The day of reckoning

Mercy….the Lord our God is truly a God of Mercy and Justice. The Lord has been speaking to me recently about the day that everyone will have to appear before His throne.

Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. The earth and the heavens fled from his presence, and there was no place for them. And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Another book was opened, which is the book of life. The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books. The sea gave up the dead that were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead that were in them, and each person was judged according to what they had done. Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. The lake of fire is the second death. Anyone whose name was not found written in the book of life was thrown into the lake of fire. Revelation 20:11-15

For all God’s children, all of His children, whether good or evil, there is a day of reckoning. Each will appear before His throne, whether great or small, famous or of no account. God is just and He grants mercy, favour and grace to those He chooses as He alone can judge correctly as He sees the intents of a man’s heart.

One day all will be laid bare for all to see. There are those who have been the great deceivers, deceived the whole world by their displays of pretence of goodness, who have loved the praises of men but not to God. Their works will be burnt up like dross. The true heroes of faith will be made known. Those who have been faithful to God. He will reward them according to the thoughts and intents of their hearts.

God will open His books on that day of reckoning. All heaven and earth will know the truth. The truth will be revealed for all to see. That is why the Lord urges His people not to judge each other without cause because they do not know the truth unless the Spirit of truth has revealed it to them. There are not many who can judge correctly with Godly wisdom and knowledge but Solomon was one of those that God gave such wisdom.

Make no mistake, each person from all time from the greatest to the least will appear before the throne of glory to give account of themselves. The reasons for their actions and the reason for their hope. God will be merciful to those He will be merciful to and show grace beyond the understanding of man because He sees the heart. His grace and mercy is the book of life. If your name is written in the book of life then grace and mercy triumphs over judgement.

James 2:13 judgement is without mercy to the one who has shown no mercy. Mercy triumphs over judgement.

If you do not have confidence today that your name is written in the lamb’s book of life and that you will receive God’s mercy on that day of reckoning then you have an opportunity to say sorry for your sins, accept God’s forgiveness through faith in Jesus Christ His son as your saviour. By repentance and saying sorry and by faith in Jesus you will be saved and your name written in the book of life. You will experience the grace of God. This is the start of your new life as a believer in Christ. Find a local church or a believer who can help disciple and teach you how to be a follower of Jesus and live out your new life.

The city does not need the sun or the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and the Lamb is its lamp. The nations will walk by its light, and the kings of the earth will bring their splendor into it. On no day will its gates ever be shut, for there will be no night there. The glory and honor of the nations will be brought into it. Nothing impure will ever enter it, nor will anyone who does what is shameful or deceitful, but only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life. Revelation 21:23- 27

Fit and ready for spiritual battle?

I hope this post is a help and perhaps a timely reminder for us all to be aware of some of Satan’s strategies against us as Christians. We tend as believers to have differing attitudes to the spiritual realm. At one end of the spectrum, some Christians are unaware that satan is working against them and do not think about the spiritual realm and so do not recognise and resist him, whereas at the other end, some blame satan when anything at all goes wrong and by doing so give too much credence and focus on him. This can mean that we do not take responsibility for our own actions (we just blame satan) and we do not discern rightly between good and evil. Our eyes should always be on God who is all powerful and Christ Jesus who is raised up and seated in the highest place of authority and power and be filled with His Holy Spirit. Beware of looking for the devil in everything as this takes our focus from God which is not a healthy place to be but also let us not be ignorant of satan so that he has influence in our lives.

1 Chronicles ch 7 v 11  “ All these the sons of Jediael, by the heads of their fathers, mighty men of valour, were seventeen thousand and two hundred soldiers, fit to go out for war and battle”.

These verses in the Old Testament talk about these soldiers of Israel who could be called upon at any time to go out to war. They kept themselves fit and prepared.

As Christians we don’t sometimes think we are soldiers in a spiritual battle but:

Consider these Questions:

Q. As a Christian do I recognise that I have a spiritual enemy?

Q. Am I bold (as a lion), fit (prepared) and ready to deal with any attacks against me?

Recognise the enemy

Who is working against me?

