DEBORAH: the Judge

Posted: April 26, 2019 in DEBORAH: the Judge

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Deborah: A Judge in Israel.

The role of women in the Bible.

Hidden

Often silent

Names not mentioned

They do amazing things, but are not much talked about or held up as a role model for everyone.

One woman in the Bible stands out.

She is instrumental in leading the Israelite nation.

DEBORAH

Gods people had many troubles. God sent judges to help them. The people were disobedient and God allowed them to suffer at the hands of enemies.

But GOD sent them Deborah to rule and judge the people in the power of the Spirit of God and in God’s wisdom.

Deborah ruled in the peoples secular and social needs and also their spiritual needs.

She is an unusual person in scripture, and some Christian groups down play her role and authority and say she wasn’t really a judge. Some people have an idea about God, and they interpret Scripture to fit their own selfish idea.

It is very clear in the Bible that Deborah was a judge.

Still, many leave her out and say she wasn’t really doing what the men did, but it is easy to see that that is really a kind of prejudice, and the idea some people have that women should not have been in that leading role. God thinks differently.

What was an OT judge?

Leader of the people as there was no king. The people were ruled by God, and the Judges were men and women set apart to rule and lead wisely, and give the people the messages from God as there was no written Word of God as yet.

Deborah was given this place.

She was a woman set apart to serve God and was filled with the Holy Spirit and the wisdom that only God can give.

Deborah told people how to be acceptable to God.

Everyone went to her. The men did not go somewhere else..!

Everyone listened.

Barak was the secular leader of the army.

Barak was also wise and he realized to was wise to listen to Deborah, and follow her lead.

Deborah told Barak what God wanted him to do. Barak was not grieved about that. He wanted to follow God’s commands, so he listened to Deborah.

Often in Christian circles, men are not happy to listen to a woman. They feel “embarrassed’ and some are full of pride and think that they can’t be told what to do by a mere woman.

This shows a bad attitude to women, and a very proud heart.

In Christian meetings the men are allowed to speak and if a woman says something, it causes a problem.

Barak was not that way.

Barak asked for Deborah to be around.

What made Deborah different?

She was set apart by God and for God. She also set herself apart and kept her life right and was obedient to God. She couldn’t speak for God, if her life was lazy and careless.

Deborah was able to speak for God because she loved God and knew Him for herself. She has a personal relationship with God.

This is the case for every Christian.

Deborah realized she didn’t need the money, stuff and goods of this life. All she needed and wanted was in the Lord her God. This is what set her apart. She trusted Him and all her life belonged to Him.

So….. I am not Deborah…

What does God mean to me?

Do I just want His help when things are difficult, but when I’m managing ok, I want to do whatever I like.?

Love? What does it mean to love God.?

What does it mean to love anyone?

Love, respect, listen to what they say…

How could Jesus have gone so far to forgive my sins.?

It’s hard to take in that kind of love.

Maybe we don’t feel we want that kind of commitment.

We want to be a bit free to do whatever we want…

I didn’t ask Jesus to die for me…

These responses show that we don’t really realise the seriousness of our sins, or the condemnation that hangs over us…

Jesus offers us a new life, complete forgiveness for all my evil deeds and ways.

He offers us the presence of His gracious Holy Spirit and the presence of God in our lives to help us to follow Him.

When the day of battle came, Deborah led the armies of God out with Barak. The people of God overcome and the enemies were defeated and killed.

Those who follow God are victorious.

Hearing about Deborah should motivate us to seek the Lord, and live Holy lives for His sake.

Then we will be victorious over all our enemies and we will know God peace in our hearts.

May we know God in that way and be women and men for His glory…

Seeing JESUS: part 10

Posted: March 29, 2019 in Seeing JESUS: part 10

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The rich young man

 

 

Behold, one came to him and said, “Good teacher, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life?” He said to him, “Why do you call me good? No one is good but one, that is, God. But if you want to enter into life, keep the commandments.” 

He said to him, “Which ones?” Jesus said, “‘You shall not murder.’ ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ ‘You shall not steal.’ ‘You shall not offer false testimony.’ ‘Honor your father and mother.’ And, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.'”   

