Physically fit, but spiritually malnourished?

O taste and see that the Lord is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him. Psalm 34:8 (KJV)

Trying to find your way in life?

Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. John 14:6 (KJV)

I Love You This Much!

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. John 3:16 (KJV)

EmpowerMEN+ Impact!

More than just ministry for men...it is a moveMEN+!

 

Declarations Over Oppression and Depression

I was given this prayer by a new friend, from Brampton, and thought I’d share it with you all.

I am established in righteousness and I am far from oppression and the enemy will not take my inheritance through oppression.

I rule over my oppressors, I rebuke and cast out all spirits of affliction, sorrow and anything attempting to bring me low in the name of Jesus.

Pastor Wallace Vantull

Wallace received these words of encouragement while in prayer and the Lord showed him the following scriptures from which the declarations were formed:

  • Isaiah 54:14
  • Ezekiel 46:18
  • Psalm 14:2
  • Psalm 107:39

 

O Canada

This Canada Day, I took some time to reflect and remember that what makes Canada so great is its Christian Heritage.

Yes, you’ve heard it right!

From Canada’s formation, name and national anthem, faith in Jesus Christ and God, has been the thread that knits it together and the anchor that holds it together.

Canada’s National Anthem

  • Originally written for the 1880 ceremony of Saint Jean-Baptiste Day by poet and judge Sir Adolphe-Basile Routhier
    • If you’re not sure who Saint Jean Baptiste was, he was the cousin of Jesus and the one who ‘baptised’ Jesus into his ministry, as written in the gospels of Luke 1, Matthew 3, Mark 1, John 1
  • Sir Adolphe-Basile Routhier grew up in a Christian home and his mother had wanted him to become a priest
  • Sir Adolphe-Basile Routhier held beliefs in papal authority, and was a Conservative who ran in several federal elections, but was never elected
  • Robert Stanley Weir translated Routhier’s poem into an English version which was used as a de facto anthem since 1939 – read the full version of Weirs version of Canada’s National Anthem here
  • Canada’s anthem was revised a couple of times and in 1980 received royal assent (approval from the Queen) to become the official anthem on Dominion Day – July 1 of the same year
  • Dominion Day? What’s that? It’s a good segue into our next section…

Canada’s Official Name

  • What we call Canada Day was originally called Dominion Day stemming from Canada’s official name
  • The official name of Canada is The Dominion of Canada which came about during the formation of Canada when Quebec, Ontario, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia came together in 1867.
  • Sir. Leonard Tilley of New Brunswick was inspired by Psalm 72:8 when he suggested the term, Dominion of Canada, in 1864 during early confederation discussions
  • Psalm 72:8 reads – “He shall have dominion also from sea to sea, and from the river unto the ends of the earth.”
    • Although David wrote this about his natural son, it’s commonly stated by Theologians that David also wrote prophetically about Jesus – so the “He shall have dominion” also speaks to God’s divine plan as Father and his Son Jesus who would rule and reign on the earth as written in Revelation 20 and 21
  • The word Dominion is written in our Constitution and is part of our heritage.

Our Constitution and Chart of Rights and Freedoms

Unfortunately, the original intent and beliefs of our founding fathers have been watered down through more powers given to the courts rather than the conscience of the Constitution. Even still, at the chagrin of Trudeau, the faith and foundation of Canada was written into the Charter as a preamble that reads:

  • Whereas Canada is founded upon principles that recognize the supremacy of God and the rule of law

Today when you hear or sing Canada’s National anthem remember to ‘stand on guard’ for the faith that makes/made Canada a great nation. As the scripture says in Ephesians 6.

Ephesians 6:13-16

13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.

14 Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;

15 And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;

16 Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.

Happy Canada Day!

The Importance of Prayer and Praying Right

1 John 5:14

And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us:

Today, June 29, 2014 marks the start of Ramadan which is one of the most holy periods in the Islamic faith. Ramadan is a 30 day period of prayer, fasting, self-examination, charity. The reading of the entire Quran is encouraged and fighting is not allowed. It is a time of increased religious devotion.

