P2586 Stars and grains.

Genesis 15:4-6 Then the word of the Lord came to him: “This man will not be your heir, but a son who is your own flesh and blood will be your heir.” He took him outside and said, “Look up at the sky and count the stars—if indeed you can count them.” Then he said to him, “So shall your offspring be.” Abram believed the Lord, and He credited it to him as righteousness.”


Genesis 22:17: ”I will surely bless you and make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as the sand on the seashore. Your descendants will take possession of the cities of their enemies,…”


If I were to give this blog an alternative title I would call it — “Dust off your prayers, hopes and dreams … and start thanking Me.” 


We have all been through some incredibly hard times spiritually speaking, and not just recently — some of us have been stuck in hardship for a prolonged period of time. The Lord spoke the above word to me last Sunday, and I’m sitting here at 2.30 AM today, typing this because He told me to do it. You may be on the other side of the world to where I live, it makes no difference. The above verses from Genesis show us that God always has plans bigger than we can imagine. We all know, from experience, that His ways are past finding out - but we will see Him working with our own eyes - start looking.


When we pray, we often think about a truckload of blessings, but in these passages from Genesis the Lord shows us a SKY full of them. Abraham had his mind blown twice, and I sincerely believe we are about to see the Lord do what seems to be the impossible, again. Our part is to watch and give thanks, knowing only HE can do these things - we can't.


There are relationships and the enmities between people that seem hopeless and broken, and I believe that they will start to turn and mend. Thank Him for every single one you hear about, whether it is at your house or somewhere else. The financial situations that seem doomed to worsen will see a trickle of help turn into a stream … People are going to listen and be touched by Him when you share His love and tell them about the Jesus you know, personally and intimately.


I want to be clear, I am not talking about some huge explosive revival, I am talking about a groundswell that starts small and builds over time. Breakthroughs are upon us, and our job is to thank Him for every single little tiny change and keep on thanking Him. Our God loves a grateful people so we need to be alert and thank Him, for everything no matter how small it seems. We need to thank Him for Who He is and what He is doing.  We need to stay alert and pray we will be awake and aware to see every little detail coming to pass. He's looking for a groundswell of thanksgiving ... even for the tiniest things, that seem almost insignificant.


Now, more than ever, we are to be grateful to be one of those tiny little grains of sand - one of those billions of unnamed stars. These are the days of the nobodies and God has been waiting for you and I to step up to the plate. We don’t have to be perfect, or gifted, JUST WILLING. The big rock stars of baseball or cricket have come and gone, and it’s just us now, the tail end ... the guys who are lucky if they can see the ball, let alone hit it! 


We may well be a people with not a lot of talent, but we know that Jesus is so big, He can break 5 loaves and 2 fishes and feed thousands. He can multiply anything. He has been breaking our lives and our hearts so He can begin this multiplication process. Give the mess that is in your little life to Him and start thanking Him for every detail that changes, no matter how small.

 

God spoke to Abraham and He told him that WE, you and I, are the answer to his prayers for a child. And no I have not lost my tiny mind! He told that man that His descendants would be like the stars in the sky …and Abraham did something amazing, he believed God. Something spiritually is turning that will not turn back again and we need to be alert and thank Him for everything He is doing. Every bit of hopeful news, every smile from someone who has forgotten how to smile. Every teeny tiny prayer that seemed to fall to the ground dead, is going to be resurrected. Watch and see what He will do with your little life.


Jesus broke bread the night before He was betrayed and gave thanks. We are that bread and He has been breaking us. As a result now we know that we cannot do anything without Him, and we've learnt, from experience, that we don’t want to, either. Now we can watch as He takes the broken crumbs of our lives and feeds the people around us. Just keep thanking Him for every single detail you see that changes. No matter how small -  we are going to start looking for the good. Stars that are without number … fill the sky. Grains of sand that cannot be counted make up the seashore. 


We are the nameless, faceless ones, who only care that people remember HIS NAME, not ours. Bless you. 🙌 👋 


P2585 Things to think on.

