Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Talk Tuesday-Happy New Year!!! Watch and Pray, Trust and Obey

We, at BGO, would like to take this opportunity to wish you a Blessed and Holy New Year in the Lord Jesus Christ! As we enter 2015 and reflect on 2014, let us encourage one another to WATCH and PRAY, TRUST and OBEY.

Jesus exhorts us to, “...keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come,” Matthew 24:42; “So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him,” Matthew 24:44.

Scripture tells us to, “pray without ceasing,” 1 Thessalonians 5:17, to “devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful,” Colossians 4:2, knowing that, “The Lord is near to all who call on Him, to all who call on Him in truth,” Psalm 145:18.

Proverbs 3:5-6 encourages us to, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; 6 in all your ways submit to Him, and He will make your paths straight.” God has a specific purpose for your life! “11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future,” Jeremiah 29:11.

Obedience will allow us to walk confidently in those plans. “But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves,” James 1:22; “Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise,” Ephesians 5:15. “13 Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. 14 But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it,” Matthew 7:13-14.

Lastly, watchfulness, prayer, trust and obedience are all bound by faith in Jesus Christ, who is “the author and finisher of our faith,” Hebrews 12:2. If you don't know Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour, it is not too late! “'The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart' (that is, the word of faith which we preach): 9 that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved,” Romans 10:8-10.

Happy New Year!!!

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Talk Tuesday-What's So Merry About Christmas? Pt. II

Last week we read about Jesus Christ, the Incarnate One, 'Immanuel' who is 'God with us.' The Bible tells us that while the shepherds kept watch over their flocks, an angel of the LORD announced, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord,” Luke 2:10-11. The birth of JESUS heralded good news and glad tidings for all mankind. It meant that the bondage of sin would be broken, freeing us from its power and its penalty, restoring us to right relation with God, bringing salvation to all who would believe.

JESUS came for our redemption: “11 For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. 12 It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, 13 while we wait for the blessed hope—the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, 14 who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good.” Titus 2:11-14

JESUS came to give His life as a ransom for ours: “5 For there is one God and one mediator between God and mankind, the man Christ Jesus, 6 who gave himself as a ransom for all people.” 1 Timothy 2:5-6

JESUS came to justify us: “He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification.” Romans 4:25

JESUS came to reconcile us to God: “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. 9 Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through him! 10 For if, while we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life!” Romans 5:8-10

JESUS came for our salvation: “12 Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.” Acts 4:12

Receive the best gift Christmas has to offer and you will never be the same! "For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord," Romans 6:23.

What's so Merry about Christmas? It's the PEACE, JOY, HOPE and LOVE that JESUS brings to one and all! We at BGO would like to wish you a very MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Talk Tuesday-What's So Merry About Christmas? Pt.1

The answer is found in the CHRIST of Christmas. The birth of JESUS was announced to the prophet Isaiah (Isaiah 7:14) approximately 700 years earlier. “22 So all this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying: 23 'Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,' which is translated, 'God with us,'” Matthew 1:22-23. The angel Gabriel said to the virgin, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. 31 And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name JESUS,” Luke 1:30-31.

Who is this JESUS that we celebrate at Christmas? “15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. 16 For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers,” Colossians 1:15-16. The term Incarnation refers to the second person of the Trinity, JESUS CHRIST, the Logos or Son of GOD made flesh. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.2 He was in the beginning with God,” John 1:1-2, “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth,” John 1:14. JESUS CHRIST, the Incarnate One, the Son of GOD, is fully GOD and fully man, “For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily,” Colossians 2:9. He is the Saviour of the world, “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!” John 1:29.

LOVE is what's truly merry about Christmas. Join us next week for the 2nd instalment of 'What's So Merry About Christmas' as we reflect on how the celebration of the birth of the Incarnate One, JESUS CHRIST, who is 'God with us', is truly about a celebration of a love so divine that it washes away all our sins, heals all our hurts, restores all our brokenness, and gives us beauty for ashes.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Talk Tuesday-A Lesson From Psalm 107

Have you ever gone through a period of discouragement where you felt like your prayers were hitting the ceiling and coming back down? Discouragement is such a deflating emotion. It makes our hearts question God's love, His purpose for our lives, His willingness to help us and it shakes our faith. Ever wonder why in a season of discouragement it feels so hard to pray and connect with God? When emotional weariness and spiritual fatigue set in, the best thing to do is to meditate on God's faithfulness-to remind ourselves of all that He has done for us in the past, and to give thanks.

Psalm 107 boldly begins with the exhortation, “Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever. Let the redeemed of the Lord say so, whom He redeemed from the hand of the enemy,” Ps. 107:1-2. Remember where you were before you came to Christ. I was lost, confused and without purpose. When I accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Saviour, He filled me with passion, joy, peace, love and pointed my compass heavenward. This weekend, as I meditated on Psalm 107, this line demolished the wall of hardness that was developing in my own heart, “Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble, and He delivered them out of their distresses,” (Ps. 107 verses 6, 13, 19, 28). Those who wandered in the wilderness, those who sat in darkness and in the shadow of death, fools in their transgressions and merchants in their ships all cried out to the Lord in their distress, and in His mercy, He answered their call.

I pondered this greatly. Then I felt the Holy Spirit gently remind me to cry out to the Lord in my distress because He WILL answer. His Word says so. I went home, picked up my guitar and began to sing His praises. I started to recall all that He had done for me in the past and thank Him for it. Suddenly my strength was renewed like the eagle's. Brothers and Sisters in Christ, if today you find yourselves in a dry and weary land, think back on the goodness of the Lord and praise His Holy Name. Let faith rise up! It is good to give thanks for we are the redeemed of the Lord and God will NOT fail you.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Talk Tuesday-Speak The Words of Life

What is your calling? What are your next steps in this journey of life? These are questions that should be prayerfully considered. If in the span of eternity, our earthly time is short, does what we do even matter?

