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Mary sees Elizabeth – Luke 1:39-45(AMP)

39 Now at this time Mary arose and hurried to the hill country, to a city of Judah (Judea), 40 and she entered the house of Zacharias and greeted Elizabeth. 41 When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, her baby leaped in her womb; and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit and empowered by Him. 42 And she exclaimed loudly, “Blessed [worthy to be praised] are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb! 43 And how has it happened to me, that the mother of my Lord would come to me? 44 For behold, when the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy. 45 And blessed [spiritually fortunate and favoured by God] is she who believed and confidently trusted that there would be a fulfilment of the things that were spoken to her [by the angel sent] from the Lord.”

The background to this story is that very recently, Mary, who is a young woman probably only about 16 years of age, is betrothed to marry a young man called Joseph. Mary receives a visit from the arc angel Gabriel, who tells Mary that she will become pregnant with the Son of God and that He will save His people from their sins.  This is obviously pretty big news! If this happened to someone today, we would most probably find it way too hard to believe! Nevertheless this was the key moment in history for God’s plan to intervene into the world of mankind who had become so estranged from God, violent and evil in his ways so that a saviour who was long promised was now about to be born.

This Saviour was the long promised Jewish Messiah, who the prophets foretold about for centuries. The bible is the most amazing example of supernatural occurrences such as the hundreds of prophecies that foretell of the birth of Jesus Christ. Such prophecies spoken and recorded centuries before His birth tell of the place of His birth, His place of growing up. His visit to Egypt. The destruction of children and babies around that time by Herod who chose to try and destroy the infant Jesus. And so on it goes. Any scientist who looks critically at these prophecies would likely come up with the conclusion that supernaturally men wrote what God inspired them to write and only God could have designed and written the bible. One scientist who took just eight of the prophecies about the coming of Jesus, calculated that the chances of any one person in history fulfilling just these eight prophecies was one chance in 10 raised the power of 54!

No doubt after the visit of Gabriel, Mary was deeply moved and starry eyed about this wonderful experience of an angelic visitation and the incredible news that God now lived on the inside of her womb!! However along with this surreal news came the hard cold realities such as morning sickness, the task of telling Joseph, the challenge of telling her parents – “Hey Mum, Dad, I’m pregnant!” You know when you’re a parent the story of the angel appearing would be lost somewhere in the stunning news that your baby daughter is PREGNANT!

When you first receive Jesus as a new Christian, you have this amazing time of wonder and sense of God being so very real, but then then the hard cold realities arrive in your scene too. You realize, “Hey my life belongs to God now, ummm, does that mean I don’t sear now? And no more sex before marriage for me! And that bit of weed I left in the car needs to get flushed etc etc….  Not that it isn’t worth it because, hey, I’ve been saved from hell; and now I know Jesus who is awesome, but yep, things need to change and there are consequences. I remember when I told all my friends at Uni that I had become a Christian. It wasn’t a bubbly gooey feeling of peace and love at the time!

For Mary it was now time for evidence. It was time for God to show up and confirm the wonder of what had just happened to her. She didn’t have to do this journey alone, God was walking the path with her all the way!!!  So Mary drops over to see Elizabeth. The angel had initiated this because at Mary’s visitation the angel tells Mary, “Your cousin Elizabeth is now pregnant also, she’s the one that was barren and couldn’t had kids!!” That pregnancy is linked to yours somehow. The reality was that Elizabeth was pregnant with John the Baptist. He was to be the forerunner to Jesus, six months older than Jesus and at the time of his unveiling to Israel would be a prophet to declare the soon coming of Jesus.

At the first meeting of Mary and Elizabeth, the baby leaps in her womb, a sign of recognition about who just arrived, the mother of my Lord! Not only that, but Elizabeth is filled with the Holy Spirit, this is something that was not to take place for others until the death and resurrection of Jesus when all the disciples were filled with and controlled by the power of the Holy Spirit. Then Elizabeth prophesies the whole story about what the angel had told Mary. What a confirmation for Mary, and what a welcome encouragement for her to know God is doing something wonderful in me and it’s all part of a much greater plan! Elizabeth says “Blessed and favoured is the one who believed and trusted in what the angel had said!”

When you become a Christian you are inviting God on the inside of your life. There is evidence; God shows up and does amazing things for you because He wants your faith based on His word to bear fruit. At the early stages of your faith walk with Jesus you do have some challenges like telling others about your faith and having a change in your life style, but God will shows up in your world and will not leave you alone. He wants to walk this walk with you and show you that He is doing something wonderful in you and its part of a much bigger plan.

Now for so many of you it’s time to trust in and believe just as Mary did. Give your life to Jesus Christ today and allow God to come and live on the inside.

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LOVE CONQUERS #1AMLove Conquers Combined 150 ppi

Love is the greatest force on earth. At times when we feel that love has gone or been defeated, it rises again to overcome indomitable forces. All love comes from God. God is love and human love is the shadow of divine love. God’s kind of love is a selfless love, a love that is given expecting nothing in return. A love bestowed upon mankind undeserved. A love poured out without reservation and independent of the worthiness of the recipients.

Love endures long and is patient and kind; love never is envious nor boils over with jealousy, is not boastful or vainglorious, does not display itself haughtily. It is not conceited (arrogant and inflated with pride); it is not rude (unmannerly) and does not act unbecomingly. Love (God’s love in us) does not insist on its own rights or its own way, for it is not self-seeking; it is not touchy or fretful or resentful; it takes no account of the evil done to it [it pays no attention to a suffered wrong]. It does not rejoice at injustice and unrighteousness, but rejoices when right and truth prevail. Love bears up under anything and everything that comes, is ever ready to believe the best of every person, its hopes are fadeless under all circumstances, and it endures everything [without weakening]. Love never fails [never fades out or becomes obsolete or comes to an end].  (1 Corinthians 13:4-8 AMP)

When your day seems like it couldn’t get any worse; your greatest hope is love, because Love Conquers anything and everything. Are you facing a firestorm of conflict and broken relationships? Are people speaking against you and saying outright lies to condemn and vilify you? Then Love is waiting for you and Love Conquers. This Love of God, so freely available to your heart, will fill you so that you can overcome anything and everything that comes your way. Jesus has given you the supernatural power to love the bitterest of enemies. His love in you will always conquer.

