WORLDWIDE VISITORS FROM 28 COUNTRIES

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

CHRISTIAN MUSIC AND ART


Christians are made in the image of God, our Creator, to create music and art to praise His name. Music sets the truths of the Christian gospel in musical form to praise the Creator. The tone and fabric of our lives is set to music by the art we create for God’s glory. Christian artists work from a deep faith in the heart, in a tryst with God, their destiny. Everything glorifies God in nature and in life, from the least to the greatest. When artists study the world God has created in such exquisite and intricate detail, their work takes on an added depth and beauty. This is art, drawn with passion and integrity, to celebrate the beauty of the world, God’s amazing handiwork.
Do Christians care about music and art? We cannot ignore the arts, whether we like it or not. Wherever we look around us, we are confronted by art in the beauty of nature and on the canvas of life. It creates the vivid, imaginative world in which we live. Artistic media shapes the creative consciousness of our culture in a unique way. Worship use words and music in artistic form. God is the great Artist who holds the world in the palm of His hand, the Sculptor who shaped man out of dust, the Musician who composed songs and lyrics to sing.
The only reason for man’s existence is to glorify God. We are made to create music and art to honor Him and His amazing creative power. We celebrate His creativity, as we respond to His grace. God spoke creation into being. God breathed life into us. “Let everything that breathes praise the Lord” - (Psalm 150:6). All creation excitedly pulsates with life. His mercies are new every morning. Through our music and art, we offer the sacrifice of praise to God.
What is the function of Christian art? The church needs arts to present the gospel to modern culture. Christian artists must consider what their artwork reveals to the world. Does it create the greatest impact for the Kingdom of God? Created art reflects the soul of the creator. When Christian artists love God with all their hearts, their creativity is inspired by their love for God. Art speaks loudly to the culture of our times.
Music is an expression to worship the Creator. Worship is an act of reverence. Every great work of music is created for the glory of God. The classic hymns of the Christian faith, presented in a two-thousand year repertoire of music in Christian hymnody, reverberates awesomely through the ages of time. Hymns are distilled from the spiritual truths of God, to lead us to praise and worship Him in spirit and in truth. Hymns have a timeless and eternal freshness and power. They are a veritable fountain of divine edification. Hymns and songs proclaim God’s truth. Just like the well-gleaned promises of the Bible, a hymn is available for each need of ours, covering every single circumstance we will ever face in life.
God blesses people in every age and clime with the amazing ability to compose songs and music to glorify His name in all the earth. Sifting through the overarching heritage of our hymnody, we come to the root core of praise. The history of the church is recorded in her soul-stirring hymns while the story of Christianity can be read in its inspiring songs. All creation sings God’s praise in a magnificent crescendo of sights and sounds as nature magnifies its Creator. The Lord created us with an extraordinary capability and unique capacity for music and song. We are designed and destined to sing His glorious praises. God loves music. He lives in the heart of our praises. When we sing His praises, our spirits respond to God’s truth. God sings through the voice of His church.
Christian artwork is as relevant today as it was in the past. It has stood the test of time for centuries. The artwork of the great artists of all time testify to the importance of art in history. Christian art is a way to teach Biblical truth to people, an art unsurpassed in the art world. Students of art study paintings and sculpture to bring the Bible alive, bridging the wide gap between Christians and modern culture, shattering the barrier between church and state and giving voice to Christian principles.
Each form of art has its own place and is powerful in its own right. Christian artwork is a modern-day parable speaking to a new culture. Christian artists reflect truth in their art to appeal to the modern culture around them, a perfect set up for the Christian artist to impact and influence the world. Artists create art for the glory of God to make an lasting impact on people. Using imaginative and innovative ways to accomplish this is the ultimate challenge of the day, just as it was in time immemorial.
We cannot underestimate the importance and significance of prayer in the creative process. Prayer connects Christian artists with a creative God, who inspires them to create music and art. Prayer purifies and softens the heart of the Christian artist, who is Spirit-led, as the Holy Spirit resides within.
Faith is the foundation of the Christian’s intellect. “By faith, we understand” – (Hebrews 11:3). Faith does not need understanding to work. This is blind faith. Faith does not need all the answers. It flows in the Spirit and seeks solutions that are out of this world. “The one who joins to the Lord is one spirit with Him” – (1 Corinthians 6:17). Connecting with the Lord of Creation opens up the clogged lines of dialogue and communication, drawing creativity and fresh inspiration from the author of Creativity.
Creativity is an integral part of the Christian life. It is the Christian’s birthright. Man was made in the image of God. We were created to create. The Bible opens with a dramatic flourish of creativity as God creates the universe. “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” (Genesis 1:1). God is the greatest artist of all time. He unveils his handiwork with His imprint. 
 
