Wanted; Dead or Alive


Weekly encouraging messages from our Pastor Ray…..enjoy and be uplifted.

Wanted Dead or Alive?

We’ve heard it said that Jesus paid the ultimate sacrifice for us, but I wonder if we have really applied deep thought into what actually took place on the Cross at Calvary. Normally when thinking about Jesus’s death, we are inclined to focus on His physical death, the pain suffered, how His body was disfigured and how much it was damaged. Now I certainly don’t wish to take anything away from the seriousness of His physical death, it must have been horrendous to say the least, but is His physical death what the Lord wants us to focus on?

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Loving God’s Way


Weekly encouraging messages from our Pastor Ray…..enjoy and be uplifted.

Loving God’s Way

In line with the desire to make our walk with the Lord more practical, let’s look at the most important commandment….’Love your neighbour as yourself. I’m sure we’ve heard these words many times, but have we really understood what Jesus meant? In order to appreciate His command, we need to see how it is that God intended us to love others.

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Psalm 27 – A Devotional


Another wonderful encouraging devotional from GG and sent to us by Vivi.

DENZEL WASHINGTON ONCE SAID STAYING POSITIVE DOESN’T MEAN YOU HAVE TO BE HAPPY ALL OF THE TIME. IT MEANS THAT EVEN ON HARD DAYS YOU KNOW THAT THERE ARE BETTER ONES COMING.

I LOVE HIS CONFIDENCE! DON’T YOU? BUT HOW CAN WE BE CONFIDENT IN THESE DAYS OF UNCERTAINY, AND FEAR OF THE UNKNOWN. IT IS IN CHAOTIC TIMES LIKE THESE THAT IT IS VERY EASY TO FALL INTO THE DEPTHS OF DESPAIR AND HOPELESSNESS. WE NEED AN ANCHOR TO HOLD US FAST.

ONE WAY TO DO THIS IS TO LOOK TO THE GODLY MEN AND WOMEN OF THE BIBLE – BECAUSE THEY WERE HUMAN JUST LIKE US – BUT WE CAN LEARN SO MUCH FROM THEM. HOW DID THEY FACE THEIR HARD DAYS?

DAVID IS A PERFECT EXAMPLE. HE WENT THROUGH MANY HEARTBREAKING,  FRIGHTENING  AND LIFE-THREATENING TIMES.  WHEN HE WAS YOUNG HE WAS CHASED THROUGH THE DESERT BY JEALOUS KING SAUL WHO TRIED TO KILL HIM AND TOWARDS THE END OF DAVIDS LIFE  HIS VERY OWN SON TRIED TO DO THE SAME THING.

BUT YOU KNOW RIGHT IN THE MIDDLE OF HIS DIFFICULT TIMES HE WROTE MANY PSALMS. PS 27 IS AN EXCELLENT EXAMPLE OF THAT AND I WANT TO SHARE THIS WITH YOU BECAUSE THIS PSALM IS FOR YOU AND ME TODAY. I JUST WANT TO FOCUS ON ONE VERSE. 

BUT JUST TO GET THE CONTEXT….

27 THE LORD IS MY LIGHT AND MY SALVATION; (MEANS DELIVERANCE FROM SOMETHING THAT WOULD HARM ME – SIN, SICKNESS, DISEASE – COVERS EVERYTHING) GOD IS MY SALVATION.
WHOM SHALL I FEAR?
THE LORD IS THE [A]DEFENSE OF MY LIFE;
WHOM SHALL I DREAD?….
GOES ON AND SAYS MY HEART WILL NOT FEAR

IN THIS PSALM DAVID WASN’T TALKING ABOUT SLIGHT AFFLICTIONS. LISTEN TO THE INTESITY OF HIS WORDS V3 “EVEN THOUGH WAR ARISE AGAINST ME.  IN SPITE OF ALL THIS I AM CONFIDENT.

WHERE DID THIS CONFIDENCE, ASSURANCE COME FROM? HOW WAS HE ABLE TO SAY IN SPITE OF ALL HIS HARD TIMES, THE LORD IS MY, MY SALVATION, MY DEFENSE, MY LIGHT. HOW COULD HE BE SO CONFIDENT IN UNCERTAIN AND SCARY TIMES?

HE’S GOING TO ANSWER THAT SOON BUT HE CONTINUES…

10 [G]FOR MY FATHER AND MY MOTHER HAVE FORSAKEN ME,

THIS IS LIKE READING DAVIDS DIARY.  HE IS WRITING ABOUT HIS PRIVATE LIFE, HIS PERSONAL STRUGGLES. THIS WAS A TIME OF MENTAL DARKNESS.  A HOPELESS SITUATION. A TIME OF FEAR, CHAOS, DOUBT.  BUT AGAIN LISTEN TO HIS  CONFIDENCE.

