MyDevotions.today Faith vs Works Faith Without Works is Dead
People continue to misunderstand what is A faith filled heart may produce many actions such meant when James said “...faith without works is as the reading of God’s word, kindness to others Who is (James this God2:21) that we worship? Well, Jonah supplies us with basicit answer. He produce is “the God of dead.” Those who misunderstand etc. But oneathing will always is speech heaven” and as tend such,to Heget is the exalted Hetois the Ruler of theGod. universe. His sovereignty not in this statement busy in anOne. effort that glorifies A person who neverisspeaks the arena of dispute nor His power or ability. He is the God of heaven. demonstrate the fact that they have faith. One gloriously about Jesus cannot be considered The earth is not exempt fromwill Hisalways controlproduce and rule. Political in HisI hands and He doesMorley what must understand that faith saved. –power “In hisisbook Surrender, Patrick He pleases in the affairs of men. He establishes rulers or removes them from office. Authority and action but action is not always as a result of faith. writes that the Church’s integrity problem is in mightisare in His hands thereby is no power His will. Faith confirmed andand proven what we that do can thewithstand misconception ‘that we can add Christ to our Despite His great might and power, He is merciful and forgiving. He keeps HisItpromises andinHis and say just as it happened when we got saved. lives, but not subtract sin. is a change belief covenants. He has appointed Christians special servants,intobehaviour.’ magnify His Paul speaksAnd of this process in Romans 10:10to“...be His without a change Hename goesand on to to do His will. Part of that will is to share the knowledge of His salvation through Christ with lost it is with your mouth that you profess your faith say, ‘It is revival without reformation, without humanity - lost in sin.heart that finds faith in Jesus repentance.” – Change in belief will be reflected and are saved.” The He loves sinners but hates sin. Sinour angers the will God of He has the transfers action to the mouth, mouth in heaven. a changeTherefore, of behaviour but provided do not ever depend means whereby sins can be forgiven. Furthermore, to encourage us toto appropriate theSo means, He then continuously professes Jesus as Lord. That’s on your behaviour create belief. stop trying has provided through His Son, He has sent the Holy Spirit to convict us and urge us unto salvation. how the salvation process works, this person is to do things for God, just have faith in Him and The God of heaven and answers prayer. He isHe thewill God mighty deedsyou. and wonderful works. saved. Jesus Himselfhears confirms this process when doof things through When in difficulty, call upon Him and He will provide the guidance in your crisis. It is this God who he spoke in Matthew 12:34 “... For out of the has promised eternal kingdom of righteousness on this earth. Devotion For July 1, 2017 abundance of to theestablish heart theanmouth speaks.” by Homer Slack
Contents EDITORIAL 4
#youthSHARE 22 Youth views on topical issues: Measuring Youth Stress Levels.
The BE-attitudes 6 They depict the ideal Christian disciple and their rewards both present and future. Rebuilding the Tower of Babel 8 ‘The Church that man built’. A man made structure with a supernatural agenda. The Benefits of Intimacy 10 God did not only create us for intimacy with Himself, but for intimacy with one another. Fruitfulness vs Fretfulness 12 Scripture says, do not fear or be dismayed cast your burden on the Lord. World In View Global Headlines... Critical Questions.
The Work Hard Religion 16 They say, we are the only ones that can redeem ourselves. Don’t Strive Just Be An eagle worships in flight, a stallion worships with every majestic stride.
Returning to God’s Rest 24 We must be stripped in order to come back into our created nature of purity. Did You Know? Stress Kills
The Story Teller The Axe is at the Root
Prayer Corner Remembering vulnerable communities.
Note To Self By Angela Slack
Paper Staircase Poem by Angela Slack
In Praise Of Hymn 34 Reviewing Great Christian Hymns: – Take My Life And Let It Be
“That to me, is what genuine salvation is, a death and resurrection experience.”
WORLD IN VIEW
July - September 2017
SHARE|MAGAZINE Vo l u m e 5 - I s s u e 3
Fruitless Toil A Form Of Godliness The modern Church has become a place of ritual as we spend less and less time in a personal, intimate relationship with our Lord and depend on others (pastors and leaders to point us to Him.) God help the overworked pastors and so-called “Worship leaders” in these congregations. This is sad and that is why we aren’t the powerhouse of prayer and miracles that we should be. Worship has been relegated to a performance where we exhibit our best gifts in all sincerity but there is no real encounter with God and the Holy Spirit is not allowed to orchestrate and lead the proceedings; we plan it, we lead and then close it to suit our schedule. One day the true worshippers will assemble together and sing, dance, speak out of the overflow of the rivers of living waters within them and offer God a pleasing sacrifice. Then we won’t have to ever ask if God did receive our worship; on that day even the baby in hand will know that God did manifest His Glory and power.
Abide in the Vine Jesus’ uses the metaphor of the vine and the branches to remind us that He is the source and that we remain lush and fruitful only if we stay connected to Him. The understanding we get from this concept is that anyone not connected to Jesus withers and dies and anyone who is connected but refuses to produce fruit will be cut off by the gardener who is God. In both scenarios the disconnected or unproductive branches end up in the fire. Jesus says John 15:1-6 “I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away, and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it 4
may bear more fruit. You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you. Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me. I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned.” We seem to be concerned only about those who have not yet been connected to the vine (the unbeliever) but do not realise that those who are connected but unproductive or those who were connected but have disconnected themselves (carnal Christians) are also in danger. The never connected, disconnected and unproductive all have the same end. Let’s carefully examine our position are we truly hidden IN Christ, are we IN the Vine? If not, Jesus is only a prayer away. He is more than willing and more than able to restore us back to our rightful place in the Garden of God’s Fellowship. If we are then, let us all draw closer to the God who is already within us waiting to manifest His glory through us by reading His word and obeying it and in prayer and fasting. Let’s begin encountering the manifest presence in our personal time at home, in our cars etc... so that communal assembling together will once more be an out pouring of His Glory. Christ in us, our hope of Glory!!! “Let’s come out of the sycamore tree (charismatic Zacchaeus mind set) and stand for righteousness. The pure in heart shall see God. Go after spiritual teachings and practices.” Leonie Lester
Editor and Co-founder July - September 2017
SHARE MAGAZINE is a FREE Christian quarterly that deals with challenging Christian topics that have been mostly ignored or left unanswered. The magazine includes written articles, poems and thoughts etc. Read our online version at www. TheShareMagazine.com where you can go to our blog to discuss articles or order a printed version. If you would like to submit articles, join our writers group, or to get involved in any other way kindly email us. SHARE MAGAZINE is produced by Select Arrow, the publishing arm of United In Christ charity number 1140448.
Throughout this magazine the editor & contributors seek to present a balanced and accurate view of Scripture’s teaching. We are all on a journey of studying and understanding God’s Word. Because of this, all we can offer is as balanced an understanding as the Holy Spirit has offered us at this time. The views or opinions represented in this publication are personal to each of our contributors and may not fully represent those of any other contributor or editor. Be aware that some articles may use UK spelling while others may use US spelling.
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You have questions we’ve got answers Question: I have been reading about the ‘Seeker Friendly Church’ movement, are there any other like it that we should be aware of?
