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A word from God

Are you experiencing famine? Many are! Yes, we see the obvious..price hikes in the supermarkets, price hikes at the gas pumps and people who genuinely struggle daily to eat and provide for their families. 

However, we may be less aware of a more dangerous famine..that the word of God and the hearing/heeding to His word is absent.  

Instead we see another law at work. “I gotta look out for me!” The hustle is real and there are those, from all walks of life, who will do whatever it takes to survive.  

Those of us who know Christ, let us not keep the Word just hidden inside of our hearts, or keep it in the four walls of our churches. People are starving for God’s word. They may not know it..but they are starving. The real famine is a famine for the word of God. 

Matthew‬ ‭10:27‬ ‭NIV What I tell you in the dark, speak in the daylight; what is whispered in your ear, proclaim from the roofs.

Help bring healing, direction, salvation and deliverance. Speak the word of God into someone’s life today. Pray the word of God over them. Give godly advice according to God’s word. While helping to meet felt needs, let us help meet the spiritual needs of a starving world. Only the word.. living and active, brings life!! 

Have a blessed day my sisters.

Worship for today: Jeremy Camp – Word of Life 

Carol-angel Jackson

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Faith facts

Hi friends, it’s been one of those weeks! Suddenly so many things seem to be in turmoil and as a friend of mine said..the enemy is good at making even things that are blessings seem to be curses! When we face challenges, we may feel discouraged, we may feel overwhelmed but we must never ever let go of faith. Faith helps us meet life’s circumstances with certainty and affirmation that God has supreme control of the outcome..so let’s look at eight encouraging faith facts. I pray that this short study will encourage you as it has me.

1. Faith is the shield that protects us from the potentially damaging effects of the various onslaughts we face. Depression, anger, fear and anxiety come as a natural response to oppressive circumstances but we can flip the switch, pick up the shield of faith and push them back! Better yet, don’t ever put it down! Be always ready!2. Faithfulness is a fruit of the Spirit. You see it’s not about sheer willpower, if the Spirit of God lives in you Faith is already there ready for use! Oranges can’t come from apple trees. You’ve got faith!!!3. Faith must be nourished. How? By focusing on God’s word. If your soul is aching or burdened.. read and internalize faith-building scriptures each day. Doing this along with prayer, worship and fellowship..will be like medicine to remedy our aching souls. Ro 10:174. Workout your faith!! Exercise and build your faith muscles during hard times. Our actions should speak to the fact that we have faith. Don’t let apathy move in. Get up and work in Faith! No money for that big project yet? Start small with what you have. With prayer and faith, work your mustard seed and watch God grow it into a tree!5. Faith attracts God! While you’re dealing with a seemingly insurmountable task or challenge..work at it with all your heart towards God. God loves to see faith and He rewards it! 6. In the end you will shine!!! So work with endurance! Work through it knowing that whatever happens, God will bring you through as beautiful and refined like gold. Don’t let discouragement and depression win.  Job 23:107. Our faith is valuable! So much more than just temporal, so much more than just something to help us cope with circumstances this side of heaven. It is so valuable that it has eternal weight and glory! 

8. Faith leads us into to godly rest where even though we work, we do not strive to make things happen or to bring about the outcome we desire! When we believe, we can rest. Rest in the fact that God has this! He will provide, He will see that the outcome is for good. As the word says, let us make every effort to enter His rest! Faith leads us to rest! Heb 4I don’t know what you’re facing but God wants you to know that He sees and honors your faith. So be encouraged, surrender the outcome to God and raise up your shield of faith! Have a great weekend.

By Carol-angel Jackson

(Click photos for photo sources)

Jesus under pressure – Part 2

  
Happy Saturday Sisters!! 

Are you feeling like the walls are closing in on you? Maybe you have pressure on all sides or just one side in particular. Maybe you’ve been crying out to God for relief but He’s left you in the situation. Could it be that God has bigger and better things in mind, that He’s seeking to work out a greater purpose in you..to make you more like His Son?

If you’ve said “Amen!!” to all of this, then this week’s blog is just for you. What was Jesus like under pressure? Read on to find out!! But before you do, click here to review Part 1 of this wonderful, helpful teaching.

Jesus Under Pressure – Part 2

– Jesus did not defend himself in the flesh, but allowed God to be His vindicator. Luke 23: 9 – Then he (Herod) questioned him with many words but he answered him nothing. Christ did not allow his accusers to provoke him to respond in the flesh.

