I’ve been re-reading some familiar New Testament passages over the past couple of weeks, and I am not alone it seems, as the recent report in Christian Today showed a growing number of people turning to the Bible for comfort and guidance.
YouVersion, the popular Bible reading app, revealed that engagement with its reading plans during Holy Week was 54 per cent higher than last year, and whereas 26.4 million Bible Plan days were completed during Holy Week 2019, that figure has risen to a staggering 40.6 million this year.
Like most of us of course, I have my favourite bits. For example, I have found myself being drawn back to Luke’s well-known account of those two disillusioned disciples, one of whom may well have been Jesus’ uncle, making their way to a village called Emmaus.
I reckon we could sum up their feelings in one word: heartbroken. They had entertained such high hopes for Jesus, but they had been shattered in the most horrifying way by his brutal execution. All they had left were their precious memories and their faded dreams. But suddenly, everything changed. Jesus suddenly turned up. I’m tempted to suggest they encountered the original ‘dead man walking’!
I’ve been strolling down memory lane over these past few weeks too. One or two memories are a little embarrassing, such as the time I asked God to let Father Christmas bring me some presents even though it was still the middle of July. To be fair I was only seven at the time.
Then there was the earth-shattering afternoon when a nurse turned to my heavily pregnant wife and said, “Yep, there’s the second head.” Now that did come as a shock; the doctor had said nothing about twins. Until then, we all thought her dates were a little askew!
“Does it matter?” she asked. It most certainly did. We had both resigned our jobs and were about to spend the next three years ‘living by faith’ (i.e. with no guaranteed income) while I prepared for Baptist ministry. That had come as a complete shock too. Little did I realise that Jesus would ‘turn up’ at a small prayer meeting and turn a Bible reading into a personal challenge that would change my life.
Then there was the night I baptised a lady named Jo, only to have her sister approach me at the end of the service to tell me that she had been healed of her terrible arthritic pain. That came as a complete surprise too because no one had prayed for her!
And there was that unforgettable Friday morning when we received a request from some Christian friends in the former Yugoslavia. It was the height of the civil war and they told us that they desperately needed ambulances. Within hours of beginning to pray, we received an unexpected call from the West Glamorgan Health Authority informing us that they had four ambulances they no longer needed, so could we use them?
If I’m honest, I have to tell you that I’ve simply lost count of the number of times I’ve seen God meeting people’s material needs, including my own. I can truly say that He has taken care of us over the years, often in the most incredible ways.
My recent strolls down memory lane have been anything but depressing. However, they have been incredibly challenging too. I have been asking myself what “memory making moments” I will create during this critical moment in this world’s history.
The apostle Paul seems to hit the nail on the head when he says, “So be careful how you live. Don’t live like fools, but like those who are wise. Make the most of every opportunity in these evil days. Don’t act thoughtlessly but understand what the Lord wants you to do.”
Challenging, yes. But exciting too, because I’ve discovered that you never know what might happen when you have the Risen Jesus journeying with you.
Marriage has a variety of meanings around the world and across different cultures. For Christians to understand what marriage really is, they can look to God’s word, the Holy Bible, for answers and direction. At times, we find that societal beliefs about marriage may be in complete opposition to what the Bible teaches.
In the Book of Genesis, where marriage is first made mention to, we read that marriage is a man and woman becoming one flesh. God blessed man and woman and instructed them to be fruitful and multiply. The first couple chapters of the Bible provide a beautiful picture that describes the sacred union of man and woman called marriage.
How Is Marriage Defined in the Bible?
Marriage Is Instituted by God In Genesis 2, after God created Adam, He declared that it was not good for man to be alone, and that no other creature was a suitable partner for Adam. God created the perfect mate and helper for Adam; her name was Eve. God put these two together, the first man and woman, made for one another. God set a precedence for all human beings to follow this model, “That is why man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh” (Genesis 2:24).
Marriage Is Between a Man and a Woman God created man and woman for each other, they are perfect companions, each with their own skills, qualities and natures that make them a right fit. We find the precedence of marriage between a man and a woman all throughout the Bible. Even Jesus affirmed this concept and quoted Scripture when He was asked about marriage, “Jesus replied, ‘But from the beginning of creation, ‘God made them male and female’’” (Mark 10:6). Jesus acknowledged the original design of God as the standard we should follow.
