Archive for October, 2014


Don’t run from your trials

Everyone faces many trials; however, these trials are not in vain. God uses them to do a work in us, developing us into mature Christians.

In James 1:2-4, we are told, Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. In other words, God uses the tough times in life to sharpen us, making us mature and complete Christians.

Furthermore, God will not permit you to remain in the same trials all of your life; in His proper timing He will deliver you. Psalm 34:17 says, The righteous cry out, and the LORD hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles.

So don’t run from your trials, because the testing of your faith develops you into a mature and complete Christian.

Contributed: Christ Notes

Psalms 23 – An Eye Opener!

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Some probably never thought nor looked at this Psalm in this way, even though they say it over and over again.

The Lord is my shepherd – that’s relationship!

I shall not want – that’s supply!

He maketh me to lie down in green pastures – that’s rest!

He leadeth me beside the still waters – that’s refreshment!

He restoreth my soul – that’s healing!

He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness – that’s guidance!

For His name sake – that’s purpose!

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death – that’s testing!

I will fear no evil – that’s protection!

For thou art with me -that’s faithfulness!

Thy rod and Thy staff they comfort me – that’s discipline!

Thou prepares a table before me in the presence of mine enemies – that’s hope!

Thou annointest my head with oil – that’s consecration!

My cup runneth over – that’s abundance!

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life – that’s blessing!

And I will dwell in the house of the Lord – that’s security!

Forever – that’s eternity!

When Ministry Knocks You Down

If you’re a pastor, a missionary, or serve in a church, you can’t avoid discouragement, disappointment, or hurt from ministry. The bible even uses the not-so-complimentary metaphor “sheep” to describe those we serve. And sheep get dirty and smelly and often kick and bite.

Sometimes those sheep in the church do the same to their shepherds.

So when you get kicked, forgotten, disrespected, ignored, mistreated, gossiped about, or misunderstood, how do you move forward?

The story recorded in 1 Samuel 30 gives great insight. David had just begun his career to fight the bad guys. Early on he faced a huge defeat. While he and his army were in battle far from home, the bad guys, the Amalekites, attacked the city where his family and the families of his army lived. They burned the city and kidnapped their wives and children. When David’s men discovered this, they considered removing him from his position, not by a vote of a board or a congregation, but with big rocks to the head by stoning.

The Scriptures then record one of the most beautiful verses ever written. The King James Version captures it well:

David encouraged himself in the Lord his God.  (1 Sam. 30:6)

It worked because his guys didn’t stone him but marshaled their energy and once again pursued the bad guys under his leadership.

As I’ve faced discouragement in ministry, these simple choices have helped me encourage myself in the Lord.

  • Acknowledge your pain and emotion to the Lord, but don’t wallow in it.
  • Journal your thoughts. Writing them down helps me stop the tendency to incessantly mull over the hurtful situation.
  • Read God’s word, especially those verses that speak of hope and victory.
  • Do something pro-active. Take action to move forward. In David’s case he took specific action to resolve the problem. He rallied his troops to chase down the Amalekites.
  • Stop condemning yourself and remind yourself that you are a child of God, loved by Him with great intrinsic value regardless of whether  your church is growing or whether people treat you with respect.
  • Pray for those who have hurt you. I’m amazed how God diffuses looming bitterness in my heart when I pray for the sheep that bite me.

If you get knocked down, sincerely seek the Lord and rise up in His strength to begin anew.

 

Contributed: The Ministry Advantage: A Weekly Mentoring Newsletter for Church Leaders.

 

 

 

In John 14:6, Jesus said, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” There is no other way.

Yet many people think that they can be saved through other ways. Religion is not the way; your pastor is not the way; baptism is not the way; church membership is not the way; doing good things is not the way. There is only one way to be saved: Jesus.

As a well-known song proclaims: There is only “one name under heaven whereby we must be saved” — Jesus!

Salvation comes down to this: Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on him (John 3:36).

Similarly, 1 John 5:12 says, He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life. It is clear that Jesus is the only way.

Contributed: Christ Notes

Wolves in Sheep’s Clothing

It is very imperative that you watch diligently for deceit and deception among you. In a vision last night, my husband and I were looking on as a young lady dressed nicely, but whom we discerned as fake, approached two women walking by her.

Wolf

She beckoned to them for help and informed them that she was stranded. As the women went to her aid, they were consumed, as if they had vanished. A few minutes went by, and the trio emerged. The young lady now appeared with a mark of the devil. As she passed by our way, my husband and I held up a cross that glistened as a light in front of us. The young lady who now turned out to be a demon, went on her way with the two women, who obviously were unaware that they were walking with a demon.

Apparently the women did not discern this young lady as fake. Had they had the spirit of discernment, then they wouldn’t have been deceived to walk away with her. They were actually being led away by Satan.

Satan is very cunning and deceptive. He will bring things into your life, or people who appear to be the real deal, but instead it’s all fake. This is how the enemy will use deceit and deception to rob you of your joy, your happiness, your sense of belonging, your confidence, your health, your emotional well-being, your children, your marriage, your finances, your career, your ministry, your Christianity, and all that he knows you hold so dear to your heart.

You are like sheep in the midst of wolves. In order to survive, you have to be wise as a serpent, but at the same token, harmless as a dove (Matthew 10:16). In other words, evil will always be around, and you will always be in the midst of it. Nonetheless, you have to ensure that you are not walking gullible and naïve, thus leaving leeway for the enemy to deceive and destroy you.

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