Jesus came into this world to save sinners. We did not deserve His love, but He came anyway. He came to give His life as a ransom for many. He had to endure the anger and bitter hostility of man against Him as He suffered and gave up His life for us that we may find hope and a way of salvation. Mankind is so broken by sin and so blind and often people cannot see that God even exists; yet God reaches out to each and every person with His great love to seek and to save those that are lost. Man was lost, so utterly lost. We were born into sin, there is no person on earth that walks in righteousness every day. We were so lost and nothing could save us, we had no hope, but love conquers and God made a way purely by love to rescue mankind and provide a way of escape from death and judgement. The cross is the story of Love Conquers.

My wife’s father is 83 and last week he received Jesus as his saviour. After so many years of belligerently opposing God and refusing to listen to the message of God’s love; now in his final days his defences all gone and hardened mind broken down, he responded like a little child and asked Jesus to forgive his sins and come into his life. He is saved today because Love Conquers. Is there a loved one you long to see come to Christ? Know this, that love conquers. There is no one so hard, so tough, so unreachable that love cannot breakthrough. You can rely on Love, you can hope in this all conquering love.

Whatever you face, love conquers, no matter how terrible and bleak the future seems, Love Conquers. No mountain is too high for love to climb; no valley so deep love can’t find the way; no fear so dreaded that Love can’t bring the flood of courage that brings you through. Love, God’s love, will make you conquer!!

As Jesus began His ministry he faced solid opposition from day one. One day in the temple He cured a man with a withered hand. A act of love, yet He was accused of healing or effectively “working” on the Sabbath. In other words He was accused of sin. The religious leaders who were supposed to be helping people and leading them to God were so often mired in self-righteousness and judgementalism so that people were put off knowing God. Jesus kept on loving and giving in the face of blind opposition and evil intent. He never gave up because Love Conquers!

Jesus kept on sharing the good news of God’s love, for God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever would believe in Him would not perish but have everlasting life; yet he faced opposition at every turn. He was accused of being a glutton and a drunkard, and a friend of tax collectors and other sinners. These were the very people He wanted to reach out to and heal and show them a way of righteousness, but He was condemned by ignorant and wicked men.

Is your mountain that you face the thoughts in your mind? Are you so burdened with an inner struggle with your own thoughts that you are way past being just troubled, but really you are stuck! Love Conquers. This message is for you. There is no trouble so big that God’s love can’t meet that challenge. There is no difficulty so huge that God’s love cannot lead you through and out the other side to a place of life and peace. You can reach out to God and receive His love. It is a conquering love. To conquer the really massive things, the insurmountable things, the impossible things. All our hope is in His great love. It works!!

 11 If you then, evil as you are, know how to give good and [a]advantageous gifts to your children, how much more will your Father Who is in heaven [perfect as He is] give good and [b]advantageous things to those who [c]keep on asking Him! Matt 7:11 (AMP)

Later at Jesus’ trial, they spoke outright lies to condemn Him saying He made Himself out to be king and threatened to tear down the temple. At these times He remained silent and did not answer His accusers. Pilate said, “I find no fault in this man.” Yet the crowd screamed for His blood. The unrighteousness of man was never more brazenly displayed as when the people of Jerusalem cried out to Pilate, “Crucify him” over and over again. This was their Messiah, the one who was prophesied to come for centuries. Yet they rose up in anger and called for His blood. “His blood be upon us” they cried, fully taking responsibility for death of the saviour. He was bound and lashed with the stroke of a whip. That whip that was a devilishly ingenious tool of ultimate torture, which flayed the skin to the bone with its lead pieces tied into the leather thong. Over and over they stroked Jesus till His whole torso was a bloody mess of broken skin and muscle exposed.

Yet He did not cry out for release, because Love Conquers. With every lash stroke the temptation was to give up, to say “that’s enough”; to want to the angels to come and rescue Him from this murderous torture. But the more man kept punishing the saviour of the world, the more He kept on going with enduring such contradiction of sinners against himself.

2 He, for the joy [of obtaining the prize] that was set before Him, endured the cross, despising and ignoring the shame, and is now seated at the right hand of the throne of God. 3 Just think of Him Who endured from sinners such grievous opposition and bitter hostility against Himself [reckon up and consider it all in comparison with your trials], so that you may not grow weary or exhausted, losing heart and relaxing and fainting in your minds. Hebrews 12:2b-3 (AMP)

They nailed His hands, His feet, to the cross. In acute agony He cried not for release and not against his tormentors, but to ask for their forgiveness, “They know not what they do.” He said, because Love conquers. And love conquered the power of sin in mankind.

16 For I will not contend forever, neither will I be angry always, for [if I did stay angry] the spirit [of man] would faint and be consumed before Me, and [My purpose in] creating the souls of men would be frustrated. Isaiah 57:16(AMP)

Finally they raised the cross and lifted high the Son of God. They continued to mock Him. “Save yourself.” they cried, “if you be the Son of God!” Such dishonour, such venom, was it not enough for Jesus to say, “Enough, away with them.”? No, He endured, He continued in love because Love Conquers and love conquered the unrighteousness of man.

Are you facing a diagnosis of death? Is your doctor and medical tests saying all the wrong things about your future? Remember Love Conquers, Jesus took the stroke of the whip on His back so that by faith you can say, “By His stripes I am healed”.

Even I His dying moments one man, a thief, railed against Jesus and mocked Him. He still continued, could any man be His strength and support at this horrendous hour, no; none stood with Him, He was completely alone. He endured the savagery of the cross and the utter rejection of His own creation because of sin and He never flagged, but kept on going with grace and love because Love Conquers.

Love never gives up. You can count on love. If Jesus went to the cross and died for you when all the while you knew not how great His love was or even had the desire to receive Him, then how much more will He come to your aid now that you have yielded your life to Him?

10 For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, it is much more [certain], now that we are reconciled, that we shall be saved (daily delivered from sin’s dominion) through His [[g]resurrection] life.

11 Not only so, but we also rejoice and exultingly glory in God [in His love and perfection] through our Lord Jesus Christ, through Whom we have now received and enjoy [our] reconciliation. Rom 5:10-11 (AMP)

What are you facing today?

A mountain of debt? A tumult of conflict? A wasteland of doubt? A symphony of mental anguish? An unbelievable diagnosis of pain and sickness?

Then be persuaded, be convinced, be consumed by the courage of love. Love is your answer. Love will carry you through.

LOVE CONQUERS THE HARDEST HEART

LOVE CONQUERS THE GREATEST OFFENCE

LOVE CONQUERS HATRED AGAINST YOU

LOVE CONQUERS THE DEEPEST SORROW

LOVE CONQUERS THE MOST DIFFICULT JOURNEY

LOVE CONQUERS THE LONGEST DELAY

LOVE CONQUERS THE SADDEST NEWS.

