Monthly Archives: March 2010

Don’t Look Back

Stop! Halt! Detour! We have seen these warning signs on the road of life. Sometimes we speed right past them as if they didn’t exist.  Then we wonder why we weren’t warned of the dangers that lied ahead.

Lot lived in a town called Sodom, so full of sin and wickedness. The people had engaged in drunkenness, idol worshipping, sexual immoralities. They lived their lives outside of God. They made their own rules. God was displeased and had decided to destroy both Sodom and Gomorrah. He knew that some of His children remained obedient and so angels were sent to warn Lot and his family of the coming destruction.  Genesis 19:1, 12-26

1And there came two angels to Sodom at even; and Lot sat in the gate of Sodom: and Lot seeing them rose up to meet them; and he bowed himself with his face toward the ground; 12And the men said unto Lot, Hast thou here any besides? son in law, and thy sons, and thy daughters, and whatsoever thou hast in the city, bring them out of this place: 13For we will destroy this place, because the cry of them is waxen great before the face of the LORD; and the LORD hath sent us to destroy it. 14And Lot went out, and spake unto his sons in law, which married his daughters, and said, Up, get you out of this place; for the LORD will destroy this city. But he seemed as one that mocked unto his sons in law. 15And when the morning arose, then the angels hastened Lot, saying, Arise, take thy wife, and thy two daughters, which are here; lest thou be consumed in the iniquity of the city. 16And while he lingered, the men laid hold upon his hand, and upon the hand of his wife, and upon the hand of his two daughters; the LORD being merciful unto him: and they brought him forth, and set him without the city.

17And it came to pass, when they had brought them forth abroad, that he said, Escape for thy life; look not behind thee, neither stay thou in all the plain; escape to the mountain, lest thou be consumed. 18And Lot said unto them, Oh, not so, my LORD: 19Behold now, thy servant hath found grace in thy sight, and thou hast magnified thy mercy, which thou hast shewed unto me in saving my life; and I cannot escape to the mountain, lest some evil take me, and I die: 20Behold now, this city is near to flee unto, and it is a little one: Oh, let me escape thither, (is it not a little one?) and my soul shall live. 21And he said unto him, See, I have accepted thee concerning this thing also, that I will not overthrow this city, for the which thou hast spoken. 22Haste thee, escape thither; for I cannot do anything till thou be come thither. Therefore the name of the city was called Zoar. 23The sun was risen upon the earth when Lot entered into Zoar. 24Then the LORD rained upon Sodom and upon Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the LORD out of heaven; 25And he overthrew those cities, and all the plain, and all the inhabitants of the cities, and that which grew upon the ground. 26But his wife looked back from behind him, and she became a pillar of salt.

Could you really and truly pick up your things and leave if God said let’s go? Would you be able to look forward, never backward. Lot’s wife couldn’t and look where it got her. She became a pillar of salt, because she just could not let go of her past.

Most of us are so comfortable with the places we’re in. We are so caught up with our past and present that we can’t imagine a better future. We have become our own gods, knowing what’s best for us.

“Knock Knock!”

“Who’s there?”

“God.”

“God who?”

“God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit who created the heavens and the earth. I created man and the animals. Oh and by the way, I created you too. I am the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending. So would you mind if I had my job back?”

We are too busy playing God, trying to fill His shoes, that we can’t even see the traps that are ready to destroy us. God has always and will continue to look out for His children, IF WE LET HIM! Noah and his family obeyed God. For 120 years, Noah preached that the rains would come. God had told him to let the people know and they chose to ignore him. When the rains finally came, Noah and his family along with pair of every animal were the only ones saved. Read Genesis 6.

Angels were sent to tell Lot to flee the town of Sodom with his family. Lot didn’t even hesitate. He packed up and left, never to return. He had trust in God.

Jeremiah 29:11 says,”For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.”

God would never…He would never pull you from one place and put you somewhere worse. That is the opposite of who He is. He always has our best at heart.

Lot’s wife couldn’t imagine that she would have to leave everything she worked so hard for. She couldn’t imagine that she would have to leave behind her house, her job, her colleagues and friends. She couldn’t help but look back, fearing the thought of having to start all over again. She lacked the faith needed to know that God would see them through. She failed to see that life would be better than what it was before.

That boyfriend or girlfriend is not the end of you. Leave them in your past. If your pastor or church member wronged you, leave them in your past. If your employer or employee spoke against you, so be it. These actions are only temporary. Your current location is not your final destination. God has something better in store for you.