It is all about creating art through the Holy Spirit. Our hearts must receive creative inputs from the Holy Spirit. Why don’t you invite the Holy Spirit to create art with you? He longs to be involved in every aspect of your life. Be sensitive to the Holy Spirit. Allow Him to partner with you creatively by acknowledging your God-given imagination. God gave you an imagination for a reason. It is to do some Holy Spirit-inspired creating. Dedicate your imagination to the Lord. Ask Him to fill it with inspiring ideas and thoughts. 

The Bible is full of God using out-of-the-box ideas to communicate to His people. Focus on the goodness of the Lord. As you do this, you will taste the sweet fellowship of a good relationship with the Lord. 
Christian art influences the world. Let your life and artwork tell the world about God. How is the world influenced by art? Turn on the radio, television and internet to find out. Art is all around us. 

How does a Christian fit into this creative world of art? Ephesians 2:10 states, “We are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” We are God's artwork created to influence the world around us. 

Creativity boldly acknowledges who you are in Christ, as you submit yourself to Him wholeheartedly, to be used as He chooses. Our lives are living testimonies for the Kingdom of God. What kind of story does your life tell to a world that thirsts for a touch from God? Let us reflect the glory of God in our lives, and create art to attract people into the Kingdom.

© Miriam Jacob

Friday, March 14, 2014

CHRISTIAN ENTERTAINMENT IN TODAY’S WORLD

Christian entertainment is a most important part of the issues facing Christians today. Our youth need good and healthy forms of entertainment. There are complex questions to deal with. Does Christian entertainment have a high moral standard to maintain? Can Christians keep a pure reputation to pursue a career in the entertainment media? Pray for Christian discernment in a mass media culture to gain valuable insights on how to live a spiritual life in a global, high-tech information and entertainment culture. It is all about forming correct Christian values and ideals in the media age. Christians must celebrate the saving power of Christ in all spheres of life including the entertainment media.

Public opinion and culture is hugely shaped, expressed, controlled and dominated by the global communication media conglomerate. Christian discernment observes our mass media culture with the eyes and ears of Christ to ascertain the real values that control our cultural environment. It has the innate power to discern how the media is actively used to shape our lives. What truly inspires our sensibilities and moral sense? Which kind of comedy amuses us to the point of healthy laughter? What makes a drama particularly appealing to our artistic and aesthetic senses? Which new film or refreshing sound of music awakens us to admiration, awe and wonder?

The media provides a constant and steady stream of news, information and entertainment. Our senses are avidly bombarded by sensational news and a vast variety of conflicting opinions and views, to highlight the vivid images, graphic sights and high-tech sounds on the computer, internet, radio and television, and the printed newspaper, magazines and books that keeps us dramatically up-to-date. Today, the staggering influence of mass media like the internet and television is absolutely mind-boggling as it constantly conveys a continually relentless stream of information and entertainment instantaneously and simultaneously to people around the globe.

Critical awareness analyzes media content. Christian discernment requires silence and solitude in our life, peace and quiet amid the daily routines, precious moments to listen to God and to be creative in our media use, an integral part of our whole lives. A culture is a mutually shared view, a joint collaboration of values, ideas and ideals. Songs, stories, dramas and news highlight the issues and conflicts of our culture. This is a selective interpretation of reality, not a transparent view of reality. Mass media reflects our culture socially, politically and culturally.

Critical awareness generates a critical appreciation of media content to enrich our lives and culture. Look for quality content that inspires and educates society. Be active users, alert and conscious of how the media subtly integrates into our lives. Mass media has the great potential to enrich our lives. Christians must find ways to improve media content effectively. Critical awareness of mass media content deepens our perception of media culture. It allows us to communicate better in our daily lives. As we reflect on the communication process of the mass media, critical awareness highlights the basic defects and deficiencies of communication. Christian discernment sees the numerous faults and flaws of the media with wide-open eyes.