My question today is; have you ever been to a church that did 30 days of prayer and fasting ANNUALLY? I can’t say I’ve heard of any except one, so it doesn’t surprise me that the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, a foreign policy think-tank, has determined that Islam is the fastest growing religion in the world.

I’m not here to condemn Islam, but to impress upon you the importance of prayer. In fact, Jesus expected his followers to pray and to pray right. We’re not supposed to pray for temporal things, but spiritual prayers – prayers pertaining to the Kingdom of God.

For example, when the disciples asked Jesus to teach them how to pray Jesus replied, “After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.” (Matthew 6:9-10)

Many times we pray all kinds of worldly prayers, more money, better jobs, etc., and most often they’re not even close to being in God’s will. James 4 says, we ask (pray) amiss and thus don’t receive from God.

As our first scripture says, we can have confidence in knowing that if we pray in God’s will, he will hear us and by extension we will have what we pray for.

If you’re not sure how to pray in God’s will, look into His word or pray in the Holy Spirit, because the Holy Spirit will only pray the will of God. Romans 8:26 says it this way:

Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.

If your prayer life is not where you would like it to be, the Apostle Paul has over 80 prayers in the New Testament. All of them are in the will of God so it’s safe to use them verbatim. I’ll leave you with three prayers that I believe every Christian should be praying:

  1. Ephesians 1:15-23
  2. Ephesians 3:14-19
  3. 2 Thessalonians 3:1-2

Pride

Proverbs 16:18

(18) Pride goes before destruction, and haughtiness before a fall.

Today June 28, 2014 the LGBTQ Community is holding their annual “Gay Pride Parade” and it’s quite ironic that they would call it that.

You see, from the beginning pride has been the downfall of God’s creation. Satan, the most prideful of all, thought he could take the place of God and in the end was banished from God’s presence and sent to earth with a third of his rebellious followers.

Pride can also come in a more subtle form as we see in the Garden of Eden; where Adam and Eve, who didn’t consult God or adhere to his word, allowed Satan to convince them to eat the forbidden fruit.

Today the same pride is in the church, where we have all knowledge, but little understanding of the gospel. We don’t seek God for his wisdom which he provides freely and without limit. We go about doing our own thing and living anyway we like purporting to be Christian.

James 1:5

If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking.

What’s worse is we have people encouraging and teaching others to do the things which are not permitted by God, just like Satan did in the garden. It’s a subtle deception masked in words like, anti-bullying, acceptance and diversity.

Romans 1:21-27

 21 Yes, they knew God, but they wouldn’t worship him as God or even give him thanks. And they began to think up foolish ideas of what God was like. As a result, their minds became dark and confused. 22 Claiming to be wise, they instead became utter fools.23 And instead of worshiping the glorious, ever-living God, they worshiped idols made to look like mere people and birds and animals and reptiles.

24 So God abandoned them to do whatever shameful things their hearts desired. As a result, they did vile and degrading things with each other’s bodies. 25 They traded the truth about God for a lie. So they worshiped and served the things God created instead of the Creator himself, who is worthy of eternal praise! Amen. 26 That is why God abandoned them to their shameful desires. Even the women turned against the natural way to have sex and instead indulged in sex with each other. 27 And the men, instead of having normal sexual relations with women, burned with lust for each other. Men did shameful things with other men, and as a result of this sin, they suffered within themselves the penalty they deserved.

The scriptures are very clear. We are to love one another, but we’re also supposed to exhort, rebuke and disciple others in the truth. Some may be offended by the scriptures and say those who preach it are homophobic, but what they can’t say is that their homosexual practices are right or natural. Yes, they may have been born with homosexual tendencies, but it still doesn’t make it right. I’ll expand on that in another post.

Christians, don’t take my strong stance as justification to hate or judge. Rather, use it to show love and patience to anyone else who lacks an understanding of our faith and God. 

