Tag Archive | Hope

Who Are You???

IMG_1601

“God is not calling you to an uncertain future. Let the discovery of your identity be an adventure.”

If you were to try and imagine a stranger, someone that you had never met, you would not be able to do it. Too many unknown variables. Sounds strange right.

The person that God is calling you to be is someone that you have never met. Thus you have no frame of reference for imagining this person.

When you meet someone for the first time, more than likely, you put your best foot forward because you expect an amicable meeting. As you do not know the person, you are unable to judge them on an unknown past. It is a clean slate. You cannot form opinions based on who they are now or what they may have done in the past because you do not know.

For the new person that God wants us to become, we must also do just that. We tend to let past experiences or current actions taint the image of a future self. This results in the attitude of “Nope. Not me. I can’t do that.” or “Are you sure?”

Paul wrote that we are to forget the past and be drawn forward by the new future (Phil 3:13 -14); that higher calling.  Christ says that in Him we are a NEW creation (2 Cor 5:17): recently made, fresh, recent, unused, unworn, of a new kind, unprecedented, novel, uncommon, unheard of. (ALL WOW and ALL YOU!!!)

Let discovery of the new with God be an adventure. You CAN be what He wants you to be and do what He asks of you.

This new person is unveiled over time. It’s not like going from inside to outside. One minute here and the next, there. It is a journey. It may not happen as quickly as you might like. There will be struggles and tests and victories and the peace of God to over shadow it all.

Our cooperation is a determining factor in the length of the journey.

You may have heard the still small voice of the Holy Spirit, or have a strong sense from the Word or have been given a prophetic word regarding the plans that God has for you.

You may even have set out on this journey all bright eyed and bushy tailed only to face falls, failures, disappointments, and you have to believe that God still loves you and wants the best for you.

The thing is, God has already seen that new person. He knows what they look like. He sees the strength that has been built and the faith that has been cultivated and the gifts that have been discovered. He also sees where the chains were broken and where deliverance came and where burdens fell away.

So He is not calling you to an uncertain future. He is certain that you will be that person as long as you put your trust in and walk with Him. No matter how much like a fantasy it seems.

Remember, stop trying to picture this new person and giving definitions of what they are to resemble. You have NO frame of reference. You have no idea what God will do and how he will lovingly form and shape you, once you are in His hands.

Jump in!!! Feet first!!! You know He will catch you!!! Or fly with you. Or keep you afloat.

Ok God, so what now? Where do we go? What do we do next?

He is calling you forward but in all things be sure to count the cost. God wants all of you.

So be excited; not scared.

Don’t  imagine all the ways things could go wrong cause you are not God. There is no way that you could possibly know that.

I recently learned this saying: Stop borrowing trouble; which basically means stop worrying about something that you have no idea how it will turn out.

We can be quick with our ‘what ifs’. Just trust Him and be lead.

You are not your past. Your definition comes from your future. God’s future for you. His purpose for you.

Remember :

Don’t doubt Him. God knows the plans He has for you –  Jer 29:11

Don’t let the fear of failing stop you from moving. You may fall 7 times – Prov 24:16, Psa 37:23-24

Don’t think you know it all. No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love Him – Isa 64:4; 1 Cor 2:9

Don’t set limits. He is able to do far more abundantly beyond what we ask or thinkEph 3:20, Isa 55:8-9

Don’t try to do it in your own strength. Humble yourself under His mighty hand and in due time He will lift you up – 1 Pet 5:6-7

 

My prayer for all of us, is that we believe the infallible Word of God. The Word that speaks of who we are to God and who God has called us to be in Him. That we know that He cannot lie and that if He says something about us, then it is so. That we know that His Words are meant to comfort and not condemn, to lift us up and not pull us down; to cause us to see the truth and to desire His truth in our lives. That I know and that you know, undoubtedly, unashamedly, that He loves us beyond all measure and will reach out to us and draw us to Him. Let God – not this world, ourselves, other people – define us.

By Marisse Cropper

In Christ alone!!!

