I AM A BLESSINGS FINDER

“These people are grumblers and fault-finders; they follow their own evil desires; they boast about themselves and flatter others for their own advantage” (Jude 1:16)

In the ‘last days’ dangerous people shall be used by the devil to cause much damage to others, to relationships and to the Body of Christ. Many marriages will end in divorce because of the ignorance of such spiritual issues. These are negative people who criticize some and flatter others, as they like. They crate divisions and confusion. These ‘grumblers and fault-finders’ are proud, selfish and immature men and women who ignorantly connect with the devil, also called the Accuser of the Brethren. I pray that you may ‘see’ the danger and fight against the influence of such evil spirits over you and your home!

THE ACCUSER- DEFINITION

*Someone who finds fault attacks and offends others especially in public

*He who blames and condemns others openly, holding them responsible for his own sins

*He who boldly confronts others, face to face and demand they prove their identity or qualifications

*He that resists and provokes others so that they sin when responding in anger

*He that treats others as enemies, opposes them (in the court of law), in the presence of witnesses

An accuser is someone who is a fault finder. A moral fault is a weakness, a sign of an imperfect character. It is a sign that the person failed under stress; was not able to abide in the truth and compromised his conscience. It is a sign of an error in choice making and of failure of judgment because of inadequate knowledge and loss of focus. Mostly it is as a result of confusion and fear. It ends with disappointment of expectations, shame and guilt.

The devil accuses the children of God, looking for their faults and weaknesses, to put them to shame and guilt.

Reading these words, maybe you feel discouraged already and you ask yourself: Who then can stand? Who is so mature without faults and weaknesses? Who can in his own power resist and fight the devil? The truth is: none! That is why we are commanded to press on into the fullness of Christ, to become mature and tried in character, dead to the flesh and alive in the Spirit. This is such a simple advice, clearly commanded in the Bible, but, O…so few obey it. Constant victory in spiritual warfare is a sign of spiritual maturity and a proof of an established heart in Christ.

“And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death” (Rev 12:11)

The first thing to do is to repent from all sins. Stop speaking negative things. Stop grumbling! Reject bitterness! Be grateful to God for your life, however it is! It can be worse than that! Thank God for His grace! Stop finding faults with others. Nobody is perfect!  Like the merchant looking for the pearl of great value, seek to find blessings in others! Look for good things in them and encourage them!  Sever all connections with the devil, the Accuser of the Brethren. Child of God, be encouraged! Victory is possible! That is why Jesus Christ died on the Cross, to set you free from the punishment, bondage, shame, guilt and power of sin! Freedom is not only promised! Freedom is a blessing available to all believers in Christ Jesus! Resist the devil and he must flee form you! Be free! Be a blessing!

In Jesus name, amen!

THE SCEPTER OF HIS GRACE

“Now it happened on the third day that Esther put on her royal robes and stood in the inner court of the king’s palace… So it was, when the king saw Queen Esther standing in the court that she found favor in his sight, and the king held out to Esther the golden scepter that was in his hand. Then Esther went near and touched the top of the scepter” (Est 5:1, 2)

This evening we have our mid-week service. Each time I enter the sanctuary I prepare my heart with a scripture or prayer. This evening I am inspired by my sister, Queen Esther. This is a glimpse of a wonderful and powerful act of worship. Esther is in serious trouble. It is a matter of life or death. She needs the help of the king. She dresses with her royal robes and stands at a distance facing the throne. Her life is in his hands. The king sees her there. A life time of romance passes by in a moment of time. Will love live or die? Suddenly, the king lifts his golden scepter towards her. She draws near the throne, bows down at his feet and touches the scepter. She acknowledges the authority of the king and she submits to him. Then the king offers to her ‘even half of his kingdom’.

This is the story of ‘the third day’, the resurrection day, when death has died. Esther represents us, the worshippers. I dress with the royal robes of righteousness, purchased for me by the Lord, at the Cross. I stand at the Door of the sheep. Jesus is that Door. Jesus is my Shepherd. I know His voice. I long to hear His voice afresh…

I face the throne of mercy and grace. I come in boldly, in faith and submission, in worship and with a burden of prayer. I find favor with Him who seats on the throne. The King of kings lifts up the golden scepter of grace towards me. I draw near, bow at His feet and touch that amazing glorious grace. I openly acknowledge that Jesus is Lord!  That Jesus is my Lord! I love You, Lover of my soul…All fear is gone! In His presence there is fullness of joy. No matter the situation, from this moment on, “I fear no evil, for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff they comfort me” (Ps 32:4). Comforted by His majesty, strengthen by His raisins of hope, I call on you brethren follow me, to come in. Draw near and touch God’s grace! Great blessings shall overflow your situation…Come…Come…I left the door open for you…

OLD AGE FRUITFULNESS

“The righteous shall flourish like a palm tree,

He shall grow like a cedar in Lebanon.