We are in the middle of preparing to go away into outback NSW next week with boxes and boxes of New Testaments etc. everywhere. And the huge pile of blankets for the homeless looks like the great wall of China. It is not exactly tidy here. I love-hate this waiting and prep time - for me waiting to go on the road seems to take forever. 


We will have to put racks on the roof of the car to accommodate all the blankets, not to mention somehow fit in the toiletries, canned food etc. we are taking with us. We pray a lot when we are loading the car!! Right now there are so many people homeless, or in dire straits in the bush. When hubby rang the local help-for-the-homeless line, in three NSW country towns, all of them had a huge response. The ladies on the other end of the phone almost came through it, they were so excited about the very little we can bring them. Perhaps they just like to know that other people care.


The government in our country allocates monies to help the poor, but those funds do not even begin to cover their everyday needs - so every single day is a struggle. However if the government forms one more committee to investigate the stuff that is staring us right in the face, I will scream!! We need to remember that these people are not worrying about what kind of TV they will buy next - instead, they often don’t know where their next meal is coming from!


Monies for governmental aid are distributed according to numbers, and there are far more homeless people, number wise, in our cities... so that means the cities are delegated the larger portion, and the little country towns struggle. Aid-workers in these agencies have so little help to give to those who come in day after day in desperate need.“But God will never forget the needy; the hope of the afflicted will never perish.” Psalm 9:18


Sadly, there are also more and more abused wives and children who have to leave their homes to escape abusive spouses, and they have only what they can carry. These people have literally had to run for their lives.  Because of this hubby and I have become secret agents - which could be fun, if it wasn’t so sad! Over the phone we are given the time and place to meet someone, far, far away from where these poor terrified souls are actually hiding. Of course we pray for the carers and the little families that have been abused, as well as the abusers. Feel free to join us.


Poverty can happen to anyone. But out in the bush, we’ve seen first hand our society’s complete disregard for our farmers. The people who provide our daily bread etc. Instead it seems that greedy corporate companies regard profit over people, and they are prevailing. At the same time investors are demanding more and more return for their money, because they are not satisfied to simply make a profit, instead they want to keep increasing their profit margins in an outrageously excessive fashion. Have we all forgotten that the bible says: “In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus Himself said: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’ Acts 20:35.


You don’t have to tell us that Australia truly needs revival. Hubby and I can see the results of the haves and the have nots every day we are out on the road. However, I do wish sometimes, that city folk would limit themselves to one car, instead of one car for each member of the family! By overplaying our needs we have created a false living standard and made the gap between the poor and the rich wider.


I believe our society’s ever present need for more is also contributing to the divide between the city and the country. Today, in all of our cities, we have upgraded normaI to mean that everyone has their own phone, plus 4 or 5 TV sets,  a couple of gaming consoles, a boat, and a 240 square metre house with a pool in the back yard. And everything inside that house must be brand new! 


Yeah I know, everyone works very hard to make a living — but while we keep insisting that things like our daily bread - or milk! - should be cheap cheap cheaper, our farmers will continue to go bankrupt. The ever-present corporate machinery has no conscience so it refuses to take a loss - instead, the farmers will. It is incredibly dumb to bite the hand that feeds you! We cannot expect to get more for less and not have somebody else suffer.


Hubby and I asked the Lord to be in charge of our money years ago. He is a fantastic money manager … However, doing that was hard. It is hard to go against the pressure that exists in our society. Money can make us feel safe, but we have forgotten what is given can be taken away in a heartbeat. God has given us such a passion to share, instead of hoard and acquire. Aussies can be great givers if there is a proven cause, but we also seem to thoroughly enjoy the idea of having more than enough. I know these things will not be popular thoughts, but they are worth sharing anyway. Bye. 👋 


P2584 Hang onto your hat. 🎩

Here's some stuff to think on today ...Have we inadvertently reduced the Living Word of God to a series of unwritten, but strongly supported rules about who is acceptable and who is not? I believe the church at large reacts badly to people who are not living inside our pre-set rules. Unlike Jesus Himself, Who treated everyone the same ... including drunks, lepers and promiscuous women! Unfortunately, we are not responding with love or compassion - instead we react with abhorrence, fear, accusation, and condemnation. We just don't know what to do with some people in this world. Here's a big thought: loving anyone with His love isn’t giving them permission to continue with a sinful lifestyle. 