BUT THE LORD WILL TAKE ME UP. THE LORD WILL CARE FOR ME. THE LORD WILL HOLD ME CLOSE.

HOW WAS HE ABLE TO BE SO CONFIDENT? HOW WAS HE ABLE TO GET TO THAT POINT IN LIFE? WHAT WAS THAT SOMETHING THAT STOPPED HIM FROM DESPAIRING AND GIVING UP? WHERE DID DAVD FIND HOPE, THE STRENGTH TO CARRY ON.

VERSE 13 IS THE KEY

13 [J]I WOULD HAVE DESPAIRED UNLESS I HAD BELIEVED THAT I WOULD SEE THE GOODNESS OF THE LORD IN THE LAND OF THE LIVING.

NO MATTER WHAT WAS HAPPENING AROUND HIM AND TO HIM HE DEEPLY  BELIEVED THAT SOMEHOW HE WOULD SEE THE GOODNESS OF GOD. AND HE SAYS HE WOULD SEE THE GOODNESS OF GOD IN THE LAND OF THE LIVING. NOT ONE DAY WHEN I GO TO HEAVEN BUT HERE NOW HERE WHERE I AM LIVING. I WILL SEE THE GOODNESS OF GOD WORKING OUT IN MY DAILY LIFE

HE KNEW THAT GOD IS GOOD. HE BELIEVED THAT. HE WAS ABSOLUTELY SURE THAT GOD WOULD SEE HIM THROUGH HIS TRIALS. 

SO HE IS SAYING; “UNLESS I HAD SEEN, UNLESS I HAD BELIEVED IN THE GOODNESS OF GOD IN MY LIFE, IN THIS CHAOTIC WORLD RIGHT NOW, I WOULD HAVE GIVEN UP.” YOU SEE ALL OF D SENSES TOLD HIM IT’S HOPELESS OUT THERE. I’M FINISHED. BUT INSTEAD HE CHOSE TO BELIEVE THAT HE WOULD SEE THE GOODNESS OF GOD.

THE GOODNESS OF GOD. IS GENTLENESS, KINDNESS – IT’S THE GENEROSITY OF GOD. IT  IS GODS LOVE IN ACTION. JC CAME TO REVEAL HIS GOODNESS.  IN THE BOOK OF ACTS WE ARE TOLD THAT JESUS WENT AROUND DOING GOOD. JC CALLED HIM SELF THE GOOD SHEPHERD AND A GOOD SHEPHERD PROTECTS PROVIDES FOR HIS SHEEP.

IN PS 23 (WHICH WAS ACTUALLY WRITTEN AROUND THE SAME TIME AS THIS PSALM) DAVID WROTE “SURELY GOODNESS AND MERCY WILL FOLLOW ME ALL THE DAYS OF MY LIFE.” DO YOU REALISE THAT YOU ARE THE FOCUS OF GODS GOODNESS? THE GOD WHO IS GOOD IS AT THIS VERY MOMENT PURSUING YOU TO DO YOU.GOOD AND WILL IN HIS OWN WAY AND IN HIS OWN TIME SHAPE THE CHAOS INTO SOMETHING GOOD.

SO, TURN YOUR ATTENTION FROM FEAR, ANXIETY AND UNCERTAINTY TO GOD WHO IS YOUR HOPE, YOUR STRENGTH,Y OUR LIFE.   ANCHOR YOURSELF IN THE GOD WHO IS SGOOD TOWARD YOU NOW.

UNTIL NEXT TIME, THIS IS GG

STAY SAFE, STAY SANE, STAY TRUE.

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; www.adcrucemchristi.com

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Who’s Boss Around Here?


Some may be blessed enough to have a very kind and compassionate boss. Some on the other hand, may not be so blessed. Which category do you fall into?

Most people today are supposed to submit to one kind of authority or another, whether that be in a country (Government), at work (Manager) or perhaps at school/college (Student leaders/Deans). At the very least, we are all accountable to somebody near to us. Owners of companies are accountable to their employees. Husbands and Wives are accountable to each other. Presidents are accountable to their political party and the citizens of the country. All the way along in our social society, there is authority and accountability.

Scripture tells us that God appointed all who are in positions of authority… “those which exist are established by God”. This is a very interesting scripture. The scripture is followed with a warning….” Therefore, whoever resistsObedience 3 authority has opposed the ordinance of God; and they who have opposed will receive condemnation upon themselves” (Romans 13:1-7).