Those who are planted in the house of the Lord

Shall flourish in the courts of our God

They shall still bear fruit in old age;

They shall be fresh and flourishing,

To declare that the Lord is upright;

He is my rock, and there is no unrighteousness in Him” (Ps 92:12-15)

The Cedar of Lebanon is a beautiful evergreen tree that grows on the mountains of Lebanon, Israel and Turkey. It starts to flower late, when it is about 30 years old. The oldest trees found in Lebanon are more than 1000 years. These are symbols of fruitful old age, mature spiritual men and women, serving God and His people in the church.

In the secular world old age is something to be dreaded. This is because most young people fear to lose strength and beauty. I still remember how I felt as a teenager. For me, a person in his forties was ‘old’.  I felt sorry that life has passed them by. I thought that old men have no hope. I hated to think of the future for that future included the fearful mystery called old age. When my parents retired from teaching, I felt sorry for them. Staying at home every day seems like punishment. Some old people were happy to retire so that they have more time to pursue their hobbies. But most retirees got old quick and did not enjoy their season of harvest on earth.

When I became a believer, I had to reevaluate all my definitions and principles. My understanding of all things pertaining to life had to be based on the Word of God. My Romanian background, my family values and the culture I come from, all these had to bow to the Word of God. The mind of Christ overwhelmed them all. I discovered that old men in the Bible are at least as useful as the younger generation. I also discovered that God has a plan and a purpose for each season in our lives. The grace of God does not diminish as we get older. There is no retirement from serving God.  I am impressed with the fruitful life of old servants of God like Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, Aaron, Joshua, Caleb, Daniel, Simeon, Ana, Zechariah and Elizabeth, and many others. Apostle Paul calls himself ‘an old man’ (Philemon 1:9) but he still writes letters to others, travels and does ministry unto the end.

In the church, there is always need for older men and women to lead, counsel, teach and mentor the younger generation. An older preacher who is on fire for the Lord is a treasure to be cherished.  He knows the Word of God and he has life experience on his side. The older people have more time to study the Word of God, to pray, fast and intercede, to encourage others thru Emails and phone calls. Because their material needs are less, many old people have extra money that can be used in blessing others in need. Also, they can open their houses to practice the ministry of home fellowships. Therefore this is the best time to invest in their heavenly account.

This is the conclusion: God can use any man or woman who is willing to serve Him! The young and the old!  We can’t stop the aging process but we can be renewed daily and retain a young fresh active and joyful spirit to continue ministry (2Cor 4:16). It is only death that should stop us from doing ministry on earth. Let the younger generation learn to respect the old saints and submit to their wisdom and anointing. Let the older people continue to serve God! As for me and my household, we shall worship and serve God to the end!

In Christ I declare:

With long life God will satisfy me and show me His salvation!

My spirit shall be fresh and fruitful even in my old age!

I am a teacher, a mentor and a mother in Zion to the younger generation!

My body gets older but my spirit is renewed daily!

I honor and respect the older saints and mentors from whom I’ve learned so much!

I shall declare the wonderful works of God to the end!

For as long as I have breath, I shall preach the Word of God!

My life shall give glory to God unto my last breath on earth!

In Jesus name

Amen!

MY FATHER SMILES

“Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. “Honor your father and mother,” which is the first commandment with promise: “that it may be well with you and you may live long on the earth.” (Eph 6:1-3)

This testimony is given to the glory of God all and to honor my father, Professor Albai Ion, who is now in heaven. By honoring him I claim the promise to live a long and happy life on earth. In Jesus name, amen!

This evening I remember an event in my life, something that happened long ago. I was a teenager. I won the competition as the best in mathematics in my junior secondary school in Orsova, Romania. In that capacity I went to the state capital for the bigger competition, representing my school. Over there I met other champions from all over the state. Most of them were boys. I still remember how confident they looked, well dressed, talking confidently and discussing their exploits in the field of mathematics. No one noticed me and if they did so, they did not talk to me.

