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.

Article Source: Faithwriters.com

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My Ways

By: Steve Countryman

Isaiah 55: 8-9 8“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord. 9 “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” Job 37:5 God’s voice thunders in marvelous ways; he does great things beyond our understanding.” Revelation 15:3 “Great and marvelous are your deeds, Lord God Almighty. Just and true are your ways, King of the nations.”

My ways, my understanding, my beliefs, my will, my stubbornness and my stiff neck ways are all having to with my leaning on my own understanding. My ways were developed over time by my experiences, what I perceive as fact and what I put my trust in. Choosing to put my trust in God’s Word and believing His truth plays a huge part in my daily life. Trying to keep those things that contradict His Word from interfering is an ongoing struggle.

“My ways” are selfish, self-centered, self-serving and self-righteous. Even where others are considered too often I expect my ways to become their ways and to do everything my way. Then hard feelings develop and assumptions turn to misunderstandings which can lead to being offended. It’s so much better to trust God then lean on my own understanding!

You can’t hold on to your past and receive God’s ways. You can’t compromise His Word with your past by blending it and expect change to take place in you. You must remove the barriers and obstacles that hinder your growth in the Lord. It is what the Holy Spirit does when He changes you from glory to glory.

You must know God’s will to know His ways. The only way to know His will is to know Him. To know God is to read and study His Word and spend time in prayer with Him daily. Know who you are in Christ Jesus and who Christ Jesus is in you!

1 John 1:9 “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

Ask God to cleanse you and remove all the years of lies and deception from your life. Trust in the One who formed you in your mother’s womb. The One who chose you before time began. The God, King of kings, Lord of lords, Lord of host and Creator of ALL things. He is the ONLY One who knows you better than you know yourself and He is the ONLY One who can rescue YOU!

It comes down to trust. You don’t have to understand God’s ways to trust God’s ways! Do you trust the Holy Spirit to lead and guide you? Do you trust God to ALWAYS do what’s best for you EVERYDAY? Do you trust in His Word? Do you believe what His Word says? Do you believe that God’s Word is true and that God is true to His Word? If any of your answers are no then you need to know God better!

There is a simple test you can take. Examine your life and look back at ALL the troubles that you have had and currently have. Ask yourself how many of these problems are of my own doing? How many of them are from bad or poor decisions/choices that you have made? The results should be obvious. It’s time to let God’s ways and will be done in your life!

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

The Hidden & Misunderstood Sufferings of Jesus

By: Steve Countryman

We read the bible but miss the message more often than we know. Of course we all know of the abuse, torture and death that Jesus suffered. But He suffered in different ways all of His life here on earth that we are not totally aware of. Starting as a baby born in a manger which is as close to be born in a barn as one can be. Then when Jesus was a young boy His parents treated Him as a normal child not the Son of God.

Luke 2:41-40 41His parents went to Jerusalem every year at the Feast of the Passover. 42 And when He was twelve years old, they went up to Jerusalem according to the custom of the feast. 43 When they had finished the days, as they returned, the Boy Jesus lingered behind in Jerusalem. And Joseph and His mother did not know it; 44 but supposing Him to have been in the company, they went a day’s journey, and sought Him among their relatives and acquaintances. 45 So when they did not find Him, they returned to Jerusalem, seeking Him. 46 Now so it was that after three days they found Him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the teachers, both listening to them and asking them questions. 47 And all who heard Him were astonished at His understanding and answers. 48 So when they saw Him, they were amazed; and His mother said to Him, “Son, why have You done this to us? Look, Your father and I have sought You anxiously.” 49 And He said to them, “Why did you seek Me? Did you not know that I must be about My Father’s business?” 50 But they did not understand the statement which He spoke to them.

As normal parents they were panicked having searched for three days and not finding Him. So for them to be upset with Him when they finally found Him was a normal response, but not a Holy one! From the time of Jesus’ birth Jesus was never alone. He had angels around Him night and day. Besides the warrior/guardian angels Jesus had a continuous stream of ministering angels coming and going. Regardless where Jesus traveled even as a child there was no possible way that any harm would come to Him! If His parents would’ve remembered who Jesus was then they would have started searching for Him at the temple first. So His parents worried about Him needlessly!

Even His disciples who lived, ate, traveled with Jesus and witnessed miracles and signs that He performed did not treat Him as the Son of God. Luke 8:22-28 22One day Jesus said to his disciples, “Let us go over to the other side of the lake.” So they got into a boat and set out. 23 As they sailed, he fell asleep. A squall came down on the lake, so that the boat was being swamped, and they were in great danger. 24 The disciples went and woke him, saying, “Master, Master, we’re going to drown!” He got up and rebuked the wind and the raging waters; the storm subsided, and all was calm. 25 “Where is your faith?” he asked his disciples. In fear and amazement they asked one another, “Who is this? He commands even the winds and the water, and they obey him.”

In Mark chapter 6 Jesus fed 5000 families with five loaves and two fish. Later in chapter 8 there was 4000 families in the same situation. Not one of His disciples suggested to Jesus about feeding them as He had done before. Instead they only offered a suggestion of sending them away to fend for themselves. They again didn’t treat Jesus as the Son of God.