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS

1. The bible says, “God is Love”. What does this mean to you?

2. What is the biggest challenge you are facing or have faced?

3. What is God’s best outcome for you in that Challenge?

4. You can rely on God’s love to see you through, how can you receive that love?

5. How can you love one another with God’s love to give support to each other in conquering the difficulties?

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LOVE PRAYS  # 1  amhearts-on-fire-intercessory-prayer

Why pray?

Have you ever felt powerless? Have you ever felt like you desperately wanted to change the unchangeable? Have you longed for a friend or loved one to come to Christ but your sharing of faith falls on deaf ears? Then you need to learn to pray and become confident in prayer.

MY UNCLE

Talk about saved from the fire!

My great uncle was so anti Jesus that he told me when I got saved, “Don’t ever mention that name in my house ever.” But my great aunt got saved watching the TV program that our church ran in the late 70’s. Then one day my great uncle had a stroke. He went to hospital and was in a bad way with one side of his body paralysed. I went to see him and all the family came. He was about 76. Two days later his wife dies in her sleep. Wow, if my great uncle finds out that she’s gone he has nothing to live for, surely he will breath his last. I prayed. All the family left me alone as I told him. He was very visibly shaken. I told him if you ever want to see you darling wife again the only way is to ask Jesus to forgive you and save you, if that’s what you want then squeeze my hand. He did! I prayed a prayer with him and ten hours later he died and went to glory. That’s cutting a bit fine! I prayed a desperate prayer because LOVE PRAYS.

When my kids were very small, they would get sick with things like tonsillitis and some nights Chris and I would be up for hours as they cried and were very distressed. They wouldn’t go to sleep so we took turns and paced the floor with them in our arms and we prayed. Were we tired? – yes! Did we want to go to bed? – Yes. But LOVE PRAYS.

As a youth leader in Brisbane one of my larrikin youth contracted a melanoma cancer and he had a brain tumour. He had an operation but another tumour grew back. He was desperately ill and I stayed up all night at the hospital praying for him in his final hours. He literally died in my arms. I didn’t enjoy being there, I didn’t see the victory I wanted, I didn’t see his mates there, it was just his mum and dad and me. I prayed because LOVE PRAYS.

We went through some really tough days in the Brisbane church. At the time I was the Assistant pastor and the senior pastor fell into adultery. I began to pray in earnest for the church and for the sheep. I could see the great damage that could be caused and how the devil could have a field day with this situation. It even went to the newspapers. At the time I rose early to pray for the church and God showed me a picture of a great tower similar to the high voltage power line towers that had been broken down. It represented the church and as I prayed over the next three years I watched it grow back up to its former strength. Jesus loves His church and I love what He loves so I prayed. I prayed for a long time because LOVE PRAYS.

At one point the church in Brisbane was deeply struggling, I was deeply struggling too and I knew that working with the staff of the church would be so much easier and more effective if a couple who had been posted overseas to New Zealand could come back to the Brisbane staff. It was impossible as they were senior pastors of a church in Auckland. But I stood on the beach at the Sunshine Coast one night and looked over to the far distant land of New Zealand over the horizon and I prayed a prayer of desperation. I shouted to God, “Send this couple back to help me.” Two months later they were back on staff in Brisbane. I loved the church and wanted to see it flourish and grow. I prayed because LOVE PRAYS.

When I came back from Thailand this year on June 16 I felt God calling me to separate myself to pray for the city. I have felt His call to do this for a long time, but finally I obeyed and since June 16 I have been in this church at 5am each week day to pray for two hours. I love the lost people of this city so I pray for the people of this city. I pray because LOVE PRAYS.

Jesus Prayed for the church, for us. John 17: 9,20,21.

9 I am praying for them. I am not praying (requesting) for the world, but for those You have given Me, for they belong to You.

20 Neither for these alone do I pray [it is not for their sake only that I make this request], but also for all those who will ever come to believe in (trust in, cling to, rely on) Me through their word and teaching,

21 That they all may be one, [just] as You, Father, are in Me and I in You, that they also may be one in Us, so that the world may believe and be convinced that You have sent Me. (AMP)

In Ephes 5:25 it tells us husbands love your wife as Christ loved the church. Jesus prayed for the church because LOVE PRAYS.

LOVE wants the best, wants the answer, wants to see breakthrough. However we realise that we can’t do anything in our own strength, so we pray because prayer releases God’s strength and power.

Mark 11:24 For this reason I am telling you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe (trust and be confident) that it is granted to you, and you will [get it].(AMP)

Matt 7:7 Keep on asking and it will be given you; keep on seeking and you will find; keep on knocking [reverently] and [the door] will be opened to you.(AMP)

Prayer connects you to eternity.

Prayer connects you to impossibilities.

Prayer connects you to the divine.

Prayer makes the impossible possible.

Prayer is unavoidable if you’re hoping for more.

Prayer is like breathing to a Healthy believer.

Prayer lets you live in the future of hopes fulfilled.

Prayer sets you down beside God and makes you part of His team.

Prayer is lifeline to all your resources.

Prayer is a conversation with eternity.

Prayer opens your heart to God, your eyes to the spirit and your ears to hear his voice.

Prayer is more than words.

Leonard Ravenhill says “The ministry of prayer is open to all.  It is the highest of all human offices.  The spiritual adolescents say ‘I’ll not go out tonight, it’s only the prayer meeting.’  It may be that satan has little cause to fear most preaching.  Yet past experiences sting him to rally all his infernal army to fight against God’s people praying.”

Jesus was in His greatest moment of need, the garden. See this clip…

http://youtu.be/bsHH0HYgmSs    Also see Matt 26:36-45.

Then Jesus went with them to a place called Gethsemane, and He told His disciples, Sit down here while I go over yonder and pray. And taking with Him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, He began to show grief and distress of mind and was deeply depressed. Then He said to them, My soul is very sad and deeply grieved, so that I am almost dying of sorrow. Stay here and keep awake and keep watch with Me. And going a little farther, He threw Himself upon the ground on His face and prayed saying, My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass away from Me; nevertheless, not what I will [not what I desire], but as You will and desire. And He came to the disciples and found them sleeping, and He said to Peter, What! Are you so utterly unable to stay awake and keep watch with Me for one hour? All of you must keep awake (give strict attention, be cautious and active) and watch and pray, that you may not come into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak. Again a second time He went away and prayed, My Father, if this cannot pass by unless I drink it, Your will be done. And again He came and found them sleeping, for their eyes were weighed down with sleep. So, leaving them again, He went away and prayed for the third time, using the same words. Then He returned to the disciples and said to them, Are you still sleeping and taking your rest? Behold, the hour is at hand, and the Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of especially wicked sinners [whose way or nature it is to act in opposition to God]. (Matthew 26:36-45 AMP)

In His moment of agony, He cried out to His disciples, will you not watch with me one hour? So great the need; yet so lacking the response. It did change later when these men were filled with the Holy Spirit! At Jesus moment of terror He needed someone to stand with him and intercede. He needed the support of men who were with Him in the battle, but perhaps God ordained that He faced all that alone, so that He could carry your lack of support and offer you the answer that you are never alone because he was alone for you.

