A Privilege to be Used


Have you ever wondered why it is that we find ourselves in the daily situations and circumstances that we do?

There are a number of answers to that question but one answer is that we are used by God as vessels to bring salvation to others as well as presenting situations before Him. What an exciting thought – to be used by the almighty Father! Is it possible the Lord would need to use us as ‘agents’ here on earth? Well, yes it is!

Continue reading “A Privilege to be Used”

A Day in the Life of the Narrow Road


“Consider it all joy”, says James from his book in the new testament, “When you encounter various trials…”

 One wonders why somebody would make that kind of statement. James goes on….. “Knowing that the testing (trying) of your faith produces endurance”. He further goes on to say,”And let endurance have its perfect (mature) result, so that you may be perfect (mature) and complete, lacking nothing”.

Continue reading “A Day in the Life of the Narrow Road”

Being a container for the Lord….


I’ve heard the expression “desperate times call for desperate measures…” and can’t help but think sometimes my prayer life is something like that. We live in desperate times. Our country’s economy is currently very difficult and as a nation, we struggle with divisions along racial lines, not to mention our ownindividual situations of debt, personal relationships and work challenges.

Desperation - Homeless
Desperation – Homeless

Prayer, which is our communication with the Lord, is obviously influenced by these factors in our lives. One might argue that if we had no challenges in our lives, we probably wouldn’t communicate with God!

Recently, I had a conversation with someone at a fellowship gathering which went something like this:
I asked him how he was. He replied the he was very well.
I enquired after his wife and he told me she too, was very well.
An enquiry about their young son brought a similar answer.
I then asked him how Jesus was…..
There was a short silence and I could see he was a bit lost for an answer.

The thought then occurred to me, that if we are in constant communication with people, we generally know how they are and what they are currently feeling. Shouldn’t it be the same with the Lord? Shouldn’t we know what He is feeling at present ?

How are we currently communicating (praying) with the Lord? Are our prayers only born out of a place of desperation? – In other words, as our personal situations become more grave, our prayers become more intense. I don’t believe there’s anything wrong with these types of prayers, but there are additional ways of communicating with our Father.

Pray - Lord Teach Us
Pray – Lord Teach Us

“Oh Lord, teach us how to pray?”

Most of us are familiar with the scripture in
in Matthew. Jesus uses this example to teach us how to pray.
It is interesting to note the following:
Firstly…
“Our Father who art in Heaven….” – Exalting HIM
“Hallowed be thy name….” – Worshipping HIM
“Thy Kingdom come….” – Desiring HIS Will
Then….
“Give us this day OUR daily bread….”

It seems our needs (if translated as ‘daily bread’) are further down the list than the position of exalting, worshipping and desiring HIS Will. A point to ponder: When we measure this against how we pray – what do we find?

The King James Version of the Bible says “Now there was leaning on Jesus’ bosom one of his disciples, whom Jesus loved.” This portrays a picture of someone who is at total peace with the Lord. Not concerned about his needs or fretting in a given situation, but just resting his head on his Father’s heart – listening….

If we go to the Lord throughout the day and place our head upon His heart, we will find the same peace and joy as we listen out for what His heart is saying to us. Not always ‘bombarding’ Him with desperate requests, but listening for His will.

John on the breast of Jesus
John on the breast of Jesus

“Give us this day OUR daily bread”. If we ask the Lord, He will not only supply our daily need, but will give us ‘bread’ for those that we come into contact with on a daily basis. It may be a physical need, a prayer and words of encouragement or perhaps just being there for them.

Let’s desire to be a container for the Lord today. Let Him use us as a vessel to bless those around us. Before we leave home today, let’s ask Him for our daily bread – that which we can deliver to others on our Father’s behalf. What a privilege to be used by Him!

From: “time with the Master…”

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Something to Celebrate? – Part Two


Last SupperIn part one we saw how wonderful it is for us to celebrate things in our lives. Our spiritual lives should be the same. We started to explore two incredible truths that are really worth celebrating. We looked at the first truth of Jesus giving up His life so that our sins may be forgotten and how to celebrate this fact. Now we will move on to the other truth and see how to celebrate real life!…..

Truth Two (of many):
Paul the Apostle in the book of Romans, explains to us that not only were our sins forgiven (by the shedding of the blood), but that our sinful NATURE was buried with Jesus, NEVER to return. This in order that we may no longer be a slave to our sinful nature. Reason to celebrate? – most definitely.Resurection Jesus

How do we celebrate this wonderful gift?