YES, I CALL IT ‘THE PERFORMANCE DRIVEN CHURCH’ Answer: Yes, like yourself, most may have heard of the errors of the ‘Seeker Friendly Church’ as there is much in the media that speaks about it. The problem however, is that the beast from which it came is growing yet another head. From my observation, the ‘Performance Driven Church’ seems a fitting description for it. Groups infected by the ‘performance bug’ are becoming very popular especially among youth. A religious theatre of man’s worship. On visiting one of these Churches you will be impressed with what man can do, the decorations, the organisation, the technology and programme. Their services, often two or three to facilitate their large membership, have human talent, skill and efficiency stamped all over it. You cannot help noticing that they have money, they boast expensive sound, music and lighting equipment. Very few will have less than two large screen monitors or a smoke machine to complete the special effects department. Do not be surprised if you don’t see any Bibles for no one can read in the darkness, well, unless you have a Bible on your phone that has back lighting. You wouldn’t need one anyway as all Scriptures referred to come up on screen. Yes, everywhere
is dark except for colourful strobe lights passing intermittently and of course on stage where the spotlight is focused. “For My people have committed two evils: They have forsaken Me, the fountain of living waters, And hewn themselves cisterns—broken cisterns that can hold no water.” Jeremiah 2:13 If you manage to escape the euphoria long enough to think, then you will realise the absence of the presence of the Spirit of God, you will struggle to experience His power. Though there is much motivation there is little or no conviction. They act right but at the core they seem to be mostly unchanged. Their many programmes are designed to create human excitement but no Holy Spirit resurgence. Week after week they put on a wonderful performance but there is no move of God. The ‘worshipers’ are very professional but one wonders if they are saved. The ‘worship leaders’ are very popular, celebrities of sorts, with many youtube hits and facebook likes, obviously well known on earth but one wonders if they are known in heaven. They all came early to prepare the stage, test the equipment and rehearse the songs but did anyone spend anytime praying, touching heaven and its God? Leonard Ravenhill perfectly describes the Performance
Driven Church. “The New Testament Church was identified with persecutions, prisons, and poverty; today many of us are identified with prosperity, popularity, and personalities.” Revival God’s Way – A Message for the Church by Leonard Ravenhill pg. 57 After ‘worship’ the preacher comes and uses charisma and wit to connect with the audience and create an atmosphere but quite often the Spirit is not there. Their message is hollow and empty. Imagine someone laughing at their own joke though it wasn’t funny. As the crying of paid mourners at a funeral lacks soul so their message lacks depth or the power to convict. Year after year, week after week, these motivational preachers give great lofty promises of prosperity, breakthroughs and favour that never materialise but still the desperate followers hang on to the elusive dream of one day winning the ‘God lottery’. Their promises are as empty as a woman telling everyone, ‘a few more weeks before I give birth’, when she is not even pregnant. Like the ‘Seeker Friendly Church’, the ‘Performance Driven Church’ service could go... Continued on pg 31
July - September 2017
Jesus’ Manifesto Of His Kingdom
We should ask ourselves, are we good disciples of Jesus? Matthew 5 sets out what should be our attitude. Jesus’ increasing popularity had the crowds flock to Him, in recognition of His anointing. No microphones or amplifiers necessitated inventiveness. So, to accommodate the crowds He climbed a hill and sat above them, so that they could all hear him, a natural amphitheatre. Typical of the Rabbis then, He sat down to teach and the disciples surrounded Him. He taught what we call The Beatitudes, a revolutionary teaching that flipped the script on Jewish traditions up to that point. Beatitude means blessed, the word blessed is more than just happiness or blissfulness but a deeper, really deep joy in your soul; a spiritual well-being that surpasses all wisdom and understanding; a foretaste of heaven that can only be achieved
by being right with God. The opposite to being blessed is living in misery. Should the disciples have felt any importance because they were chosen especially by Jesus, they were about to get a shock! We need to bear in mind that the Gospel of Matthew was written for a Jewish audience, steeped in Hebrew traditions and rituals. Matthew emphasises that Jesus is the Christ or Messiah, they had been expecting; who was foretold of in the Old Testament, their own Hebrew Scriptures but as we can see they had missed it. Humankind had missed it in the Garden of Eden, man took the fruit in disobedience to God, exchanging the truth for a lie. They thought they would be as all-knowing as God and ended up cursed. Jesus shows a way of blessing that removes the curse of sin without any effort on man’s
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part. The 10 commandments were all “Thou shalt nots,” the rules the Jews had been expected to live by but couldn’t quite achieve in entirety and neither could we. Thankfully, Jesus provided another way, not based on performance but based on who we become; a new transformed man; with a new heart. How different and radical is this? Jesus offers us a way of life that not only promises eternity in the Kingdom of Heaven but a settled peace in the midst of daily trials and tribulations. He teaches about humility, compassion and brotherly love that transforms our lives to be more like Him. The beatitudes depict the ideal Christian disciple and their rewards both present and future, a lifelong transformation in our Christian journey. Let’s look at them in more detail...
Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven
Poverty not as in finances as some might think but poor in spirit, the opposite to being proud and haughty. When we are poor in spirit we are empty of self, only then can we be filled. Being prideful causes us to hurt others and ourselves. Do we see that we cannot do anything except through Him that gives us life? Proverbs 6:16-19 talks of the things that God hates and the first is haughty eyes. God is not interested in what you have or who you have become but your relationship with Him. Humbly come before His throne.
Blessed are they that mourn: for they will be comforted
Jesus, in Luke 4, reads from Isaiah 61 that discusses mourning. We may have lost a loved one and may mourn deeply but could He be referring to more than just mourning death? Could it be they had lost not only everything but they were in a strange place being oppressed with no hope? When we come out of sin we may mourn our past: how could we have been as bad as we had been? We can see the world we were once part of and our softened hearts break when we see it as God sees it. However, our mourning turns to gladness when we see a glorious hope in Jesus.
Blessed are the meek: for they will inherit the earth
This beatitude is very much like the promise in Psalm 37:11, “The meek shall possess the land.” A Messianic psalm where the land of Canaan was Promised to the Israelites. Today, it is the New Covenant that we will all inherit. Meekness and humility is also one of the fruits of the Spirit; they are produced in the Christian by the Holy Spirit. When you are gentle and humble you can be a defender of the weak and oppressed in Jesus’ name. We
have an eternal hope for the future when we step up for Jesus.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness: for they will be filled
This beatitude is deeper than you may at first think, it’s not just speaking about acts of righteousness but the passion and desire we have for it. In Isaiah 11:56, foretell the characteristics of Jesus; ‘the stem of Jesse’; He will wear righteousness like a belt and truth like an undergarment. Judah had become very corrupt and was surrounded with aggressive and intimidating foreign countries. They desperately needed a revival, to turn away from self-centredness and give fairness to the poor and oppressed. The righteousness that God wanted most is that they turn away from sin. As then, today we face many hard choices but some do settle for the safe or popular option not the right one. Just because the majority feels that something is right doesn’t make it right!
Blessed are the merciful: for they will be shown mercy
Grace is so apparent here. How many times have you received undeserved mercy? Therefore should you not also be merciful? Jesus has given you mercy but it only manifests when you have a deep spiritual experience and relationship with Him. When you understand that grace you also show it, through acts of mercy to others.
Blessed are the pure in heart: for they will see God
The heart is used in the Bible to describe the intentions of will and thoughts that we have. The purer we become the more we act out the nature of God. “To the pure all things are pure,” Titus 1:15 We have the best expectations of others and wish the best for
them; we are not encumbered by negative thoughts such as jealousy, malice and offence. Matthew 15:19 describes people outside of God’s faith from whose heart comes evil thoughts etc... When we meet our Lord He gives us a new heart, isn’t He wonderful?
Blessed are the peacemakers: for they’ll be called children of God
The whole purpose and plan of redemption is to have peace with God. We were once alienated but now we are children of our one true God. We should always be reflecting God’s peace in this hostile, hate driven world. Only God’s righteous love will drive out the hatred that thrives today providing the place for peace to dwell.
Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness: for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven
Timothy 3:12 says, when you live a Godly life and be more like Jesus, you will be ridiculed and persecuted. Don’t let something define you, let it refine you. Sometimes, if you put your head above the parapet it will be a target but if you remain faithful you will be blessed. Hold fast to that as times will become more difficult; persevere and yours is the Kingdom of Heaven: what a reward? These beatitudes are revelations for everyday living in the Holy Spirit. Our hope/expectation rests in Jesus and if we persevere and remain faithful in Him, we will be fulfilled when the King will say to those on His right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the Kingdom prepared for you from the creation of the world.’ Matthew 25:34 p
July - September 2017
By Teresa L. Randle Missionary, Preacher and Bible Teacher
the Tower of
BABEL You may be familiar with the story of the Tower of Babel spoken of in Genesis 11:19. The Tower of Babel was a united effort by a community of people to touch heaven through something they built. We know that men like Enoch and Elijah was taken up into heaven because they walked with God but here was a people united behind their leader Nimrod, who were determined to do it without God. Today we are experiencing a revived Tower of Babel where a growing number of people are determined to touch heaven using their own man made systems and structures. This 21st Century Babel could be referred to as ‘the Church that man built’. A man made structure with a supernatural agenda. We are not here suggesting that God’s people do not have building work to do. We work with God in the building of His Kingdom or better yet, the Holy Spirit works through us in the building of God’s Kingdom. Instead, what we hope to do, is to highlight the fact that we 8
could possibly be building our own, man made thing in the name of God not realising that all such work is fruitless effort. Jehovah God, Yahweh, does not live in temples made by human hands. The price for our salvation was too high to be humanly met. There was no way possible we could fulfil its requirements, so God came down in flesh and paid it for us. Similarly, Jesus must build His Church, man and his money are woefully inadequate to realise this task. Jesus said, “My kingdom is not of this world…” Entry into His heavenly Kingdom cannot be bought or earned by us, neither can this Kingdom be built with bricks and mortar. “We see money as more important than it really is. Money is powerless to generate spiritual activity, and lack of money is powerless to cramp it. We have forgotten to listen to God’s plans and have totally underestimated His power.” Money Isn’t God - So why is the Church Worshiping It? - by John White - pg. 52
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How Man Builds Vs How God Builds The power of man is natural like money but the power of God is supernatural like His Holy Spirit. Today Christians come together to sign petitions or to have a march when they need political decisions made in their favour. This is the Church adapting human methods by putting faith in the strength of numbers, the very thing God detests. You will notice throughout Scriptures that God will often use a very small number of people to bring about great victories or changes. Understanding our total inadequacy and God’s all sufficiency is vital to any Spiritual mobility.