When you become a Christian and are redeemed, you have a restored relationship with Father God through Jesus. You move from the kingdom of darkness into the kingdom of light. You have an inheritance in Christ, restored relationship and the promise of spending eternity with God. Satan hates you because of this. Satan and his demons actively work against the Saints of God looking for ways to deceive, hinder, confuse, silence and rob us. Satan’s strategy is to work under cover as much as possible in a hidden way so that he can do the most damage.   He doesn’t want to be discovered and will always try to work undetected. He certainly does not want his influence to be exposed.

A Christian who understands and applies the finished work of the Cross of Christ, Jesus’ resurrection victory and the position and authority that they have in Christ is a threat to Satan’s kingdom and plans.   When we start to live out our faith, pray, read the Bible, stand up for God’s truth, justice, righteousness, witness to others etc. then satan wants to hinder us as much as possible. When you actively start to move against his kingdom by praying against his strategies, pulling down strongholds, casting out demons etc. then he is going to fight back. That is when we need to know that we are like those OT soldiers and fit and ready for the battle and prepared in God. The battle always belongs to God and He teaches us when and how to engage. How to defend ourselves and the weapons of our warfare to enable us to do so.

Knowing satans strategy;

It’s important to understand some of satan’s main strategy against us. The Apostle Paul says:

 2 Corinthians 2: 11 “Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his strategies.”

Ephesians 6:11 “Put on the whole armour of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.”

Wiles = Schemings. Satan is a schemer who is extremely devious and very subtle.

Ephesians 6:10 tells us to stand strong in the Lord relying on His might and power and resist satan. We put on (our responsibility) our spiritual armour of the belt of truth, helmet of salvation, shield of faith, breastplate of righteousness, feet shod with the gospel of peace and sword of the Spirit (Scripture/Gods Word) are our protection against those attacks and schemes. We are to use our spiritual armour, pray and when we have done all, stand firm on the rock and foundation of our faith, Christ Jesus our hope and ever present help.

Traps

1 Timothy 3: 7 “lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil.”

We must be careful to avoid any traps which satan would set for us. Traps can take various forms in our lives and our weaknesses are often open to being exploited. We all have them. It could be pride, desires of our flesh, unforgiveness, fear, strife, disunity and the lure of knowledge and power, these are just some of those traps to be avoided.

1 Peter 5:8. “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walks about, seeking whom he may devour”

As we read and meditate on Scripture we gain an understanding of how satan works so that we will not be ignorant (uneducated) of his strategies.   Ignorance is certainly not bliss when it comes to these things. God wants us to have understanding and be wise. The Bible is our sword and God expects us to know how to use it, to appropriate the finished work of the Cross of Jesus, His victory and His resurrection. There is a verse in Hosea which says “My people perish for lack of knowledge”.   Satan is a legalist. He is looking for a way into our lives and will manipulate anything to his advantage. He is a liar and deceiver.

The Bible exhorts us to give him no place in our lives. Ephesians 4: 27 “Neither give place to the devil.” If satan gets a foothold in our lives it can soon develop into a stronghold if we do not submit to God and resist satan. If we yield to his influence instead of resisting him and submitting to God then he will bring us into bondage in one form or another. Sometimes we become so immune to the conviction of the Holy Spirit through the hardening of our hearts that we don’t realise what trouble we are in.

Some of Satan’s strategies:

IdentitySatan will attack our identity in Christ and introduce doubt about God’s word and promises to us who are His children who are loved by Him just as he did to Adam and Eve. My friend pointed out this to me recently. When Jesus was baptised, God said “This is My son in whom I am well pleased“. When Satan tempted Jesus in the wilderness he first tried to cast doubt on Jesus’ identity by saying “If you are the Son of God”. How subtle and crafty is that. Jesus knew He was God’s son but He avoided satan’s trap by not seeking to prove it by miraculous power and signs and being disobedient to God. Beware of attacks on your identity as a child of God. Know your identity in Christ. Your position in Christ and your authority in Christ.

Mark 1:13 “And he (Jesus) was there in the wilderness forty days, tempted of Satan

Temptation – Satan will try and tempt all of us. Jesus knew how to deal with satan’s temptation. He knew the truth, God’s Word and used the Word to rebuke Satan. Jesus did not give in to temptation. We recognise temptation and ask ourselves -Will giving in to this temptation be obedient to God or disobedient. Jesus who empathises with our weaknesses and was tempted just like us, but did not give in, intercedes for us before Gods throne and will help us overcome temptation.