Now that Jesus work is complete in terms of atonement he sits at the right hand of the Father on high. And now He has a great need again and he asks for your support. Once again He needs someone to stand for Him and intercede. He needs the support of men who are with Him in the battle. Will the church fail Him and fall asleep again as the early disciples did? Will He receive the team and the support He longed for and lacked back then in this current quest He so passionately leads. Here is His quest; His great commission…

Go ye therefore into all the world and preach the gospel, making disciples and teaching all things I have shown you. Praying for all men everywhere, because I desire that none should perish, but that all may come to repentance. (Matt 28:19-20; 1Tim 2:1-4; 2 Peter 3:9)

The god of this world has blinded the minds of those who not believe lest they should see the light of the glorious gospel. (2 Cor 4:4) but we have power over all the power of the enemy. (Luke 10:19)

It’s our turn now. If we love the ones God has given us, we will pray. If we love the people of this city, we will pray. If we care for our nation, we will pray.

Because LOVE PRAYS.

Here’s what to do now…

  1. Pray for your lost friends and relatives in your own time. Make a record of your prayer times in the Prayer Tally website.
  2. Find a way to pray with others. Here’s some ways to do that…
    1. Find a friend and pray together.
    2. Pray at UC group
    3. Pray at church Sunday morning 9:30-9:50am
    4. Pray at early morning prayer times at Kid Town Room 6-7am weekdays.
    5. Plan to be at the prayer storm event August 30 7-9pm.
  3. Learn to pray by praying with others, reading books, listening to the podcasts.

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS

1. List the things/people you love in descending order – Do you pray most for he ones you love most?

2. Do you find that you pray most when things are not as they should be – when there’s trouble?

3. Do you have a confidence that God hears you when you pray?

4. Consider deeply the lost people around you. Do you love them?

5. Will you pray for God’s mercy to be extended toward them and draw them to the Father?

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JESUS HEALS THE BROKEN HEARTED – SUNDAY 24TH NOVEMBER 2013,  10AM

Bible reading – Mark 5:1-20 – Amplified Bible.tag - born for more - portrait - pos_renamed_26541

1 They came to the other side of the sea to the region of the Gerasenes.

And as soon as He got out of the boat, there met Him out of the tombs a man [under the power] of an unclean spirit.

This man [a]continually lived among the tombs, and no one could subdue him any more, even with a chain;

For he had been bound often with shackles for the feet and [b]handcuffs, but the handcuffs of [light] chains he wrenched apart, and the shackles he rubbed and ground together and broke in pieces; and no one had strength enough to restrain or tame him.

Night and day among the tombs and on the mountains he was always [c]shrieking and screaming and [d]beating and bruising and [e]cutting himself with stones.

And when from a distance he saw Jesus, he ran and fell on his knees before Him in homage,

And crying out with a loud voice, he said, What have You to do with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? [What is there in common between us?] I [f]solemnly implore you by God, do not begin to torment me!

For Jesus was commanding, Come out of the man, you unclean spirit!

And He asked him, What is your name? He replied, My name is Legion, for we are many.

10 And he kept begging Him urgently not to send them [himself and the other demons] away out of that region.

11 Now a great herd of hogs was grazing there on the hillside.

12 And the demons begged Him, saying, Send us to the hogs, that we may go into them!

13 So He gave them permission. And the unclean spirits came out [of the man] and entered into the hogs; and the herd, numbering about 2,000, rushed headlong down the steep slope into the sea and were drowned in the sea.

14 The hog feeders ran away, and told [it] in the town and in the country. And [the people] came to see what it was that had taken place.

15 And they came to Jesus and looked intently and searchingly at the man who had been a demoniac, sitting there, clothed and in his right mind, [the same man] who had had the legion [of demons]; and they were [g]seized with alarm and struck with fear.

16 And those who had seen it related in full what had happened to the man possessed by demons and to the hogs.

17 And they began to beg [Jesus] to leave their neighbourhood.

18 And when He had stepped into the boat, the man who had been controlled by the unclean spirits kept begging Him that he might be with Him.

19 But Jesus refused to permit him, but said to him, Go home to your own [family and relatives and friends] and bring back word to them of how much the Lord has done for you, and [how He has] had sympathy for you and mercy on you.

20 And he departed and began to publicly proclaim in Decapolis [the region of the ten cities] how much Jesus had done for him, and all the people were astonished and marvelled.

 

Here is a man whose life has been taken from him. He’s existing but not really living. So often people all around us experience the traumatic effects of tragedy, pain and loss every day. They exist, but they don’t really live.

This man lived in the tombs. He was forced out of his normal home by his abhorrent behaviour. We can only imagine the events that led up to his rejection by the community. His behaviour became a liability for the community – why? Perhaps he suffered the agony of loss, his wife or children may have died from illness or accident. Perhaps his business went belly up and he has been tormented by the sense of failure and his shame at not being a provider for his family. Could his failures have been compounded by a condemning and critical father who goaded him all his life saying, “You’re a failure boy, you’ll never amount to anything.”

For some the worst nightmares can be fought through and they piece life back together again; but for so many others their mind is continuously filled with torment because of rejection, shame, anger, hatred, guilt, or depression. The thoughts just never let up, and like this poor wretched soul you find yourself alone, outcast or simply choosing to avoid people – it’s easier that way.

Today I’ve come to tell you Jesus is the answer! Jesus gives Hope! Today I will show you the way out of pain and brokenness. If life has knocked you around, I can help you today. If you’re a pretty whole person, listen up I want to empower you to help others around you to find what the world can never offer. PEACE.

He cut himself with stones. Today some people cut themselves. It’ a sign that they hate themselves. Self-hatred comes from a wrong picture on the inside of who you really are. Like the beautiful young girl who was in our church many years ago who looked in the mirror at herself and screamed, I hate you, you are so ugly” You see her dad wasn’t there for her and never gave her the indispensable value she was loved and precious for who she was.

