A plea for Deliverance and Forgiveness

To You, O Lord, I lift up my soul.

O my God, I trust in You;

Let me not be ashamed;

Let not my enemies triumph over me. Indeed, let no one who waits on You be ashamed;

Let those be ashamed who deal treacherously without cause.

Show me Your ways, O Lord; Teach me Your paths.

Lead me in Your truth and teach me,

For You are the God of my salvation;

On You I wait all the day.

Remember, O Lord, Your tender mercies and Your lovingkindnesses, For they are from of old.

Do not remember the sins of my youth, nor my transgressions;

According to Your mercy remember me, For Your goodness’ sake, O Lord.

Turn Yourself to me, and have mercy on me, For I am desolate and afflicted.

The troubles of my heart have enlarged; Bring me out of my distresses!

Look on my affliction and my pain, And forgive all my sins.

Consider my enemies, for they are many; And they hate me with cruel hatred.

Keep my soul, and deliver me;

Let me not be ashamed, for I put my trust in You.

Let integrity and uprightness preserve me, For I wait for You.

Redeem Israel, O God, Out of all their troubles!

Psalm 25:1-7,16-22

The Lord God answered this prayer for deliverance and forgiveness on Good Friday when Jesus, the lamb of God, delivered us from Satan’s grasp and brought us into God’s Kingdom through His blood shed for us. Jesus redeemed us from the judgment and penalty of sin. We are redeemed, sanctified, forgiven and restored into new life in Christ Jesus our Lord. May this be your prayer today. Find Deliverance, Mercy and Forgiveness for your sins in Jesus. Thanks and Praise be to our God. Amen

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Joseph – Hero of the Faith (5)

As we have already seen in the previous post, Joseph demonstrated patience and long suffering through his troubles, which is a fruit of the Holy Spirit of God.

Joseph also showed that there was no bitterness or desire for vengeance in his heart even after all that had happened to him. When the opportunity arose for Joseph to take revenge on all those who had wronged him, when he was in a position of authority and power as second only to Pharaoh to be able to do so, he chose mercy and forgiveness instead.

Its when you have the power yourself to inflict wounding on those who have wronged you but you refuse to do so, that is the power of God in action. When you bless them, that is the power of God in action. When you feed them, that is the power of God in action. When you love them that is the power of God in action.

Joseph was willing to help the Egyptians in their greatest hour of need. These were the same people who had cruelly mistreated him, enslaved him and wrongly imprisoned him. They were foreigners to him, not his tribe or nation. He had no loyalty to them or reason to help them.

Joseph was also willing to help his family, those who had once betrayed him, stripped him of his robe, tried to kill him, put him in a pit with no water or food, sold him into slavery, and abandoned him. He could have sent them packing when they came begging for bread but he didn’t. He had the power of life and death in his hand. He chose to grant them life and provide for them.

Joseph showed incredible forgiveness towards his brothers for their betrayal and cruel treatment of him. Not just in word but as we have seen in and through his actions as well.

Jesus gave a similar command to us, His followers:

27 “But to you who are listening I say: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, 28 bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.

29 If someone slaps you on one cheek, turn to them the other also. If someone takes your coat, do not withhold your shirt from them. 30 Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back.

31 Do to others as you would have them do to you. 33 And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners do that. 34 And if you lend to those from whom you expect repayment, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, expecting to be repaid in full.

35 But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back.

Then your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked.

36 Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful. Luke 6:27-36.

Joseph’s brothers themselves could not understand how Joseph could possibly have forgiven them. You see they still thought as ungodly men. They were worried that Joseph would change his behaviour once Jacob was dead so they pretended that Jacob had told them on his deathbed that Joseph had to forgive them.

They failed to understand the grace and mercy that Joseph showed them. That is why God chose Joseph over them. They couldn’t grasp the ability to forgive and not seek revenge.

Some people cannot understand how God can forgive us our sins and all the cruelty and wickedness in this world but He does through Christ. Jesus has paid the price for all our sins, justice has been met and now there is no condemnation in Christ Jesus who himself forgave his enemies from the cross. Freely we have received so freely give.

Family Time

Morning friends and welcome to the weekend. I had a different post for this morning but I think the Lord had other ideas so I have put it back into drafts for another day. This week for me has been a hard one at work with lots of challenges and I’m sure there are some other readers out there who may be thinking the same. I’m really glad to have this weekend to rest and recharge my batteries. The Lord certainly knows that we need to have time to come away and rest.

The weekend for me is a break from the demands of work, it’s precious family time and I also look forward to fellowshipping with my church family on Sunday.

“I rejoiced with those who said to me,
    “Let us go to the house of the Lord.”

