God always saves

God is so faithful even when we are unfaithful.

The church since its conception has always represented Gods faithfulness even in a faithless generation. as I plodded around the house listening to the audio bible, I was once again reminded by Isaiah 1 verse 9, how God by His grace and mercies desires to save us.

My mind wandered off into passages clenched by memory of the many times God has “shown up” for us. Joseph came to mind. as Genesis records, he was put in a pit, sold into slavery, falsely accused and imprisoned. He later rose up as second in command in Egypt. For many making it big time in a foreign place seems like the achievement, but as Pastor Voddy Baucham highlights in one of his sermons; the real achievement was to keep the people of God(Israel) alive. God was the one who gave Joseph the ability to interpret Pharaoh’s dreams and here we have it a remnant in Egypt able to save food for his family during a time of great famine. Without Joseph in the right place they would have died from hunger and starvation. Did I mention that it was some of his own people who sold him in the first place? Well now you know.

Noah, another one of those famous bible stories also points to the fact that God has always had a people who were His, who would do His bidding so to speak. Noah and the flood predates that of the story of Joseph. You’re probably wondering why I didn’t begin with him but the truth is I just lead with the first thought that popped in my head. We have Noah to thank for many of us being here. Genesis 6 to 9 speaks in depth of this but jist of it is that people had no reverence for God but Noah “found favour in the eyes of God” and he preached for about a century about God’s judgement that was coming sounds like something we see happening today doesn’t it?. He warned them to stop and no one listened until the day the rain came down and the floods came up. God desired to save the people so He warned them but many died in their sin. Soon after Noah’s family was left to repopulate the earth hence you and me today. Because of his obedience we get to exist but there is one greater than him, Jesus Christ in whom we don’t just get to exit but we get to live.

Like many phases in life, we go good for a while and then we are back at square one; in need of someone to save us, so someone of the Godhead had to come. Jesus , meaning God is salvation came over 2000 years ago, born of q miracle through Mary who was set to marry Joseph a carpenter. The Holy Spirit( One in the Godhead) came upon her and she was with child. Matthew and Luke both recorded this. I think its important to point out that Mary.and Joseph were direct descendants of Judah one of Joseph who saved his people in Egypt’s brother. This just confirms that God has always been involved meaning its not a coincidence. So Jesus Being God in the flesh, preached repentance from sin and being God pointed people to Himself. Many believed and were saved but the religious world at the time in all their arrogance of head knowledge of the law and no heart killed Him by crucifixion on a Roman cross. He being God gave up the Ghost “died” but in His death became a bridge to bring us to God The Father. He rose from the grave and then went back to heaven but not before commissioning His disciples to share the message of repentance and believing in Him. This is the birth of the church and here we are years later the church still remains a remnant on the earth. In fact we are the “salt of the earth”. We are the last remnant and I believe this to be so being that our greatest issue was our sin and the solution is Christ and if Christ is the solution nothing else will come after.

Thought the “church world” in reality is fragmented and many sects have strayed fro the commission, the reality is that the glass is half full not empty because there are churches who are the salt not some other seasoning but more especially God in His love and mercy gave Jesus Christ a perfect sacrifice so that whoever would believe would be saved John 3 verse 16.

The living stone

Jesus the rock that holds me up

With recent events around the world: elections, BLM, even Brexit talks still and the virus which we will refrain from naming, it is crystal clear that we are headed for shaky times or dare I say shakier times. I mean I say crystal clear but for some they haven’t got the foggiest idea of what is going on. The bible does relate that there will be those who” have eyes but do not see, ears but do not hear and hearts but do not understand” Ezekiel 12 verse 2.

As a child I always heard the expression “a rolling stone gathers no moss” . This non biblical proverb has been said to carry the meaning of someone not staying steadfast in something and therefore not reaping its rewards. It is dare I say no better time to be a Christian.For many of us the light of Christ has shone on the darkness that is sin drawing us to repentance and revealing things the bible says even angels long to look into Peter 1 verse 12. That God would chose us mere mortals to reveal these things to is a miracle and yet many shrug in disbelief at the signs of the return of Christ. We must be steadfast a vigilant always watchful of the things which are happening around us. We must be steady stones gathering the moss of the word of God, prayer,discernment and righteous living. We cannot afford to be rolling around the world because this will prove to be fruitless.