  
Life is so beautiful! Yes, there are peaks and valleys, losses and gains and often many hard knocks. These experiences may try to lead us down a path of worry and fear..but when we wrap it all up in Christ, we can win over worry and have perfect peace. 
Here are four common road blocks that can cause us to stumble and how we can kick them to the curb through the power of Christ in us!

The waiting game –

You may be praying for healing for yourself, a loved one or a relationship. Financial breakthrough may be long in coming. A business idea or a dream you have may not yet be fulfilled..and it’s been yearrrrrs. Or maybe you don’t think you are making sufficient progress in your Christian walk. 

Sometimes it feels as if nothing is happening but take heart..Christ is always working and He always finishes what he starts. He is the Alpha and Omega, He’s at the beginning and sees things through to the end so we need not worry when things seem to be at a standstill. We can lay hold of peace knowing that Christ in us began a good work and He will be faithful to complete it!

Lack –

Don’t look at what you don’t have in the natural..set your spiritual eyes on all that you have in Christ!!! 

The Father loves the Son and has given all things into His hands John 3:35 

When we are in Christ we have all things because He has all things. We can have access to His all-sufficiency through prayer and relationship with Him. Let’s read His words daily and let them sink into our hearts..then ask according to His word and see great things happen!!!

John 15:7(NKJV) If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you.

Relationship difficultiesProv 16:7 The Message (MSG) When God approves of your life, even your enemies will end up shaking your hand.

Don’t you just love this promise? When we dwell in Christ and seek to do His will daily, God will make even our enemies live at peace with us. Many of us can testify to this!! God is a peace-maker. He can either change that spouse or difficult boss or relative..or change us, giving us such love for them that they are converted by our love. Christ in us is the one who at the height of His pain said ..”Father forgive them.” As we do His will, He will bring peace to our relationships!! 

Fear of the unknown –

Regardless of what our past experiences have been…when we are in Christ we can settle in ourselves that everything that comes our way is filtered through Christ first. We are completely hidden in Him and covered in His love, wisdom and power. While we physically live in this world, we dwell in Christ’s world! He holds, keeps and shields us!

Colossians 3:1-4 (NKJV) If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. 2 Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. 3 For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. 

So let’s do a little word maths here?  Being in Christ = perfect love = no fear = perfect peace! 

Whether or not you’re a huge maths brain, that equation is one we can all definitely grasp!!!  So if you’re stuck in a pit of fear and worry we want to invite you to pursue these truth with us daily.

Let’s pray together: Lord I ask you to dwell in me so that all that you are and all that you have is mine! I want to dwell in your perfect love which casts out all fear. I want to win over worry and have your perfect peace so that others may see you in me and be changed, glorifying our Father in heaven. In Jesus’ name..Amen!

Click to enjoy this beautiful worship song In Christ Alone
Have a great week everyone!

By Carol-angel Jackson & Adrian Reid.

Whose Report Will You Believe?

 

23_bible-sword

Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.

Psalm 119:11

(All Scripture references taken from the King James Version)
( Picture taken from http://ubdavid.org/advanced/new-life3/graphics/23_bible-sword.jpg)

Realization

Recently I had a dream. In this dream I had a number of pets including three snakes. Even though I do not like snakes, and acknowledged that in the dream, I did not get rid of them. One in particular was quite bold. Moving freely about the house and chewing on various objects. Even becoming hidden at times.  Needless to say, I woke up unsettled and woke my husband to talk about it.  Was it an insignificant dream or was God trying to tell me something?

We were able to discover after some searching that snakes represent lies from the devil. These lies I was obviously living with; two that were subtle and one that was making itself very much at home. They were in my space and I even counted them as pets!

Thank God for His love and faithfulness. He has given the strategy and thus the victory.

 

Exposure

What were these lies and how long had I lived with them? Were they all subtle at one time, gaining ground only because I was not aware and did not deal with them?

Talking it out helped to reveal them : low self esteem, trust issues, not having what it takes.

Exposure is the first step to dealing with the lies of the enemy. As long as issues remain hidden, they can grow and become part of your space. The words that you think you tell yourself can become a part of what you consider to be truth.