Genuine communication builds up a common understanding in which great values and ideals are shared with a courageous and fearless dedication to truth. It gives us the power to agree or disagree in an atmosphere of bonhomie, camaraderie and co-operation. Our disagreements are safely cocooned within a framework of mutual respect and understanding. Communication celebrates human dignity and equality for all. At the heart of communication is the true willingness to listen more to what is not said than to what is actually said. This is the art of great communication that has the power to move hearts.

A contemplative spirit integrates critical awareness into daily Christian living. It opens our life to the power of prayer, a glorious testimony and powerful witness to the work of God in our lives. It helps us to see with Christ's eyes and hear with Christ's ears, as we pray for justice and forgiveness, mercy and peace in the world. The media educates us to see the dignity and beauty of the world, with inspiring stories of selfless courage and bravery, using pictures, videos and films to heighten our understanding of the human heart.

Christians in the entertainment media are witnesses to the "Good News" of Christ, torch-bearers to shine His light upon the world. The love of Christ transforms the lives of people daily. Christian discernment in a media culture allows us to see what is truly valuable in life, endows us with a Christ-like love and deep-sighted reverence for our honorable culture under the true standard of Christ. Raise the banner for Christ and His cause!

 © Miriam Jacob

Saturday, February 8, 2014

CREATIVITY, FOR GOD’S SAKE

Creativity brings our vivid imaginative ideas into the bright light of reality. Imagination gives us ideas but if we do not transform them into reality, we are not creative. Creativity brings a new idea into existence in a mind-revealing experience of deeply heightened awareness and consciousness.

Innovation implements an idea. For innovation to flourish, we must create an atmosphere that fosters creativity. Innovation is a special combination of invention and insight, a mutual exchange of knowledge and ideas.

Creativity is the ability to perceive the world in brand new ways, to bring hidden patterns into existence and to make brilliant new connections.We live in the sparkling new age of creativity, with the high-tech information age of knowledge scientists and brilliant conceptual age of creators and artists. All people are naturally creative.

Creativity is a skill that can be developed. It starts with a fount of knowledge, as we strive to learn a particular discipline, and to master a unique way of thinking. Creativity follows its own set of rules. We are creations of God.

Creativity is the God-force speaking through us. This is creativity for God’s sake. Creativity is God's special gift to us and we honor our Creator when we use this great God-given gift for His glory. Creativity requires the innate courage and determination to throw certainties to the wind and launch out into the strange unknown.

Creativity is that rare combination that results in amazing new ideas and daring, mind-boggling innovations. We need to reach deep down into our hearts to give shape to a series of brand new ideas. There can be no creativity with formal constraints and restraints hedging us in. We need to have the freedom to break out of our shells and create new worlds to sing in.

To be creative, we must break out of previously established patterns to view things in an entirely new and totally different light. Creativity is the heart and soul of the truly enlightened scholar. When you get a hunch about what to create, that is creativity speaking to you.

The fields of imagination must be very carefully cultivated and harvested. The fires of invention must be tended with temperate caution. The fear of going wrong can be the graveyard of creativity.

Creativity constantly invents and re-invents itself in a dazzling blaze of glory. Creativity is a beautiful vision about to be born. The creative act of originality is the seed of true creativity.

Christians use the power of a sanctified imagination to enhance their creativity. The Holy Spirit sanctifies our imagination and inspires us to create new things in our minds and to notice similarities between things that are apparently dissimilar. The imagination helps us to perceive what our senses are not aware of. With the power of our imagination, we are able to see the reality that lies beyond the senses.

Every new invention started with an idea. The inventor used familiar ideas to create a new thing that did not exist before. Every talent comes from God, and when we create things, we prove beyond the shadow of a doubt that we were made in the image of our Creator.

The cleansed and sanctified imagination of a Christian has the power to perceive spiritual things in the natural world. Jesus Christ has amazing powers of spiritual penetration and moral sensitivity. The Christian, who is inspired by the Holy Spirit, has a purified and Spirit-controlled imagination, divinely blessed with the gift of seeing, and the supernatural power to peer beyond the veil and see the holy and eternal things that God, in His great mercy, allows to be revealed to man.

