STEAL NO LONGER

‘Let him who steals steal no longer; but rather let him labor, performing with his own hands what is good, in order that he may have something to share with him who has need’ (Eph. 4:28)

Once a thief tried to break into our house. He failed to enter but in the morning we saw the broken place in the roof where he attempted to come in. I remember thinking ‘what type of man is this thief trying and failing to steal? He must have been disappointed that his labor of breaking in failed to make a profit. Maybe God warned him to repent…’ This was in my mind that morning seeing the damage to the wall.

The Bible commands us not to steal! It is one of the Ten Commandments. A thief is somebody who takes something from another without permission and without desire to return back the stolen property. A thief steals money or material things. Jesus said that we should not gather wealth on earth because there will always be thieves to covet and steal. But we should store spiritual riches because these are under the protection of the Holy Spirit and thieves cannot steal them. Even then, thieves may damage your peace of mind, your joy of living or your testimony as a servant of God. The evil spirit of stealing does great damage in a family or congregation. This is because when property is missing and the thief is not found people become suspicious and afraid of one another. This destroys the unity of the Spirit.

God does not bless a thief. He will eventually lose the stolen property. Both the victim and the thief suffers. Stealing is the work of the devil. To be able to practice stealing you must be an apprentice to the devil. It is only in Christ that freedom from this demon may be found! The Holy Spirit alone is able to stop and reject the thief who comes to only ‘steal, kill and destroy’.

Of course, the worse form of stealing is to steal from God, by refusing to pay your tithes, to give offerings for the work of God, or by coming to church and refusing to serve God in any way at all! Religious stealing is very dangerous! Repent! Worship God!

The thief does not wish to work, but rather to live off of others who work. The thief looks upon the needy as the vulnerable, whose weaknesses he may very well use to his advantage, and thus to prey upon them. The Christian must put away laziness and go to work. The Christian views the needs of others as the opportunity to manifest the love and grace of God to men, and thus reaches out to help, giving of his own resources. Nothing more dramatically demonstrates the radical change which conversion, faith in Christ, produces in the life of a sinner than that change which should occur in the Christian who was formerly a thief.

Stealing takes from others with no thought of giving in return. Justice demands that when one takes he must give something equal in return. Christianity teaches us to give freely, with no expectation of getting something in return. Child of God, prove that you are converted by producing fruits of repentance, by becoming generous and kind to others! Pay your tithes! In Jesus name, amen!

RID YOURSELVES OF ENVY

‘Therefore, rid yourselves of all malice and all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander of every kind. Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation, now that you have tasted that the Lord is good’ (1Pet 3:1-3)

My husband and I we are on a vacation with a group of brethren. Yesterday we discussed the matter of envy. This morning, I used the topic of envy as a Bible study for myself. I share some of my thoughts with you…

One of the troubles a successful person encounters in life is the envy of others. Envy is defined as an angry, bitter feeling rising against a successful person combined with a strong desire to have what that successful person has (money, social status, happy marriage). Spiritually speaking, envy is a work of the flesh produced under the influence of evil spirits. The Holy Spirit never produces envy!!! Envy is like a spiritual virus. We are commanded to kill it, to get rid of it, to uproot it. God will give you the power to do it but He will not do it it for you! You have to get rid of it by yourself! This is God’s command! If you allow envy to grow in your heart it will destroy every little joy and peace you ever had. Envy kills the spiritual appetite for the Word of God. Envy hinders spiritual growth. No matter how long you call yourself a Christian and you attend a church, envy will keep you in bondage and you cannot be spiritually fruitful. You must get rid of it!

This is my testimony: I am a very happy woman. With the help of the Holy Spirit and the Word of God I identified envy as my personal enemy. For a long time I did not know that envy exists in my heart. If you asked me: ‘are you envious of other people?’ – I will say: ‘of course not!’. Envy works thru deception. Envy is a liar! I decided to prayerfully study my heart. One day I discovered something strange: each time I hear that somebody gained something that I desired or prayed for, I will become angry in my heart with that person. I also will be angry with God for making the ‘mistake’, by giving another the answer to ‘my prayers’. This angry feeling of envy was very strong and spoiled my peace. I could not control it on my own. I was ashamed of it and tried to hide it. It was not easy but at least I identified it in my heart! That was a good thing and the beginning of my deliverance!

