Dr Norm's Mid-Week Faith Booster

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The Right Time

Posted By at Wednesday, August 29, 2018

We're probably hearing many voices speaking to us, and whether we realize it or not, it's true. Every moment of every day we're listening to someone. The voices of family, friends, newspapers, social media and television are speaking to us constantly.

What they say can directly affect our life in these times.

They are questions that are basic to all of us and we could ask God, "Why I am here? Why was I born into my particular family? Why am I here at this time?"

You see friends, we really had nothing to do with it. God didn't ask our opinion when He planned us and made us. It was all up to Him.

Why were we not born in the days of Abraham, Moses, David, or even Jesus?

Why were we not born in the fifteenth, eighteenth, or nineteenth century?

Why did God put us in this last generation before Jesus returns?

I believe that when God created the world, He saw a time period in which sin would abound as never before, a time when great calamities would come upon the earth. He foresaw a time when the greatest deception would come to try the people of God.

Just remember this; that the end time history was written before the world was established.

Matt 24:12 Sin will be rampant everywhere and the love of many will grow cold.

2 Tim 3:12 Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.

We're living in difficult times and as Christians, most of us know that the last days are here. We have all heard about the signs that Jesus said to look for concerning Israel and the world. Every day calamities and terrorism are happening and people are going out into a Christ-less eternity.

If we're going to live for God, we are going to run into persecution somewhere along the line. The devil is going to try to make sure we do!

The events Jesus said would be signs of His coming and of the end of the world, are going on all around us; even today as you read this blog.

Now, I'm not saying that to frighten you or to depress you. I'm saying it because I want you to be prepared.

But we can keep our peace and walk in fearless confidence even in the midst of these troubled times, if we remember one thing; God is still in control and He is still on the throne! In these last days there will be ample opportunity for us to walk in fear if we don't know the truth!

2 Timothy 3:1 This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.

Jesus said in Luke 21:26 that men's hearts will fail them because of fear.

However, while describing many of the end-times events to His disciples, Jesus told then in Matt:24:6 "...see that ye be not troubled."

There is only one way to remain fearless in a world of turmoil, hatred, war and uncertainty—that is to trust the One who told you not to be troubled.

In these last days, both Christians and unbelievers will see the increasing of the power of this age.

This will result in awesome demonstrations of God's power and the great end-time harvest of people being saved as never before.

So let's all consecrate ourselves to God and stay full of the Word and the Holy Spirit, so that when we hear the blast of the trumpet announcing Jesus' return, we'll all be ready!

Norman


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We Have a Heavenly Home

Posted By at Wednesday, August 01, 2018

Jesus said in John 14:2 "I am going…to prepare a place for you."

All that stuff you see in the films, like fog banks and angels floating round in some nether world to the eerie sounds of Celtic music – forget it, that's all Hollywood ideas! Not HOLY GHOST TRUTH!

1 Thess 4:16 For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first.

17 Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord.

Heaven will be:

1. A home built just for you by Christ.

Are you worried about where you go when you die or where your loved ones have gone?

Don’t be; just make sure you are born again because Jesus said John 14:1-3 "Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am."

2. It will be a city you’ll love!

Rev 21:2 "I, John, saw the Holy City, New Jerusalem."

Rev 21.9 And there came unto me one of the seven angels which had the seven vials full of the seven last plagues, and talked with me, saying, "Come hither, I will show you the bride, the Lamb's wife.

Vs. 10 And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and showed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God."

This Great CITY--Heaven--looks like a great and high mountain that comes out of Heaven--out of space in other words.

It’s an exact square of 1,400 miles, or 2,353 kilometres. It stretches from the Carolinas to California, from Canada to Mexico, or almost from Melbourne to Mackay.

It’s 40 times the size of England, 10 times the size of France and larger than India.

And that’s just the ground floor; it’s as tall as it is wide; 600,000 stories, more than enough space for billions of people to come and go. And come and go they will. The gates never close. Why shut them? The enemies of God will be banished, leaving only a perfect place of perfected people.

Vs. 11 Having the glory of God: and her light was like unto a stone most precious, even like a jasper stone, clear as crystal;

Vs. 12 And had a wall great and high, and had twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels, and names written thereon, which are the names of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel:

This city is a light source in itself, shining with a glorious light like that comes from a precious gemstone, like jasper, meaning diamond! So this city refracts light that comes from within and it shines like a diamond, clear as crystal! It looks beautiful! It comes from God Himself!

Vs. 13 On the east three gates; on the north three gates on the south three gates; and on the west three gates

Vs. 14 And the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and in them the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.

There is a great wall around it with 12 gates in it, made of giant pearls, as we can read in the scripture.

