Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Talk Tuesday-To Know GOD is to OBEY HIM

I have been studying the Old Testament for the past three months and really focusing on God's covenantal relationship with Israel, and what that has meant for the redemption and restoration of His creation. The Garden of Eden represents the relationship God intended and intends to have with His Creation. He gave Adam and Eve a command, "But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat you shall surely die." (Gen. 2:17). The following exchange took place between the serpent and the woman, Eve:

"Has God indeed said, 'You shall not eat of every tree in the garden?' 
And the woman said to the serpent, 'We may eat the fruit of the fruit of the trees of the garden; but of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God has said, 'You shall not eat it, nor shall you touch it, lest you die.' 
Then the serpent said to the woman, 'You will not surely die. For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good an evil.' 
So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate.'"  Genesis 3:1-6

We are warned in Deuteronomy 28 of the Blessings for Obedience and the Curses for Disobedience. The result of Eve's deceptive relationship with the serpent was such that, "And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her Seed; He shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise His heel." Gen. 3:15

As I journeyed through the major and minor prophets, one thing became abundantly clear to me. God's desire for covenantal relationship is always predicated upon His love for us and requires our obedience. As I read Amos, Isaiah, and Hosea I became overwhelmed with how deeply our disobedience affects God. His punishment and wrath are the result of our hardness of heart, yet intertwined in that judgment is always the theme of hope and mercy. He allowed Israel to suffer the consequence of their sin time and time again, from the Assyrian army to the exile to Babylon. Yet hope is wrapped up in Isaiah's promise for the messianic, Davidic King-Jesus. 

So, I asked myself, where did the Israelites go wrong? Where did the desire for the Baals, Molechs, Lo Debars, Ashtoreths and all foreign gods come from when they had YHWH? It is simple, they ignored the Sianitic Covenant, where Moses presented the TEN COMMANDMENTS. In a time where geography and dominion were intertwined, religion and politics, the Israelites reasoned that although YHWH had promised to act on their behalf, they would mix in the storm god Baal into their worship as a double assurance that their vineyards and crops would flourish. They looked at the nations around them, and combined the worship of YHWH with the ways of the world. The TEN COMMANDMENTS were the compass or foundation of Torah (Law) which would have prevented them from committing the many sins YHWH had against them.

1. You shall have no other Gods before me
2. You shall not make for yourself a carved image...and bow down to them
3. You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain
4. Remember the Sabbath and keep it holy
5. Honour your father and your mother 
6. You shall not murder
7. you shall not commit adultery
8. You shall not steal
9. You shall not bear false witness against your neighbour
10. You shall not covet your neighbour's wife

Doesn't the story of the Israelites often mirror our own human failings before God? Don't we often try to combine faith in YHWH with faith in man, money, position and power? We are entering a new season of God's tremendous grace and outpouring of His Holy Spirit. I sense Him calling us all to OBEDIENCE. I pray for our entire BGO family, that GOD would grant us obedient hearts...that we would hearken unto the voice of His Holy Spirit and obey His Word. The grace and forgiveness of Jesus Christ in the New Testament, is a fulfillment of God's plan that began in the Old Testament. Jesus is the Yom Kippur, Leviticus 16 Atonement Sacrifice, once and for all expiation for our sins. His blood washes us, it cleanses us and renews us SO THAT WE CAN ENTER INTO THE HOLY OF HOLIES IN THE PRESENCE OF A HOLY GOD, to do His will in this generation.  

Monday, November 21, 2011

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Talk Tuesday-The Vine

John 15 begins with Jesus telling His followers:

“I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. Remain in me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me" (John 15:1-4).

The imagery of a vine, its branches and fruit present a very powerful allegory. The vine gives sustenance to the branch-without it, the branch would wither and die. The fruit that grows off the branch is only a result of the nutrients it receives from the vine. The more you prune the branches, the more it grows and becomes more fruitful.

Jesus' message to us begins with the words, "I am the TRUE vine" (John 15:1). There are many false vines in this world. We are often misled into believing that money, power, affluence, and physical beauty denote who we are. Our 'fruits' of material wealth, fame, and acceptance are evidence of 'success.'

Jesus, meanwhile, is referring to spiritual fruits. He warns us that God cuts off every branch that does not bear fruit, while He prunes every branch that does. This pruning process can be very painful, yet yields a great abundance of fruit. Consider a trial that you have gone through during your journey of faith in Christ. What did it feel like? How did it change you?

"The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires." (Galatians 5:22-24). 

God's pruning crucifies our sinful nature. Our pain is never wasted-if we REMAIN in JESUS CHRIST. Let us abide in Him together, looking forward to the complete JOY that is ours in love and obedience to His word.

“As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love.  If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love,  just as I have obeyed my Father’s commands and remain in his love.  I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete," (John 15:9-11).

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Talk Tuesday- God works for the good of those who love Him.

I was reading through some of the scriptures that our Pastor gave us to memorize and found myself re-reading Romans 8:28. It says...

"And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who[a]have been called according to his purpose."

As I meditated on this I realized that there was a promise there that we should hold on to. No matter what happens the scripture reminds us that, " in all things God works for the good of those who love Him."  Read that again, and again.  What ever trial we are going through God is working for our good.  I know this may be hard for you to believe.  You might say, "...but you don't know what I am going through." No I don't, but I know God and I know His Word is true.  If He says that He is working for our good, He is.  Personally I have gone through quite a trial of my own and my wife is going through her own, but we hold on to this promise.  If you can't see the purpose of what you are going through trust God.  I have grown so much spiritually from this trial Tash and I have had to endure.  I have seen my wife grow as well.   I would not wish this trial on anyone but God's wisdom is beyond man's wisdom.  His ways are not like our ways.   Whatever you are going through trust Him that in all things He is working for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to his purpose.


Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Talk Tuesday-The Journey of Praise

This weekend the LORD taught me a very valuable lesson. Perhaps it is one that I forgot or one that I needed to be reminded of. It was a lesson about worship. 

