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.

Mind the Stigma

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“Let us make man in our image and likeness…” Genesis 1 verse 26 tells us that God, being Father, Son and Holy Spirit, made us be bearers of Himself in spirit, body and mind. We are indeed His creation and whist we are on the subject of the mind, let’s take time to talk about mental illness for a bit.

Mental illness is a condition that affects a person’s behaviour or thinking. It’s cause ranges from various environmental and psychological things. Some Environmental factors consist of death, divorce, dysfunctional family life and even social or cultural expectations. There are even cases of prenatal problems causing mental issues due to a defect in the fetus’ development in the womb. Some psychological factors may include varying forms of abuse, neglect, poor ability to relate to others or even long term substance abuse.

This sounds like a lot, and yes we are definitely a long way from the good human beings God created in Genesis 1 verse 31 when He said it was “very good”. It would be nice to think that it’s something that we will never experience. However, in this fallen world, 1 in 4 people are affected by mental illness and depression and anxiety are spreading like wildfires. It is then fair to say that no matter who you are, and yes, even Christians “children of God” too can be impacted by mental illness. No one is exempt. Why? Well, sin affects all of us and though we are saved by grace through faith, the Bible reminds us in Matthew 5 verse 45 “…for He makes the sun to rise on the good and on the evil and sends rain on the just and the unjust”. Even the mighty prophet Elijah in 1st Kings 18 fell victim to depression. It describes him in scripture as a great man of God. He was God’s voice to the people. He caused drought and predicted rain and yet he was overcome by fear and what he saw around him. He went as far as running away but God soon helped him out of this state of mind.

With depression and anxiety are rapidly taking over. Many are affected due to stress, other varying causes and pressures of life. With the increase in knowledge and wealth, we see an increase in fear as many worries about being accepted or are fearful of the future. “For God has not given us a spirit of fear but of love, power and a sound mind” (2nd Timothy 1 verse 7). There is hope for your hurting. Your pain becomes our pain especially as the body of Christ. We can rest assured because we can overcome as we remember that we walk by faith and not by sight (2nd Corinthians 5 verse 7). Scripture also reminds us that our identity is not in this world Acts 17 verse 28 “ in him we live move and have our being…”.

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We all know someone who is struggling with this because it is closer than we think and as time dwindles down it’ll be even closer. Our position as believers in Christ is to never think that we are exempt. If we already know this, we have to fight back. There are ways of combating mental illness. Not everyone is aggressive or incurable or incapable of living a somewhat normal life. In fact, studies have shown it is possible. Be the one to ask questions or lend a helping hand. The best help you can give is a listening ear and your prayers. The believer’s standpoint is one of complete restoration because God is able to do what no man can. In fact, one of His names is Jehovah Rapha which means the God who heals.

A Dreamer’s heart

Bend oh mountains for the top seems too hard to reach.

Stretch your hands out that I may know strength in your climb.

Allow me to use your knees to speed up this journey.

Let me see that destiny is closer than I know it to be.

Control your bouldering tears that tend to push me back.

Gather your covers to be the shade from the heat

I must make it to the top. Please let me use your shoulders.

I remember

An essence that takes me through time, where I am staring at your feet

Where my eyes begin to carve out your frame.

The sun rays and your voice are home to me.

Wow! So much from a scent

Just one more whiff and the sound of laughter fills the air as daytime soaps and silly jokes bring us close.

Puff puff, you’re going again,

A reminder that you’re leaving.

Take me with you I’d hope, but I would seldomly get my way.

I pride myself on being independent but never am I too proud when I think of how much I need you.

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