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He Was Almost There!

Some years ago I had a friend who planned to marry. A lot of preparations were put into it and a good sum of money was spent. When the time came he informed me he was travelling to get married; I wished him well (I couldn’t go with him). For several weeks he did not come back; I was very worried but I could not contact him. One evening, I finally got to him, but he was very unhappy; he told me his story, the bride did not show up for the wedding; she backed-off at the last moment. (The family stopped her from going through with it.) They were almost there!

There was another man who nearly got there. He almost made it to heaven. The following scripture tells his story.

“Now as he thus made his defense, Festus said with a loud voice, “Paul, you are beside yourself! Much learning is driving you mad!”

But he said, “I am not mad, most noble Festus, but speak the words of truth and reason. For the king, before whom I also speak freely, knows these things; for I am convinced that none of these things escapes his attention, since this thing was not done in a corner. King Agrippa, do you believe the prophets? I know that you do believe.”

Then Agrippa said to Paul, “You almost persuade me to become a Christian.”

And Paul said, “I would to God that not only you, but also all who hear me today, might become both almost and altogether such as I am, except for these chains.” Acts 26:24-29 (NKJV)

During his trial, when the Jewish leaders accused Paul of insurrection, he was brought before Festus the governor and Agrippa the king and the above quote was an excerpt of that encounter.

Agrippa said to Paul “You almost persuaded me to become a Christian.” He never became one. It was like he got to the gate of heaven, to the throne of mercy and then turned back. He was almost there! It is unfortunate. What will Agrippa say when he finally gets to the judgement seat of Christ? What stopped him from going through with it?

If he wasn’t fit to make a sound judgement about eternal life, how was he able to govern people; making very serious decision like the one involving Paul, issues that could cost someone his life? Job 32:9 says, “Great men are not always wise: neither do the aged understand judgment.” (KJV)

He could also have considered what his friends would make of such a decision. Mark 8:38 says, “Whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation; of him also shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he cometh in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.” (KJV)

He was ultimately responsible for his actions. It doesn’t matter what other people think or say, we are responsible for our decisions. It is important to understand this so that we can stand up for what is right.

Was it that his position made aligning with the Christian life difficult for him? If that is the case where is he now? We must not cling to things that don’t last to the detriment of things that have lasting and daring consequences. King Saul of Israel lost his dynasty because he preferred being a “man of the people” to obeying God. He lost the kingdom and lost the people.

You might have had or heard of experiences of “being almost there”. They can lead to unimaginable frustration, stress and even depression. Sometimes they could be things outside our control that caused them and in that case we couldn’t do anything about it. At other times we were solely responsible for what happened. People usually have difficulties recovering from the outcome of such incidents.

To avoid being caught up in very ugly situations like that, we must be very prayerful and watchful.

We must develop our characters, so that we can live for the highest ideals.

We must appreciate what friends and relations are, and what they are not and cannot be.

We must give time to study, so that we can have valuable information to help us at critical times of decision making.

It is important to know that when it comes to choosing between God and any other thing, God must have the pre-eminence. You might be at a crossroad about making a decision of eternal value, I urge you to choose God. Today is a good day to choose Christ. Do it.

Ref:

Bible quote: http://www.biblegateway.com

This articles is also published in http://www.holyspiritcomfort.com

Peace from God

Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope. Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us. Rom.5:1-4 (NKJV)

There have been several attempts to define and describe peace; however, there is no one that can understand it better than a person who has seen real troubleMP900289198s; you just need to ask people who have fled their homes in jeopardy of their lives because of wars, earthquakes, tornadoes or hurricanes. You might want to ask people who woke up one morning only to discover that they have to live with a horrible illness for a long time. There are many problems that defy peace and bring suffering and hardship. The mystery of suffering is very difficult to explain.

There is one horrible condition that is common to all that creates loss of peace. That is enmity with God. It is expressed in a hollow in people’s hearts that is difficult to fill; a longing that is never satisfied without justification from God. Jesus makes justification with God possible. He gives the peace that silences the accusations of the enemies and deliverance from oppressors. Jesus told his disciples “These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” John 16:33 (NKJV)

The devil crafted the network of evil and suffering to rob people of peace. He uses it to discredit God and force people to worship him. He uses people and things seen and unseen to achieve this. (He gained this access when man yield to his seduction. Genesis 3). It is a “spiritual legal” issue that required two things.