Have you ever felt so discouraged and overwhelmed while waiting on the LORD for an answer to prayer that it overshadows everything else in your life? Have you ever felt weighed down by the trials in life, wondering when your are going to get a reprieve? Well, the Bible tells us, "Do not grieve, for the joy of the LORD is your strength," Nehemiah 8:10We are also reminded that GOD is enthroned in the praises of His people (Psalm 22:3).

So, this weekend in my heaviness of spirit, I picked up my guitar. My husband and I sang praises to the LORD and prayed. Afterwards, I wondered why I did't experience the rush that worship usually brings. The next morning I went to church and as the worship team played, I struggled to worship. I still didn't feel the ecstasy that comes with praise. On Sunday evening, I attended a worship service at our main church. They sang all my favourite songs, I danced, clapped, praised, and yet wondered why my heart felt so desperately unmoved. It was then, in the closing moments of the service as the choir and worship team began to sing, "I sing because You are good," that the Holy Spirit reminded me that worship is not for me, it is for Him. I worship Him because He IS GOOD, because HE IS GOD. Suddenly the weight of heaviness and sense of failure lifted from my heart. I realized that I didn't have to feel happy or emotionally charged to worship GOD. I am not worshiping Him because of my circumstance, I am worshiping Him in spite of it. I simply worship GOD for who HE IS. Peace and joy began to flood my heart once again.

No matter what we are going through in life we are to praise Him. It is our act of walking by faith and not by sight. It is a declaration of who GOD is and a humble acceptance of who we are. He alone is GOD and KING, we are His children. May the LORD strengthen His church by the mighty power of His hand, as we march forth singing His praises all the days of our lives until we meet Him in heaven!

"I will extol you, my God the King; I will praise your name for ever and ever. Everyday I will praise You and extol Your name for ever and ever. Great is the LORD and most worthy of praise; His greatness no one can fathom. One generation will commend Your works to another; they will tell of your mighty acts. They will speak of the glorious splendour of Your majesty, And I will meditate on Your wonderful works." Psalm 145:1-5

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Talk Tuesday-Lessons from Philippi

 After 500 years of successive colonization (by the Athenians, then Macedonians), Philippi is colonized by Rome. It is promised as a final reward to the veteran troops of Rome's imperial legions upon the victory of Octavian and Anthony over Brutus and Cassius in 42 BC. It is a magnificently wealthy city, with a mixed population of 10 to 15,000 people. It is ruled by a small Roman elite, direct descendants of the imperial veterans, who control a mini-empire of 40,000 subjects in its surrounding territory.

The year is between AD 55 to 62, and the imprisoned Apostle Paul pens the Letter to the Philippians while awaiting trial on an appeal to the Roman emperor, Nero. He knows that Philippi is a city driven by Roman paganism and emperor worship. He is aware of the social pressures that the small church in Philippi faces. He knows that the majority of them, who probably did not hold Roman citizenship,  were experiencing persecution for their faith in Christ. They would have chosen not to participate in the festivities, pomp and splendour of Roman idol worship. He knows that they risk imprisonment too, just like him. He is their spiritual leader and in the midst of his troubles, he tells them:

"Only let your conduct be worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or am absent, I may hear of your affairs, that you stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel, and not in any way terrified by your adversaries," Philippians 1:27-28. 

"Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure," Philippians 2:12-13

"What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things," Philippians 3:7

He reminds them, as he reminds us, of the glorious promise of Jesus' resurrection power.

"For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body that it may be conformed to His glorious body, according to the working by which He is able even to subdue all things to Himself," Philippians 3:20

As we, like the church in Philippi, face social pressures to conform, let us stand firm in Christ and live out our days here as citizens of heaven. We see the persecution of the church in the 10/40 window, and we must pray. For the pastors and priests who are shepherding the church of Jesus Christ, we must pray. Each one of us is part of the body of Christ, let us live accordingly knowing that, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me," Philippians 4:13. 

 Hello BGO community! We hope you liked this week's article. It was a little bit different. How does knowing the struggle of the early church, and the social pressures they faced, help us today in our struggles? What can we learn as we read the scripture through the lens of historical context? What does our 'heavenly citizenship' mean to you? Please share your comments by clicking on the 'comments link' below. We love hearing from you!
Cousar, Charles, B. An Introduction to the New Testamenet: Witnesses to God's New Work. Westminster John Knox Press, Louiseville, Kentucky; 2006
Zerbe, Gordon. Citizenship and Politics According to Philippians. Source: Direction, 38, no. 2, Fall 2009, pg. 193-208

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Talk Tuesday-The Long Journey Travelled

Imagine having a dream of future greatness and blessings in your youth. Imagine the excitement and anticipation you would feel at the memory of such a dream. What would you do if your life took a turn for the worse and the dream seemed as though it were a cruel illusion? The story of Joseph is the journey of faith. It is a faith refined, stretched and transformed into a great testimony of the faithfulness of God. It is a story of the Long Journey Travelled.

The main characters in this story are Joseph, his brothers, and their father Jacob (also known as Israel). Joseph held a special place in his father's heart. "Now Israel loved Joseph more than all his children, because he was the son of his old age," Genesis 37:3. His brothers were envious of him. God gave Joseph two dreams which he told to his brothers. "There we were, binding sheaves in the field. Then behold, my sheaf arose and also stood upright; and indeed your sheaves stood all around bowed down to my sheaf," Genesis 37:7 ; "The sun, the moon and the eleven stars bowed down to me," Genesis 37:9.

Joseph's brothers, blind with envy, sold him to slave traders. He became a slave in Egypt. His journey was wrought with pain, rejection, deception and hope. He became the chief overseer of Potiphar's house because he resigned himself to do the best in his current situation as a slave in his home. He held onto his beliefs in the God of his forefathers and rejected the advances of Potiphar's wife. He was falsely accused and cast into prison for many years. Yet when the Lord gave him the interpretation of the butler and baker's dreams, he told them in faith. Eventually Pharaoh had a dream and Joseph was brought to interpret it. Joseph became the most powerful man in Egypt as result, second only to Pharaoh. He prepared the land to survive the impending famine that Pharaoh's dream foretold.

