Monday, 11 December 2017

Does it Matter?

A friend of ours is very big into the Hebraic roots and it permeates his every word with regards to church, fellowship, end-times, etc!  I enjoy listening to him but am cautious in just following his thoughts as, truly, I do not know enough to know if he is right or not.

Currently he speaks a lot of "The Two House" concept which, with my very basic understanding of things means that the 10 tribes of Israel that are "lost" are known as Ephraim and are to be found in the greater western Christian population.  God is seeking to bring them back to Israel so that Judah (the current Jews of the day) and Israel are reunited.

There is that theory....

Then there is the more widely recognised and accepted theory that the lost 10 tribes of Israel are the Jewish people spread all around the world, and it is they the Lord is seeking to restore back to Israel.  Each tribe can be traced to a certain area of the world etc.

There is that theory....

And then I ask myself, which ever theory is correct, be it Two House, or be it the Jewish diaspora, does it really matter?  And if it matters, why?

God calls us to love Israel:
Psalm 122 v 6:  Pray for the peace of Jerusalem, they shall prosper that love thee.
Gen 12 v 2-3:  (2) And I will make you a great nation, And I will bless you, And make your name great; And so you shall be a blessing; (3)And I will bless those who bless you, And the one who curses you I will curse. And in you all the families of the earth will be blessed." 

God says that upon our salvation we are grafted into the vine and we become sons of Abraham, to whom His promises are made:
Rom 11 v 23And they also, if they do not continue in their unbelief, will be grafted in, for God is able to graft them in again. 


Gal 3 v 27-29:  (27) For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. (28) There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. (29) And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham's descendants, heirs according to promise.


So my question is again, does it matter if we are part of the missing tribes of Israel or not?  Because by Paul's words we can see that we are adopted into the family of God, and thus we are part of, His tribe shall we say, anyway!

If you can set me straight on the above matter with biblical reference I would be very grateful.  As things stand, for me, it matters not where I have come from, but it matters greatly to Whom I belong, and where I am headed.

I do also believe that as a Christian, whose responsibility it is to love Israel, I need to learn more about that nation and its history.  Not to change my walk with Christ, but to understand His love for Israel and for me, more deeply.

God bless
Tracy

Saturday, 25 November 2017

Weapons of Spiritual Warfare - The Word!

It is true that the mind is a battlefield.  A fight rages on in our thoughts on a daily basis.  We have choices.  We can choose to believe good, positive stuff, or we can believe the negative horrible stuff.  The problem is, in order to make the right choice we have to first acknowledge that there is a battle raging on in our heads.  And at the end of the day, whatever wins in your head, moulds your heart and comes out of your mouth.

If you choose to absorb all your thoughts in hatred, hatred will harden your heart, and words of hatred will spew out of your mouth.  You may try to control it, but eventually it will spill out.

If you choose to focus on the good in your head, thoughts of grace, extending mercy even when not deserved, deflecting rejection and heart-ache with love.  Choosing joy when everything around you tells you there is nothing to be joyful about, your heart remains supple (and yes, vulnerable too) and the words that come out of your mouth are humble, exhort, build up and encourage....

So, how does one control that battlefield in the mind?  How does one start to win the war?  Firstly, it is a daily battle.  Not one won overnight, and for good!  There is a struggle for your soul daily and you either fight for the winning side, Jesus, or you fight for the losing side, Satan!  Either way, whoever is winning gets your soul.  You have to ask yourself, in whose hands do you want your soul?  I know what my answer is!


I have found that the best way for me to counteract negative thoughts, thoughts of depression, failure, rejection, insecurity, unworthiness, being unlovable, is to read God's Word.  I try to start every day in the Word.  I make a cup of tea, sit down with my bible, pen, highlighters, pencil, eraser, note book, etc (yes, I am a stationary geek who loves stationary 😊).

Sometimes what I read doesn't go in.  Sometimes it seems irrelevant, sometimes boring!  But I choose to read it any way because I believe that obedience to read the Word will result in growth and understanding.  And every time I read something that I have read before, something else comes out of it for me.  A new understanding, or a new vantage point.  Sometimes I read something and it slaps me in the face!  Jumps out at me with its obviousness or relevance to my circumstance.  Sometimes I write a scripture down, and hold onto it, and try to remind myself of it throughout a day, to encourage me, to lift me up out of negative thoughts, replacing those negative thoughts with the Word of the Lord.