The Apostles found themselves in a place of waiting. Before Jesus ascended into heaven, He told them to wait. “Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about. 5 For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit,” Acts 1:4-5. They asked Him if He was going to restore Israel at this time, to which He replied, “It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority. 8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth,” Acts 1:7-8. So they, and those with them, waited and prayed until the Day of Pentecost came when, “All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them,” Acts 2:4. The Bible tells us that there were many God-fearing Jews staying in the town at that time, from many different linguistic areas. The onlookers were amazed at the fact that they heard these people praising God and declaring His wonders in the various different languages. Then Peter stood up and spoke the words of life. He started from the book of Joel, which explained the promised outpouring of the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:17-21; Joel 2:28-32), to the Psalms (Psalm 16:8-11; 110:1) which foretold of the Messiah. Then he concluded with a stunning message:

 “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off—for all whom the Lord our God will call.” Acts 2:38-39.

The Bible tells us that about three thousand were saved that day. We all have a testimony of how God saved us in the name of Jesus Christ, how He transformed us by the power of His Holy Spirit and how He took us through the valley unto the mountaintop. We have the ability to pray, read His Word, and edify others. In a world where darkness seems pervasive, be encouraged to speak the words of life! It will matter in eternity.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Talk Tuesday-What Is The Meaning of Life?

What is the meaning of life? Why are we here? Is everything indeed a chasing after the wind or is there more to our earthly journey than meets the eye? These are all questions that mankind has wrestled with for generations.

King Solomon ponders these questions in book of Ecclesiastes. He makes some poignant observations; “All things are wearisome, more than one can say. The eye never has enough of seeing, nor the ear its fill of hearing. What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun.” Ecclesiastes 1:8-9. The unbridled pursuit of wealth and pleasure is assessed against the reality his own gain. He declares, “I denied myself nothing my eyes desired; I refused my heart no pleasure,” Ecclesiastes 2:10; “Yet when I surveyed all that my hands had done and what I toiled to achieve, everything was meaningless, a chasing after the wind; nothing was gained under the sun,” Ecclesiastes 2:11. He noted that, “Whoever loves money never has money enough; whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with his income. This too is meaningless,” Ecclesiastes 5:10.

What then is his conclusion? “Remember your Creator in the days of your youth, before the days of trouble come and years approach when you will say, I find no pleasure in them,” Ecclesiastes 12:1. He leaves us with sobering, sage advice, “Fear GOD and keep His commandments, for this is the whole duty of man. For GOD will bring every deed into judgment, including every hidden thing, whether it is good or evil,” Ecclesiastes 12:13-14.

I heard a sermon on the radio about knowing GOD. The speaker (Charles Price), warned, “It is very possible to make ourselves the end and GOD the means. We are the means and GOD is the end.” We are here to be in relationship with GOD, to experience Him, to know Him, to love Him, to serve Him, and to anticipate eternity with Him. “14 May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all,” 2 Corinthians 13:14. Be blessed!

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Talk Tuesday-Watch and Pray!

We are living in perilous and uncertain times. For each generation that preceded this one, the days also seemed dark, filled with wars, rumours of wars, pestilence, diseases, and natural disasters. The message has always been the same-'watch and pray.' The Lord is calling us to observe the times and to act. We are to be set apart, to live as ambassadors of Christ, to share the Good News of the Gospel, to love the LORD with all our heart, soul, mind and strength, and to love our neighbours as ourselves. His return is nearer today than it was yesterday and our ability to act lies in the constancy of our prayer.

When Jesus entered the Garden of Gethsemane, He asked his disciples to, “Sit here while I go over there and pray,” Matthew 26:36. He expected that while He was seeking the Father, they would do the same. The Bible tells us that when He returned, He found them sleeping. “'Could you men not keep watch with me for one hour?' He asked Peter. 'Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the body is weak,'” Matthew 26:40-41. In Matthew 24 Jesus warns about His return to the earth. “36 But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. 37 As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. 38 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; 39 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. 40 Two men will be in the field; one will be taken and the other left. 41 Two women will be grinding with a hand mill; one will be taken and the other left. 42 'Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come.'” Matthew 24:36-42.

Be prepared, be willing and be ready. Heed the warning of our LORD and be vigilant. “15 Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, 16 making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.” Ephesians 5:15-16. Once again, 'Watch and Pray!'

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Talk Tuesday-The Wisdom of GOD

The CROSS offers hope to the hopeless, power to the powerless and strength to the weak. The CROSS promises victory to the defeated and courage to the fearful. The CROSS is the wisdom of GOD, where justice and mercy meet, and where love triumphs over judgment. Yet it holds two different meanings to two different sets of people; “18 For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 19 For it is written: 'I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent,'” 1 Corinthians 1:18-19

When JESUS came, many of the learned missed it; yet the humble, meek and unlearned grasped it. “At that time Jesus answered and said, 'I thank You, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that You have hidden these things from the wise and prudent and have revealed them to babes,'” Matthew 11:25. In this world, we are encouraged to accept empirical 'truth' and reject faith. If it cannot be seen, touched, tasted, smelled, heard, quantified or qualified by modern scientific standards, it is not valid nor valuable. Yet the Apostle Paul asks,“20 Where is the wise man? Where is the scholar? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? 21 For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe,” 1 Corinthians 1:20-21. The message of the CROSS is incredibly simple, yet what it accomplishes is utterly complex. Romans 10:9 tells us, “ that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.” Colossians 2:13-15 explains some of its complexity, “13 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, 14 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. 15 And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross.”

So, when you are challenged in your faith, speak up boldly! Do not think you are not good enough, instead meditate on this reality: “26 Brothers and sisters, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. 27 But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. 28 God chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things – and the things that are not – to nullify the things that are, 29 so that no one may boast before him. 30 It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God – that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption. 31 Therefore, as it is written: ‘Let the one who boasts boast in the Lord,'” 1Corinthians 1:26-31.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Lessons From The Battlefield Pt. III-The Power of Victory

Two weeks ago we began the series, Lessons From The Battlefield, based on 2 Chronicles 20: 1-30. During the first week, we read that King Jehoshaphat, the people of Judah and the people of Jerusalem had heard that a vast army was coming against them. In Pt. I, The Power of Faith, we saw how they sought the LORD. In Pt. II, The Power of Praise, we witnessed them worshiping GOD as the battle was about to begin. Join us as we conclude with Pt. III, The Power of Victory, and experience the faithfulness of the LORD.