It is as if we believe people must be changed BEFORE they can come to Jesus. That's not in my bible! We look at others with terribly unbiblical ways of life, and tell them if they really want to be saved they have to stop doing what they are doing. We are looking for self-control from those who don’t even know anything about His power. I dunno about you, but I am like a snake still shedding old skins as I go along, I’m not yet perfected in Godly things. Personally, I think you clean fish after you catch them! 


Our denominations have put unspoken rules in place to make life easier, nicer and safer for us. So what about a person who is unsure about their gender identity for a number of reasons? Hmmm. If that turned out to be your precious relative or immediate family, what would you do then?? The hard lines that we have drawn against this type of person and that way of life, could end up dividing families. I know people who have chosen terribly destructive lifestyles, and now they cannot go home anymore. Their parents won’t even talk to them and they are doing that in Jesus' Name! What a price some outcasts have paid. Imagine the kind of passion those people could have for Christ, if and when He delivers them!


Personally I cannot bear it when the church looks at others as if they are filthy. We are all fallen people. All have sinned.  I HAVE A SAVIOUR ... and others need an opportunity!  Do I like how some people choose to live? Of course not! Like I said, it is abhorrent. Yet in our own churches we often turn a blind eye and allow gossip and spite to thrive… and eliminate others before they've even had a chance to respond to Christ's teachings. “...straining out gnats and letting through camels!” 


We often choose to tell people who are not living a lifestyle described in the bible, you can’t come in here and be THAT!  And that’s them - ELIMINATED FROM GRACE. Personally, I can’t exist without grace … without Him I can do nothing!  Yes, I am aware that certain behaviour is described as an abomination to the Lord, but Jesus died for all. Here’s a think spot: I’ve told lies, how about you? Check out Revelation sometime: liars go into the lake of fire and random judgment diagnoses the person judging, it doesn't end well for them either!… Just saying is all.


At the same time, I understand that Christianity is meant to be an all or nothing kind of faith. Jesus said this:  “So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of My mouth.” Revelation 3:16. Lukewarm people don’t do well in His book either! When we water down salvation to simply saying a prayer, instead of it being a process, we are misleading those who-do-not-know-Him-yet, regarding true salvation. Meanwhile, are we behaving with repulsion because we have lost the power of God to deliver, anyone, anywhere, any time? I am not talking about forced conversions either. You can't grow an apple tree from a weed's seed, and you can't usher in His kingdom with FEAR - instead of His love.


Some people are magnificently changed instantly. But that is not everyone’s experience. We must not ignore those souls who are trapped by appetites cultivated over time, or even circumstances beyond their control. There are people have been forced to live in all kinds of unimaginable decadence, that they didn’t deliberately choose. Or they have been exposed to horrors by care-givers. How dare we lock them out of knowing the One Who bore every single horror and atrocity for their sake?! Deception is rampant in our society … and most of our western governments support it. What’s the answer to that? Murder the government?! Heaven forbid. Change comes one soul at a time.


I really don’t have to approve of your lifestyle or way of thinking to tell you that God loves you dearly and He always will. My criteria for transformation is simple: ‘do you need a Saviour or not? Will you give Him your whole life and leave your old life behind?’ Whatever anyone does about His love is then up to them! It is my passionate belief that we have missed, and will continue to miss, some of the greatest miracles we will ever see because we are denying others the opportunity to know Him because of the way they look, or live. And that thought might blow a few hats off.


Or do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And that is what some of you WERE. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.” (1 Corinthians 6:9-11) It seems even in Paul’s time, people with all kinds of ungodly lifestyles were changed by Christ’s life-giving death! Bye. 👋

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P2583 True salvation.

Embrace the power of salvation’s full deliverance, like a helmet to protect your thoughts from lies. And take the mighty razor-sharp Spirit-sword of the spoken word of God. Pray passionately in the Spirit, as you constantly intercede with every form of prayer at all times. Pray the blessings of God upon all His believers.Ephesians 6:17-18 TPT.