1. Blood sacrifice (the blood of a righteous man)

2. Choice (All men have to choose who to yield to – God or the devil)

Both are difficult:

· No descendant from the fallen man can attain the status of righteousness by his himself.

· Choice is subjective. It is affected by many factors that people are exposed to.

The love and the grace of God provide the solution – John 3:16, Eph.2:8.

While the problems of this world continue, God provides peace and comfort for those who trust him. You can enjoy that peace by believing and trusting God. You can ask Jesus to come into your life today.

Does God Love Me?

The translators of the King James Version of t...

The translators of the King James Version of the Holy Bible intentionally preserved, in Early Modern English, archaic pronouns and verb endings that had already begun to fall out of spoken use. This enabled the English translators to convey the distinction between the 1st, 2nd and 3rd person singular and plural verb forms of the original Hebrew and Greek sources. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This is one important question everyone – no matter their race, creed, religion, sex, or life achievements, want to know. People want to be at peace with God. It is unfortunate that many people may never get to know the truth until they have positioned themselves properly to know the answer.  God has said, “And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.”  Jer. 29:13

We live in a world where this question is increasingly demanding answer. Does God love me? People, no matter who, find themselves in precarious situations with family relationships is tumult, job and careers are constantly threatened, and various dangers are posed to lives and properties. There are many young people who don’t know what their future will eventually turn out to be as world events have become highly unpredictable. Abuse is on the increase and laws are being twisted daily to suit power-brokers; those who are supposed to provide protection to people are the very ones perpetrating atrocity against the populace.

Many people face all kinds of humiliation daily and the burden of sin is so heavy to bear and with problems weighing people down, it is appropriate to ask “Does God love me?” We have this assurance from God clearly stated, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16) It is  love with a commitment.

“Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us:” 1 John3:16

God’s love was demonstrated by the death of his only son and the scripture say “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” John 14:13. However, we were not his friends when Jesus died for us. He did it because of love. God said,

“But if the wicked will turn from all his sins that he hath committed, and keep all my statutes, and do that which is lawful and right, he shall surely live, he shall not die. All his transgressions that he hath committed, they shall not be mentioned unto him: in his righteousness that he hath done he shall live. Have I any pleasure at all that the wicked should die? saith the Lord God: and not that he should return from his ways, and live?” Ezek 18:21-23 (KJV)

God love everyone, though he hates sin, he wants all people to turn to him in repentance. He does not despise you. He loves you.

““Behold, God is mighty, but despises no one; He is mighty in strength of understanding. He does not preserve the life of the wicked, But gives justice to the oppressed. He does not withdraw His eyes from the righteous; But they are on the throne with kings, For He has seated them forever, And they are exalted. And if they are bound in fetters, Held in the cords of affliction, Then He tells them their work and their transgressions— That they have acted defiantly. He also opens their ear to instruction, And commands that they turn from iniquity. If they obey and serve Him, They shall spend their days in prosperity, And their years in pleasures. Job 36:5-11

God loves you and has said so. He also demonstrated it. God doesn’t despise you. If you are not living right, he wants to help you. The troubles you are going through don’t give God pleasure; God does not take delight in the death of people; he is not happy to lose people, the devil does.

This is what God is thinking about you at the moment. “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope” Jer 29:11.

You must exercise faith in God and in his promises. Take the word of God for it. God loves you. If you have not accepted Jesus as Lord of your life, do it today. Make peace with God – repent of your sin, ask for forgiveness and accept Jesus into your life. Thank God for his love and live the rest of your live basking in that love.

Let Me Run! – The Man On A Mission

English: The Death of Absalom (2Sam. 18:1-15) ...

English: The Death of Absalom (2Sam. 18:1-15) Русский: Смерть Авессалома (2Цар. 18:1-15) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Sometimes you may be tempted to think that you can do other people’s jobs better than them. If you have the privilege of leading a team of workers you might have caught some members of the team wishing they were given “that other assignment” because “they feel they can do it better” than the person doing it. You can have situations where someone becomes bold enough to confront you, to know why he is not given the other person’s assignment. This article deals with issues of such nature and how to handle it. It is a great lesson for everyone who wants to make a mark in life.

