You have hope and a future

My teenage daughter has a picture on her wall about Jeremiah 29:11,which says

For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord  thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope

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I read too regularly about young people who feel they have no hope in this life – so much so that they take their own life. The other day I learnt on BBC News that dark, gloomy messages glorifying self-harm and suicide are easily available on Instagram and once a person has clicked on one it creates an algorithm so the person is bombarded with more of the same messages.

How about we bombard our friends and those on our social media feeds with the powerful Word of God?

You have a hope and a future. Jesus died on the cross and took all His sin upon Himself so you could have a hope and a future – in this life and in Eternity.

You are significant. If you were the only person on the Earth God would still have sent His Son, Jesus, to die for you.

You are created in the image of God and are dearly loved.

No amount of heartache, financial difficulty, loss of friendships, abusive relationships etc. can destroy you if you listen to the One who created you, who has a purpose for you and a plan only you can fulfill.

Jesus experienced rejection – He understands. But He wants to comfort you and help you.

Please, please don’t deprive the world of your presence, your life, your contribution.

You are worth more than that.

 

Shattering the stony heart

In Church two weeks ago and today I felt that God said He was shattering the stony heart. I felt that some people’s hearts are so hard – because of previous hurts, disappointments etc. that there was a layer of concrete around their heart. But God has started chipping away and He is going to shatter it and replace it with a heart of flesh

Ezekiel 36:26 says, “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.”

Maybe you only have some residual hardness or to the other extreme maybe your heart feels like concrete right now – Jesus wants to transform your heart so it is soft and pliable and responsive to Him.

He will never let you down like people may do. Let Him do that work in your life – you will not regret it.

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Peace, be still!

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In Mark 4:39 we read how Jesus calmed the storm with the words, “Peace, be still.” The wind was so strong that it was beating into the boat and water was coming into the boat. The disciples, some of whom were experienced fishermen used to being out at sea in adverse conditions, were afraid and thought they were perishing.

Jesus arose and  calmed the sea with the words, “Peace, be still.” And the wind ceased and there was a great calm.

Whatever storms you are experiencing in your life right now, Jesus wants to calm them. He is speaking these words to you today – Peace. Be still.

Let Jesus calm your storms within and without.

Blow the cobwebs away!

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To blow the cobwebs away is an idiomatic expression in English, which means “to do something which makes you feel less tired or bored.” it usually involves fresh air or exercise. Cobwebs are made by spiders and are usually found in rooms or places that no one uses very much.

Today at Church I felt like God was saying He wants to blow away the cobwebs in people’s lives.

In other words, people have been given spiritual gifts but in some cases they have not been used very much. Or, people used to move in the spiritual gifts, but for some reason they no longer do. Maybe their zeal for God has waned.

Now is the time to stir up those gifts. 2 Timothy 1:6 says, “Fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands.”

I feel like there’s someone who used to pray for people in his youth and he saw them healed. Now he is not using that gift. But it’s still there. God is calling you to pick it up again and start praying for people again. People’s lives are hanging in the balance – they need you to be operating in your gift.

A New Name

Names are very important. In Old Testament times a name expressed the essence or identity of a person. Isaac’s name means “he laughs”, describing the response of his mother Sarah when God told her she would give birth in her old age; Moses’ name is from the Hebrew meaning “to draw out” after he was pulled out from the River Nile; Jesus (meaning saviour)  was so-named because He would save the people from their sins.

My name means “a song of joy”.

There are many instances in the Word of God where God changed a person’s name to reflect a new status. For example, Jacob became Israel; Saul became Paul; Abram became Abraham.

Revelation 2:17 says, ” To him who overcomes I will give some of the hidden manna to eat. And I will give him a white stone, and on the stone a new name written which no one knows except him who receives it”

Isaiah 62:2 says ,”You will be called by a new name, which the mouth of the Lord will bestow.”

We will all receive a new name in glory, a token of what the Lord sees in us.

To some of us, our present name might be horrendous or we may have had nicknames linked to our name which made us feel bad. You may have had a label put on you by other people or had things spoken over you. You might even have thought these things about yourself. For example:

“You’ll never make it”

“Too old”

“A foreigner”

“Stupid”

“Ugly”

“Swot”

“A failure”

“Rejected”

“Fat”

“No mates”

We cannot internalise these names.