Jesus on the night He was betrayed broke bread and said, “This is My Body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of Me.” As we break the bread and proclaim His death, let us remember this powerful work that was done for us – our sinful NATURE was removed. We can now walk in the newness of life knowing that we do not HAVE TO sin anymore!

Surely, in two amazing acts that Jesus performed, we have reason to celebrate. Next time we sit with friends around a table and have communion, let us focus and be truly grateful for the freedom we have received – our sin has been forgotten, and our sinful nature removed – forever!

Yet another celebration…
What an exciting revelation – Jesus took our sinful nature into the grave with Him and when He was raised from the dead, we too, were raised together with Him, into the newness of life…” and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus” Notice here that the scripture speaks in the past tense! Heavenly Places

Such a great sacrifice and work that it is, the Lord did not intend for us to focus so much on the death of Jesus as much as on His resurrection. For it is in the resurrection of life that our ability to overcome sin is found. Seriously – if we could truly appreciate that our sinful nature has been taken away – that engine that drives us towards sin – how different our lives would be. No more being a slave to do the things I do not want to do. Reason to celebrate? – Absolutely!

Once again, what better way to celebrate this truth than to demonstrate an outward sign of what we have understood inwardly – going into a pool of water, being submerged and rising up in ‘the newness of life’ for all to see. This simple act tells the world that we understand and believe that our sin nature was removed by Jesus at His death on the cross. Of course, there is little point in celebrating something unless we understand and believe it.

Yes friends, we have many reasons to celebrate in our worldly lives, but how much more do we have reason to celebrate our spiritual lives which will last forever!

Jesus intended us to live a burden free life. Forget the things of the past – as He has – and walk in a new understanding that our natures have been renewed. Reason to celebrate – most assuredly!

From: “…time with the Master…”

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A Timeless Tale – Chapter One


 

What If?

Ancient mariners established a fix on a star, in order to navigate their way.

In order to find direction, we need to fix a starting point.

Then we make corrections, as needed, to that point as we move forward.

Continue reading “A Timeless Tale – Chapter One”

God is a Timeless Tale


“What is the purpose of my life on this earth?” – People have asked this question,more than any other in the history of humankind

Belief in God is that purpose and God is a timeless tale.

Belief in God?

Who is God and why do I need to know who God is?

Good questions – always deserving of an honest and unbiased answer. These are questions that would invite, maybe, thousands of different answers.

Why not start here: God, to you, is whom you personally perceive God to be, surely?

You could make a definitive statement, say, like some do, “God is the creator (and resulting ruler) of the universe and this statement would be supported by what is written in the Bible.

Then again, what is the Bible and how can it claim authority to make the above statement?

What is the ‘Bible”?

Bible believers will profess that what we see in the bound books of today, bearing the title ‘The Bible’ and consisting of sixty six (or if you are a Roman Catholic, Seventy two) books bound into one, and that these are the breathed word of God, and therefore give authority to this statement of who God is.

To add to this statement, there is another claim that the Bible makes:  “God is one God”, meaning that there is no other God but Him. (His gender is also confirmed in the Bible).

Such statements are the basis of Bible believing theology of Christians.

Is Christianity the only true religion?

This theology invites the question, “What about all the many other religions, outside of Bible believers, many which are much older than modern Christianity, in our world today”?

Is the God of the Christians the only God and all other religions are false?

The quick answer to this is: NO religion holds the keys to God’s Kingdom, here on earth or in the eternal realm, save God Himself.

These are very important questions to all of us fellow travellers, in the world today. They are questions that deserve honest factual answers.

Let us not be deluded, the answerers to these questions have been responsible for more wars, deaths and crusading campaigns than any other activity on the surface of the earth. This means, that there is no painless solution to answering these questions.

Let us return to the earlier statement, “God, to you, is whom you personally perceive God to be, surely”?

This discussion begun with two questions:

Who is God?

Why do I need to know who God is?

  1. Who is God?
  2. Why do I need to know who God is?

For the moment let the statement, “God is to you whom you personally perceive God to be.” be acceptable and let us move on to the second question.

Why do I need to know who God is?

To answer this question, let us deal with a few facts to begin with:

  1. We ALL have a limited lifespan on this earth. Dependent on where you live on this planet, that could range from 50 years to 80 years on average.
  2. When this lifespan ends, we die and our bodies will decompose or burned to ash, dependent on our choice of burial procedure.
  3. However, there is no scientific evidence that our souls and spirits, which during our lifetime were composite with our bodies, will face the same fate.

