Stolen Identity

by Steve Countryman 

John 10:10 “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.”  It’s a good idea to know your enemy the “THIEF”.  He comes to steal, to rob you, to con you, to take away the truth from you, to strip you of your identity, who you are in Christ!

When you prayed the sinner’s prayer you became a new creature.  No longer a slave to sin but freedom through Jesus Christ and the shed blood at Calvary.  It is Father God who has given you your new identity.  For you are now identified with Jesus as a servant of the Lord, a bond slave of Christ and adopted into the royal family as a child of the King, the Most High God!

The devil starts by whispering lies to you to steal God’s truth.  He tries to get you to doubt God’s Word.  He steals the blessings of salvation and your deliverance by telling you that you can’t escape your past nor your past sins.  He tells you that you’re not worthy to be a child of God.  And each time you sin he shows up and tells you “see if you were a child of God then you wouldn’t have sinned.”  That’s one way He will rob you!

Satan will tell you anything to separate you from the Word of God and God’s truth.  He has spent millennia perfecting his lies and techniques.  He wants to destroy your walk with the Father and kill your hope.

The one thing that scares Satan the most is when a Christian realize who they are in Christ Jesus and who Christ Jesus is in them!  That is a Christian who he can’t scare off in fear or deceive by deception.  A Christian who is anchored in God’s Word and truth cannot be moved.  A Christian who knows the Masters voice walks in His ways and in His Word.

Satan wants to use your mistakes and your past to try to convince you of who you are not.  Your past is not who you are.  Your past does not dictate your future.  Your past does not control your actions.  Your past is there as a witness of who you are NOT!  Your past gives you reason to praise God for who you are not.  Your past testifies to the work of the Holy Spirit “changing you from glory to glory”.  Your past is not why you are here!

Genesis 1:27 “So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.”  All mankind is an enemy of Satan both saint and sinner alike for we have all been made in the image of God.  It drives Satan crazy when he looks at any human for we all resemble Jesus.

Jesus came so that you could have life and have it ABUNDANTLY!  His blessings abound here on earth over you daily.  Promises of protection, of divine health, of prosperity, of power and authority, of overflowing abundance.  So much blessing that you don’t have room enough for it so that you become spillers of His blessings.

As children of the Most High God we are here to affect and infect our surroundings for the kingdom of God everywhere we go every day!  For your identity is secured in Christ Jesus!

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I Have Seen the Lord!

 By: Karen Pourbabaee

“…How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!” Romans 10:15 NAB

Mary was determined to go back to the tomb on Sunday morning to finish the anointing of Christ’s body, begun on Friday by Nicodemus and Joseph of Arimathea. It was devotion that led Mary up that mountain on Easter morning. She peered into the dark tomb. Two angels appeared, questioning her as to why she was seeking the living among the dead. She then turned to a voice that called her by name. The voice of Rabbouni, her Master. Christ manifests Himself to those who seek Him. Jesus chose Mary, the one who stayed and wept and searched. Then He appointed her to go and tell the good news to the other disciples.

So Mary of Magdala became the first witness to the risen Christ. Listening to the words of her Master, Mary left in haste to announce to the eleven, “…I have seen the Lord!” (John 20:18) How beautiful are the feet that brought such good news on Easter morn! News that causes us to rejoice to this very day.

Every person who follows the risen Christ gets the same assignment. Where have you seen Jesus? Have you recognized Him at work in your life or the lives of others? Have you heard His voice in the stillness of night? Has the Living Word spoken to your heart in Scripture? We have all seen the Lord if we have sincerely looked for Him. He has commissioned each of us to go and tell, just like Mary. We are to be the beautiful feet that bring the good news that He is alive.

Lord, give me a seeking heart like Mary. A yearning devotion. One that waits for You in all things and at all times. Choose me, Lord. I long to see Your face as Mary did. Anoint my feet to go and tell the good news that You are alive! Amen.