When the brothers who betrayed him came to bow down at his feet to seek food, a gamut of emotions washed over him, yet Joseph was able to say, "But now, do not therefore be grieved or angry with yourselves because you sold me here: for God sent me before you to preserve life," Genesis 45:5. "So now it was not you who sent me here but God; and He has made me a father to Pharaoh, and lord of all his house, and a ruler throughout all the land of Egypt," Genesis 45:8. Jacob was so overwhelmed with the news that his favourite son was not dead but in fact alive that when his sons told him the truth about Joseph, "Jacob's heart stood still, because he did not believe them," Genesis 45:26.

Imagine the journey each man travelled. Despite the unexpected twists and turns, God's promise remained constant. God's blessing came in like a mighty flood, washing over all the pain of the past. As it was with Joseph, so it is with us. God has promised us eternal life through Jesus Christ, so let us travel the long journey ahead in hope and faith. "Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal," 
2 Corinthians 4:16-18.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Talk Tuesday-What Will Be Written About Us?

"Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." Hebrews 11:1

Are you feeling weary and discouraged? You KNOW that God has made you a promise, yet you find yourself still straining ahead to catch just a glimpse of your future blessing? The Apostle Paul makes a very bold statement, "For we walk by faith, not by sight," 2 Corinthians 5:7. Ours is a journey of faith and in this culture of instant gratification, that is not an easy thing. The Potter has great plans for the clay. God molds and shapes us into vessels of honour for the fulfillment of His Kingdom purposes. The question is, 'Do we TRUST Him?'

Hebrews Chapter 11 tells us about the faith of the patriarchs. Abel offered a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by faith in knowing that God was who He said He was. Enoch did not die but was taken up to heaven by faith in pleasing God during His life. Noah built the ark by faith in God who warned him of the coming flood. Abraham obeyed God in faith knowing that God would do as He promised. "By faith Moses, when he became of age, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter, choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God than to enjoy the passing pleasures of sin, esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches that the treasures in Egypt; for he looked to the reward," Hebrews 11: 24-26. 

What will be written about us? Let us encourage one another to persevere BY FAITH.

"Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God." Hebrews 12:1-2

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Talk Tuesday-Tell The World

We recently celebrated 9 years of marriage. My husband creatively presented me with 9 envelopes which contained 9 days of adventures to commemorate our time together. Needless to say, I gave God praise and thanks for such faithfulness and mercy in choosing my husband for me, and not allowing me to choose for myself...but that's a discussion for another Talk Tuesday. Each envelope contained a clue as to the location of our next date. When I opened Day 2 it read, 'Taking you higher.' Well, I immediately guessed...the CN Tower! Yes, I was right and excited.

The CN Tower is the the world's tallest Tower, standing at 553.33m or 1,815ft, 5 inches. My husband took me up to the Look Out Level, as the dusky sky reflected the last rays of the sleeping sun. I looked out at the breathtaking view of the city of Toronto. What I didn't share with my husband was that as I looked out at the sleeping city, with its many lights telling the story of the lives below, my heart began to grieve. Last week, two people I knew, in their early 40s, had passed away. My heart ached for their families and loved ones-those left behind to pick up the pieces of a life transformed by loss. I asked myself, "Did they know Jesus?"

You see, the Bible makes such bold claims regarding those who die in Christ:

"For we believe that Jesus died and rose again, and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him." 1 Thessalonians 4:14

"We are confident, yes, well pleased rather to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord." 2 Corinthians 5:8

"For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain." Philippians 1:21

"Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?" 1 Corinthians 15:55

We made our way down to the Observation Deck, and after a rather nerve-wracking tour on the gated outer-level, we waited by the elevator for our turn to return to ground level. Suddenly, a woman with a kindly face approached me, as I sat in my wheelchair waiting. It was a rather long day and on those odd occasions, my legs do not function as I would like them to, and this was one of those days. She asked me what was wrong. Then she asked me if I knew Jesus Christ as my Lord and Saviour. She offered to pray for me, for God's healing. As we spoke, I realized that God had sent His messenger, a missionary all the way from Kenya who was visiting Toronto, to tell me this message, "We have to tell people about Jesus." She began to speak into our lives by the power of the Holy Spirit, stirring up dreams that we quietly prayed about to the Lord. She said, "No matter how much technological advances man make, they still need to know Jesus."

I paused because the 
Lord addressed the pain I was guarding in my heart. His message to me, and to all of His children is to, 'Tell the world about Jesus.'

Monday, August 15, 2011

Talk Tuesday-In The Shadow of Death

"It is better to go to a house of mourning than to go to a house of feasting, for death is the destiny of everyone; the living should take this to heart," Ecclesiastes 7:2.

We recently attended a funeral where we heard the following sermon preached, "Each day you are living brings you closer to death. Live your life for Christ so that when you die in Him, you will live with Him forever." These were very sobering, powerful words. I began to ponder the meaning of this, reflecting on my own life. The temptation to live for 'self' is always there, beckoning, enticing and attempting to waylay our desire to live for Christ. Jesus tells us that He has come to give us life, "I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly," John 10:10.

Then He teaches us about what is required:

"Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will save it. What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit their very self?" Luke 9:23-25 

I am reminded to take stock of my life, to persevere, to ask for help when I fall and receive the hand of mercy and grace God so readily extends in the brokenness of my spirit. Even when times seem hard, He is always near. His love is so deep, His faithfulness so limitless, His grace so wide and His mercy so great that He stands always ready to lift us up, bind us up, heal us and send us forth to be His hands of love upon this earth. So, instead of looking to ourselves, let us look to Him expectantly. Continue to walk in love and obedience, pursuing the higher call of Christ. Let us walk with Him, even in the shadow of death.

"Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who set Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life," John 5:24

"Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come...So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect Him." Matthew 24: 42 & 44

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Movie Monday - Hillsong Live - God is Able (Live)

Prayer Wall - August

Post your prayer request and we will pray for you.

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Share - August

Time to share with us again

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Thursday, July 21, 2011

Talk Tuesday-Pray For A Faithful Heart

The truth is that I want to finish well. I want to live out the remainder of my days as a sacrifice of praise and honour to my Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. I know many Christ followers who share the same desire, yet we struggle with fear and worry. How can I believe that GOD is ever-powerful, but continue to be rocked by worry and fear? Of course, at the end of that worry is the fear that I do not finish well.