The young man said to him, “All these things I have observed from my youth. What do I still lack?”  

Jesus said to him, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell what you have, and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.”   

But when the young man heard the saying, he went away sad, for he was one who had great possessions.

 

 A young man came to Jesus wanting to have eternal life. By that he meant that he wanted to live forever and not have to be punished for his sins. There are many who feel this way.

The first mistakewas his motivation for calling Jesus “Good” Did the young man know Jesus is the Saviour God? Or was he just trying to get favour with Christ by some flattering words…

He came to Jesus and asked what he had to do to get it- this eternal life. This was hissecond mistake.The young man thought he sould somehow earn eternal life. Perhaps he thought he could buy it..

His third mistakewas that he thought he was good enough. Jesus tells the young man that he maust keep the commandments. The young man thinks he has kept all the commandments from his childhood and is in a good position to get the eternal life.

We are all in this position. We want something from Jesus and think we can do something good enough to get it.

For some strange reason we also think we are good enough to get to heaven. We are not as bad as other people and so have a better chance of getting in.

The Bible tells us quite a different story.

No one is good enough to get into heaven on their own merits.

No one has any merit in the first place. We are all condemned and all dead in our sinful selves.

We do not want God or to stop living our sinful lives.

The “good” things we do are tainted by our bad motives and therefore we cannot offer them to God.

It’s like someone who lives on the street for years, never washes, never changes their clothes, and knocks on Buckingham Palace wanting to move in. They want to move in but still hang on to the filthy clothes.!!

They might be allowed to come in but they would have to be cleansed.

An illustration

This young man looked good, because he had lots of money and priviledges, but Jesus saw him as he really was… like the tramp in dirty clothes.This young man thinks he has some good points, but he doesn’t. He is contaminated by the sin that is part of his being. He must have the sin dealt with and his rottenness cleansed before he can enter into eternal life and heaven.

Jesus sees the main sin that is holding this young man back. The young man loves his life and his money and his priviledges, that’s natural…

But Jesus requires us to leave our life, our hopes and dreams, and give our lives over to Him. He wants all of us. He wants to deal with all our sin and take it away. We must be willing to give it up.!

Jesus says to this young man…

Jesus said to him, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell what you have, and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.”

 

 Jesus is asking him to give up his money.

Jesus knows that this is the one thing the young man loves above anything else. Jesus knows the young man will choose the money above HIM.

The young man doesn’t think too long about his reaction. He cannot give up his money for Jesus. This is his sin. He loves the money more than Jesus.

 The fourth mistakethis young man makes is tragic.

It is such a sad moment.

The young man turns away and walks away from Jesus.

And the frightening truth, is that Jesus let him go….

Jesus knows our weaknesses, and He knows the things we love.

The question is, do we love Him more?

The love of sin and the love of stuff, will keep us out of heaven.

Sin and stuff only last for our short lives and then there is eternity… Eternity is forever.

Why would we give up the joy of knowing Jesus and of being in His presence forever, for clothes, cars, games, popularity, success..?

It is very foolish, and yet so many do…

This young man made a lot of mistakes.

  • He came to Jesus to get something for himself.
  • He thought he could earn it.
  • He didn’t realise how sinful he was.
  • When Jesus showed him, he couldn’t give up his sin and repent.
  • So the tragedy is, he lost his soul. He kept his money and lost eternal life.
Did he really want it in the first place?

It would seem not. He was not willing to give up whatever it would take to get the eternal life.

We need to think carefully about our motives for doing things, and what we really think about Jesus. He sees our hearts, but we are very easily tricked even by our own thoughts.

Do not miss your opportinity to believe.

If you want eternal life, then you must count the cost.

Don’t let the message of forgiveness pass you by.

Give up your life to Jesus, you will not be sorry.

He is a loving Saviour and will bring you to heaven and will walk with you all the rest of your life on earth.

It is too easy to become used to the challenge of the gospel and not get round to doing anything about it.

You know who Jesus is, so listen to His voice and respond….

 

 

 

 

Bling initials

Posted: March 28, 2019 in Bling initials

 

MDF initial letters with a surface coat of gold, silver or copper or combinations of these.