Since we’re on the topic of stones I think it only fair to mention our living stone Jesus Christ. I was reminded of Exodus 17 where the children of Israel went out to fight against Amalek. In their fight, Moses gets weary as he holds up his hands to see Israel prevail. These shaky times will be the  testing of our faith and allegiance to Christ and many even now are falling away. We will get weary but we must push through. The best way to do so is to remember the rock of our salvation. The scripture continues to show how they put stones under Moses’ hands to hold them up and Aaron and Hur helped to hold up his hands also. Where are the Aarons and Hurs of your life? These are the ones who will pray with you in the seasons of discouragement and weariness. They are quick to remind you to look to Jesus whom the bible calls our precious cornerstone. This is the same rock the wiseman built his house upon. Israel’s defeat of Amalek reminds us that we need not think ourselves alone in these times. God is with us and as we come to Christ with our weariness He will give you strength for they that wait upon the lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run and not get weary; they shall walk and not faint” Isaiah 40 verse 31. We are already victorious its just that our fight to meet victory seems tough but as God was with Israel then so is He  with His church and His people.

Unprecedented

Times are changing! The days seem to reflect a time that many of us have never seen before. The word as many seem to be throwing around is “unprecedented.” It literally means “never done or never known“. For the majority of the world, a virus, like that of covid19 and its effects to keep us housebound and somewhat fearful is new. Whilst many have never experienced it, does that mean that we really had no foreknowledge of this kind of thing happening?

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There are various conspiracy theories but, we’re not here to talk about them. We have knowledge that these times are to come. And how you may ask? Through the Bible. In Matthew 24 verse 7, it sounds the alarms of earthquakes and diseases and famines. Some are still in disbelief, but having seen them manifest in our lifetime, can one still even cry coincidence? Where some attribute these disasters to climate change and whatnot, I think it presumptuous. Mankind has managed to come up with some diabolical and ingenious feats but to accredit to them; hurricanes and other natural disasters are to give them too much power and praise.

There’s a truth I know, that  man’s separation from God, because of sin, permits them to deny the prophetic word of God. We know this. I say “we” due to that fact that; if people who choose to live outside the bounds of “God’s will” are honest they will tell us they just don’t want God: hence their reason for their state of unbelief. Its mere disobedience, better yet rebellion. With that being said, if we put bias aside and look at the evidence before us, it’s as they say, “the writing is on the wall”, in a layman’s terms it’s written in the bible. “For all scripture is given by God and profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness (2nd Timothy 3 verse 16).” I quote this to say that we’re always debating the validity of the bible and though some would say “I cannot use the book to prove its truth,” I can. Inherently, the word of God points the absolute reason why men deny its truth. They hate correction and love unrighteousness. These are the said factors stated in the scripture deems to help us navigate through life.

Other prophecies that the bible mention have been fulfilled. Famines and Wildfires and diseases, the bible says are just the beginning of birth pains. This book was written so long ago. With great accuracy, it has predicted Israel becoming a nation again and many. To go into detail would require extensive writing and I’d rather not. Sceptics will say that “disasters” have always been around. Though true, it coincides with the other prophecies that are happening simultaneously. Some of these diseases we’ve experienced before have returned: scarlet fever and measles being two.

Things like the ” second coming of Jesus“, the increase in knowledge as well as technology is foretold. There is no denying; the age we live in and the vast amount of knowledge or information that exists. These, might I add are readily available to us. Sure, we haven’t yet seen the return of Christ. For those walking close to the edge, away from God, I implore you to use the time you have and think. Death is now, more real than ever. Count the cost, especially in light of the coronavirus. Look at the signs that are clearly before us and go search the scriptures for yourselves with real desperation to know the truth. As for my fellow believers, we are held accountable when we who know what the book says don’t do what it says or even share the hope that the book speaks about. Let’s not get slack and if we are, it’s time to get active!

