War and Peace – ISIS and Jesus

I read my Bible to see what men ought to do; and read my newspapers to see what men are doing

Lord renew thy church beginning with me; Lord renew the church that the church may renew the nation(s).

NEWS

1. Nothing can surpass the example of ISIS, not executing…that’s too civilized a term….but rather murdering Coptic Christians than what took place in Libya recently, to demonstrate to the world, the kind of evil which the church in particular faces in this age. And which confronts humanity in general. It’s really a metaphor for the choices which mankind faces. War – without Christ, and Peace – with Christ. A situation well described, although in less stark terms, by Tolstoy’s famous novel.
Beheading of Coptic Christians in Libya shows ISIS branching out http://ti.me/1zXFEub
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Yes, the very ‘live’ and robust debate in my country about constitutional issues – should the Senate be more independent; what to do about Senators who win cases in the Courts but who have lost the confidence of the constitutional officer who recommended their appointment; and under what circumstances can a senator be removed from the Upper House – caught my attention. Yes, the very ‘live’ debate about the movie Fifty Shades of Grey – no, I will definitely not be seeing it any time soon to be able to comment accurately on it – caught my attention. But only briefly! Yes, the ongoing and outrageous attempts to terrorise people in Denmark and elsewhere, by murdering unarmed and unsuspecting citizens, caught my attention. But nothing, nothing at all comes close to the diabolic message being sent to the world by the evil that ISIS represents in the ‘live murdering’ of people who trust in The Son of God. As this is Satan operating at his worst.

THE WORD OF GOD

The messages in general all had one theme- trust in God. A fundamentally opposite message to what the wisdom of this age has to offer. All because they do not understand the cosmic nature of the war taking place worldwide. So one very naive at best, and perhaps dangerous at worse, attorney, was quoted this week in the newspapers, encouraging the government to ‘Free up the Guns”. I suppose as a means of dealing with the rampaging gun-toting criminals once and for all! Completely ignoring the fact that, superior force in and by itself, has never been shown in history to defeat evil. Otherwise, the war to end all wars would have happened a long time ago – as some believed at the end of WW1. And at the end of WW11. At after the end of the Cold War! So The Creator God reminds us all Who really is our ‘ultimate Protector’.

THE FIRST MESSAGE

FREE UP THE GUNS
This morning I got up thanking the Sovereign Lord for a peaceful night. And the Word began to flow. Then I went and picked up the newspapers and saw the headlines:
FREE UP THE GUNS…..and Jamaica’s murder rate will fall…according to a prominent lawyer
BY DAY
The Sovereign Lord is my strength; he makes my feet to go like the feet of a deer, he enables me to go on the heights. Habakkuk 3:19
AT NIGHT
I will lie down and sleep in peace, for you alone, O Lord, makes me dwell in safety. Psalm 4:8
AT ALL TIMES
The eternal God is your refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms. Deuteronomy 33:27
DECISION
In whom will you trust. The wisdom of this age or The Word of God
Choose ye this day…..But as for me and my house we will (trust) serve the Lord. Joshua 24:15
Amen

THE SECOND MESSAGE – sent again on WhatsApp, really reinforces the point made throughout history; that we live ( without Christ) in very evil times. And therefore we ought to ‘very careful’ how we live. Do we understand #furtylebrain that artistes who are hoping to make it big, are doing all kinds of madness, including ‘sewing on horns on their heads’……..at least in one case; and altering the pigment in their eyes. Just so that that they can ‘stand out’ in a crowded entertainment field and ‘buss’. And that this is an example of the kind of evil ‘juggernaut’, that confront our young people in this digital world. And so The Living God sends a message to all of us – to be very careful how we live. As music and other forms of entertainment #FiftyShadesofGrey will literally ‘ blow your mind’. Whether you think you are secure in your understanding of what life is all about, or just learning! For the devil is more ‘crafty’ than any other animal and specializes in destroying the confident, the ‘wise’, and those who think that they do not need God’s protection and ignore the reality that there is war going on for the souls of humankind. From the time of Adam!

A VERY IMPORTANT WORD

Usually when the Lord wakes me up at exactly 4:am, and He has not that for a while, to read His Word, then it is always something special. Especially when I was thinking that perhaps writing too often might ‘ turn off’ some folks. But then I choose to be obedient.

PASSAGES WHICH ‘CHALLENGED MY SOUL :

At beginning – Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him and he will direct your path… Proverbs 3:5-6

At the end – Be very careful, then, how you live – not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is….. Finally be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against….. the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Ephesians 5:15-17 & 6:10-12 NIV

May the God of Jacob make us wise, with His wisdom, and protect us from evil by obedience to His Word. Even Christ Jesus the Living Word. For God knows that the times are truly evil.

THE THIRD MESSAGE – Again featured on WhatsApp:

..raises the issue of, in the midst of the war, how do we in the church, treat with those who, despite our many entreaties, despite exposure to God’s Word, refuse to commit to Christ, and find The Peace for which they are, unknown to them, desperately seeking? And so a timely word from the Lord comes to all of us. And especially to those we love and care for, and who stubbornly resist the call of the Word.