© Miriam Jacob


Tuesday, January 7, 2014

CLARION CALL TO MISSIONS

A detailed study of the book “The Challenge of Missions” by Oswald J. Smith

The aim of missions is to make Christ’s salvation known to all people. It is all about His saving grace. It is a determining, distinctive, spiritual and unique aim. It affirms that all people need to have their sins washed and cleansed in the Blood of the Lamb of God, Jesus Christ. The world is the mission field. Our commission is to the world, to all nations, to all people. The responsibility of missions lies with every member of the body of Christ.The command of Christ is a personal and individual call to each person, “Go in My Name, and because you believe, others will know that I live.” When God calls us to His service, He calls us by name into the glorious, soul-saving task of reaching people for Christ. The supreme task facing the Church is the evangelization of the whole world. God’s vision is a world vision. That is the vision He wants us to have. He wants us to see the world as He sees it. We are not the only pebbles on the beach.We know but little of what lies beyond. God gives us a world vision to work for the evangelization of the entire world, the world for which Christ died. The Lord issues a clarion call to His people to get involved in world missions. Come and serve Christ and His cause. He waits for you with His heart of love.
MISSIONS & MISSIONARIES 
Missionaries are God’s people, specially selected, chosen and marked out to serve in missions to impact history and build up His Kingdom. The love of Christ compels missionaries to serve God in missions, through wholly unselfish lives of service, wholeheartedly serving others and not themselves. As they serve others, they please their Master, Jesus Christ. They live to please their Savior. They wait for His smile of approval. Every person who serves Christ with passionate zeal, selfless commitment and a heart dedicated to His service is a missionary, some in full-time service and others in part-time service. All work to serve Him faithfully, with a single-minded vision , for His honor and glory. God rewards all who serve Him from His heart of love.  
Missionaries are ambassadors for Christ, ambassadors of the court of heaven, ambassadors on active duty on earth, official representatives of the Kingdom of God, to show Christ to His people. Missionaries serve actively in missions as they obey Christ’s command “to go into all the world and preach the Gospel to all nations.” Missionaries have a burning passion for the souls of men. They teach the whole counsel of God to establish Christians in the truth. They are constrained by Christ’s love to serve Him and feed His sheep. They accept the will of God for their lives wholeheartedly.
The first and greatest requirement of a missionary is to be born again, ready and willing to bear the cross, bold to preach the Gospel everywhere, zealous for His Master, always putting the Lord first in everything, humble, teachable, willing to learn daily from the Master, honest, sincere and straightforward before God and men.Missionaries wait upon the Lord for the revelation of His will in their lives and obey it at any cost. “No one who puts a hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God” – Luke 9:62.
The challenge of missions is world evangelization, which is a world task, that requires a world vision. Every Christian is a missionary. Every missionary is a watchman.” “God’s orders must be obeyed, His commands carried out, and there is no way to evade the issue.” Today, most parts of the world can be reached through the media, by radio, television and the internet. Each one of us has a small but important part to play in the huge task of world evangelization. Every born-again person can serve Christ as a missionary, in small but varying ways.
Look around you and do the very first task for Christ that needs to be done. The next day, do another little task, and as the days pass by, your work for Christ will slowly but steadily build up. There is always something that you can do for Christ and His cause. Time is short and fleeting. The world waits with bated breath for you to do your part. Do your part in world missions and on the home front. You are needed somewhere. Find your place. Heed the mission call. Be a missionary. Doors are open everywhere. Why don’t you enter? Why do you pray for closed doors to open when there are open doors waiting for you to enter? Enter the open doors and allow God to open the closed doors in His time. Let us turn to our task. Let us work while it is day. Let us complete the task assigned to us in our time and generation.
If you cannot go to the mission field, you can hold the rope for someone else to go. Everyone must be in the bucket brigade to fight the fires of sin raging around us.If you cannot throw the water on the fire at the end of the line, you can pass the bucket along down the line. Or you can fill up the buckets at the start of the line. Are you in the line of missions? Do you belong to the bucket brigade? Are you fighting the fires of sin? Or are you merely a spectator? Every Christian is a missionary.
Jesus gave His disciples one task – world evangelization. Those were His instructions. Have we obeyed His orders? The one thing Jesus told us to do is the only thing left undone.Why does Christ wait to return to earth to establish His kingdom? He waits for us to complete the task of world evangelization. How long will we keep Him waiting? Have you played your part in world evangelization? Go and do your part. Either go yourself, or help to send someone else, or send your words where you cannot go. A missionary must preach so that a sinner can hear and be saved. We must either be the missionary or send a missionary. Let us do our task and not rest until our work is complete. 
What is the most important work of the hour? It is to carry out and fulfill our Lord’s last orders. Jesus issued His marching orders. We are His army of soldiers, ready to obey His commands at a moment’s notice. “Go into all the world and preach the Gospel to every person” – (Mark 16:15). This is the call to missions. Missionaries, arise and go! Hear the wake-up call. Your time is now. Tomorrow might be too late!  
To those who have already heard God’s call, give yourself, your time, your money and your possessions to missions and to the causes around you. We have but one great task. If the King is to reign, we must finish the task. He counts on us to do it. All God asks of you is to complete your assigned task in your generation. It is the one and only task Christ left His Church to do. You are the Church of Christ, bought with His blood. Arise for Christ!
Go out and follow the vision, go where no one else has gone, do what only you can do, invest your life in something worthwhile. You, too, can be a pioneer. Don’t settle down to the humdrum and monotony of daily life. “You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you and you will be my witnesses to the ends of the earth” – (Acts 1:8). Complete the unfinished task of winning souls to Christ. “God so loved the world that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life” – (John 3:16). God gave Heaven’s best. What have you given?
  