22 As they began to sing and praise, the Lord set ambushes against the men of Ammon and Moab and Mount Seir who were invading Judah, and they were defeated. 23 The Ammonites and Moabites rose up against the men from Mount Seir to destroy and annihilate them. After they finished slaughtering the men from Seir, they helped to destroy one another. 24 When the men of Judah came to the place that overlooks the desert and looked toward the vast army, they saw only dead bodies lying on the ground; no one had escaped. 25 So Jehoshaphat and his men went to carry off their plunder, and they found among them a great amount of equipment and clothing and also articles of value—more than they could take away. There was so much plunder that it took three days to collect it. 26 On the fourth day they assembled in the Valley of Berakah, where they praised the Lord. This is why it is called the Valley of Berakah to this day. 27 Then, led by Jehoshaphat, all the men of Judah and Jerusalem returned joyfully to Jerusalem, for the Lord had given them cause to rejoice over their enemies. 28 They entered Jerusalem and went to the temple of the Lord with harps and lyres and trumpets. 29 The fear of God came on all the surrounding kingdoms when they heard how the Lord had fought against the enemies of Israel. 30 And the kingdom of Jehoshaphat was at peace, for his God had given him rest on every side. 2 Chronicles 20:22-29

GOD brought such a resounding victory to the Jehoshaphat and the people of Judah and Jerusalem. They were amazed and filled with great joy. Their plunder was so great, it took three days for them to collect it all. Not only did this victory increase their faith, but it brought glory to GOD throughout all the surrounding kingdoms.

When faced with your own personal battles, make GOD your first line of defence. Trust Him, seek Him, praise Him, then stand back and watch Him fight on your behalf. Hold on tenaciously until the very end. Do not give up, you may be turning away on the cusp of victory. Lastly, when you taste the power of victory, remember to testify of His goodness. Share with others what the LORD has done for you! Give Him all the glory, it will bring encouragement to others. And remember, there is no testimony without  a test!

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Lessons From The Battlefield Pt. II-The Power of Praise

Last week we read about how King Jehoshaphat chose to face the threat of the vast, advancing army of the Moabites, Ammonites and Meunites (2 Chronicles 20:1-17). He chose the path of faith, instructing his people to seek the LORD and to trust Him for their deliverance. God responded by telling them, through the mouth of the prophet, that He would fight on their behalf. What happened next was an amazing account of the power of praise!

“18 Jehoshaphat bowed down with his face to the ground, and all the people of Judah and Jerusalem fell down in worship before the Lord. 19 Then some Levites from the Kohathites and Korahites stood up and praised the Lord, the God of Israel, with a very loud voice. 20 Early in the morning they left for the Desert of Tekoa. As they set out, Jehoshaphat stood and said, 'Listen to me, Judah and people of Jerusalem! Have faith in the Lord your God and you will be upheld; have faith in his prophets and you will be successful.' 21 After consulting the people, Jehoshaphat appointed men to sing to the Lord and to praise him for the splendor of his holiness as they went out at the head of the army, saying: 'Give thanks to the Lord, for his love endures forever.' 22 As they began to sing and praise, the Lord set ambushes against the men of Ammon and Moab and Mount Seir who were invading Judah, and they were defeated. 23 The Ammonites and Moabites rose up against the men from Mount Seir to destroy and annihilate them. After they finished slaughtering the men from Seir, they helped to destroy one another.” 2 Chronicles 20:18-23

When we praise GOD, we diminish the strength of the enemy by exalting the name of the LORD. King David, Jehoshapat's forefather, stated, “1 The Lord is my light and my salvation—whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life—of whom shall I be afraid?” Psalm 27:1. Psalm 22:3 tells us that GOD is 'enthroned' in the praises of His people; the Jerusalem Bible states, “Yet you, the Holy One, who make your home in the praises of Israel.” GOD's presence abides in our praise! No enemy can withstand Him, “Let God arise, let His enemies be scattered,” Psalm 68:1. Praise propels us to walk by faith, not by sight. Praise changes the outcome and brings victory!

Join us next week for the final instalment of our series, “Lessons From The Battlefield Pt. III: The Power of Victory,”

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Talk Tuesday-Lessons From The Battlefield Pt. I: The Power of Faith

Have you ever faced a challenge that seemed insurmountable? Did it cause you to shrink in fear and trepidation? We are launching a 3 part series on 2 Chronicles 20, entitled, 'Lessons From The Battlefield.' We hope that these scriptural truths will equip you with strategies for a victorious life in Christ!

Jehoshaphat, King of Judah, was described as a man whose, “...heart was devoted to the ways of the LORD,” 2 Chronicles 17:6. The Bible tells us that God was with him him,“...because in his early years he walked in the ways his father David had followed. He did not consult the Baals but sought the God of his father and followed his commands rather than the practices of Israel,” 2 Chronicles 17:3-4. One day Jehoshaphat received a report that a vast army was coming to make war on him-the Moabites, Ammonites and Meunites. “Alarmed, Jehoshaphat resolved to inquire of the LORD, and he proclaimed a fast for all Judah. The people of Judah came together to seek help from the LORD; indeed they came from every town in Judah to seek Him,” 2 Chronicles 20:4. In the assembly of Judah and Jerusalem, Jehoshaphat prayed, “O LORD, God of our fathers, are you not the God who is in heaven? You rule over all the kingdoms of the nations. Power and might are in Your hand, and no one can withstand you,” 2 Chronicles 20:5-6. He recounted what God had done for them in the past, acknowledged his own desperate situation and declared in an act of faith, his trust in God. “For we have no power to face this vast army that is attacking us. We do not know what to do, but our eyes are upon you,” 2 Chronicles 20:12. The LORD responded with the words, “Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army. For the battle is not yours, but God's,” 2 Chronicles 20:15. He issued instructions to them, then said, “You will not have to fight this battle. Take up your positions; stand firm and see the deliverance the LORD will give you, O Judah and Jerusalem. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Go out and face them tomorrow, the LORD will be with you,” 2 Chronicles 20:17. 