Paul goes on to say that the purpose of God appointing authority over us, is to teach obedience. To teach us to follow in His ways. To teach us to become more like God. In another scripture, In Phil.2:12-13, Paul tells us to …. “work out your salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure”, showing us that our path to the Lord is a daily process of change. God uses authority around us for the purpose of ‘growing’ us towards Him.

So, let’s look at this in a more practical way.

The boss, who’s my boss, has been appointed into a position of authority over me by God for a season of time, however long or short that may be. When my boss issues an instruction to me, how do I react? Do I:

  • Complete the task to the best of my ability with peace in my heart?
  • Hear what the boss said and then shortcut the task, taking the easiest route for ME and perhaps losing quality of work in the process?
  • Disobey completely because the boss doesn’t know what he/she is talking about?

If the Lord will help us to understand His word, then we will see that there is only one way to complete the task…as unto the Lord. When we rebel against our boss, we are not only rebelling against him/her, we are rebelling against God’s appointed authority over us.

The same goes for the country that we live in. “Then render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.” (Luke 20:25). Jesus tells us that we should obey the Government which is in authority over us. Worldly wisdom tells us that the crime is in getting caught disobeying. If nobody catches us disobeying, then we have got away with the infringement. However, God sees.

Jesus did not say that we should obey the government only if we agree with them…no – He said obey them. If any authority appointed by God does not obey God e.g. Does not govern the country correctly, or manage a company fairly, then God will judge them, and they will be answerable to HIM. Obviously if the government or other authority issue laws contrary to God’s word, then we cannot obey.

If we are not paying our taxes, obeying traffic laws or unfairly treating people, then we are rebelling against the authority God has placed above us. It may be easy for us to deceive the taxman in our assessments – but God sees. We are not disobeying the Government, but God alone.

If we are taking part in a social club of some sort, sport or recreation, the clubs have rules. It is very easy for us to ‘alter or bend’ the rules to suit us. It is simple to hide from the club management and get away with our wrong – but God sees.

In the book of Philippians, we see that Jesus, when He came to this earth, had to empty himself of His Godly deity obedienceand become a man in every respect (except He was sinless). Hebrews chapter 5:8 tells us that Jesus had to learn obedience – that is astounding!

When Jesus came to the earth, he came as a man in order that we would have an example to follow (1Peter 2:21-22). Therefore, if Jesus had to learn obedience, then so should we. In many previous articles, we have agreed that in our own strength, we cannot obey. We have to allow God, through His Holy Spirit in us, to teach and guide us daily.

Remember: Today when you receive an instruction, it is God who has allowed that instruction to come to you, through a vessel you may or may not see eye to eye with. Obey because God asks you, not because mankind tells you.

From: “…time with the Master…”

“…time with the Master…” is an on-going series of teachings, about lifestyle in the Church and is published bi-monthly.
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.

Please feel free to send in questions (see ‘Contact’) and comments (hit ‘Comments’
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God’s Cinderella


 

I really don’t believe God gets any kind of joy at seeing us suffering in our daily lives, as we go about the challenges we face. God certainly is not like a human being. As a genuine Father, He wishes to see us succeed in getting to know Him. Why would He want us to know Him? Simply put, so that we have someone to help and guide us daily – a spiritual Father of great wisdom, knowledge and understanding. Who better to call on during our day than one who is compassionate and caring?Calling God

God is not bound by time as we are, and therefore He can see into our future. From the ‘foundation of time’, God saw our whole life span on this earth. This is quite an astonishing thought. As a result, He knows the correct path for us to travel through time, in order to end up firmly in His spiritual kingdom forever.

In a sense we are very similar to Cinderella in the famous fable. As Cinderella’s Step Mother and sisters were jealous of her, treating her badly, so the world is the same with us. Because our world is filled with people soaked in self-centred natures, we are more often than not, in an uphill battle as our lives unfold. Inclusive in the uphill battles are the down sides – the times when we seem to miss the mark with God. Getting angry with Him, blaming Him, not managing to do the things that please Him or just misunderstanding Him.

We look at fellow believers and think that we fall far short of God’s expectations, while others are constantly flying in their walk with the Lord. We seem to use other believers as a measure, comparing ourselves to them. As we dwell on thoughts of failure, we become more demoralised and eventually believe there is no hope for us.

According to the fable, when the fairy Godmother asked Cinderella what she wanted, Cinderella replied that it didn’t matter what she wanted because it would be impossible for her wishes to be granted. The fairy Godmother’s reply to Cinderella was, “Let me be the judge of that!”Cinderella and Godmother

How many times have we thought it impossible to achieve God’s expectations…? In a way we are right! In our own strength it is impossible. However, if we allow the Holy Spirit within us to do HIS work – in us and through us – we will begin to find a greater peace flowing throughout our lives.

