THE GOSPEL OF JESUS

 

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What is that gospel message anyway, and just who is it for? Well I can start by telling you what it isn’t. It is not a message promoting a weekly gathering of people who try and separate themselves from the ungodly. It is not a list of do’s and do nots that we can measure ourselves and those around us. Church has an important role in the life of the believer but the good news that is known on the inside needs to be delivered to those on the outside. The reason the majority of us are on the inside is because someone shared the good news with us when we were knee deep in the mess of our own making.

Here are some great quotes from Jesus Himself that will reveal His character and what His purpose is.

  • For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.”
  • “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. 13 But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice.’ For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.”
  • John 6:35 And Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst. 36 But I said to you that you have seen Me and yet do not believe. 37 All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out. 38 For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me. 39 This is the will of the Father who sent Me, that of all He has given Me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up at the last day. 40 And this is the will of Him who sent Me, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in Him may have everlasting life; and I will raise him up at the last day.”

 

These are just a few I can think of but you can see even in these few quotes of His that the message He brought was not one of condemnation but is great news as it promises to take you from a lost and deathly ill state to one of life. If we are willing to trust Him with our lives then you will see that He is able to do what He says. It is not a self help program showing you how to be better behaved. The actions of sin are clearly spelled out in the bible so we can all see that we have that disease with no exceptions other then the son of God Himself.

He is still coming to people all over the earth today to receive them into the kingdom and show them a new and better way. You go from only being sort of loved by others that is very conditional, to being adopted into a family where you are wanted & loved. Jesus pays the ransom for you in blood and your name is added to the book of life.

The Spirit of God Himself now resides in you and will lead and teach you how to live this life as a son or daughter of the true king. It is a time to learn and unlearn. The laws of the kingdom of God are very much opposite to the laws we learn here. Since we are citizens of God’s kingdom we learn kingdom ways. If you want to prosper you become good at giving part of what you have away to help someone else. This world is full of lack but the kingdom of God is a kingdom of abundance and fullness. Want to climb the ladder of success now? Then forsake pride and it’s ways and walk in humility, seeing others as greater then yourself.

Although we are now new and different then we were before Jesus saved us, we are not without trials and suffering. These things can be tools to transform our characters into the very likeness of Christ. Seeing God’s faithfulness in these times will establish God as very relevant in your life and His reality in this world. I have a caution for you that I will illustrate with this picture.

Imagine yourself sailing in a land where pirates are plentiful, and there is a pirate ship bearing down on you. You know if you are caught by them that you will be one again made a slave and be tormented the rest of your days. Jesus is your captain and you are the 1st mate. Your blood is pumping fast and your ears are open to every command. You discover that your captain is very skilled and has no fear at all. You begin to realize that although there is danger all around you, that you are safer then you have ever been. His strategies seem odd and you think you know better but you submit to Him and discover that His ways lead to success. You grow in trust and wisdom in this environment and discover more about who you are and who you were created to be. The challenges of this voyage has made you more like your captain.

Now let’s suppose now that you are sailing in a sea that is calm. You are in a land much like the Caribbean that is warm and the scenery is beautiful. You see the palm trees on the islands you sail past and in these waters there are no pirates in sight. You are here with your captain Jesus. He teaches you about the ship and how to sail it. At first you are interested but as time goes on you become distracted and want to relax. You don’t feel that what He is sharing with you is really that important as you see no threats. So you recline in the sun and the voice of Jesus begins to fade away as you drift off to sleep. Drift is the operative word here. If we do not live our lives intentionally then our lives will drift. This strategy of the devil has proven successful against me personally. Once the devil discovers where you are weak he will try and exploit it.

When something wakes us from our sleep we will discover that we have drifted way off course and we are no longer going towards the kingdom. In fact you will be confused as to where you are and what your status really is. Your eyes will not see your captain nor will your ears hear His voice. The person whom you took for granted will be sorely missed. Now we find fear overtaking us and the beauty that was around us when we closed our eyes has gone and now we see pirate flags and ships bearing down on us. We try and get our sailboat to sail quickly away but we realize we never learned everything we needed to know to sail this vessel.

What happens after that is anyone’s guess. It is our reaction to things that will determine the course from this point forward. Some will be captured and taken back to where they began. Some will try and fight the enemy but will just get beat up worse. Some will fall to their knees and cry out for Jesus. Whatever we do we need to remember that our situations are very fluid. Even if we make bad choice after bad choice it is the desire of God that we are restored. He is never looking at you and thinking “ this will teach you to reject or ignore me. I hope you suffer!”. The liar may speak that in your ear but God will never say or think that. While you have breath in your lungs you have the choice to fall to your knees and get right with God. Turn your heart towards Him and you will start to hear and see Him in you life again. He is always within earshot and He has never really abandoned us but why we are in rebellion or going our own way our spiritual senses just fall asleep and remember that God is spirit.