Psalm 122: 1

These bible verses came to me this morning as I was meditating and spending time with the Lord. I thought yes, that is how I feel when I go to join my church family. I’m joyful. I’m excited and expectant. I’m really happy to be with them for lots of reasons. Not only because they love, encourage, bless me and strengthen me but I am blessed by our times of corporate praise & worship and prayer. I not only receive but I also have the opportunity to serve. Giving and Receiving.

The preaching is also excellent – Our pastor has started a new series on Romans and the teaching is edifying and it is Christ Centred with a focus on Discovery, Discipleship and Declare. We are on a journey together to discover God, Jesus, the Holy Spirit and our story in His story (the Bible), to be discipled and grow in the Word, firmly rooted in sound Christian doctrine and then to declare – share our testimony and faith with others.

Now you may be reading this and thinking that is not what I feel about Church family. I can understand that because at one stage in my life I felt like that too. I was so badly hurt by “Church” that I vowed that I would never step foot in a church again. I never lost my faith in God but I spent 12 years in a wilderness until the Lord drew me back to a loving church family. I repented and broke that vow off my life because I realised that I had been deceived and robbed of such a beautiful gift of fellowship.

Now I could have justified my behaviour and stayed in that wilderness. No doubt I could also have found people with the same or worst experiences and we would have reinforced in each other that justification for never going to Church again. The Lord knew my experiences and how I had been hurt. However, God also knew the plans He had for me and it wasn’t to leave me in that wilderness. God loved me too much for that and He loves you as well. God healed my hurts and led me to the right fellowship of believers.

The Lord knows today how you have been hurt too. He healed me and He can heal you too. I pray today that the Lord will speak into your heart, bring release and healing to the pain so that you can once again find believers who will help you start on a journey of fellowship again.

If this speaks to you then take it slowly is my advice. One step at a time. It doesn’t have to be anything big or overwhelming to start the journey back. It could be a small step to connect with a fellow believer – the Lord puts us in families for our benefit. I believe the Lord has the right family for you and I pray that the Holy Spirit will lead you and bring you into that family. I just really believe it’s time to move from that place of wilderness to a place of family. Making the heart decision to ask the Lord to lead you to the right family for you will be the start that is needed.

Bless you today my friends.

We all need a helping hand

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Pure Whites

Pure whites

After a recent time of fellowship and ministry during which we took communion, my friend had a picture of pure white washing pegged out on a clothes line.

It’s a simple picture really but it spoke deeply to me about who I am now in Christ. I’m as clean as that white washing.

In order to be truly cleansed from sin and it’s effects it can only be through faith in what Jesus has done for me through his death and resurrection. I believe as a Christian that we receive forgiveness for our sins through confessing our sins, repenting of them and believing Jesus has paid the price for our wrongdoing. As a follower of Jesus, I believe that it is Jesus’ sacrifice and his blood alone which has cleansed me from sin.

You might not feel clean like that or might feel you still have some dirty linen but there is no stain or dirt that can’t be made clean, pure and washed as white as the washing in this picture. Just like new. No stains, no grey, no streaks, no spots no matter how filthy. How do I know this? The bible tells me and I believe it.

Come now, and let us reason together,” Says the Lord, “Though your sins are like scarlet, They shall be as white as snow; Though they are red like crimson, They shall be as wool.
Isaiah 1:18

When we as followers of Jesus take Communion and we break bread together and drink the wine, we remember the Lord’s death until He comes again. We remember with thanksgiving all Jesus has done for us. We have opportunity to allow the Holy Spirit to convict us if there is anything we need to confess or put right before we take Communion.

When we were in lockdown many did not have the opportunity to take Communion together. As I joined with my brothers and sisters in Christ this week I was reminded how powerful it is when we recall and thank God for what Jesus did for us all through His being broken for us and being poured out for us. How powerful it is to confess and release sin in my life and receive cleansing.

He (Jesus) took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you. For this is My blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.”
Matthew 26:27-28

Jesus shed His own precious blood so that we can be cleansed from sin. A free gift of grace that is available to everyone no matter who we are. The bible tells us that all have sinned so all need to take this cup of forgiveness. Have you my dear friend? It’s freely available to you. If you want to be truly clean then I believe there is no other way.

Then Peter said to them, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is to you and to your children, and to all who are afar off, as many as the Lord our God will call.”
Acts 2:38-39

Do you hear the Lord calling you to repentance? I pray that you will hear and respond to God’s grace and mercy today and be ever thankful to God who through His great love has reached down from heaven and rescued us from sin and death. Praise God.