– He was not easily provoked because love (who is Christ) is not easily provoked. 1 Corinthians 13:5 Love does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil. Jesus operated in love.

– Christ’s trial presented 2 types of men 1. those who didn’t see anything wrong with Him and that He had done anything deserving of death (Pilate & Herod) and 2. the crowd who wanted to crucify him.

However, neither group affected Him. He didn’t care how he looked to men. He didn’t ride on the support received from Pilate and Herod, neither did He respond to the crowd’s aggression. His heart was so bent on pleasing the Father, that only the Father’s opinion mattered. Instead, He commited himself to God saying – (Luke 23:46) Into your hands I commit my Spirit – just before he breathed his last.

What lessons are there for us? 

– Stay on your cross!! Die to yourself!! Submit to the Father’s will for your life!!

– Be careful not to think that only telling off people is a sign that we are acting rudely or being provoked. Sharp answers or shutting off are just as wrong. Sometimes silence is what is needed and at other times silence becomes a weapon. We have to be honest and discern our own motives, asking God to show us.

– Our flesh desires to look good in front of men. So we often feel a need to prove our own innocence and clear our name; we feel that we need to defend ourselves. Sometimes we have to allow God to vindicate us. In these times He would ask us to trust Him and not seek to prove ourselves right but leave the matter to Him.

In the height of the pressure, Jesus had a prayer- “Father forgive them” – that was the Father’s objective – forgiveness..and Christ remained focus on that until the very end.

If like Christ, we commit to God, the focus is not on ourselves and how we feel emotionally or physically, the focus is on what God wants to achieve. 

When you are under pressure, ask God what he wants to achieve in you. When He reveals it to you, with His help, make Him and what He’s revealed to you the focus. It will help you to endure the pressure and hardship knowing that God is working out His greater purpose in you.

Praise Him for His goodness and faithfulness and know that all things are working out for good.

By Robertha Reid 

New Year; Same God

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Hebrew 13:8 (KJV) http://biblia.com/verseoftheday/image/Heb13.8

Yesterday was Thursday. Today is Friday. As it was last week  and the weeks prior. The great difference being that today, Friday, marks the start of a new calendar year.

And while January first brings with it no magical powers to transform all things, it does bring with it something very important: HOPE.

Hope that things will change, will get better, can be re-built.  That the start of something new means that we can move past and forget the old.

We know a God that exists outside of time and in eternity.  Who, year in and year out, is faithful, dependable, unmovable, consistent; His word, nature and character do not change and it is in Him that we place our hope.

This is why:

  • Psa 16:9  Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoices;
    My flesh also will rest in hope
  •  Psa 31:24  Be of good courage,
    And He shall strengthen your heart,
    All you who hope in the Lord
  • Psa 39:7  And now, Lord, what do I wait for? My hope is in You.
  • Psa 42:11  Why are you cast down, O my soul? And why are you disquieted within me? Hope  in God; For I shall yet praise Him, The help of my countenance and my God.

Similar verses litter the bible; all pointing to the same fact. That there is only one focus for that which we hope: The Almighty God.

Let 2016 bring us to a sense of renewed hope where ours may have waned because of trials faced in the past and prayers unanswered; may we look forward knowing that each day means fulfillment of purpose in Him and that is what keeps us pressing onward; may we know that He is a keeper of promises and that His timing is never wrong; may we encourage and exhort each other in the Lord and with His because that is the only accurate measure; may we stand for Him as He stands for us to walk in and be obedient to His call.

Be strong in the Lord ladies.

Remember our lives are HIs.

by Marisse Cropper

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jesus under pressure – Our example

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Matt 26:41- “Keep watching and praying that you may not enter into temptation; the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak”.

Life has many challenges. While challenges make us grow, sometimes the pressure of those challenges can make us feel like we will explode. Let’s look at how our Savior, Jesus Christ, handled pressure and follow His example by applying these principles to whatever we may be facing.

 

1. Jesus did not use earthly tools, He prayed.
e.g. John 18:10 – When the soldiers wanted to take Jesus, Simon drew His sword (earthly weapon). Luke 22:44 – when Jesus was in agony He prayed..”Being in agony He prayed more earnestly.”