You see God is good and His ways are higher then ours. Jeremiah 29:11 “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.” John 16:11 Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.

You see the gospel of Christ truly is good news for everyone who has an honest look at themselves and see their situation as it truly is. He is the hope of every man and woman alive. If you are a believer now then please don’t keep the good news to yourself like it is a secret. Tell someone for God’s sake! The gospel of Jesus is what I find myself….. Just Thinking

 

 

Norman C

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THE FIREPLACE

fireplace

 

As I sat by the fireplace early this morning I seemed to have a million questions for God. I wondered why His power seemed to be absent from my life in these days. I wondered why the things outlined in the bible were not being carried out in my life. I know that I am not able to heal but I also know that He is. He is living within me yet I am seeing nothing. These and other questions flowed from me to Him.

I sat there with my eyes closed waiting for an answer. It seemed that only a few minutes had passed when suddenly the wood I put into the fireplace burst into flames. It gave me a start so my eyes opened and I stared into the flame. I felt that this is what He said to me.

“ Our relationship is much like this fireplace. First you must stir up the coals that are still in there from times past. Coals are the remains of the love that burned so bright between us. Next you add the fuel so there is something to burn. I feel like the fuel is time and interaction that is invested with Him. Without these it would seem odd to be still hoping for a fire.

The first thing you will notice is that smoke will begin to rise. This scent will be picked up by anyone within your surroundings. Not everyone will know what that smell is but it will be a sign. Next the fuel will ignite into a flame. The light that comes from this will be cast out from within. This will enable you to see the next step or two you will make on your path. It will also allow those who are close to you to see what they may not have been able to see in the dark. As the fire continues to burn, warmth will be released that will make a comfortable atmosphere around you. It will draw those who are cold and remember what it is like to be warm.

This is what you are longing for. It is this that you lack. It is here at the fireplace that all the questions you have in your heart will be answered. It is time to make a fire.”

 

Norman & God

December 12th 2016

AFRAID

 

37819432-depressed-young-businessman-sitting-wet-under-rain

 

The life I used to know

has somehow disappeared

The control and order in life

Is now replaced with fear

 

My confidence has been taken away.

Yet I still go through the motions

A part of me is dying

So for comfort I look to potions

 

Where is the God who saved me

Tonight while I feel this doubt

Is He still here with me

Or now alone I walk this out

 

He promised me He’d never leave

I will not be left an orphan

Guess He knew what He was getting

When He made me His own son

 

So by faith, I’ll praise my Father

and I’ll praise the 1st born Son

And I’ll look to find my teacher

Beautiful Holy Spirit, You are the only one.

Safe Place

I would like to start off with an image. Imagine you are a little boy or girl who has discovered something to them to be important and even mysterious. You don’t understand what it is that you have discovered but you take your discovery to someone whom you value and trust. This person would be a person with whom you have a good relationship with, and respect for their wisdom or insights. Since it is something you are only trying to understand you need to be sure that the person is a “safe place” to bounce your thoughts off of and get their feedback. So excitedly you bring your discovery to them and they shoot it down immediately. The thing you were excited about has become evidence to that person that you have wasted your time and furthermore implies that wasting time on such things makes you a bad person. How would you handle that?fear

Do you think you would become vulnerable to them in the future? It is hard to navigate the tricky waters of relationship with others when you stop looking ahead for the landmines. Most of us have them I’m sorry to say and they seem to catch us in our vulnerable moments. After all if we had remained more guarded we may have sensed that there was something lying in the dark waiting for that unsuspecting soul. But when you feel safe you leave your heart open because this is when real relationship can take place. If the heard is guarded you will save yourself a lot of pain but you also limit yourself to a realm outside of love.

The bible talks about the wisdom of guarding ones heart above everything else because out of the heart flow the issues of life. A heart that has been wounded needs attention from God right away. He has exactly what is needed to make the necessary repairs to you. Left to your own your heart will grow cold, bitter or just hard. You will no longer be the man or woman you were and you will not be able to help anyone down the road with others in trouble.Cleft_

So the first impulse you may have, is to run from this friendship! It is not the way to go if you want to move forward in life. I have tried to withhold love, friendship etc. from people for a wound I received from their words, and I have lost things because of it. The devil will perch on my shoulder and tell me that I was wrong about such a person from the very beginning and should never have trusted them in the first place. I for one, struggle not to listen to the evil one. “Oh Jesus come and speak to me”, should be what I say right away and then I will have my shepherd right there to guide and comfort me. What He will reveal will be just what I need.

