What Is Church?


IMG_0117I have taken this message from The Daily Bread. It is an excellent message, written by John Stuart. Thank you, John, for your uplifting visionary words.

Luke 13:18-19 – Then Jesus asked, “What is the kingdom of God like? What shall I compare it to? It is like a mustard seed, which a man took and planted in his garden. It grew and became a tree, and the birds of the air perched in its branches.” (NIV)

I find it amazing to think that Christianity is actually the world’s largest faith. About one-third of our planet’s population is connected to Christ, and each year, that number is growing all over the earth. Beginning on a hillside in Galilee two thousand years ago with just a couple of hundred followers, Christ’s ministry has expanded and increased throughout the centuries. In every nation on this planet, there is a Christian community. The gospel has been preached in every corner on earth. The mustard seed of God’s kingdom, which was planted so long ago, now has people of every nation living in its branches. There are currently more Christians on earth than at any other time in humankind’s history. Christ’s life, work, and ministry continue to grow. It is a faith that cannot be stopped; it is a teaching that cannot be curtailed.

Churches are springing up everywhere. Old buildings may be closing, but new fellowships of faith are being planted. Christ’s mission never stops, and despite what western media or anti-religious groups express about the decline of Christianity, the numbers across the world prove them to be false prophets. Western Christianity is being transformed, and a rebirth of faith is being experienced. The church changes as each century comes and goes, but one thing remains constant: Christ’s people are growing numerically and spiritually across this planet in every generation.

Sometimes, we western Christians get downhearted about declining congregational numbers and moral standards of society. We get hung up on finances and money instead of being inspired by faith and mission. All that we are negatively experiencing are the birth pangs of a new twenty-first-century church. Christ will not let His people down; Christ will not let His mission die.

So let’s rejoice, because throughout the earth, more people will be brought closer to Christ today and give their hearts to His kingdom.

Prayer: Lord Jesus, Your work on earth continues each day, and new souls are saved for Your kingdom. Thank You for allowing us to be a part of Your great commission. Help us to reach out to other people in charitable and cheerful ways, so that they may also be drawn closer to You. In Your holy name, we pray. Amen.

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Pleasing or Loving?


Knowing right from wrong and then choosing to live in a way that is respectful of others is a choice. Living life your own way and disregarding others is not only selfish it is wrong and will bring repercussions that you will regret – not necessarily soon but eventually and you will experience like behavior towards yourself, so think before you treat others unkindly because it will come back to you, one way or another.

1 Thessalonians 4:1-8, 4:11-12

Brothers, now I have some other things to tell you. We taught you how to live in a way that will please God. And you are living that way. Now we ask you and encourage you in the Lord Jesus to live that way more and more. You know what we told you to do by the authority of the Lord Jesus. God wants you to be holy and to stay away from sexual sins. He wants each one of you to learn how to choose a wife in a way that is holy and honorable. Don’t use your body for sexual sin (depravity). The people who do not know God use their bodies for that. So do not wrong your brother or cheat him in this way. The Lord will punish people who do those things. (There is a consequence for everything you do). We have already told you and warned you about that. God called us to be holy and does not want us to live in sin (disregarding and not respecting each other). So the person who refuses to obey this teaching is refusing to obey God, not man. And God is the One who gives us His Holy Spirit (making us better at discerning right from wrong and then choosing to make changes in our lives, to live according to His laws and direction – never hurting or maiming or killing).

Do all you can to live a peaceful life. Take care of your own business. Do your own work. We have already told you to do these things. If you do, then people who are not believers will respect you. And you will not have to depend on others for what you need.

God loves you. He always has and always will. I pray that you choose to live in accordance with His direction outlined in the Bible. Life improves day by day as you choose to love and live His way.

Thankful for Everything


I have a very energetic mind and need constant variety in my life, to stop me from becoming disenchanted with my lot!

It occurred to me a long time ago, that I easily get bored with life, when I feel ‘stuck in a rut’.