I would like to share a story with you. The LORD is faithful. I was diagnosed with an illness that prevented me from travelling for three years. The LORD has been healing me in stages and I am getting much better with each new day. So, I prayed for a trip. I asked the LORD to provide us with the means and destination for a vacation. We did not have a few thousand lying around for leisure, but I prayed in faith. Surely enough, GOD provided the EXACT AMOUNT needed, and the perfect location for the trip. The goodness of the LORD blew my mind. He is so good to the undeserving, and the truth is that we are all undeserving of such unmerited favour.

On my way back into Toronto, I sat on the plane enjoying the aerial view.  As random thoughts began to race through my mind, worry started setting in. Then the Holy Spirit gently said, "PRAY FOR A FAITHFUL HEART." As I repeated the words to myself, a peace infused every part of my soul. It was so simple, yet so profound. If we pray for a faithful heart, GOD will grant it. If our heart is faithful, then we will obey. If we walk in obedience to our LORD and Saviour JESUS CHRIST, we will indeed finish well. It brings me back to that old saying, 'Why worry when you could pray?' Let us spur one another on towards OBEDIENCE in CHRIST, as we pray for ourselves and for each other to have a A FAITHFUL HEART.

"Beware, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief in departing from the living God; but exhort one another daily, while it is called 'today,' lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin. For we have become partakers of Christ if we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast to the end, while it is said: 'Today if you will hear His voice, do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion.'" Hebrews 3:12-15

Monday, July 4, 2011

Talk Tuesday-Rebellion, A Father's Pain

The importance of obedience is central to the Biblical message-obedience to parents, to those in authority and to the law of God. When Moses went up to Mount Sinai, God gave Him a list of commandments to teach Israel how to live in holiness. Here we see that OBEDIENCE IS KEY. The first  commandment with a promise is the one that instructs on how to behave with our parents: "Honour your father and your mother, that your days may be long in the land which the LORD your God is giving you," Exodus 20:12. Why does GOD emphasize obedience to parents, and what is the correlation between us and God? 

The word 'honour' denotes respect, and respect, obedience. Before Moses' death, he speaks to the children of Israel about the BLESSINGS ON OBEDIENCE and the CURSES ON DISOBEDIENCE. One path brings joy, the other pain. It is God, our Heavenly Father, who laid down the law for us to receive or reject. It is there to protect us, not to harm us. However, when we rebel it not only brings us pain, but it grieves the Father's heart. In Judges Chapter 10, when Israel once again chooses to disobey God's commands, they begin to reap the fruit of their rebellion-pain and suffering. In the midst of this, they recognize their sin, put away their idols and cry out to God. Here we see the Father's heart in grief, "And He could bear Israel's misery no longer," Judges 10:16.

God's heart is a Father's heart. Godly parents and godly leaders are there to be obeyed and honoured. When we think we know better, the seed of rebellion begins to take root in our hearts, then our eyes become clouded and our judgment impaired. "For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry," 1 Samuel 15:22-23.

In this season let us seek to walk in obedience. God does not instruct us contrary to His Word, and His Word provides a lamp unto our feet. Let us live as salt and light, resisting the urge to go our own way. We are living in the age where the 'urge' is glorified and it is called, 'the pursuit of happiness.' "There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death," Proverbs 14:12.  Remember, REBELLION BRINGS PAIN to you and those who love you, especially to the Father's Heart. 

2 Timothy 3:2-5 warns us about the last days: "People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God- having a form of godliness but denying its power." Let us stand and bring joy to our Father which art in heaven!

Click on the comments link below to share your thoughts with us on the importance of OBEDIENCE.  

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Talk Tuesday - What is Love?

What is Love? Lately, whenever I get into an argument with my wife I pull out my Bible and read 1 Corinthians 13:4-8. I don't know about you but when I get mad I don't really feel the love. I know I love my wife but in the heat of the moment all I want to do is fight. One day after we had an argument, the Lord led me to this passage of scripture. We are all familiar with these verses from all the weddings we have attended but do we really understand the truth of these Words. The passage goes....

4 Love is patient, love is kind.

Are you patient with your spouse? Do you use kind words when you speak to him/her?

It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.

Do you think you are right? Do you beat your chest?

5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.

When I first got married, we would get into arguments and I would always tell my wife that we were on the same TEAM. Don't dishonor your wife in your anger. Seek her best not yours. Don't bring up things from the past.

6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.

Do not delight in the fight. Some people just like to fight. Don't be one of them. Rejoice with the truth.

7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

Read verse 7 again....'It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres'...and most of all...

8 Love never fails.

I guarantee if you are in an argument and you take sometime off to read this piece of scripture over and over again, God will soften your heart so you can go back to your spouse and work things out.

Love never fails.

God Bless

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Bible Talk - June 20-26

I fell behind in my reading but I am now back on schedule.  If you are way behind don't give up. We can do it together.

God Bless.

The scripture reading for this week:

Jun 20: Jud 8-9 
Jun 21: Jud 10-12 
Jun 22: Jud 13-15 
Jun 23: Jud 16-18 
Jun 24: Jud 19-21 
Jun 25: Ruth
Jun 26: 1Sam 1-3 

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Monday, June 13, 2011

Talk Tuesday-Obedience: The Heart of the Matter

Saul disobeyed GOD and was eventually removed as King over Israel. His disobedience was not sudden, but a gradual slide towards rebellion. At the beginning of his journey, we see the humility of his heart. When the prophet Samuel anoints him as King over all of Israel, he responds by saying, “Am I not a Benjamite, of the smallest of the tribes of Israel, and my family the least of all the families of the tribe of Benjamin?” 1 Samuel 9:21. When Samuel assembles all the tribes of Israel to publicly proclaim Saul as King, instead of proudly waiting to be called forth, Saul goes into hiding: “But when they sought him, he could not be found. Therefore they inquired of the LORD further, 'Has the man come here yet?' And the LORD answered, 'There he is, hidden among the equipment'” 1 Samuel 10:21-22. When news reaches King Saul about the imminent attack on Jabesh Gilead he is found tending the herd (1 Samuel 11:5). When he defeats the Ammonites on behalf of Jabesh Gilead, he stoutly declares, “...for today the LORD has accomplished the salvation of Israel” 1 Samuel 11:13. Here we see a humble king.