This outer wall has 12 foundational layers, one for each of the 12 apostles.

Vs. 15 And he that talked with me had a golden reed to measure the city, and the gates thereof, and the wall thereof.

Vs. 16 And the city lies foursquare, and the length is as large as the breadth: and he measured the city with the reed, twelve thousand furlongs. The length and the breadth and the HEIGHT of it are EQUAL!

Vs. 17 And he measured the wall thereof, an hundred and forty and four cubits, according to the measure of a man, that is, of the angel.

The angel measured the length of the city as 12,000 furlongs long, which is about 1,500 Roman miles, or about 1,400 English miles which amounts to about 2,200 km! But that is just one side of it. And as its surface is a (four) square, it has four sides that long, altogether about 8,800 km around! That's as big as Europe! THIS IS A GIANT CITY! ENORMOUS!

But, it also says that the length and the width AND THE HEIGHT of it are equal! So it is not some flat city... but goes up 2,200 km as well! 

Now you can imagine that anyway you want, like a big cube or something, or a mountain, the mountain of the Lord's house! It might very well look like a gigantic box, rising 2,200 km out of the earth's atmosphere (that goes up only about 10 km!)

What a city! WOW!

3. You will be with Christ - the One you love most!

Paul, who had the privilege of visiting heaven, wrote in Phil 1:23 "For I am hard-pressed between the two, having a desire to depart and be with Christ, which is far better."

So don’t get too comfortable here on earth, like Paul, we don't plan to stay here forever. Jesus is coming soon to take us all home!

Norman


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We can do nothing to save ourselves

Posted By at Wednesday, July 25, 2018

The reason we cannot save ourselves is because we all miss the mark and fall short of God’s standard of absolute perfection.

Matthew 5:48 “Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect.”

No matter how good we are, any sin, no matter how trivial it may appear to be, spoils the perfection that God requires.

James 2:10 “For whoever shall keep the whole law, and yet stumble in one point, he is guilty of all.”

Whilst some people are better than others, being better is not good enough. It's like two people trying to jump over a deep canyon. If one falls only a couple of feet short of the other side, he is no better off than the other who only makes it half way.

Because we have all been born into a sin nature due to Adam's failure in the Garden of Eden, not one of us is able to save ourselves. Not one of us is good enough to get into heaven. But because God loves us He sent Jesus to pay the price and offer us eternal life as a free gift.

Why should God offer anyone the gift of eternal life?

Psalm 145:8-9 “The Lord is gracious and full of compassion, slow to anger and great in mercy. The Lord is good to all, and His tender mercies are over all His works.”

Psalm 100:5 “For the Lord is good; His mercy is everlasting, and His truth endures to all generations.”

Joel 2:13c “For He is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness; and He relents from doing harm.”

John 3:16 “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”

Romans 5:6-8 “For when we were still without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to die. But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”

In fact the Bible says in 1 John 4:8 “... for God is love.”

Because God is a loving God in fact He is just love and He is also merciful, He does not want to punish us. However because He is also perfectly just, He must punish sin! So Jesus became sin for us and took our punishment on Himself in order to save us. God’s love does not overrule His justice.

Deuteronomy 32:3b-4 “Ascribe greatness to our God. He is the Rock, His work is perfect; for all His ways are justice. A God of truth and without injustice; Righteous and upright is He.”

Exodus 23:7c “For I will not justify the wicked.”

Isaiah 13:11 “I will punish the world for its evil, and the wicked for their iniquity.”

Hebrews 9:27 “And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment.”

If God were to overlook sin because of His love, He would not longer be just. His law is perfect and His sentence has been passed.

Rom 6:23 “The wages of sin is death!"

However, God in His wisdom has brought His love and His justice together in the person of Jesus Christ!

The Bible makes it clear that Jesus is God and He was fully man and fully God and He took your place at Calvary, and now expects us to take our place in the heavenly realm.

Eph 2:6 Amplified Classic Edition And He raised us up together with Him and made us sit down together [giving us [a]joint seating with Him] in the heavenly sphere [by virtue of our being] in Christ Jesus (the Messiah, the Anointed One).

Norman

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Do Others Want Your Light?

Posted By at Wednesday, May 16, 2018

 

We need to always remember that people around us are looking at our lives—would they want what we have?

Matt 5:16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.

Although we do need to be culturally relevant to the lost, at the same time we must hold fast to the integrity of God's Word and not become like them.

Rom 12:2 NLT Don’t copy the behaviour and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.

We have been called to be a reflection of Jesus Christ and let His light shine. We must show Christ, not some religious organization, and not list rules and regulations that come from that religious experience.