“The mission of the Church is missions. The spirit of Christ is the spirit of missions.” “God is a God of missions.”"God had an only Son and He made Him a missionary.”
(Based on the book “The Challenge of Missions” by Oswald J. Smith, quotes by Oswald J. Smith, Henry Martyn & George W. Peters, a quote from “Freely, Freely, You Have Received” by Carol Owens)

Thursday, November 28, 2013

DISCOVERING GOD'S WILL

A detailed study of the book "Discovering God's Will" by Sinclair B. Ferguson

In his book "Discovering God's Will," Sinclair B. Ferguson explains the concept of guidance and how to discover God's will. Do you need guidance to find out God's will in your life? When we are deeply perplexed and do not know what to do, or which particular course of action to take, we need God's guidance. How does God guide us? How do we recognize His will for our lives? Do we think about the wonder of guidance? The Holy Spirit helps us to see life in the long-term, to look at a life of eternal realities, with eternity's values in view. God promises to reveal His purposes to His people. Guidance is a divine concept. How does the Heavenly Father guide His children? What principles does He employ to guide us? We must learn the principles which, when applied to our own lives, will help us to discover God's will. We learn about guidance by learning about the Guide. 

Knowing God and His ways helps us to do His will.We need to know what God does in our lives. The crux of the matter is our deepest need to know God Himself. We must see God in our spirit, taste Him in our heart and sense His guidance in our conscience. May you discover the gracious ways of God with Him as your Guide as you seek to know Him.The Bible reveals the glory of God and the wonder of His love. God guides us as we live by the principles that He sets for us. Our lives have a divine purpose for the present and a glorious destiny for the future.We walk on the path God laid for us. We enjoy the purpose for our lives which God plans for us. We look forward to the destiny God reveals to us. Why did God make me? What is my life for? Can I see the glory of God and live in His presence? 

God and His glory form my destiny. The purpose of my life is to glorify God. The essence of my Christian life is that God is glorified in me. The glory of God is a determining factor in my life. "Is the glory of God the driving principle of our actions?" God guides us in His Word which brings glory to Him. God's Word governs the circumstances of our lives. When we seek His glory, we walk in His blessing. He shines His light to illuminate our lives. How should our lives reflect His glory? We bear a likeness to Jesus. 

"God sets us apart for the praise of the glory of His grace" - (Ephesians 1:3-6). 
"God wants us to be conformed to the image of His Son" - (Romans 8:29). 

God wants us to live for the glory of God. He wants us to imitate Jesus, "to depend on the Holy Spirit given to us to bring glory to Jesus in our lives" - (John 16:14). The life of faith is a glorious pilgrimage. The child of God is a citizen of heaven. His commonwealth is in heaven. He is a pilgrim with a destiny, who walks worthy of his calling, his life guided by a heavenly purpose and a divine plan. He sets His mind to establish a life patterned on heaven. God guides our lives to reflect the glory of His Son. He calls us to imitate Christ. He makes us to be like Christ. "When we stand before Him in His glory, we shall be like Christ" - (1 John 3:2). Christ's mission was to be the servant of the Lord. This is the pattern of God's will and purpose for our lives. 