Often times disobedience is the result of distrust, and distrust is borne out of fear. Within two years of Saul's reign, he found himself on the cusp of a battle with the Philistines. It was customary to seek the LORD for his blessing prior to battle. Only a priest could perform the sacrifice, and Samuel was both prophet and priest. Samuel instructed Saul to wait seven days for his arrival. Instead of obeying, Saul took matters into his own hands. He presented the burnt offering and the peace offering to GOD himself.

“Now it happened, as soon as he had finished presenting the burnt offering, that Samuel came; and Saul went out to meet him, that he might greet him. And Samuel said, 'What have you done?' Saul said, 'When I saw that the people were scattered from me, and that you did not come within the days appointed, and that the Philistines gathered together at Michmash, then I said, 'The Philistines will now come down on me at Gilgal, and I have not made supplication to the Lord.' Therefore I felt compelled, and offered a burnt offering.' And Samuel said to Saul, 'You have done foolishly. You have not kept the commandment of the LORD your God, which He commanded you. For now the LORD would have established your kingdom over Israel forever. But now your kingdom shall not continue.'” 1 Samuel 13:10-14

Saul's feeling of compulsion drove him to an act of disobedience. He did not WAIT on the LORD. He allowed 'sight' to dictate his actions rather than 'faith'. He believed that GOD would respond to his sacrifice, yet he defied GOD's instruction on how it was to be done. He allowed his fear to supersede his knowledge of who GOD is and what He commands. At the heart of the matter lies the fundamental question which we must all ask ourselves; DO WE REALLY TRUST GOD? GOD does not require partial obedience, but full obedience. The right thing done the wrong way is still the wrong thing. How can we guard our hearts from repeating Saul's sin? We want to hear from you. Please click on the 'comments' link below to share your responses with the BGO community. Let us strengthen and encourage one another this journey of life for the honour and glory of our Lord Jesus Christ!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Talk Tuesday-The Altar of Your Heart: Abraham's Sacrifice

Who or what do you worship? What is the most important thing to you in your life? Is it your health and strength, your wealth, your children, your spouse, yourself? What god is on the altar of your heart? Who or what is your first love? The account of Abraham's Sacrifice reveals the faithfulness of GOD and the blessings of obedience. It is also a reflection of the human heart whose altar should be raised solely to GOD.

Abraham and Sarah were both childless and old. Yet the LORD promised them a son would be born to them in their old age. "And the LORD visited Sarah as He had said, and the LORD did for Sarah as He had spoken. For Sarah conceived and bore Abraham a son in his old age, at the set time of which God had spoken to him. And Abraham called the name of his son who was born to him-whom Sarah born to him-Isaac." Genesis 21:1-3

The Bible tells us that Abraham was one hundred years old when his son Isaac was born. This was the child of promise, whom Abraham and Sarah had wanted their whole lives. Imagine the pride, joy and great love his parents felt for him! This was the fruit of their loins, the offspring of their union.

"Now it came to pass after these things that God tested Abraham, and said to him, 'Abraham!' And he said, 'Here I am.' Then He said, 'Take now your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I shall tell you. So Abraham rose early in the morning and saddled his donkey, and took two of his young men with him, and Isaac his son; and he split the wood for the burnt offering, and arose and went to the place of which God had told him." Genesis 22:1-3

As they approach the altar Isaac asks his father where their offering is, to which his reply is that GOD Himself will provide. Then Abraham arranges the altar, lays Isaac out upon it, ready to obey the LORD's instruction concerning the child.

"And Abraham stretched out his hand and took the knife to slay his son. But the Angel of the LORD called to him from heaven and said, 'Abraham, Abraham!' So he said, 'Here I am.' And He said, 'Do not lay your hand on the lad, or do anything to him; for now I know that you fear God, since you have not withheld your son, your only son, from Me." Genesis 22:10-12

God's request of Abraham showed Abraham what was on the altar of his own heart. Abraham's act of obedience said many things about who he believed GOD to be. He knew GOD to be the Almighty Creator, the GOD of the universe, to whom all things were possible and there were no limits. Abraham TRUSTED God, Abraham OBEYED God. Abraham put God FIRST, holding no idols, not even his only son, because his love for God trumped his love for Isaac. WOW. I think about that and I am truly amazed. I wonder, can we honestly say that the altar of our hearts completely belong to God? Is He truly our first love? Are we willing to obey Him, even to the point of intense personal sacrifice? Abraham's sacrifice and obedience resulted in unimaginable blessings:

"Then the Angel of the LORD called to Abraham a second time out of heaven and said: 'By Myself I have sworn, says the LORD, because you have done this thing, and have not withheld your son, your only son-blessing I will bless you, and multiplying I will multiply your descendants as the stars of the heaven and as the sand which is on the seashore: and your descendants shall possess the gate of their enemies. In your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed, because you have obeyed My voice.'" Genesis 22:15-18

Obedience brings blessings. How has this account impacted you? What is the importance of putting GOD first and worshiping Him alone? What personal revelation did you have while reading this? Click on the comments link below to share your insights with us here at BGO.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Talk Tuesday-When An Idol Crumbles

The idols we identify in our own lives reveal truths about ourselves that are often hard to swallow. Sometimes we project our unaccomplished hopes and dreams onto our children, making their life's success an idol in our hearts. Sometimes we look to a relationship to fill a void within us that only GOD can fill. Sometimes we allow our careers or material possessions to define who we are and what direction our lives should take. We can also put people on pedestals, holding them above GOD in our hearts, expecting perfection from them and loving them too much. Is there any such thing as loving too much?

A passage of scripture that has often been misunderstood is Luke 14:26: "If anyone comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters-yes, even their own life-such cannot be my disciple."