These thoughts of “I can’t”, “I’m not”, “This I not for me” and others, are born from various sources. Maybe harsh words spoken or a past failure, helped to plant the seeds of something that would become larger over time.

 

Destruction

Only by the word of God can the lies of the enemy be destroyed. After Jesus had finished his fast in the desert, the enemy came to sway Him; to tempt Him and only by the word of God was he vanquished.

God’s word says:

Psalm 91:4          He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth shall be thy shield and buckler.

Psalm 43:3          O send out thy light and thy truth: let them lead me; let them bring me unto thy holy hill, and to thy tabernacles.

 Without the light that is God’s word we are defenseless and can be lead to a place that is not His will and purpose for our lives. Light destroys darkness. Truth destroys lies.

What does God say about you? What are His promises to you? Does He not speak of you with an unconditional love? Does He not tell you that nothing can separate you from Him? What has God called you to do?

2 Tim 1:9              Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the           world began

Psalm 139:14      I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.

Phil 1:6                  Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:

Eph 1:4                 just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love,

Know your worth in God’s eyes. Be assured of His plans and vision for you.

That way it is easy to disregard that which is not true. Disbelieving the lies is automatic when the truth of God’s word reside in us.

Are there any lies in your life that you have believed, that need to be exposed? Remember, you may not see them as lies but God knows.

Freedom comes from His truth.

 

Action

Now, write down 3 lies that the enemy has been bugging you with and find the truth in God’s word to counter it . Pray these words over your life and be patient as these words will change your life.

 

Father God, your word is truth. Expose the lies of the enemy that have taken root in my life. Your word is strength, light and peace to me. May it cause that which has sought to pull me down to be defeated, as I stand firm in you. Forgive me for not believing what you say about me. Thank you Lord for your faithfulness. I know that you love me and will not leave or forsake me. I will continue to look to you as the ultimate definition of who I am. For you made me and you know me. Lord, I will rest in you. In the name of Jesus; Amen.

 

By Marisse Cropper

Information about the meanings of dreams – Understanding Dreams and Visions

 

 

 

New Year; Same God

Heb13

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

Step Out and Reach Out

IMG_0780

Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God.
1 John 4:7

We live  in a world where the news is a our fingertips. Where it has become easier to find out what is happening in Saudi Arabia than it is sometimes, to talk to someone and find out what is going on with them.  It is possible to become desensitized to the tragedies around us because they happen often and do not directly affect us. Yes, there may be sorrow  and the shaking of our heads over another situation but eventually we move on because that is what happens with life.

Recently, a former classmate of mine passed away after an ongoing battle with cancer, leaving behind her four children. She was 39 years old. Her passing was a shock but hopefully also a wakeup call. You see, we tend not to pay attention to what is not right up in our faces and tend to ignore that which may not seem pressing.   The loss of Marie Blunte has made me take the time to step back and look at my family and reevaluate my relationships. This is real. This is close to me. None of us is invincible and we only have one time around on this earth.

Life is too short to hold on to bitterness, anger, unforgiveness, hatred, judgmental attitudes and selfishness.

When Christ died for us, it was not after having been on earth one day. What if He had said “Father, I don’t think so. These people are too stubborn and hard hearted. I want to preserve my life. It’s not worth it.” He saw all human shortcomings. He experienced hatred and the close-minded nature of man. He was accused and beaten. People wanted Him dead and they succeeded.  Yet, He still put His life on the line for us. He considered us, imperfect humans, worth it. Even after all that He knew we were and had the potential to be.

Often times we can become closed off, afraid of rejection and not wanting to interact with others in order to preserve ourselves and our feelings. We can decide that a person is not worth the effort when a constant smile or polite greeting may be all that it takes to impact someone else.

News flash people : None of us is perfect!

No one has it all together but if we are willing to be there for each other, to step out of our comfort zones and reach out,  to give love where it may not be returned, to show mercy when it may not be warranted, to allow the Holy Spirit to lead our hearts – then we are on the right path.