Six Things…no wait 7

Ephesians 5:8-10 – “Live as children of light (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth) and find out what pleases God”

As followers of Jesus we are to live our lives in a way that is pleasing to God. The bible tells us about 6 things, actually 7 behaviours that God does not like at all.

I’m sure you’d agree that some of these behaviours we too would think are extremely bad but some like being proud or telling lies we could be tempted to ignore but this is what Proverbs 6:16 tells us:

“Here are six things God hates, and one more that he loathes with a passion:

eyes that are arrogant,

a tongue that lies,

hands that murder the innocent; and

a heart that hatches evil plots,

feet that race down a wicked track,

a mouth that lies under oath, and

.

a troublemaker in the family”

Lord we want to live our lives in ways that are pleasing to you. Help us keep our feet on the paths of your right ways as you reveal to us in your precious Word, the Bible. Let us live today and tomorrow lives that are pleasing to you as we walk out our faith in your son, Jesus Christ. May your Holy Spirit convict our hearts of sin and wrong and may we turn in repentance to you through the richness of the grace and mercy that you pour out through Jesus on us as your children. Thank you Lord that when you look at us who are hidden in Christ Jesus you see your Son in whom you were well pleased. Thank you that in Jesus and through the work of the Holy Spirit we are empowered to live a life pleasing to you. Praise God. Amen

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 🙏

Jesus the Lamb of God

The shouts of heaven still continue to declare:

All Hail the Lamb; All Hail the Lamb;

He is the darling of heaven;

He is crowned with many crowns;

At His name every knee will bow;

He is all majesty and power;

His eyes are like a flaming torch;

He is TRUTH and LOVE;

On His thigh is written a name only He knows;

He is FAITHFUL and TRUE;

He is HEALER, He Is CLEANSER;

He is Deliverer;

He is the Refining Fire;

Open your eyes today to see Him;

It is time to anoint our eyes with salve so that we can truly see Him;

If you are blinded to the truth then you will not see Jesus for who He truly is;

He is more than a prophet, He is more than a man;

He is the Son of the living God;

He is God;

He is alive;

We live in times when there are many blind leaders of the blind;

Many follow those who are blind along the wrong ways;

Are you blinded to the truth;

Have we become blinded to the truth;

I pray the Holy Spirit will open eyes to the truth today so that we can see Jesus more clearly;

Without Jesus as our saviour we are in sin but He can cleanse us from all sin.

I pray today that you will see and know Jesus in all His glory. Take hold of Him today and His redeeming Love for you in faith.

Amen

Psalm 55 – Betrayed by Friends? Trust in God

If you have never read Psalm 55 then I recommend a read. It is an amazing Psalm. David just pours out the hurt, pain & anger he feels over being betrayed. You can really feel the pain behind the words. It is raw and real. He puts his broken heart out there and the emotion is tangible.

Why this Psalm is enlightening is that it’s not just any betrayal though.. it was the betrayal of a very close friend and equal. Someone David trusted completely who went to the temple with him. They worshipped together. Spiritual companions. They were of the same heart & mind as David or so he thought. David found out the truth though. His friend was not really his friend. He was out to destroy him. It cut him deeply to be betrayed by someone he trusted completely. As David said, if it was an enemy he could have coped with it. You know your enemies are against you but you expect your friends to have your back.

Imagine as a Christian being betrayed by your closest confidant at church. You have been going to church together for years, perhaps you came to faith together, walked the journey together, you think you know them, trust them, you have shared your heart with them and then you find out it was all a pretence. They weren’t your friend at all, they didn’t have your best interests at heart, they were actually working against you all the time. The shock, the pain, hurt, anger…you would feel it just as David felt it.

I believe Holy Spirit is warning us that we are going to see more of such betrayal being revealed in the body of Christ. We need to prepare our hearts. You may have already experienced it. Jesus warned believers about it in the last days that brothers & sisters etc. will betray each other, How will we deal with it if it happens to us and not compromise our faith. For our own sakes we can’t allow such betrayals to crush us and destroy trust of others and impact future Godly relationships. We can’t give into revenge or thoughts of revenge. David certainly wanted God to take vengeance. You read it in this Psalm. He gives voice to those thoughts.

The pain and hurt of such betrayal needs to be acknowledged and poured out to God. It will fester otherwise. It is important to guard our hearts so that bitterness and resentment do not take root and cause us and others even more trouble. Choosing to forgive others as Jesus forgives us is the test. God can help us to forgive through the power of the Holy Spirit working in us to do this. Without the Holy Spirit, I think it is impossible as our flesh will want to lash out and cause hurt as we have been hurt. We can trust God though to bring healing to the wounds and for justice and truth to be outworked. He is our shield and protector.