One day, tired to be tormented by this wicked demon of envy, I decided to obey God’s command. I prayed for the strength to confront and uproot envy from my heart. I prayed for the Holy Spirit to help me to be grateful for what God has given me while waiting and praying for more blessings, without being envious on others. Like a cat waiting for the rat hiding in that hole to come out, I waited for envy to manifest once more. It surely did. Immediately I sensed the envy ‘coming out and talking the old wicked talk’ I got it by its neck, drew it out from its hiding and threw it into the fire of the Holy Ghost. This is how I got rid of this my old fleshly enemy! I then asked the Holy Spirit to fill me in that particular space envy was formerly occupying. He graciously did. I became free and free indeed! I now continue to preserve my freedom thru a sanctified life empowered by the Holy Spirit.

Dear friend, I pray for you this morning. The truth is that my life is very good. I am happy with what God has done and is doing in my heart, in my marriage and in my family. My life should be an inspiration and a holy challenge to you, not a source of envying. You can be free from envying too! Pray for freedom and contentment. Have a grateful and wise heart! Give thanks to God for what you have today, waiting in faith for what He will do tomorrow. From my vacation in The U.S. I greet you all!

(I wait for you to share with me your encounter and deliverance with the demon of envy)

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ABSALOM, ABSALOM…

The handsome royal son of David called Absalom was a murderer. He killed his brother for raping their sister. He went into exile for three years. He manipulated his way back to his father’s heart. He was also an over ambitious young man. Back to Jerusalem, the city of peace, he positioned himself as a man who can provide justice to all who feel neglected and cheated. All who feel that they cannot find justice from God but they need a man to judge their case came to Abslaom. He promised them a great future but at last, it proved to be only false hopes. He was a prince – politician. He pretended to be humble. He spoke softly. He provided himself with chariots and men to follow him. His entourage looked impressive. This was designed so that men can easily imagine him to be the supreme ruler in Isreal. He told everybody: ‘Oh, if only I were appointed judge in the land!’. Little by little he ‘stole the hearts of the men of Israel’ (2 Sam 15:13). He also convinced David’s counsellor to betray his king and master and to come to his side. “Someone told David: “Ahithophel, your counsellor, is among the conspirators with Absalom.” And David said, “O Lord, I pray, turn the counsel of Ahithophel into foolishness!” (2Sam 15:31).

King David ran away from the palace, weeping and barefoot, ‘to give chance’ to his son to be king, if that was the will of God. But it was not! Absalom’s pride and inordinate ambition blinded him to danger. He became foolishly bold. He entered battles he should not have fought. He understimaed his ‘old’ father, who still had the heart of a lion. He lost the battle against the king and started running on a donkey to save his life. His beautiful hair that all men admired hooked him on the branches of a large old oak tree. The murderer of his brother, the thief of men’s hearts, the adulterer and the betrayer of King David, found his end hanging on a tree.

What a tragic end to a young man who had everything to give him a great future! Absalom of old is dead. But his spirit is still doing damage in the churches. If you have been influenced by this evil spirit you need to pray. You may need deliverance. Touch your chest and see if your heart is still there. For the spirit of Abslaom steals emotions. You may discover that even if you desire to love somebody you will not be able to do it. This is not normal! It is a spiritual ‘heart attack’. That is why many marriages are loveless and many relationships are spiritually dry. May his short and sad life be a warning to all who desire to manipulate God’s presence for their selfish ends!

Let’s pray: ‘Dear Heavenly Father, I pray that if in any way my spirit and my emotions have been damaged or polluted by the evil spirit of Absalom, You heal my heart and deliver my soul. I command the evil spirits of Absalom, of pride, foolishness, manipulation, religion, selfish ambition, stealing, anger, bitterness, political adultery and untimely death to leave me and go away in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth! Taking the sword of the Spirit I destroy every emotional or spiritual connection I have made in the past with this wicked demon! In the name of Jesus! Holy Spirit please fill me afresh I pray! Father God I bow before You! I worship You! In Jesus name I pray! Amen!