Marriage Is Two Becoming One
The biblical concept of two becoming one is at the heart of how we can understand marriage. It is two people who become one flesh. The account in Genesis puts it this way, “This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called ‘woman,’ for she was taken out of man” (Genesis 2:23). A husband and wife becoming one means finding unity in thought, body, and purpose, while being established in a mutual love, respect, and faith in God.
Marriage Is a Lifelong Covenant
Adam and Eve were participants in the first marital covenant that takes place in the Bible. Together with God, a man and a woman enter a covenant when they get married. Though we look to the marriage ceremony as what needs to happen for two people to be married, truly, it is the vow of husband and wife made to God, and God joining them together, that solidifies their sacred union.
This marital covenant is a lifelong commitment. Jesus said it best this way, “So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore, what God has joined together, let no one separate” (Matthew 19:6). When two people get married, they should consider the seriousness and significance of what they are doing by making a lifelong covenant with God.
Marriage Is Modeled after Christ and the Church “For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything. Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her” (Ephesians 5:23-25).
Paul wrote to the church of Ephesus a radical analogy that expands how we understand marriage. Christ’s love for the church is sacrificial, pure and unconditional, and that is how a husband should love his wife, even giving his life for her. The Church looks to follow Christ and surrender its own will so that it can follow the will of Jesus, which is how a wife should find her place in relation to her husband. Their union, when modeled after Christ and the Church, will be healthy and whole, and serve as a solid foundation for a loving family.
Marriage Is Not for Everyone
Societal expectations place marriage in a list of things we should accomplish, but the biblical perspective takes a different approach. Paul wrote, “But I say to the unmarried and to widows that it is good for them if they remain even as I” (1 Corinthians 7:8). God may call some people to remain single or live a celibate life. Marriage takes hard work, much is required of husband and wife, and the married way of life may simply not be the right course for every person. God may have purposes and plans for many wonderful people that do not include marriage.
Marriage Is Not Self-Serving
If marriages are to be modeled after Christ’s relationship to the Church, then husband and wife should always be looking to the interests of the other. Jesus didn’t serve himself while on this earth. He washed the feet of His disciples, He loved others, He surrendered to the will of the Father, and He laid down His life to save the world.
Often, we think marriage will satisfy our every need and desire, but that is not reality. That certainly may be experienced from time to time, but marriage is not about getting our own needs met. It’s about a servanthood kind of love that gives spouses the strength to take care of each other in sickness, to encourage one another during unexpected trials, and to forgive one another when there’s disappointments, mistakes made, or hurt caused.
Marriage Is Not Our Primary Source of Joy Marriage brings a lot of happiness and goodness, but God remains our source of joy. A married couple will experience a range of letdowns, frustrations, and stresses of life. But regardless of the circumstances, joy for believers is found in God. In Romans 15:13, we learn that God is the one who can fill us with joy beyond all situations, “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him.” Though marriage will certainly be a source of joy in the life of a couple, one cannot expect that marriage will replace the lasting joy found in putting one’s hope in Jesus.
Marriage Is Not the Main Purpose for Our Lives If marriage isn’t for everyone, that means that the purpose and plans for our lives can be found beyond the marriage covenant. Certainly, for those who are married, they must treat their spouse with honor and work hard each day to keep their marriage healthy. Yet God still has amazing plans and purposes for us beyond getting married.
Jesus said the command we all must follow is to love God and to love others (See: Matthew 22:36-40). Jesus left all believers with the great commission to go and share the Gospel message and baptize all nations in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit (Matthew 28:16-20). Though each of us have unique purposes and plans for our lives, Jesus made the great commission a top priority for all believers. Married couples should figure out how they together can follow Jesus’ greatest commands.
Marriage Is Not the Only Way to Find Necessary Human Connection
For some, getting married seems like the only way to have a satisfying human relationship, but the Bible records many different friendships that remind us that marriage is not the sole answer to feeling lonely or isolated. Consider the beautiful friendships of David and Jonathan, or Ruth and Naomi, and even Jesus found a close friendship with Lazarus. Ultimately, our desire to be loved and accepted will only be fully satisfied by having a vibrant relationship with Jesus.