Hope is Rising

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In 2017 I was at a place of despair. It’s crazy to think that I am writing this about myself on this blog format. I am normally personal through poetry, but this time, in as simple English as possible, let’s get personal.

So in 2017 as I said before I was at a place of despair. What? But Nicolette, You were a Christian even then! Yes, I was and still am for your information. I am and will never be exempt from anything life throws at us. As long as we’re involved, something’s bound to go wrong/ human beings; we break things, people and hearts and I was definitely heartbroken.

Trauma had set in. The dormant parts of my life that I thought I had under control, soon erupted causing me to relive past offences over and over again. Memories I was shocked existed, crept out of their holes. Like spiders in the corners of your house chilling in their webs, waiting for their prey to struggle to the death, so did these memories have me, my mind and I was almost consumed.    

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God saved me from my sins and is delivering me daily from the things that were laid upon me. I have mentioned before that even Christians are not without the issues of life nor the issues of people and violations. The bible says that we should hold on because we will overcome the trouble. It says that we do because Christ has overcome the world (John 16 verse 33. I have had to climb through the dirt and rubble of depression and anxiety. My faith wasn’t non-existent but my mind and body were just tired. I laid there with tears in my eyes and the feeling of someone digging a hole from underneath me. It was then I cried out to my God. The foundations of my faith had remained. Scriptures upon scriptures written upon my heart brought to recollection that Hope is risen.

Everything I was feeling at that moment was not permanent but temporary and soon would pass. Many times we make permanent decisions in temporary places. The words tried to come and eventually all that slipped out was “God I know what Your word says, help me!” I was not without counselling and I definitely prayed and to this date pray that I won’t slip back into that state. That was 2017. it’s now 2020 and I continue to fight against trauma and flashbacks, but I know I have hope because of Jesus. He went through suffering and pain temporarily. He went to the grave temporarily only to permanently defeat death, the and hell. “For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathise with our weakness…” Hebrews 4 verse 15 and so I remember this and know that I too can get through. In the end, it says in Revelation 12 verse 11 that one of the things that cause us as believers to win is the blood of the lamb (Jesus Christ).

 I did want to give up. I almost did, but I’m glad I didn’t. As time went on I was able to face 2018 and by 2019 I realised that the devil sometimes wants to kill the potential in you. I don’t even want to give him too much credit, but this trial tried to break me for sure. The true test of faith the bible speaks of is said to come by fiery trials (1st Peter 1 verse 7). I think its fair to say that I have experienced some fiery trials. Will be the last time I’m tested? I doubt it. I know that it’s hard, however, I’ve experienced hope rising in my life every day since. I will be able to pull through because experience, as they say, brings wisdom. Maybe not for all but for most. And, now I look on to 2020 with hope and love and gratefulness for life.

 I understand that if I hadn’t built my foundation on Christ I would be lost. If I had given up I would have missed out on dating this great person in my life. I would’ve forfeited my destiny and all that God has in store for me. What’s that you ask? We’ll just have to wait and see. “For eye has not seen ear has not heard nor has entered into the heart of man what is prepared for them who love Him.” 1st Corinthians 2 verse 9.   

TGFF

Its Easter time and whilst many are consumed with chocolate eating, hot crust buns or like my fellow Jamaicans; bun and cheese, the real reason for Easter is Jesus. Some may say why is everything about Jesus? All things were created by Him and for Him Colossians 1 verse 16. Your life is not your own you were bought with a price 1st Corinthians 6 verse 20. So like Christmas points to CHRIST so does Easter. SO if you’re thinking Good Friday is just a day to sleep in you’re wrong. Its the day we commemorate the crucifixion of the Jesus. Whilst we were lying,stealing, fornicating, hating each other, coveting others, Jesus was hanging bleeding suffering in our stead. Death is sad but the only death that gives life eternally happened and we should remember everyday but more especially today. Thank God For Friday.

 

 

A kingdom of segregation?