Jesus heals the broken hearted. He can and will heal you today. He will touch your life and you can begin the journey to wholeness. Jesus brings hope. In an era when more people than ever in history are seeking out a psychologist or counsellor; where statistics show one in four will suffer depression in their lifetime; you need to know Jesus is the answer. For all our medical advancement, our vastly greater understanding of how the human brain works, more people than ever are suffering debilitating symptoms of stress, depression and anxiety.

Listen to some of the symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and tell me if you think this man suffered with this increasingly common complaint?

  1. Suicidal thoughts and feelings.
  2. Feeling alienated and alone.
  3. Anger and irritability.
  4. Depression and hopelessness.
  5. Feeling detached from others and emotionally numb.
  6. Loss of interest in life in general.

(from http://www.helpguide.org/mental/post_traumatic_stress_disorder_symptoms_treatment.htm)

Maybe you thought this man was just filled with demon spirits, a strange and exotic phenomenon that takes place in some faraway places. No, what we have come to understand is the spirit world is real and there are evil spirits that torment and plague people even right here in our own community. We don’t pay a lot of attention to demons in Australia but they are active and afflict people mostly in their minds with uncontrollable thoughts. Mostly in Australia we medicate, Jesus brought release and healing. Jesus heals the broken hearted. For example a young man came to John Mellor meeting last weekend who had been diagnosed with Schizophrenia and his prognosis was to be kept permanently in a lock down ward. Now after prayer he is living at home and living a happy and peaceful life.

You see there is a spirit realm and there is an enemy. He works on the mind, can also afflict the body and opposes you spiritually to try and keep you from connecting with Jesus.

Jesus offers peace and life. This what the bible says about your mind…

Luke 8:35

And [people] went out to see what had occurred, and they came to Jesus and found the man from whom the demons had gone out, sitting at the feet of Jesus, clothed and in his right (soundmind; and they were seized with alarm and fear.

2 Timothy 1:7
For God did not give us a spirit of timidity (of cowardice, of craven and cringing and fawning fear), but [He has given us a spirit] of power and of love and of calm and well-balanced mind and discipline and self-control. 

Jesus is the answer. He alone can bring hope and freedom. Medication can cover the symptoms but Jesus sets you free.

No matter how tormented you are, like this man you can run to Jesus. These demonic powers were not able to stop him coming to the one who has the answer. Though he was filled with these torturing spirits, he saw Jesus and came running towards Him and fell at His feet and worshipped.

This is the beginning of your answer – run to Jesus. You see Jesus knew about this man. He went seeking him out, He deliberately put ashore at this very place where this madman had his abode among the tombs.

Jesus knows your pain, He knows your heartache and He has come to seek and to save those who are lost. Here is your answer – Run to Jesus, and like this man desire to stay with Jesus. Jesus is not a pill you take to relieve symptoms and you go back to your normal life. Jesus has a new life for you. Your old life was killing you. It was filled with wrong believing, wrong values and wrong behaviour. It was how you lived and what you believed that put you in the mess you are in now. It’s time to come to Jesus and let Him redeem you and show you His abundant life of righteousness peace and joy.

You might be strong and whole this morning, but this message is still for you. WE need to go out and boldly proclaim that Jesus is the only answer. He is the only one that heals the broken hearted. Tamazepam doesn’t heal a broken heart, a bottle of scotch a day doesn’t heal a broken heart, only Jesus can do it! Look at this man’s end state… 15 And they came to Jesus and looked intently and searchingly at the man who had been a demoniac, sitting there, clothed and in his right mind, [the same man] who had had the legion [of demons]; and they were [g]seized with alarm and struck with fear.

Will you run to Jesus today?  Will you surrender your heart and mind to Jesus? Find a strong and Godly church that will lay hands on you and pray for you. Find a group of passionate Christians who will love you and pray for the power of God to touch your life. Find a church that has a reputation in your community for helping the broken and hurting people.

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS.

1. Jesus dealt with demon spirits all the time. Why don’t we focus on their activity in our day and age?

2. Discuss how the thought life of an individual can be interrupted by the influence of demonic spirits. (2 Cor 10:5)

3.  Why do you think that stress depression and anxiety are so much more prevalent in our time than they were in past times?

4. This man’s turnaround was fast, dramatic and complete. Can Jesus do that today?

5. Is there also a steady healing process for many as they journey towards wholeness with Jesus?

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INTRODUCING THE HOLY SPIRIT

STORY ABOUT A HOLY SPIRIT ENCOUNTERgirl-with-hands-raised-high2

In the second year of being a Christian I was asked to take a leadership role in my church over the teenagers group. The change of leadership from the former leader to the new one (me) took place at a youth camp. The former leaders were called up and prayed for, hands were laid on and they commenced a new ministry role somewhere else. Other leaders were prayed for also and set apart for their new roles. Somehow I was overlooked and not prayed for. I could have chosen to be offended about that, but instead I went back to the meeting place (auditorium) after lights out, when everyone else was in bed and asleep and I spent some time waiting on God. As I stood in that place at the altar with hands raised up and saying, “God please equip me for this new ministry role.” I felt the power and life of the Holy Spirit flow down over me and experienced such a tangible touch of the supernatural power of God. I was unable to stand and lay in the presence of God for a couple of hours.

The result was renewed power and boldness to serve God. This boldness took place not only in the ministry to teenagers but also at the university where I was studying; I was emboldened to witness and lead a Christian group there and reach out to lost people at the uni.

Look at this verse with me… Act 1:8  But you shall receive power (ability, efficiency, and might) when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you shall be My witnesses in Jerusalem and all Judea and Samaria and to the ends (the very bounds) of the earth.

Following the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus, He asked His disciples to wait for the Promise of the Father before they went out to preach the gospel all over the world. His intention was that when He left to go back to heaven after the resurrection that He would leave behind countless thousands of followers all equipped to the same level as He was to go out and preach the gospel all over the world. They would need supernatural power to preach, heal the sick and cast out devils, as well as many other things. Today His church world wide is Holy Spirit filled and empowered. Its effectiveness is in proportion to how full the individual is with the Holy Spirit.

STORY 2 ABOUT WHERE YOU GET YOUR TRUTH FROM

Recently I was prescribed some medication to lower my cholesterol. As you get older the cholesterol levels creep up and if it’s high enough then it could be a present danger by clogging up your arteries.  After the prescription was filled, I was talking to a good friend of mine who warned me of the dangers of this particular medicine including side effects. So what did I do? I googled the drug name, and sure enough I came up with countless articles about how dangerous the drug is. So what did I do? I declined to take the medication.