AMAZING GRACE – AMAZING FAITH

‘Then Jesus answered and said to her, ‘O woman, great is your faith! Let it be to you as you desire’. And her daughter was healed from that very hour’ (Mt 15:28)

This is Sunday morning. My husband and I, with some brethren, have traveled for a needed vacation. We are far from the place of ministry routine. But the Holy Spirit is here with us. This morning, during my quiet time, I received strength and encouragement thru the story of the Gentile woman who was in great need because her daughter was possessed by demons (Mt 15:21-28).

In this story we see the Lord in a very different light than the way we are used to see Him. Jesus is usually quick to help any needy person. He never sent away any one who was sick or rejected by men. He had compassion on needy people. Jesus did not break a bruised weak reed that cannot stand. He did not snuff out a smoldering dying wick in the oil lamp but He repaired it so that it can shine again. That is why all the nations put their hope in His name (Mt 12:20, 21). But here we see Jesus acting so strangely according to our understanding of Him. He seems cold towards the plight of a needy woman. It seems that He discriminates her based on her faith and nationality. Is this the Jesus that we know? Let’s be careful that we do not worship an imaginary ‘better than real’ Master! Let Jesus be Jesus! Do not worship ‘another Jesus’ that looks better than the real one! Let’s humble ourselves and accept Jesus as He is so that we will not be ‘offended’ by Him, by His words and deeds that we may find unacceptable to our religious fleshy ideas of Him (Mt 11:6)!

This is the background of the story. Jesus miraculously fed the multitudes and did not tell them to wash their hands before eating. The Pharisees were particular about the laws of ceremonial washing. In their minds, no man should receive a miracle except that miracle passes thru their religious approval. They criticized Jesus for breaking the religious rules to help the needy people. Jesus rebuked them sharply calling them ‘blind leaders of the blind’ (Mt 15:14). As a Man Jesus was thirsty and tired. It seems that He became tired by the wickedness and rejection of the religious leaders and took His disciples to a distant place where they can all rest. He left His public ministry in Israel and went to the region of Tyre and Sidon for a little ‘vacation’. This is another good lesson we must learn from our Lord. From time to time, we must leave the routine and the demands of people and just go away by ourselves. Worship is good with the congregation. We should not ‘forsake’ the assembly. But sometimes we need to be alone with Jesus! Another lesson is this: even Jesus has ‘needs’! The Holy Spirit has ‘needs’ that we know nothing about! Doctor Jesus needs to rest from the demands of His medical or religious ‘practice’. As a doctor myself, I understand that it is very hard for the patients to have compassion on a tired Doctor. But the doctor is a human being too and the patients need to learn to respect that. The patients should never control their doctor with their needs, they should never overcrowd their Helper with impatient demands! Men in need should pray and wait patiently until the King comes out of His resting holy separate chamber. Patience and faith is required of us all!

This woman heard of Jesus, that He can heal and deliver everyone who had faith in Him. She had a daughter who was demon possessed. She was seeking help that only Jesus could offer. Jesus was ‘hiding’ in a house in that area ‘yet He could not keep His presence secret’ (Mk 7:24). Lesson: the presence of God the Holy Spirit is everywhere, even in non religious ‘pagan’ places. If you have faith in God, you pray and He will answer you anywhere; in a ship floating on the ocean, in a plane flying in the air or even when crying underground in a forgotten coal mine. Faith in Jesus will ‘locate’ Him everywhere! That is faith!

In this story Jesus seems to reject this woman’s request for help. There are three things that Jesus does here that we find hard to believe. The first is that Jesus ‘does not answer her a word’. The Word did not give out a word! Jesus kept silent only when He was on trial before Herod. But He was never silent before a needy person. But here, Jesus gives this woman a cold silence ‘answer’ to her prayers. Question: can you accept this cold silence from God and still have faith in Him? Will you continue to pray without grumbling that God is ignoring you? Then you are making progress on the path of an expected miracle!