On the day of Pentecost over 3000 were genuinely saved though not a penny was spent on advertising, hall rental or on expenses for securing the services of a celebrity preacher. It is recorded that during such times God was adding to the Church daily. Today, contrary to this example, we see folks adding to ‘their church’ using all manner of salesmanship,
Unless the Lord builds the house, they labor in vain who build it…
Examples of Dead Works 1. Acquiring converts using a purely intellectual message that is based on the cunning and wisdom of men. 2. Attending Church to tick a religious box in the hope of somehow escaping hell when Jesus returns. 3. Giving to Church/ministries because you want a blessing back from God or giving towards buying luxuries for buildings or ministers.
Examples of Good Works 1. Preaching the gospel in the power and demonstration of the Holy Spirit resulting in converts who have repented because they were convicted by the Holy Spirit. 2. Attending Church because you have personally met Jesus, have fallen in love with Him and are desperate to learn more about Him, to understand how to please Him. 3. Giving to those in need because Jesus poured out His love into you and now you are zealous to help others because you hurt when you see others hurting. Examples of God at Work 1. Salvation: The transformation of a disgusting sinner into a holy and compassionate saint. 2. Miracles: The Holy Spirit at work doing things that are humanly impossible like, instantly healing someone born blind or giving us the ability to endure circumstances that would mentally or emotionally break the strongest of human beings. Such abilities include a love, joy, patience and faith that surpasses human comprehension. (For the full list see Galatians 5:22)
artistic and technological methods etc… to win over people. Unsaved people are being manipulated and badgered into joining up and inflating the count of a man’s ministry. The hard work of networking, advertising, organising and raising money for the building of ‘man’s church’ however, is nothing more than a grand waste of time. It is futile effort. It is dead works!
Conclusion: “Unless the Lord builds the house, they labor in vain who build it…” Psalm 127:1 Those large Churches with the very entertaining Sunday morning service and great ‘during the week’ social programmes but no good works or genuine signs of God at work could very well be ‘man’s church’ and not God’s Church. The night is far spent and the dawn of Jesus’ return is rushing towards us. It is critical therefore, that we take time to ponder these things and ask ourselves the question, “Is my work By Homer Slack mere human effort or author, preacher, Bible God at work in and teacher, IT tutor, programmer & graphic designer through me?’ p July - September 2017
I want to be one with you One of my heart’s greatest cry as a new Christian was, “I want to be one with you.” It was my one line prayer for so long. I yearned for this intimacy with God. Once I started to read the Bible and renew my mind by His word, I learnt that I was already one with Him. He had answered my prayer, even before I had asked, even before I knew I would have a need for this intimacy with Him. We Were Created For Intimacy With God Paul, the Apostle, expressed this need for intimacy saying, “That I may know him…” Philippians 3:10. Jesus expressed this intimacy and oneness with the Father, when He said, “The Father and I are one.” John 10:30 God did not only create us for intimacy with Himself, but for intimacy with one another. The Christian life is to be lived from this position of intimacy with Him. Our communion and fellowship with God and one another is birthed out of intimacy. 10
“…That all of them may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I am in You. May they also be in Us, so that the world may believe that You sent Me.” John 17:21 He Is The God Who Knows Me No one knows you like God does, He knows your most intimate thoughts, He knows your deepest desires, He knows your past, your present, your future, He knows you more than anyone else knows you; even more than you know yourself. “You have searched me, Lord, and you know me. You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar. You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways.” Psalm 139:1-3 NIV I love God, because He knows how to reach me when no one else does. People may come across harshly when they want me to change my heart or mind but He knows my love language and He
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knows what delights my heart. I love that Scripture that says, “Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart.” Psalm 37:4 As we spend times of intimacy with Him, He takes the desires of His heart and makes them the desires of our heart. He then expects us to live out of the overflow of His nature at work in our hearts. Not by our feelings or by circumstances. He Is The God Who Speaks To Me In My Sleep I love to sleep. I meet God in my sleep. As I drift in and out of sleep, He tells me the solutions to life’s difficult problems. I enter into dreamland and dream; I wake up and document my dream. This dream per se, had three scenes etc... I lie still on my bed, pondering the dream and what it means. A Scripture floats into my mind. I make a mental note to look it up, if not I will forget. Later on, I wander back into the bedroom to make the bed, the Scripture floats across my mind once again. I grab my
Bible and look it up. It is a Scripture that interprets the dream I had. An exact interpretation of what I had dreamt. I am awed! I ponder it. I read it in different versions of the Bible. I check commentaries to see what they say. It even cross references a Scripture that the Lord had given to me a little while back, concerning this same issue. I meditate on it. I keep coming back to it. I share it with my close friends. They too are awed. I Will Not Confer With Flesh And Blood I can hear contradictory opinions, I can hear many voices, my head is spinning, I am getting confused, so I retreat. I go back into my refuge, my hiding place where I can meet with the lover of my soul. In this place I feel safe, I’m with the one I know, it’s the voice I know. “My sheep know my voice, and they follow me, the voice of a stranger they will not follow.”John 10:4-5 I left the murky waters of confusion, I am now in a place where the
waters are still and clear. His voice and words reverberate, with their original clarity. I step right into the Word. I see myself in the Word again. The Scriptures come alive. It’s like it’s written especially for me. Doubt flees. Faith rises in my heart again. Faith was always there. I decide not to confer with flesh and blood about this issue any more but to confer with the One who created me. I Hold On To Your Word I was going through a protracted transition, which meant I was constantly listening for His guidance. He had spoken, I had heard Him, I had written down what He had shown me and told me but I had yet again drifted away from His word. I must hold onto His words, His words are my lifeline. “But if any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. But he must ask in faith, without doubting, because he who doubts
is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That man should not expect to receive anything from the Lord” James 1:57 It’s quite easy to forget the words God has spoken to us amidst the busyness of our daily life or when life’s challenges come. Didn’t He say, to the Disciples in Mark 6:78 “let’s go to the other side of the lake?” Didn’t a storm arise? Didn’t their doubts also rise? He rebuked the storm. What He speaks to you in the dark, do not forget in the light. The only way to do this is to meditate on His word and His prophecies on a daily basis, keep them before your eyes. Pray over them. Speak to Him about them and by doing this you can retain the freshness of these prophetic words and see your faith rise. p
July - September 2017
By Davida Yemi-Akanle Helps women discover their divine purpose and realise empowerment.
Jesus gave us a totally different way of looking at things so that we can conquer the habit of worry, fear and stress ..
July - September 2017
Fruitfulness: “By this My Father is gloriﬁed, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples.” John 15:8 To be able to bear much fruit we must always be united to the Vine, which is Jesus Christ. If we are not united in Him it is not possible to bear fruit, He cannot prune us to get rid of all that is not of Him. To be productive we must be disciplined and discipled by Him. God is gloriﬁed through us wherever we go and we can never do this on our own. Seriously read John 14, all the way through. It tells of what Jesus promised when He said, He would send the Holy Spirit as our Helper. The Holy Spirit will teach us, guide us, help us and so much
more. When we bear much fruit for our Father it brings Him honor and glory. Fruitfulness is the overflow of God’s grace upon our lives, it is His supernatural ability to accomplish great things without any striving on our part. We can only experience this when we stop fretting and spend time to listen to His voice speaking to our hearts. Fretfulness: Fretting gets in the way. “Be anxious for nothing but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7 Yes, we fret about so many things in this world but remember it is all going to pass away. “Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away.” Matthew 14:35 This does not mean that we sit about and say “well that’s it, what can l do about it, if it‘s all going to go anyway?” No, we must be about our Father’s business earnestly and honestly until Jesus returns. So what are we told to do? “... seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.” Matthew 6:33-34 “You will not need to ﬁght in this battle. Position yourselves, stand still and see the salvation of the Lord, who is with you.” 2 Chronicles 20:17 Also Scripture says, “do not fear or be dismayed cast your burden on the Lord and He shall sustain you; He shall never permit the righteous to be moved. Casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you” Psalm 55:22 and 1 Peter
5:7 To cast all fretfulness on the Lord means to cast all that causes us to fret. We just cannot be in a place of fruitfulness when we are overwhelmed by the cares of this world. It is no good striving for things of this world that are temporary. Yes, the Lord does bless us with so much of what we need not want. However, we have to be in the position where the Lord can minister to us, what is His will and teach us through His Holy Spirit. Oh let us bow the knee in our hearts to truly love our heavenly Father and His beloved Son Jesus Christ, who so loved us ﬁrst. We will go through trials and tribulations and in so doing , if we seek God in all these things we will grow stronger in the gift of faith we have been blessed with. We learn to love and trust God more. “In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, 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, whom having not seen you love. Though now you do not see Him, yet believing, you rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory, receiving the end of your faith - the salvation of your souls.” Matthew 6:25-34 really is so helpful in what Jesus is telling us about worry. Just let us trust in the Lord that He does help us. He so wants us to bear much fruit for Him. Jesus has redeemed us at a great price. We belong to Him and Him only. To trust Him and obey Him is a great honor we should respect and love Him for what He has done for us. Remember, another great promise
is that the Holy Spirit is interceding for us. “Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.” Romans 8:26 He helps our inability to produce results. So, why fret, worry, despair, panic, be anxious, faint and make ourselves ill? Let us trust God and lean not to our own understanding because His ways are higher than ours. We will bear much fruit when we obey what God has told us to do. Reading His word, praising and worshiping Him and trusting. If we just knew in our hearts how much He loves us we would throw all cares to the wind and say, “What is the point of fretfulness when my heavenly Father is on the throne? He knows all that is happening in this world and in my life.” Don‘t doubt God’s goodness. In Malachi 3:13-18 people complained against God that the wicked were getting away with things and it was unfair. God told them He keeps a book of remembrance knowing all the people who love and obey Him. Yes, it can be a wicked world but there are folks out there who are lost, have no direction and no thought of God at all. Reaping a harvest for the Lord is fruitfulness. Let us seek God and pray that the Holy Spirit will help us not to be fretful but fruitful for His glory. Then He said to His disciples, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.” Matthew 9:37-38 p
July - September 2017
By Lynda K Smith writer, proof reader, poet and Evangelist
Global Headlines... E.U. watches on tenterhooks as Brexit Hangs in the Balance
British elections yield a hung Parliament, Brexit is caught in the balance. Results suggest that economic anxiety is higher on people’s priority list than partisan politics. Election analysts claim swing voters caused Prime Minister, Theresa May to lose critical seats in Parliament on the run up to Brexit negotiations; “it was not so much the Brexit itself but everyday bread and butter issues as people were more hung up on the Conservative austerity measures than the closing of the deal with Europe.” BBC News. The Tories must strike a deal with the DUP of Northern Ireland to gain a majority and they want a hard Brexit. However, to quell the inter party bickering it looks like a *hard brexit with a soft landing is on the horizon. *See Jargon
Buster page 27
U.K. Crisis in June Threatens End of May
Manchester city concert bombed, three attacks in London by “homegrown” terrorists. Lone British national responds by attacking London Mosque during Ramadan. Meanwhile, the MI5/MI6/ Ministry of Defence and Home Office of Britain knowingly allowed home grown terrorists to return to the UK.