The only label you have to live up to is the label that God has put on you:-

“Child of God!”

“Victor!”

“Redeemed!”

“Not forsaken”

“My delight is in you!”

“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me”

“Man looks at the outward appearance but God looks at the heart”

“Beautiful”

“My child”

“Brave”

“Honourable”

“Noble”

I believe our new name in Heaven will be a constant delight to us and it will be a token of our acceptance with the Father. It will be known only between us and Him. Perhaps it will reflect some very personal and deep things that God has done in our life. It will reveal our character.

In Hannah Hurnard’s book, “Mountains of Spices” Pride and Superiority became Meekness and Lowliness-of-Heart; Much Afraid became Grace and Glory; Umbrage became Bearing-with-Love or Forgiveness; Tit-for-Tat became Acceptance with Joy; Spiteful became Compassionate and Craven Fear became Fearless Witness.

Often God takes our biggest weakness and makes that a glorious strength in our lives.

2 Corinthians 12:9 says “My grace is sufficient for you, for my strength is made perfect in weakness”

 

 

 

Jesus wants to heal you

In Matthew 8:1-4 a leper came and worshipped Jesus.  He said,  “Lord,  if You are willing, You can make me clean.”

What’s interesting is that the leper did not doubt Jesus’ ability to heal him,  but he wasn’t sure whether Jesus was willing.

Isn’t that just like us!  We believe Jesus can heal the sick.  We know He is able.  The thing we often struggle with is whether Jesus is willing to heal us.

Jesus said to the leper, “I am willing ;be cleansed.” Immediately his leprosy was cleansed.

Please receive this message today that Jesus is willing to heal YOU! The devil comes  to kill,  steal and destroy but Jesus came so you can have life in all its fullness.

Jesus is saying to you, “I am willing,  be cleansed”

“I am willing, be healed”

“I am willing,  be delivered”

Receive this today and be blessed.

Change your perspective

To us,  when we see someone technically dead,  like  Jairus’ daughter in Mark 5, we see no more hope.In verse 39 Jesus said,  “Why make this commotion and weep? The child is not dead,  but sleeping.”

If Jesus says you are only sleeping,  there is hope! If Jesus says “You are healed!” there is hope!

Perspective makes such a difference. Don’t look at the circumstances,  look to Jesus!

Some people see only the impossibilities – let’s be people that see the endless possibilities that we can have with Jesus.

All things are possible with God!

Daughter

Jesus called the woman He healed in Mark 5 “daughter”. This woman had been excluded from normal family life and had become an outcast in society.  So Jesus,  by calling her daughter was reaffirming her,  bringing her into that close relationship.  The woman with the issue of blood was restored physically,  emotionally and spiritually. She had suffered rejection because of her condition,  but Jesus accepted her as his child.

Jesus commended her faith in Him and said to her “Go in peace and be healed of your affliction” The Greek word for peace here is “eirene”,  which means peace,  prosperity,  rest,  set at one again.  This lady had been set to rights again.

A girl healed and a woman restored to life

It was a lovely meeting at Restore, the worship was powerful and I spoke about a girl restored to life and a woman healed from Mark 5.  Some points – The woman with the issue of blood was a hopeless case – the doctors couldn’t heal her. She was also classed as ceremonially unclean and anyone she touched became unclean. She knew when she touched Jesus’ garment she would, according to the Jewish law (Leviticus 15:25-33) make Him unclean, but she was desperate and she touched Jesus anyway. Here’s where grace triumphed over the law – instead of the woman making Jesus unclean, He healed her and made her clean. The law says, “You:re unclean,”. Grace says , “I’ll make you clean.” Also, Jesus was already on His way to pray for a girl who was dying, yet He delayed that to heal this lady. IT IS NO MORE DIFFICULT FOR JESUS TO RAISE A DEAD PERSON THAN IT IS FOR HIM TO HEAL A SICK PERSON! It doesnt matter to God what stage your illness is – He can heal you at any stage! God holds our eternity in His hands, if He says it’s not over IT IS NOT OVER!! JESUS HAS THE LAST WORD ON YOUR LIFE!! Arise and be healed, arise and be set free, arise and be restored.!