Why pray?
a. Prayer brings with it strength from heaven (an angel came and strengthened Jesus in His time of need).
b. Prayer brings with it the very presence of the all-powerful God (The three Hebrew boys in the furnace had the presence of the Son of God (Christ) with them in their time of extreme pressure).

Personalize it: What is your method? How do you react under pressure? Earthly weapons/solutions or prayer? e.g. Do you talk to everyone about a situation and gossip rather than praying? Proverbs 10:19 –“In the multitude of words sin is not lacking, but he who restrains his lips is wise”.

2. Jesus resisted temptation.
Temptation lurks when the pressure is on – Matt 26:41- “Keep watching and praying that you may not enter into temptation; the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak”.

We ‘react’ when we are under pressure and may say or do the wrong things e.g. Matt 26: 73-74 – Peter lied, denying knowing Christ when put under pressure. The pressure of potentially being arrested, charged and killed was too great for him to handle. Luke 22: 48-50 – The disciples asked, “Lord should we strike with the sword?” They had no sense of the hour that they were in. Christ’s response was very composed/cool/collected – ‘Permit even this’.

What are some of the temptations we face under pressure?
i. To react in anger and sin e.g. giving someone a good piece of your mind (Bible cautions us to be angry and sin not).
ii. To forget about Christ/God and take matters into our own hands especially if we believe that God is not acting fast enough or doing what we think he should do.
iii. To deny Christ – how do we do that? We can be ashamed to identify with him in suffering as Peter did. Enduring suffering for Christ is not something that comes automatically to us so we might try to ease our way out of it (Mark 14:50 says that they (disciples) all forsook him and fled). We flee suffering and deny Christ sometimes by throwing away our faith in God- There are people that leave the faith when they are under pressure – I have a friend whose mother was ill with cancer for years and after her prayers for healing were not answered in the way she expected, she left the faith – denied Christ.

The GREAT temptation when under pressure is to deny Christ, to abandon God ESPECIALLY when He seems silent. God was silent through Christ’s trial of crucifixion – He had no representation in the form of a host of angels (as they were when they announced Christ’s birth); no forefathers (Moses, Elijah like at Mount of Transfiguration); no voice appearing from heaven (like when Christ was baptized)…absolute silence. Under pressure, we have to learn to trust God ‘even when we can’t trace him’ – when he seems to have left us alone and there is silence.

I pray this was an encouragement to you. We will continue next week with the last two points. Have a great weekend everyone!

By Robertha Reid

Inside Out

  

Hi Sisters..we apologize for the late post. It’s been a bit crazy lately. 😊

Recently I watched the movie “Inside Out” with my boys. It was truly entertaining to see how the writers/producers depicted what was happening in the mind of this little girl in the movie. It was really quite accurate! Sometimes our hearts and minds can be tied up in knots. Emotions of anger, fear and sadness swirl in us like a whirlwind, intermingling with each other and seeming to battle for dominance as joy tries to hold the fort. Good old Joy! I must say she definitely is my favourite character and I really do try to let her rule the roost every day. However for us humans living in this fallen world, sometimes people’s actions, circumstances, loss, life changes, sin and other challenges can really offset that joyful balance. None of us are immune to sadness, anger and fear.  

Yet while each feeling does have its place and can propel us to a place of action. We must ask God to direct our emotions and actions so that we avoid the sinful and negative outcomes of acting sinfully on our emotions.

Take for example – Eph 4:26 which says “Be angry and sin not”. Phil 4:6 – 7 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation by prayer and petition with thanksgiving present your requests to God and the peace of God which transcends all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. 

James 4:1-3 Where do wars and fights come from among you? Do they not come from your desires for pleasure that war in your members? You lust and do not have. You murder and covet and cannot obtain. You fight and war. Yet you do not have because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasures.

The bible is clear that emotions are real. David the psalmist struggled with loneliness and depression as he fled for his life and Job seemed to wrestle with all of them as he endured severe loss. Even Christ was described as a man of sorrows Is 53:3.

However these men came to a place where their eyes were lifted beyond their present circumstances..as they considered the faithfulness and sovereignity of God and they obeyed.
Many people use their feelings as an excuse for their actions. Anger, bitterness and hurt propel us towards unforgiveness which is the root of broken relationships and more severely, crime.

In the midst of Christ’s betrayal and rejection from men, He saw the will of God and was able to say “Father, forgive them.” None of us, regardless of who we are can be above this.  