When facing a battle, our plan of action should always be to seek the LORD first. This is an act of faith in which we acknowledge the power, sovereignty, faithfulness and might of the God we serve. As we fix our eyes upon God, we are able to, “...walk by faith not by sight,” 2 Corinthians 5:7. Remember how He answered prayer in the past. Confess your fear, worry and concern, then sit and listen in His presence. You will hear His promises spoken from the Word, through the Holy Spirit. God's Word tells us that we do not have to fight the battle, but to trust in the One who will fight for us! God's Word exhorts us to stand firm in faith, wait, and see the deliverance He will bring to those who trust in Him. Remember to HOLD ON TO JESUS in whatever situation you are facing today and you will live a victorious life!

Join us next week for the continuation of our series, “A Lesson From The Battlefield Pt. II: The Power of Praise.”

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Talk Tuesday-The Deceitfulness of Sin

Who doesn't love an action-spy-thriller?! I mean, one of those movies where you're on the edge of your seat, with your pulse racing and your mind trying to untangle the web of deceit that is an inevitable part of international espionage! Are you hooked as yet? Well, I almost was...to the point of sin.

It was one of those lazy Friday afternoons when I was at home by myself. I was surfing through the cable company's on-demand selection and found another instalment of my favourite action-spy-thriller. I paid the customary $4.99 and then settled in for an evening of high octane entertainment. The first five minutes were gripping. I was barely breathing when I suddenly heard the name of Jesus Christ used as a profanity. I paused the movie, and sat still. The war instantly began to rage in my soul. I felt shocked and confused. I thought, “I need to continue watching this, I need to see what happens next!” So, I began to reason within myself, “...after all, I'll just be left wondering how it all ends!” Then the still, small voice of the Holy Spirit began to speak. “How could you watch a show that uses the name of Jesus Christ as a profanity on Friday, then go and sing about that same name in reverent worship on Sunday?” You see, it was my turn to sing a solo at church that weekend. My song of choice? 'Worthy Is The Lamb' by Darlene Zschech of Hillsong. The first verse starts off with, “Thank you for the cross Lord, thank you for the price You paid, bearing all my sin and shame, in love You came and gave amazing grace,” then it crescendos with the chorus declaring, “WORTHY IS THE LAMB, SEATED ON THE THRONE, crown You now with many crowns, You reign victorious.” That day I turned the tv off. I decided that the $4.99 and the short term pleasure were not worth the pain of guilt that I would feel later. That was a poignant moment for me spiritually and for my growth as a Christian.

Hebrews 3:12-13 warns,“12 See to it, brothers and sisters, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God. 13 But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called 'Today,' so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness.”

Sin's deceitfulness always starts off small, masked as harmless entertainment, an idle thought, a curious glance, a careless word, or an unintentional gesture. It is often accompanied by the thought, 'just this once,' or 'I deserve this.' One time becomes two, two become three and then hardness of heart leads to habit, or habit leads to hardness of heart. Thankfully, God has given us the Holy Spirit, the Word of God and one another for accountability. Let us guard our hearts diligently, encourage one another regularly, read the Bible daily and listen to the Holy Spirit constantly. And remember, JESUS died for your sins, so if you fall, repent and get back up because you are washed in the Blood of the Lamb!

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Talk Tuesday-Hold On To The Truth

A new season is here. Fall has arrived. School has begun. Work is ever increasing and our responsibilities remain. Yet, the world we live in is changing. We hear of wars, rumors of wars, plagues, diseases, religious persecution and extremism at its most inhumane. We are told that Global Warming is destroying our planet. What will our world look like in 20 years from now? Technology is advancing at a rapid pace, Social Media is the new norm of communication, and we have begun to feel more self-reliant than ever.

As a teenager, I can remember reading Romans 1:21-25, and really wondering about verse 25. "21 For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools 23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like a mortal human being and birds and animals and reptiles. 24 Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. 25 They exchanged the truth about God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. Amen." Romans 1:21-25. I naively thought idolatry to be an outdated concept, and mused about what it could look like in the future. Fast forward 20 years later. In today's popular culture, I hear much talk of 'The Universe'. At first I was confused, until I realized that people were praying to 'The Universe', putting things out there into 'The Universe' and that 'The Universe' was responding by 'granting' them their wishes.

Here's another thing that puzzled me in my youth: the concluding verse in the Parable of the Persistent Widow from Luke 18:1-8. The parable tells of a widow who seeks justice from a judge who neither fears God nor man. Her persistence moves him to action, “...yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will see that she gets justice, so that she won’t eventually come and attack me!” Luke 18:5. Jesus uses this as teaching moment to remind us not to give up when we pray. “6 And the Lord said, 'Listen to what the unjust judge says. 7 And will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off?” Luke 18:6-7. Why, then, does He ask such a haunting question afterwards? “8 I tell you, he will see that they get justice, and quickly. However, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?'” Luke 18:8.

In a season when the earth is groaning, times are changing, evil seems to be prevailing, and darkness seems impending, HOLD ON TO THE TRUTH. “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever,” Hebrews 13:8. An exchange between Pontius Pilate and Jesus about truth goes like this: 

"36 Jesus said, 'My kingdom is not of this world. If it were, my servants would fight to prevent my arrest by the Jewish leaders. But now my kingdom is from another place.' 37 'You are a king, then!' said Pilate. Jesus answered, 'You say that I am a king. In fact, the reason I was born and came into the world is to testify to the truth. Everyone on the side of truth listens to me.' 38 'What is truth?' retorted Pilate." John 18:36-38.

Here is a summary of TRUTH; The Apostles' Creed.

I BELIEVE in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth. I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord. He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary. He suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried. He descended to the dead. On the third day he rose again. He ascended into heaven, and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again to judge the living and the dead. I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen.

Movie Monday - The Apostles' Creed

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Talk Tuesday-Examine Your Love

How should we love? What should our love look like in relation to GOD, others and ourselves? There are so many different ways to answer this question. I have heard it said that you must first love yourself before you can love others, love is about treating people the way you want to be treated, and that it should not judge but be all inclusive. All of these statements contain a measure of truth, however when weighed against the Biblical definition of love, they fall short.