Why Is Marriage So Important in the Bible?
Marriage is sacred, covenantal and involves a commitment like none other. Only marriage is compared to Christ’s relationship with the Church. We find a wealth of verses throughout the Bible that can be applied to marriage about love, faithfulness, integrity, and peace.
God made humans to be in relationship with others, and marriage is certainly the most significant relationship someone will be in, outside of one’s relationship with God. The weight the Bible places on marriage serves as evidence to all married couples how serious they should take their vows and how wonderful the covenant of marriage can be when both husband and wife are fully committed to each other and to the Lord.
Where Does the Bible Talk about Marriage? Marriage and married couples are mentioned throughout the Bible. There are many references to how married couples should treat one another and great wisdom for anyone looking to find out what marriage is according to the Bible.
“As for you, be fruitful and increase in number; multiply on the earth and increase upon it” (Genesis 9:7).
“I will betroth you to me forever; I will betroth you in righteousness and justice, in love and compassion. I will betroth you in faithfulness, and you will acknowledge the Lord” (Hosea 2:19-20).
“I am my beloved’s, and my beloved is mine” (Song of Solomon 2:16).
“Set me as a seal upon your heart, as a seal upon your arm, for love is strong as death, jealousy is fierce as the grave. Its flashes are flashes of fire, the very flame of the Lord. Many waters cannot quench love, neither can floods drown it. If a man offered for love all the wealth of his house, he would be utterly despised”” (Song of Solomon 8:6-7).
“He who finds a wife finds what is good and receives favor from the Lord” (Proverbs 18:22).
“The husband should fulfill his marital duty to his wife, and likewise the wife to her husband. The wife does not have authority over her own body but yields it to her husband. In the same way, the husband does not have authority over his own body but yields it to his wife” (1 Corinthians 7:3-4).
“Nevertheless, in the Lord woman is not independent of man, nor is man independent of woman. For as woman came from man, so also man is born of woman. But everything comes from God” (1 Corinthians 11:11-12).
“For husbands, this means love your wives, just as Christ loved the church. He gave up his life for her” (Ephesians 5:25).
“Wives, submit yourselves to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord. Husbands, love your wives and do not be harsh with them” (Colossians 3:18-19).
“Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral” (Hebrews 13:4).
What Does the Bible Say about Divorce?
In the Old Testament, divorces were permitted but never part of God’s plan. In the New Testament, Jesus affirmed this concept:
“’Why then,’ they asked, ‘did Moses command that a man give his wife a certificate of divorce and send her away?’ Jesus replied, ‘Moses permitted you to divorce your wives because your hearts were hard. But it was not this way from the beginning. I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another woman commits adultery’” (Matthew 19:7-9).
Though the Bible is clear that divorce, except for in the case of adultery, is not permitted, that doesn’t make divorce the unpardonable sin. The words of Jesus remind any married couple who is struggling to keep their marriage and make the changes in heart, action and word that will lead to a healthier marriage to last a lifetime.
By meeting regularly with a pastor or licensed counselor, and practicing prayer, many marriages have been saved. Through the work of both husband and wife, spouses have been able to rediscover their love and commitment to honor God and the covenant they made.
What Does the Bible Say about Gay Marriage?
There are no examples given of gay marriage in the Bible. What we read in Scripture is God affirming the marriage of one man and one woman. Having multiple wives, concubines, or same sex intimate relations is considered sinful and a perversion of God’s original design for marriage and human sexuality.
“Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural sexual relations for unnatural ones. In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed shameful acts with other men and received in themselves the due penalty for their error” (Romans 1:26-27).
The Bible’s message is clear and teaches that marriage is between one man and one woman, and names homosexuality as sin. Though we cannot deny biblical truth about gay marriage, we as the body of Christ can continue to love all people, share the Gospel message, and help others enter into a relationship with Jesus that will transform believers from the inside out.
How Can Christians Have a Healthy, Biblical Marriage?