Then I considered how important it is to be thankful for all situations. I thought about how we grow when faced with adversity! We problem solve and accomplish much more in order to survive or get through to the other side of the challenge. We focus on the solution instead of the problem.

When life is dealing the right cards and all is relatively good, we can easily become complacent and then slip into a pity-party mentality, when we view our lives as being mundane.

One day, listening to news reports of war-torn areas around the globe, a light bulb suddenly went on, and I thanked God I was not living there with the deprivation of conflict. My ordinary life, which I sometimes consider dull, was at once a blessing. I realized that if it was taken from me I would miss it! My daily chores and lifestyle would be craved more than anything else.

I have endured and survived the horror or losing every material thing in my life, and at the time it was an absolute nightmare; however, all the things I lost were quickly replaced as time passed. My emotional turmoil was not so quickly healed, but again, as time passed it happened.

I would not want to live parts of my life again. There have been some dreadful moments of rejection and worse, but thankfully, there have been more beautiful moments and they more than compensate for the bad ones.

I now view each day as a blessing. One to be enjoyed to the fullest because I can. I sometimes, slip back to imagining times when my life was not so ordinary, and I certainly do not want to dwell there for long. I am thankful for where God has brought me and for the people He has placed in my life. I am thankful for my sons and their beautiful families: for my step-children and their families. I have a husband who respects and encourages me. He loves me despite my faults. I have friends that I trust and enjoy spending time with. My earthly family has grown over the years and I am glad for each person. Why on earth would I wish for anything else?

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 says, Rejoice always, pray without ceasing in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. (NKJV)

If that is God’s will for me, I will stick with that and follow His guidance, after all, where would I be without Him in my life? I really don’t want to ‘go’ there!

Prayer: Lord God, it is so easy to wish we were on the ‘other side of the fence’. The trouble is that when we get there things are never as rosy as we expect them to be. Help us to be thankful and content with what we have – as long as we are not in abusive situations. Let us be aware of how we would feel, should everything be taken away from us. Then we would crave our mundane lives back and be truly thankful.

A Wolf in Coyote Clothing?


In the area I live, there are wolves. You can hear them howling in the evening hours. Neighbors and friends have seen them. Apparently there is a pack of six in the nearby woodlands.

Some folk claim they are not wolves but coyotes, in an attempt to dispel the fear that people have about wolves, thinking that coyotes are less of a threat to humans and animals alike.

However, a recent report I heard suggests that there is proof of inter-breeding between wolves and coyotes. This creates a very different type of coyote – one that views humans, not as something to avoid, but as large prey! The mix results in a coyote with killer tendencies.

So what we see is not necessarily what we get!

A deception of another kind is a person with an evil spirit. On the outside they present as kind, generous and caring, while on the inside they are planning your downfall or even demise.

Wolves come into any flock with the intention of destroying, so we should be more vigilant when seeing coyotes, because they could be one of the new breed of wolf and coyote mix. Likewise, we need to use wisdom and discernment when meeting people for the first time – they might not be as good as they appear. I do not say this to cause alarm – but to suggest discretion, until that person proves themself to be worthy of our consideration as a friend.

Acts 20:29 For wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock. (NKJV)

see more: http://pattersmatters.wordpress.com
and my devotionals are web-published on http://www.devotionalchristian.com and http://www.pccwebdaily.ca

Taking the Right Path


`I am a Christian! I am set apart from non-believers. I am NOT better than, I just have different beliefs!

Psalm 118:8  It is better to trust the Lord than to trust people. ICV)

Life and some people I have met, have taught me it is better to trust in God, than any mortal being.

I do not abuse, nor use or appreciate profane language!
I do not kill, maim or torture, nor do I steal!
I do my best to not worship man-made idols, although in this technological world I do admit to being dependent on certain items!
I respect people, and attempt to live for truth, in truth and for truth!
I love those who choose to not like or love me in return. I acknowledge they are doing the best that they can, with what they know, or perhaps – they just do not find anything about me they are comfortable with.

I believe in the one true God! In Jesus Christ as His Son, who died and rose from death to prove His love for me and He lives eternally.