Be aware that satan knows our weak areas. The bible shows us that temptation can come through the lusts of the flesh, lust of the eyes (we see it we want it) and being tempted to do things independently of God – Pride.

Satan knew King David’s weakness – women. David saw Bathsheba bathing (lust of the eyes), wanted her and gave into the lust of the flesh.   It didn’t stop there however – he manipulated the situation so that her husband was killed in battle.   A really wicked thing to do. However, after the prophet Nathan confronted him David confessed his sin and was forgiven. David could write Psalm 32 about the joy of forgiveness because he experienced the incredible mercy of God. God will always give us a way out of temptation and will strengthen us that we can resist.

No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it. – 1 Corinthians 10:13

As the Bible shows us when temptation comes, which it surely will, find that escape route and get out of there quickly. Escape temptation whilst you can and have the opportunity. Avoid putting yourself in those tempting circumstances especially if you are still struggling with weakness in an area and will find it very difficult. If you have truly overcome the temptation then you may be to do it but still be wise.

Accusation – When we fall, which we inevitably do, satan is right there to accuse us and hit us when we are down.   Accusation is always from the enemy and never from the Holy Spirit who brings conviction of sin, not accusation. Satan will hit you with thoughts such as “Call yourself a Christian doing something like that” “How can you be effective for God after what you’ve done” or he’ll just bombard you with negative thoughts about yourself.   He is the master of discouragement.

Revelation 12: 10 “for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night.”

Don’t give in to those accusations. You will end up distancing yourself from others because of shame, will try and hide from God and will spiral downwards. Confess your sins, repent and be restored.

Deception – I think this is his greatest strategy against us. Right at the beginning, he deceived Adam & Eve. He distorted the truth and deceived them into disobeying God’s commands. Satan and his demons are liars and the root of deception and falseness. Jesus warns us against being deceived.

Jesus said of satan in John 8:44 “ He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it”

 Revelation 12:9 “And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceives the whole world”

 Satan will seek to deceive us into believing his lies. We need to be aware of the following:

 Self-deception. Neil Anderson who wrote “The Bondage Breaker “ uses the following examples from scripture.

We deceive ourselves when:

a) We hear the Word of God but don’t do it – James 1:22;

b) We say we have no sin – 1 John 1:8 – Keep short accounts with God, Confess our sins as we are convicted by the Holy Spirit;

c) We think we are something we’re not – Rom 12:3 – we are warned not to think too highly of ourselves, be humble;

d) We think we are wise in this age– 1 Cor 3, 18-19 – we need to always rely on God and not our own understanding;

e) We don’t bridle our tongues – James 1:26 – gossiping is a no-no. How often do we fall into that subtle trap!

f) We think that we won’t reap what we sow – Galatians 6:7. God is not mocked.

g) We think that we can continually keep in with the wrong company and not be corrupted- 1 Corinthians 15:33. Bad company corrupts.

 False Prophets and Teachers. Jesus warned us about false teaching and false prophets.   We should not just believe everything we read and hear – The Bible instructs us to weigh and test things.   There is teaching all around us now – We can listen to it on social media, TV, the radio, read it in books. God’s Word is the ultimate authority and plumbline by which we should be measuring.   Any teachings, words of prophecy, wisdom, knowledge etc are to be tested against God’s Word and come under the Word of God. They are to submit to God not the other way around.

Satan will counterfeit the things of God – false miracles, false tongues, false prophecies, false gifts etc. The Bible says:

 1 Thessalonians 5:19 “Do not put out the Spirit’s fire; 20 do not treat prophecies with contempt. 21 Test everything. Hold on to the good. 22 Avoid every kind of evil”

 Mark 13:22 “For false Christs and false prophets will appear and perform signs and miracles to deceive the elect–if that were possible. 23 So be on your guard; I have told you everything ahead of time”

2 Peter 2:1 “But there were also false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you. They will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the sovereign Lord who brought them–bringing swift destruction on themselves. 2 Many will follow their shameful ways and will bring the way of truth into disrepute”

 Deceiving Spirits.

 1 John 4:1 “Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. 2 This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, 3 but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God. And this is the spirit of the Antichrist which you have heard was coming and is now already in the world”

 1Timothy 4:1 “The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons.”

