Tag Archives: God

3 Facts About Being a Child of God

What exactly is this new identity we have in Christ Jesus? Here are three things that happen when you become a child of God.

Written by Joy on 25/01/2015

Series: Weekly Devotional


 

“Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God.” John 1:12

 

Paul tells us; “Anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!” (2 Corinthians 5:17). So what exactly is this new identity we have in Christ Jesus? Here are three things that happen when you become a child of God.

You are Adopted by God

“You have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, “Abba! Father!” (Romans 8:15). When you become a child of God, you are adopted. You may not have a good human father, but God is a perfect Father. He loves you no matter what. Nothing you do will change God’s love for you (Romans 8:35-39). Sin can hurt your relationship with God, but even if you sin you are still God’s child. God’s forgiving love is shown in the parable of “The Prodigal Son.” (Luke 15:11-32).

You Inherit God’s Blessings

“Now if we are children, then we are heirs – heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ…” (Romans 8:17). Becoming an heir means you’ll inherit God’s great riches and blessings. Jesus promised that he would secure a place for us in his Father’s House (John 14:2-3). As adopted children, he has chosen us and given us all the blessings of heaven (Ephesians 1:3,11). He has revealed his plans to us and enabled us to be heirs of His Kingdom.

You Begin to Reflect God’s Image

Children are often a reflection of their parents, in looks and in learned behavior. Since we are children of God, our Heavenly Father is the perfect role model. “Therefore, be imitators of God, as dearly loved children…..For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light…” (Ephesians 5:18-10). As a Christian, you represent the family of God. When you become a child of God, you’ll begin to reflect God’s image. You can give others an impression of God by your actions and words.

When you fully understand God’s love for you as His child, you will have power to live a life that pleases Him. Are you ready to become a child of God? Click here to learn how to join God’s family.


Pray this week:

to fully understand your position as God’s child.


What new truth did you learn about being God's child, and how did this encourage you?

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member

Relating to God the Father Son and Holy Spirit

Who are you in relation to each person of the Trinity?

Written by GodLife on 14/02/2016

Series: Weekly Devotional

Tags: ClosenessIdentityWorship


There are different kinds of spiritual gifts, but the same Spirit is the source of them all. There are different kinds of service, but we serve the same Lord. God works in different ways, but it is the same God who does the work in all of us.

1 Corinthians 12:4-6

If you have come to trust Jesus as your own Savior, you are in a relationship with God that can't be broken. He's beyond what we can imagine. He lives forever and does not change. Big as He is, He is also personal. He is near to us. He created a great variety of people. And He wants us to be close to Him. In a way, variety exists in His own nature. Father, Son and Holy Spirit have a relationship with each other. They also have perfect unity. God teaches us to relate to Him in lots of ways. Learn how biblical worship of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit affects how we understand ourselves.

In relation to the Father

When I think of the Father, I remember His right to direct me. Because of what Jesus did, God is also my adoptive Father. He loved me so much, He gave His Son to keep me from perishing. (John 3:161:12Galatians 3:26)

To the Father, I am a beloved son worth recovering. For a picture of this, see the story of the Prodigal Son. (Luke 15:11-32)

In relation to the Son

When I think of the Son of God, I remember I’m meant to look like Jesus. (Romans 8:28-29)

To Jesus, I am His sheep (John 10:27-30), and no one is able to snatch me from His hand. For a picture of this, read about the Good Shepherd Who gave His life for me. (John 10:11-16) He even says I am His friend. (John 15:14) He is unashamed to call me His brother. (Hebrews 2:11-18)

In relation to the Holy Spirit

When I think of the Holy Spirit, I remember that He is a Helper to me as I desire and serve God. (John 14:16-17) He makes up for my limitations. And His constant presence in my life is a taste of what I will eventually fully inherit. (Ephesians 1:142 Corinthians 1:22)

To the Spirit, I am His home. Because God Himself lives in me, I am home base for his earthly ministry. Read 1 Corinthians 6:19 for an explanation of this: “Don’t you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself” (1 Corinthians 6:19) As God floods my heart with His love, (Romans 5:5) my life produces His fruit in response. (Galatians 5:22-23)


Pray this week:

Father God, please show me your will and make my life count for eternity. Lord Jesus, because you live, I live also. Make me over into your most holy image. Holy Spirit, give me the desire and the ability to glorify Jesus. It’s in His name that I pray, AMEN.