A healthy marriage is had by two spouses who remain faithful to the covenant they made with God. Faithfulness to one another, respect and love are important qualities for a marriage. Showing forgiveness, practicing peace, and together serving the Lord will help Christians to maintain a health marriage. There are numerous biblical principles that we can apply to the marriage relationship. The verses below are a mere sampling of practices that can help create a healthy, loving marriage that will last a lifetime.
“As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another” (Proverbs 27:17).
“Do for others what you would like them to do for you” (Matthew 7:12).
“May the Lord make your love increase and overflow for each other” (1 Thessalonians 3:2).
“So, encourage each other and build each other up, just as you are already doing” (1 Thessalonians 5:11).
“Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace” (Ephesians 4:2-3).
“My dear brothers and sisters, be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to get angry” (James 1:19).
“Most important of all, continue to show deep love for each other, for love covers a multitude of sins” (1 Peter 4:8).
Once humankind lost their place in the Garden of Eden and began living in the reality of a fallen, sinful world, we see God’s original design for marriage become twisted (such as biblical figures having multiple wives and concubines), which is heartbreaking and far from the purpose God designed for marriage.
Yet when we look to the Bible, we discover God’s truth about marriage versus society’s perverse version. From God’s word, we find that marriage is a holy union of two becoming one, rooted in mutual love, faithfulness, and honor between husband and wife.
Now is the time to write why you are ultimately praying to God in this letter. Tell him what is troubling you or share your joy with him. Whatever is on your heart, give it to God in this prayer letter.
If you are praying to thank God, try writing something like this: “I am thanking you because _________________ and I am grateful, Lord.”
If you are praying to ask for forgiveness, write something like this: “I come to you humbled and subservient, asking for your forgiveness. I am a sinner, but you have saved me by your grace and offered me your love even though I am not worthy.”
If you are praying for guidance, briefly explain the situation that is troubling you and ask for His help. For example: “I am struggling with the decision about whether or not to take this new job offer. It is a great opportunity for me, but I am worried about how it will affect my family. Please guide me to the right path and let me know what is Your will for my life.”
The spoken word of God is the thought of God in manifestation. In Greek Language it is called “Rhema”. Before God speaks a word, that word had always taken shape in his heart. In this lesson, we are going to study what the spoken word of God is all about.
What is the spoken word?
This is the thought of God in manifestation. The word of God first takes shape in the heart of God before it’s spoken. No wonder Mathew 12: 34 says ” Out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks”
Before He spoke the non-existent world into existence, He first thought about it. The thought of God eventually became the spoken word. This word from the debth of His heart is Himself (John1:11).
Every word that comes from God’s mouth has power and authority. In the same way, when we make a declaration or a confession, it is an expression of our faith. The Lord, through the prophet Isaiah, uses the example of rain. He said in the same way that it falls from the sky and waters the ground, so that seeds yield fruit for the one who sowed them and bread to the eater, so is the Word that comes from the mouth of God. It will not return to Him empty, but will accomplish everything He wants it to and will achieve the purpose for which He sent it. The Word of God is a messenger that cannot return until it has fulfilled His mission.
When you make a confession, it becomes a decree. You can confess your dreams. All you have to do is say what you believe and desire. As you confess it, you are activating the spiritual realm.
In the same way, if someone speaks a negative word, that word activates the demonic spiritual realm. This allows the demonic powers to follow you, so that everything you are saying comes to pass. On the other hand, if you declare the promises of God, you activate the angelic realm that will come to your aide so that you can reach everything you desire in your heart. Solomon said, “…you have been trapped by what you said, ensnared by the words of your mouth” (Proverbs 6:2). The sort of declarations you make will be reflected in your life, whether it is a positive word or a negative word. Decide to speak words that build you up and strengthen your faith in God.
“As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is my word that goes out from my mouth: it will not return empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.
The nature of God’s spoken word
How would you describe the word of God? Various descriptions are offered in the Bible. The prophet Jeremiah, for instance, described it as both a fire and a hammer (Jer. 23:29). James described it as a mirror of the soul (James 1:25). Paul described it as a sharp two-edged sword that can pierce even to the dividing asunder of the soul and the spirit, discerning the thoughts and intents of the heart (Heb. 4:15). These descriptions are all poetic and memorable. But the Sweet Psalmist of Israel gives us a description of the word of God that is as thorough as it is poetic.The nature of Bible.