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Time is in His Hands

By: Steve Countryman

Since we are all governed by time it’s hard to think of time outside of time, but that’s where our God lives and operates. God created time and is not ruled or governed by it. That means that God steps in and out of time as one who enters and leaves a room. That is not an easy thing to grasp. However it is a very important item as a child of God to remember. Remembering it helps your prayers.

There are a lot of Christians who don’t pray about anything but the most dire and serious matters. They feel that all of the day to day and the trivial stuff isn’t important enough for the creator of the universe to be bothered by. “God doesn’t have time to waste on my problems.” On the contrary, God has ALL the time in the world! Because God is not limited to time He can examine every possible scenario to answer your prayers. God can then pick the absolute very best outcome for you.

Habakkuk 2:3 “For the revelation awaits an appointed time; it speaks of the end and will not prove false. Though it linger, wait for it; it will certainly come and will not delay.”

Psalm 27:13-14 13 “I remain confident of this: I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. 14 Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.”

We Christians are the “body of Christ” and Jesus is the head. He has determined to work through mankind to answer our prayers and fulfill His will. God’s timing is ALWAYS perfect. The answer to your prayers most of the time will come through someone else. God gathers those involved to orchestrate all of the necessary pieces to complete the answer to your prayer. Sometimes those involved are slow to respond which causes delays in the answers arriving early.

Often times the answers don’t come how, when, where and through who we think they should come. Have you ever wondered that just maybe the answer to your prayer was also tied to the answer to someone else’s prayers? An easy example would be Jill prays that God will use her to bless someone today. John’s car broke down on a stretch of highway that doesn’t see a lot of traffic. His cell phone has no signal and he is stranded out in the middle of nowhere.

John has been there now for over a couple of hours without a soul in sight. He prays that someone will come along and give him a lift. Jill is on her way to visit an old friend when she sees John broke down along side the road. She feels a “tug” at her spirit to stop and offer Him a ride. Both John and Jill had their prayers answered and were blessed by it. That is how God works!

You are a child of the King and you are important to God the Father. There are no small prayers or trivial things when it comes to those items that you struggle with. Father God ALWAYS makes time to hear and answer your prayers. Sometimes the answer is no for He knows what’s best for you and when it’s best for you. He has already seen ALL the possible outcomes and has chosen the best answer for you.

So keep in mind that God will ALWAYS make time for you. Don’t let your faith and trust weaken because you were in too much of a hurry to let God answer your prayers. Wait upon the Lord as you continue to walk by faith daily and you will receive the answers to your prayers. John 11:40 “Did I not tell you that if you believe you would see the glory of God?”

Treading on Thin Ice

By: Steve Countryman

Most people, at one time or another, have walked or tried to walk across a frozen pond or lake. Your hope is that the ice will be thick and strong enough to hold you without breaking. As you walk you hear some cracking and popping sounds in the ice. There are some principles that you must follow to be successful at your attempt of crossing. One very important thing to remember is to keep moving. Stopping normally invites trouble. By stopping you end up with all of your weight in one spot applying the most pressure on the ice at the specific spot. But if you keep moving your weight is only there for a limited short time.

Just like you see someone trying to rescue another person on the ice. What they are supposed to do is to get down on their belly and try to get close enough to pull them out. By getting down on their belly they are redistributing their weight over a bigger area of ice which will support them better. Falling into the icy waters can be dangerous and even lead to death.

From time to time your daily walk seems like a dangerous walk over thin ice. You carefully walk trying not to disturb the ice or cause any cracking. But the devil try his best to make your walk as scary and fearful as possible. As you walk you do so by sight and your sense of hearing is heightened. You hear some distant cracking that seems to grow louder and closer as you move. Next you hear the ice popping and feel a slight tremble beneath your feet. Then you feel a shift in the ice as you move. Panic starts to really set in. You hurry your steps and pick a spot on the shore that is the closest and quickest way off the ice. And you pray that you make it!