Christ lived in the will of God through suffering. He brought other sons to glory in the same way. This is the way in which God works. It will help us to trust God's purposes for us, even when they are most painful. The paradox of the Christian life is that it is a path to glory through sufferings - (Acts 14:22). God leads us to follow Christ in suffering. This is the autograph of Christ. It bears His divine seal. It is signed by His blood."Will Christ be our Shepherd and Guide through life?" "Will we take up the cross daily and follow Him?" Have you counted the cost? Will you deny self, take up the cross, and follow Christ into His perfect will for your life? Do you want this kind of divine guidance?

"The safest place to be is within the will of God."The ultimate purpose of God's guidance is the promotion of His glory." Scripture is our guide. Today we have "the full enjoyment of the Spirit of sonship" - (Galatians 4:1-7). God reveals His will to us in Jesus Christ, and we find His guidance in the Holy Bible. The heavens declare His glory and His word reveals His will.God reveals His will to us by "teaching us about Himself and our relationship to Him."As John Calvin says, "All the wisdom we possess consists of the knowledge of God and of ourselves." 

When we study the character of God and His ways, we will learn His wisdom, the practical knowledge of His will and the application of His ways."The Ten Commandments are principles which govern life in all places at all times. Because they are the expression of God's original purposes for man, they stand throughout all the epochs of the Kingdom of God.... the laws, the principles themselves stand for ever." "The whole Bible is full of clear-cut guidance to help us to live to the glory of God." "Jesus must be Lord of all, or He is not Lord at all."The Bible reveals "the ways of God with men, and teaches what God requires of us, does for us, and works out through us."

How does the Lord guide us through Scripture? There are choices to make in life. We have to apply God's word to our own situations.God is unchanging. His word is secure. He does not alter His mind. When we come to know Him, and all He has revealed about Himself, we get to know His mind. As we grow in love with Him, we become sensitive to how he thinks about us. And as we grow more like Him, Christ's yoke rests comfortably on our shoulders.An instinct created within us reveals God's will for our lives.The Lord guides His people by the light of His Holy Spirit to understand His word. "We must maintain a real spirit of dependence upon the ministry of the Spirit, leading us into the true meaning and application of Scripture." 

"The word of God is a living active guide to us. It penetrates between soul and spirit" - (Hebrews 4: 12-13). At times, God guides through a direct assurance or a revelation but usually He guides through His sovereign control of the circumstances of our lives, with the word of God as our divine rule of law. We must understand what the will of the Lord is - (Ephesians 5:17). This is a matter of spiritual sensitivity and understanding. 

 We study God's word and learn the principles of His will, with a heart submitted to the Lord, by the illumination of the Holy Spirit, who leads us to apply its principles to our own situations in life. We will have a perceptive sense of the will of God, and enjoy "an anointing from the Holy One" - (1 John 2:20).We will know God's will because we can 'taste' the flavor of His purposes for us. 

Guidance involves commitment, obedience, knowledge and understanding. Consecration to Christ helps us to discover that the will of God is good, acceptable and perfect. We must study the will of God through the word of God and watch Him reveal His will to us.His timing and wisdom are perfect. We can trust Him unreservedly. Obedience is the only way into the perfect will of God for our lives - (Romans 4:8, Hebrews 11:17-19). When our hearts grow strong in grace, God will work out His divine promises in our lives.


To live in the will of God is to walk in love with Christ, in the light of His love. Guidance is God leading us through His truth, to act according to His wisdom. It acquaints us with Scripture and gives us fellowship in the Spirit, "who alone knows the mind of God - (1 Corinthians 2:11-13). We walk in God's wisdom, by the grace of the Holy Spirit. "Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly" - (Colossians 3:16). We must submit ourselves to the rule of the Spirit and be obedient to the word of God.

Guidance is the supernatural will of God made known to us through His word. That is why when we walk in the Spirit, in the light of God's love, we get the assurance of the fulfillment of God's promises.We are happiest and safest in the will of God. When we obey God wholeheartedly, we accept all the circumstances of our lives gladly from His hands. Nothing happens to us without His express knowledge and permission.

God uses all the experiences in our lives to transform us into the image of Christ. He has predestined everything in our lives. All things work together for our good and His glory. Nothing separates us from the love of Christ.

The best way to discover the will of God is to obey His will in the Bible. Knowing God's will involves choices and decisions in which we must choose the way of the Lord."The Lord watches over the way of the righteous" - (Psalm 1:6). God guides the righteous to the path of His blessings as they obey His will in their lives.