When you think of God, is He both infinite and personal to you?

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member

No atheist ever could show prove of what they are assuming or believing

No atheist ever could show prove of what they are assuming or believing. And to assume is like you don't know and that is very bad cause some atheist are educated. Which scares me.

 

Pseudo-science anticipated (1 Timothy 6:20). The theory of evolution contradicts the observable evidence. The Bible warned us in advance that there would be those who would profess: “profane and idle babblings and contradictions of what is falsely called knowledge (science).” True science agrees with the Creator’s Word.

 

Human conscience understood (Romans 2:14-15). The Bible reveals that God has impressed His moral law onto every human heart. Con means with and science means knowledge. We know it is wrong to murder, lie, steal, etc. Only the Bible explains that each human has a God-given knowledge of right and wrong.

 

Love explained (Matthew 22:37-40; 1 John 4:7-12). Evolution cannot explain love. Yet, God’s Word reveals that the very purpose of our existence is to know and love God and our fellow man. God is love, and we were created in His image to reflect His love.

 

The cause of suffering revealed (Genesis 3; Isaiah 24:5-6). The earth is subject to misery, which appears at odds with our wonderfully designed universe. However, the Bible, not evolution, explains the origin of suffering. When mankind rebelled against God, the curse resulted – introducing affliction, pain and death into the world.

 

The Bible is inspired by the Creator. Therefore it is no surprise that life’s ultimate questions are answered within its pages. The Bible reveals the purpose of our existence. Scripture alone explains where our conscience came from. And no other source explains the root cause of death. Seeing that all die, wouldn’t it be wise to search for the remedy in the only book that proves it was inspired by God? The Bible offers the only remedy for sin, suffering, and death. God’s Word presents the only perfect, sinless Savior – one who died for our sins and rose from the dead. Jesus is the Creator (John 1; Colossians 1). He said “I and My Father are one” (John 10:30). He said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me” (John 14:6). And He promises His followers: “I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish” (John 10:28). Your eternal destiny will be determined by your choice. There is only one provision for sin. Jesus died in your place. Only by faith in Christ’s finished work will you be saved. This is God’s free gift offered to all. Please do not let pride, religion, opinions, or love for sin separate you from God. No sin is worth an eternity in hell. Please heed Jesus’ words – “Repent, and believe in the gospel” (Mark 1:15). If you do, you will live in heaven with our awesome Creator forever!

 

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member

How to Conquer Stress Fear and Anxiety

 

God speaks about fear and anxiety in plain terms in the Bible.

Written by Gary Fleetwood on 01/01/2019
Series: Weekly Devotional
Tags: Anxiety, Fear, God, Stress, Trust
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Philippians 4:6-7
In Matthew 14:22-32, the disciples found themselves in a very stressful situation. They were in a small boat in the middle of the sea when a great wind came up, making their boat toss back and forth. Many of these disciples were fishermen, so they knew the dangers of the storms on the sea very well. Under their circumstances, most likely they felt that they may not make it through the storm alive. However, what is often missed in this story is that in verse 22 it says that Jesus “…made the disciples get into the boat and go before him to the other side.”  Jesus knew full well what was going to happen to the disciples on the Sea of Galilee, so this could actually be called a “spiritual test.”  It should never surprise a believer that God will often test their faith in Him by placing them in a very stressful or uncomfortable situation.

Why can we say that stressful moments should not cause us to be afraid or anxious?
God is most often the author of what happens in our life. He is always wanting to do something in us so that he can do something through us, and many times He is more than willing to place us in a situation that we did not create and one that we cannot control.  So, in the midst of those kinds of difficulties, it is such an important lesson to learn that God controls all things and that there is nothing that He cannot control. He is never caught by surprise by what happens to someone, and that is why Paul could so confidently say in Romans 8:28, "And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose."