This way of life we have chosen can be difficult! We will have to press in and learn to thrive in all kinds of hardships. And to grow spiritually in times of rampant prosperity as well as deep poverty — to find joy in the midst of our mourning. And at the same time we will give constant praise to our God, while this world goes on its spiteful, murderous way. Our success in any of these issues probably won’t ever be seen. But Jesus sees.


What we lay aside, in prayer, love, kindness and sacrifice, for His sake, may not ever be recognised where we live every day. If we choose to live like Christ lived, we will need to learn to love, live and ... even die for the people who hurt us, and despitefully use us. Even though some of them may actively pray for our demise and pain — we continue to reverently pray that they will only meet unconditional love, from Him and us! True salvation is more than a prayer - it can and should change the way we live.


Those things that are mentioned in the above scripture from Ephesians are our fighting tools!  They just don’t look like fighting tools. Nothing about this life we have chosen, looks like we thought it would. People we’ve known for years will betray us, and then blame us for their obvious blatant betrayal! You can’t fight that kind of stuff singing “Kumbaya!We need weapons … and our weapons are not of this world. But they will pull down strongholds that have been established for centuries, as we set our faces towards honouring Him - living for Him.


If we really want to defeat our enemy, we need to live this life we have, fully saved. What does that mean? It means that no matter what happens ... how many bugs, snakes, marauding, deceitful, angry, bad people, hit the windshield of our existencewe know that we know that we know, that our God is loyal and He will never, no NEVER leave us or forsake us. HE.MEANS.US.GOOD.  And now we live our lives, believing HE means us good!  “What can man do to me?” This is what knowing the Word of God means. It is not just regurgitation - it’s part of who we are now.


Jesus died to give us a place in our Father’s heart. It is a safe place. We live there protected purely by the fact that it cost the Lord everything He had to buy us that place! We know that Jesus Christ held nothing back. He left it all there at Calvary. And now what He bought for us, is ours. The only response we can give to that kind of sacrifice demands that we stop living by appearances, and start living by faith, in the Son of God Who died to save US from sin, this world, our enemy and ourselves! When His salvation fits our heads like a steel helmet … nothing can get through that sucker, because nobody can tell us that our Heavenly Father isn’t with us and He doesn’t love us. 


We are protected by the fact that - even if you kill me, I will still love you!! Jesus did it first. He was betrayed, deserted, lied about, falsely imprisoned, accused and murdered. HE KNOWS! And right now He is at His Father’s right hand praying for us. He also knows our weaknesses, that’s why we can rely upon His strength. When we feel like an elastic band that is about to break, just roll all that stuff off onto Him … and leave it there. Do all you can and then STAND.

Because of His death, Christ has provided us with a way to escape “God is faithful, and He will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation He will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.(1 Corinthians 10:13).


Look, taking the sword of the Spirit isn’t just memorising what the bible said and spouting it off at the devil. It is the assurance inside us that what His book says is true! God’s word is not a magic charm or incantation … it’s the truth. The real truth about mankind and this world. We need to know that, and the way we find out that it is true is to stand on it. Looking at His Word from a sidebar and wondering if it will hold us up, is not faith! Jesus Christ DIED standing on God’s word believing that He would be resurrected!  


We must understand that there are bigger priorities than our comfort - His kingdom must come. And you and I are charged with the responsibility of bringing that kingdom with us wherever we go. No matter who we speak to!  It’s a way to live, not just a get-out-of-jail-free card. True salvation delivers us from a wasted life, into a way of life that reflects God’s kingdom, here and now. When His word changes us we will know that we are saved. 👋

P2582 More on a heart like David.

The Lord said of His servant David, thatthis is a man after My own heart”. (1 Samuel 13:14) It seems to me it is comparatively easy to pray:“Oh Lord please give me a heart like David had!”…in a moment of love and passion toward God Himself ... with no understanding of what that means!  Will we blame God for not answering that prayer - when we ignore the opportunities He sends our way?