So, I don’t know what emotion is struggling for dominance in you today, in this season of your life, what wrongs you have endured and how you may be handling the challenges you face. However, I do know that the Lord will guide you if you ask Him. 

He promises: 

Is 61:3 “ To console those who mourn in Zion, To give them beauty for ashes, The oil of joy for mourning, The garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; That they may be called trees of righteousness, The planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified.”

2 Tim 1:7 For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind

Nehemiah 8:10 Then he said to them, “Go your way, eat the fat, drink the sweet, and send portions to those for whom nothing is prepared; for this day is holy to our Lord. Do not sorrow, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.”

Ask Him to come on the inside of your heart, to give you His light and joy to be reflected outside.

By Carol-angel Jackson

God Can Resurrect Your Marriage Part 2

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“So I prophesied as he [God] commanded me, and breath entered them; they came to life and stood up on their feet—a vast army” (Ezekiel 37:10 NIV).

Hey Sisters, here’s the second part of the post by Sharon Jaynes at Girlfriends in God. May it encourage you as you read. Do enjoy!

Friend to Friend

I can hardly wait for you to read the rest of the story from my last devotion. If you missed it, please go back and read it first. Here’s where we left off…Don and Jona were divorced.

Now friends, the next part of the story is what Dr. Phil did not tell you. God began working on Jona’s heart. She didn’t change because of a self-help book or a ten-step program, but because of the miraculous work of the Holy Spirit. Do you want to know what really happened? Do you want to know what Dr. Phil did not tell his viewers when Jona and Don went on his program talking about “life change”? Grab a cup of coffee and keep reading.

God took Jona to a place of repentance and began to soften, remold and remake her very heart. That’s what God does. He doesn’t try to cover up our flaws; He starts from scratch and makes us new. While the divorce was final, God was only just beginning to work on Jona’s heart.

“God took me to a place of repentance,” Jona explained. “For the first time, through a support group, I saw clearly what I had done to destroy my marriage. I had always blamed our problems on Don changing jobs so often, but the real problem was my lack of respect for the God appointed leader of my home. I was the real problem and Don simply couldn’t take it anymore. I had rejected Don with my words, my appearance, and my withdrawal of physical touch.”

Whether or not God could salvage the marriage, Jona made a commitment that she would allow God to salvage her. She immersed herself in Bible study, prayer, and getting healthy.

“I began to understand what God’s Word said about the relationship between a husband and wife. I was not Don’s Holy Spirit. I was not the leader of my home. God had called me to respect Don as the leader, to honor him as a child of God, and to love him with my all. One day when Don came to pick up our two boys, I shared with him what I had been learning.”

“That’s fine,” he told me. “But you need to know I’m moving on with my life.”

“You can move on,” I said. “But I’m staying right here.”

Jona continued to encourage Don and give him her BEST—bless, edify, share and touch.

Some people told him she was trying to trick him and that he should ignore her. But it wasn’t a trick; it was a miracle.

“God had changed my heart” she said, “and I was committed—no matter what happened between us in the future—to never go back to being that bitter woman I had been before.”

Don was confused at times and a bit leery of the change. “Why do you think I’m wonderful, all of a sudden?” he asked her.

“Because now I see you through God’s eyes,” she explained. “I see that you are a wonderful man.”

Don fell in love with Jona all over again. God has given them a second chance. They were remarried eighteen months after their divorce was final. Oh how I love God! He is the God of second chances.

Dear friends, Jona has so graciously allowed me to tell you her story because she has decided that she will do anything to help one woman not make the same mistakes she has made. She cried and cried all through the recounting of the story, and relived the pain…for you. “God allowed me to go to a terrible place,” Jona explained. “My prayer is that others will not have to go to that place before they wake up and realize what they are doing to their men.”

And that…is what Dr. Phil did not tell you.

Let’s Pray

For Married GiGs

Dear Lord, help me be the woman my husband needs for me to be. Help me to stop concentrating on his faults and failures, but start looking at my own. Show me. Teach me. Empower me.

In Jesus’ name,

Amen.

For Single GiGs

Dear Lord, help me be a woman who is committed to building other up and not tearing others down, to speaking words of encouragement and not words of discouragement, and see each person as creation fashioned in Your image.

In Jesus’ name,

Amen.