No matter what may happen to us as believers, what the Scriptures teach is that if we truly are trusting God, we will find that even the anxious and stressful moments are things that He allows to happen to draw us closer to Him. Sometimes we become so distracted with other things that we lose focus on what is eternally important, so God often times raises up very difficult and trying circumstances to help us see more clearly what His greater purposes are for our life.

So, what is God really saying when He says that we do not need to be anxious about anything?
The utterly amazing part of Philippians 4:6-7 is when Paul says, “Do not be anxious about anything.” Our normal behavior is to constantly worry about things that in the big picture really have a very minor impact in our lives, making it difficult to stay focused and ignore the eternal issues that will define our eternity. When I read a statement like “Do not be anxious about anything,” I immediately realize that God is staking His reputation on this statement. He is an all-powerful, all-knowing, and compassionate God, that He simply does not want us to somehow miss the reality of His control over whatever may happen in our lives. For someone who simply created the heavens and the earth with just a word, taking care of any problem or difficulty we may have is simply no big deal.

This is what is so amazing about these verses because when fully understand they are God’s way of saying that we can cast our every care on Him no matter what our stressful circumstances may be saying to us.  1 Peter 5:6-7 explains it this way:

Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time He may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because He cares for you.

Not long ago, the nuclear plant where my oldest son had worked for seven years was shut down. Everyone that worked there lost their job – 5,000 people in one day without any notice. My son and his family were traveling home at the time when he received the phone call and his wife called us to let us know. In that process, she made the remarkable statement that God causes all things to work together for good for those who love Him. They never became anxious about what my son losing his job was going to do to their life, but they sincerely found that trusting God in the middle of an outwardly stressful reality was really not difficult. To them, it just seemed to be the most natural thing to trust in God. 

If we can trust Him completely with our eternity, then surely we can trust Him with our present circumstances.

The Bible never promises believers that life will be easy and it never promises that there will be no problems.  However, what it does promise is that when life is difficult and when there are very real problems affecting our life that God has all of the right answers and all of the resources to see us through those stressful moments in our life.  It is His way of helping us to trust Him.

Pray this week:
“Father, I come to you seeking the grace that I know I will need for the difficult times in my life that will challenge both my faith and my confidence in You.  You are a great God and I seek your grace for the strength, courage, and wisdom that I need to trust you fully with my life.”

If someone else were to examine my life when life creates very anxious moments for me, would they be able to tell someone else that I was truly trusting God in the midst of those difficult times?

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member

God is Holy God is Love

Can God be both Holy and loving?

Written by Joy on 17/01/2016

Series: Weekly Devotional

Tags: GodHolinessLove


Do idols belong in the temple of God? We are the temple of the living God, as God himself says, ‘I will live with these people and walk among them. I will be their God, and they will be my people.’ The Lord also says, ‘Leave them and stay away! Don’t touch anything that isn’t clean. Then I will welcome you and be your Father. You will be my sons and my daughters, as surely as I am God, the All-Powerful.’

2 Corinthians 6:16-18

Many say God’s holiness makes him judgmental, demanding a very high moral standard. Others say if God is loving, then he won’t condemn anyone but all will go to Heaven. Are God’s holiness and love opposite extremes?

God’s Holiness

“This is the message we heard from Jesus and now declare to you: God is light, and there is no darkness in him at all.” (1 John 1:5).

Holiness (pictured here as light) is God’s nature. It unifies all his other characteristics. He is perfectly good, perfectly righteous, perfectly merciful, perfectly faithful, etc. All of his actions are determined by this purity that sets him apart from all others. “By those who come near Me I must be regarded as holy; And before all the people I must be glorified.” (Leviticus 10:3)

"Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God almighty. The whole earth is filled with his glory!” (Isaiah 6:3)

God’s Purity

It is in the presence of God’s pure, holy light that we become aware of our sin. Isaiah said, “I am doomed, for I am a sinful man. I have filthy lips…” (Isaiah 6:5) Even our good deeds are filthy compared to the purity of God’s holiness. (Isaiah 64:6Romans 3:23) God does not judge sin out of cruelty: “…His eyes are too pure to look on evil or tolerate wrongdoing.” (Habakkuk 1:13) Yet, the holy mercy and love of God provided a way for Isaiah to be purified (Isaiah 6:6-7) and he does the same for us.