How many know this decision was self medicating, and pure post–modern thinking? I decided that truth for me was what I could learn for myself from the internet. I decided that I know better than the professional with seven years university training and 15 years clinical experience. What I should be doing is sit down with the professional and ask for some perspective and take his advice, which is what I am doing.

In the same way, in the church, many people decide what they believe according to what they read on line, what their experience has been, and what has happened to other people. In this post modern world very few people take the word of the Man of God, compare it with the bible and act accordingly.

The result is the rise of the individual, countless thousands of Christians all with different opinions, instead of a united army marching to the sound of the one leader. That one leader is the Holy Spirit and He works through Godly appointed leadership people to lead His church.

This month, as we talk about the Holy Spirit, the baptism of the Holy Spirit, the gifts of the Spirit and the manifestations of the Holy Spirit, I wonder if you will be open to listen and be teachable and perhaps change what you believe; or will you be the post modern thinker and decide that truth for you is what you can find for yourself and what you have experienced.

Your pastors and leaders that minister the word of God to you here are trained and competent, and by their fruits you shall know them. They are ministers who know the word, have produced the fruit of souls saved, lives changed; and have the character that exemplifies Christlike values.

SO LET’S BEGIN OUR JOURNEY.

Who is the Holy Spirit?

The Holy Spirit is a person, He is God and He is part of the trinity, an understanding that God is one God and has revealed Himself in three distinct personalities; the Father the Son and the Holy Spirit.

Extra material for the blog:

The Holy Spirit is not a force or an impersonal energy but He has “personal” attributes:

  • a mind – Romans 8:27
  • a will – 1 Corinthians 12:11
  • feeling – Ephesians 4:30;  Romans 15:30 (love)
  • knowledge (including self-knowledge) – 1 Corinthians 2:11

He is able to do things that only a “person” can do:

  • reveal things– 2 Peter 1:21
  • teach – John 14:26; 16:14;  Luke 12:12; 1 Corinthians 2:13
  • bear witness – John 15:26
  • speaks, cries out – Galatians 4:6; Hebrews 10:15
  • intercede – Romans 8:26
  • search – 1 Corinthians 2:10
  • speak – Acts 8:29;  10:19; 13:3; Revelation 2:7,11 (not about Himself – John 16:13)
  • choose – Romans 8:27; 1 Corinthians 12:4-6; 11
  • inspire – 2 Timothy 3:16
  • lead – Acts 8:29;  Romans 8:14
  • command – Acts 13:2, 4
  • give permission – Acts11:12
  • forbid – Acts16:6-7
  • be jealous – James 4:5
  • be grieved – Ephesians 4:30;  Isaiah 63:10 (or “vexed”)
  • be insulted – Hebrews 10:29
  • be lied to – Acts 5:3, 4
  • be blasphemed – Matthew 12:31, 32
  • give invitations – Revelation 22:17
  • strive with people- Genesis 6:3
  • be resisted – Acts 7:51
  • be tested, tempted – Acts 5:9
  • be described as “He/Him” – John 14:16, 17; 16:7-8, 13-14 (recorded 12 times in John 16 alone).

He is distinct from God the Father & Jesus Christ the Son – Matthew 28:19; 2 Cor. 13:14; 1 Peter 1:2;  Acts 10:38; 15:28.

THE TRINITY EXPLAINED:

Nicene Creed – This creed formed in 381AD by the church fathers explains the relationship of the Godhead, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

We believe in one God, the Father, the Almighty, maker of heaven and earth, of all that is, seen and unseen.

We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ, the only Son of God, eternally begotten of the Father, God from God, light from light, true God from true God, begotten, not made, of one Being with the Father; through him all things were made.
For us and for our salvation he came down from heaven, was incarnate of the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary and became truly human.
For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate; he suffered death and was buried. On the third day he rose again in accordance with the Scriptures; he ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead, and his kingdom will have no end.

We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life, who proceeds from the Father [and the Son], who with the Father and the Son is worshiped and glorified, who has spoken through the prophets.
We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church. (Catholic here means universal)
We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins.
We look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come. Amen.

GLOBAL PERSPECTIVE

Global Expansion – http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2006/april/7.30.html

With more than 580 million adherents (growing by 19 million per year and 54,000 per day), the Pentecostal/charismatic movement has become, in just 100 years, the fastest growing and most globally diverse expression of worldwide Christianity. At the current rate of growth, some researchers predict there will be 1 billion Pentecostals by 2025, most located in Asia, Africa, and Latin America.

The Role of the Holy Spirit.

The role of the Holy Spirit is simple: He is to empower the church for the task of reaching the whole world with the gospel.

Here is the main verse: Act 1:8  But you shall receive power (ability, efficiency, and might) when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you shall be My witnesses in Jerusalem and all Judea and Samaria and to the ends (the very bounds) of the earth. (AMP)

Before the disciples went out to preach the gospel all over the known world they waited in the upper room as Jesus commanded them.

Luk 24:49  And behold, I will send forth upon you what My Father has promised; but remain in the city [Jerusalem] until you are clothed with power from on high. (AMP)

Have you been clothed with power from on high? This is what we need in order to become His witnesses. We need the power of the Holy Spirit living within us to help us preach with power, heal the sick, cast out devils, raise the dead. It’s a big challenge in this rational post modern world to be called to this, but the power of the Holy Spirit is far greater then the power of unbelief.

Didn’t I receive the Holy Spirit when I got saved?

Yes, that was being born of the Spirit, regeneration, but we are talking about the being clothed with power from on high.

The disciples received the Holy Spirit while Jesus was still with them:

Joh 20:19  Then on that same first day of the week, when it was evening, though the disciples were behind closed doors for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said, Peace to you!

Joh 20:20  So saying, He showed them His hands and His side. And when the disciples saw the Lord, they were filled with joy (delight, exultation, ecstasy, rapture).

Joh 20:21  Then Jesus said to them again, Peace to you! [Just] as the Father has sent Me forth, so I am sending you.

Joh 20:22  And having said this, He breathed on them and said to them, Receive the Holy Spirit! (AMP)

For the disciples this was their born again experience. Up until now they had been believers and followers of Jesus, but now that Jesus has died on the cross and atoned for their sin by the offering of His blood, now they can be born of the Spirit.

Yet He says wait here in Jerusalem for power. Luk 24:49  And behold, I will send forth upon you what My Father has promised; but remain in the city [Jerusalem] until you are clothed with power from on high. (AMP) Right after this He ascends up into heaven, so it was the last thing Jesus said on earth.