Grenfell Tower Fire, The Final Nail in Tories Coffin
Citizens protest negligence in fire regulations and slow response of Government agencies in rehousing victims of Grenfell Tower...a public inquest has begun. What is left is, [A Divided Kingdom]- “red (Labour Party) vs blue, (Conservative Party) rich vs poor and leave vs remain.” Theresa May, UK, P.M.
Qatar, The “Club Med For Terrorists”?
The Arab country of Qatar, bordered by Saudi Arabia and the Persian Gulf, has been accused of allowing terror financiers to operate within its borders. The country has been called “the Club Med for Terrorists” and “most two-faced nation in the world, backing the U.S.-led coalition against the militants of the Islamic State while providing a permissive environment”, in the words of one top American official, “for terrorist financiers to operate with impunity”. Accusations come from a wide variety of sources including intelligence reports, government officials, and journalists. The Telegraph, a British newspaper, even started a “Stop the Funding of Terror” journalism campaign.
INDIA - Poverty Punctuates Prejudices
Indian girls are regularly kidnapped and made into sex slaves, female foeticide rises as Indian girl babies are still aborted by rich and poor alike. Poor people have their kidneys stolen by ruthless organ traffickers. Christians and Hindus are still being persecuted by Muslims. • What is the Indian government doing about these humanitarian issues? Read more: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Qatar_and_state-sponsored_terrorism Read more: http://www.lifenews.com/2016/08/26/in-india-girl-babies-are-aborted-just-because-they-are-girls/ http://www.bbc.co.uk/ethics/abortion/medical/infanticide_1.shtml
July - September 2017
. Critical Questions War in Syria, who is siding with whom?
Putin’s political posturing protects the Assad regime, ignores millions of displaced and dying Syrian refugees. The problem becomes one for Europe to solve, as the neighbouring Arab countries distance themselves. Country line up: Pro Assad vs Against Assad Pro: Russia, N. Korea, China and Iran, Lebanon, Bahrain and Yemen Against: USA, UK, France, Germany, Italy, Jordan, Saudi, Turkey, Australia, Israel Japan, S. Korea and Spain.
Yemen - Millions of Civilians Starve
Saudi Arabia is starving Yemeni rebels by blockading supplies and air striking strategic targets... The western press isn’t vigorously reporting the record high death toll of starving and displaced Yemenis because their governments are supporting the war via arms and intelligence. The Saudis want, to end the Yemeni civil war with the return of the deposed President Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi, also to end Iranian support of the rebels and growing influence in the region,thus securing their borders. Hoping in the long run to avoid any possibility of ISIS filling the vacuum created by prolonged ground fighting. The case of Syria still looms.
Saudi Sponsored wahhabism, the root of ‘ISIS’.
The fact that the Muslim community fails to march `en masse, to denounce so called “Islamic extremism and Saudi sponsored *wahhabism,” strangely supports the view that ‘ISIS’ does not represent general Islamic belief. Islam is itself fragmented (Sunni vs Shi’a and Wahhabi against all that threaten the power of the Saudi empire. The power of Saudi petro-dollars to peddle its brand of Islam to the Muslim masses is undeniable. The plot thickens when we add the arms deals made with western allies and the trade off in the balance of power in the Middle East. Apparently all Muslims are not equal. Meanwhile, Western governments ignore regional Muslim squabbles. *See Jargon Buster page 27
N. Korea’s Trump Card - “A Dead Man Tells No Tales.”
We will never know how Otto Warmbier, healthy a young American student his 20s died of brain damage after 17 months in a N. Korean Jail, what is worse, he was returned home to the USA in a coma. He died shortly after. Even more suspicious is the cause of his coma, no sign of trauma was detected by USA doctors. The N. Koreans have a track record for being uncooperative and unreliable with the truth.  Read more: edition.cnn.com/2017/06/21/world/gallery/yemen-civil-war-malnutrition/index.html?iid=ob_article_footer_expansion world? independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/yemen-famine-humanitarian-crisis-civil-war-forgotten-children-international-medical-corps-a7668931.html economist.com/blogs/graphicdetail/2017/03/daily-chart-22  Read more: intpolicydigest.org/2015/04/21/why-the-saudis-are-fighting-in-yemen/ newstatesman.com/world-affairs/2014/11/wahhabism-isis-how-saudi-arabia-exported-main-source-global-terrorism
July - September 2017
Work Hard Religion
A young lady recently told me that while she was away visiting a relative she went along with them to one of their Church’s Bible studies. As a young Christian, she anticipated a study where the Bible would be prayerfully read and discussed but nothing like that happened. No one at this Bible study had a physical Bible, and that’s not too bad, as maybe they had Bible apps on their phones. The problem however, is that they didn’t need a Bible in this ‘Bible study’. The lady who led spoke mainly about how we should be positive and should positively affirm people around us at our workplaces etc... so that we can win them (she did not say for what or to whom we are to win them.) The very young Christian relating this to me was obviously disappointed that there was nothing in that meeting that fed her soul. The meeting was nothing but positive, motivational fluff. To her credit she was brave enough to ask, “to what end are we to do all of this?” There was no satisfactory answer. Such meetings and messages are not strange among the modern, popular,
emerging ‘Churches’. It is no surprise to hear more motivational talk than gospel coming from these pulpits (I assume you know what the true message of the gospel is). It’s as if motivational talk is the new gospel. This is an end time strategy of the spirit of Antichrist that has infiltrated the Church. Another devilish rhetoric that accompanies this motivational deception is the ‘work hard’ and ‘achieve your dreams’ type message. The number of Christians on social media posting speeches of this sort by celebrities who have ‘made it big’... would lead you to think that these people were heroes of the faith. They however are not preaching the gospel according to Scriptures but according to their own misguided interpretation. It’s motivational talk, punctuated with religious jargons. The Cult of Self-Actualization So what is the jist of their message? 1. ‘Keep working, keep striving, never give up’ 2. ‘If you can dream it, you can do it’
July - September 2017
(taken from Walt Disney) 3. ‘Never give up on your dreams’ 4. ‘You can be whatever you want to be’ 5. ‘You can achieve anything if you work hard’ Their message conditions our minds to believe in ourselves and in earthly gains but Jesus’ message teaches otherwise. Jesus says… “...without Me you can do nothing.” John 15:5 “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28 Paul also speaks differently. He says… “...seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth.” Often you will hear individuals tell stories of how these people and others overcame great odds through self motivation to achieve what most others coveted. They paint a picture of success
Don’t wear yourself out trying to get rich; be smart enough to stop...