Think on this: if you and I really want a heart like David had, then God Himself will need to send us the kind of opportunities DAVID had! Hearts are formed, they do not fall on us. Here’s quick revision of David’s life — this young man was overlooked in his family. His earthly father forgot he had him and obviously thought the boy was not as promising as his six brothers were!  Did David moan about that? No! Instead he learnt about God in the middle of a pasture doing a job that was beneath his stature. This was where he learnt about soaking in God’s ways. That’s where he learnt to make the Lord his priority. He wrote beautiful Psalms… instead of complaining about his lowly position and the weather.


David chose God’s ways over his own human desires, many times. We all know about his failure and the subsequent consequences, but there were so many other times that David chose to honour the Lord despite his circumstances. His responses to his life were way above most men’s natural tendencies. He did not do that to curry favour with God, BTW, he did it because that was who he was! Soaking in God’s beauty had shaped his heart, and his responses came from that heart of love toward the Father. 


So if WE want a heart like David, then maybe we will have to fight our own Goliath and WIN. We all have Goliaths in our lives, and we often feel ill-equipped to fight them. But David took what he had - which was belief in Who Almighty God is - and defeated his enemy. There may also be a possibility that we will have to honour somebody in our lives just like King Saul, David’s persecutor of 20 years. Simply because that person is God’s choice to shape US... by handing out constant oppression! Maybe our tormentor has been tormenting us for years too!!


Let’s look at David’s response when his little baby boy died… “After Nathan had gone home, the Lord struck the child that Uriah’s wife had borne to David, and he became ill. David pleaded with God for the child. He fasted and spent the nights lying in sackcloth on the ground. On the seventh day the child died …2 Samuel 12:15-18. 


After his baby's death, David’s servants were reluctant to tell him the little one was gone, but he figured it out. Then he does an extraordinary thing — it seems almost totally incomprehensible. He gets up, washes himself, and asks for food. Why on earth would he do that? You know when I think about his response it blows me away. This man is so concerned about doing God’s will, God’s way, once the Lord’s plan is revealed - He leaves the whole thing alone and goes back into ordinary life, immediately. Boy is that living this life surrendered!  


Much later, David actively sets out to find someone left in Saul’s house ... even after Saul and Jonathan had died. He wants to do his enemy’s family good. (Now there’s a grand illustration of doing good to your enemies!) Despite his warrior life, this man of God had such integrity before the Lord. It all sprang from his deep love for God, not obligation, or religious duty. Those Psalms he wrote came right out of his own experiences! Instead of cultivating despair, anger and jealousy - David cultivated a sweet heart.


It may be that we too have lost else someone so dear to us, like David did, when his older son Absalom died. But David was not able to mourn Absalom … imagine that! He's a leader, his sheep come first! He puts his grief aside, in order to be a good leader and king to his subjects. Funny how God picks ordinary people like that quite often. Think about it.


These are just some ?highlights? After all David’s life was filled with war and betrayal! If we truly want a heart like he had, maybe we are going to need some panel-beating first! That, and a sweet, spontaneous heart-response under pressure. God Himself forges men and women in the furnaces of trouble, pestilence, war, sorrow and strife. We must simply choose to learn His ways, they won’t fall on us.


Here’s my last thought - right after the Holy Spirit fell at Pentecost, persecution for the gospel’s sake broke out. But Father God had a purpose, He wanted the disciples to disperse to spread the gospel further. So, instead of becoming a jolly, happy, worshipping group, who enjoyed their new life together teaching the same things over and over again ... persecution and bad experiences are now their teacher.


 We will have troubles and strife in this life, and this means God is working on our hearts. To have a heart like David we will need to be changed. 👋 “Create in me a clean heart O, Lord, and renew a right spirit within me.Amen!

P2581 Living Grace.

God’s marvellous grace has manifested in Person, bringing salvation for everyone. This same grace teaches us how to live each day as we turn our backs on ungodliness and indulgent lifestyles, and it equips us to live self-controlled, upright, godly lives in this present age.” Titus 2:11-12 TPT.


Our God's great grace has been manifest in Christ. In order to understand it we must carefully observe and interact with Him. Jesus Christ is God’s grace in human form. I deliberately said that today, because sometimes grace is reduced to a nebulous thing that we are supposed to have toward everyone else, as well as live by it. Nebulous things add to uncertainty and they are definitely hard to grab hold of!  