The second thing Jesus does is to ‘discriminate’ this woman. The disciples were probably told by Jesus to let Him rest a bit, to protect His privacy. But this woman comes and cries aloud disturbing the peace. They tried to send her away but she refuses to go. Against their wishes, they now have to ‘disturb’ Jesus too by joining in her requests. They advise Jesus to grant her desires so that they can all rest. But Jesus refuses to be manipulated by all men, even by His disciples. He still keeps on the path He decided to walk on. He continues to delay the answer. Lesson: are you able like Jesus to keep calm under the provocation of demands from men? Or do you answer men just so that they can leave you and your Jesus alone? Do you compromise your conscience fir the sake of peace? Men should never control your emotions or your account with their needs. Do everything lead by the Holy Spirit, even when the Holy Spirit says ‘ignore them for now’! Do not be impatient even when helping men! Learn from Jesus how to behave in the presence of stressful demands from men!

To the credit of this woman she does not take offense with any of the ‘negative’ strategies of the Master. She calls Jesus ‘Lord’ each time she addresses Him. She does not lower her respect for Him. Her worship during difficult times continues uninterrupted. This is called ‘great faith’ and it is commended by Jesus! Lesson: are you able to continue honoring Jesus thru worshiping Him in Spirit and in truth, no matter your ‘urgent needs’? Then you are walking on the Royal holy way of the Cross! Your prayers shall be answered, sooner or later!

Then Jesus calls this woman ‘a dog’. But she does not flinch. She does not draw back from that position of humble faith! In fact she accepts the word of rebuke as a blessing. She said ‘yes Lord, I am a dog. You created dogs too. I am a hungry dog under the table of Your children. I am waiting for some crumbs of mercy falling from their mouth. That is good for me. If I am healed as a dog or as a human, it does not matter. But let Your mercy reach me too’. Lesson: be careful that your opinion about Jesus is not influenced by people’s doubt. Go back to the Word of God and study it! Your life, your thoughts, your emotions and your choices must be ruled by the Word of God! Walking by faith will lead you on paths away from your family and friends’ opinions! Lesson: follow the Holy Spirit and you will arrive at your miracle! If Jesus ‘insults’ you receive that word as the ‘appetizer’ to your miracle! Delay is not denial!

Finally, Jesus removes His mask of coldness, for it was indeed a mask. Behind the Lord’s ‘rejection and disrespect’ His heart of compassion was exposed once again. After the storm of cold words and cold shoulder approach, the rainbow of compassion was displayed on the worshippers’ tears wet face! The daughter was healed and the woman was commended by the Lord. ‘Woman, great is your faith!’ May these words fall on your ears too! May God answer you for His glory and for your good! Happy Sunday to you all! God bless you!

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DEEP CALLS UNTO DEEP

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‘Deep calls unto deep
In the roar of Your waterfalls
All Your waves and breakers
Have swept over me.
By day, the Lord directs His love
At night, His song is with me;
A prayer to the God of my life’
(Ps 42:7,8)

Since I became a Christian and I read these words in the Bible: ‘Deep calls into deep…’ I always imagine the great Niagara Falls. Yesterday my husband and I had the privilege to see this mighty waterfall with our eyes. The sound of the waterfall covers all other little voices. Just to see and hear this beautiful fall I am reminded that God is indeed great!

This is some info I gathered about it. Six million of cubic feet of water fall over the edge every minute. You hear the sound from far away. Millions of people travel long distances just to watch this natural wonder. This land belonged to the Native Indians. The word ‘Niagara’ in their language means ‘the neck’. The way they saw it is that this waterfall is the narrow but vital connection between this Body of land and God, who is the Head above all. It is easy to see why they connected this waterfall with God who created it. It is indeed mighty and beautiful. Some time ago men decided to harness its power by building an electrical dam up the river. Because of that the flow of the waterfall reduced to a trickle. But men who love God and nature fought against it and after a long battle they won. The dams where minimized so that Niagara Falls will display once more its might and beauty in all of its fullness. It is illegal to jump over Niagara Gall. Some reckless men called ‘daredevils’, from time to time, run over the obstacles and jump over the water fall. Very few survive. Many die trying to prove they are bold. But the truth is that only a fool will try to tame this force of nature.