Your walk is to be a walk of faith. 2 Corinthians 5:7 For we walk by faith, not by sight.” Unlike the real world of crossing over thin ice your walk is not done alone. Father God almighty is with you and He provides the support and protection that you need to make your journey. So no matter what is going on around you and regardless how scary it may be, Father God has got your back!

Psalm 91:11-16 11For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways; 12 they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone. 13 You will tread on the lion and the cobra; you will trample the great lion and the serpent. 14 “Because he loves me,” says the Lord, “I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name. 15 He will call on me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him. 16 With long life I will satisfy him and show him my salvation.”

Article Source: http://www.faithwriters.comCHRISTIAN WRITERS

Never Alone

 – Jennifer Woodley 

‘Yet I am not alone, because the Father is with me.’ John 16:32 

There are times when we can feel very lonely, even when surrounded by friends or family. Often, they are hurtful, isolating times, when the people we value the most are not able or willing to offer what we need – even when they are physically close. They may be so caught up in their own affairs that we hardly feel noticed.

Before we entertain feelings of rejection or self-pity or begin to harbor thoughts that will drive a wedge of separation into our close relationships, remember the words of Christ.

We may feel lonely, but we are not alone. Our Heavenly Father, who loves us dearly, is with us. In Christ’s darkest hours, His Father was with Him. In our dark, despairing moments He is with us too.

Christ tells us these words so that peace and joy, rather than rejection and sadness may fill our hearts. I am never alone. You are never alone. Our loving Heavenly Father is with us, even when others are not. Let’s turn our thoughts to Him, acknowledge His presence in our situation and let His peace fill our aching hearts.

Jennifer lives on the Darling Downs near Toowoomba with her family. She enjoys encouraging others on the Christian journey through writing and mentoring. Contact

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The Journey

By: Steve Countryman

Luke 9:1-6 1When Jesus had called the Twelve together, he gave them power and authority to drive out all demons and to cure diseases, 2 and he sent them out to proclaim the kingdom of God and to heal the sick. 3 He told them: “Take nothing for the journey—no staff, no bag, no bread, no money, no extra shirt. 4 Whatever house you enter, stay there until you leave that town. 5 If people do not welcome you, leave their town and shake the dust off your feet as a testimony against them.” 6 So they set out and went from village to village, proclaiming the good news and healing people everywhere.

Once you are “born-again” you start a journey that is unlike anything that the world knows.  It’s a journey that begins as your Christian or Christ-like walk and finishes when you graduate into heaven.  This journey is one of faith, trust and obedience.  Where “leaning on your own understanding” is not allowed with you on your journey.  This journey is guaranteed to be anything but boring.  This journey will require you to leave your comfort zones behind.  You are required to bring with you determination and commitment.  Compromising, quitting, giving up, stopping and giving in are not options!

If you noticed, Jesus didn’t ask for volunteers for this journey.  Jesus didn’t take a vote to see who thought it was a “good idea”.  He didn’t ask for a check off sheet of equipment and supplies to take with them.  On the contrary, His instructions were very specific… “Take nothing for the journey”!  There is one main reason why Jesus said this; Jesus didn’t want them burdened down with their supplies, cares and worries.  He didn’t want them to lean on their own understanding but to have faith and trust in Him.  For them to trust in Jesus to supply ALL of their needs everywhere they went.

Their needs consisted of ALL the things that Jesus wanted them to have.  Not just for their daily physical needs but also their daily spiritual needs!  Jesus supplied their housing, food, clean clothes, protection, travel, itinerary, places to preach and people to heal and deliver.  Most importantly Jesus supplied their power and authority that they would need.  Their journey was nothing that they could’ve planned or prepared for on their own.  Their journey was totally orchestrated and arranged by Jesus.  It ALL centered around and through Him!

Mark 16:15-18 15He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. 16 Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned. 17 And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues; 18 they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well.”

Your journey is what God has planned for you to do on your way to fulfilling the destiny that He has for you.  John 10:10 “I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.”  “Abundantly” means here on earth now.  Jesus provided that abundance for you to enjoy while on your journey.