Very often Christians tend to remain in the comfort of their church and familiar social circle of believers. As a result, they become totally isolated and separated from people who need salvation. Then they wonder why they never have the opportunity to lead someone to Jesus.

God has done a good work in each of us; He has opened our spiritual eyes, and we have been enlightened by His wonderful Word. We are challenged to let the world see the evidence of this enlightenment through our obedience to walk in the fruit of the Spirit as Galatians 5 tells us.

So what impact have you made on the people around you?

Have you added the life of Christ to any of them?

Learn to look for and take every opportunity - whether on the job, a social function, a family gathering, in a classroom, helping the needy, or wherever your day takes you - to let your light shine before men!

Norman

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A Vision For Your Life!

Posted By at Wednesday, February 14, 2018

 

Why do you think we need a clear vision for our lives? Because it gives us a much clearer picture of the future. We have one life to store up treasures for eternity. Having a clear vision for our life helps us to make the most of our life. Having a clear vision for our life helps us to number our days. Each day once lived can never be regained. Each day is a gift from God. Knowing and following God’s will for our life enables us to make the most of every day of our life here on earth.

The Lord said in Habakkuk 2:2 “Write the vision and make it plain on tablets, that he may run who reads it.”

We are able to make better choices in life because our future is determined by the choices that we make today. Having a vision helps us make wise choices in life each day. We cannot change our past but we can make wise choices in the future. Having a Kingdom focus for our life helps us to be disciplined when we face temptations and trials of the enemy.

Proverbs 29:18 “Where there is no revelation, the people cast off restraint; but happy is he who keeps the law.”

Another translation says: "Where there is no progressive vision the people dwell carelessly."

With a clear vision for our life we can make plans to see the vision come to pass. As we continually commit our plans to the Lord He will guide and direct our every step in life, helping us correct our plan to get in line with His plan.

Jeremiah 29:11 Amplified Bible "For I know the plans and thoughts that I have for you," says the Lord, "plans for peace and well-being and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope."

As we are faithful in the little things God begins to enlarge His vision for our life. A clear vision for our life helps us to make plans and to take steps of action to see the vision come to pass.

Proverbs 21:5 “The plans of the diligent lead surely to plenty, but those of everyone who is hasty, surely to poverty.”

Proverbs 16:3 “Commit your works to the Lord, and your thoughts will be established.”

God has a special plan for each believer's life and it leads to the abundant life Jesus promised in John 10:10 “The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.”

The moment a person enters into a personal relationship with Jesus Christ they also enter into God’s plan for their life. As believers we must continually maintain a close and intimate walk with the Lord, so as to ensure that we stay on course with what God has planned for our life. Given the times that we are now living in, it is imperative that each believer knows God’s will for his or her life. Jesus Himself warned that in the last days many would be offended and betray one another and because of lawlessness, the love of many would grow cold.

Maintaining an intimate walk with the Lord is crucial in our times and is the key to continually knowing the will of God for our life.

The Apostle Paul said in Ephesians 5:15-17 “See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is.”

Paul also wrote in Ephesians 2:10 “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.”

God's plan for our life is far greater than we could imagine. God is never limited by our ability but only by our availability. If we wholeheartedly follow God’s plan for our life we will see Him performing great things in and through us. God’s strength is made perfect in our weakness and He empowers us to do great tasks for His glory. He is also able to redeem our lives from the deepest of pits and to turn around the circumstances in our life for our good.

Norman

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Our Lives Should Please God

Posted By at Wednesday, January 17, 2018

 

Hebrews 11:6 But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.

Everyone needs to be born again and to do that means we repent of all sins, turning from our own way and coming over to God's way. That simply means acknowledging that Jesus The Christ is Lord over all our life. Then God's Holy Spirit gives us the power to live this overcoming life. We can trust the Holy Spirit to lead us into all the fullness of the life God wants for us individually, and as a body.

Jesus said in John 10:10 "The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly."

This abundant life only comes when we live life His way, being led by His Spirit on a daily basis and walking in faith daily.

In John 14:23 Jesus answered and said to him, “If anyone loves Me he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him.

In obeying The Lord we will have to do some new things in our new lifestyle and probably do some other things differently. The Word of God is the wisdom of God for us now.

Proverbs 4:7 Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom. and in all your getting, get understanding.

As you read and meditate on His Word, God will speak to you through it and give you direction.

Psalm 119:105 Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.

Psalm 119:133 Direct my steps by Your word, and let no iniquity have dominion over me.

God will encourage you by His Word!

Psalm 119:107 I have been afflicted very much; revive me, O Lord, according to Your Word.

The Word is like a love letter from God to us!