To me, this is a great spiritual lesson. Men should never ‘use’ the free anointing of the Holy Spirit for their own benefit. The Holy Spirit should move freely and should manifest His power in His church. It is a pity that many congregations have ‘drained’ the flow of the anointing by ‘over using it’ for men’s benefit. To satisfy men’s fleshly needs, they grieved the Holy Spirit. That is why the ministry of praise and worship in many Churches is now just a trickle. It is dangerous to oppose the anointing of the Holy Spirit! Fear God!

As God created the mighty Niagara Falls, so He desires to receive all of our love from our hearts, in a worship that is full and free. God The Father seeks worshippers who should worship Him in Spirit and in truth. God’s best stirs our best. His deep desires ignites the deepest longing in us. Let us leave the superficial shores of mediocrity, of church entertainment and superficial manipulated religion displayed for the greedy fame of men. Let us dig deep into the mystery of the Cross, to see our Savior hanging there, between heaven and earth, where His heart was broken for the sins of men, when His Blood poured out to forgive, to cleanse and to renew lives.

Like Niagara Falls, the Cross is ‘the neck’ connecting heaven and earth. Like Niagara Falls, the grace of God flows freely and is never failing. In the night, God directs His love towards His children. God’s song is with me. Like the steam rising and surrounding the Niagara Falls my prayers shall go up to God. His answers will come down in a awesome overflow! Like Niagara Falls, the Holy Spirit released at Pentecost has flooded the earth and our hearts forever. May our worship go deeper and higher like never before!

As for me, I bow this evening before God once more. My deep calls unto His deep… ‘May we never lose our wonder’… My heart can never be idle… I can never be tired to worship my God… the worship must continue! In Jesus’ name!

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GIVE ELLA HER BISCUITS!

This is a little story. A girl Ella, had a packet of biscuits in her hands. Two boys, John and James come and each take a biscuit from her hand by force. Somebody sees them and tells them that this is stealing, that they should go and apologize to her. John puts the biscuit in his mouth and goes to Ella and says ‘Sorry’. But James returns the biscuit and he too says ‘Sorry’. Who did the right thing? Of course it is James. (In the picture there is a pretty little girl that attends our church with her parents)
 
Restitution it means to return something back to the rightful owner. It also means to give something, an equivalent for an injury. God punishes sin and restores what was lost!
 
“But Zacchaeus stood up and said to the Lord, ‘Look, Lord! Here and now I give half of my possessions to the poor, and if I have cheated anybody out of anything, I will pay back four times the amount.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Today salvation has come to this house, because this man, too, is a son of Abraham. For the Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost’” (Lk 19:8-10)
 
From Zacchaeus’s words, we gather that 1) he had been guilty of defrauding people, 2) he was remorseful over his past actions, and 3) he was committed to making restitution. From Jesus’ words, we understand that 1) Zacchaeus was saved that day and his sin was forgiven, and 2) the evidence of his salvation was both his public confession (see Romans 10:10) and his relinquishing of all ill-gotten gains. Zacchaeus repented, and his sincerity was evident in his immediate desire to make restitution. Here was a man who was penitent and contrite, and the proof of his conversion to Christ was his resolve to atone, as much as possible, for past sins.
 
The same holds true for anyone who truly knows Christ today. Genuine repentance leads to a desire to redress wrongs. When someone becomes a Christian, he will have a desire born of deep conviction to do good, and that includes making restoration whenever possible. The idea of “whenever possible” is crucially important to remember. There are some crimes and sins for which there is no adequate restitution. In such instances, a Christian should make some form of restitution that demonstrates repentance, but at the same time, does not need to feel guilty about the inability to make full restitution. Restitution is to be a result of our salvation—it is not a requirement for salvation.
 