Decorate with adhesive rhinestones.

The names of God’s people are precious to Him. He knows each one and calls them by their names…

All for CHRIST…

Posted: March 21, 2019 in All for CHRIST...

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The biography of William Carey

Born in Paulesbury, England 1761

Died Serampur, India 1834  (aged 78 years)

Born in to poverty with very little of this world’s goods to interest him. William took an interest in the modern world and pursued history and science. He collected lots of plants and insects so that he could study them. He loved books and read as many as he could get.

As a young man he went to work as a shoemaker. This was not a business where you could earn a lot of money, but he was glad to do it and did it very well. He read a book called “Worthy of all acceptation”  which was about sharing the gospel with everyone. He made a drawing of a map of the world and marked on all the laces where the gospel was never preached. The seeds were sown in his heart for people who were without God.

Carey was self taught because he had no funds to go to university. He learned at home and his bright and restless mind made him seek for learning. He could read the Bible in Latin, Greek, Hebrew, Dutch, French and English. It was during this period that Carey learned to love his Lord and became an earnest Christian.

Carey also learned Greek. This language work would bears rich fruit for God in the future.

Carey was interested in spreading the gospel to the whole world. When he shared his ideas at a meeting he was told…

 “Young man, sit down! When God pleases to convert the heathen, he will do it without your help or mine!”

 Carey recognised that this was contrary to what the Bible says. God says, that people will believe when they hear the gospel. The gospel must be spoken. This comment did not deter Carey. He published a booklet encouraging people to embark on mission work. It became a signpost in Christian missions.

Carey’s motto become…

“Expect great things from God: attempt great things for God.”

Carey preached at a gathering on one occasion…the text was Isaiah 54:2+3

 “Enlarge the place of your tent,and let them stretch forth the curtains of your habitations; don’t spare: lengthen your cords, and strengthen your stakes.  For you shall spread out on the right hand and on the left; and your seed shall possess the nations, and make the desolate cities to be inhabited.”

His call was to go out and go far to spread the good news about salvation and a new life in Christ. We are not supposed to live in our own little lives, but we must spread ourselves about!

Don’t limit your effect.   If you reach out for God, he will honour you. You will have many children in the faith, and the places that are ruined by sin, will become full of life and the glory of God.

In our days, these places are our own country…

What a challenge to us in this day….this was called

THE DEATHLESS SERMON

The people who listened to Carey, wept as he spoke these words. They could feel the challenge of God, and the “criminality” of their lack of love for others.

A woman from the church opened her home, and a group started… it became the Missionary society. They raised some money, at first but then realised they would need to send out missionaries and act as well as pray and gather money. Carey volunteered as the first missionary to go out.

Carey was to go to INDIA….

British companies who had business overseas, had no time of missionaries. They wanted to act any way they liked, without the consideration of moral issues. They took advantage of people in other countries to make their millions. This has not changed today either.

Carey finally set out for India with his wife and children, on the long boat voyage far away from England and home. They had very little of anything, but they went out in the knowledge that God was in control and He would provide for their needs. They knew this would not be easy for them.

On reaching India, the money ran out quickly (it lasted only 2 months) and they found themselves penniless. Carey had to find work in an indigo factory. It was backbreaking and dirty work. He liked it because it gave him time to work on the language and he translated the New Testament into Bengali. He wanted to reach as many people as possible.

Carey saw many sights in India, that drove him forward to tell the truth about Christ the Saviour. He saw people bowing to monkeys, and all sorts of other beasts. There were people worshipping wooden gods. Men were hung up on hooks while still alive. Women were being burnt alive with their dead husbands. Carey resolved to tell the story of salvation to as many people as he could.

This work that Carey undertook cannot be spoken about as strongly as one could imagine. It was difficult in every way, and so discouraging. Life was beyond hard. Carey did not know from day to day, how he and the family would survive. His wife became very ill and died in tragic circumstances. He buried his sons in India, and suffered great personal loss.

Christians back in England blamed him for the difficulties of his family. In real terms, all Carey had was God, and God never left him.