THE MESSAGE

THE LOST SON…. OR DAUGHTER
I don’t know about you, but I have many good friends and close relatives who just refuse to go to church and commit themselves to Christ. #Veryfrustrating when you know how much everybody needs Jesus. And then this word comes along:

The God who waits….CHRIS TIEGREEN
The younger son got together all he had…… and squandered his wealth in wild living. Luke 15:13
…..Could there be any better description of our generation than the escapades of the Prodigal Son? Many in our society act as if independence were the highest virtue. Many are living in a distant country and loving it. For now.
Meanwhile, our Father waits. He knows the futility of His children’s independence. He knows it will bring them to ruin. But unless they see it themselves, they will not believe it. So He waits……
Many of us wonder if our failures have caused the Father to turn His back on us……..But Jesus’ illustration is very clear. We have a Father who waits.
Maybe we should be more patient with those we care for. Because God is very patient and full of compassion for all His children. His favorite word is ‘ come’ – Robert Sterner.

THE FOURTH MESSAGE – AGAIN sent out on WhatsApp.
And this message more than any other deals with the obvious and soul searching question that the relatives and all who believe in Christ, will ask of god in this moment of crisis in the church, when our brothers and sisters are being targeted by ISIS . For death! One of the existential issues we have to settle in our minds is that God is Sovereign, regardless of the situation. And His Sovereign rule is not limited by life on this earth, but extends to ‘life everlasting’. And this is the blessed hope, that we hold firm. That, the death of our people in Libya, or in Syria, is not the final chapter of the story of life. But in a real way, only the beginning of a life more abundantly in Christ – Peace. And for those who murder and kill, their eternal life will be ‘Eternal War’, and suffering.
So, for those who survive the ‘storms of life’ that will come our way, they are meant to strengthen our faith in a Sovereign God, a God who controls the Wind and the Waves. And were it not for those trials, we would never know Him as the God who is Sovereign over every situation; and therefore, in that power we have full authority to spread the gospel.

JESUS IS OUR DELIVERER

Yesterday a patient asked me why a good Christian girl like her was having do much pain, whilst backsliders were (apparently) not?
Then this morning I woke up with one of my favorite hymns in my heart.

O Jesus, I have promised to serve thee to the end;
be thou forever near me, my master and my friend:
I shall not fear the battle
if thou art by my side,
nor wander from the pathway,
if thou wilt be my guide…… Verse one

Then this:

MASTER ON THE STORMS – CHRIS TIEGREEN
” You of little faith, why are you afraid “. Matthew 8:26
….Jesus could have navigated His company around that storm. It blew up without warning, but the Lord of creation isn’t surprised by anything. He knew about the Cross ahead of time, and He knew about the storm. But if He had let the disciples avoid it, they would never have known Him as the Master of the wind and waves. They would not have asked the question: ” What kind of man is this”?….verse 27. They would not have known Jesus as their Deliverer that day …
Do you think as a member of this WhatsApp ministry that she got an answer to her question? And for all of us struggling with challenged in our lives?
O Jesus I have promised…

THE FINAL MESSAGE – on WhatsApp

This one needs very little introduction. Life is simple. War – with and without Christ. Peace – only in Christ. The only challenge, is having decided to trust in The Son of God, how do we remain in Him. The answer! It’s all by grace. And we must ask The Father to help us without ceasing – dwell in the secret place. Which is the essence of prayer. And not the requests for prosperity.

NOT JUST TRIALS BUT WAR
This morning I woke up with the words of Psalm in my hearts. Words that have been with me in my darkest hours. And have become almost like an Anthem in my soul. And I recalled that in the height of the Ebola crisis, a Bible teacher of international renown told me that in Africa this
Psalm is even more popular that Psalm 23.

Psalms 91:1 KJV

He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.
Then as I reached the end of the Psalm ……I will be with him in trouble…. led me to Psalm 27. The words of which ‘ saved ‘ my life once when war broke out against me on the way to work one morning.

Psalms 27:1-4 KJV

The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid? When the wicked, even mine enemies and my foes, came upon me to eat up my flesh, they stumbled and fell. Though an host should encamp against me, my heart shall not fear: though war should rise against me, in this will I be confident. One thing have I desired of the Lord , that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord , and to enquire in his temple.

The point here is that we have to learn, and to pray without ceasing, for grace to dwell in ‘ the secret place of The Most High’. Night and day. As we face not just trials but war. For the ‘ thief’ in John 10:10 has not come just to steal our affections away from a Loving and Compassionate God. But to ‘ kill and ultimately destroy’! Just look around you at the lives of friends and relatives and your own experience. There is a war being waged against our very souls. To separate us from God. But thank God for the Blood of Jesus in Whom and through Whom we can , ‘ dwell in the secret place of the Most High. Even in death. For in Christ nothing can separate us from the love of God

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