Your journey will have pitfalls, detours, chuckholes, ups and downs, dangerous paths and perfect sailing.  Your goal is to stick to God’s path.  ANY deviation from His path will ALWAYS cause you pain.  To know and understand what God’s path looks like you must first find out who God is.  Not just to know about Him but to learn of Him.  His ways, His Word, His Son Jesus, His Holy Spirit and His plan for you!

Satan’s plan is to derail you from God’s path and delay your destiny.  Distractions, temptations, sinfulness, along with your mistakes, faults and flaws are at his disposal.  He will use your past, your friends, your family, your co-workers, your old desires and those you hate to trip you and derail you from God’s path.  Sickness, disease and financial woes are some of the tools he uses.  Satan looks for the imperfections that he can use against you.

Distractions are the easiest way to delay God’s destiny for your life.  They come in all shapes, sizes and colors.  Some are so obvious that they are hidden in plain sight.  One of them is something that you see everyday but don’t think twice about.  It is so common because it has become part of our daily lives…our cell phones.

Cell phones are a great excuse to help you avoid getting involved with people.  You don’t have to care about anyone next to you on the bus or train.  Small talk or casual conversations have become a lost art.  Even texting is preferred over talking to someone on the phone.  It removes two-way conversations  and replaces it with abbreviated words and misunderstandings.  Don’t forget to check your e-mails and play games on your phone.  It’s like having a sign around your neck that says “leave me alone”.  I’m too busy with all of my phone activities to be bothered.  Amazing how we all survived before cell phones were used.

Cell phones are not evil but like anything else if it controls your time, your routine, your mood and your decisions then it has become your god!  Don’t let your phone dictate how to live your life.  Don’t let your phone cause you to miss God’s destiny for your life!  It’s an easy distraction to get caught up in.  Don’t forget that you are here to influence your surroundings for His kingdom everyday.

Your journey cannot be put on hold.  It cannot be set aside or forgotten about.  Your journey is part of who you are in Christ and who Christ is in you.  It’s a learning process that all practicing Christians must go through.  Your journey will take you higher in God’s will and deeper in His love.  It will allow the Holy Spirit to mold and shape you as He changes you from glory to glory.  You will experience the miraculous and the impossible made possible as you witness the wonder of God’s awesome power.

For your journey to be successful you must first have faith in God and His ability to lead and guide you through His Holy Spirit.  You must trust His Word and trust in Him to provide all of your needs “according to His riches in glory”.  And you must be obedient and responsive to His voice.  For your journey isn’t about where you’ve been but where God will take you!

Article Source: http://www.faithwriters.comCHRISTIAN WRITERS

Are you there?

– Emmanuella Ellis

“Now it came about after these things, that God tested Abraham, and said to him, ‘Abraham!’ And he said, ‘Here I am.’” (Genesis 22:1 NASB )

She sat engrossed in the TV show, Snackles. Giving it all her attention, she tried to imagine herself in each scene and wondered how she would have acted. Meanwhile, her dad kept calling her from the kitchen, just a few meters away from the sitting area. He needed her to do something in the kitchen. She was too preoccupied to hear him, and therefore, she did not respond.

Her elder brother was in his room, playing a video game, which had taken up much of his attention. He could hear his dad call him and responded, “Here I am.” His dad proceeded to instruct him. Although he clearly heard him, he ignored the instructions. The youngest of the kids, who was sketching a motorcycle, was finally called to perform the duty. He responded and proceeded to the kitchen. However, he decided to handle the situation his way.

We may say we are there for God, but we often aren’t. Being there for God means being attentive to HIM, responding to HIS call, and obeying HIS instructions. Even when it is going to cost us, just like Abraham, we need to answer, “Here I am.” Then we need to obey.

Which child are you? When you hear the Father calling out to you, are you going to answer and do things His way?

Emmanuella has the desire to reach out to others using the understanding gained through the Scriptures. She is a student currently enrolled in the graduate program at McGill University.

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