Prayer: Father, we sin without even knowing and are prideful without understanding. Forgive me Lord for not seeking your wisdom and being disobedient to your word. Today I humble myself before your throne and ask that you show me how to share the truth in a loving way. You said that there will be some who will take offence, but that we are to count it a blessing to be persecuted for your name’s sake. Father enlighten all those who read this post and let them know that you are a loving God who makes a way where there seems to be no way. I love you for your truth. Help me to walk in your truth. Amen.

I AM

Exodus 3:13-15

13 And Moses said unto God, Behold, when I come unto the children of Israel, and shall say unto them, The God of your fathers hath sent me unto you; and they shall say to me, What is his name? what shall I say unto them?

14 And God said unto Moses, I Am That I Am: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I Am hath sent me unto you.

15 And God said moreover unto Moses, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, the Lord God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, hath sent me unto you: this is my name for ever, and this is my memorial unto all generations.

I am the one who makes all things new.

I am the one who promises and never fails.

I am the one that keeps covenant.

I am the one living in you to do great and mighty things.

I am the one who watches over you.

I am the one who is bringing my word and my plans to pass.

I am the one who is building my church. You are my church; a holy habitation.

I am coming and I am already here.

I am the alpha and omega, beginning and the end. I am eternal.

I am your comforter.

I am your provider.

I am the one you can trust.

I am one that cannot lie.

I am your healer.

I am your maker.

Tell the world who I AM.

I AM THAT I AM. I AM God. I change not.

I am Yahweh!

You’re Called to Leadership

Exodus 18:14, 17-18, 21

14 And when Moses’ father in law saw all that he did to the people, he said, What is this thing that thou doest to the people? why sittest thou thyself alone, and all the people stand by thee from morning unto even?

17 And Moses’ father in law said unto him, The thing that thou doest is not good.

18 Thou wilt surely wear away, both thou, and this people that is with thee: for this thing is too heavy for thee; thou art not able to perform it thyself alone.

21 Moreover thou shalt provide out of all the people able men, such as fear God, men of truth, hating covetousness; and place such over them, to be rulers of thousands, and rulers of hundreds, rulers of fifties, and rulers of tens:

The work of God is bigger than any one person.

In the above scripture Moses’ father-in-law, Jethro, noticed that if Moses kept trying to do everything himself he would burn-out and so he advises Moses to identify leaders and appoint them according to their ability…some over thousands, hundreds, fifties and tens. Moses’ role was to take the most important and pressing cases and bring them before God.

Remember Jesus also had twelve close disciples and hundreds of others. When He gave the Great Commission “go and make disciples” (paraphrased), the understanding was that He had already given the twelve apostles everything they needed to complete the mission. He also would send the Holy Spirit to guide and lead them. We have that same gift.

I heard this quote once that says “you cannot teach what you do not know and you cannot lead where you will not go.”

I believe in the body of Christ we’re all called to leadership and to bear fruit. Jesus said it this way in Matthew 13:23

23 But he that received seed into the good ground is he that heareth the word, and understandeth it; which also beareth fruit, and bringeth forth, some an hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.

Seek God and enquire of him about who is your ten. Be faithful to the ten and he will give you the fifty, one hundred and so on.

Prayer: Father I know you’ve placed in me your word and power. Show me those whom you’ve given me to empower and train up in your word. Mould me into the leader you’ve called me to be for your glory. Amen.

Abusing Grace

Romans 6:1-2
(1) What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound?
(2) God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?

To be an effective witness we need to allow the Spirit of God to have his way so that we do not abuse the grace given to us by God.

Every word, action and cut-eye communicates the Spirit that rules in us. So we must keep in mind (meditate) each day the words of the scripture that tells us to let our words be seasoned with salt. Too much salt and too little salt are equally bad.

To understand how not to abuse the grace by sinning willfully, we must understand what is sin in God’s eyes. Here is what the apostle James says:

James 4:17 (read the whole chapter)
Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.