This is a little from my background: My school was a small school. I went there with my father who was my teacher in primary school. He always encouraged me not to be intimidated by anyone. He told me to relax and do my best. Even today I still feel his love for me. He said that he trusts me to win the competition. I went inside the exam hall. He was waiting outside the door. That gave me a good feeling, that I am not alone. Both of us were hungry for the train was late and we had no time to eat. He promised to take me to a fancy restaurant after the exam.

I kept quiet and tried to relax, as my father advised me to do. I ignored the ‘confident’ boys. Then the man with the envelope came and gave us the test. It was a difficult formula. I knew that if I can find the ‘secret key’ everything will fall into place. I quickly scanned the numbers. I eliminated the unnecessary things. I completed the easy ones, helping myself to go to the heart of it all. Then suddenly I had a flash of inspiration and I ‘saw the answer’. I finished in a record time. I was the first to give my paper. Going forward I saw the loud boys sweating and struggling. I somehow knew that they got lost in the details. I just knew that I am the winner. Just like my father said…

I came out from the exam hall, happy with my performance and happy that I will not keep my father hungry for too long. He kept his promise. We went to a fancy restaurant, the best I have ever entered in my life. I was the only child there but I was treated as an adult. I liked that feeling. I don’t think I remember what I ate for I was too excited with everything that day. We came back to the school in the afternoon. I went in as my father waited outside once more. They announced the results. One of the boys was in the third place. The most confident boy took second. Then silence filled the room. Who can be the mysterious champion? My name was announced as the winner of the state mathematic Olympiad. It was an ‘awesome moment’, as they say it. This is the first time that I was ‘seen’ as a champion outside my home. Later the other boys graciously congratulated me. Yes, it feels good to win! This is a true story. My certificate is still in my parents’ house, somewhere in an old drawer.

This story happened so long ago. It is like another life. But I never forgot it. I was not a believer. My family too did not believe in God. But God used the events of that day to teach me so much. These are few of the life lessons that stayed with me all this time:

*Each child is special!

*Do your homework! If you really prepare well for an exam, you shall pass it!

*Do not be intimidated by anyone! Mind your own business and you shall succeed!

*Humility and hard work are dynamite! They make a true champion!

*The love of the father is a wonderful blessing! Good parents invest blessings in their children!

*Be grateful if someone encourages you and trusts in you! That is the gift of God!

*I wait outside the door as my children pass exams in life! I walk with them in their challenges!

*I do not give up on my children! They are not left alone! I passionately love my children!

*It does not matter if you come from a simple or poor background! Things can suddenly change for better!

*Victory is possible! Dreams do come true!

I am now a mother and a grandmother. I have natural and spiritual children. It is a privilege to invest seeds of hope and faith in them. I pray for them, that they live spiritual, happy, fruitful and fulfilled lives! That their dreams will come true! I pray that they can overcome all inferiority complexes and obstacles in life and become true champions in whatever field God has assigned to them.

Lastly, my father, Prof Albai Ion is in heaven now. I know that he smiles as I type this letter… To God be all the glory!

THE HELPER IS ON HIS WAY

“Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand” (Eph 6:13)

The closer you go to the light, the more the pain and persecution. The closer you go to the center of Truth, to the deeper understanding of the Gospel, the more the devil will attack. A Christian is someone who knows how to dress well, how to put on the whole armor of God which is Christ Himself. Without this armor, you will fail in that evil day. This is how it is: For a long time things go well, and suddenly, unexpectedly, you shall be attacked by vicious evil forces of darkness. This is called an ‘evil day’. It is filled with a mysterious sadness and difficult to explained weakness. The word ‘evil’ means malice, slander, sickness, guilt, lustful thoughts, wickedness and vicious imagination. You feel like dying, but you shall not die! You feel sick, weak and sad…but these are only passing emotions that will soon go away. I promise!

It is a great thing to testify that you have done all that you can do to arrive in this place. You can only do your best! Now stand! You need to learn how to stand! Use the little strength left to you to stand, to abide in the same spot, to preserve the past gains, to hold on in the assurance that you are not alone and Christ is with you! Do not trust your feelings! Trust God! Dressed with the armor of God, stand therefore! You may not be able to make visible progress, but standing and defending your established position is called progress too.  Please remember, it is only an evil day, not an evil month or a whole evil year! The trouble will soon pass and you shall have a new reason to testify to God’s faithfulness and love! If you are there, just hold on….Do not even think of backsliding! The story is not over! The Helper is on His way! God is never too late! You shall yet praise Him! I promise!