God’s Holy Love

“Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:7-8).

Selfish motives and wrong thinking limit human love. Real love doesn’t tolerate selfish, hurtful behavior. God is pure love! (1John 4:10,161 Corinthians 13:4-7) He desires holiness for his children: He wants us to be completely set apart for Him. What parent does not wish for a “perfect” life for their child? We lack the understanding and power to give that, but God does not. God wants to give us a new life, free from sin. (2 Corinthians 5:17-21)

God’s holiness does not limit or oppose his love; it defines it! “Such love has no fear, because perfect love expels all fear. If we are afraid, it is for fear of punishment, and this shows that we have not fully experienced his perfect love.” (1 John 4:18) Are you experiencing this perfect, holy love?


Pray this week:

God, please help me experience the reality of your Holiness and understand my need for your Perfect Love. Please purify me.


How can I, a constant sinner, be accepted by a Holy, perfect God?

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member

The Idolatry of People-Pleasing

What if I'm more afraid to displease important people than God?

Written by GodLife on 13/09/2016
Series: Weekly Devotional
Tags: Idolatry, Influence, Relationships, Submission
So now run away to your place. I said I would give you much honor, but the Lord has kept you from honor.

Numbers 24:11
A story in the Bible's book of Numbers shows how dangerous the desire to “please men” can be (Colossians 3:22). This story is mentioned a lot in the Bible. Each mention comes with a warning.

God wants us to take note: what can this story teach us about ourselves?

1. It is Dangerous To Look For God’s Permission And Not His Approval
Fearing Israel, King Balak sent for the prophet Balaam. God told Balaam not to go. King Balak persisted, so Balaam asked God again.

God seemed persuaded: he gave Balaam permission to go. On his journey, the donkey he was riding was blocked by an angel with a drawn sword. The donkey refused to keep going, angering Balaam so much that he beat the animal. Before he could kill her, God allowed the donkey to speak, warning him of the danger. God then opened Balaam’s eyes to see the angel standing ready to kill him!

Just as the donkey’s actions went against Balaam’s plan for her, Balaam himself had nearly been killed for resisting God. But Balaam presses again, and finds the permission, (not the approval), of God.

2. There is Danger in Getting Around God’s Purposes
Accompanying the messengers back to Midian, Balaam at first blesses Israel instead of cursing them. God had warned him to do only as he was told. (Numbers 22:20) Balak is furious. Later we’re told (Numbers 31:16) that Balaam taught the Midianite women to seduce the Israelite men into idolatry. (Numbers 25:1-3) Terrified by Balak, Balaam cunningly thought of a way to curse the Israelites without speaking the curse himself, still a violation of God's instructions.

3. The Outcome of the Fear of Man
Balaam’s conduct shows perversion in a believer's walk:

The “way of Balaam” (2 Peter 2:15) — “against” God. (Numbers 22:32) If it was to his advantage, Balaam didn’t fear taking God's mercy for granted. In his heart, he said, “God has said ‘no’ to this–maybe there's a way I can do it anyway.”
The “error of Balaam” (Jude 11) — failing to learn the lesson of the encounter. Balaam was physically stopped and even threatened.
The “doctrine of Balaam” (Revelation 2:14) — passing this attitude along. Balaam was willing to try to spoil the purpose of God.

Presumption leads to the error of trying to get around God’s will. This means we manipulate, teach or become a bad example, leading others down the same corrupt path. Balaam may have said the Lord was his God. But he had idolatry in his life all along: respect of human favor over God’s. How much will God allow if we presume upon His grace? Balaam’s idolatry led him to serve God’s enemies, curse himself (Numbers 23:9) and demonstrate God’s denial of his prayers (Numbers 23:10) in the manner of his death. (Numbers 31:8)

Pray this week:
Father, I surrender myself to you again. I want your way to prevail in my life. Protect me from presumptuous sin.

How can you know God’s good, pleasing and perfect will for your life?

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member

Ways God Meets Your Needs

Jesus promises to meet your needs

Written by Ruth on 11/12/2018

Series: Weekly Devotional

Tags: NeedFaithContentmentFaithfulness


Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.

Matthew 6:33

Do you trust God to meet your needs and direct your life His way, or demand them your way?

