Sunday, 31 May 2015

God Knows

Do you ever wonder if God knows what we are going through? Sometimes, you pray...and pray...and pray but it seems like nothing happens. Well, after listening to this sermon, I know that God KNOWS. He knows our fears, our troubles, our tribulations, our addictions, our pains, our cares. He knows them all.

Psalm 139

"Oh, Lord, you have examined my heart and know everything about me. You know when I sit down or stand up. You know my thoughts even when I'm far away. You see me when I travel and when I rest at home. You know everything I do. You know what I am going to say even before I say it, Lord. You go before me and follow me. You place your hand of blessing on my head, such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too great for me to understand. I can never escape from your Spirit. I can never get away from your presence..."

God knows. Do you ever go through troubles? What am I asking...of course we all have those seasons of troubles. It could be your finances getting worse, you have lost your job, you've lost a child, somebody you love just passed away and things just seem to be getting worse. Then you have this extreme pain in your soul. A pain that nobody can understand. Even when they ask you how you are, you just think, 'You don't want to know...' but you respond, 'I am fine'.

But the good thing is, God KNOWS. You may be thinking, how? But remember, He had a Son. Our Savior, Jesus Christ suffered so much. He suffered rejection, he got lonely, he got tempted, he got tired, he got weary, he got lost. So, God, in FLESH KNOWS. He understands what we are going through.

Some people question God and whether He is concerned about their trials. They ask - "Where is God? Why am I going through this?". Then we, as Christians, get bitter towards God. We feel like He has abandoned us. We require evidence that He is hearing our cry. But remember, the only way God can reach the world is sometimes through TESTIMONIES.

Remember the Israelites who complained and doubted God for 40 years. God provided for them, they were never homeless, never hungry but He provided for them even through their unbelief. Speak to Him. Go to His WORD and be sustained. People will look at you, and no matter what you are going through, they will SEE how you sustain yourself. They will want to know what makes you like this...and through that, you can lead them to God because He sustains YOU.

God knows your troubles, your issues, but He still answers prayers. Many of your prayers are answered and you are not aware of them. He knows what is in your heart. He knows EVERYTHING.

God knows our HEARTS. Even Jesus spoke to the Pharisees and told them that God knows their hearts...and there was a reason why they were so bitter.

Luke 16:15 - "Then he said to them, 'You like to appear righteous in public, but God knows your hearts. What this world honours is detestable in the sight of God.'"

So please, no matter what YOU go through in LIFE...remember that God knows. If you are not careful, that bitterness will WRECK you. The most difficult people to reach with the gospel of CHRIST started with a seed of bitterness.

If you are facing something right now, be on GUARD against the enemy throwing you thoughts of fear, of anger, of wrath.

You should know that God has forgiven your sins, He will supply all your needs, He will present you as faultless before His throne. He will meet you in your sadness, in your sorrow. God knows. Believe in that with all that is in you. Do not focus on your material needs, do not worry. Go before His throne. The Book of Life is full of stories of Prophets who suffered mightily, but they made it through. Even through the darkness, God will lead you and guide you as long as you are on the face of this earth.

God knows. He is with you. He will never leave you or forsake  you. He will always be with You. Do not be discouraged. He will uphold you with his righteous right hand. The Bible says do not worry about anything but with prayer and supplication give Him your requests. Do not turn away from Him. You will stand before God. Do not take a chance.

God Bless - Enjoy Your Month!

Monday, 4 May 2015

Young And Unashamed

It's a NEW month, meaning a NEW POST. I thought I'd write a Post on a young girl...well, she's very much overlooked, she isn't even given a name in this story, but when the Pastor at Church was going through this story yesterday, I learned that she is actually very significant. She made a large impact on a certain man's life. This man was stubborn, full of pride, highly respected and rich (I am presuming).

This story is about Namaan. It is told in 2 Kings 5. Let me just give you a background of this whole Book (Kings) before I get into the story. God punished his Chosen People (Israel) because they rejected Him and chose to worship other gods. But, nobody can escape God's judgement. The message in this Book, TO ME, is that we have a choice. We have to stay connected to God through studying His Word, praying and staying close to other believers.

2 Kings 5

The Story of Namaan

The King of Aram (we are unsure of his name), admired Namaan, who was the commander of his army, because through him, the Lord had given Aram great victories. But, even though Namaan was a mighty warrior, he suffered from leprosy.