I do these things because I believe as the Word says, that the Word is Jesus, and that there is power in the Word.  I believe faith comes from hearing the Word, and that in hearing the Word, my faith grows and the battle in my head is a little easier to control and dictate to.  I choose the winning side, I choose Jesus, because for my soul to be in His hands is life, and if not His hands, then death and darkness.  Truly, who wants that?!

Heb 4 v 12: For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
God's word will guide in all truth, not only around you but in you, in your heart!

Ps 119 v 105:  Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.
God's word will illuminate your way, guide you in your circumstances, and relationships!

Luke 11 v 28:  But He said, “More than that, blessed are those who hear the word of God and keep it!”
God's word blesses those who not only read it, but obey it, and follow it!

Matt 24 v 35:  Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away.
God's word lasts forever, and is eternal, just as He is!

What a powerful weapon the Word is!  It will deal with your heart, and with your words and actions.  It will guide you in relationship and deed.  God's Word is a Spiritual weapon like no other!

God bless
Tracy


See also:

Spiritual Weapons of Warfare post 1 - Weapons of Spiritual Warfare - Worship!
Spiritual Weapons of Warfare post 2 - Weapons of Spiritual Warfare - Prayer!
Spiritual Weapons of Warfare post 3 - Weapons of Spiritual Warfare - Love!




Wednesday, 4 October 2017

Will We Recognise Him?

Recently I have been mulling over all the happenings in the world.  So much tragedy!  So much hurt and pain!  So much devastation.  A lot of this is brought on by the evil in the world, yes, but it is in the aftermath of these things that we see so much of the heart that is in many men and women worldwide.  Those who give their time, their effort, their money, to help when they did not need to.  There are everyday heros that come to light in the aftermath of these events.

However, none of the above is my point today 😊.  I want to say though, that although the world is full of angst and trouble, the heart of many still beats for its fellow man.

So in my thinking and mulling I wondered about the end times and the various "prophesies" that people have, the dreams and visions being spoken of.  Some contradict one another!  Some are downright weird!  Some we truly want to believe, and others we fear for their content!  All these things led me to wonder if we would recognise Jesus when He arrives.  Not only that, would I have recognised that Jesus was the Son of God, had I been there back in the day?  Back when He walked among people as a man?  Would I have been in awe and wanted more, or would I have thought this guy is nuts and moved on?  Or would I have feared Him as other-worldly and run a mile?

His word says that many will come in His name (Matt 24 v 5:  "For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many,  
and
Luke 21 v 8:  And He said: “Take heed that you not be deceived. For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am He,’ and, ‘The time has drawn near.’ Therefore do not go after them..
Today, would we know they are not real if they were not overly obvious in their speech and manner?  Would we know whether we were being fooled or not?


In my quiet time this morning I read John 10 and this is what it says:
John 10 v 5:  "Yet they will by no means follow a stranger, but will flee from him, for they do not know the voice of strangers." 
Jesus was speaking to the pharisees.  They knew the word better than most, and did not recognise Jesus as the Son of God. 
Jesus says further:  vs 14 "I am the good shepherd;  and I know My sheep, and am known by My own."  
And again in vs 27 "My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they know Me." 

As I was reading through this (read John 10 in its entirety) I started to realise that if I want to be able to recognise Jesus should He come and stand before me, I need to know His voice, and to know His voice I need to spend much time in the Word so that I will recognise what it is that He says.

My conclusion is this, Jesus wants me to recognise Him, He wants me not to be fooled, and He gives me the tools to do this, His word, His Holy Spirit Who lives within me, Who will be my guide and my conscience putting either peace in my heart or a stay, a warning, that all is not right. 

Learn to know His voice, so you will be among His sheep who recognise their Good Shepherd!

God bless
Tracy

Monday, 25 September 2017

Weapons of Spiritual Warfare - Love

1 Corinth 13 v 4 - 8(a):  Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; (5) does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; (6) does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; (7) bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.  (8a) Love never fails.....


Love suffers long,
Love is kind,
Love doesn't envy,
Love does not brag,
Love is not prideful,
Love does not behave rudely.
Love isn't selfish,
Love is not provoked,
Love does not think badly of someone,
Love does not think evil of you,
Love does not rejoice when evil is done,
Love rejoices in the truth,
Love bears all things,
Love believes in you,
Love hopes in and for you,
Love endures all things,
Love NEVER fails.....

