Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Praying for you

On blogger.com, when we build a site, we can see what countries are represented by people who come on to our blog. In this case mine: Alive from the Dead.  I want you to know that as I see your country, I pray for you.  I have seen hits from Russia, Hungary, India, Japan, Ukraine, Canada, USA, Great Britain, Australia and more coming to this blog. I assume each hit is a person God is working in and through. I believe God is at work in some way in your lives and He is bringing us together somehow according to His pleasure and purpose. 

I pray for you. I pray for your country.  May God reveal Himself with power and joy and bring people to Himself through your lives.  I would love to hear from you and hear what God is teaching you and doing in your lives where you are. 

Wouldn't it be great if we had a glimpse into heaven?  Into the spiritual realm in Christ to see how God is moving His people around the world to accomplish His purposes?  I would love to see the movement of God more fully worldwide.

I pray His many blessings on each of you, on your families, and your ministries and your lives that He might be glorified and people might come to know Him through you.  May He deeply encourage and strengthen you each moment of the day.


Thursday, May 24, 2012

The End of Futility

Before you knew Jesus, did your life seem futile or meaningless?  Did you seek happiness and pleasure only to find that what you thought would fill you, left you hungering for something more? 

When God spoke to Ezekiel, foretelling His plan and what He would accomplish in Christ, He spoke of a new humanity. One that is clean. One that has been given a new heart and a new spirit and has been joined to God forever through His Holy Spirit.  But the story doesn't stop there.  The end is not our transformation.  The end is so much more.

"Thus says the Lord God: “On the day that I cleanse you from all your iniquities, I will also enable you to dwell in the cities, and the ruins shall be rebuilt. 34 The desolate land shall be tilled instead of lying desolate in the sight of all who pass by. 35 So they will say, ‘This land that was desolate has become like the garden of Eden; and the wasted, desolate, and ruined cities are now fortified and inhabited.’ 36 Then the nations which are left all around you shall know that I, the Lord, have rebuilt the ruined places and planted what was desolate. I, the Lord, have spoken it, and I will do it.”
37 ‘Thus says the Lord God: “I will also let the house of Israel inquire of Me to do this for them: I will increase their men like a flock. 38 Like a flock offered as holy sacrifices, like the flock at Jerusalem on its feast days, so shall the ruined cities be filled with flocks of men. Then they shall know that I am the Lord.”’” Ezekiel 36:33-38

Can you hear the heart of God?  Futility has ceased in Christ.  Our work now remains, forever. Not only are we transformed, we get to be apart of something so much bigger than ourselves.  We get to be apart of rebuilding ruins and desolations. We get to see restoration. We are get to be apart of wasted and ruined cities being strengthened and fortified.  What is this saying?  We get to be apart of lives being rebuilt and societies being transformed.  And how does this transformation take place?  Through the inner transformation of each person's life and then the ripple effect of that transformation to those around them.  One person at at time, surrendering to Jesus Christ, being made new by God and living out this newness on the earth.  This new humanity becomes a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God.  A flock whose shepherd is the Lord.

He makes us lie down in green pastures.  He restores our souls.  What a gracious God we have.

A New Humanity

I am in awe of God.  His plan amazes me.  His Word reveals a story of redemption, of Him speaking about and preparing to create a new humanity, which He unviels and fulfills in Jesus Christ.  This humanity lives with Him forever, and enter into this reality through a new birth, a total regeneration of spirit and heart.

24 For I will take you from among the nations, gather you out of all countries, and bring you into your own land. 25 Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean; I will cleanse you from all your filthiness and from all your idols. 26 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. 27 I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will keep My judgments and do them. 28 Then you shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers; you shall be My people, and I will be your God. (Ezekiel 36:24-28)

Ezekiel got a glimpse of a heavenly plan from the mind and heart of God Himself.  Sometimes I wonder what I would have done had God given me a plan like this, revealing something my mind could barely comprehend, something prepared for those to whom the Lord would reveal it to in the fulness of time. The time He would send His Son, to take away the sin of the world and transform humanity into a new creation, a people who belong to Him.  A people out of whome He removed a heart of stone and gave a heart of flesh. A new heart. A heart in which He placed Himself through His Holy Spirit. 