"I urge you to walk worthy of your calling" - (Ephesians 4:1).
"Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly" - (Colossians 3:16) 

This brings us face to face with a most important question: "What is the will of God in my particular situation?" "How do I find out God's will when I deal with difficult choices?" As Christians, we do everything in union with Christ. So, in our own personal lives and difficult choices, we will hear His still, small voice speak to us in our hearts. We will hear His unmistakable voice speak through our conscience. And we will know the voice of our Master Guide.

We must wait upon the Lord patiently and trust wholeheartedly in His all-knowing wisdom and grace. God is not in a hurry. He takes His own time with us to prepare us for His work and to guide us to the right choices and decisions for our lives.We must trust in the good, acceptable and perfect will of God to "make all things work together for good in the lives of those that love the Lord, who are called according to His purpose for them" - (Romans 8:28).

God love us and our obedience to Him. He will guide us in all our choices and decisions, and bless the work of our hands. "In all your way, acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight" - (Proverbs 3:6).Wait upon the Lord for divine guidance and counsel. He will not disappoint you. "The Lord is good to those who hope in Him, to the one who seeks Him" - (Lamentations 3:25).

As God teaches us to obey Him, something in us must be broken so that, like Jacob who wrestled with God, we bear the marks of our submission to Him for the rest of our lives - (Genesis 32:22-32). The Lord does not willingly afflict or grieve us, yet when we face affliction and distress, He does a work through our 'disgrace' which cannot be done in any other way - (Lamentations 3:25-33).

Waiting upon God for guidance lies at the heart of the Christian's experience. We must wait on the Lord and be silent before Him. "My soul finds rest in God alone, my soul waits in silence for God only, my hope comes from Him" - (Psalm 62:1,5). Sometimes, the burden of waiting for God's guidance can become more than we can bear, when it involves waiting for a considerably long period of time. At such times, we might try to force God's hand and try to work out a deliverance of our own. Like Job, we must learn to say to God, "I know that You can do all things; no plan of Yours can be thwarted. Surely I spoke of things I did not understand, things too wonderful for me to know. My ears had heard of you but now my eyes have seen you" - (Job 42:2-6). 

Can you accept God's will for your life, however difficult it might seem to you? Have you discovered that His yoke is easy and His burden is light? Have faith in the goodness of God and in His unique plans for your life. If we can trust Him for His goodness, we can trust Him for His guidance! God is a Master Craftsman who patiently and painstakingly shapes us into His Son's image. He is fully prepared to wait as He works on us, knowing that there is all of eternity to enjoy the fruits of His labour. The Lord waits for us to wait on Him. We must wait patiently for Him to show Himself to us. God will bless those who wait for Him - (Isaiah 30:18). He is eager to draw us into His special plans and purposes for our lives. "If we don't entrust the guidance of our lives to Him, we cannot receive what we refuse to trust Him for."

There is untold blessing in our intimacy with the Lord. A reflection of His own character and godly qualities comes to bear upon us.God has His own agenda, timetable, place and time to act. He has to reveal His will to us and He has to fulfill His purposes in us. "I will stand at my watch.... I will look to see what He will say to me, and what answer I am to give.... For the vision awaits an appointed time; though it lingers, wait for it; it will certainly come and will not delay" - (Habakkuk 2:1-3). When God's assured time comes, nothing stands in His way. His timing is perfect. "As for God, His way is perfect" - (2 Samuel 22:31). He is worthy of our faith, trust and patient waiting upon His will. "It would be a denial of His grace to refuse Him in the light of His credentials." 

What must we do as we wait on Him? What are we to do when we do not know what God wants us to do? "Do your duty; live in the light God gives you." As you walk in the light that illuminates your pathway, God will make your future clear.The path of the righteous is like the first gleam of dawn, shining ever brighter till the full light of day" - (Proverbs 4:18). The climax of our obedience is when we acknowledge God's perfect will in our lives. "Not my will, but yours be done" - (Luke 22:42).

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

iF@ith by Daniel Darling

iF@ith by Daniel Darling connects with God in the 21st century through an in-depth study of the real people in the Bible who instantly communicated with God, heart-to-heart, in a personally intimate way. How do we connect with God in an age of pixels, bandwidth, high-speed and warp speed? Reading iF@ith will activate your faith and set you on a unique road in this connected generation in which life explodes with data racing ahead at the warp speed of thought. Leap on board and surf with iF@ith. Your life will never be the same!