2 Timothy 3:16-17 All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.

In John 8:31-32 Jesus said, "If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free."

As most of you already know, you are not saved by your good works, but by God's race and your faith.

Romans 10:9-10 That if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.

That's a heart and mouth condition for walking in the fullness of all God has for us. Living our lives in a way that pleases God is our faith confirmation to God that Jesus truly is Lord over all our life.

Norman

SPECIAL NOTICE: First Thursday Faith Connection starts on Thursday February 1, 2018 at 7.30 - 9.00pm, and will continue on the FIRST Thursday of each month through the rest of the year. The meetings will be a community outreach with teaching by Dr Norm. Invite friends and neighbours who need to be saved or need a touch from The Lord! BRIGHT SINGING and POWERFUL WORD MESSAGES will be the key!

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Jesus Can 'Make' or Change You

Posted By at Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Understand this: Jesus doesn't invite you to follow Him because you believe in Him, He invites you to follow Him because He believes in you! He does not see you as you are but He sees you as what He can make you if you obey and follow His Word.

In Matthew 4:19 He said, "Follow Me and I will make you."

He knows what you can become when His grace touches your life.

2 Cor 3:18 But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.

Matthew was a Jew and yet he collected taxes for the Romans, who had enslaved his people. In the people's eyes he was lower than low. Yet when Jesus called him, he became an Apostle and wrote the first book in the New Testament.

When Jesus called Phillip and Nathanael to discipleship, as recorded in the first chapter of John, beginning in vs. 43 The following day Jesus wanted to go to Galilee, and He found Philip and said to him, “Follow Me.” 

44 Now Philip was from Bethsaida, the city of Andrew and Peter. 

45 Philip found Nathanael and said to him, “We have found Him of whom Moses in the law, and also the prophets, wrote—Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.”

46 And Nathanael said to him, “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” Philip said to him, “Come and see.”

47 Jesus saw Nathanael coming toward Him, and said of him, “Behold, an Israelite indeed, in whom there is no deceit!”

48 Nathanael said to Him, “How do You know me?” Jesus answered and said to him, “Before Philip called you, when you were under the fig tree, I saw you.”

49 Nathanael answered and said to Him, “Rabbi, You are the Son of God! You are the King of Israel!”

50 Jesus answered and said to him, “Because I said to you, ‘I saw you under the fig tree.’

Nathanael's scepticism was understandable; at that time Nazareth was an obscure little hill town, remote and of no consequence. It was not sophisticated or glamorous -quite the opposite. It was not a place that anyone expected the Messiah to come from. Despite his scepticism, Nathanael followed Philip to meet Jesus.

When Jesus saw Nathanael coming toward Him, He said, “Here truly is an Israelite in whom there is no deceit.” (verse 47). Nathanael accepted this description as true and wondered how Jesus knew his character, having never met him before. Jesus explained, “I saw you while you were still under the fig tree before Philip called you” (verse 48).

Nathanael then immediately recognized Jesus as the Christ, calling him the 'Son of God' and the 'King of Israel'. (verse 49).

Even after three years of exposure to Jesus and His miracles and messages, many of the disciples still had doubts.

How often did Jesus say to them things like, "You of little faith… why do you not believe?… If only you believed you would see."

Jesus knew they were anxious about what would happen when He left them and went back to Heaven, so He said in John 14:16-17 "And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever— 17 the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you."

The Greek word for comforter is parakletos and that means 'one who comes alongside to help.'

Just remember there will never be a day when you don't need God's help!

So Jesus simply says "Come as you are, come and I will change you. You've tried your way and it didn't work, now try My way!"

Come follow Him and you won't be disappointed!

Norman

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God Still Performs Miracles

Posted By at Wednesday, November 08, 2017

I spoke to someone recently and they seemed surprised when I said that God still does miracles today. They seemed to think miracles were a thing of the past and only happened in Bible days. I assured them God had not changed as Malachi 3:6 tells us He is the Lord and He does not change!

But what is a miracle? A miracle is described as 'an extraordinary event wrought by God that cannot be explained by any natural means'.

Every time you stretch and use your faith, you please God according to Hebrews 11:6, and He performs miracles in response to your faith, I believe every time.

God does perform miracles today and I myself am proof.