It was after he ascended into heaven then 10 days later they received the baptism of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost.

Act 2:1  AND WHEN the day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all assembled together in one place,

Act 2:2  When suddenly there came a sound from heaven like the rushing of a violent tempest blast, and it filled the whole house in which they were sitting.

Act 2:3  And there appeared to them tongues resembling fire, which were separated and distributed and which settled on each one of them.

Act 2:4  And they were all filled (diffused throughout their souls) with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other (different, foreign) languages (tongues), as the Spirit kept giving them clear and loud expression [in each tongue in appropriate words]. (AMP)

This experience is so vital and so important for every believer. It is what empowers each one to be a witness for Jesus. The baptism of the Holy Spirit is far more than just the gift of speaking in tongues. It is the power of God. It is to be clothed with power from on high. To be completely filled and flooded with the Power of the Holy Spirit for this great purpose – TO BE A WITNESS!

Testimony from Reinhard BonnkeBonnke quote 1

In one of his earliest evangelistic campaigns he went to a church of 40 members and hired a ten thousand seat stadium. It was God’s doing!

Next week we will speak about what actually happens to a person when he is born again. This experience of regeneration is monumental, life changing and if understood will revolutionise your life. We will speak later about tongues and what it’s for and who can receive it as well as the other gifts of the Holy Spirit.

The only question you must ask yourself every day of your life is “How thirsty am I?”

Joh 7:37  Now on the final and most important day of the Feast, Jesus stood, and He cried in a loud voice, If any man is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink!

Joh 7:38  He who believes in Me [who cleaves to and trusts in and relies on Me] as the Scripture has said, From his innermost being shall flow [continuously] springs and rivers of living water.

Joh 7:39  But He was speaking here of the Spirit, Whom those who believed (trusted, had faith) in Him were afterward to receive. For the [Holy] Spirit had not yet been given, because Jesus was not yet glorified (raised to honor).

Are you thirsty for God to fill you with His supernatural power?

Are you so glad of your salvation that you want to be of service to Him every day of your life? Are you bored with the passing fantasies of this shallow worldly life and seeking a more eternal and significant encounter with heaven.

Would you stay on for a few minutes and worship God with us this morning and simply ask the Holy Spirit to fill you and equip you.

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS

1. Can anyone share about a time when they felt the power of the Holy Spirit upon their life?

2. What was Pastor Craig’s point about whether we should decide truth for ourselves by reading the internet, going by experience, or some other way?

3. Where do we get truth from?

4. What is the main reason God fills us with the Holy Spirit? (Acts 1:8)

5. If you are thirsty for the Holy Spirit – what might that look like?

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The other day I received a letter from Holden saying my car was faulty and it needed to be recalled.product-recall-logo-543

The manufacturer had discovered there was a faulty part that meant the brakes could fail when you least expect it.

This action of recall is common for cars. The manufacturer has high hopes that the car will perform well, but if there is a fault in the car it may not operate as it has been designed. Due to the fault, the car may become dangerous and endanger the life of those people in it.

There has been a recall notice sent out to the human race.

God had high hopes that the human race would live in harmony and love but a fault has developed and great danger awaits anybody who does not respond to the recall.

Here’s what God has said…

This is the problem

Isa 53:6  All we like sheep have gone astray, we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord has made to light upon Him the guilt and iniquity of us all.

This is the recall…

Joe_2:13  Rend your hearts and not your garments and return to the Lord, your God, for He is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and abounding in loving-kindness; and He revokes His sentence of evil [when His conditions are met].

This is God’s response….

Isa_55:7  Let the wicked forsake his way and the unrighteous man his thoughts; and let him return to the Lord, and He will have love, pity, and mercy for him, and to our God, for He will multiply to him His abundant pardon.

Let’s be honest – before we get right with God, our lives are far from perfect.

If all your sins, if everything you ever did and were ashamed of were shouted from the housetops – how would you feel? What if nothing in your life was secret anymore? Would you stand clean and perfect before God?

Are there any evil thoughts in you?

Is there any hatred of others?, any telling of lies? Any coveting what others own? Any bitterness or unforgiveness? Is there any lust for someone not your wife or husband?

Where would we all stand if the books were opened right up?

It’s time to get right with God.

There has been a recall. There’s a fault with the product of God’s creation – there’s potentially a life threatening outcome if the fault is not rectified. The end result, if not addressed is death.

Will you respond to the recall?

If you go around ignoring it, it may just come to an end when you least expect it.

Now is the time to act and act fast, don’t put it off a minute longer.

Here’s how you respond. Say this prayer…..

My Lord Jesus, I come to you, please forgive all my sins. I believe that you died for me, I believe that you rose again from the dead. I choose to walk with you for the rest of my life. I ask you right now to come into my heart and lead me in this life. Amen.

Your next step is to go to to a bible believing church. If you reply to me I will send you literature that will help you. God bless you richly.

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The AnswerSTRESS

Stress is all too prevalent in the world today. In spite of all the advancement in medicine, education and health advice we face massively escalating levels of stress induced ill health.

Do you feel the pressure of life gets too much for you at times? You’re not alone; many feel like it’s getting too much to bear. Mental Experts say that stress levels amongst the general population today are equivalent to mental patients in the 1950-60s! http://tinyurl.com/a89hua9

I notice so often on game shows where the contestant is about to win some big money, the show host always asks what will you do with the money if you win? – The answer is almost always – take a holiday!

Do you find yourself feeling anxiety to the point of being unhappy? Do you suffer from the results of stress such as heart palpitations, mouth ulcers, skin rashes, tension headaches, stomach ulcers, neck pain, bad backs and on and on it goes.

Depression is huge in our society. I want help you today – Jesus can be your answer today if depression plagues you. The statistics are clear: “This year [2010] alone 1,000,000 people in Australia will experience a depressive illness.” http://mraact.org.au/2010/06/black-dog-r…
“Depression is the third largest individual health problem in Australia after heart disease and stroke.” http://www.blackdogride.com.au/view/red-…

“About 6% of [Australian] people will experience a major depressive illness in their lifetime. 1 in 4 women and 1 in 8 men will experience some form of depression during their life.”  http://mindframe-media.powersites.com.au…

What is it about our fast paced world we live in, that we have no place to de-stress? We live in a peace free zone that does not enable the majority of us the ways to find the life and peace that we so desperately need? Come on – how many of you have daydreamed about living on some tropical island paradise and totally veging out?