Proverbs 23:4 (CEB)
that looks like heaven and today’s typical ‘Christian’ loves it. What does this heaven look like? Lots of money, fame and influence. (If you didn’t know better you would think this was what Jesus died on a cross to give us.) They say, through self determination and hard work they achieved it and so can you. The spirit of Paul’s message is different however, “For we do not preach ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord, and ourselves your bondservants for Jesus’ sake.” 2 Corinthians 4:5 What you will not hear said or emphasised in this seductive ‘pseudo gospel’ is faith in Jesus. All focus is removed from Him. The Biblical message points to Jesus as the only redemption for fallen man but the ‘work hard’ religion says, we are the only ones that can redeem ourselves. They say we need to dream, work hard, remain positive and never give up and this will gain us a place among the greats. Those from this group who are actually heads of Churches and not just celebrities, will often quote passages from Scriptures to
suite this rhetoric. This aids the seductive and deceptive nature of their message, a message that clearly puts man in the place of power and Jesus nowhere. Conclusion The ‘positive’ and ‘work hard’ philosophy is a lie that glorifies the rich and embarrasses the poor. One would never find statistics that could prove beyond doubt that if you dream, work hard, remain positive and never give up you will succeed or achieve your dreams. Of much greater numbers are the people whom this philosophy failed. You do not hear about them because their stories are not ‘positive’ and those who have the money and fame to hold the media by its ears will not speak of them. These people who strived all their lives yet ended up with shattered dreams are considered failures and are scorned even within Christian circles. Are those who offer these lofty speeches ignorant of the fact that many of the poorest people in this world today are those who do the toughest jobs under the most brutal and harshest of conditions? Wouldn’t
these rich preachers and celebrities with money and influence better serve their community by lobbying and pushing to get better working and living conditions for the millions of abused, disadvantaged poor labourers around the world? Disclaimer Did the great men of Scriptures work hard? They surely did. Do those who preach the true gospel today work hard? They surely do but their work is not... self motivated or merely to achieve their own dreams or goals. The heroes of our faith laboured as they were instructed by God and with the energy of the Spirit of God. They worked in God’s field, building God’s Kingdom for the glory of God and the salvation of souls. God made them great and therefore they could not boast but in the cross of Christ. They could not take credit for anything they had or did. Read Colossians 1:29 p
July - September 2017
By Homer Slack author, preacher, Bible teacher, IT tutor, programmer & graphic designer
Don’t Strive Just Be It’s in Your Nature
I have a mango tree in my yard, it produces mangoes. It doesn’t have to figure it out, it just produces mangoes. It produces mangoes because it’s a mango tree. It cannot produce peas or apples. It was created for that express purpose... to produce mango fruit. When God made man (Genesis) He created us as human beings... we are not human doings but beings. Created to be something already predestined. This now is the source of demonic and satanic attacks on humans. It’s to drive us away from our first purpose. I know the popular teaching is wrapped up in man accomplishing by doing or hearing things in this life e.g. being purpose driven, a success, the head, walking in the power of God. Hearing all these are true but they are all a sideshow to our primary call as man. Paul, the apostle, reveals to us God’s original plans. ‘’For whom He did foreknow, He also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren.’’ Romans 8:29
This has always been the flow from the garden, to the tomb, to revelations. God is looking for more sons. We have however turned this glorious
July - September 2017
“An Eagle worships in flight, a stallion worships with every majestic stride, the fish, the ant and all of God’s creation worship through their nature.” pursuit of God into a legalistic, religious system of rules, formulas and programs. The Church has been in a ‘rat race` to see who can be the best, the biggest, the most anointed. Winning Souls is no longer about producing sons but increasing membership. Our mailing list is longer than our prayer list. We must wake up and smell the dead roses and spend more time in prayer. The number one purpose of man is to worship his Creator and to do this he must become or be who he was created to be. An eagle worships in flight, a stallion worships with every majestic stride, the fish, the ant and all of God’s creation worship through their nature. Only mankind have corrupted, lost the purpose of their nature. That’s why God released the plan of salvation, to redeem us back to who we were. Let me just say this here, salvation was never meant to save us from hell... first; but to restore us to God. We have spent so much time and effort trying to escape hell that we have missed His love by miles, hence we are struggling to live free for God, without God. Religion has always been satan’s design for man. This is the greatest deception. Many go to a place of worship on a special day - completely oblivious to the deception they are walking into. Jesus told the woman of Samaria, ”ye worship ye know not what.’’ John 4:22. This was in response to her declaration of her life of worship
and service to God. ‘’Or fathers worship on this mountain...” They were worshipping for generations at that place in ignorance. I believe many in our time are in this same place. Our worship is empty, heartless and ridged because there is no relationship. We have become a people in need of external systematic controls because we are not internally governed by the Holy Spirit. Welcomed well into a Church building, just like the woman at the well, we can point to a place of worship but we cannot see the Person to worship right in front of us. THE TOWER OF BABEL “Come let us build ourselves a city and a tower whose top will reach to heaven, and let us make for ourselves a name; lest we be scattered abroad over the face of the whole earth.’’ Genesis 11:4 Abraham offers a profound contrast to the men of Babel. He was of a different spirit, the men of Babel strove to build for themselves (religion). Abraham proved time after time his willingness to give up everything earthly for a heavenly city. This heart for relationship with God earned him the very things the men of Babel strove to build in their own strength. ‘’And I will make of thee a great nation and I will bless thee, and make thy name great, and thy throne shall be a blessing.’’ Genesis 12:2
The Church’s departure from pursuing relationship with God, to a more ‘success driven’ system of following the most successful, has led us into a path of apostasy. We will discuss this word later... Suffice to say, not much time is given to the bride for her preparation to be with her lover. We have become followers of man and not desperate seekers of Christ. We are no longer ravished by His heart but impressed by the latest catch phrases and personalities. We have in effect been kicking against our true selves and we have been twisted into something ugly and ungainly. We have become pretenders, actors being able to play the part, just long enough to convince ourselves we are okay. It would be strange to see a lion behaving like a cow. We would think that is crazy. So a Christian living comfortably without being in a relationship with God is equally crazy, unless, as scientists believe, we were hypnotised or indoctrinated. “But there was a certain man, Simon, which before time in the same city, used sorcery and bewitched the people of Samaria...’’Acts 8:9 One man bewitched a city with sorcery, the art of manipulation and magical illusion. Does illusion sound familiar? p
July - September 2017
By Dino Nicholas A Maranatha Ministries International Pastor, Author, Leadership Counsellor and Church planter
A New Creation
Allow me to introduce myself. My name is Richard Burroughs and I was born September 12, 1970. I was the third child born to my mother and father. At the age of a year and a half, my father died and mother remarried when I was two and a half. Growing up was hard having a stepfather who was an alcoholic. As a child I attended Church on a regular basis. I loved the Lord and wanted to grow up to be a preacher like my grandfather on my mother’s side. When I was about ten years old, my older sister and brother started running away from home and at times I went with them. By the age of thirteen, I began running away on a regular basis. I began drinking and experimenting with drugs. By the age of fourteen I was addicted to speed. For the next ten years of my life I lived on the streets and was in and out of Juvenile Hall and Jail. During this time, I had hitchhiked all across the country. I spent several years searching, dabbled in the occult and tried eastern religions. No matter what, I was never satisfied. Around the age of 18, I was introduced to the hippie counter cultural lifestyle of the 80s and 90s. For the next five or six years I was involved with this lifestyle. Several times over the years people would tell me about the Lord and at times I would try to live the ‘Christian’ life but never experienced a real conversion. Though I had said the ‘Sinner’s Prayer’ on several occasions, there was no change of heart. However, the Lord was drawing me to Himself. I would carry a Bible in my backpack and read it on a semi regular basis but lacked having any real understanding. Prior to becoming a Christian, the Lord was working on my heart. I knew the truth and was just running from the Lord. I was sick of the life I was living and wanted to change. Then I met this girl in December 1993, we hitch hiked across the country together and ended up in Louisiana, then Alabama. At times we would be sitting on a ramp trying to get a ride and I would just sit there and read my Bible. On a couple of occasions she had told me I spend more time with that Bible than I do with her. I was ready to change my life but did not want to lose her. Then one night while under the influence of drugs, I told God to prove Himself to me and change her. Thank God for His mercy. Approximately three days later we were sitting on a ramp trying to get a ride and I opened my Bible, surprisingly she asked me what the Word was for today and I read Psalm 91.
July - September 2017
Thinking back to when I got saved, it amazes me what we must go through before we will see the error of our ways. It was Palm Sunday 1994; my girlfriend and I are hitch hiking through Springville, Alabama with two dogs and no real place to go. We had already stayed on this ramp one night and now we are sitting in the rain, with a river through our tent, making some oatmeal for breakfast. After finishing breakfast, we went to this gas station and hung around there all day. The people that worked there were really nice to us, they gave us food throughout the day. Then all of a sudden the sky turned green and one of the attendants at the gas station told us to come inside and bring our dogs in with us. There was a tornado coming down the highway.