After describing the Book of Nature’s limited revelation of the Creator (Ps. 19:1-6), David begins to describe the more complete Book of Revelation, His word. In verses seven through nine, David offers three couplets of verse that define the word of God and it’s relationship to man.
The word of God is creative. The spoken word was the only tool used in the creation of the whole world. God’s word is not different from Him, Neither is any of them older than the other.
God’s word is creative. Review the following verses and see the implications of each concerning the creative power of God’s word.
Gen 1:3 3 Then God said,”Let there be light”; and there was light. Col 1:16-18 16 For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him. 17 And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist.
John 1:1-4 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made.
Ps 33:6 6 By the word of the LORD the heavens were made, And all the host of them by the breath of His mouth.
Ps 33:9 9 For He spoke, and it was done; He commanded, and it stood fast.
Ps 148:1-5 Praise the LORD!
Praise the LORD from the heavens; Praise Him in the heights! 2 Praise Him, all His angels; Praise Him, all His hosts! 3 Praise Him, sun and moon; Praise Him, all you stars of light! 4 Praise Him, you heavens of heavens, And you waters above the heavens!
5 Let them praise the name of the LORD, For He commanded and they were created.
Heb 1:2-3 2 has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds; 3 who being the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His power, when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high,
So we see that all things have been created by God’s word, Jesus is God’s word, and at a point in history, God’s word became flesh and came to live among us. The key thing to observe here is that God’s word is creative in nature. When God speaks, stuff happens – things come into existence.
Rom 4:17-18 17(as it is written, “I have made you a father of many nations”) in the presence of Him whom he believed — God, who gives life to the dead and calls those things which do not exist as though they did;
God himself is the word
God’s word is not different from God and neither of them is older than the other. God and His word are all from the beginning of days.
I think most believers don’t view God’s word as being creatively powerfully in this way. Many believers hear the term “God’s word” and immediately think of scripture. The Bible certainly is the word of God, but the term “God’s word” refers to more than scripture. But even if we narrowly speak of God’s word in terms of scripture, do we really think of God’s word expressed through scripture as having creative power? I don’t think so. Not usually.
Let us evaluate the scriptures below to understand more.
But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God. For what man knows the things of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so no one knows the things of God except the Spirit of God. Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God. These things we also speak, not in words which man's wisdom teaches but which the Holy Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual. But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. But he who is spiritual judges all things, yet he himself is rightly judged by no one. Icorrinthians 2:10-15
because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse, because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Professing to be wise, they became fools, and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man—and birds and four-footed animals and creeping things. Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies among themselves, who exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.
Romans 1: 19-25
Jesus said to him, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. "If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also; and from now on you know Him and have seen Him." Philip said to Him, "Lord, show us the Father, and it is sufficient for us." Jesus said to him, "Have I been with you so long, and yet you have not known Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; so how can you say, 'Show us the Father'? Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me? The words that I speak to you I do not speak on My own authority; but the Father who dwells in Me does the works. JOHN14:6-10
There, I urge you brethren, let us meditate on the word of God day and night. It is alive and active. With It we will overcome these tribulations. Amen
There is something unique in taking the word of God raw as it is, without any frills. Many times, our application of God’s words reflects verbosity, but the truth is that God’s word does not require any theological dressing or interpretation. It only requires raw application. It works when we apply it’s truth in our lives.
Dieticians and nutritionists emphasize the value of eating most fruits and vegetables raw. They argue that taking them raw guarantees getting the best of of them in the terms of food value [nutrients]. It’s the same with God’s word. Anything Good says about your life, your marriage, your business, your health etc, is guaranteed as you believe it raw, without additions or subtractions.
We have seen so far, that God’s intention for us is that the wickedness that is in the world should not affect us. Now, we need to find out more about where to stand to have the word of God established in us. As the word gets unfolded to you, please swallow it raw, it is the word of God that gives life.
In Numbers 35: 9-15 and Joshua 20:1-6, God instructed the children of Israel to set aside some appointmented places known as the city of refuge. The essence of these cities was to provide a place of refuge for anyone who inadvertently killed someone and was being pursued by the avenger of blood.