THE PIERCING GREED

The prayer meeting was wonderful. We praised God and prayed. Led by the Holy Spirit we did something special and holy today. There is a young brother in our church who just lost his mother. He was supposed to marry since last year but he did not have a job. Finally the opportunity came early this year. The wedding was to be in July. But something sad happened: his mother had car accident and drowned in the river. She was buried yesterday. The brother came to the prayer meeting this evening. He was standing alone at the back of the sanctuary. I saw him there and called him to the altar. We prayed for him. He prayed and prophesied for himself. Then by faith, the married men ‘adopted’ him and promised to help him in every way possible, spiritually, emotionally and financially so that the wedding can still hold in July. We declared that all help giving to this wounded soldier shall be counted as credit in our heavenly account. The married made a circle around him and embraced him praying, in a way only men of God can do. His ashes became beauty by the power of the Holy Spirit. Than You Lord Jesus!

Then the Word came:

PIERCING GREED
“For the love of money is the root of all evil, which while some coveted after, they have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves through with many sorrows” (1Tim 6:10)
This is a warning to the believers! The devil wants to pin you down! In Greek, the sentence ‘love of money’ means greed, avarice or covetousness. Avarice is defined as an excessive, selfish and unsatisfied desire for wealth or material gain.   This love of money is ‘the root’ and not ‘a root’ of evil. The word ‘evil’ means something bad, wicked, worthless; able to injure or to cause sickness. To be worthless it means to have no value, no effect, to be useless, unable to serve of help. This love of money is a great deception for with all that wealth on earth, you are left poor and sick, without helper or comfort. This love of money is able to make you ‘wander from the faith’. The word means to be seduced, to be lead astray from truth, faith and safety. This is a dangerous downhill fall. The danger is to ‘be pierced with many griefs’. The word ‘pierce’ means to penetrate entirely, to transfix. It means to impale and hold motionless. To impale it means to pierce with a pointed weapon; to torture, to fix in an inescapable and helpless condition (like insects with a needle in an insectarium).

The picture is that of a man, walking on a safe and happy road. Suddenly he goes aside to pluck a poisonous plant that has thorns on its body. He only sees the beauty of that flower. He is unaware of the poisonous thorns that will torment him a life time and make him incurable sick.  The word ‘hasten’ means to flow like water, fast, reckless and dangerous, like a car without breaks going downhill.  He will suffer and die by the road side, seeing others happily moving on. The griefs are the bitter regrets and pangs of conscience that cannot stop until death comes. What a tragic picture… “Their sorrows shall be multiplied that hasten after another (god)” (Ps 16:4)

Father God we repent of all forms of idolatry, greed, avarice, covetousness, ungratefulness, wickedness and selfish ambitions. We chose to worship You alone! We are grateful for Your Provision! In Christ we declare that You are our God! You are our Portion in the Land of the living! You are our Reward!  In Jesus name, amen!

(in the picture you see a butterfly impaled on a pin)buterfly on a pin

EYES ON JESUS

This is part of a letter from a young man who was our children’s friend. He is now an adult, a very successful man in his career.He is married with a daughter. After more than 25 years, he contacted me. He says that his spiritual life is not too good. He wants to be better and suddenly, he remembered me. He wants me to advice him. This is part of my answer to him .These words may benefit someone there who has similar struggles. To mature spiritually is very important! If you are spiritually stagnant, you can never be happy as a Christian! Pay the price! God will make a way!

“Dear …
I am so happy to hear from you, after so many years…I am also happy to know that you are now married and a father too! Thank God!

I still remember you…The number one challenge you had in the past is that you often compared yourself with others. The Bible calls that foolishness (2Cor 10:12). You have to ‘forget’ other people. You have to chose to discover your own path in life. I believe that God has given you the gift of leadership but you have not being willing to step into it. You chose to follow others even when you should lead.

This is a question: When last you had ‘a heart to heart’ spiritual discussion like this one? You wife is also a very important factor in your spiritual search because she is one with you. If she is willing to pay the price to be a true spiritual helper, then your labor will be less and your progress faster. But if she is not willing to help and challenge you, if she accepts you as you are at the present, then she is not helping you.

However is the situation you have to go to the cross of Christ and see the price God Himself payed to save your soul. The Cross will ignite something in your spirit, a new passion, a fire for your ‘first love’, which is too strong to take second place (Rev 2:4,5). Keep your eyes on Jesus! He is the answer to your problems!
Keep in touch…
Your mother in Christ
Malia”

“For we dare not class ourselves or compare ourselves with those who commend themselves. But they, measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise” (2Cor 10:12)
“Nevertheless I have this against you, that you have left your first love. Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent and do the first works” (Rev 2:4, 5)