Our uncertainty disappears when we understand that Christ is God’s illustration of grace, love, joy, peace, patience, kindness etc. in action! Almighty God gave us a glorious gift - CHRIST. Grace we can see and hear in His book. Reading the Gospels makes us acquainted with what grace looks like because it is the way SomeOne lived. It is not about stories - the stories Jesus told are illustrations of God’s ways in action. If all we do is read the Gospels and think, “oh that’s so nice.” We missed the point!  These 'stories' show us how to act and react!


Jesus Christ is God’s LIVING GRACE. God does not need visual aids - He went way beyond them to sending SomeOne Who would illustrate a lifestyle! The bible is not just teaching - Jesus, in the Person of the Holy Spirit,  is with us so we can learn His Ways. The way Christ lived His life, is the way we have been designed to live ours. Yeah. Ya might want to sit and think on that one for the next 20 years. 


It is error to think that Jesus could do stuff because He is God’s Son and He is ‘special.’ He's not superman who came from another planet and that means He can do stuff we can't!  He did not operate in some sort of incredible way that meant He always did things right and was full of the power of God all the time. He simply chose to live in the Holy Spirit’s Presence in all things.  


Jesus Christ chose to come to earth and be a man - that’s Grace and Love IN ACTION. That was a normal little baby boy born in Bethlehem, He chose to learn about God from when He was young, and He did so well at it He amazed all the people who supposedly knew everything! Jesus made knowing God His priority from His youth. He had grace on His life as a child.


But He was tempted just like we are. The difference between Him and us, is that He said no! There is great power in our NO! I know that today, it seems like ‘no’ is an optional extra, but it isn't. Saying no to temptation and sin is the way into bringing that new heart God gave us into this life ... our reality. Doing what God wants becomes our life-blood. It’s the way to be dead to self and alive to God. And every single thing you do counts! Praise God we can repent from our lack of single-mindedness and go back and partake of His grace - over and over again. 


We are limiting ourselves by thinking that Christ was some sort of special-case human being so He could do stuff we cannot. That is a lie from the pit. “God is love. When we take up permanent residence in a life of love, we live in God and God lives in us. This way, love has the run of the house, becomes at home and mature in us, so that we’re free of worry on Judgment Day—our standing in the world is identical with Christ’s. There is no room in love for fear. Well-formed love banishes fear. Since fear is crippling, a fearful life—fear of death, fear of judgment—is one not yet fully formed in love.” 1 John 4:17.


Fear of over-stepping our place in God ... is still FEAR!  We start to overstep when we use God for our own purposes or benefit.  Our Lord Jesus Christ was the perfect example of grace in action. He had authority, but it was love-based authority, and He allowed His Father to decide what that looked like! Our hearts matter, and God knows when we choose to excuse ourselves rather than obey. It is the things that we choose to do that can shoot us down. Power can be misused by self-indulgence, instead of ushering in God's kingdom! Jesus came to serve, and so we are here to serve - God first, and then others. 


God's Grace is not of this world. It is a heavenly quality which is to be lived out in everyday life. And when we look deeply into how Christ acted, and what He said, we gain His clues from His lifestyle. He lived in grace, He constantly gave away grace even to His tormentors.  Like I said, the things Jesus said are not just stories or parables - they are a way to live. Paul, Luke, John and Jude etc. developed these themes in the Epistles. They tell us how these things worked in their lives. In Paul’s case they give us further revelation of what God did when He sent us Christ, why He did it, and how it works! 


The bible is God’s book about GRACE. Grace is God’s enabling power to prevail over our own sinful nature, sin in this world, and the devil. This is God Himself speaking …“I will graciously give you a new, tender heart and put a new, willing spirit inside you. I will remove your hard heart of stone and give you an obedient, responsive heart instead.” Ezekiel 36:26.


We have already been given this new heart, God gave it to us - because Christ made a way for us. Grace is LIVING  and practical it is not just a mushy attitude toward others. It is strong and powerful. Jesus Christ is our perfect example of God's grace - alive on this earth!  He showed us that it can be done and how it is done! 👋