We live within the fulfillment of this message in Christ.  God has taken us out of the world, gathered us out from among the nations and from all the countries of the world and brought us into our own land, the kingdom of God.  Through the blood of Jesus Christ, He has made us clean -- forever!  All of our filthiness is gone and we have been been freed from the power of sin through the blood of Jesus.  He has given us a new heart and a new spirit and put His Spirit within us. Now He works this out in and through us according to His will.  And we dwell in the land He has given us in the kingdom of God, fulfilling the promise He gave to our father, Abraham.  Now we are His people and He is our God.

Ezekiel tells us that God did not do this for our sake.  He did this for His Name's sake which was profaned among the  nations because of His people Israel.  God was jealous for His Name, and He made a way for us to be kept by Himself and transferred into the Kingdom of God.

What an amazing God we have.  He is able to save us completely. He has set us free from sin's power and from death, and caused us to enter into life forever through the death and resurrection of His Son. And He gives this to us as a gift.  Undeserved. Not by anything we could ever do. But by what He Himself did and will continue to fulfill.  He joined us to Himself forever.

Oh the grace of God.  The power and wonder of His ways.  I am so thankful He loves us.  How good and gracious He is. 

Celebrating Life Ministries 2012 Celebration Coming Soon!

We are going to Celebrate! We hope you can join us! We want to give glory and praise to God for transforming lives and setting people free. We are in awe of Him and want to worship Him and give Him praise. Would you join us as we celebrate Him?

June 2, 6 - 9 pm Dinner followed by worship and testimonies and an overview of where we have come from and where we are going in CLM. Suggested donation: $10/person or $25/family. If funds are a little tight, come anyways. You are welcome! All proceeds will contribute directly to the Discipleship Homes, and seeing men and women set free to truly live!

Venue: Royal Heights Baptist Church, 11706 96th Ave., Delta, BC
For more information: email Nancy at celebratinglife@royalhbc.com or call 778-886-9214

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Streaming to God's Goodness

Can you picture it?  People of every tribe and tongue and nation streaming to the goodness of God?  Like streams converging into a River of Life that flows to the throne of Almighty God?  Imagine the joy and life of flowing in that stream. The diversity of language.  Diversity of color. Diversity of size and personality.  All flowing together as one stream into the presence of the Lord.

Now can you imagine, people, from every nation, falling at the feet of Jesus and admitting their independence from His Father.  Their willfulness and stubborness.  Desperately trying to find meaning in their own lives.  Seeking status and wealth, but coming away empty once they have it.  Seeking love, but finding only disappointment and not fulfillment. Seeking satisfaction, through their jobs, through relationships, through accumulating stuff. 

Never satisfied. Yet now they find themselves at the foot of the cross, admitting their sin and worthless life before God.  As they turn from their worthless lives to embrace the One who can save them from death, they rise.  In brilliance and joy. All nations merged together into one body. One Spirit pulsing life through them all.  One mind filling them with thoughts of eternity.  All these nations, streaming as one into the very presence of God. In just a moment of time.

Therefore they shall come and sing in the height of Zion, Streaming to the goodness of the LORD--For wheat and new wine and oil, For the young of the flock and the herd; Their souls shall be like a well-watered garden, And they shall sorrow no more at all. Jeremiah 31:12

Streaming to the goodness of the Lord God. Filled overflowing with all they need. Their very being satisfied like a well-watered garden. In place of sorrow, there is joy.  What a beautiful picture God has painted of the reality of Christianity.  We live within these promises as we abide in Christ because we live with Him and He lives within us.  These promises are not just for when our bodies die. These promises are for us now, while we live on this earth. These promises are found in Christ alone.  This is the new creation life in Him.

"I will satiate the soul of the priests with abundance, And My people shall be satisfied with My goodness," says the LORD.