Imagine living and breathing in this manner?  Where would be the opportunity for revenge?  Where would be the opportunity or ability to destroy another?  Where would be the ability or desire to hurt another?  Where would be the signs of selfishness and selfish ambition?  Where would be the desire to encourage evil?  Where would be the loneliness experienced the world over?  If we only but loved, we would have no battles to fight.  We would have no wars to contend with!  We would have joy, unity, faithfulness, service, willing sacrifice of time and resources!

We would have all the God desired for us to have.  It is ours for the taking... Let us do all, to love!

What a powerful weapon love is!

God bless
Tracy

See also:
Previous Warfare post - No. 1:   Weapons of Spiritual Warfare - Worship
Previous Warfare post - No. 2:  Weapons of Warfare - Prayer!

Coming Soon:
Next Warfare Post - No. 4:  Weapons of Spiritual Warfare - The Word, The Sword!

Friday, 1 September 2017

Weapons of Spiritual Warfare - Prayer!

There is no doubt that prayer is a power weapon we have in our spiritual arsenal.  It is however one that for me I find very challenging.  Mostly because I find myself listing all my woes, or wants, to the Lord.  But that is the great thing about being on a journey with the Lord as your Saviour.  That's the amazing thing about "running the race"!  You learn ALL the time!  You improve, you find lack and find a way to change things.

My prayer life has improved much over the years.  From moments of shear desperation, to  moments of joy.  I am learning that the model of how to pray that the Lord gave us, is a great one to follow.


Firstly, we honour God as our Lord and Saviour, maker of heaven and earth, 
Secondly, thank Him for all we have,
Thirdly, ask for His forgiveness, and extend forgiveness to others,
Fourthly, prayer of protection from the evil in this world,
Fifthly, acknowledging that all power and all glory is His...

That is my take on it at any rate.  There is so much power in prayer.  We can focus on WHO is in power, we can acknowledge to ourselves WHO has control of our environment and our circumstances.  We can choose to remove the power of the enemy over us by FORGIVING, and releasing the hurt dished out by others, to the Lord.  We release power into our lives by acknowledging that ALL power is from God. It is HE who is ALL-powerful.  It is Christ who delivers us from evil and He gives us the ability to forgive.  

And what a mighty weapon it is to be able to be thankful in times when things are hard, when things seem hopeless.  It changes our perspective, it shapes how we see where we are and what we are going through, and it helps us to continue on, knowing that God is with us always


How do we utilize prayer as a spiritual weapon:
  • Humble yourself and seek the Lord in Prayer.  It changes things.  2 Chron 7 v 14:  If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.
  • Pray whenever, wherever, always, and pray not only for yourself.  Eph 6 v 18:  And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.
  • Pray - yes, in faith - yes, but do your bit too by striving always to live in the will of the Lord.  Job 22 v 27:  You will pray to him, and he will hear you, and you will fulfil your vows.
  • Pray when things are bad, BUT also when things are great.  James 5 v 13:  Is anyone among you in trouble? Let them pray. Is anyone happy? Let them sing songs of praise.
  • A powerful tool is prayer when you pray for your enemies.  Matt 5 v 44:  But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.
  • Pray that you will be aware of any traps from the evil one.  He knows how we think so he plays to our weaknesses.  Prayer protects you.  Matt 26 v 41:  “Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.”
  • Pray that when you read the Word it WILL do a work in the renewing of your mind because in the renewing of your mind to the Lord's will, it protects you from conforming to the patterns of the world which, due to media and peer pressure can be very hard to resist.  Rom 12 v 2:  Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.
There are many more scriptures which speak to the power of prayer.  We should also see prayer as communion with the Lord.  Spending time with your good friend, or your spouse, strengthens that relationship.  So too does spending time with the Lord.  As your relationship with the Lord strengthens, you become more aware of the spiritual warfare around you, and you are able to pray more effectively, in your own life and for others.

Prayer!  An awesome and powerful weapon of spiritual warfare, given to us freely!  Don't let the "how to" of prayer stop you from just "doing it"!

God bless
Tracy

Previous Warfare post - No. 1:   Weapons of Spiritual Warfare - Worship
Next Warfare Post - No. 3:  Weapons of Spiritual Warfare - Love 

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