It was 10 years before Carey had the joy of reaching the first convert… Krishna Pal… Krishna Pal set up outreach in Calcutta, and was instrumental in bringing his fellow countrymen and women to a living faith. He was baptized in the Ganges. He renounced his caste and ate with the missionaries. His daughter a “Sudra” married a “Brahmin” so the Christians took a stand against the caste system in India.

Carey also took an active part in doing away with the practice of “Suttee” where wives were burned with their dead husbands.

Carey was greatly gifted in languages. He translated the New Testament in Marathi, Sanskrit, also many smaller dialects. Carey had a gift for languages, which has never been paralleled. As there was need, God gave the skills ands gifts that were necessary, but Carey had to work, labour and weep over so much of the work.

He worked incessantly on the Bengali Bible. It was finished at last. He told friends that he had twenty years of translation mapped out for the rest of his life. That night he fell into a fever. It seemed to be all over for Carey. Maybe the Bengali Bible was to be his last endeavour…

In the night Carey had a vision in his delirium. He saw “real” Christians taking over the dead orthodox churches in England. He saw governments abolishing war, which Carey hated. He was told the vision was just an expression of the mind, but Carey could see the hand of God in it. Carey longed for England to do its part in the evangelization of the world.

The translation was a huge operation with many Indian scholars involved in it.

Forty four languages and dialects were worked on, written down and translated.

Arabic, Persian, Nagari, Telugu, Punjabi, Bengali, Marathi, Chinese, Oriya, many languages now being opened to the Word of God.

One night the unthinkable happened. The printing works caught fire. It was completely destroyed. All the translation work was lost. The only things that survived was the metal machines. One can only imagine the crushing blow this was to Carey, but Carey trusted God.

“Be still and know that I am God…”

 Such was the measure of faith and understanding that Carey had of the sovereignty of God.

Carey wanted India to know about Christ from its own preachers and teachers, so he set about training Indian Christians for the ministry. He did not want the Western culture to impose itself on the Eastern culture.

The weight of the Christian evangelism in India would rest on its own people. This brought him opposition from English “Christians” who wanted a church in India, after their own style. Carey was angry about this attitude, and stayed away from associating with it. Carey prayed that the differences would gradually fade out….

The issue caused Carey great distress, loneliness, and premature aging…

And yet, Carey was a vigorous old man. His home in Serampore was beautiful and peaceful. It had become a haven over the many years of Carey’s labours and the fellow-laborers were many. The road had been long and many tragedies and failures as well. Carey buried three wives in India, and two of his four sons. His family also paid the price in terms of health and social education, or any kind of education…

Yet, his legacy remains.

        All for Christ…

  • Evangelism and outreach.
  • Education of Indian peoples to Christ
  • Stopping the practice of infant sacrifice
  • Stopping the practice of burning widows.
  • Bible translation 44 languages and dialects.
  • Bible school for Indian pastors
  • Schools for children
  • Sunday schools
  • Churches in Calcutta etc

Who can tell the extent of what he did for his Lord?

How great is the challenge he leaves with us…

Carey died in peace, no energy for spiritual ecstasy…

Carey rested his sin-stained soul on his everlasting Redeemer. That is the place of peace, and no other.

Carey died and these words were inscribed on his grave..

A wretched, poor and helpless worm

On Thy kind arms I fall…”

Humility even in such labour and triumphs. Carey never forget what he had been saved from and the cost of his forgiveness.

We are not wretched, poor or helpless, when we lean on those kind arms…

The mission goes on…. those left behind asked God for  “a double- portion of the Spirit…”

God always has His people in the right place at the right time…

May every one of us, be those people and be obedient to the call of God, no matter what…

Krishna Pal wrote this hymn…

O thou, my soul, forget no more
The friend who all thy misery bore;
Let every idol be forgot,
But, O my soul, forget Him not.

Jesus for thou a body takes,
Thy guilt assumes, thy fetters breaks,
Discharging all thy dreadful debt;
And canst thou e’er such love forget?

Renounce thy works and ways, with grief,
And fly to this most sure relief;
Nor Him forget, who left His throne,
And for thy life gave up His own.

Infinite truth and mercy shine,
In Him, and He Himself is thine:
And canst thou, then, with sin beset,
Such charms, such matchless charms, forget?