That night we were told we could stay in this Church to get out of the weather. During this time the Lord was really dealing with both of us. The next morning the Church custodian came in and gave us some canned goods and a ride back to the ramp. He also gave us five dollars. When we returned to our tent, everything was wet but it was still there, though we had nothing staked down. We packed up all our stuff and went to a Laundromat to dry everything and then back to the ramp to try and get a ride. After a while back at the ramp, this lady gave us a ride. She took us to this small town named Gadsden and asked if we knew any place there where we could get out of the rain. Well, it just so happened that I had been passing through this town a year prior to this and a man had given me a tract. Remembering the tract, I pulled it from my wallet and found that the man had put his address on it. The woman that we were with went out of her way to find the house and when we finally did, we were told that he had moved, however, his previous landlady told us where he had moved to and that we should go see him, so we did. Arriving at this man’s house, we had no idea of what to expect but he took us right in. We stayed the night with him and his two boys and listened to him talk about the Lord all night. The next day he gave us a ride to the Cherokee National Forest in Tennessee and dropped us off there. Now here we are back on the road with nowhere to go. The next day, still at the campground he dropped us at, we are sitting back cooking some rice for dinner, when we noticed a car coming, it was the man returning. He got home and felt the Lord spoke to him about us and he decided to come back to see if we were Continued on pg 31
ESTIMONY by R. Burroughs
That to me, is what genuine salvation is, a death and resurrection experience, dying to the flesh and rising again a new creation.
July - September 2017
SHARE youth # How Stressed Are You?
Measuring Christian Youth Stress Levels
1. What is your most common stress?
2. Does your faith (your Church community, reading the Bible, praying) normally help you to cope? 2a. If no, what mostly helps you relieve stress? 2b. Is your destressor God approved (wholesome) or is it sinful?
3. Does knowing who Jesus Christ says you are help you to cope with stress? 4. Do you have Christian friends you can count on in times of stress? 5. Do you find being a Christian more stressful than when you were not?
July - September 2017
146 Responses From 7 Different Countries The results showed that youth are, reflective and self aware, employing coping skills/ techniques but still need help when overwhelmed by their stressors. Interestingly some stressors are a part of their core values and this makes it difficult to place boundaries on them or eliminate them. Most common stressors: (in random order) • Job work/school work • Money • Anxiety about future/career • Exams • Life decisions/responsibility • Family/Social expectations to succeed • Health and wellbeing • Self doubt/self image • Time management, work/leisure balance • Church related activities impeding school work • Feeling like a failure/not pleasing or doing enough for God
Pom, pom, moments! Generally, the feedback was positive and hopeful youth still believe that in spite of the challenges their faith is worthwhile and their relationship with Jesus is vital. Its seems is it those who place unreasonable demands on the youth that are culpable for cause them undue stress but this is fixable. “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” (NKJV) Philippians 4:13 Red flags... danger ahead! However, there are some critical issues that were red flagged and if we do not nip them in the bud we will definitely have dire consequences in the immediate future.
Most common de-stressors (in random order) • Bible reading and prayer • Exercise • Music-listening/singing /playing instruments • Eating comfort food • Self motivation-positive talk /positive imagery/distraction • Sleep it off • Attending Church • Personal time out/breaks away from it all • Movies • Time with trusted friend • Talking with family
activities,” regardless of how the youth are actually doing or how well they are coping. It was apparent that we are not picking up on the stress signals of our youth, many things we possibly see as rebellion is most likely a cry for help. Among the “Church pressures” deemed particularly stressful was the demand for youth to attend multiple meetings mid week as well as manage school and in some cases work responsibilities.
Another concern was adults who tend to display a self righteous attitude rather than choosing to mentor or disciple the youth. This alienates the youth and further debilitates their already fragile self esteem and dwindling motivation to achieve a The general finding was that “Church happy work life balance. can be stressful because of the demands to “perform” or do “Church” This exposes a lack of discipleship
training programmes and makes it an imperative for Parents, Youth workers/pastors to make discipleship simple, clear and accessible to youth believers. Discipleship ought to begin and end with the family altar, where not only the rudiments of religion is practised but the relational aspect of learning to walk with Christ is demonstrated through the everyday issues of life being transparently discussed and finding solutions through faith is modelled for the youth to see. The youth earnestly need real, accessible role models to learn how to develop a sustainable relationship with Christ. p
July - September 2017
By Petra Imani Nicholas Creative Writer, Poet and Blogger on SHARE XTRA
“Rest was what God intended for each of us. It's what Jesus paid the price for us to return to. Here is where we also come into the promises God has for us, these promises can only be found and attained after we return to the place and realm we were intended to live and dwell in.” 24
The Benefits Of Returning When we come to the Father, we also come to know how extravagant His love is for us. I have been led back into the realms of heaven, into God’s love but the cost has continued to be everything. However, what I continue to find is that I am being replenished with God’s love. Every morning when I wake up the presence of the Lord is upon me. Therefore, what began as experiencing His presence on occasions has continued to increase and soon in the Lord’s words, I will be walking in the “wellspring of” life, as the Spirit of God fills me to overflowing with His presence. Others will also benefit from this in various forms when I am around them. From signs, wonders and healings, to experiencing the
July - September 2017
presence of God’s love that overflows from my life, this is the way God intended it to be for His children. Let it be known that I am not an exception to what I am living but this life is for all to walk in, however, the cost remains everything. The other benefits I am also experiencing is in walking toward God’s promise of perfect health, as I mentioned in my last article God has led me into being healed of an infirmity that doctors said could never happen. As I walk deeper, I am being given greater depth to understand both what it takes to go back into the timeless place, called the garden. I am experiencing and coming to know more about the heavenly realms Adam and Eve once knew which is
so much more than we have thought possible. This is why the Lord continues to use me to, write books of revelation, see people healed, travel to make new friends in the family of God. Shame And Guilt Still Cover Those Who Have Not Returned It was after experiencing a vision of being taken back in time, when the Lord said to me; you will begin to see shame and guilt upon My people, and it will become very difficult for you. I could not imagine how this could be, until I began to see what I call a spiritual slime that is upon everyone who continues living in the fallen realms. There are three main coverings that began at the fall of man and shame and guilt are two of the three foundational coverings therefore they also tend to become what people try to cover over the fallen realms with. They buy glamorous clothes, the latest technology, work to build their own kingdom, which is what satan’s seed of deception propagated in Adam and Eve. This has continued to be one of man’s greatest downfall. Consequently, what it has propagated is man’s quest to fulfil a deeper need of being loved, rather than walking with the Lord by faith. Fear is also one of the foundational coverings and is also why most persons have some sort of control
base within. Which is also why it is difficult for most people to grow closer to the love of God and to others. What began as man’s separation from God also caused division and separation for man and woman. Which is why all three of the foundational roots work as a chord and a yoke of bondage. They leave no room for true intimacy and the freedom to express and reflect the love of God. As I began to see and experience this in ever increasing ways in others, it became easy to understand the effects of these coverings that separate people from knowing and experiencing the greater depths of God’s love, that Adam and Eve once knew. Then, as I was led much deeper, the heaviness I experienced while around people would cause my heart to grieve for their lost sensitivity, in walking in love and inability to receive it relationally from the Lord. The Revelation of God’s Love What began by my experiencing God in deeper ways several years ago has also led me to see how so many hide themselves from the love of God and each other. Which heightens the importance of writing about our overcoming the fallen realms, so that many more may walk back into God’s rest and His love. Practically, this is why we are moving ever deeper into judgments that are termed; ‘shaking’, which is causing the old foundations to be revealed, stripping away the old. What God is using to remove the fallen realms is by way of the 7 seals, the 7 trumpets, and the 7 bowls of God’s judgments. As we move deeper into the last days these judgements will become even more effective in removing the ‘roots of man’s fallen nature’ and establish a
foundation from which the love and faith in God will once again flourish. Therefore, what may seem harsh to some, is actually a Father’s love and grace for His children. Those who many think of as ‘prodigals’, are actually most of God’s people who just like the parable, love the world and its fallen realms, until things run out and life becomes more difficult. In understanding this, we should realize that we must be stripped. In order to come back into our created nature of purity and experience the love of God, man must remember what Jesus said to His disciples, “leave everything and follow Me.” Once we begin taking these steps we soon realize that the cost of losing everything is the best price one can pay. God wants each of us to become sustained in a life of faith and love. By living in and learning to dwell in His presence, we also become aware that ‘all things become possible’, as they were intended from the beginning. I have personally found that health is no longer fleeting, that the life man originally knew is one of tremendous peace and being filled with a constant flow of God’s presence and love. This is what God intended for each of us and Jesus paid the price for us to return to. It is also one where we come to know the promises God has for us, as His promises can only be found and attained after we return to the place and the realms we were intended to live and dwell in. So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. Genesis 1:27 p Lyle McTeer, of CFC Ministries He is available upon request for teaching/conferences etc. Website: endtimesharvest1.com
July - September 2017
STRESS K First, Face the Facts How do you know your life is out of balance? When the meaning for doing things is lost, the moments lose significance and the lines are so blurred between one activity and another that you have no motivation left; you feel resentful about things that once brought you joy, you don’t feel well within yourself and you are not liking the sound track of your life and you can’t hear your inner voice any more. If your life is a blitz on a screen filled with white noise and you define yourself by accomplishments and have lost your intrinsic value, then you have certainly lost the battle of the work life balance because you’re a workaholic and you have no life. You are merely existing between activities. This is not God’s plan for you if you are experiencing these issues on a consistent basis. Pause the frantic film strip of your life, find balance and enter into God’s rest today. Read more:
The-Relentless-Pursuit-of-Work-LifeBalance_We-are-Asking-the-WrongQuestions-final%20(1).pdf Accessed 16/06/17
Enter the rest “Therefore, since the promise that we can enter into rest is still open, let’s be careful so that none of you will appear to miss it. We also had the good news preached to us, just as the Israelites did. However, the 26
Pastor Burnout Statistics: 13% of active pastors are divorced. 23% have been fired or pressured to resign at least once in their careers. 25% don’t know where to turn when they have a family or personal conflict or issue. 25% of pastor’s wives see their husband’s work schedule as a source of conflict. 33% felt burned out within their first five years of ministry. 33% say that being in ministry is an outright hazard to their family. 40% of pastors and 47% of spouses are suffering from burnout, frantic schedules, and/or unrealistic expectations. 45% of pastor’s wives say the greatest danger to them and their family is physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual burnout. ??