Finally, this is the most important question you must answer: “Are you saved? Are you born again? Are you a child of God? Are you a child of Light? Did you surrender your life to the Lord Jesus Christ? Is Jesus Christ your Savior and your Lord?”
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THE STORY OF FAITH 

 

“By faith Abraham OBEYED when he was called to go out to the place which he would receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going…By faith Sarah herself also RECEIVED STRENGTH TO CONCEIVE SEED and she bore a child when she was past the age, because she judged Him faithful who had promised… By faith Abraham, when he was tested, OFFERED UP ISAAC, and he who had received the promises offered up his only begotten son… concluding that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead” (Heb 11:8, 11, 17, 19)

Faith is a great subject. It should interest all believers, young or old. Many people have needs. Many pray for miracles. Not many boast of a good testimony. Faith is the key the opens the door of miracles and the cup that holds the God’s grace. Child of God, God does not need your money, but He surely expects that you exercise faith in Him, as God. He will reward you if you believe! What does faith look like?
*Faith obediently follows the call of God no matter where He leads…
*Faith expects and receives strength for a miracle, even in the face of the greatest obstacles
*Faith is willing to give back to God that which is the dearest; expecting that God will reward the sacrifice of faith

The story of Abraham, the man of faith is always an inspiration. Abraham and Sarah’s testimony is wonderful. How can we describe faith? ‘Abraham obeyed God’. This means that he left his family and friends following God. He traveled many miles and settled in the Promise Land. When did his faith start? With the first step! He traveled on foot or on camels. He had no map or GPS. He lived as a temporary citizen and not as a permanent citizen. Faith is obedient following! For Abraham faith means tents and not big buildings. His eyes were on the eternal and not on the temporary. May you answer the call of God and follow wherever He leads you! In Jesus’ name!

Faith is consistent in expecting a miracle. Faith believes that the promised things in the future are real in the present. Abraham and Sarah trusted God in their hearts for the miracle child. But there are dangers to faith: fear, doubt and impatience (these produced Ishmael). You need to fight to protect your faith. Be jealous for the faith blooming in the desert of your soul. It is worth more than silver of gold! Sarah received strength to receive seed. This is how Isaac, their promised son, was conceived and born. Faith is a family thing. May it be so in your family, in Jesus’ name!

Finally, God tries Abraham’s faith. By faith he offers Isaac of the altar. God gave him Isaac. Now God demands Isaac. God demands back the answer to the promise. This time, without any grumbling, doubt or fear, Abraham obeyed God. He places Isaac on the altar. He raises the knife… But God intervenes and provides the replacement. Abraham believed in the resurrection. This is faith! He has never seen a resurrection before. But faith believes in God even when it does not see or cannot imagine the solution to the problem. When he was waiting for Isaac to be conceived, Abraham was afraid and impatient. But now, as an old man, in giving, there is no fear! Only faith! You give God the best you have, and God will give you the best He has! This is faith! This is worship! May you give God your heart, and He will give you more than you can imagine! In Jesus name, amen!

This is a good story that describes faith. A Christian man was lost in the desert. He was dying of thirst. He prayed and the Holy Spirit directed him to an old house. In front of that house, there was a rusty water pump. He tried to pump it but no water came. He went inside the house and he saw a jug filled with water. He was happy and quickly, he wanted to drink it. Then he saw that on the jug, there was a note, saying: ‘Don’t drink it! Use this water to prime the pump. Water shall come thru the pump. Then fill the jug again before you leave for the benefit of the next traveler’. He was tempted to drink the water in the jug. But he resisted the natural urge. He obeyed the instructions. He poured the water in the pump, to prime it. Then he pumped again and again but nothing happened. The devil tempted him saying: ‘you could have drunk the water in the jug. You have wasted it. You will now die of thirst…’ He rejected the evil voice and continued pumping…Suddenly, fresh, clean water gushed in the desert!!!! This was the water of life that saved him. At last, leaving the old house, he obeyed the instructions and filled the old jug for the benefit of the next traveler. That traveler may be you or me… This is what faith looks like… This is the story of faith!

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