Ah! no—till life itself depart,
His name shall cheer and warm my heart;
And lisping this, from earth I’ll rise;
And join the chorus of the skies.

Ah! no—when all things else expire,
And perish in the general fire,
This name all others shall survive,
And through eternity shall live.

 

 

 

 

Gallery  —  Posted: March 16, 2019 in Fimo

Seeing JESUS: part 9

Posted: March 14, 2019 in Seeing Jesus: part 9

Jesus calls Matthew

 

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As Jesus passed by from there, he saw a man called Matthew sitting at the tax collection office. He said to him, “Follow me.” He got up and followed him.

 This is a very short testimony.!!

Jesus was walking down the street and He passed the office of a man called Matthew. Matthew was a tax collector.

Jesus said two words to Matthew.

“FOLLOW ME”

Matthew got up and followed Jesus.

He left his papers, he didn’t even tell the boss.. He just walked out of the office and never looked back and never went back to the office again. Matthew followed Jesus for three years, until Jesus died on the cross. He saw amazing things and learned how to enter and walk with God in the kingdom of heaven.

A better person?

Was Matthew a better person for following Jesus straight away?

Matthew was a sinful person like everyone else. The Holy Spirit showed him he must respond to the call of Jesus. Matthew was wise and answered that call straight away. Many people wait to hear the call another time. They put it off.

“later….”

“another day when I’m ready…”

We must answer straight away, because the call might never come again. There are people who heard the call of Jesus to follow Him, and they did not answer. They never heard the call again…

Matthew was a wide man and was willing to leave it all behind and follow Jesus.

A new life

So, that was it. He never went back to his job again. He spent the rest of his life, following Jesus, seeing the miracles, listening to teaching, and living a life of faith as he followed his Master.

What did Matthew leave behind?

Matthew became someone who actually wrote down the Scriptures, which we can read.

He was an unlikely convert because of his job, he collected taxes for the Roman authorities, who had invaded the land of Israel.

People hated tax collectors, because they hate paying taxes, and they hated the Romans even more. Tax collectors were dishonest and often used the opportunity to collect some extra cash for themselves.

We don’t know if Matthew was like this, but he probably was. Remember Zacchaeus? He was also a tax collector, and a thief. Jesus called him down from the tree and went to his house and forgave him and changed his life.

Jesus often associated with people who were not approved of.

It happened as he sat in the house, behold, many tax collectors and sinners came and sat down with Jesus and his disciples. When the Pharisees saw it, they said to his disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?” When Jesus heard it, he said to them, “Those who are healthy have no need for a physician, but those who are sick do. 

But you go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy, and not sacrifice,’ for I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.”

 Jesus was greatly disapproved of, by the religious leaders of His day. They used every opportunity to try to trap Him and make Him fall. They couldn’t. But this was a wonderful opportunity, because Jesus was eating and associating with sinful people. They criticized Jesus openly. Jesus replied that sick people need a doctor, but people who are well don’t.

Jesus was not saying the Pharisees were well, they certainly were not spiritually well. But the Pharisees thought, falsely, that they were right with God. Jesus was saying that He is the remedy for sin sick people. He can cure them and He will cure them. That is why He is with the “sinners” because they recognize they need a spiritual doctor, and will believe in Jesus.

He tells the Pharisees to learn this lesson. This would have offended their spiritual pride….

God wants to show us mercy and forgiveness..

Jesus shows mercy and forgiveness to these sinful people. He forgives them. Jesus does not want our self-righteous sacrifices, but hearts that will bow to Him, believe in Him, and repent.

These self-righteous Pharisees, were not repentant, but trying to impress God with their foolish sacrifices, which God hates. They think they are righteous….

The “good” people…

Jesus said He did not come for good people, but for sinful people. Thereby condemning the Pharisees with their own foolish self-righteousness.

How hard it is to come to Jesus. We don’t want to think we are too bad. We think there are some good things about us, but the good things we think of, are really just selfish and proud.

If we want to get this sorted out, we must come to Jesus when He calls us, and take our place as sinners and repent of all our evil ways. He will make us new and give us His power to live rightly.

Like Matthew?

It is for anyone who wants it.

