought;
Thy earthly loss is heav’nly gain;
Men heed thee, love thee, praise thee not;
The Master praises, what are men?

Go, labor on; your hands are weak,
Your knees are faint, your souls cast down;
Yet falter not; the prize you seek
Is near, a kingdom and a crown.”

Horatius Bonar

Better

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I love the truth, that God brings whoever he likes to know him, and love him. It is entirely unexpected that any of us should give up our selfish and foolish percieved right to self-determination, and submit to the love and will of God. However, sometimes in our warped human psyche, we think that some people come to God and confess and repent, easier than more wicked people. We nurse the idea that some are more worthy, more inclined to embrace “that sort of thing.” Logically, the more willing sort of person, includes us, and we almost imagine that God had an easy time and exuded less effort, to forgive our sins and make us one of his people.

At times we can watch celebrities on TV and clever, talented people who teach and entertain, and think of how far away they are from God, and how hard it would be for them to be rescued from that life.

In one sense it is true, as the bobdage of the pleasures and desires of this life, cetainly do keep us away from seeking God, and they do blind us to our need. On the other hand, a life filled with trivialities and constant pressure from earth-bound sources, can also cause people to ask serious questions about the value of life’s pursuits, and if they are achieving anything worthwhile at all.

Many people, caught up with dubious activities and enslavement in various social surroundings, from high society to gangs, find themselves caught in a deadly tryst, that leads nowhere, or worse. Surely drugs, alcohol, sex and violence have God beaten. These tempting involvments hold like a vice and ruin lives, sometimes those that have barely even started.

The young man who met Jesus, thought he had kept all God’s laws perfectly, and had to come to the disappointing realisation that he wasn’t good enough. The good things that he had been blessed with were a stumbling block to him, and when challenged by Chrst, found he was not able to put them aside.

The young woman, entrapped by evil and degredation, was set free from them and she confessed her sin and followed Christ relentlessly and whole-heartedly for the rest of her life. She seemed the less-obvious candidate to choose Christ, but she was the one who was changed on the inside, and her live turned around.

God has a mighty job in turning us away from whatever we hold on to, and to bring us to our knees in confession and true repentance. Unbeilef, stubbornness evil pride and selfishness are in the inner core of every human heart, and only a God of love and patience can turn it.

The idea that we are completely fallen and ruined in every way, is very hard for us to take in. When we perhaps think we have understood our need and sinfulness before God, we find it so easy to excuse ourselves, and cut off examining our hearts, intentions and attitudes.

It is so painful for us to look at ourselves this way, even as Christians, but it also leads us to the peace and joy of forgiveness and knowing Christ as a friend and confidant, as we go through our lives.

To give up to Christ, and lay down our own ideas, and follow him, is the way to happiness and a peaceful concience.

Our fallen mind-set tells us that this kind of thing will definately make us miserable, and we won’t be able to do anything fun. This is a common, historical theme – that God is a spoil sport and Jesus will ruin your enjoyment of everything.

Admittedly, there are Chrstians who think and live like this, and, yes, some are miserable, but it is not God’s way. Jesus came to set us free from the slavery of this world and our warped thinking. He came to set us free to enjoy life to the maximum. A Christian has brighter eyes and deeper pleasures (even in this world) than others. A Christian sees the hand of God in everything, and can even see his blessing in life’s difficulities.

To know Jesus means your sins don’t weigh you down – they are forgiven. Temptations and sinful desires can be overcome because you have God’s Holy Spirit living in you and giving you power to overcome and foster right desires in your heart and mind.

Certainly, there will be many failures of mind, word and deed, and every Christian fails of falls, but God will never give up on us, even if others do. We tread carefully to heaven, and we must never resort to leaning back on our own judgement or inclimations. When confession is made to God, then we can pick oursleves up and go on.

Women who glorify God