Back in 1971 when I came to Australia with my wife and two children, I was a registered disabled person following a major motor accident in which I received five compound fractures in the left leg. I developed a problem with gangrene due to road dirt getting into the breaks. I was in hospital in 1967-68 for 14 months and had 14 major surgeries, including bone and skin grafts. It took a further two years to recover and my left leg was some five centimetres, (2.5 inches), shorter than the right, due to surgeons trimming the bone to try to get it to knit. It was during that hospital period that I got born again and committed my life to Jesus Christ. When we came to Australia I went to a meeting and was prayed for by Australia Evangelist Pastor Norm Armstrong [who became my mentor]. God wonderfully and immediately replaced the 5 cms of bone that had been removed during the trimming of the bone in the 14 operations back in Ireland. Up to that evening I had been wearing a built up shoe to help with walking and staying level.

Since that time I have been privileged to see God perform many miracles with other people as we have prayed for their need to be met. A number of people have been healed from incurable conditions, several people have been raised back to life by His miracle working power, all glory to His Name.

Today here is a question! Is there a problem in your life that needs a miracle?

Perhaps you have already decided that nothing is going to change! If that is so, then it, unfortunately, is a self-fulfilling prophecy.

How do you know things won't change? Is it because it has been that way for so long you see no chance of it changing? You have become so used to the situation, just like old comfortable slippers or jacket you don't want to get rid off.

But God wants you to stretch your faith today and supersede all the laws of nature and of man. God has done it many times in the past and He can do it again for you if you can believe His Word.

Matthew 19:26 New Living Translation Jesus looked at them intently and said, "Humanly speaking, it is impossible. But with God everything is possible."

In John 15:7 Jesus said, "If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you."

God is still in the miracle working, mountain moving business! So don't ever doubt or underestimate what He wants and can do in your life if you can believe.

Jesus also said in Mark 11:23-24 "For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says. 24 Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them."

You have to speak God's Word LOUDER than the mountain or the problem is speaking to you.

Finally in John 14:12 Jesus said, "Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father."

Go on, today, try to get your faith operating and get ready for the miracles! God is greater than any situation you find yourself in everyday.

Norman

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Real Freedom

Posted By at Wednesday, October 18, 2017

 

Rom 8:1-2 There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus,[a]who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. 2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death.

John 8:32 You will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.

Over the years I have discovered that self-confidence can be dangerous; even to the most serious Christian. We're all in danger of forgetting that we really are nothing without Jesus Christ and that He is our all in all. This very day people imagine themselves to be 'free', whilst embracing the current 'free' lifestyle purported by many so called free thinkers!

Many people boast more of their 'background' than anything else. It truly is a great privilege to have good ancestry - it is good with which to start out in life - but beyond a certain point it does not really count.

The first question may be, “Who is your father?” Parents may lead a child to believe they are part of a Christian family and thereby in right relationship with Christ even from infancy, but when the child is old enough for moral accountability they need to accept Christ by a personal faith. Nothing else really brings forth salvation. We must all become Christ-conscious to enter Christ's kingdom as individuals.

Abraham had descendants who were far enough away from his virtue and whom he would scarcely wish to recognize as his children. Sadly, many Godly parents today have sons and daughters who many may consider to be useless individuals, but don't give up they can be saved.

Then the illusion of freedom, while one is really in chains, is not altogether rare. Many people living in sin imagine they are the only free people there are. They have thrown off the restraints of religion and of the law and they think they are free, while they regard those who follow Christ as slaves to religion.

Sin plays strange tricks with men. Insane people sometimes imagine themselves to be the only great people. The devil often puts similar notions into the heads of his deluded followers. None are free but those who take it upon themselves to walk as Christ walked.

John 8:36 Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed.

Apply this thinking to your life today. Have you deluded yourself?

Are you living a life of compromise and merely pretending to be free?

Or are you really FREE?

Norman

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Who Are You Joined to?

Posted By at Wednesday, September 20, 2017

 

One of the greatest promises Jesus ever gave us is found Matt 11:28-30 28 Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light."

Why would Jesus talk about being yoked in a harness, which suggests hard work and then talk about rest in the same breath?

To most people, rest means laying down in their bed. But that's not the kind of rest Jesus was thinking about.

A yoke is a harness that goes around the necks of two oxen so they can pull a load. Accepting Jesus' yoke is a picture of your submission to Him.

It's also a picture of help, because you're not pulling the load alone. In each team of oxen one is the leader and the other just follows. Jesus will take the lead and the load but you must be yoked to Him to get the benefit.

So start to enjoy intimacy with Him as you bow before Him and accept His will. Jesus promises that His yoke won't choke you, it won't be wearisome or confining; you won't chafe under it, because it will be easy and it will be light. In fact, the irony is, if you want to be truly free you must allow yourself to be yoked to Jesus by submitting your will to His.

Now it's possible to accept Christ's yoke then start pulling against it when life doesn't go the way you want it to. Peace and rest come only when you relax in the yoke and let Christ lead the way and you follow Him.

Norman