Though I can find no specific statistics (I’m sure they are out there), the pastorate is seeing a significant rise in the number of female pastors.
45% of pastors say that they’ve experienced depression or burnout to the extent that they needed to take a leave of absence from ministry. 50% feel unable to meet the needs of the job. 52% of pastors say they and their spouses believe that being in pastoral ministry is hazardous to their family’s well-being and health. 56% of pastors’ wives say that they have no close friends. 57% would leave the pastorate if they had somewhere else to go or some other vocation they could do. 70% don’t have any close friends. 75% report severe stress causing anguish, worry, bewilderment, anger, depression, fear and alienation. 80% of pastors say they have insufficient time with their spouse. 80% believe that pastoral ministry affects their families negatively. 90% feel unqualified or poorly prepared for ministry. 90% work more than 50 hours a week. 94% feel under pressure to have a perfect family.
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Kills message they heard didn’t help them because they weren’t united in faith with the ones who listened to it. We who have faith are entering the rest.” Hebrew 4.1-3 You Are Not Alone in your pursuit for work life balance There is a Global Paradigm Shifts in work/Leisure and Health and it is also affecting the Church. The table before reveals this: 1,500 pastors leave their ministries each month due to burnout, conflict, or moral failure. The Rest of the Story “The hardest thing about these numbers is that they only tell half the story. The other half is that congregations don’t know or understand the nature of pastoral stress. And when a pastor breaks down or has a moral failure, congregations, for lack of a better word, “kick the pastor to the curb.” Whether you are a pastor, a former pastor, or a congregation member, I hope these clergy burnout statistics help clarify the problem. And more importantly, I hope they help you focus your ministry to pastors. Pastor burnout statistics are only numbers. Read some pastor burnout stories to put faces to the statistics.”
Jargon Buster Brexit
www.pastorburnout.com/pastorburnout-statistics.html Accessed 16/06/17
UK, Teenagers’ stress and anxiety levels are at an alltime high • Teenagers are suffering record levels of anxiety, Government report finds • Middle-class children have higher levels of stress, the research discovered • Reliance on tablets and smartphones could be contributing to their anxiety • Middle-class children the worst affected Read more:
www.dailymail.co.uk/health/ article-3727507/Teenagers-stressanxiety-levels-time-high-middleclass-children-worst-affected. html#ixzz4kwopzjxc Accessed 16/06/17
Impact on home life Stress levels are also high among teens in the USA. Typically both parents work to day and close behind is the single parent households which is fed by mounting divorce rates. Read more:
http://www.catalyst.org/knowledge/ working-parents www.apa.org/monitor/2014/04/teenstress.aspx https://www.soundvision.com/article/ statistics-about-mothers-around-theworld Accessed16/06/17
The UK withdrawing its membership from the EU after a referendum in 2016. Soft-“Supporters of a “soft” Brexit imagine a future where the UK retains some form of membership of the European Union single market in return for a degree of free movement.” Hard- “For those who back a “hard” Brexit - or “clean” Brexit as supporters prefer - the better option is to leave the EU and the single market entirely and then have a relationship based - at least initially - on World Trade Organization rules.” bbc.co.uk/news/business-37500140 accessed 28/06/17
In a 1991 Runnymede Trust Report ...defined as “unfounded hostility towards Muslims, and therefore fear or dislike of all or most Muslims.” The term was coined in the context of Muslims in the UK in particular and Europe in general and formulated based on the more common “xenophobia” framework. crg.berkeley.edu/content/islamophobia/ defining-islamophobia Accessed 26/06/17
A form of Islam practised in Saudi Arabia that developed only in the 18th century. Its founder, Ibn Abd al-Wahhab wanted to return to the earliest teachings of his faith and eject all later medieval accretions. He therefore opposed Sufism and Shiaism as heretical innovations (bidah), and he urged all Muslims to reject the learned exegesis developed over the centuries by the ulema (“scholars”) and interpret the texts for themselves. newstatesman.com/worldaffairs/2014/11/wahhabism-isis-how-saudiarabia-exported-main-source-globalterrorism Accessed 26/06/17
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is already at the root The
Story Teller To book the story teller email: email@example.com 28
July - September 2017
I now live in a country that is quite different from the one I grew up in. God has brought us to live in a place that values and enjoys things that are quite different from the things I enjoyed growing up. One example is the food. The dishes I really like arenâ€™t even available in the town I now live in. The
good news is that after a few years of living here we did find one shop that sold some of the ingredients to make some of the dishes I really enjoyed. As you would expect I was so excited I bought up stacks of the stuff to ensure I never run out of it again. This included some crackers that were baked back home and shipped to this country as well as a special type of hot drink that I really enjoyed. After making a cup of this hot drink we would then butter the crackers and dip them into the tea. In some places they refer to this as dunking your biscuit. After enjoying the pleasures of this experience for a number of days I began to realise that I would get boil-like bumps coming up in some of the most unusual places, like down in my ears. This was a new experience and I was quite concerned as to what was causing it. I could not remember ever having bumps like these before. I thought about the cause of this for a few days but soon concluded that it must be as a result of my biscuit dunking indulgence. Even I had to admit that I was simply overdoing it. Jesus spoke in John 15 about us as branches bearing fruit only if we remain in the vine and for years I tried desperately to bear fruit for God. My efforts however, only bore frustration. It was not until I had these bumps that I suddenly realised and understood how branches bear fruits. A branch doesn’t have to work itself up to manufacture a fruit. No, fruits pop out effortlessly from the branch. Why? You see, like my bumps, fruit is just the outward manifestation of an inward reality. My body had too much of something and needed to get rid of it so it pushed it out, resulting in bumps forming on the outside of my skin. This was a
natural occurrence, a function of
to God. Read Matthew 13:24-30 Our fruitfulness is not to be taken lightly. The consequences for not bearing good fruit are eternal. Trees that bear no fruit or bear bad fruit will be thrown into the fire of hell. These are Jesus’ own words, “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned.” John 15:5-6
the body. A branch is so filled with sap from the vine that the overflow causes fruit to pop out. These fruits when they are mature and ripened are filled with tasty juice that is created by the inflow of sap from the vine. This example from nature teaches us a profound lesson. As a believer, my job is to remain firmly connected to the vine while allowing the free flow of its sap to work God’s will and way through me. It all happens naturally. The more of God I have the more of the good fruit I will produce. The reverse is also true. My fruit is a reflection of the sap that feeds me. God’s sap bears good fruit while the devil’s sap bears bad fruit. No wonder, John the Baptist made this statement, “And even now the axe is laid to the root of the trees. Therefore every tree which does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.” John 3:10 God is going to cut down all the devil’s trees and throw them into the fire. Note also, that the devil has trees planted among God’s trees in God’s garden. Read about this in The Parable Of The Wheat And The Tares and see what will happen to trees that do not belong
The metaphor of the sap that produces good fruit is used to represent the Holy Spirit. Read Galatians 5:22 to understand the characteristics of the fruit that the Holy Spirit produces. Fruits, are also the reproductive tool of a tree; so our fruitfulness also quantifies the amount of people Jesus is able to reproduce Himself in due to our influence. In the Mark 11 account, Jesus chose to demonstrate the consequences of fruitlessness; as if the many other times He spoke about it was not sufficient. He was hungry and having gone to a fig tree hoping to find fruit He discovered that there was none. He reacted to its fruitlessness by cursing it. The following day when they passed by again that way His disciples realised that the tree was drying up from the very roots. What should we learn from all this? Every tree or branch that bears bad fruit or is fruitless will be cursed by God resulting in their death and subsequent burning. Therefore, abide in the vine and allow Jesus to glorify Himself through your life, making you spiritually reproductive for His Kingdom. p
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What can we say to people in such deep grief? How can we say something succinct and brief? How can we show the love of Jesus? In such things that devastates and grieves us Oh, Lord help me show your mercy Those poor children whose lives are now cut short Those poor parents whose lives are now fraught With grief, tears, anger and hopelessness How do we help them in their helplessness? Oh, Lord help me show your mercy How can we talk to those who are in such pain? How can we, of your love, try to explain? Their hearts are broken, shattered beyond repair How do we show them that you are there? Oh, Lord help me to show your mercy
By Lynda Smith
PRAY FOR THE UK
When in our trials and tribulations we feel your touch But those who have senselessly lost may not know you much Oh Lord we ask and pray that they might come to know Your love and peace in them may ever grow Oh Lord help me show your mercy p Dedicated to the Manchester Suicide bombing victims, the London stabbings victims and the Grenfell Tower fire victims © Teresa Randle
PRAY FOR SOUTH AMERICA
Venezuela is immersed under a government that is violating the Human Rights of its citizens. Until today 27th of May, the people of Venezuela have been protesting on the streets of every city big and small for 56 days, there have been 59 dead including children (students). As Christians let’s pray for a positive response from the government of Maduro to listen to his people and stop the unlawful killing of innocents 30
that are asking for food, medicines, jobs, and freedom. Pray for the armed forces to support the restarting of democracy in Venezuela. Pray for God’s strength to be the force that drives Venezuelan people and that they will acknowledge His presence and His ways in the middle of these difficult days. The people are facing starvation with the lack of food supplies.