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We live in such a beautifully but messed up world. One of the greatest blunders in human history is racism. Whether you call it colour consciousness, light skin, dark skin or even in-between it all stems from racism. It is no wonder why people are always so kinked in themselves about other races who make themselves seem superior to others. Let’s be clear, I’m talking about black and white. It would be great if I could just say that in 2018 things should be different, and so hope to change the mindsets of mankind. However, I know the deal! I know that nothing can ever repay for lives lost and stolen through slavery. Not to mention the injustice many still face. From police killings to inequalities in the workplace, many black people still feel stuck and so they are angry towards whites and would rather stay as far as possible. “No mixing,” they say and even the church is impacted by this.

Bringing the world into the church

There are certain attitudes expected from people of the church and people of the world. I know all too much about this and have seen how many times we transfer our worldliness to the church and expect for God to be pleased with us. You cannot function as a child of God whilst harbouring these kinds of feelings. It boils down to whether you are just religious or whether you have a relationship with God.

Every true believer should know that they are to love their neighbour as their selves Matthew 22 verse 39. How can you claim to love God whom you have not seen and hate your brother who you see? 1st John 4 verse 20. It is the call for us to not use carnal “fleshy” nature to combat issues of life.Where others seek retaliation and vengeance, we should instead put on forgiveness and allow the love of Christ to rule in us. This makes for maintaining the testimony of Christ.

To say that in the melting pots of western societies there is still that deep segregation within the church is shameful. There should not be an all Nigerian Church or an all “White” church, especially in the communities around me, but that is what you will find. I know it is easier to speak to someone who is similar to you, but if winning souls is your aim as a church (which it should be as it is our first priority as children of God) why are you not stepping out of the box to reach these souls as well. They say there is a place for everyone but what if your church is the only place these people can receive the gospel? Are you going to shun them because they look different or because you feel different towards them?

A Gospel for all

I am always drawn to John 3 verse 16. “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son so that WHOEVER believes in Him can have everlasting life.” The Gospel is for EVERYONE and not just some. Not Just blacks or whites or Asians or the in-between alone but for ALL. I think this slips the minds of many believers today. Imagine if Christ said only blacks could receive salvation or vice versa, the majority of us would be in trouble and God would not be seen as the loving God He is. In His mercy, He has made salvation inclusive because He only made one race but because of sin and mankind’s stupidity, we see this filtering through the church.

I have had a few discussions about this with people and it baffles me that some are so consumed with what they want from God. How do you expect God to bless you when you won’t even obey Him. One of the greatest commandments is “…Love thy neighbour as thyself” Matthew 22 verse 39. As this is a commandment, you would expect this to be a high priority, but as this involves us making ourselves uncomfortable it becomes somewhat redefined to be “love the people around me, the people who are like me.”

I do understand that many white folks don’t want to hear the gospel and the truth is that more black folks go to church, but that doesn’t mean that there isn’t one who wouldn’t be open to receiving it. Our job is not to be the judge but to be the bearers of the message issued by the almighty judge Himself. Whether they accept it or not is up to the individual and we pray that they do. The world may be singing this song of “stay in your lane and I in mine” but the church’s song should be different.

After this, I looked, and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and before the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands. Revelation 7 verse 9. This is one verse that has stuck in my mind since the beginning of my walk with Christ. If this is a picture of what heaven is going to be like shouldn’t you be preparing yourself now. Hating people and keeping yourself distance is a hindrance to obtaining heaven.

Who do you resemble?

Two wrongs don’t make a right. Avoiding others because of what they’ve done to you or retaliating, in the same manner, is not the way we should react as the church. No matter how justified you may feel it goes back to the point of sacrifice. Just as we are undeserving of God’s love and mercy, nevertheless Christ came and gave Himself in our stead. So, looking at His example-ship we should imitate Christ as Paul says in 1st Corinthians 11 verse 1. Show love, grace and mercy. 

I know that there are going to be those who just don’t care. They blame mixing for societies confusion but if they really looked to God they’ll see that the world wants to label everything and everyone. In order to find where your true identity is, look to your creator and don’t rely on society because they have lost their way. This is why it is so important to keep the world and the church separate. I digress. If after the flood Noah and all his children went in the same direction we wouldn’t have all this mess. We are all the same we just look different and that is the beauty of the HUMAN RACE!

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