What is Jesus really saying here? Is he actually asking us to 'hate' the things we value and love the most? Herein lies the answer. He is asking us to not value those things 'the most'. They must not be idols but must be relegated to their proper place in our hearts. The word 'hate' in the context of Luke 14:26 comes from the Greek word μισέω -miseō, mis-eh'-o; from a prim. misos (hatred); to detest (espec. to persecute); by extns. to love less:-hate (-ful) (Strong, James. Strong's Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible, Hendrickson Publishers; Peabody, MA)

Jesus is not asking us to break the Ten Commandments, but he is teaching how to observe them. You see, we MUST PUT GOD FIRST IN ALL THINGS. The first three commandments instruct us to hold no idol above God, to revere His holy Name and to worship Him alone. The fifth commandment instructs us to honour our parents. We cannot honour our parents, love others and be honourable in relationships if we do not love GOD FIRST, FOREMOST and ABOVE ALL ELSE. We must love all these other things 'less' in comparison to how we love GOD.

Our idols will inevitably crumble at the altar of our worship. At some point in time a relationship will disappoint, a job will disappear, material wealth will dissipate and the thing we pay homage to will leave us feeling empty. When this happens, remember to redirect your attention towards the truth of God's Word. That TRUTH is the mirror whose reflection will show us what is inside our hearts. That TRUTH will help us to reorder our priorities. Then as we repent and put GOD first, all other things will fall into their rightful place in our hearts. We will be able to fulfill the call of GOD upon our lives, loving and cherishing those things in the way there were intended to be. Remember Jesus' words:

"But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you." Matthew 6:33

Please share your thoughts and ideas with us on this week's Talk Tuesday Topic. We here at BGO look forward to hearing from you. Remember, the crown is not given to the swift, but to those who persevere and FINISH! Let us spur each other on to the prize of our salvation.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Talk Tuesday-The Pain of Idolatry

Idolatry is the age-old sin that is constantly beckoning us to indulgence. It is the sin of worshiping someone or something else, over and above God. You see, our GOD is loving and fiercely jealous for His creation. He created us for His pleasure and ours-to be in intimate relationship with Him. Our sin in the garden of Eden destroyed the intended order of things. Yet God, in His fierce love, sent Jesus Christ as a ransom for our sin and to RESTORE our broken relationship with Him.

The Old Testament tells of the pain that idolatry causes to both GOD and man. I distinctly remember how stunned I felt when I first read Judges Chapter 10. After all that the LORD had done for Israel, they continued to allow themselves to be seduced by the cultures around them, adopting their gods and engaging in idolatry. "Then the children of Israel again did evil in the sight of the LORD, and served the Baals and the Ashtoreths, the gods of Syria, the gods of Sidon, the gods of Moab, the gods of the people of Ammon, and the gods of the Philistines; and they forsook the LORD and did not serve Him" Judges 10:6. The LORD withdrew His protection, and the children of Israel became enslaved by the Philistines and the people of Ammon.

"Then the Israelites cried out to the LORD, 'We have sinned against you, forsaking our God and serving the Baals.' The LORD replied, 'When the Egyptians, the Amorites, the Ammonites, the Philistines, the Sidonians, the Amalekites and the Maonites oppressed you and you cried to me for help, did I not save you from their hands? But you have forsaken me and served other gods, so I will no longer save you. Go and cry out to the gods you have chosen. Let them save you when you are in trouble!' But the Israelites said to the LORD, 'We have sinned. Do with us whatever you think best, but please rescue us now.' Then they got rid of the foreign gods among them and served the LORD." Judges 10:10-16

Then the Bible reveals one of the most touching aspects of the heart of Father GOD. When GOD heard Israel's cry and saw their pain, it says of the Creator of Heaven and Earth, the GREAT I AM that, "HE COULD BEAR ISRAEL's MISERLY NO LONGER." Judges 10:16

GOD could bear their misery no longer???!!!! I felt a multitude of emotions simultaneously. I hurt for their sin and mine. I was humbled by the extent of the Father's love. I became aware of the pain of idolatry. How many times have we erected idols on the altar of our hearts? How many times have we grieved GOD and caused ourselves pain? What are some of idols that we need to be aware of? Does our culture encourage idolatry, and if so, what can we do to protect ourselves from idolatry's call? Click on the comments link to share your thoughts with the BGO community. We want to hear from you. Let us spur each other on towards the prize of our faith.

"Therefore, my beloved, flee from idolatry." 1 Corinthians 10:14

Bible Talk - May 23-29 - Numbers to Deut

Keep on reading, learning and sharing.

The scripture reading for this week:

May 23: Num 23-25
May 24: Num 26-27
May 25: Num 28-30
May 26: Num 31-32
May 27: Num 33-34
May 28: Num 35-36
May 29: Deut 1-2

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Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Talk Tuesday-The Subtlety of Sin, Temptation's Call

I recently disconnected my cable. For the last three years, I have been 'shut in' due to illness and have not been watching much t.v.. However, from time to time I went on binges, watching hours of spiritually draining shows. So, a few months ago, I simply got rid of it all. I mean, why watch stuff that impedes my spiritual growth? Doesn't the Bible instruct us to be holy? Aren't we encouraged to hold on to a separate value system from the world's? And how can we do that if we are constantly feeding ourselves 'bad food'?
"...for it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy.” 1 Peter 1:16

"Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things." Philippians 4:8

Well, last week I discovered online t.v. I could watch shows on the internet for free! I love action and adventure, so I began to watch a few new cop series. I had to stop the programs on two separate occasions because the language and content were questionable. Great self-control and discipline, right? Well, NOT really. The thought process leading up to my decision was both enlightening and disturbing.

Here's the thing. I WANTED to continue watching them. I was thoroughly engaged, on the edge of my seat, enjoying the action. My first thought was, 'It's not that bad.' My second thought, 'Don't let anyone/Andrew catch me.' My third thought, 'No one will know.' My last thought, 'But GOD will know.' Yikes. Seriously?! Yes, seriously. I was amazed at my reasoning process. The first thing I tried to do was convince myself that what I was watching wasn't all that bad. Then I thought about hiding. Then I tried to convince myself that I could keep it secret, after all I wasn't really doing anything all that bad. And shamefully, my last thought was of reality that GOD is all-seeing. Today, as I was reading the book of James, I came across this scripture:

"Blessed is the man who endures temptation; for when he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him. Let no one say when he is tempted, 'I am tempted by God'; for God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He Himself tempt anyone. But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death." James 1:12-15

This made me think of the SUBTLETY OF SIN. So, what safeguards can we put in place to protect us from falling into temptation? Please share with us as we endeavour to encourage one another to run this race worthy of the calling of Christ. Click on the comments link below. We want to hear from you...and thanks!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Prayer Wall - May

Post your prayer request and we will pray for you.