The scripture says, “Then Ahimaaz the son of Zadok said, “Let me run now and take the news to the king, how the Lord has avenged him of his enemies.” And Joab said to him, “You shall not take the news this day, for you shall take the news another day. But today you shall take no news, because the king’s son is dead.” Then Joab said to the Cushite, “Go, tell the king what you have seen.” So the Cushite bowed himself to Joab and ran. And Ahimaaz the son of Zadok said again to Joab, “But whatever happens, please let me also run after the Cushite.” So Joab said, “Why will you run, my son, since you have no news ready?”  “But whatever happens,” he said, “let me run.” So he said to him, “Run.” Then Ahimaaz ran by way of the plain, and outran the Cushite.” 2 Sam 18:19-23 (NKJV)

There was war in Israel after Absalom deposed David as king. When Absalom gained control of considerable followers in his scheme to become the king of Israel, David fled but the followers of Absalom advised him to confront him in a battle and there was war. It turned out that that the army of Absalom was defeated and he was killed on the battle field. Joab, the commander of David’s forces wanted to inform David of the events of the day and the outcome. Joab had men who were trained to run errands about warfare that Israel was engaged in.

Joab decided to send the Cushite who was trained for such an errand; however, Ahimaaz felt he can do a better job than the Cushite. Joab reminded him that he was not the right person for this assignment but Ahimaaz insisted he must do the job. After what seemed like a long argument over this, Joab gave him the permission to go. The following was the outcome

“Now David was sitting between the two gates. And the watchman went up to the roof over the gate, to the wall, lifted his eyes and looked, and there was a man, running alone. Then the watchman cried out and told the king. And the king said, “If he is alone, there is news in his mouth.” And he came rapidly and drew near.

Then the watchman saw another man running, and the watchman called to the gatekeeper and said, “There is another man, running alone!”

And the king said, “He also brings news.”

So the watchman said, “I think the running of the first is like the running of Ahimaaz the son of Zadok.”

And the king said, “He is a good man, and comes with good news.”

So Ahimaaz called out and said to the king, “All is well!” Then he bowed down with his face to the earth before the king, and said, “Blessed be the Lord your God, who has delivered up the men who raised their hand against my lord the king!”

The king said, “Is the young man Absalom safe?”

Ahimaaz answered, “When Joab sent the king’s servant and me your servant, I saw a great tumult, but I did not know what it was about.

And the king said, “Turn aside and stand here.” So he turned aside and stood still.” 2 Sam. 18:24 -30. (NKJV)

Ahimaaz had a good run. He out-ran the Cushite and got to David first; David was glad to receive him and wanted to know what the News was.

Ahimaaz said “So Ahimaaz called out and said to the king, “All is well!” Then he bowed down with his face to the earth before the king, and said, “Blessed be the Lord your God, who has delivered up the men who raised their hand against my lord the king!” The king said, “Is the young man Absalom safe?” Ahimaaz answered, “When Joab sent the king’s servant and me your servant, I saw a great tumult, but I did not know what it was about.”

That was a disaster! Ahimaaz failed in his mission to deliver the total News; he said “I saw a great tumult, but I did not know what it was about.” It was the moment of truth for him; he was in another man’s race. Ahimaaz was not the right messenger when it comes to details. The words of Joab must have play back in his mind to his dismay but it was too late. You might be familiar with a scene like this. It is common in our competitive world; in politics, at home, in the office, to name a few; where some people run other people down for all kinds of reasons. There are many people who are more interested in getting attention; getting a job or being the “leader”; more than doing the job.

When people run the race that is not meant for them (by training or destiny), they end up in shame. They frustrate everyone and get turned away.  You can imagine the embarrassment it could have been if Joab had committed the whole assignment to him.  A leader must not commit his important projects to “loud talkers”. He must be careful to discern schemers. They talk about cost saving but end up pilling up more bills for the organisation. They build up division and cracks and spend their time developing cover-up.

The end of the story is like this:

“Just then the Cushite came, and the Cushite said, “There is good news, my lord the king! For the Lord has avenged you this day of all those who rose against you.”

And the king said to the Cushite, “Is the young man Absalom safe?”