 

Matthew 16:13-16 13When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say the Son of Man is?” 14 They replied, “Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” 15 “But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?” 16 Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.” Out of the twelve only Peter answered correctly.

One of the worst sufferings that Jesus went through was when Jesus was in the Garden of Gethsemane. Many preachers have taught that Jesus was so distraught about what He was going to go through physically that He sweated drops of blood. The truth isn’t anywhere close to that lie. Jesus feared nothing and no one. Jesus told His disciples three times of His upcoming death on a cross and that He would be raised back to like on the third day. He knew what was going to happen and when it would happen.

When Jesus sweated drops of blood, His concerns DID NOT have to do with all of the physical punishment, torture, humiliation, being falsely accused or even death. All of that had been prophesied. What was the revealing part was had to do with the relationship between Jesus and God the Father. Since before time they had ALWAYS been together. Being part of the Trinity is a closeness that we can’t even imagine. Jesus had NEVER been separated from Father God. Even when Jesus walked on the earth the Father was always with Him. The mere thought of that separation was more than Jesus wanted to suffer. That separation is as close to what Hell is because those in Hell are forever separated from God’s presence and love. That’s what caused Jesus to sweat big drops of blood that night in the garden!

When Jesus was on the cross the time had come when all of the sins of the world were placed on Him. Because Father God cannot look upon sin Father God had for the first and last time turn His gaze away from His One and only Son. That is when Jesus said… “My God, My God why have you forsaken me?” It is the only time Jesus ever referred to Father God as just God.

John 16:32 “A time is coming and in fact has come when you will be scattered, each to your own home. You will leave me all alone. Yet I am not alone, for my Father is with me.” All of Jesus’ disciples abandoned Him that night and hid themselves for fear of being caught.

Jesus had told His disciples three times that He would die but be raised on the third day. When Jesus was in the tomb for three days not one of the disciples came to watch for His resurrection. Even when Mary Magdalene had seen the stone rolled away on the third day she ran over to where the disciples were and told them but they didn’t believe her. Peter and John finally got up and ran to the tomb to see for themselves. The tomb was empty!

There are many more examples of the different sufferings that Jesus endured. The sad part is that His suffering hasn’t ended yet. Man hasn’t changed much in over two thousand years. For there are those who choose to ignore the miracles that God does every day. For the same reasons as their forefathers, they don’t want to be accountable to a higher being, they would rather live their lives deep in their sin rather than accept God’s salvation plan, they have believed the lies of the Devil so long that they refuse to SEE! The world is so desperate for God that they’ll believe everything else but the “God’s honest TRUTH”. But God knows what it takes to touch their unbelieving hearts. Their only hope is Jesus! “For they shall know the TRUTH and the TRUTH shall set them FREE!”

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

Opening Doors

By: Steve Countryman

We do it everyday in every decision that we make. Knowingly and unknowingly opening doors here on earth of the supernatural realm allowing them in to the natural realm. It has to do with the choices that we make… the movies we watch, the music we listen to, the things we read, those we hangout with, the places we go, the things we do, the things we say and the lies we listen to. Letting our surroundings influence and control us.

Just watching TV and surfing the web can open doors that if you could see them you would never even go near them. Psalm 101:3 “I will set no worthless or wicked thing before my eyes. I hate the practice of those who fall away [from the right path]; It will not grasp hold of me. 4A perverse heart shall depart from me; I will not tolerate evil.”

Things will pass before your eyes but those things that you decide to continue to look at that are wicked or vile are the very things that you will make excuses to continue to look at. That opens doors for the evil one to access your life and your mind. Once you justify such practices you soon make a habit of doing so. That allows “it to grasp hold of you”. Compromising dilutes your beliefs by adding something that wasn’t there before in exchange for what was a barrier against it. You have now been compromised in your beliefs.

Just like those sins of your past that tend to haunt you. You turn them over to the Lord for the victory that only He can provide. In exchange you are not to open those doors again, “go and sin no more”. They are no longer part of your life for you have been rescued from them. To entertain thoughts of past sins and dwell on such thoughts is to once again open those doors to corrupt your thoughts and life. The Holy Spirit provides the gift of discernment to help you to see clearly the evil influences around you and how to avoid and resist them.

There are doors in your life that you need to consider opening. The doors to your heart that allows the Holy Spirit to change you from glory to glory. Doors of obedience, willingness, availability and follow through. Doors of trust, faith, hope and a heart for hearing God’s voice. Make the decision to open the doors of your life daily to allow the Holy Spirit to do the remarkable, the miraculous, the outrageous and the unimaginable in you, to you, with you, for you and through you!

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

Time for a Check-Up!

– Karen Pourbabaee

“Do you want to be well?” John 5:6 NAB

Lent, the forty day journey to Easter, is a season to pause for a check-up. It can be a season of grace and renewal. A time to focus on things that ought to characterize our lives as disciples of Christ. We shouldn’t just presume we are okay. And we shouldn’t fear discovering that we are not .What is crippling you? What change could make you well? Do you want to be well?