Modern day miracle workers

1 Corinthians 12:27,28 says, “Now you are the body of Christ, and members individually. And God has appointed these in the church: first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, administrations, varieties of tongues.”

One of the things God laid on my heart for 2017 was “notable miracles” , so I want to reflect on that today. The Greek word used here for “miracle” is “dunamis”, which is from the word “dunamai” meaning force. Dunamis specifically means a miraculous power, ability, mighty (deed), worker of miracle, power , strength, violence and mighty (wonderful) work.

When I think about this the Scripture from Matthew 11:12 comes to mind : “And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and the violent take it by force.”

God has equipped the Church with everything it needs. How many times do we hear people say, “I’m okay, under the circumstances”. We are not supposed to be merely surviving, from day to day. We should be seizing the opportunities and seeking God to be overcomers in our situations and in our towns.

I have been thinking about miracles and healings and God spoke to me that He has appointed people in His Church who are workers of miracles, who have that specific gift. How many do you know in your Church? If we ever needed that gift, we need it nowadays. Many people are getting diagnosed with cancer and other incurable conditions. We raise money to aid cancer research and run marathons but can I remind you that God has placed people in His Church who have this spiritual gift of miracles and gifts of healings. We need to identify these people and we need them to be exercising these gifts. People need miracles and they need healing. It is not for us to think that this gift is reserved for the “Healing Evangelist “, or one or two special people. No! Why not you?

It is not a “gift of healing”, actually in the Greek it is translated as “Charismata lamaton”, which means “gifts of healings”. I have heard people say that they seem to have an anointing to pray for certain types of diseases , but not always others. Some people seem to be especially effective when praying for people to be healed from tumours, for example.

The gifts of healings, miracles and faith are closely related.

Please pray with me that these people are identified in every Church. If you feel God is speaking to you that you are gifted in this way, start to pray ,in faith, for the sick wherever you can. As you exercise these gifts God will increase them.

This is the year for notable miracles to be done in our town and beyond!

We need to see people healed from cancer; sight restored to blind people; hopeless cases receiving hope; lame people walking; tumours disappearing; rare conditions healed;people saved and set free.

I have just picked up a book from my bookshelf and I want to quote from it. It is a book entitled “Visions from Heaven”, by Wendy Alec, one of the founders of God TV. In it is found the following:-

” There has been a violent onslaught of infirmity against My children by the enemy in this past season. The enemy senses the mighty move of healing that is about to be released in power and might upon the earth. Millions of my healing angels are preparing to come to Earth. Heaven’s storehouses of healing are about to be emptied in the greatest, most powerful move of My healing hand that the Earth has ever seen….. THE TIDE IS TURNING. THE TIDE IS TURNING… Tell my children that what I said in my Word is true. It stands. It stood 2000 years ago when I walked the Earth…. I am the Lord that healeth thee….Nothing is impossible with my Father. Tell my children – NOTHING is impossible with my Father – EVERY disease, every affliction, every cancer, every deaf ear and blind eye, if My children will only believe… My Father and I are about to release the most powerful, unstoppable tsunami of healing and creative miracles from the windows of Heaven upon the Earth. Mighty flames of fire – called as healing evangelists in this last hour are rising. The dead will be raised, the blind will see, the deaf will hear, and AIDS and cancers healed will be commonplace.”

“Kidneys will be created, new lungs transplanted from Heaven, hearts created, deformities will be healed, backs straightened, cripples will walk by the thousands in the arenas in the healing crusades of this last hour.”

“And the healing anointing will not be confined to the evangelists, but there will be a great impartation of healing and creative miracles that will flow even to the very least of my brethren, and they shall go out into the highways and byways and even as their shadow falls on the sick, so I tell you, My child, the sick shall be restored and healed.”

I receive this in Jesus’ Name. I want to see miracles of the power and magnitude as when Jesus walked on Earth. It is possible because the same power that raised Jesus from the dead lives in you and I!