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Ecuador is under a government with the same ideology as Venezuela, but are few years behind. If we do not Pray now, one day Ecuadorians may be in the same situation if the political scenario doesn’t change in South America. p
From a heart broken Ecuadorian Nancy Jakins who feels for the Venezuelan people as she feels for her own
R C OR NE
continued from pg 5 ... on for hours with much said and sung about God but no mention of Jesus. It’s as if they are embarrassed to call His name because they do not want to offend anyone. They never preach about hell or the judgement of God that is coming upon sinners. You enter these Churches with an expectation of getting refilled and refreshed but only come away hours later hyped and empty. They are like a beautiful building in a bitter, winter with no heating inside. In a bitter winter, would you not prefer to be in a cave that is warmed by a fire than in a palace that is ice cold? Think about the excitement of a person expecting a package when they see the courier walking up to their door. Imagine the disappointment if the courier then announces that they forgot the package back at the depot. The person whose soul longs for the living God, will be similarly disappointed when they attend one of these services. “The chief danger that confronts the coming century will be religion without the Holy Ghost, Christianity without Christ, forgiveness without repentance, salvation without regeneration, politics without God, heaven without hell.” William Booth Like a lifeguard who cannot swim but shouts instructions to someone who is drowning rather than getting in and rescuing them; so is the Performance Driven Church shouting empty words to a dying world that they cannot rescue because they themselves do not know how to swim. When the Philistines took away the Ark of the Covenant Israel wept. Today God has withdrawn His presence and no one has even noticed because we are all so busy keeping the machinery of a Godless Church
going. “Therefore, I will surely forget you and cast you out of my presence…” Jeremiah 23:39 The construct of man cannot hold the Spirit and God can only live in a house that He built. Human activity cannot bring forth salvation and a person cannot be saved unless God moves upon them. In vain they rise early and stay up late for “Unless the Lord builds the house, they labor in vain who build it.” Psalm 127:1 “Be still, and know that I am God…” Psalm 46:10 The problem with the Performance Driven Church is that they lack the experiential knowledge of God that produces reverent stillness and assured calmness. Their frantic rushing about is but a sign of the fright and panic of their disturbed souls. They must keep their followers busy lest they pause long enough to discover their Spiritual poverty. “The ox knows its master, the donkey its owner’s manger, but Israel does not know, my people do not understand.” Isaiah 1:3 “My people are fools; they do not know me…” Jeremiah 4:22 (NIV) The Church today seems to be experiencing the wanderings of the faithless. “The message ‘Christ in you, the hope of glory,’ needs to be restored to the Church. We must show a new generation of nervous, frantic, Christians that power lies at the centre of the life. Speed and noise are evidences of weakness, not strength. Eternity is silent; time is noisy. Our preoccupation with time is sad evidence of our basic want of faith. The desire to be dramatically active is proof of our religious infantilism; it is a type of exhibitionism common to the kindergarten.” The Root of the Righteous – A. W. Tozer Pg 76 p
Testimony continued from pg 21 still here. That night he and his boys stayed at the campground with us and the next day he invited us to go back to Gadsden, Alabama with him and we decided to go. We didn’t know what to expect. Over the next few days he spoke about the Lord a lot. It’s like the Lord was preparing our hearts to receive Him. That Sunday, April 3, 1994, we attended service at the Tabernacle. When we arrived we were an hour late and had missed the preaching but were just in time for the Altar call. When the Altar call was given, Tracey, my girlfriend, asked what that was. I said I did not know but let’s go. So we went to the Altar and the Lord met us there. Somebody prayed with us to accept the Lord and He brought about a miraculous change in us. We really got saved that Easter Sunday, the Lord took away the desires for drugs and the things of the world and replaced it with a desire for Him and a hunger to learn His Word. That to me, is what genuine salvation is, a death and resurrection experience, dying to the flesh and rising again a new creation. 2 Cor. 5:17. Three months later, my girlfriend and I were married and a year later our first son, Joshua, was born. p By Richard Burroughs - faithwriters.com/articledetails.php?id=103917
July - September 2017
De p Os re s tric se d
Note To Self...
Today’s popular gospel blames the Ostrich for being earthbound. It says that the Ostrich would fly if it had more faith, as if all birds were made to fly. Be who God has made you and do what He has purposed for you. Forget about the high flyers and celebrate the fact that God made you a great runner. The Many Membered Body Our bodies don’t have just one part. They have many parts. Suppose a foot says, “I’m not a hand, and so I’m not part of the body.” Wouldn’t the foot still belong to the body? Or suppose an ear says, “I’m not an eye, and so I’m not part of the body.” Wouldn’t the ear still belong to the body? If our bodies were only an eye, we couldn’t hear a thing. 1 Corinthians 12:14-17 32
July - September 2017
S taircase Paper Delicate origami, delightful and pretty. Innovative, intuitive, sample of human ingenuity. Towering high, upon your treads my aspirations climb. Will you sustain these weighty expectations, of mine? Is your beauty an enticement my footsteps to deceive; will you hold me in grief, bolster my reprieve? Paper staircase you are built on a fallacy. Truth blows upon you exposing your heresy. Your spiralling bannisters a kite -like fantasy, blown away with whim and fancy. Your foundation judged insecure, having no leverage to endure. Justice is a sword that like a pendulum swings in judgment it destroys you for the desolation you bring. Consoled now by the truth of yore, trusting only in things that endure. Just like truth never grows old, a paper staircase will never hold.
ÂŠ Angela B. Slack
July - September 2017
Take My Life And Let It Be
1 2 3
In Praise of Hymn
Take my life, and let it be consecrated, Lord, to Thee. Take my moments and my days; let them flow in ceaseless praise. Take my hands, and let them move at the impulse of Thy love. Take my feet, and let them be swift and beautiful for Thee.
Take my voice, and let me sing always, only, for my King. Take my lips, and let them be filled with messages from Thee. Take my silver and my gold; not a mite would I withhold. Take my intellect, and use every power as Thou shalt choose.
Take my will, and make it Thine; it shall be no longer mine. Take my heart, it is Thine own; it shall be Thy royal throne. Take my love, my Lord, I pour at Thy feet its treasure store. Take myself, and I will be ever, only, all for Thee.
Reviewing Great Christian Hymns Frances Ridley Havergal (1836-1879) The daughter of a Church rector, she was raised in Worcester, England and attended schools in England and Germany. She... became an able scholar (... proficient in both Hebrew and Greek) and a talented singer and pianist. She told the story of how she prayed “Lord, give me all in this house!” And
He just did! Rejoicing in the salvation of all the occupants of household she said ,”Before I left the house everyone had got a blessing”, I passed most of the night in praise and renewal of my own consecration, and these little couplets formed themselves and chimed in my heart one after another, till they finished with, “Ever, ONLY, ALL for Thee!”
July - September 2017
In her own words, the hymn is a “consecration hymn” in which the singer commits all of her possessions and being to the Lord for His purposes. It expresses what each of us ought to feel and long for, even if at times we see so much disparity between the words and our actual state that we have to sing most of it in hope and faith.
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Published on Jun 28, 2017
The modern Church has become the place for rituals as we spend less and less time in a personal, intimate relationship with our Lord. This i...