 As satan is such a master of deception it is not easy for us to recognise and discern his deceit. The gift of discernment from the Holy Spirit is invaluable in this respect. I encourage you to ask the Holy Spirit for the gift of discernment. Neil Anderson recommends the following type of prayer to guard against and expose deception:

 “Heavenly Father, I commit myself unreservedly to your will. If I have been deceived in any way, I pray that you will open my eyes to the deception.   I command in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ that all deceiving spirits depart from me and I renounce and reject all counterfeit gifts or tongues.   Lord, if it is from you, bless it and cause it to grow so that Your Body the Church may be blessed and edified through it. Amen”.

 These strategies of Satan often start with thoughts planted in our minds.

 If evil spirits can put a tempting thought in our minds, put a negative thought in our minds, deceive us into thinking something is right or harmless and

 WE DO NOT TAKE THAT THOUGHT CAPTIVE TO CHRIST THEN

 THE THOUGHT CAN BECOME AN IMAGINATION i.e WE DWELL ON IT

THEN THE IMAGINATION CAN IF WE DWELL ON IT TOO LONG BECOME A STRONGOLD AND SATAN IS EXERCISING SOME CONTROL OVER OUR THOUGHTS AND BEHAVIOUR

Half the battle is actually recognising where these thoughts are coming from. Most of the time we think these thoughts are coming from us when they’re not.   We can win this battle in and through God when we;

 2 Corinthians 10: 5 “Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;”

 I think Deception is the most difficult area for us because we generally know when we’re being tempted or accused but we do not immediately recognise or come to recognise when we are being deceived. This is why the belt of truth is vital in our armour as it is the truth of God which exposes the lie.

Satan is always looking for a way in.   He is a legalist – He is looking for that gap in the hedge of protection around us which we can open up when we go astray from God’s Word and His paths of righteousness. Let us encourage each other to keep ourselves rooted in Christ, submitted to God, recognise the works of the enemy and rebuke him. The bible tells us that satan will then flee from us.

Blessings to you in Jesus name.

547 days..God’s perfect timing

I am so encouraged today and I want to encourage you too with something I discovered this morning.

Last night I was reading my journal and something I had written from a church prayer meeting on 3 July 2019 got my attention. I had written 547 days.

This morning I decided to find out when 547 days was and so did a google search. I searched backwards from today.

The result blew me away. It was the exact same date of the prayer meeting 3/7/2019 and so God really got my attention this morning. What was the Lord saying on that night in 2019 and what is so significant about today that He was pointing us towards it back then.

Well today is significant being 31 December 2020, New Years Eve. We are on the threshold of a New Year. It has been a year of great shaking, turbulence and new things which have impacted all nations. It is also another major milestone in U.K history as we leave the European Union at midnight tonight. We enter into a new era. New days and New things are ahead.

On that night of 3 July 2019 there was a call to preparation. God said that He was calling the lost and were we ready to receive them. I believe God is asking us the same question today. Are we ready to receive the lost?

If there is an incredible revival of people coming to Christ then we need to be ready to teach, shepherd, disciple, heal and restore the lost. To establish sound doctrine and teaching on the firm foundation of Christ as the cornerstone of our faith and the whole gospel. Sound biblical teaching. To see people baptised and filled with the Holy Spirit. See them set free from the effects of their pasts to discover true freedom in Christ Jesus.

In 2008 I had a vision of the small cloud and God reminded me of Elijah at Mount Carmel after the defeat of the false prophets of Baal. After the fire, Elijah prayed for rain and sent his servant back to check for any signs of rain coming as he had already heard the sound of rain in the spirit. There had been a drought for 3 years as a result of Elijah’s prayers and the drought was about to break. On the 7th time of looking the cloud was seen and Elijah knew the rain was on its way so he hitched up his garments and ran. He ran so fast that he overtook the kings chariot. There was a deluge of rain.

God is encouraging us to look and listen and discern what is coming and what He is doing so that we are not unprepared but are like the virgins with our oil ready and more in reserve. I pray that the Apostles, Prophets, Pastors, Evangelists and Teachers appointed for these days will rise up for the days ahead to prepare the body of Christ for maturity and to be ready and prepared for all that God is calling us to do in these days. That each one of us will discover our purpose in God, the gifts He has for us and be bold for Him. That our family, friends, neighbours, work colleagues know that we are followers of Christ and where to come in times of need. When they need answers which only God can provide.