So if you think a person is your safe place to share you may find yourself getting hurt once in a while as we are all people in progress. I wish I could tell you that I am always a safe place for people but I can’t but Jesus I really want to be. I do know that if we want to grow and transform we need to just forgive, give the pain to Jesus, love again, and get back on the path He has called us to and that folks is what I find myself……. Just Thinking

Psalm 31

WHO WANTS TO BE PICKLED?

Jams

How many of you out there like “preserves”? Who doesn’t like strawberry jam on a fresh buttered roll. Berries in my part of the world are strictly seasonal. So if you want to experience them anytime of the year then jamming or preserving them is the way to go. I decided to look up the meaning of preserve and here are a couple of examples.

to keep alive or in existence; make lasting:

to keep safe from harm or injury; protect or spare.

So nothing too surprising there. “Preserves” have moved way beyond that of fruit and vegetables now though. Every time we turn on any media it stares us in the face. The message is clear. Preserve yourself by wearing this makeup. It will take 10 years off your appearance! images

How about the various exercise machines that will preserve that youthful body of yours! Invest here so in your later years you will be able to retire in comfort. ( Life can be preserved ) Here are the things you need to eat to “STAY” healthy. This list goes on but I am sure you get my point.

The question that comes to mind is; “What is so great that you want to hang on to?” This was never the plan for us by our creator. Just read Ecclesiastes 3:1-8. Here are just the 1st two verses. For everything there is a season,

a time for every activity under heaven.2 A time to be born and a time to die. A time to plant and a time to harvest.

Many of us are uncertain of what may come next and so we drag our feet thinking when the time to die comes that we lose everything at that point. Proverbs 3 ( the book of wisdom ) tells us to “Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. 6 Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take.”

Life is meant to be lived to the fullest and hold nothing back. Our end goal is not to be pickled, jarred, or canned but to step out of this temporary living arrangement and step into the kingdom where all our enemies are gone. Sickness, fear, hatred betrayal are all behind us. There will be no preserve advertisements or dissatisfaction with oneself. The only regrets we will have there is when we reflect back of why we didn’t risk our lives for the sake of love. Not following a path that is prepared for you to walk. Perhaps not taking the hand of Jesus and ending up in a place where all your enemies are.

All of us will die and that is for sure. Maybe today is a good time to reset. Maybe it’s choosing to die in the waters of baptism and being raised in Christ the one and only real preservative for us. Maybe you have done that already but like me have bought into the lies that a wise person needs to preserve your self and so life has become nothing. They are all questions that we need to ask ourselves. There was already provision for you to live for eternity with the one who loves you most.

There is a better plan then just getting “pickled” or at least that is what I find myself.………. “ Just Thinking”

jars-preserves-18579934 

 

 

Day 3 At The Well

wellwall

Spiritual hunger is very great in the earth at this time. People are hurting and hungry for answers. Some have come to my church and left hungry as there was no spiritual food there. If people are not able to hear me then they cannot hear what I am doing in the earth. The lost ones who are searching, come into our house and don’t find what they need to satisfy their hunger. The fields that are white and ready for harvest, do not grow inside of buildings. When I walked the earth as a man, I build no great hall for people to gather at. I sent out my disciples 2 x 2 and I am powered them so that their journey would be a success. They have only me to rely on as they were not allowed to take any extra money or clothes but had to put their trust in me to provide. They all returned full! The disciples experienced what it was to walk in the power of the kingdom as they moved among the people. Man has always feared the unknown and that still the case today. People are not willing to risk themselves for the sake of another.

There have been many groups who have tried outreaches and found no success. If you were going on a fishing trip, would you go without taking bait? Would you put out your hook with no bait and expect a fish to bite. Do you remember the story of the small boy who had a packed lunch with two fish and five small barley loaves? This was plenty of fish for himself but could not supply the amount needed for this crowd. When he surrendered his supply to Jesus and Jesus blessed and it became enough to satisfy the whole crowd. Many in that crowd we’re satisfied because they were looking for food for their bodies. If the food supply had of continued then those who hunger for food would continue to come. You must ask yourself ”what are you hungry for?” This is not what I came to earth for. I came to supply them spiritual food that they could never otherwise receive.

Today things are very much the same. People are “ministering” to the poor by giving them food and not giving me. It is I that they really need but I am not being offered. Often I am presented as the God who was, or the God of folklore rather than God almighty. I change not! Passing out hotdogs may fill their stomachs but it will not provide any hope for them. Just as you need me to make sense of your life, they need me both to offer hope, and to make sense of their life. Many of them have been taken in by people claiming to have power. It is now hard for them to trust. A Word from me through you, that they know to be true, tells them that I know them, and this will break through their walls because this is what they have been searching for. When they understand that I am real, authentic, and that I know and love them, they will be changed. Just as you were once overjoyed to discover that I wanted you as my son, they too will be overjoyed. They need to know that I am the way today, that I am the truth in this world of lies, and that I am the way to return home to the Father, the one who loves you most. So I ask you, Will the fruit hanging on the branches be left to rot? The harvesters truly are so few. The harvest fields are all around you.