Christ is waiting to examine your spiritual wounds and ills. Have you made an appointment yet? The Divine Physician examines with love. And He has the perfect prescription: Grace and mercy. When you open yourself to the Lord’s grace and mercy, He responds with His miraculous healing power. Oh, it won’t likely be a sudden zap; the Lord’s healing is more likely to be a work in progress, a recovery of spirit, soul, or body.

The grace of Lent is an invitation to make permanent changes. Accept the invitation and embrace your weaknesses, so that you may be made strong. To embrace is to accept readily, to take in mentally, to perceive. Embracing is an important part of the check-up. The Lord then promises, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is made perfect in weakness.” (2 Corinthians 12:9)

Do you want to be well? Focus. Embrace. Wait for the Lord, like the paralytic at the pool of Bethesda. Receive His grace. The waters never made him well, but one Word from Jesus changed everything. So as you wait, listen for His words, “…Rise, take up your mat, and walk.” (John 5:8) Walk in the newness of life as you celebrate Easter. 

Contact Karen and find more of her articles HERE.

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More than Conquerors

– Toni Babcock

“…In all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us,” (Romans 8:37 KJV).

Thank God, Jesus didn’t call us to be half-hearted, weak-willed, or fear-filled Christians. Yet the reality is, to a greater or lesser degree, most of us struggle to be what we ought to be in every circumstance of life. Often, when action needs to be taken, or an uncomfortable problem needs to be resolved, it’s a temptation to sit back and do nothing simply because we are afraid to do anything.

The Reverend Andrew Murray once wrote, “There are many Christians who imagine that in the Christian life things will come right of themselves. When they are told that Jesus undertakes to do all, they count this as a pass to a life of ease.” (The Holiest of All). Nothing could be further from the truth.

God’s promise is, in Christ we are more than conquerors. Resting in God is one aspect of our faith, and working God’s promise is another. Believing faith always acts upon the promise of God. That being said, never confuse the rest of faith with the rest of doing nothing when we ought to be doing something. Ask God what action you can take to act upon the promise of God. May God grant each and every one of us the will and moral courage to be all we ought to be in the pursuit of holy living and in the exercise of wholly living for Christ.

Dear God, in ourselves we are weak-willed, fallen creatures, but in Christ we are more than conquerors. Grant us the will, the faith, and the moral courage to live the promise, and flee from what we know to be sin, in Jesus Name, Amen.

Find more articles and books by Toni HERE.

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Tommorrows

By Steve Countryman

Tomorrows are not promised but God’s Word is. With the world in such chaos it’s no wonder why people have such anxiety about the future. It seems that fear has replaced hope in the future that lies ahead. For the non-Christian have a reason to fear the future. Putting their hope and trust in man’s wisdom has proven to be a foolish endeavor. All you have to do is check man’s track record on making decisions without God and you’ll find a list of failures, disasters, destruction and death.

But what will you do? How do you face your tomorrows? As Christians we are blessed to have an anchor to attach our faith to and His name is Jesus! While the world panics and worries about tomorrow we Christians have a hope and a future set aside for each of us. Jeremiah 29:11 “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.”

Most people struggle with the failures of their past; their sins, poor choices and bad decisions. Letting their past mistakes dictate their future. Living and re-living their past over and over again. Feeling stuck in their failures without escape. Of course that’s exactly what Satan wants, you stuck in your sins. The longer you stay stuck the harder it is to get free. Adding more glue to the mix would include not accepting any responsibility for being stuck there, blaming others for your problems and making excuses for your sin all of which ENABLES you to continue sinning!

But that’s not God’s plan for you. God has plans to set you free from your past if you will let Him. You were chosen before time began for this time and place by your creator Jehovah God. To fulfill His will and Word for you, to you, with you, in you and through you. Isaiah 46:11 “What I have said, that I will bring about; what I have planned, that I will do.”

So you have to make some choices and yes you do have choices available to you! It starts with a declaration from you out loud and with commitment. Giving your word and your promise that whatever may come will not move you from God’s promises and His Word fulfilled in you.

“With you God I can face my tomorrows. With you God I look forward each and every morning to the future that you have for me. I WILL NOT allow the mistakes and failures of my past to mess with my tomorrows. Because of the victories that you provide Father God I have peace and comfort in my tomorrows. For you O Lord are not done with me yet. You have great things PLANNED for me to do and to witness as a child of the Most High God. My faith and trust is tied to you Jesus my savior. It is rooted, bound, glued, welded, stuck and anchored to you and your Word. Holy Spirit saturate every part of my life and being everyday. Guide me in your ways and your will. Use me in ALL of my tomorrows to bring you glory! AMEN!”

My name is Steve and I was born and raised in a good Christian home in Phoenix Arizona. In 2004 God spoke to me to let me know that He would start sharing things with me that I would share with others. Little did I know how powerful and meaningful those things would be! Thank you Lord!!

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