When I told my friend about the 547 days she reminded me that numbers are significant in scripture. 5 speaks of GRACE/SALVATION and 7 speaks of perfection/completeness. 4 speaks of creation. It can also refer to seasons and in Strong’s concordance that literally translates as appointed times” i.e divine appointments. I believe today is a divine appointment with God and I pray that we do not miss meeting with Him today. I am eager to spend time with Him to discover what He is saying TODAY. I hope that you will also be encouraged to do the same and share what God is speaking. Amen.

Bless you all in Jesus name.

Condemnation

I don’t know about you but I really don’t like the word Condemnation.

Judges use it when passing sentences on an accused who has been found guilty and sentenced to a punishment which can include death. It must be a terrible thing to be condemned especially to death.

The bible tells us that the wages of sin is death but that through faith and salvation in Jesus Christ there is no longer any condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. Jesus has paid the price of our sins, all of them, and justified us completely.

It is sad that many of us are still struggling under the lie of condemnation and guilt.

The Holy Spirit convicts us as believers when we do wrong but does not bring condemnation.

If you still feel condemned and that you deserve everything that happens in your life. That it’s a just punishment for what you’ve done then God wants to remind you that He is a gracious and merciful God. Forgiveness means forgiveness. Please do not get trapped in condemnation. God blots out our sins from His remembrance and remembers them no more. It is by grace that we are saved.

He is a God who abundantly pardons us.

If we still have a definite intention to continue to sin and disobey God then that is not walking in the spirit but in the flesh. As followers of Christ we are new creations in Him and the old sinful self has been crucified with Christ.

We are called to be holy just as Jesus was holy so that we can proclaim the praises of Him who has called us out of darkness into His marvellous light. 1 Peter 2:9

We do mess up though and make mistakes and it is the mercy and forgiveness of God that we need in such times. That is the convicting work of the Holy Spirit in our lives. He keeps us on that narrow path

Believing condemnation traps us and keeps us from moving forward and growing. Jesus wants to set us free from condemnation so that we can run the race He has for us.

The bible tells us that sin entangles us and ensnares us.

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy that was set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.”
Hebrews 12:1-3

Jesus intercedes for us before Gods throne of grace. He is our compassionate High Priest. He has overcome the world and persevered and He knows that we too can overcome sin through His strength and the power of the Holy Spirit at work in us.

He believes in us.

Don’t give up even if you mess up.

Jesus doesn’t condemn us so let’s not condemn ourselves or allow others to condemn us.

We are called to help each other when we get it wrong. Speaking the truth in love to each other. We can’t ignore bad behaviour or turn a blind eye or sweep it under the carpet because that does not help anyone and the body of Christ becomes sick. Hypocrisy is not the way.

Your eye is the lamp of your body. When your eyes are healthy, your whole body also is full of light. But when they are unhealthy, your body also is full of darkness. See to it, then, that the light within you is not darkness. Therefore, if your whole body is full of light, and no part of it dark, it will be just as full of light as when a lamp shines its light on you.’
Luke 11:34-36

In helping others let us not fall into the trap of criticism, condemnation and judging each other which can be wounding and lead to hurts that fester and cause bitterness.

Blessings to you today in Jesus 🙏

Faith for the race

Our pastor at church encouraged us a year ago to run the race of faith set before us with these words:

You can run a lap of faith;

One Step at a time – Mark 1

Come, follow me,’ Jesus said, ‘and I will send you out to fish for people.’ At once they left their nets and followed him. Mark 1:17-18

One Command at a time – Deuteronomy 11

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Love the Lord your God and keep his requirements, his decrees, his laws and his commands always. Observe therefore all the commands I am giving you today, so that you may have the strength to go in and take over the land that you are crossing the Jordan to possess. Deuteronomy 11:1,8

One Day at a time- Colossians 1

In the same way, the gospel is bearing fruit and growing throughout the whole world – just as it has been doing among you since the day you heard it and truly understood God’s grace. Colossians 1:6

One Seed at a time – Matthew 13

But the seed falling on good soil refers to someone who hears the word and understands it. This is the one who produces a crop, yielding a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown.’ Matthew 13:18-23

One Test at a time -James 1

Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. James 1:2-4

Whatever lap of your race you are on. Keep going..you will cross the finishing line and win the prize.

Have a blessed day 😀🙏