God certainly has a digital mission for this millennium. Where does prayer fit into the fast-paced and ever-changing scenario of today's technological revolution, where people are constantly plugged in and wired, with instant answers at their fingertips? iF@ith is Daniel Darling's perfect response to the digital generation of which he is an integral part. Practical prayer refreshes your prayer life and opens an instant, high-speed connection with God. Do the centuries-old, time-tested truths of Christianity connect with the modern expectations of the digital era?

"We are an always-connected generation, weaned on warp speed, raised on instant formula, with life revolving around our ever-expanding devices, exploding with data traveling at the speed of thought." We send instant messages, emails and texts to people connected in the world wide web and get instant real-time answers in the blink of an eye. As we send and receive information and communication, we get instant answers, one-on-one, person to person. The 21st century "ushers in the march of progress and the rapid acceleration of communication." The lost art of letter-writing has been reinvented in digital format as we strive to paint a digital masterpiece, carefully weighing the pros and cons of each word and the significance of every phrase used to embellish our artwork.

Global communication makes gigantic leaps across oceans, spanning countries and borders, transcending time zones. It is as easy as the click of a button."Nobody is ever out of reach, unavailable or offline." You will see Jesus form deeply in you and discover Him smiling at you through the all-important missives of emails, text and chat messages.

In iF@ith, Daniel Darling enriches your walk with Christ through practical, revealing insights into the lives and times of biblical characters, those giants of faith who inspire our faith beyond the eye of reason. Faith is based on biblical fact. "The heart has its reasons of which reason cannot know." Christ died for us and His undying love for us is the reason for our faith. "Love's strength lies in love's sacrifice and He who suffers most has most to give."

© Miriam Jacob

FTC Regulations Compliance & Disclosure of Material Connection:

To comply with new regulations introduced by the Federal Trade Commission, as part of every web or retail site review, the author has provided me with a complimentary copy of this book. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

Thursday, November 14, 2013

THE WAR ON CHRISTMAS by Bodie Hodge

"The War on Christmas" by Bodie Hodge presents the issues confronting Christmas in today's world. Christmas is under attack! "When the Bible is left out, God is left out. So man, by default, becomes that authority." Man elevates himself to a position of authority above God, and demands the removal of God and His Word from every area of life.

"We now see conflicts covering Christmas. There is a war on Christmas. We must defend Christmas if we are to celebrate it. Christians must know what they celebrate at Christmas. What is the real reason for Christmas? Are we really celebrating the birth of Christ? The true gift of Christmas is Christ. Do we understand who Jesus is and what He did?"

We must celebrate Christmas in our hearts. The child in the manger is the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. God has come to live in our world. 'Christ-mas' means 'Christ Celebration'. "When God brought His Son into the world, all the angels worshipped Him" - (Hebrews 1:6). The angels celebrated his birth like no other in history. Christmas is about Jesus Christ. It is His birthday. As Christians, we must celebrate Christ's birth in our hearts all the time.

Jesus is God's only Son. God sent Him to earth to save us. Our faith is based on the birth, life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. He is the embodiment of God. The Trinity is Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Christianity is about a Person and a relationship. It is about our relationship with God, who sent His Son to earth to identify with us. When we accept Jesus into our hearts, it is the start of a new relationship with God. We are transformed into His likeness. "God has set eternity in the human heart" - (Ecclesiastes 3:11).

Jesus Christ is God's greatest gift to man. At Christmas, God blessed the world with Christ's love. "We because He first loved us" - (1 John 4:19).

"God so loved the world that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life" - (John 3:16). God is our Father. We are His children. When we receive Jesus into our hearts, we become children of God.

Christ is God's gift to us at Christmas. After a supernatural conception by the Holy Spirit, Jesus was carried in Mary's womb and born as a helpless, vulnerable, newborn baby. God personally supervised every single detail of His birth, so He was never at risk. “God created perfect seed for the conception that took place in Mary’s womb, thus producing a perfect man of flesh and blood untainted by sin.”

God sent Jesus into the world in a most humble way. His lowly birth was a personal reflection of God's selfless character and tender, compassionate heart. Jesus was the most humble Person who lived on earth even though He is God. He humbled Himself for our sakes. Christ convicts the human heart. He did not stay in the cradle. He pressed on to conquer.

© Miriam Jacob

 FTC Regulations Compliance & Disclosure of Material Connection:

To comply with new regulations introduced by the Federal Trade Commission, as part of every web or retail site review, the author has provided me with a complimentary copy of this e-book. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."