DAY 2 AT THE WELL

 

wellwall

Oh how important it is to listen for me and you trust me in the uncertain times. As you know people imagine what I am supposed to do and then when it does not happen they think I have left them down. People have free well to choose and they often choose poorly and end up hurt. The deceiver would have you think that I am behind all the calamity and pain that comes in your life. In this way he inflicts the pain and breaks trust between the person and I at the same time.

The woman at the well at five different husbands and now lives with a man who chose not to marry her. Can you imagine the kind of pain but this woman lives with every day. To be rejected by so many men would leave a huge scar on her heart not to mention the many trust issues. Yet here she is talking with Jesus and has opened herself up Him. This defies logic but yet it had happened. Jesus demeanor and in the way he spoke to her were both born out of love. The very reason that he met with her was first   birthed in love.

When the church goes out into the marketplace to minister to the lost, what is the reasoning behind this? Was this outreach first birthed by their love for the lost? Was I sought out in prayer to see if I was doing this? Many times this is not the case. My children think I will love them more if they lead someone to me. When a person fails to surrender all to me, then my love is not able to reach all the rooms in their heart and so they feel they are not loved as much as someone else. They conclude that they need to attract my attention by doing something for me and then they will be truly loved. Sadly they never know my love in full measure until they surrender all to me. Others may also thing that they will gain prominence for notoriety by becoming “good” at reaching the lost.

I can tell you now Norman how important the foundation is to any outreach. All of my work is built on the foundation of love. In this way the outreach is all about your love for me and your willingness to reach out to the lost. I know people are insecure but this must be overcome, as you must be prepared when you go into the enemy camp to rescue one of the captives. Love is a powerful force as I am by nature love, so walk in it.

If your secret motive is to lift yourself up, then will I assist you and that? Will my child enslaved to darkness be used to build your kingdom? Always inspect the foundation of any undertaking and make sure it is solid. Unless you spend time in my presence you will not have enough love to share with others. I can give you enough love for you to overflow.

As for the woman at the well, the walls of the prison surrounding her heart were broken down by the power of love. You know what the Scriptures say concerning my word.

Hebrews 4:12 “ for the word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two edged sword, having between the soul and spirit, between joint and marrow. It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires.”

prison walls

DAY 1 AT THE WELL

 

wellwall

I am here at the well so to speak, to be alone with the one I love. I had forgotten what it is to come here with You and waiting on You to fill me with the living water that only you have.

below referring the woman at the well

What appears to you to be a chance meeting at the well was not that at all, but rather me being at the place and time that my Father revealed to me. I am who I am and you are who you are. Our Father made us both with great joy and great purpose. I know you feel as though you have missed your time but there are many appointments and opportunities available in one’s life. It is just a matter of you listening and then making it to your appointment. For the woman at the well that appointment changed both her destiny and that of her town’s. You see, not only was she a woman covered and crippled by shame but so also was her town.

The religious system of the Jewish faith had rejected and condemned the Samaritans’ and so hope for them seemed to be lost. Such is the time that you are in as well. The world has chewed up and spit out many and there are many more, who hide their secrets for fear of rejection. As you know, things that are hidden in the dark they will never heal but are an open gate for the tormentors.

How would you like to be one who happens to be at the appointment for someone and reveal to that person that God has not rejected them. Not only that but he has sent you there specifically for them. Would you like to be part of that Norman? A real rescue mission where the rescued are used to rescue those in jeopardy. You know what it is, to be sought out by the Lord, and how it changes things and also De-bunks so many lies.

As much as people say that they don’t believe, or care, they do. The lost are being tormented by the dark messengers of Satan every day. They have been convinced by the lies spoken to them that they are rejected, disqualified and unloved by me. We know that that is simply not the truth. It is time that they know the truth.

ONLY YOU

 

Who can know the secrets of my heart

Or the many rooms within

Who can breach the walls surrounding it

Only You

 

Who took the time to know me, before I ever was

Or covered my unborn soul

Who looked into time and decided my place

Only You

 

Who smiled and enjoyed the person He made

Giving me a piece they needed

Who gave me His love and sent me His word

Only You

 

Who watched as my soul departed from Him

Only to bring accusation

Who chose to remain faithful and love me still

Only You

 

Who waits in the morning for my eyes to open

Wanting to spend time with me

Who continues to believe that my life is worth it

Only You

 

Who cheers me on as I struggle with faith

To trust the unseen and choose to believe

Who’s love remains faithful from the day I was made

Only Younature-clouds-hdr-phenomenon

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