The truth of the matter is this: For by that one offering, He perfected forever all those whom He is making holy.

God sees us as a finished work. Isn’t that astounding? For those who have received, by grace, God’s gift of salvation, He sent His son to pay the ultimate price so that sin could be removed forever. Not only did Jesus die to remove our sin, but also to put to death our sinful nature which came into the world via Adam’s sin of disobedience. Through the death of Jesus – the scripture in Romans tells us – we are no longer slaves to sin!

As God looks upon us, He sees what we look like ‘in Him’ – our glorified bodies – our future.

If you knew that by tackling a certain difficult task, there was an absolute guarantee of a great reward at the end – you would certainly persevere through that task with excitement. And so it is with the Lord and our lives. For those God's Rewardwho have committed their lives to Him, believing by faith that change will come, He sees the finished work and is excited to commit Himself to us on a minute by minute basis. He fully commits to us because He knows His reward is great.

The final product He witnesses is worth everything He has had to put up with from us daily – our every outburst of anger, our every rebellious thought, our every tear shed. As we commit to Him, remember: He no longer sees our weaknesses but through His son, He sees the joy and peace he has longed for us to walk in.

“…And so Cinderella and the handsome Prince were married and lived happily ever after…”

YOU… ARE God’s Cinderella – married to Him – His bride – forever to live happily ever after!

From: “…time with the Master…”

“…time with the Master…” is an on-going series of teachings, about lifestyle in the Church and is published bi-monthly.
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.

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

My Armour or God’s Armour?


How many times do we feel that we have need to go out and ‘fight the good fight? How many times do we feel that if we don’t go out and fight the good fight, we will be disappointing God? How much of our own strength can we commit to this task when we have so much on our plates?

I have tried many times, rising early, believing that THIS day, I will be a good example of God’s child and stand firm, only to discover, like Peter the disciple, I am truly very weak!

The truth is, in our own strength, we cannot please God and our loving Father is very aware of this fact. The old nature, which we inherited from Adam, is just not equipped to please God.

Our loving Father has already poured out His peace into our hearts, so we should just take hold of it and allow Him to work IN us and THROUGH us, in HIS time. The ‘THROUGH us’ work will be a result of the ‘IN us’ work, just like the fruit of a tree. The tree does not have to concern itself with the fruit making, it’s bearing is a natural process. The quality of the fruit is dependent on the intake of the roots.

So it is with us. Spend time with the Lord in prayer, reading the Word and fellowship with other members of His family, and your ‘fight the good fight’ will be a natural process, not something you have to constantly drive.

What a blessing the scripture says:
Put on all of God’s armour so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies and tricks of the Devil.Armour of God 2

God’s armour…not MY armour. The ‘good fight’ is God’s battle and He encourages us not to try and fight this battle in our strength. Instead, He says…. “submit to me…”. We are His instruments, clay in the potter’s hands…

Gird your loins with truth….. loins are normally associated with giving life – we will only be able to fight the good fight to the level of our own relationship with our Father. The deeper we are in Him, the more effective our fruit to bring new life to those around us – the natural process of fruit bearing. Is it God’s fruit from within, or do we have to force it by the power of our strength?

Put on the breastplate of righteousness…. A breastplate is something that covers a large area of the body and is bright and shiny. The breastplate is seen first when a person approaches. If the breastplate is damaged and dull, it does not create a good impression. A bright shiny breastplate indicates cleanliness and righteousness. Does the fruit of righteousness shine through us as a natural process or do we have to force it by the power of our strength?

Shod your feet with the preparation of the Gospel …. Our Father’s desire is to disciple the nations. Our feet are going to take us to our families, communities and Nations. As we go, we will take the Gospel with us. The Gospel will regenerate minds and lives will begin to change. Is the fruit of the Gospel evident in us a natural process, or do we have to force it by the power of our strength?

Take up the shield of Faith …. A shield of trusting God (faith) will protect us. Sometimes we find ourselves in situations where we believe God has the power to resolve a condition, but we cannot seem to trust (or have faith) that He will do so for us in our time of need. It is at this time, that our trust in God is stretched. The more we stretch our trust, the more we will be protected in any given situation. Is our trust in the Lord evident as a natural process or do we have to force it by the power of our strength?