We can’t allow these painful experiences to drive us away from fellowship with other Christians. David wanted to just run away – verse 6 “oh that I had wings like a dove, I would fly away and be at rest.” and these things will want to make us run away too…run from everything even those people that truly love us and want the best for us. Betrayal can be a doorway for shame especially if someone has betrayed things about us to others that will cause people to judge us or treat us differently. Running away is not the answer. We won’t find any rest by drawing away and isolating ourselves. There will be a true godly friend who can draw alongside you at these difficult times. Help is there. Don’t reject those who want to help and love you at these times out of fear of the same thing happening. Learning to trust again.

There is something else I believe in this Psalm though that the Holy Spirit also reveals. In the midst of David’s brokenness & outpouring I read in verses 20-21 a prophetic word inspired by the Holy Spirit about the anti-christ and how he will operate and it’s a similar story.

“He has put forth his hands against those who were at peace with him; He has broken his covenant. The words of his mouth were smoother than butter, But war was in his heart; His words were softer than oil, Yet they were drawn swords”.

Anti-Christ will pretend to be a close friend & ally of Israel who will deceive Israel into making a peace treaty which will prove to be a deception. He will break that treaty mid way through and betray them. This is prophesied in other parts of scripture about a seven year peace treaty. Israel will feel utterly betrayed. Anti Christ is a flatterer and a deceiver. War and not peace is his true intention. The betrayal of David by a close friend shows us I think how anti christ will operate. Is Anti Christ a fellow worshipper or spiritual person? I don’t know but it provokes me to think about the possibility.

Why have I also flagged these verses. To show that God can still use us in such situations despite our brokenness and work through us for His glory. He can use you still. Don’t give up and allow the pain of betrayal to consume you. Instead rise up, believe in the gifts He has deposited within you and the ministry He has called you to. You are a gift to the body of Christ. Don’t let the enemy rob you of it and destroy your future.

There is an answer and hope in v 22 “Cast your burden on the Lord and He will sustain you. He shall never permit the righteous to be moved”. This promise to sustain you also means to nourish, bear, hold up, protect, support and defend you. God will do all this for you – give him the burden of betrayal and trust in His unfailing love.

Blessings to you in Jesus name.

The Heavenly Steed

This is a word God gave me whilst praying yesterday which follows on from the recent word “Awake, Awake”.

“For this is the day the Lord has made.  It is time to rejoice for the Redeemer draws near.  See Him seated on His heavenly steed.  He is suited in His armour.  It gleams bright & white and He has a robe over him dripped in blood and fire comes forth from Him.    The horses’ hooves are stomping – the horse is neighing.  It is preparing itself to bring the King of Glory from the Heavenly Realm.

Oh beautiful steed.  How beautiful you are.  On your back you bear the King of Glory.  On your back you bear the Great I am.   Look – can you see in the Heavenly Realm.   The King of Glory!  He is ready.  He is ready to come for the timing of God is perfect.   God has set the time and the sands are nearly run through.   God will not delay and His arm is not too short to save.

CALL on the Lord whilst he is near.   Turn to Him.  Repent of your wicked ways and acknowledge the King of Glory who died to redeem & restore creation.  He is the King of Glory.  He is magnificent.  He is ready to ride out.   The time is nearly set.  He will not delay His coming.   Look up to see the King of Glory is ready.  He is seated on His Heavenly Steed.   He is ready – are you?”

Revelation 19 v 11 says “Now I saw heaven opened and behold a white horse.  And He who sat on Him was called “Faithful” & “True” and in righteousness He judges & makes war.  His eyes were like a flame of fire and on His Head were many crowns.  He had a name written that no-one knew except Himself.   He was clothed with a robe dipped in blood and His name is called THE WORD OF GOD.  And the armies in heaven clothed in white linen, white & clean followed Him on white horses.”

As a follow of Jesus,  I believe that Jesus Christ is alive and He is returning at an appointed time  – His Second Coming.

Isaiah 55 6-7 says:

“Seek the Lord while He may be found, Call upon Him while He is near.  Let the Wicked forsake his way and the unrighteous man his thoughts, let him return to the Lord, and He will have mercy on him, and to our God for He will abundantly pardon”.

If you do not know the saving grace & mercy of God through faith in Jesus Christ, then I encourage you to make your peace with God, say sorry for the wrong you have done and through faith in the cross of Jesus & His resurrection power receive forgiveness of yours sins.   God is merciful and gracious.   He is calling to you today – Today is the day of Salvation.   Do not delay but take hold of all that Jesus Christ died to give you.   Life in all its fullness.  Do not leave it to late to respond to His invitation.

white horse near green leaves

Photo by Helena Lopes on Pexels.com

Take hold of today – Make it count