Lord, I pray for Marie’s children and family, that they may know Your love and peace and have love from those around them for the rest of their lives. That they will remember clearly her joy and strength and not the memories her illness.

May we remember each day to give love and to be patient. May we try to see past a person’s  exterior to realise that they need a kind word and understanding just as we do.

Marisse Cropper

Dream plan

IMG_1055.JPG

Dear Friends,
I compiled many scriptures that we looked at in church and came up with a Dream Plan To Do List:

– 2 Peter 3: 9-18
– Rom 8:18-24
– 1 Thes 5:8

God’s dream is that all should come to repentance, HE is LONG-SUFFERING toward us…not slack but diligent.

We have a responsibility in God’s dream for us. We are the ones that have to come to repentance and it’s His kindness that leads us (Rom 2:4).

Just like God, we must not be not slack but diligent to believe in (have faith in) the PROMISE that He has given us, and exercise long-suffering.

Just like Abraham that believed in God’s promise to Him and it was credited to him as righteousness.

As we wrap up this year and enter into the new and as we HOPE/DREAM for what we do not see, these things must be added to our faith:
· Look forward
· Be diligent
· Pursue peace
· Grow in grace and knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ
· Eagerly wait with perseverance
· Have earnest expectation

As we keep looking forward and hoping, long-suffering and perseverance will be developed.

Even when we are weak and groan within ourselves and do not know how to pray, the spirit intercedes for us with groaning.

We must also comfort each other and edify one another in the process.

Be encouraged and keep looking up!

By Lisa Marshall

Don’t let go

IMG_0780.JPG

1 Peter 1:6 In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, 7 that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ, 8 whom having not seen[a] you love. Though now you do not see Him, yet believing, you rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory, 9 receiving the end of your faith—the salvation of your souls.

She suffered in silence as she watched the years go by. How she longed to hold her own little son or daughter.
She watched as others experienced this joy..yet after years of marriage and trying, it seemed as if God said no. “Why would God give me this desire for children if I can’t have any?” she lamented.

How many times do we feel this way about so many different things in our lives. We hope, we wait, we hope..yet year after year there is disappointment when we do not see the fulfillment of what we long for. After a while, some of us give up. We see it as a “no” from God and let go of hope and ultimately our faith that what we are hoping for will happen. Time and circumstances do test our faith but faith believes and believes and is willing to die believing (Heb 11:13)

Here are a few reminders of why we should always choose faith over unbelief and not let go.

– Faith is believing in a God who’s faithful.
-It is the substance and foundation of what we do not see. Heb 11:6
– It is asking God without wavering or doubting. James 1:6
-It is the only way to access God. It moves Him and without it we cannot please Him. Heb 11:6
-It activates the supernatural and is the only way to access supernatural things.
-It is our defensive weapon against the enemy- it extinguishes his fiery arrows. Eph 6:16
-It brings what we hope for into reality.
-It proves that invisible things exist.
-It is not based on our senses- what we can touch, see or feel.
-It is NOT a feeling or mental agreement, it is conviction in our hearts. We know that we will have what we ask for – by faith.
-It does not deny the facts but focuses on God’s truth, and on what God says.
-It is not based on our circumstances, age, finances, physical challenges, but on God’s word. It is word based.
-It is God’s gift to us (Eph 2:8) and very precious.
-It is must be exercised daily and grows in power.
-It transforms our lives – believing in God’s great and precious promises allows us to participate in His divine nature. 2Pet 1:4
-It must be fought for and is not passively retained. 1Tim 6:12
-It precedes receiving, believe FIRST and receive after.

So after 7 years she received her blessing – a beautiful daughter and there have been others like her who received theirs – after 10 years, 14 years.
What are you believing for today? Don’t ever give up! Keep standing in faith even though the years are passing by. God is not limited or restricted by time and neither should we be. Know that you have what you’ve asked for and it will manifest! Be determined to die believing and you will be rewarded. Don’t let go!

Have a wonderful weekend.

By Carol-angel Jackson