Matthew just left his old life behind. It had no value to him anymore, because he heard Jesus calling him and was ready to go.

Have you heard the call of Jesus?

Have you responded to Him, or are you putting it off?

 Matthew had no regrets, and was able to bring his friends and colleagues at work to Jesus too. When we follow Jesus we get we get all His blessings and His power. The things we leave for His sake, don’t even matter….

Seeing JESUS: part 8

Posted: March 9, 2019 in Seeing JESUS: part 8

JESUS heals the paralysed man

He entered into a boat, and crossed over, and came into his own city. Behold, they brought to him a man who was paralyzed, lying on a bed. Jesus, seeing their faith, said to the paralytic, “Son, cheer up! Your sins are forgiven you.

 Behold, some of the scribes said to themselves, “This man blasphemes.” Jesus, knowing their thoughts, said, “Why do you think evil in your hearts?For which is easier, to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven;’ or to say, ‘Get up, and walk?’But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins…”

 (then he said to the paralytic), “Get up, and take up your mat, and go up to your house.” He arose and departed to his house. But when the multitudes saw it, they marveled and glorified God, who had given such authority to men.

 

Healing-Of-Paralytic-Painting-01

 

Look at this picture of the man who was paralyzed and immediately after Jesus spoke to him, can lift all his belongings and walk away.!

BROUGHT

His friends brought him to Jesus. His friends had faith that Jesus would heal their disabled friend. Jesus saw their faith. The Lord Jesus then did the greatest miracle of all- He forgave the man his sins.

There were people standing about who did not believe in Jesus and saw Him as a charlatan. They didn’t believe who He said He was and believed the miracles were from the devil!

Such is the strong desire to keep God out of our lives.

EVIL THINKING

Jesus knew what they were thinking, and told them that their thoughts were evil. All unbelief is evil. We all have it, and we must fight against it and believe what God tell us in His Word the Bible.

The trouble with us as fallen humans, is we want to see the proof. You cannot really see the physical proof that someone is forgiven, because it is a spiritual act, a change in the inner person. Jesus is not willing that even these ungodly, unbelieving people will be lost. He teaches them an unforgettable lesson.

FORGIVENESS

 He points out that it is easy to say “your sins are forgiven”because no one will really know. You can’t see the change. You could say those words and be a pretender.

However, You cannot say to a paralyzed man, “get up” and pretend that action! If you tell the man to get up, he must get up for everyone to see.

Jesus says, He is going to show the on-lookers that He is who He says He is.

He tells the Paralyzed man to “GET UP!”

“GET UP-     LIFT YOUR BED AND GO HOME…!!”

If you have not used your muscles for a long time, you can’t do any of those things…

BUT the man did what JESUS said…

The man got up from his sick bed, folded it up, and walked home with it… this is a total miracle. Jesus has healed him completely.

This man got this amazing healing, but he got much more… he received forgiveness of sins. He got eternal life, just because he believed. It could seem that it was because the friends believed, that the man was healed. They brought him to Jesus. But the man went with them. The man was forgiven because he believed, but the fact that the friends took him, was also important.

Who do I bring to JESUS?

Who do I pray for and witness to?

God will take account of that in His eternal purposes and will not pass over those we pray for and speak to.

These were faithful friends. They were loving towards their paralyzed friend, who couldn’t get to Jesus on his own.

Because they took the man who needed Jesus, he was healed and forgiven completely. How glad those friends must have been.

UNBELIEF

The crowds standing around marveled at the miracle. It wasn’t something you could miss. They glorified God because of what they had seen, but not because of what they had not seen…!

They still didn’t realize who Jesus was and is. They believed in the miracles, but not in the spiritual work and forgiveness and faith in Jesus.

It is easy for us to be attracted and marveling at the outward appearance of things. It is easy to be duped into thinking something is of God, when it is not. We see the outward show, but miss the inner working of the Holy Spirit.

It is crucial that we have faith in Jesus only and in who He is as our God and Saviour. We must come to Him on these terms only.

Be careful not to be impressed with the outward show of some people who profess God’s power and presence. The way to Eternal life, is by faith in JESUS and the repentance for our sins.