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Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Talk Tuesday-Redeeming The Times

As Easter Sunday approached, the following passages jumped out at me during my personal devotions:

"Walk in wisdom toward those who are outside, redeeming the time."
Colossians 4:5

"See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time time, because the days are evil." Ephesians 5:15-16

When I looked up the Greek in the Strong's Exhaustive Concordance, the definition I found was; exagorazō-to redeem; to make the most (of the time). Why is there an air of urgency and purpose in Paul's message?

"For you yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord comes as a thief in the night." 1 Thessalonians 5:2

"Therefore let us not sleep, as others do, but let us watch and be sober. For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk are drunk at night. But let us who are of the day be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet the hope of salvation." 1 Thessalonians 5:6

The Apostle Paul exhorts us to be mindful of the times we are in and to use it wisely. We are being reminded that while no one knows at what hour our Lord Jesus Christ will return, the fact remains that He shall return. How we spend our lives here on earth is not measured by the quantity of our possessions, but by the way in which we live in honour of the One who gave life. When I think of 'Redeeming the Times' the following scriptures come to mind:

"Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God." Colossians 3:2-3

"Then Jesus came to them and said, 'All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. " Matthew 28:-18-20

What do you think of? What does it mean to you, to 'redeem the times?' We want to hear from you. Please click the comments link below to share your thoughts with us here at BGO. God bless!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Talk Tuesday-Happy Easter!

As we approach Easter Sunday, we would like to leave you with a few scriptures that describe what GOD has done for us through His Son Jesus Christ. His death on the cross and resurrection from the dead means redemption, restoration, salvation and victory for all who believe!

"In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sin, according to the riches of His grace." Ephesians 1:7

"But now in Christ Jesus you who were once far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ." Ephesians 2:13

"But GOD demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him." Romans 6:8-9

"When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, having canceled the charge of our legal indebtedness, which stood against us and condemned us; he has taken it away, nailing it to the cross. And having disarmed the powers and authorities, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross." Colossians 2:13-15

"Who is he that condemns? It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us." Romans 8:34

"but because Jesus lives forever, He has a permanent priesthood. Therefore He is able to save completely those who come to GOD through Him, because He always lives to intercede for them." Hebrews 7:24-25

So let us march ahead, armed with this attitude, that we might bring glory to the One who is the Author and Perfecter of our faith.

"I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me." Galatians 2:20

God bless you all this Easter!
Andrew & Natasha

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Movie Monday - O the Blood - Kari Jobe

Bible Talk - April 18-24 -- Genesis - Exodus

Keep on reading, learning and sharing.

The scripture reading for this week:

Apr 18: Gen 48-50
Apr 19: Ex 1-3
Apr 20: Ex 4-6
Apr 21: Ex 7-9
Apr 22: Ex 10-12
Apr 23: Ex 13-15
Apr 24: Ex 16-18

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Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Talk Tuesday-Denial of the Flesh

Jesus wisely warns us about what to expect as we soldier on through the pilgrimage of life.
"In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world" John 16:33.

King David reminds us that, "Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the LORD delivers him out of them all" Psalm 34:19.

Suffering, in its nature, is truly abhorrent to the flesh. It denies our carnal nature the comfort of appeasement. When we fast, we lay aside our earthly desires in order to pursue communion and fulfillment with the LORD. As one sense decreases, the other increases. It is like that as we wait upon the LORD. We choose to TRUST HIM, despite our circumstances. We choose to tell our flesh-our physical sight-that we do not allow it to lead our FAITH, but our FAITH will guard our hearts. It is a denial of the flesh and inherent in that DENIAL, is the subordination of our sense of entitlement to the WILL OF GOD for our lives. As I sit here, journalling before the LORD, I wonder about Job and Jesus.

How was Job able to say, "Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him" Job 13:15 or Jesus able to concede, "Not my will, but Yours be done?" John 22:42.

I cannot explain these things to the non-believer. I cannot explain them to one who does not know the Son, because without the Son it is impossible to know the Father. Yet, once you know the Father and the Son, you know the Holy Spirit. You step out of the realm of the natural, into the spiritual. As Paul writes, "Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh." Galatians 5:16

So let me encourage you, as I seek to encourage myself. Let us spur each other on, to finish the race, and to finish it well. If you are suffering, know that it is not in vain. If you are waiting, know that it is unto a purpose. And if you are fasting, know that you are exercising your spiritual discipline. The DENIAL of the FLESH for the sake of the LORD will result in sweeping rewards. Continue to tenaciously hold to His promise, because GOD DOES NOT LIE!

"No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love Him." 1 Corinthians 2:9

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Bible Talk - April 11-17 - Genesis

Keep on reading, learning and sharing.

The scripture reading for this week:

Apr 11: Gen 30-31
Apr 12: Gen 32-34
Apr 13: Gen 35-37
Apr 14: Gen 38-40
Apr 15: Gen 41-42
Apr 16: Gen 43-45
Apr 17: Gen 46-47

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Monday, April 4, 2011

Bible Talk - April 4 - 10 - Genesis

Keep on reading, learning and sharing.

The scripture reading for this week:

Apr 4: Gen 8-11
Apr 5: Gen 12-15
Apr 6: Gen 16-18
Apr 7: Gen 19-21
Apr 8: Gen 22-24
Apr 9: Gen 25-26
Apr 10: Gen 27-29

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Share - April

Share what God is speaking to you.  Give a word of encouragement.  Bless someone today.  It's time to Share.

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Prayer Wall - April

Post your prayer request and we will pray for you.

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Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Talk Tuesday - Don't give up.