Today, let’s talk about a Bible character named Elizabeth as an example of how God meets our needs. 

Elizabeth's circumstances

Luke 1:5 – In the days of Herod, king of Judea, there was a priest named Zechariah, of the division of Abijah. And he had a wife from the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elizabeth.

Luke 1:7 – But they had no child, because Elizabeth was barren, and both were advanced in years. 

Elizabeth had a need which had consequences for her marriage as well as for her connection with other people around her – she could not have children. She had probably given up on this dream since she was now old enough that having a child was no longer possible. Yet, her deep need remained in her heart. While the Bible does not tell us this, I am sure she wept with her husband many times over this lack in their family.

When you have a need, what do you do about it? What do you think would happen if you would ask and trust Jesus to know and solve your need His way?

Elizabeth’s Faith

Luke 1:13 – But the angel said to him, “Do not be afraid, Zechariah, for your prayer has been heard, and your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you shall call his name John. 

Luke 1:24 – After these days his wife Elizabeth conceived, and for five months she kept herself hidden…

When her husband returned home from his time of serving in the temple, Elizabeth must have been afraid because of the change in him – he could not speak. But he must have written God’s promise to him and her, because we know she knew all about what the angel had said to him.

Then it happened – she was pregnant! She was going to have a baby even when it was impossible because of her age. Did she hide herself because she did not want to be the subject of gossip in her town? How do you hide what Jesus is doing in your life?

Elizabeth’s Happiness

Luke 1:36 – And behold, your relative Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son, and this is the sixth month with her who was called barren. 

Luke 1:39-41 – In those days Mary arose and went with haste into the hill country, to a town in Judah, and she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth. And when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, the baby leaped in her womb. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit, 

When Mary, a young woman who was also pregnant by a miracle, came to visit Elizabeth, however, Elizabeth began to rejoice in the miracle God had given her. But an interesting thing to see here is that Elizabeth was not jealous of Mary! Elizabeth did not want the honor Mary had received, she just remained glad of her own miracle.

When something good happens to you, and then you see something better happen to someone else, how do you respond to either God or the other person?

Elizabeth’s Faithfulness

Luke 1:57 – Now the time came for Elizabeth to give birth, and she bore a son. 

Luke 1:58-62 – And her neighbors and relatives heard that the Lord had shown great mercy to her, and they rejoiced with her. And on the eighth day they came to circumcise the child. And they would have called him Zechariah after his father, but [Elizabeth] answered, “No; he shall be called John.” And they said to her, “None of your relatives is called by this name.” 

Elizabeth followed God’s plan for her child even though everyone around her urged her to do what tradition expected. Naming the child should have followed their rules, but God had said they should follow His plan instead.


Pray this week:

Lord Jesus, help me to be faithful to Your will for my life, no matter how impossible it seems, or how much others urge me to follow a different path.


When God asks you to do something that does not follow the traditions or plans others around you expect, how do you choose?
 

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member

What is a Cult? How to tell the false from the true

 

How to tell the false from the true

 

Written by Dan Lee on 11/07/2017

Series: Weekly Devotional

Tags: Church, Cults, Discernment

For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths.

 

2 Timothy 4:3-4

Do you remember the “People’s Temple”? Started in Indianapolis in 1955 by the Reverend Jim Jones, it moved to San Francisco in 1971. The headquarters was just a few miles from my house, and mere blocks from the hospital where I was born. As a teenager I often rode the bus right past it.

 

In 1974, the People’s Temple established a settlement in Guyana, South America. It promised a tropical paradise, free from the wickedness of the outside world.

 

By 1978, the population of Jonestown, as it was called, had grown to over 900. And in November of that year, the residents of Jonestown were forced at gunpoint to drink poison. Nine-hundred and eighteen people died that day, the largest deliberate taking of American lives before September 11, 2001.

 

The people tasked with cleaning up found a shocking discovery: Not a single Bible was found in Jonestown. This “church” turned out to be one of history’s most dangerous cults.