Let go of your past. Trust in Him who knows all and sees all. He knows what’s best for us, after all He created us. We may think we know ourselves, our needs, but only God knows us inside and out. Just trust Him and He’ll do the rest.

Learn from her example. Don’t look back, look forward. It’s called the past for a reason. We are not to dwell on those things. We must learn and continue to push forward.

Thanks for reading and remember God loves you! Be blessed!

Author: Kristia M. Beaubrun

www.kristiabeaubrun.wordpress.com

Age is just a number!

“None are so sinful that they cannot find strength, purity, and righteousness in Jesus, who died for them.” Steps to Christ, p. 35

Age is just a number. When the time comes for God to call His children, He calls for young and old! God does not discriminate. We all were made differently so of course God knows when His calling is appropriate in His children’s lives. David being the youngest of eight, was chosen to leave his flesh and to walk with the Spirit of the Lord after being anointed with oil (1 Samuel 16:13). God also called King Josiah at the young age of 8! Such irony! King Josiah followed the voice of God to rule the land of Jerusalem (2 Chronicles 34). God had chosen these two young hearts, but God too did call Nicodemus, the young in heart, to be reborn and to walk in His Spirit. If we were to compare the ages of Nicodemus and David, the difference would be pretty large, nés pa? God knows exactly when to “hire labourers into his vineyard” (Matthew 20:1) because He knows when you are capable and ready.  Noah was past two hundred years old when constructing the Ark like God called Him to.  Noah and Nicodemus were rich in age, scientifically meaning today that their bone marrows were subjected to weaken. But who cares about what the bodies says! When God calls, it is best that we respond! Not respond, because you have made a deal with the Father, but respond because you have a true relationship with the Father where you are able to submit me, myself and I to Him.

We tend to complain about what God wants us to do, but do you know how grateful we should be to even hear the Holy Ghost speak to us? It was said that each time Ellen G. White felt the Holy Spirit speak or working through her, automatically she gave praise unto Him! It’s only fair to give thanks to the Holy Spirit for dwelling in worthless sinners like us. I urge you to not sleep on the work of the Lord; for He can even dwell and work in a toddler, if He wanted to! My friend, do not miss out on your calling to leave behind the lusting flesh to be filled with the fruitful Spirit! If 8-year-old Josiah can do it, and if Jesus did it, so can you.

~Let’s get personal~
This week reflect on if you have answered your call. If not, what is it that’s hindering you? A worldly possession? What is it that keeps you away from constant prayer? In order to be safe in the arms of the Savior eternally we must flee from evil and seek the love of God. Then and there, we know we are secured from all evil.

If you have answered your call, I pray that the Lord is blessing you through out the long journey and that you stay firm and never give up on Him.

Don’t delay. What you think we have, is almost finished and that is time. God bless.

Read John 3: 1-7; Gen 7:1-6

Thanks for reading and remember God loves you. Be blessed!

Author: Rachel Isnady

http://unrestrictedwords.wordpress.com/

What’s In a Touch?

International Women’s Day of Prayer

Speaker: Eunice Senior-Baker, Northeastern Conference of SDA

Scripture Reading: Luke 8:40-48

As women, we must reclaim our responsibility as prayer warriors. We must pray for the church, pray for each other, pray for our young people, pray for those who don’t know the Lord. When women pray, great things happen.

One concern of the devil is to keep perople from praying. He doesn’t care about prayerless religion or prayerless work. He laughs at our toil, mocks at our wisdom, but trembles when we pray. So let us continue in prayer.

In Luke 40, we read the story of the ruler of a synagogue who came to Jesus, pleading for Him to heal his only daughter. Jesus never turns down someone’s cry for help. He was on an emergency call. So He headed to Jairus’ house. The crowd also followed Him. As He headed to the house to stand by the girl’s bedside, a women suffering from an issue of blood for 12 years snuck into the crowd and touched His garment.

We don’t know her name. She is referred to as the woman with an incurable issue of blood. She was so stigmatized that no one cared to learn her name. She was identified by her issue and not by the contributions she offered nor her value. She lived under the  Levitical laws, during which it was important for a woman to be identified by family or position in the community. Due to her issue, she was a social outcast for 12 years, excommunicated from the temple and synagogue, considered impure. She was divorced from her husband and abandoned by her family.

For 12 years she sought help and healing from physicians who were stumped. She suffered alone with this illness. She lost all hope and was in despair. She heard that Jesus was in town and had heard of all the miracles He had done. He cast out demons, made the lame to walk, the dumb to speak,  and calmed the seas. She knew that He was the great physician and the only one who could help her. This was her only chance she thought. So she made her way through the crowd thinking that she only had to touch the hem of His garment and that would be enough. It was now or never and she had nothing else to lose, because she had already lost everything.