What happens to me after I die?

With the above indisputable facts in mind, we should, at the very least, give consideration to the question – “So, what happens after I die”?

If your answer is, “When I die that’s the end and there is nothing more”. Then it does lessen the importance of the questions, whom God is and why you need to know God.

However, If you respond, “I honestly don’t know and would be interested to find out”.

If you see no future after the death of your body, then surely you would have no need of God, whomever He might be.

Then let’s take a look at the resulting option for you in this case.

If you see no future after death of your body, then you surely would have no

The Soul consists of our intellect, emotion and will. The spirit is like an internet connection to the ethereal world

need of God, whoever God might be. So, you can just jump off the religions roundabout and relax.

If on the other hand, you believe, or even vaguely suspect, that your soul and spirit will live beyond the grave, you have a few other options.

In order for all of us being ‘on the same page’, let me give you my definition of soul and spirit.

The human soul is that part of us that consists of intellect, emotion and will.

The human spirit is a communication channel to and from the ethereal world.

Now, don’t get too fazed if you do not agree with this definition, just accept that it is a fairly good basis to continue with for now.

If you are happy then; that the soul and spirit continue into another phase of existence, you will logically decide that the next existence must have a structure of sorts.

Again, logic would suggest that if there is a structure, there will also be a management system for that structure.

What type of structure and what type of management system is ahead of you is not relevant for now. What is of greater importance is; how will you fit into this structure and management system?

If my Soul and spirit do not die with my body – what happens to them?

Like all structures and their management systems there may be rules and regulations. Possibly not the kind of rules and regulations that we are accustomed to, like, “do and do not” but more of the order of, “if you do so and so, the result will be….or if you do not do so and so the result will be….” Much like, if you forget to put fuel in your car’s petrol tank, your engine stops running; in other words, cause and effect type rules.

To recap then; if you believe or only think, that your soul and spirit live on after the body dies and that they will move into a different existence, the question arises; where can you find immigration requirements to move into this new existence? Your best choice here, if possible, is to talk to someone of authority in the immigration department.

Now this is where the matter of God enters your space.

By the way, Instead of using the name God, we could use, president, department head, CEO, whatever we like really, as long as we get the right information regarding our immigration requirements, to enter the new existence. By the way, I refer to God as ‘Him’, but it could just as easily be ‘Her’, whatever you choose. The reality is that; God is asexual, because of being Spirit and not human.

Assuming that you have decided that there is the possibility of life for the soul and spirit after bodily death, the possibility that your soul and spirit will pass into a new way of life which will be different from life here on earth. Assuming there will be a need for you to conform to the requirements needed to enter the new existence and live this new life; then you will have to take a hard look at all the various religions in the world and choose one which will offer you the immigration requirements you need.

Once you have decided which route you will take; work at it with all you worth and be happy.

Never forget this important statement:

It is not a matter of which religion is wrong or which one is right – the important thing is; will it work for you? If it works for you – good. Do not fall into the most common religious trap of believing that your religion is the only true religion; rather respect all your fellow travellers on the road of life, even if you cannot accept their religious beliefs.

There is no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ religion. There is only you and God.

Wallace Wattles, circa 1880-1914, said, “Nothing is right, nothing is wrong, nothing is good, nothing is bad. All is as it should be and all is well with the world.”

My definition of religion is: ‘the study about God, without God’. One does not need to know about God, one simply needs to know God.

Now, let us say that you do believe, or even suspect that the soul and spirit will live on after the body dies. Then, what I would like is for us to travel through the following chapters on a ‘What if…’ basis. In other words, be completely open minded on what you read.

If you don’t agree with what you read as you go along, bear with it and persevere, otherwise ‘shut’ the e-book and carry on as you are.

Should you find that you are happy with what you read, then, very definitely carry on, because, in the end you will either get your answer to the above questions or you will be, at the very least, one opinion wiser.

Should you find that you are having some difficulty with understanding what you are reading and need to ask a few questions, then jot your questions down on a piece of paper and continue reading. In all probability, you will find that your questions will be self-answering as you read along.

If this does not happen, by all means, return to the website that gave you this e-book and post your questions on the blog site.

All set? Let’s go to the first chapter…….

A Timeless Tale is a rerun series, by demand, and will appear each week from today.

All rights reserved©sirpeterjamesdotcom 2017

Picture Credit: Izaak Van Oosten – Garden of Eden – https://www.google.com/

A Timeless Tale is a twenty six-part series and is directed to souls who find the issue of religions, churches and denominations confusing. The series will run weekly from this point.