 

As a follower of Jesus, you need to be regularly involved in a church, or local fellowship of believers — “not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more, as you see the Day drawing near.” (Hebrews 10:25)

 

But you must choose your church carefully, avoiding false teachers, and making sure you don’t end up in a cult. Here are some characteristics of a cult, or a church or group that has gone the wrong path:

 

Authority Other than the Bible

Sometimes it is writings, such as Mormonism’s The Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants and The Pearl of Great Price. Often it is the teaching of an individual, such as Charles Taze Russell, founder of the Jehovah’s Witnesses, who claimed that historic beliefs of the church were wrong (the Trinity and the deity of Christ).

 

The Jehovah’s Witnesses took this a step farther with their New World translation of the Bible, which is “the first intentional, systematic effort at producing a complete version of the Bible that is edited and revised for the specific purpose of agreeing with a group's doctrine.” (gotquestions.org)

 

Additional Revelation

Many cults are based on new discoveries or so-called revelations. For example, Joseph Smith’s founding of the Mormon church was based, he claimed, on his discovery of golden tablets. Other cult leaders simply declare that they have received direct revelations from God, which cannot be proven or disproven.

 

Paul warned in his very first epistle about those who departed from the established truth of the gospel: “But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed.” (Galatians 1:8)

 

The Mormons make their stand very clear: “We do not believe the Bible to be inerrant, complete or the final word of God.” (From an address to the Harvard Divinity School in March 2001 by Robert L. Millet, former dean of religious education at Brigham Young University.)

 

Incorrect view of Jesus

Both the Jehovah’s Witnesses and Mormons deny the full divinity of Jesus. They cite isolated passages to prove their point, rather than looking at the totality of teaching about the Lord. They ignore passages that show the eternal nature of Christ, such as John 10:30, “I and the Father are one” or John 17:5: “And now, Father, glorify me in your own presence with the glory that I had with you before the world existed.” Also, Hebrews 1:3 says of Jesus, “He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power.”

 

Salvation by Works

Most cults do not teach that one is saved by faith alone in the finished work of Christ, but by following the rules and teachings of that particular group.

 

For instance, the Mormons add “obedience to the laws and ordinances of the gospel” to the requirements for salvation. But the Bible makes abundantly clear that works cannot save us: “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.” (Ephesians 2:8-9) Romans 4:5 says, “And to the one who does not work but believes in him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is counted as righteousness.” Also see Titus 3:5, Galatians 5:4.

 

Authoritarian Leadership and Excessive Control

If a church, or even a fellowship group, is led by someone who has complete rule, whose authority is never to be questioned, watch out! Pastors and elders are to lead gently and lovingly, “not domineering over those in your charge, but being examples to the flock.” (1 Peter 5:3)

 

Another warning sign is when group members are required to submit their daily lives to group control – to quit their jobs, or give all their money to the group. This was definitely true at the People’s Temple.

 

Other possible reasons for caution include:

 

Exclusivity / Denunciation of other groups – “Everyone else is wrong”

Secret rituals or doctrines

Bondage – you cannot leave, and if you do you are shunned.

 

Jeremiah 23:1-2 gives a dire warning to pastors who lead their people astray: “‘Woe to the shepherds who destroy and scatter the sheep of my pasture!’ declares the Lord. Therefore thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, concerning the shepherds who care for my people: ‘You have scattered my flock and have driven them away, and you have not attended to them. Behold, I will attend to you for your evil deeds, declares the Lord.’”

 

One of life’s most important decisions is choosing your church family. Ask Jesus, the Great Shepherd of the Sheep (Hebrews 13:20), to help you find a church and a shepherd who will be true to God’s word and lead you and help you “grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” (2 Peter 3:18).

 

Pray this week:

Lord, guide me by Your Holy Spirit to know when a church or group is one that I should participate in, or avoid as a cult. Lead me to a true Christian fellowship that honors and glorifies You, and where I will grow in my faith and witness for you.

 

Do you have doubts about the group you’re involved in? 

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member

What Are You Running From?

If God has shown us bad times ahead, it’s enough for me that He knows about them.

 

Written by Abide on 29/05/2018

Series: Weekly Devotional

Tags: Contentment, Depression, Jesus

Answer me quickly, O LORD! My spirit fails! Hide not your face from me, lest I be like those who go down to the pit.