But there is a city of refuge which is God, where you can run to for covering. As the end draws near, the wicked will do more wickedness but the city of refuge is your shield against the wickedness of the wicked. No city can be more secured than the city of refuge, because that is where God dwells.
So, where is this city of refuge?
The city of refuge is called Zion, the assembling place of the children of God. God has respect for places, that’s why he said:
For the Lord hath chosen Zion, he hath desires it for his inhabitation. This is my rest forever: here I will dwell, for I have desired it.
Zion is the place ordained by God as the refuge for the oppressed; it is the place of appointment with God. That is where God takes time to relate with His people.
The Lord is telling me to tell you to keep personal appointments with Him in Zion, apart from regular church meetings. This provides a greater covering and guarantee against the wickedness the devil targets at you. He said:
He said: You must have greater respect for my holy habitation, where I have chosen to put my name, for your own coverage and refuge".
When Hanna stood before the Lord, it was not during regular service, it was during break! Others were feasting outside, but Hannah was keeping an appointment with the Lord. No wonder God heard her cry and delivered her.
Anywhere God’s people gather together in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, God has put his name there and it is Zion, His dwelling place. Everywhere you see people being drawn to God and are getting saved, healed, transfigured and blessed generally, that’s God’s habitation, and he is the one drawing people there.
Zion is not an ordinary geographical location. It is God’s inhabitation; even the city of refuge, where God keeps appointments with His people and guarantees them refuge from the wicked one. Jesus said in Mathew 11:28
Come unto me all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
If you are cheated, oppressed, robbed or deprived in any way, He said,”Come unto me and seek redress, come show me the avenger of blood that is after you and I will defend you”.
I urge you brethen, to keep appointments with God. Let there be a set apart alter for Him in your house and workplace. You will tell the difference. Jesus is still available for you.
Listen carefully I have so much to tell you – Jesus
“All this I have told you so that you will not fall away.
2 They will put you out of the synagogue; in fact, the time is coming when anyone who kills you will think they are offering a service to God.
3 They will do such things because they have not known the Father or me.
4 I have told you this, so that when their time comes you will remember that I warned you about them. I did not tell you this from the begtinning because I was with you. John 16:1-4(NIV)
Our Lord Jesus Christ didn’t leave us his children under any illusion about the consequences of following him. He urged us to be prepared for what is ahead of us
Are you prepared?
Jesus didn’t call us out to keep us stranded. He knew what we are going to face in these stormy times, He knew that churches would be under lock down
Jesus earlier told us in John 14:20-24, when he met the Samaritan woman at the well. You could remember that.
20 Our ancestors worshiped on this mountain, but you Jews claim that the place where we must worship is in Jerusalem.”
21 “Woman,” Jesus replied, “believe me, a time is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem.
22 You Samaritans worship what you do not know; we worship what we do know, for salvation is from the Jews.
23 Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks.
24 God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.”
My question is, my dear brethren, are you a true worshiper or you believe in church going?
Jesus reveals the cure of this situation/pandemic
5 but now I am going to him who sent me. None of you asks me, ‘Where are you going?’6 Rather, you are filled with grief because I have said these things.7 But very truly I tell you, it is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Advocate will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you.8 When he comes, he will prove the world to be in the wrong about sin and righteousness and judgment: 9 about sin, because people do not believe in me; 10 about righteousness, because I am going to the Father, where you can see me no longer; 11 and about judgment, because the prince of this world now stands condemned.12 “I have much more to say to you, more than you can now bear.13 But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come.14 He will glorify me because it is from me that he will receive what he will make known to you. 15 All that belongs to the Father is mine. That is why I said the Spirit will receive from me what he will make known to you.”
Jesus itemizes the holy spirit’s ministry in the life of the believerd. Meditate on them again.
How does this impact our lives?
Joy after sadness
16 Jesus went on to say, “In a little while you will see me no more, and then after a little while you will see me.”
17 At this, some of his disciples said to one another, “What does he mean by saying, ‘In a little while you will see me no more, and then after a little while you will see me,’ and ‘Because I am going to the Father’?”