In the Bible love always begins and ends with GOD, who is love (1 John 4:8). One of the greatest statements of GOD's love is anchored in the crushing reality of John 3:16, “For this is how God loved the world: He gave His one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.” This is where I hear the car screech to a sudden halt, and the smell burning rubber and asphalt jar me out of my illusion. I was cruising along the road of life thinking, for many years, that I knew what love was. To be a well-balanced, loving person, was to abide by the world's definition of love which is sung about, written about and celebrated in popular culture.

Jesus is questioned by the religious leaders of his time about the application of the law to their daily lives. In Mark 12:28-33, he is asked by a teacher of the law about which of the commandments are most important. Jesus' answer begins and ends with the concept of LOVE.

28 One of the teachers of religious law was standing there listening to the debate. He realized that Jesus had answered well, so he asked, “Of all the commandments, which is the most important?”
29 Jesus replied, “The most important commandment is this: ‘Listen, O Israel! The Lord our God is the one and only Lord. 30 And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength.’31 The second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’No other commandment is greater than these.”
 32 The teacher of religious law replied, “Well said, Teacher. You have spoken the truth by saying that there is only one God and no other. 33 And I know it is important to love him with all my heart and all my understanding and all my strength, and to love my neighbor as myself. This is more important than to offer all of the burnt offerings and sacrifices required in the law.”

 So, I put forth the question to you. When you examine your concept of love against Biblical Scriptures, what do you think your LOVE ought to look like? Please post your comments below by clicking on the 'comments' link. We would LOVE to hear from you!

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Talk Tuesday-Love Does Not Encourage Sin

What is love? Popular culture tells us that love is self-seeking, it is the fulfillment of physical desire, it meets our needs, it has no parameters of definition, it is ours for the taking and it begins with us. Love also involves total acceptance without differentiation between what is right and what is wrong. What does the Bible tell us about love?

"7 Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. 8 Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. 9 This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. 10 This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins." 1 John 4:7-10

"12 This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. 13 Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends." John 15:12-13

"23 Jesus replied, 'Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them. 24 Anyone who does not love me will not obey my teaching. These words you hear are not my own; they belong to the Father who sent me.'" John 14:23-24

"8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us." Romans 5:8

"9 Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good." Romans 12:9

"5 And have you completely forgotten this word of encouragement that addresses you as a father addresses his son? It says, 'My son, do not make light of the Lord’s discipline, and do not lose heart when he rebukes you, 6 because the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and he chastens everyone he accepts as his son.'” Hebrews 12:5-6

"4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. 8 Love never fails." 1 Corinthians 13:4-8

 Love is sacrificial. It is determined by GOD, who is love. It begins with knowing Him, accepting His love, then continues in how we show it to others. It is not self-seeking. Its parameters are clearly defined by GOD and exemplified by Him. It rebukes, disciplining us in our rebellion. It does not lie. It forgives. It demands our total obedience to GOD.

Love hates sin but loves the sinner. This is the CROSS.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Talk Tuesday-The Way That Leads To Life

The Bible warns us that,”There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death,” Proverbs 14:12. Many times my errant ways seem justified to me. When I get hurt, feel betrayed, frustrated, angry or indignant, my thoughts often stray into the territory of unforgiveness and retribution. Then God's Word redirects my heart towards life and peace. “14 For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15 But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins,” Matthew 6:14-15; “ Do not judge, or you too will be judged. 2 For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you,” Matthew 7:1-2.

The Psalmist writes, “Blessed are they whose ways are blameless, who walk according to the law of the LORD. Blessed are they who keep His statutes and seek Him with all their heart. They do nothing wrong; they walk in His ways. You have laid down precepts that are to be fully obeyed. Oh, that my ways were steadfast in obeying your decrees! Then I would not be put to shame when I consider all your commands,” Psalm 119: 1-6. In a world that preaches self-gratification and glorification of our mortal flesh, how can we find the way that leads to life? The Psalmist also asks, “How can a young man keep his way pure?” Psalm 119:9. Then the answer is revealed in his own response, “By living according to Your word. I seek You with all my heart; do not let me stray from Your commands. I have hidden Your word in my heart that I might not sin against you,” Psalm 119:9-11.

 The end of our earthly lives will come. Enter through the 'narrow gate' and find the Way that leads to life. “Jesus answered, 'I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me,'” John 14:6; “He replied, “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it,” Luke 11:28.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Talk Tuesday-Don't Stay Down!

Have you ever felt really down about yourself and distant from GOD? Have you ever felt despondent, discouraged or disappointed by your own behaviour as a professing Christian? Well, I certainly have!

This week I was reminded of GOD's infinite mercy, grace and love. As I considered my own sinfulness, I felt the Holy Spirit encourage me to simply confess, repent and pray. So, I did. I acknowledged my waywardness before the LORD (because that is exactly what sin is!), I asked for forgiveness and petitioned Him for help. Afterwards, I felt refreshed, restored and ready to face the future.

The Bible tells us that, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness,” 1 John 1:9. JESUS CHRIST is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and He advocates on our behalf. “But if anybody does sin, we have an advocate with the Father—Jesus Christ, the Righteous One. 2 He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world,” 1 John 2:1-2. The HOLY SPIRIT teaches us the Word of GOD and convicts us of sin. “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you,” John 14:26. “And when He has come, He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment,” John 16:8. 

Today, if you are feeling down, dive into His Word and pray. He has a great plan for your life! “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do,” Ephesians 2:10. Remember whose you are. "14 For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God. 15 The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, 'Abba, Father.' 16 The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children," Romans 8:14-16. Then, remember who HE is. “The LORD is gracious and full of compassion, slow to anger and great in mercy,” Psalm 145:8. Now, RISE, REJOICE and RECEIVE HIS promises for your life!

"Blessed are all who fear the LORD, who walk in His ways." Psalm 128:1

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Talk Tuesday-Trust Him More

Last week my faith felt smaller than a mustard seed! I felt weak, defeated and overwhelmed by situations in the storm we were facing. My disappointment in myself rose to the surface as I considered the many times GOD had shown Himself strong and mighty in my life. Shouldn't my faith have been larger and more constant in the midst of it all? Then it came to me, 'CONFESS and PRAY.' So I did.