John 3:16 For God loved the world so much that He gave His only Son. God gave His Son so that whoever believes in Him may not be lost (caught up in worldly pursuits to alleviate their inner needs), but have eternal life. God did not send His Son to judge the world guilty, but to save the world through Him. (ICV)

Choosing God was life-changing for me. Years ago, I had desperate need of something but did not know what it was. I had a huge emptiness inside that nothing satisfied. My life was not good! I had trusted people who were unworthy of my trust, and I was led astray.  God stepped in and put me on a better path. He saved me. He will do the same for you, but you need to let Him know that you want Him to!

Matthew 7:7a  Continue to ask, and God will give to you.  Continue to search, and you will find. (ICV)

Prayer: God – are you really there? I need help and I think you are the only one who can do it. I am struggling: alone and caught up in a lifestyle that I have no control over. Please help me! Show me what the right next step should be. Come in to my life and save me and show me a better way to live. In Jesus Name, Amen.

read my Blog:   http://pattersmatters.wordpress.com

Author of:  Eleanor – A Stolen Childhood (in the process of publication)

Writer of Devotionals for:

www.devotionalchristian.com

www.pccdailydevotionals.com

 

 

Accepted and Respected


I read recently, in The Daily Bread (www.rbc.org), that over 15 million people die each year from starvation. A mind boggling figure that tends to be just a number. Each number is a person! A child, a woman, a man! Attempting to do the best they can. But it is never enough.

They do not have adequate income to buy food! They cannot grow enough to support their needs! Never enough resources available for them to access.

We are called to HELP those in distress! No, we cannot help them all, but one by one with the little help we can give, can keep one more person alive or at the very least, keep them healthy and well!

We can each donate to a local food bank. Support missions and charities that drill wells for fresh drinking water! Help with breakfast or lunch programs! Just a little can do so much!

Galatians 2:10 They asked us to do only one thing – to remember to help the poor. And this was something that I really wanted to do. (ICB)

http://pattersmatters.wordpress.com
http://www.devotionalchristian.com
Author of Eleanor’s Story – A Stolen Childhood

The Hawk


Sitting and gazing out to the garden, my attention is suddenly grabbed by a hawk landing on the lawn.  It has a fresh catch in its talons. 

What an unbelievable sight.  I’m used to seeing these beautiful birds soaring high above, while searching for prey below.

It rests a few seconds while the poor captive bird struggles to free itself.  Alas, it will not win.  With determination, the hawk tightens the grip on the little bird and takes off; feathers flying in all directions.  It is no doubt intent on feeding its young – but I do feel for the helpless meal!

Aren’t you glad you’re not on the menu?

Watch out that satan doesn’t have you in his sights!  Be careful how you’re living; he may be coming to get you next!  He stalks each of us, determined to feed his ever hungry lusts: not caring how or who, or why.  He just wants one more; then one more; then one more, ad infinitum!  As long as there are willing lost souls, he cannot lose.

Be wary!

more at:  http://pattersmatters.wordpress.com

Rest on God’s Promise


New Life

Have you noticed how easy it is to give advice to others, while overlooking what you might need guidance on?

Recommending a change of direction or lifestyle in someone else’s world is easy but it is not so easy to do for ourselves. 

The world has many well-intentioned folk.  Some are not Godly and certainly not kind.  They make unrealistic, even cruel demands on others, ensuring their own needs are met, while completely ignoring the difficulties and restrictions they impose upon others. 

A saving grace in complex or dangerous situations, if you believe in the one true God, is to remember that you do have a ‘safe place to go’.  

God lives in the hearts of all believers and no-one can take Him away from us.  Life can be full of regulations and controls that burden  and even cause us to consider ‘giving-up’, those times are when God’s people seek the quiet of a God-filled heart.  They in turn receive a strength that is beyond the understanding of non-believers, many of whom will ridicule our dependence upon a God that cannot be seen. 