So the Cushite answered, “May the enemies of my lord the king, and all who rise against you to do harm, be like that young man!”

Then the king was deeply moved, and went up to the chamber over the gate, and wept. And as he went, he said thus: “O my son Absalom—my son, my son Absalom—if only I had died in your place! O Absalom my son, my son!” 2 Kings18:31-33 (NKJV)

The Cushite delivered as expected and the job was done. The scripture said “Then the King was moved”. In spiritual things you can only make an eternal impact in a Holy Spirit commissioned assignment. God has assignment for every one of us. We must not despise the “little job” for the “big” ones. God knows what he can use us for. We don’t have the right to question God about what he has asked other people to do. Nebuchadnezzar learnt some lessons about this during his crisis.

And at the end of the time I, Nebuchadnezzar, lifted my eyes to heaven, and my understanding returned to me; and I blessed the Most High and praised and honored Him who lives forever:

For His dominion is an everlasting dominion, And His kingdom is from generation to generation. All the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing; He does according to His will in the army of heaven and among the inhabitants of the earth. No one can restrain His hand or say to Him, “What have You done?” Daniel 4:34-35 (NKJV)

This is the time to turn to God in humility and ask him for his will for our lives. Paul did this in Acts 9:6. So he, trembling and astonished, said, “Lord, what do You want me to do?” Then the Lord said to him, “Arise and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.”

It is not in our power to decide who God uses for what. Acts 13:1-3, says, “Now in the church that was at Antioch there were certain prophets and teachers: Barnabas, Simeon who was called Niger, Lucius of Cyrene, Manaen who had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch, and Saul. As they ministered to the Lord and fasted, the Holy Spirit said, “Now separate to Me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.” Then, having fasted and prayed, and laid hands on them, they sent them away.” (NKJV) It was a divine choice and the Lord did not give any reason for choosing them. They were the right men for that assignment. It was not because they were better Christians than the others.

We should obey the Lord and commit ourselves to our duties; whatever it is God has asked us to do. 2 Cor.10:12, says, For we dare not class ourselves or compare ourselves with those who commend themselves. But they, measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise.” (NKJV)

Let God Speak to Your Situation

Life challenges are like a second nature to many of us. We are always looking for people who will help us out of troubles. That is natural and normal. However help from fellow men no matter how useful it can be, is limited. The psalmist says, “I lift up my eyes to the mountains— where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.” (NIV) Those Mountains used to be places where people had their idols. It can infer looking up to people in “high places” for help. Real help comes from God. He knows who to connect you with and when.

Psalm 46:1 says, “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.”

God’s help comes at the right moment for those who trust him. John 5:1-8 tells us of a man who waited 38 years at a pool’s yard for the help of a man but never found it.

Now there is in Jerusalem near the Sheep Gate a pool, which in Aramaic is called Bethesda and which is surrounded by five covered colonnades. Here a great number of disabled people used to lie—the blind, the lame, the paralyzed.  One who was there had been an invalid for thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him lying there and learned that he had been in this condition for a long time, he asked him, “Do you want to get well?”

 “Sir,” the invalid replied, “I have no one to help me into the pool when the water is stirred. While I am tryin

English: A collection of project designed by N...

English: A collection of project designed by Niv and associates. עברית: אוסף פרויקטים שתוכננו על ידי אמנון ניב ושותפיו. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

g to get in, someone else goes down ahead of me.”

Then Jesus said to him, “Get up! Pick up your mat and walk.” At once the man was cured; he picked up his mat and walked.” (NIV)

Many of us live in such frustration and confusion daily, year after year. You can experience a change today. Let God speak to that situation and you will be fine. That was what happened in the beginning and it has always been so as we read in John 5:2-8. Jesus spoke to the situation of the man who was invalid for 38 years.

Gen. 1:1-4, says, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.  Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters. And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. God saw that the light was good, and he separated the light from the darkness.” (NIV)

The word of God changed horrible situations and health the sick. The word of God brought into existence the things that did not exist. It can do the same for you. You can only experience it when you decide to give God a chance in your life. Give him the opportunity to help you. This is the right time to you it.

God says in Jeremiah 33:3 “Call to Me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know.” (NIV). Do it now.