18 They kept asking, “What does he mean by ‘a little while’? We don’t understand what he is saying.”
19 Jesus saw that they wanted to ask him about this, so he said to them, “Are you asking one another what I meant when I said, ‘In a little while you will see me no more, and then after a little while you will see me’?
20 Very truly I tell you, you will weep and mourn while the world rejoices. You will grieve, but your grief will turn to joy.
21 A woman giving birth to a child has pain because her time has come; but when her baby is born she forgets the anguish because of her joy that a child is born into the world.
22 So with you: Now is your time of grief, but I will see you again and you will rejoice, and no one will take away your joy.
23 In that day you will no longer ask me anything. Very truly I tell you, my Father will give you whatever you ask in my name.
24 Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete.(John 16:16-24)
And then after a little while, sorrow will turn to overwhelming Joy to the children of God while the world celebrate their victory, but the believers brief, temporary sorrow will turn into Joy.
In similar way, we are in anguish and suffering today as we continue to await Christ’s return and deliverance from this evil age.
Paul also describes it as a light momentary affliction preparing us for an external weight of glory beyond all comparison. (2 Corinthians 4:12)
So, let us fix our eyes and thoughts on the return of Jesus Christ.
I want to be a true disciple of the Lord, I want to deny myself, carry my cross and follow Him, whatever the cost, whatever it takes, before I’m gone, and truly preach the gospel. I want to preach the cross again.
Benny Hinn In a recent interview with his Son-in-law Michael Koulianos, Pastor Benny Hinn shared from his heart, things he has never publicly shared.
Recall that earlier this month, the world woke up in shock as the healing evangelist renounced the prosperity gospel, announcing he was quitting prosperity preaching because the Holy Spirit was fed up with it.
“I think it’s time we say it as it is; the Gospel is not for sale, the blessings of God are not for sale and miracles are not for sale, and prosperity is not for sale,” – Pastor Benny Hinn.
In this recent interview, he shares;
“I don’t like it anymore, the word prosperity, because when you say the word prosperity, people start thinking negative about the word. I would rather say the blessings of the Lord. does God want to bless us? yes; does He want us to succeed in live, yes, of cause, He promised to meet our needs, that’s in the scripture, but when I hear a man today saying, sow this amount and claim the promise of God, it’s not in the bible. it’s not because you cannot put a price on the promise of God, that grieves the Holy Spirit, it’s an offense to the Lord.”
“When messages are preached today in some places, they abuse the truth of the message, they focus on what am I getting back, not what am I doing for the Lord I love.“
“I believe in giving, you can not love Jesus and not be a giver, because love is giving and giving is loving.”
“I said those same things, because of pressure, I was trapped. I went to a certain place not long ago, I ministered and people where healed and blessed, and the man who had me forced me into a position that I hated being in. When I went I said, this is not me anymore, I don’t want this, because they trap you into a position you don’t want to be in. Then I said, it’s time for me to tell the world, but I don’t think many would listen. This is a soul matter, this is my heart, I don’t want to grieve the Holy Spirit anymore. And I said Lord, I’ve grieved you a lot in my past, I don’t want to grieve you anymore.”
“I want to be a true disciple of the Lord, I want to deny myself, carry my cross and follow Him, whatever the cost, whatever it takes, before I’m gone, and truly preach the gospel. I want to preach the cross again.”
“Some of the miniters are not happy with me, it doesn’t move me at all, I only want one person (God) to be happy with me. I’m never going to go back, never, ever.“
“And I told my staff, you can’t put anything in the mail that I don’t believe anymore”.
Pastor Benny Hinn shares from the heart things he has never publicly shared. The Full Video below:
When God created the heavens and the earth he did so by speaking. He said let there be and there was. God in his great power literally spoke the world into existence. He spoke into what was void and empty. From that came this beautiful world that we see all around us.
The question I want to pose to you is, has God passed this same power and authority to you and I? Can you really speak things into existence? There are scriptures that seem to support this point of view so let’s analyze some of those so we can find the answer to this question.
Let’s be clear: your words are powerful. Proverbs 18:21 tells us that life and death are in the power of the tongue. That’s right, your words can speak life and encouragement to a person’s soul. They can also be discouraging words, shooting holes in people’s ambition and bringing death to their dreams.