Let me just stop there. Namaan was a COMMANDER. He was highly respected, highly favoured and in high position. So, he probably had a bit of pride there. Leprosy, however, was a horrendous disease back then.

Anyway, at this time, the Aramean raiders had invaded the land of Israel and among their captives was a young girl (by young, I'm guessing she was a teenager), and gave her to Namaan's wife as a maid. One day, the girl said to her mistress, "I wish my master would go to see the prophet in Samaria. He would heal him of his leprosy".

So, Namaan's wife obviously told her husband, who told the King what the young girl from Israel had said. The King gave him his authority to go and even told him, "I will send a letter of introduction for you to take to the King of Israel".

So, Namaan, definitely excited (I can imagine, because he would finally be cured of his leprosy) carried gifts, money and some clothes. The letter that the King of Aram had written said, "With this letter I present my servant Namaan. I want you to heal him of his leprosy."

When the King of Israel read the letter, he was greatly distressed. He was so stressed that he said, "This man sends me a leper to heal! Am I God, that I can give life and take it away? I can see he's trying to pick a fight with me?"

So, when Elisha (the Prophet) had heard that the King had torn his clothes and that he was distressed, he sent a message to him, 'Why are you so upset? Send Namaan to me and he will learn that there is a true prophet here in Israel."

So, Namaan went with his horses and chariots, waiting at the door of Elisha's house. I find this funny. A Commander of an ARMY waiting at the door of the Prophet. Elisha didn't even go out to see him, he sent his messenger out with a message. This messenger tells him to wash himself seven times in the River Jordan and his skin will be cleared.

Well, Namaan was not too happy about that. He was angry. He was upset that Elisha didn't even come to see him or greet him. HE had expectations. He thought that Elisha would wave his hand over the spot and cure him. He was even complaining, 'What's so special about the river Jordan? Aren't the rivers of Damascus, better than the waters of Israel?'

He was so offended. But in the end, his friends and officers tried to reason with him saying, the Prophet told you to do it, just do it. I mean, what's the worst that can happen?

So, Namaan was like, "Oh, fine, I will go..."

He did exactly what Elisha had told him to do and he was.

Anyway, I don't want to focus this story of Elisha and Namaan. I want to focus on the slave girl. She was a young girl from Israel. She was obviously a Christian, a believer in God, she had faith. Namaan and his wife probably weren't. I mean, in those days and at those times, these people, most especially the Kings, were involved in idol worship. The slave girl had a lot of NERVE to even bring up the Prophet. But she carried a message, she had faith. She didn't think of herself as inadequate.

There are four principles (that my Pastor went through yesterday) that this slave girl had and we should definitely live by:

1. She was CONCERNED - she wasn't worried about how she would be perceived, she didn't think about her position. She was motivated by love and she had compassion (just like Jesus did)

2. She was CONFIDENT - she was confident in what she believed in. The message she believed in and the gospel she carried.

3. She was COURAGEOUS - some of us are scared to even utter the name Jesus. We are ashamed of our faith. Even I am, to be honest. I am trying to maintain my faith in a world and a culture that just seems to be backsliding and goes against my beliefs, OF COURSE it's tough. But, if this slave girl had not been courageous, Namaan would not have had his faith restored. He would not have been healed of leprosy. I can actually imagine him being so happy, that he spreads the message along and others come to the knowledge of who GOD is. What God had done for him.

4. She was CREDIBLE - she was a good example. She definitely gave her best and what she did and she seemed to have a good attitude and well mannered. I mean, Namaan could have just ignored what she had said but he listened for a reason. It's in the way she carried herself. My pastor said something that hit me. For some people, YOU are the only bible they will read. People are watching you. The way you react to certain situations. How you endure hardships. You are their BIBLE. The slave girl was credible because of the way she carried herself. She was young but it's just how she was. We are never too young to tell others about the Gospel.

I will leave you with this (which is the way the Pastor ended it): 1 Timothy 4:12 -15

"Don't let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity. Until I come, devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to preaching and to teaching. Do not neglect your gift, which was given to you through prophecy when the body of elders laid their hands on you. Be DILIGENT in these matters; give yourself wholly to them, so that everyone may see your progress. Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers"

Enjoy your month and may God bless you.