If you feel this article has value, please send this link to others, Writings are meant for people, not for dormant files in our computers and very often when we share them, it results in positive changes in the lives of individuals and communities.
If you are spiritually inclined see my other site; http://www.adcrucemchristi.com
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Give Us Our Daily Faith


In my life, I try to find simple practical solutions in my walk with the Lord. When I was young in the Lord, I found myself praying, asking for things and situations to be resolved according to how I thought they should be sorted out:, as if God needed a helping hand!

When I found that my prayers were not being answered the way I would like them to be, I began to get a little disheartened and wondered why the Lord was apparently not listening to me. I did a bit of reading up on the topic and sought counsel from various quarters. The majority of the answers seemed to point to the fact that my faith wasn’t strong enough….I had to believe more….the more my faith strengthened, the more answers I would get from the Lord and the more ‘successful’ healings I would be able to perform. Somehow, this counsel didn’t sit well with me.Faith 2

As I do, I asked the Lord to please teach me and show me more about this situation. Time went by and the Lord opened my eyes to some interesting things.

First, there is a faith which we receive by hearing the Gospel. This is believing that Jesus died on the cross, where He took take away our old sinful nature and released us from our wrong doings. This is a saving Faith. When we read the scriptures  it is difficult for us to understand in our minds, that our old natures died with Jesus some 2,000 years ago! However – by believing, in our hearts, the word of God, we will accept this truth.

Second, there is a faith which comes as part of the personal gifts we receive when we have the Holy Spirit abiding in us. This is what I call a supernatural imparting of belief or trust and is experienced when the Lord wishes to exalt himself or encourage the body of Christ in a given circumstance. Peter and John’s example in Acts 3:2-13,16 is a wonderful testimony of how the Lord imparts the gift of faith for His glory. In that instant, they believed that healing would take place (imparted by the Holy Spirit). In verse 16, Peter acknowledged that it was faith in the name of Jesus that healed the man. Once again, it is for the exaltation of God or the encouragement of His body – never for our own glory!

Third, there is a faith or TRUST in the Lord, which grows in us on a daily basis. This is how we learn to trust the Lord more and more on a day to day basis. Often we will have no doubt believing that God has the power to do something (heal, bless or change a situation), but we do not trust Him to do it at that particular time for us. Faith 3The only way we can grow in this faith (trust), is to get to know God. The more we know God (not just know about Him) and the way he does things, the more we are able to trust Him. Think about your own life – the people you trust the most are the ones you are closest to, the ones you know well. The scripture is a nice illustration of a lesson in learning to trust the Lord in a given circumstance.

We should remember when praying in a given circumstance that Jesus taught us how to pray. He requested us to say “let your will be done…” If we learn to pray like this, we have no need to be discouraged if God doesn’t answer according to our desires. It is because He is answering according to HIS will. We need to believe in  Him for the outcome and our trust in Him will grow.  After all, He is not wiser in all things?  Sometimes God allows suffering so that His will can be made complete.

So…. let’s not be condemned because our ‘faith is weak’. Let’s realise that we do believe with all our heart that God can do anything He wants to do at any time He wants to, and lets allow the Lord to use our daily circumstances to build up our trust in Him. As we do this, the Lord will give us our daily faith (trust)!

From: “time with the Master…”

Please send this link to others, Writings are meant for people, not for dormant files in our computers and very often when we share them, it results in positive changes in the lives of individuals and communities.

Please feel free to send in questions (see ‘Contact’) and comments (hit ‘Comments’
button).

 

Nursing Emotional Weaknesses


We are naturally self-centred and therefore it’s not easy for us to accept what other people say about us. We have a built in instinct to defend ourselves and criticise situations or others, if we do not approve.

Continue reading “Nursing Emotional Weaknesses”

How do I hear God


“One thing I’ve learned about relationships is that I tend to become more like the people I spend the most time with”.
Motivational speaker Jim Rohn famously said that we are the average of the five people with whom we spend the most time.

Considering the above statement by a person who is  generally promoting personal experience and scientific information, we need to accept that if we spend a lot of time with God, we will become like Him and be able to live a life of health, wealth, peace and power on this earth even as did Jesus

Continue reading “How do I hear God”

God’s Line of Authority


But I want you to know that the head of every man is Christ, the head of woman is man, and the head of Christ is God.

Continue reading “God’s Line of Authority”