In 2 Corinthians 12:9, the LORD says, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” I confessed my weakness and asked for His perfect strength. I remembered His promise that, “...if you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you,” Matthew 17:20. So I confessed that my faith felt smaller than a mustard seed, and prayed for more faith. “7 Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened,” Matthew 7:7-8.

This week, I am so very thankful to be able to say that my faith is at least the size of a mustard seed again! Imagine, a mustard seed is between 1 or 2 mm in diameter! Now I find myself commanding the mountain to be moved!! He has answered my prayer and increased my faith. I am beginning to see the situations in the storm change and soon the storm itself will dissipate.

This morning the Holy Spirit reminded me of GOD's great promise from Isaiah 41:10, “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your GOD. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”

To all my Christian Brothers and Sisters, both present and soon to come, remember this: “'No weapon forged against you will prevail, and you will refute every tongue that accuses you. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, and this is their vindication from me,' declares the LORD.” Isaiah 54:17 

When you find yourself suspended between the reality of faith and unbelief, TRUST HIM MORE!

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Talk Tuesday-Forward In FAITH

“Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him,” 1 Corinthians 2:9.

Loving God has to do with obedience, “If you love me, keep my commands,” John 14:15. It is hard to obey God and to live in this world. It may oftentimes seem as though the standards of this world are in opposition to the Word of God. There are instances when doing the right thing seems to yield rejection, exclusion, ridicule, persecution and suffering. Yet Jesus says, “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven,” Matthew 5:10.

Hold fast to His Word and go forward in FAITH. The Bible reminds us that, “Faith is being sure of what we hope for. It is being certain of what we do not see,” Hebrews 11:1; “For we walk by faith, not by sight,” 2 Corinthians 5:7. 

Whatever it is that GOD has promised you, hold on in FAITH. Do not let sight cause you to fall, and should you stumble, get back up on your knees and pray to the ONE who is able to restore. JESUS says, “My kingdom is not of this world,” John 18:36; “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.” Matthew 6:33. When we look towards this world for our reward, we will find ourselves feeling disappointed. Remember, “...the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit,” Romans 14:17.  

For those who have never experienced the blessing of knowing the LORD, the invitation is always open to you! “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is to you and to your children, and to all who are afar off, as many as the Lord our God will call.” Acts 2:38-39

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Talk Tuesday-Watch and Pray

Jesus models what it means to watch and pray. In the Garden of Gethsemane (Mark 14:32-38) Jesus is tempted to succumb to the flesh and resist death on the cross. In his humanity, he cries out for the cup of suffering to pass from him. Yet he denounces his will with a determination rooted in obedience and opts for the will of the Father instead. The Bible describes the depth of the agony of soul Jesus endured at that hour. He knew the weakness of the flesh and prayed against its will. Jesus Christ came as fully man, even though He was fully God.

When he came back to the disciples, whom he asked to watch and pray with him, he found them asleep. Disappointed, he asked them, “Could you not watch one hour?” Mark 14:37. The warning He issued is both poignant and instructive; “Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” Mark 14:38

How many times have we experienced this very dilemma? The Apostle Paul describes it aptly, “Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me. 22 For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; 23 but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me. 24 What a wretched man I am!” Romans 7:21-24

God has given us the power to overcome, but we are to partner with Him through prayer, watchfulness and obedience. His instructions are to “pray without ceasing” (1 Thessalonians 5:17), to “guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it,” (Proverbs 4:23), to be realistic about your sinful nature, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; who can know it?” (Jeremiah 17:9), to remain rooted in His Word, “I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you,” (Psalm 119:11), to "walk by the Spirit and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh,"(Galatians 5:16) and to “Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you,” James 4:7. Remember Him in the hour of your temptation, for His promise is that:

“13 No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.” 1 Corinthians 10:13

Watch and Pray, for the hour is at hand! And if you fall, remember this, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness,” 1 John 1:9

Godspeed for the journey ahead!

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Talk Tuesday-The Essence of Time

Time cannot be held down, manipulated, controlled or stopped. Time is a quantity whose quality is determined by the choices we make-not only for ourselves, but for our generations to come. Earthly time is short and finite, yet it determines the outcome of our eternal time. What does Jesus say about time?

The Signs of the Times and the End of the Age

"3 Now as He sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately, saying, 'Tell us, when will these things be? And what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?' 4 And Jesus answered and said to them: 'Take heed that no one deceives you. 5 For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many. 6 And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. 7 For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. 8 All these are the beginning of sorrows. 9 Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name’s sake. 10 And then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another. 11 Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many. 12 And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold. 13 But he who endures to the end shall be saved. 14 And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come.'" Matthew 24:3-14

Jesus warns of His return to earth and what it means to humanity. He warns of impending tribulation and persecution; the earth will groan, the stars will fall from the sky, the sun will be darkened and the moon will not give its light. Yet there remains the Kingdom promise of eternal salvation and peace. Of His return He warns, “But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only,” Matthew 24:36; “Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect,” Matthew 24:44.

Live with an understanding of the essence of time or before you know it, time will have passed you by in a blur of activity, busyness and worldly pursuits. A life with Christ is an eternity with God. A life without Christ is an eternity without God. Choose before it is too late.

12 “'And behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to give to every one according to his work. 13 I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End, the First and the Last.' 14 Blessed are those who do His commandments, that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter through the gates into the city.” Revelation 22:12-14

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Talk Tuesday-Easter Edition: The Call Of The CROSS

As Good Friday and Easter Sunday approach, let us meditate on the significance of the CROSS and the meaning of the BLOOD that was shed on Calvary's hill. What Jesus did was no easy thing. Jesus Christ, the Incarnate One, came to earth in full humanity. This means that while He was fully GOD, He was fully man.