 

Psalm 143:7

By Julie Thomas

 

My season of hopelessness began about six years ago. Quivering, gasping for breath, I felt the tingle from the cold night air against the sweat on my brow and the chill of the stone pavement beneath my bare feet. The stirring from the raging thoughts in my mind was coming to a calm. I had to stop running as my mind steered back to the reality of where I stood.  

    

The reflection from the street lamp at the base of which I stopped was bright enough for me to see most of my surroundings — enough to realize that I was alone and that it was sometime during the night hours. Soon enough, a passing cold draft also brought me to the realization that I did all that running without the needed clothing to keep the cold out.

 

I stopped long enough to recover my breath and turned around to retrace my steps. Retracing footsteps seemed simpler than retracing the mind’s steps. Retracing footsteps meant I would just have to run those steps back, albeit barefoot. The mind’s steps — those would hurt more than the cold, coarse sidewalk grazing against the soles of my feet. Muffled memory pulled me home, where I remembered leaving two babies and a husband, following a mental and emotional breakdown on my part. I have yet to recall what triggered the outburst. All I am able to recall is the harrowing fear that led the way for my sprinting out the door and into the night.  

 

I ran as fast as I could and as hard as I could. What was I running from? I did not know. My mind was not able to cooperate with the backdrop of my home and my family. Everything at home had begun to increasingly overwhelm my mind. I know today that the running was a means of escape from whatever was causing anguish to my mind. When my family found me and took me home, the anguish trailed home with me.

 

How long have you been running? The anguish and exhaustion from the running, has it ceased? Perhaps it hasn't. This was true for me during my spar with depression.  Running failed to get rid of the pain. The only one exhausted was me. … It was intensely painful to live inside of myself — with the depression. Can you relate to this feeling? Depression can do that to you. But know that no pain is without the knowledge of God. He hears. He sees. Just like He heard the many cries of anguish of King David in the Psalms.

 

Pray this week:

Do you have pain within you that seems unbearable? Join me in this prayer inspired by Psalm 143:4, 7     

 

Lord, depression has agonized me for a long time. It seems like there is no end in sight. Still…I believe that I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. I will walk in restoration. I will attain spiritual and moral resurrection that lifts me out from the depression. I release every hurt and every pain to you Lord! I embrace the fullness of Christ. I receive your healing Lord!    

 

Journal two words today: One that describes your emotions before spending time with God and another after you spend time with Him. Hold on to His hope as you breathe.

 

Are you battling depression? Do you have pain within you that seems unbearable?

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member

How much power does the Holy Spirit have? The Spirit has all the power of God because He is God

How much power does the Holy Spirit have? The Spirit has all the power of God because He is God.

WATCH THIS VIDEO:  https://youtu.be/7spkUy2WinM

How much power does the Holy Spirit have? The Spirit has all the power of God because He is God. The life-giving power of the Spirit is seen at creation. We are told in Genesis 1:2 that the “Spirit of God was moving over the surface of the waters" and that God said, "Let us make man in Our likeness" (Genesis 1:26), demonstrating the equality of the God and the Spirit. We receive the POWER of the Holy Spirit the moment we receive Christ. Romans 8:11 says, "But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you."

"Then he breathed on them and said, "Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive anyone’s sins, they are forgiven. If you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven." John 20:22-23

Power to Love and Witness
What kind of power does the Holy Spirit give? Paul tells us two important things. The Spirit gives us the power to love others as God loves us and to be witnesses for Jesus. Jesus said, “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.” (Acts 1:8).

"But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. And you will be my witnesses, telling people about me everywhere—in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth." Acts 1:8

Ask and Receive
Where do we begin to access this power? We begin by asking God to fill us with His Spirit and confessing areas where we have ignored God. Jesus said, "how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him?" (Luke 11:13). Ask the Holy Spirit today to help you love others as God does and be a great witness to Jesus in the world. You will begin to experience the abundant life God has for you as you do.

"After this prayer, the meeting place shook, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit. Then they preached the word of God with boldness." Acts 4:31

Can we witness to others without God's love in our hearts? Can we truly love others but not share Jesus with them? Do you have fears about witnessing? Talk to a caring Christian about them.

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member