Psalm 71:1 – I run to You, Lord, for protection.  Don’t disappoint me. (CEV)

Prayer:  Father God, let us always remember who is truly in charge. We can be overwhelmed by the control that others have on our lives.  Help us to focus on You and trust in Your provision for our well-being and our inner peace.  Lord help us to continue to grow in our faith.  Amen

there’s more at:  http://pattersmatters.worpdress.com

www.devotionalchristian.com

 

 

 

Recall Notice!


I loved this message.  I received it in an email from a friend.  I do not know the origin.

The Maker of all human beings (GOD) is recalling all units
 manufactured, regardless of make or year, due to a serious
 defect in the primary and central component of the heart.

 This is due to a malfunction in the original prototype units
 code named Adam and Eve, resulting in the reproduction of
 the same defect in all subsequent units.

 This defect has been identified as “Subsequential Internal
 Non-morality,”  more commonly known as S.I.N., as it is
 primarily expressed.

 Some of the symptoms include:
 1. Loss of direction
 2. Foul vocal emissions
 3. Amnesia of origin
 4. Lack of peace and joy
 5. Selfish or violent behavior
 6. Depression or confusion
 7. Fearfulness
 8. Idolatry
 9. Rebellion

 The Manufacturer, who is neither liable nor at fault for this
 defect, is providing factory-authorized repair and service free
 of charge to correct this defect.

 The Repair Technician, JESUS, has most generously
 offered to bear the entire burden of the staggering cost of
 these repairs. There is no additional fee required.

 The number to call for repair in all areas is: P-R-A-Y-E-R.

 Once connected, please upload your burden of SIN through
 the REPENTANCE procedure.

 Next, download ATONEMENT from the Repair
 Technician, Jesus, into the heart component.

 No matter how big or small the SIN defect is, Jesus will
 replace it with:
 1. Love
 2. Joy
 3. Peace
 4. Patience
 5. Kindness
 6. Goodness
 7. Faithfulness
 8. Gentleness
 9. Self control

 Please see the operating manual, the B.I.B.L.E. (BEST Instructions
 Before Leaving Earth) for further details on the
 use of these fixes.

 WARNING: Continuing to operate the human being unit
 without correction voids any manufacturer warranties,
 exposing the unit to dangers and problems too numerous
 to list, and will result in the human unit being permanently
 impounded. For free emergency service, call on Jesus.

 DANGER: The human being units not responding to this
 recall action will have to be scrapped in the furnace. The
 SIN defect will not be permitted to enter Heaven so as to
 prevent contamination of that facility. Thank you for your attention!

 – GOD

 P.S. Please assist where possible by notifying others of this
 important recall notice, and you may contact the Father any
 time by ‘Knee mail’!

 Because HE Lives

 May the Lord Bless and Keep you.

 

 

The Best Christmas Gift


HAPPY CHRISTMAS!

Ah! Christmas-time is here again. Time for hurried shopping trips. Time for shopping excesses. Time to buy gifts for those we love. Decision after decision!

What can I give my spouse?

What to give the children!

What to give friends and family!

Will it be a new guitar? The latest electronic gadget on which to view, text and listen? Perhaps the latest video game?

It is so easy get ‘caught up’ in the buying frenzy expected of us by retailers.

The very best gift you can give is the story of Jesus! Christmas after all, is the celebration of His birth.

He was born to bring us the gifts of peace, contentment and joy! He wanted and still wants us, to share his unconditional love with others. What greater gift is there?

Gift-giving is a beautiful way of sharing and showing our love with those nearest and dearest to us, but let’s not forget the true meaning of Christmas.

Let us remember to say, “Happy Birthday, Jesus”!

Let us invite and welcome Him into our hearts, minds and spirits.

Let us remember to thank His Father, God for all that He provides for us day by day.

Let us keep Jesus in our hearts all year long, and each successive year of our lives.

Isaiah 9:6 For unto us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on His shoulders. And He will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. (NIV)

Prayer: Father, when the worldly interpretation of Christmas overwhelms us, help us to not forget You, and Your gift of Jesus to us. May we focus on what is important and beneficial to us and may we grow in faith and love. Amen

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