This Easter read the following chapters: Genesis 1-3, Leviticus 16, Matthew 26-28 (or Mark 14-16, Luke 22-24 or John 18-21) and Revelation 5. You will find a brief chronological history of the Easter story. In the Garden of Eden, Adam and Eve's sin brought the curse of death and ruptured our relationship with God. The imago Dei or image of God (Gen. 1:26-27) with which we were created became defaced yet never effaced-it remained, albeit in a marred state by the act of our sin. What happened in Eden was The Fall of mankind. Yet, this did not change who God Is. God is Love (1 John 4:8). God is Holy (Leviticus 19:2, 1 Peter 1:16). God is Just (Psalm 89:14). God is Merciful and God is Gracious (Psalm 103:8). All of these characteristics of God are displayed on the CROSS where His Only Begotten Son was crucified on our behalf. The declaration, 'It is finished,' John 19:30, are words of Victory that proclaim our freedom, deliverance, acceptance, redemption, and the atonement of our sins. It heralds the restoration of our relationship with God. Why the CROSS? It is at that moment that Jesus bore the sins of all mankind in a final act of love, in an experience of dereliction. “For the life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it to you upon the altar to make atonement for your souls; for it is the blood that makes atonement for the soul,” Leviticus 17:11. He TRIUMPHED over the CROSS. He ROSE again. He will RETURN!

 “You are worthy to take the scroll, and to open its seals; for You were slain, and have redeemed us to God by Your blood out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation, and have made us kings and priests to our God; and we shall reign on the earth.” Revelation 5:9-10

In End, at the Eschaton, Jesus Christ will return. “5 Then He who sat on the throne said, 'Behold, I make all things new.' And He said to me, 'Write, for these words are true and faithful.' 6 And He said to me, 'It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. I will give of the fountain of the water of life freely to him who thirsts.'”  Revelation 21:5-6

“And the Spirit and the bride say, 'Come!' And let him who hears say, 'Come!' And let him who thirsts come. Whoever desires, let him take the water of life freely.” Revelation 22:17

Come to the CROSS today and meet the One who died upon it just for you!

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Talk Tuesday-Do You Have Life?

When I was a young university student, I experienced three consecutive deaths in my family in my 3rd year. I remember thinking, 'What is the purpose of life?' I seemed to have everything I needed-family, friends, money, opportunity, an eduction-yet there was an inexplicable void that remained. Although I was raised in a Christian family and attended church, I did not have a personal relationship with God through Jesus Christ. I kept looking to the world to fill me, and it didn't...it couldn't. Then when death came knocking on our door, I felt that void grow deeper. I stood back in the distance as I witnessed my mother, father, brother and sister each come into a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. The change was immediate, evident and profound. It seemed as though everything they did centred around Jesus. They had this incredible passion, zeal, joy and purpose that was otherworldly. I wanted what they had. I wanted life.

The Bible tells us that, “Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life,” 1 John 5:12. What does it mean to 'have life'? Romans 6:23 teaches us that, “...the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Jesus' death on the cross means that our sins are washed away by His blood, atonement is made on our behalf, we are justified before God the Father, our relationship with Him is restored and we have been redeemed. In other words, we have been set free to live a life of purpose to bring honour and glory to God, and to love our neighbours as we love ourselves. Jesus' death on the cross is the ultimate act of love which demands that we reject sin, and live surrendered, holy lives for the One who gave us this gift of life. Today, we implore you to, “Seek the Lord while He may be found, call upon Him while He is near,” Isaiah 55:6. Turn away from the world, “...the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life,” 1 John 2:16, give up your worldly life for a life in Christ, then you will truly live. Accept by faith Jesus' finished work on the cross, and invite Him to be Lord of your entire life. In June 1996, I did just that and the void was filled. I finally had life.

“34 When He had called the people to Himself, with His disciples also, He said to them,'Whoever desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. 35 For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel’s will save it. 36 For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul?'” Mark 8:34-36

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Talk Tuesday-Are You Ready?

"Jesus is coming soon!" We have heard these words echoed throughout the ages, as men and women waited in fearful anticipation for the return of our Lord Jesus Christ. The Bible tells us to,“Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour in which the Son of Man is coming," Matthew 25:13. The Prophet Joel warns, "Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision! For the day of the Lord is near in the valley of decision," Joel 3:14. The disciples themselves questioned Jesus about His return, "Tell us, when will these things be? And what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?” Matthew 24:3.

4 And Jesus answered and said to them: “Take heed that no one deceives you. 5 For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many. 6 And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. 7 For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. 8 All these are the beginning of sorrows. 9 “Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name’s sake. 10 And then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another. 11 Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many. 12 And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold. 13 But he who endures to the end shall be saved. 14 And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come. Matthew 24:4-14

The real question is not 'WHEN is Jesus coming?', but 'AM I READY?' We have all heard the expression, 'Life is short.' The truth is that, “All flesh is grass, and all its loveliness is like the flower of the field. 7 The grass withers, the flower fades, because the breath of the Lord blows upon it; surely the people are grass. 8 The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God stands forever,” Isaiah 40:6-8. The transitory nature of our earthly lives means that our opportunity to accept the gift of eternal life is limited. Choose wisely. I leave you with THREE TRUTHS to ponder:

"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." John 3:15

"...that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved." Romans 10:9  

"8 But, beloved, do not forget this one thing, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. 9 The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance. 10 But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up." 2 Peter 3:8-10


Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Talk Tuesday - Be Holy, For God Is Holy

I was born in Trinidad.  I loved Trinidad and it’s culture.  The carnival, the costumes, the drinking and the partying. When I became a christian I gave up my life as a ‘Trini.’  I knew my old life did not please God.  It was interesting, I would go to Carnival on Monday and Tuesday then for my ashes in church on Wednesday. I tried to fool myself saying,”This is my culture...it’s ok.”

Now that I have surrendered my life to Christ I see things in a new way.  I went to an event and there was music from my past.  My pastor was there with us.  All of a sudden a couple started to bump and wine in front of us.  I felt so ashamed.  I looked at my wife and then I looked at my pastor.  I could not believe that this is what I used to do.  I felt God’s disgust.  

Carnival is coming up in Trinidad.  Before you decide to sip that rum and coke or wine on that person, see what God sees.  Sin.  Yes Sin.  I don’t care how much people say that it is our culture, what you are doing is detestable to God.  Sin is Sin.  No matter how you do it.