The Helmet of Salvation…A helmet is vital for survival, protecting the brain, the central command station. It is in the brain that the evil one begins his mission to lead us away from God. He plants a tempting thought and we begin to entertain it. If this thought is not put out of our minds, the scripture says it will take us on a path of death. Salvation in our lives is as secure as a helmet on our heads. Jesus died on the cross that we might receive Salvation as a gift (free) – all we must do is…receive it! Within the Salvation process, our minds are renewed. Are we allowing God to work IN us as a natural process in order that He can work THROUGH us, or are we resisting Him in our own strength?

From: “…time with the Master…”

This is a bi-monthly series of spiritual teachings.
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Factory Business – The Kingdom of God


Many people believe that the first time they will enter the Kingdom of Heaven will be when they pass from this earth. Do you know that the Lord gives us an opportunity of entering His Kingdom here and now? Not only does He bless us with sight to see His Kingdom, but He also gives us the power to enter while we are still alive!

The Kingdom of God (His government) is a separate system under which God does that which pleases Him.  God himself will not reverse His own Government , reason being that if He contradicts  His principles then the Evil One would have reason to question how and why He blesses people.  We need to pray for revelation of this fact to gain meaningful change in our lives.God's Franchise

What are some of these principles that make up the Kingdom of God? Jesus shares in Matthew some examples of the characteristics of those who abide in the Kingdom. Jesus says this: “We know that …… is sin but I tell you that if you even think of these things you have committed the sin in your heart”. There are many of these principles spoken of in the bible and we need to ask God to reveal them to us in order that we can start to practice them in our lives.

The result of practicing Godly principles in our lives is blessing from God (here and now). There will be rewards in the Kingdom of Heaven (after we leave this earth).

The Kingdom of God is here and now and among us. The Kingdom of Heaven is where we are ‘In Christ’ and this will be our eternal resting place after we leave the earth.

Here and now as we are convicted of our wrongful ways, we call out to the Lord for help. As we do this from a genuine heart, God grants Salvation to us.

The first part (1) of our Salvation – Justification – has been completed – Jesus forgiving our sins and taking our sinful nature away.

The third part (3) of our salvation – Glorification – has been completed – our Glorified body is seated (past tense) ‘in Christ’ at the right hand of the Father in Heavenly places.

The second part (2) of our salvation – Sanctification – is ongoing (although has been completed in Gods eyes). Day in and day out as we live our lives learning to practice Godly principles, we become more like the character God wants us to be.

As we daily become more like the character Gods wants of us,  there will be reward for us in the Kingdom of Heaven. This reward will grow brighter and brighter as we move closer to God on our daily walk here, resulting in Our Glorified bodies growing brighter and brighter in the Kingdom of Heaven!

The practical outworking of this can be likened to a factory that purifies Gold. In section one of the factory, the Gold ore enters and Goldbegins its journey of purification. In the next and final section of the factory is a huge display cabinet where the purified Gold is on display in magnificent glory. The Gold ore experiences extreme temperatures before it can be made so pure.

Our lives are exactly the same. We see the Kingdom of God now – when we become born again and we enter the Kingdom now – when we become born of water and of the spirit . We are now in section one of the factory. Our daily struggles as we learn to practice Kingdom principles, is the refining process.tells us and all these situations are working for our good.

As we daily move through section one of the factory, we are able to see the purified gold in the cabinet in section two. The gold in the cabinet is shining bright – therefore by faith, as we do God’s principles, we can believe our Glorified bodies are going from brightness to brightness!  What a glorious encouragement!

Pray for revelation of this process so that our lives on this earth will be more purposeful and driven to seek God.

From: “time with the Master…”

“…time withe Master…” is an on-going series of teachings, about lifestyle in the Church and is published bi-monthly.
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.

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

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”

The Business of God’s Love – Part One


In line with the desire to make our walk with the Lord more practical, let’s look at the second most important commandment…..Love your neighbour as yourself. Most of us have heard these words many times, but have we really understood what Jesus meant? In order to appreciate His command, we need to see how it is that God intended us to love others.

Continue reading “The Business of God’s Love – Part One”

Unlocking the New Life


At first glance, the situations in the world around us do not seem to be very encouraging. The reason is, that we see things according to our own understandings. Our ‘measuring’ system is the nature which we received from Adam. This nature causes us to principally focus on self-centeredness. When things around us do not go according to how we think they should, we become frustrated and angry. Have you seen a young child’s reaction when they don’t get their own way? One could easily ask the question, “Who taught them how to behave like that?” Nobody had to teach them that behavior, they do it naturally out of their human (Adam) nature. In fact we, as adults, react in a very similar way except we have learned over time to rant from within and disguise it, rather than rant from without!

Continue reading “Unlocking the New Life”