Words Are Powerful
On a positive note, consider all the people who have been inspired by someone telling them a word of encouragement. I remember having a conversation with my pastor and I was telling him about a book I was writing. The first words out of his mouth were “how can I help you?” Those five words were a source of motivation and encouragement to me. They really inspired me and helped me to get the book done.
Understand that your words have power
But is there a limit to that power? A Commonly Misquoted Scripture In some Christian circles, you may hear people say “speak those things that are not as though they are.” Usually this is said with great faith – with the thought of bringing something that you want to pass. Let me be clear, I am not trying to discredit anyone’s faith. I have no interest in doing that because I believe people who say this truly believe. The problem is the quote of the verse is incomplete. Here is the full verse in Romans 4:17:
“(as it is written, ‘I have made you a father of many nations’) in the presence of Him whom he believed—God, who gives life to the dead and calls those things which do not exist as though they did;” (NKJV).
(For context, the father of many nations to which Paul is referring is Abraham.)
What you notice in this verse is that there is someone who can call to being things that do not exist, as though they do. That person is God. Though your words are powerful and can have tremendous impact in people’s lives, your words alone do not have the power to call things that do not exist into being. That right and power is only reserved for God alone.
Your responsibility is to let your faith be in the God who calls things into existence and not in your own ability to do that. In other words, be like Abraham. God told him he would give him a son in his old age. Abraham believed what God said, even though it took 25 years. Because Abraham believed God, what God said came to pass in Abraham’s life. Let your faith not be in your own words, let your faith be in God’s word. Here is what we know about God’s word:
“So is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it” (Isaiah 55:11).
Trusting God’s word is the greatest guarantee that you will ever have in your life.
But Didn’t Jesus Say… Listen to the words of Mark 11:23:
“For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says” (emphasis added).
When we look at this verse, we seem to have the same conundrum. What you see again is the power of your words. Does Jesus really mean that all it takes is for you to speak to a mountain and as long as you believe, that mountain will move? It appears on the surface that your words alone are being given the ability to have mountain-moving power. Before you make that final analysis, let’s consider the full context. Look at Mark 11:22:
“So Jesus answered and said to them, ‘Have faith in God.’”
With the full context, we can now put this whole thought together. What I want you to focus on is what the object of your faith is. Is it your words or is it God? The object of your faith must be God. The power in faith is not faith itself – it is the object of that faith. It is faith in God that makes the impossible possible. Here is what Tony Evans said about this in The Tony Evans Bible Commentary:
“The most important aspect of faith, then, is the worthiness of its object. You must be trusting in the right thing. You can place tremendous faith in the tooth fairy or Santa Claus but you’ll be disappointed. If, however, you have true, vibrant faith in the God of the Bible, you have spiritual authority to access divine power.”
The result of mountain-moving faith is not coming just from “what” you say. The result of mountain-moving faith is coming from “who” you are believing in. Believe God and believe his word, for that gives you access to his divine power. It is that power alone that will move the mountains and change the situations in your life.
What Do You Do Now?
I want to encourage you to speak. Know for certain that life and death are in the power of your tongue, so speak. Speak words of encouragement, life and hope to those around you. Speak God’s promises over your life. Speak to yourself and remind yourself who you are in Christ. Speak and encourage yourself in the Lord. Speak the word of God into your situations. Speak to the mountains and challenges in your life and don’t doubt that they will move.
However, in the speaking, remember to put your faith not in the words you speak, because that is not where the power comes from. Put your faith in God who has promised to bring his word to pass. This is the true source of your power. Let your faith be solely in God and his word because we know that his word will accomplish the purpose for which it was sent.
Former Satanist, Prostitute And Drug Addict Turns Preacher Of Christ.
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Sister Jennifer cried out to God and He responded with forgiveness and new life. She now works with a couple Churches in New Orleans and preaches outside the only abortion clinic in New Orleans.
She gave details of what happens inside many of those bars on Bourbon Street and how politicians, judges and police are involved in sex acts within certain buildings of the French Quarter. What a testimony to now stand with us against the very streets she worked on and just for record when she preached on Bourbon Street she mainly addressed the women walking.