“Therefore, with minds that are alert and fully sober, set your hope on the grace to be brought to you when Jesus Christ is revealed at his coming. 14 As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. 15 But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; 16 for it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy.”  1 Peter 1:13-16

“And do this, understanding the present time: The hour has already come for you to wake up from your slumber, because our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed.12 The night is nearly over; the day is almost here. So let us put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light. 13 Let us behave decently, as in the daytime, not in carousing and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and debauchery, not in dissension and jealousy.14 Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the flesh.” Romans 13:11-14

May God bless and keep you in His presence,


Wednesday, February 12, 2014

100 Bibles for Asia

Imagine not having a Bible, not being able to read the Word of God. That is the sad reality for some people in South Asia. Imagine you could give a Bible for a low as $3. That is cheaper than a Starbucks speciality coffee. How? Gospel for Asia has made it really easy to raise money for the underprivileged in Asia.  All you have to do is follow this link and, with a credit card, you can make a donation.  The donation goes directly to Gospel for Asia and they deliver the Bibles to the people that need it. 100% of the money goes to providing the Bibles.

You can help us reach our goal of raising $300, that is 100 Bibles, for the people of Asia.  Spread the word by sharing the link on Facebook, Twitter or by email. Be a blessing by giving the Word of God to people that need it.

We want to thank you in advance for your donations and prayer.
Andrew and Tash

P.S. If we reach our goal, keep donating because that means more Bibles for Asia.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Talk Tuesday-Live As Children of The Light

As Christians, we are called to live as 'Children of the Light'. The Word of God is truth and it instructs us in the way we should go. It is also profoundly countercultural. When Jesus intercedes for us to God the Father, He says, “14 I have given them Your word; and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. 15 I do not pray that You should take them out of the world, but that You should keep them from the evil one. 16 They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. 17 Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth,” John 17:14-17.

Our obedience to the Word of God must cause us to be in enmity with the world, “...don’t you know that friendship with the world means enmity against God? Therefore, anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God,” James 4:4. We cannot serve two masters. “15 Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16 For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world. 17 And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever,” 1 John 2:15-17. Let us cling steadfastly to the Word of God for all teaching, exhortation and correction. The Psalmist says, “Your word I have hidden in my heart, that I might not sin against You,” Psalm 119:11. In Proverbs 14:12 we are warned that, “12 There is a way that appears to be right, but in the end it leads to death.” Stay in the Word of God, and pray unceasingly. Resist the world's seducing 'inclusivity' of sin. God's Word does not change with every cultural shift. “See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the elemental spiritual forces of this world rather than on Christ,” Colossians 2:8. I pray that today's post will encourage your hearts and spur you on to live boldly as 'Children of the Light'.

“8 For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light 9 (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth) 10 and find out what pleases the Lord. 11 Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them.” Ephesians 5:8-11

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Prayer Wall - February

Please post to the Prayer Wall your prayer request.  Let's pray for the nations.

If you are not sure how to make a comment please see our YouTube video.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Talk Tuesday-Rebellion's Defence

This week I came across a quote from Thomas Cranmer (16th century Archbishop of Canterbury ). “What the heart loves, the will chooses, and the mind justifies.” I began to ponder this. Why do we choose rebellion and sin over God's commands, when His ways bring us protection and blessing instead of pain and hardship?

Adam and Eve were given every provision in the Garden of Eden, and lived at ease. Yet, Satan beguiled them to eat the forbidden fruit, launching them into the consequence of sin that has been painful for all mankind. As I reread the Genesis account of The Fall, I noted how Eve's response differed from Jesus' response, when tempted by Satan:

2 And the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat the fruit of the trees of the garden; 3 but of the fruit 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.’” 4 Then the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. 5 For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” 6 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. She also gave to her husband with her, and he ate. Genesis 3:2-6

Eve repeats the Word of God only once; she resists the Serpent only once. Jesus repeats the Word of God THREE times, resisting Him all three times, until the Devil finally flees:

3 Now when the tempter came to Him, he said, “If You are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread.” 4 But He answered and said, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.’” 5 Then the devil took Him up into the holy city, set Him on the pinnacle of the temple, 6 and said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down. For it is written: ‘He shall give His angels charge over you,’ and, ‘In their hands they shall bear you up, 
Lest you dash your foot against a stone.’” 7 Jesus said to him, “It is written again, ‘You shall not tempt the Lord your God.’” 8 Again, the devil took Him up on an exceedingly high mountain, and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. 9 And he said to Him, “All these things I will give You if You will fall down and worship me.” 10 Then Jesus said to him, “Away with you, Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and Him only you shall serve.’”11 Then the devil left Him, and behold, angels came and ministered to Him. Matthew 4: 3-10

God's Word is life. It is our defence. Stay in His Word, and remember, “Resist the devil and he will flee from you.” James 4:7. Hold on to His Word for a safe journey through this perilous world.

“Your word I have hidden in my heart,
 that I might not sin against You.” Psalm 119:11

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Talk Tuesday-Faith In 2014

What is FAITH? The Bible tells us that, "...faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see," Hebrews 11:1. Jesus says, "...for assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you," Matthew 17:20. The Apostle Paul reminds us that, "...we walk by faith, not by sight," 2 Corinthians 5:7. So what is it about FAITH that is so God-honouring yet powerful in the hands of the Christian?

FAITH is an unwavering trust in GOD. Romans Chapter 4 tells us about Abraham's faith. He was very old and childless when GOD promised him that he would become the father of many nations:

18 Against all hope, Abraham in hope believed and so became the father of many nations, just as it had been said to him, “So shall your offspring be.” 19 Without weakening in his faith, he faced the fact that his body was as good as dead—since he was about a hundred years old—and that Sarah’s womb was also dead. 20 Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, 21 being fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised. 22 This is why “it was credited to him as righteousness.” 23 The words “it was credited to him” were written not for him alone, 24 but also for us, to whom God will credit righteousness—for us who believe in him who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead. 25 He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification. Romans 4:18-25

Such powerful words! This New Year, we can choose to walk in FAITH, believing in the power of the JESUS' death and resurrection, knowing that we are justified, redeemed and forgiven by His blood shed on the Cross. We have the promise of eternal life, and as His people, we can choose to live out His purpose for us in 2014. And when sight comes to blind us and our circumstances speak fear, let us stand in faith on the truth that, "...in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us," Romans 8:37.