In one touch, she concentrated all of her faith and instantly her illness gave place to good health. We must all touch Jesus for ourselves. Jesus recognized the touch and halted, turning to ask who touched Him. Jesus was surrounded by a crowd so any one of them could have touched Him, Peter thought. This touch was different and Jesus knew it, because He felt virtue leave Him. Jesus knows the difference between a touch of need from a touch of greed.

This woman was treated by the church and the people as nothing or nobody. Jesus sought the person who touched Him and fearfully she spoke up in fron of the many who had abandoned her in her time of need. Jesus, however, called her His daughter. She was somebody, the daughter of the Prince of Peace.

Jesus is never too pre-occupied to not recognize the cry, quest, and need of a single, solitary soul. There is a certain sensitivity which Jesus has towards the needs of each of us. No one is ever hidden from Him.

Why didn’t Jesus let the woman stay hidden? The Son of God knew who touched Him. That’s not why He asked the question. There’s a lesson behind it. If she remained hidden, the good of the action would fail her. She needed to know who healed her and not how or people would want Jesus’ clothes. Matthew 5:34 says, “And he said unto her, Daughter, thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace, and be whole of thy plague.” Healing didn’t come from His clothes. She shouldn’t be misled. Touching Christ or His clothes didn’t bring healing, because there were many in the crowd who interacted with Him. They were also sick, but not healed. She couldn’t think that her touch could work a miracle. Jesus wanted to recognize her faith. Her touch was different, not a casual t ouch, but a conscious, deliberate, voluntary, dependent, saving, pre-meditated touch of faith.

Hers was a touch motivated by faith and faith always stop Jesus in His tracks. It gets His attention every time. God wants us to have a personal relationship with Him. We must know the Savior, if we must experience personal salvation. We must not be satisfied with being a part of the crowd. We may be near Jesus in a thousand crowds and yet not once in contact with Him. We are too c omfortable with surrounding Him as a crowd, but never truly knowing Him, or purposefully touching Him.

Jesus loves you so much that He made a way for you to be saved. That is why He died for you.  He loves us too much to let us die. Jesus is still here for you. He is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow.

Spiritual Starvation

Can one live without essential nutrients needed to supply the body with nourishment? Food has always been needed for the human body to effectively function and for the sustainment of life. However, when one fails to take in nutrients and energy needed for stability, it can cause damage to the body and may lead to fatalistic consequences such as death.

“And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.”(John 6:35). If we are not daily feasting on the bread of life, the savior of this world, then we are spiritually starving ourselves! Knowing who Jesus is and what he is, and Knowing about him, and what he can do are two different things.

God has given us food to help nourish every part of our bodies, even in the absence of physical food. His true and perfect word helps us to know who He is, what He is, why He is, and where He is in our lives.  2 Timothy 2:15 states, “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” The only way we can gain access to this bread is through searching the word of God and by being in consistent communion with Him through prayer. By doing this we will please and show God that we are faithful to Him.

The enemy may try to tempt us but with the word of God on our lips, in our minds, and in our hearts, we can resist temptation the same as our Saviour did. “But he answered and said, it is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.” (Matt. 4:4).

Physical food is not enough to keep us alive, but God’s word is sufficient! We must not starve ourselves from what is necessary for growth in life, and life itself. . No longer can we starve ourselves, but we must indulge into the word of God.  Jesus is waiting to full us with his truth and goodness, but we must be willing to be fed by feeding ourselves. 

“O taste and see that the LORD is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him.” Psalm 34:8 

Thanks for reading and remember God loves you. Be blessed!

Author:  Rebecca Cenatus

The Patience of the Saints

Speaker: Elder Arnold Burton

Scripture Reading: Revelation 14:12

“Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.” Revelation 14:12

We often experience pain in our lives and doubtfully ask questions regarding the presence of God. We find it difficult to comprehend that during our efforts towards the route of perfection comes so much imperfection. When the enemy sees that we make provisions and efforts to please the Father, he begins to make plans to attack us in any way possible.  Ephesians 6:12 states, “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” This spiritual warfare does in fact exist.  As humans we cannot control the power of evil spiritual forces, however, God’s power is able to do all things! We must remain in consistent communication with the omnipotent one, in order to resist and cast out spiritual wickedness. Only believing that He can do all things will not get the job done, because faith without works is dead! (James 2:17).