Prayer: Father, forgive me for not being obedient to the Word you’ve given me. I recommit to seek you and change my ways and follow your will. Please do not take your Holy Spirit from me, but lead me in the path of righteousness. Search me and if there is anything in me that you are not pleased with, reveal it to me. I bow before your throne of grace once again and ask for your forgiveness. Amen.

Watch Your Readiness

Matthew 24:42-44
(42) Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come.
(43) But know this, that if the goodman of the house had known in what watch the thief would come, he would have watched, and would not have suffered his house to be broken up.
(44) Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh.

I’m not into predicting when the Lord will return, but as I watch the news each evening, I often wonder, could this be the hour?

What I see on the news and hear while listening to the conversations that people have, I really get the sense that no one is really thinking about the end. Even without an understanding of the coming of the Lord and eternity, it seems people believe they’ll live forever; as if some miracle anti-aging cream will change the inevitable.

Jesus warns us not to be like that. We are to be sober and wise. Understanding that he can return at any moment. And when he does what will he find us doing?

Each day, it’s important to act as if it is the day that He comes for His church. He is expecting to find “figs on the tree”; servants who will do the Father’s will.

Prayer: Father, teach me by your Holy Spirit to know your will in this season. Show me what I must do to be ready for your Son’s return. Help me to bear much more fruit in a world bent on going to hell. Give me the words to speak and the heart to love as you love. I ask this in Jesus name. Amen.

The Lord Has Spoken

Jeremiah 1:18-19 (read the whole chapter though)
(18) For, behold, I have made thee this day a defenced city, and an iron pillar, and brasen walls against the whole land, against the kings of Judah, against the princes thereof, against the priests thereof, and against the people of the land.
(19) And they shall fight against thee; but they shall not prevail against thee; for I am with thee, saith the Lord, to deliver thee.

The first chapter of Jeremiah is full of powerful statements, assurances and instructions from the Lord. It’s such an encouraging chapter and makes me feel like I can conquer the world. However, what we must remember is that it’s not us that does the conquering but the God in us…and He’s an unstoppable force!

His word never returns void. What he starts he completes. He knows the end of a thing before it even starts. He knew each and every one of us before we were even formed in our mother”s womb. He is the great I AM, alpha and omega, beginning and the end.

By His word, the universe was created. By his sovereignty it remains. By His authority kings rule. By His mercy we become sons and daughters and fellow heirs to his kingdom.

Who is like our God?

Who can compare to his glory?

If he be on our side, we have all that we need.

The Lord has spoken from His throne, “my kingdom will be established in all the earth” – and we get to be a part of it. HALLELUJAH!

Prayer:
Our Father, which art in heaven,
Hallowed be thy Name.
Thy Kingdom come.
Thy will be done in earth,
As it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,
As we forgive them that trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation,
But deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom,
The power, and the glory,
For ever and ever.
Amen.

Exercise Your Faith

Hebrews 10:23-24, 35-36 / Hebrews 11:6
(23) Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;)
(24) And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works:

(35) Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompence of reward.
(36) For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise.

Hebrews 11:5-6
(5) By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God.
(6) But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.

Faith is not just a thought or an understanding, it is something that is backed by and requires action. We’ve all read “faith without works is dead”, but what are the works that please God?

Hebrews 11 gives several examples:

  • Giving an offering (verse 4)
  • Believe and diligently seek God (verse 6)
  • Obey and do as God instructs (verses 7 & 8)
  • Be patient and wait on God – don’t get ahead of Him (verse 9)
  • Look forward to the future and bless your children (verses 13, 20 & 21)
  • Do what is right without fear (verse 24 & 25)
  • Expect miracles (verses 28-30)
  • Subdue evil (kingdoms) for righteousness sake (verse 33)
  • Endure affliction (36, 37 & 38)

The people referenced in the stories didn’t have what we have, they only hoped for it. We have the promise and power of the Holy Spirit. It’s time to please God.

Prayer: Father thank you for the great and precious promise of the Holy Spirit. Help my unbelief as I pray and exercise my faith. Amen.