This post is for two sets of people.  The first group of people are the ones that started to read the bible in one year.  Did you give up?  If you did, how about a fresh new start?  On April 2nd we will be starting the Old Testament, so why not try again? We can do it!  I know we can.  So how about it?  If you are starting fresh tell us by posting a comment.

For the second group of people, for the ones that feel life is too hard.... don't give up.  Trust in the Lord.  He will take you through it.  We are trusting God also.  If you want prayer, please post your request.  We will be praying for you.

14 I rejoice in following your statutes
   as one rejoices in great riches.
15 I meditate on your precepts
   and consider your ways.
16 I delight in your decrees;
   I will not neglect your word.

Psalm 119:14-16

Monday, March 28, 2011

Bible Talk - March 28-April 3 - Revelations - Genesis

Keep on reading, learning and sharing.

The scripture reading for this week:

Mar 28: Rev 4-8
Mar 29: Rev 9-12
Mar 30: Rev 13-16
Mar 31: Rev 17-19
Apr 1: Rev 20-22
Apr 2: Gen 1-3
Apr 3: Gen 4-7

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Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Talk Tuesday-I Will Wait For You

Greetings my fellow brothers and sisters in Christ. My name is Natasha Coombs and I will be speaking to you as a single person who is a Christ follower on the video: “I will Wait For You... by Janette...ikz” - God bless my sister who has used her giftings to bring you glory. I thank both Natasha and Andrew Akam for this opportunity, and my Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

I have always had a heart for spoken word and poetry, but this piece in particular gripped me to the point where I listened to it at least 20 times, and encouraged every family member, friend and co-worker to do the same. I couldn't believe how much God used somebody else to reflect my own past experience.

I too, had sought the companionship from males who did not serve, love, or know God. I so needed to be loved that I was willing to compromise who I was as a believer to try and “help” another man to follow Christ. I knew I was wrong for continuing to be his “friend”. However, I began to make excuses such as he needed me and believed the lies of satan that it was okay to be in a relationship with a non-believer. I felt that my relationship with the Lord was still in tact because I loved God and I was still going to church, still praying and doing all of the “churchy activities”. Scripture clearly states:

14 Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness? 15 What harmony is there between Christ and Belial[b]? Or what does a believer have in common with an unbeliever? 16 What agreement is there between the temple of God and idols? For we are the temple of the living God.” 2 Corinthians 6:14-16.

Even though I knew this scripture, slowly, I began to see my will for my life block out the will that God had for me. I got into arguments with my mother, best friend and family who all tried to persuade me that my life would be destroyed if I continued to be in a relationship with this man. Deep down I can honestly say now that I knew that truth, but ultimately I had lied to myself believing that they were all wrong. I had made up my mind and hardened my heart. My life began to take on a different form where everything I expected to come from that relationship ended up to be a great deal of heart ache and disappointment. The result of my disobedience to God's will in my life and not heading wise counsel was the brokenness that God was trying to save me from.

Although, this was a couple of years ago, I can remember it like it happened yesterday. My heart was in the wrong place, for if I knew how much God truly loved me then I would have trusted Him in that area of my life. I still desire to be married and I will wait for the person that God has chosen for me to walk alongside, however I desire above all else to follow or better yet chase after God and do what He has put me on this earth to do.

For those who are single and waiting, I pray that my testimony would encourage you to wait, for God has the very best in store for your life. Keep your heart hidden in Him: “But, seek first, the kingdom of God and all these things shall be added unto you.” Matthew 6:33

Natasha C

Monday, March 21, 2011

Movie Monday - I Will Wait for You - ***MUST SEE***


Bible Talk - March 21-27 - Hebrews - Revelations

Keep on reading, learning and sharing.

The scripture reading for this week:

Mar 21: Heb 11-13
Mar 22: James
Mar 23: 1Peter
Mar 24: 2Peter
Mar 25: 1John
Mar 26: 2John-Jude
Mar 27: Rev 1-3

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Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Talk Tuesday-Warning Signs

The last few years have been some of the toughest of my life. After my second surgery, I wondered what was the Lord's purpose in removing me from the life I had known. Unbeknownst to me, His plan was that I would become an intercessor while 'shut in'. Naturally, I did not understand what He was doing. It started in about June of 2009. I began to stockpile a list of names and situations to pray for. The Holy Spirit then called my attention to a map I had gotten at Missionsfest a few years ago. The map outlined the 10/40 window, where 97 percent of the world's 3 billion unreached live.

Last night, as I lay on the living room floor crying out in prayer, the Holy Spirit revealed to me that I had been praying for the nations that are currently experiencing turmoil today-the North African nations, the Middle East, Asia and yes, Japan! What was odd is that New Zealand, which is outside of the 10/40 window, as well as the Indonesian islands, were included in my prayer. GOD IS SOVEREIGN and HE KNOWS THE END FROM THE BEGINNING. God loves people, and He desires that ALL should be saved.

We are now living in the season of BIRTH PAINS.

“Tell us,” they said, 'when will this happen, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?'
Jesus answered: 'Watch out that no one deceives you. For many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am the Messiah,’ and will deceive many. You will hear of wars and rumours of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of birth pains.'” Matthew 24:3-8

I have heard many prophesy about the end of the world, however, no one knows the exact date.

“But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark; and they knew nothing about what would happen until the flood came and took them all away. That is how it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. Two men will be in the field; one will be taken and the other left. Two women will be grinding with a hand mill; one will be taken and the other left. Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come.'” Matthew 24:36-42

Let us offer ourselves as His vessel, to pray, go and love in the name of Jesus Christ. Let us lift up the people in Japan who have experienced epic devastation. Let us pray for our friends, neighbours and those who the Holy Spirit would put on our hearts. And remember, John 3:16 "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life."

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Movie Monday- Everything I Need

Take a minute to listen to this song. The story behind the song is even more amazing. If you are going through a storm Jesus is all you need.

Story Behind the Song

Bible Talk - March 14-20 - 1Thess - Hebrews

Keep on reading, learning and sharing.

The scripture reading for this week:

Mar 14: 1Thess
Mar 15: 2Thess
Mar 16: 1Timothy
Mar 17: 2Timothy
Mar 18: Titus-Philemon
Mar 19: Heb 1-6
Mar 20: Heb 7-10

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