“The devil has placed a virus on this earth called sin and he wants to infect us all.” (Elder Arnold Burton) He wants to hinder us from receiving the gift of salvation that Jesus, the ultimate sacrifice for our sins, has promised to those who truly love him.  But daily we must” study, pray, and testify”, building characters in Christ that will help us to stand against the wiles of the devil. (Eph. 6:11).Jesus has promised that those who endure and stand firm to the end will be saved and receive the crown of life. (Matt 24:13) The endurance may be painful, but “there is no pain or hurt that Jesus can’t feel.” The savior did it all with the help of the loving Father, and just life him, we too can overcome, for we are more than conquerors. 

The patience of the saints according to Revelations 14:12 states, “Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.” Those who endure to the end, who believe in God‘s word, in His laws, who act accordingly to righteousness of Christ, and who hold on to the faith of Jesus, which is the victory that overcomes this world, will inherit the kingdom!

Christ never promised that our Christian race wouldn’t be difficult, but he did promise that while we strive to make it to the finish line he would be our help and guide, and most importantly, that he would be waiting for us to complete the race. Although trials and tribulations that we face may seem as stumbling blocks, our all-knowing God has placed us in circumstances in our lives so that we may not learn to panic, but to endure, progress, and prevail. Though we endure, we must first finish the race. We will not earn the trophy of eternal life if our mission is not accomplished.

 “If you are faithful, what Jesus has done for you will make you say that Heaven is cheap enough! No matter how difficult your situation is right now, you must not and you cannot let go of this great faith!”

The Book Opener

Speaker: Pastor Jenks Brutus, Friendship SDA Church in Elmira, NY

Scripture Reading: Revelation 5

1And I saw in the right hand of him that sat on the throne a book written within and on the backside, sealed with seven seals. 2And I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice, Who is worthy to open the book, and to loose the seals thereof? 3And no man in heaven, nor in earth, neither under the earth, was able to open the book, neither to look thereon. 4And I wept much, because no man was found worthy to open and to read the book, neither to look thereon. 5And one of the elders saith unto me, Weep not: behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, hath prevailed to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof.

Are you saved? Have you turned your life over to God? Will your name be written in the Book of Life? As the final days of Earth pass us by and the time of probation nears its end, we ought to begin to ask ourselves these questions. Can you confidentally say that your relationship with God is right?

For those of us who were raised in the church, this message is not strange to us. We have heard the same message over and over. For those who have been raised out of the church, now is the time to really listen. The second coming of Jesus Christ is near. Sadly, many of you have not sealed your decision with Christ because of fear. You must give up certain things, attitudes, behavior. As a true Christian, you must undergo a complete transformation. However, you fail to realize that this change is a gradual process, it doesn’t happen overnight.You must first make the decision and have both the faith and desire to change before you can truly accept the message.

Change takes place before and not after you get into the baptismal water. Many of us go into the water hoping that our lives will be turned around from that very instant. No, your life actually becomes more challenging as a Christian, but with the strength of Christ you will endure and overcome every obstacle thrown your way.

Nothing can touch you without first having receive permission from God. Before it comes to you, it must go through the righteousness of God. So by the time it reaches you, it becomes a little thing. Just like the ozone layer protects the Earth from objects of space, Jesus is our spiritual layer to ensure that we do not endure more than we can bear. Jesus always take the brunt of our trials.

We can’t give up sin before coming to Christ. That’s what makes it difficult. Only Jesus can help us overcome. There are hundreds if not thousands of men and women who have yet to come to this realization. When you confess your sins and surrender to Christ, you will get your peace. That confession is your relinquishment of the very sins that would have barred you from entering into His eternal Kingdom.

In order to live a Christian life, we must surrender our will daily. Proclaim today that you want Jesus to live in you and He will help you transform into a new creature.

6And I beheld, and, lo, in the midst of the throne and of the four beasts, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth.  7And he came and took the book out of the right hand of him that sat upon the throne. 8And when he had taken the book, the four beasts and four and twenty elders fell down before the Lamb, having every one of them harps, and golden vials full of odours, which are the prayers of saints. 9And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation; 10And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth. 11And I beheld, and I heard the voice of many angels round about the throne and the beasts and the elders: and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands; 12Saying with a loud voice, Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing.13And every creature which is in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, heard I saying, Blessing, and honour, and glory, and power, be unto him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever.14And the four beasts said, Amen. And the four and twenty elders fell down and worshipped him that liveth for ever and ever.