A study in England from June 2012 found that among people under 65, nearly half of all ill health is mental illness (http://tinyurl.com/d6azuzf). Yet only a quarter of all those with mental illness are in treatment, compared with the vast majority of those with physical conditions.

I want to help you to find out today that Jesus is the answer for you.

Jesus is the answer to the stress and pressure you feel today.

The bible predicts this kind of experience in the last days:

Luk 21:26  Men swooning away or expiring with fear and dread and apprehension and expectation of the things that are coming on the world; for the [very] powers of the heavens will be shaken and caused to totter.

Jesus faced the most horrific levels of stress imaginable and the result was he sweat great drops of blood. Here’s the story:

Luk 22:41  And He withdrew from them about a stone’s throw and knelt down and prayed,

Luk 22:42  Saying, Father, if You are willing, remove this cup from Me; yet not My will, but [always] Yours be done.

Luk 22:43  And there appeared to Him an angel from heaven, strengthening Him in spirit.

Luk 22:44  And being in an agony [of mind], He prayed [all the] more earnestly and intently, and His sweat became like great clots of blood dropping down upon the ground.

(Hematidrosis (also called hematohidrosis) is a very rare condition in which a human sweats blood. It may occur when a person is suffering extreme levels of stress, for example, facing his or her own death.[1] Several historical references have been described; notably by Leonardo da Vinci: describing a soldier who sweated blood before battle, men unexpectedly given a death sentence, as well as descriptions in the Bible, that Jesus experienced hematidrosis when he was praying in the garden of Gethsemane (Luke 22:44). http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hematidrosis )

The stress that Jesus felt was through his task of bearing the sins of all mankind on himself. Would he succeed as a man? (Being essentially fully God and fully man) Would he be able to complete the task?  The fear He faced and overcame, was whether He would fail or not in His mission; not to mention the weight of all the sin of mankind about to be placed on Him; and the inevitable separation from the Father for a time. A very big outcome rested on His being successful in this mission. Yours and my salvation depended on it! He carried our sins and sicknesses on His body on the cross (1Pe 2:24  He personally bore our sins in His [own] body on the tree [as on an altar and offered Himself on it], that we might die (cease to exist) to sin and live to righteousness. By His wounds you have been healed. (AMP))

The power of substitution.

All the way through the Old Testament God showed His acceptance of the substitute. God accepted the substitute of a lamb or a bullock as in offering to atone for or pay for the sins of a person who brought that animal to Gods altar of sacrifice. It was the innocent standing in the place of the guilty. Later Jesus became the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world. Because he carried our sins we don’t have to bear the judgement of them. Only if a person has faith in Jesus Christ, then they can claim the substitutionary death of Jesus as applying to them. In the same manner Jesus also carried our sicknesses in His own body on the cross. Mat 8:17  And thus He fulfilled what was spoken by the prophet Isaiah, He Himself took [in order to carry away] our weaknesses and infirmities and bore away our diseases.

Just as Jesus carried your sins and sickness on the cross, He also carried your stress and anxiety. By being so stressed and anxious Himself, He bore all the pains and stress and fear of failure that you will ever be faced with. In fact Isaiah tells us directly: Isa 53:5  But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our guilt and iniquities; the chastisement [needful to obtain] peace and well-being for us was upon Him, and with the stripes [that wounded] Him we are healed and made whole.

As a substitute for us, Jesus carried our stress and anxiety. The chastisement of our peace or the pain necessary to obtain our peace was given to Him. What He carried we don’t have to carry. Just as He carried our sins and He carried our sicknesses; so He also carried our stress and anxiety.

Through faith in Christ you can obtain the atonement of sins, the taking away of your sins. Through faith in Jesus Christ also you can receive healing for your infirmities. So then also in faith you can receive total peace in your mind and heart through Jesus Christ because he carried those things also. As our perfect substitute He paid the price for all that we need for complete salvation in our body soul and spirit. The healing of our minds or our soul is just as real as the healing of our body and heart. This life and this healing we have received is complete.

Do you know that Jesus knows your pain and stress levels intimately? He experienced all that you will ever experience and more. That is why He is compassionate and able to bring healing and life to you. Heb 4:15  For we do not have a High Priest Who is unable to understand and sympathize and have a shared feeling with our weaknesses and infirmities and liability to the assaults of temptation, but One Who has been tempted in every respect as we are, yet without sinning. Heb 4:16  Let us then fearlessly and confidently and boldly draw near to the throne of grace (the throne of God’s unmerited favour to us sinners), that we may receive mercy [for our failures] and find grace to help in good time for every need [appropriate help and well-timed help, coming just when we need it]. Psa_94:19  In the multitude of my [anxious] thoughts within me, Your comforts cheer and delight my soul! (AMP)

So what does this answer look like? What is this peace that Jesus offers to us?

Here’s how the bible describes it: Php 4:6  Do not fret or have any anxiety about anything, but in every circumstance and in everything, by prayer and petition (definite requests), with thanksgiving, continue to make your wants known to God.

Php 4:7  And God’s peace [shall be yours, that tranquil state of a soul assured of its salvation through Christ, and so fearing nothing from God and being content with its earthly lot of whatever sort that is, that peace] which transcends all understanding shall garrison and mount guard over your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.

What a beautiful picture of God’s help for you, that tranquil state of mind. It’s a kind of peace that will set up a protective wall around your life. It’s like a garrison around your heart and mind. It sounds awesome doesn’t it?

It’s obtained through faith; but let me share with you how to work with your faith to obtain real and lasting peace.

  1. Come to Jesus and see how big He is in comparison to your tiny problems. He created the whole universe and this world; isn’t  He big enough to take care of you?
  2. He is so vitally interested in you and loves you unreservedly, unconditionally. Luk 12:32  Do not be seized with alarm and struck with fear, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom!
  3. 1Pe 5:7  Casting the whole of your care [all your anxieties, all your worries, all your concerns, once and for all] on Him, for He cares for you affectionately and cares about you watchfully. [Ps. 55:22.] What this means is; you throw over, to cast upon; your cares; it implies a quick flip or toss of the cares and anxieties onto Jesus. This is about how you think on your problems. It’s about applying your faith to this change of thinking….. you can think differently because you have evidence now from God’s word that He cares for you; so you can give the worry and anxiety and stress over to Him.
  4. Now thank Him for every good thing. Phil 4:6….. with thanksgiving, continue to make your wants known to God. Thankfulness is very powerful in changing your thinking to receive God’s peace.

Reach out to Jesus today. Lean on Him with your mind and heart. Consider how much He loves you. He knows how to bring the answer to you. Jesus is the answer!

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