Grace and Truth

…all the words of this life…


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A Pandemic Dance

How will the covid-19

acrylic and gouache

Change the way

We see A.I.?

 

Will the fear

Be so great

We will accept now

What would have been unthinkable

before?

 

Tracking

Tracing

Monitoring

Vaccinating

 

Surveillance

Apps

Identity bracelets

Micro-chips?

 

People calling for government

To lock them down:

“Please just lock us down!“

 

And then I knew

It wouldn’t take that much

To scare people into complete submission

 

Revival or Revolution?

I think both revival and revolution

At once

Is coming


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Paul Brought the Gospel to Rome from Home Lockdown

Paul was under house-arrest in Rome for two years.  Chained to a prison guard, he couldn’t leave his own home.

“The Rise of A.I.” acrylic and gouache

Sound familiar…?

During his home-imprisonment he asked the Church to pray for him :

“and for me, that utterance may be given to me, that I may open my mouth boldly to make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains, that in it I may speak boldly as I ought to speak” Ephesians 6:19, 20 (emphasis mine)

Paul couldn’t go to church, he couldn’t street-preach, he couldn’t go to Synagogue.  Paul was physically restricted as soon as he arrived in Rome, and that’s how he stayed for two whole years.  But in it, in this very situation Paul was asking for prayer to be able to speak forth the gospel boldly.

Do we think Paul’s situation caught God by surprise?  Do we think He did not know that Paul’s arrival in Rome would be under hard circumstances? That His man would not be free to move about as previously?  No – it was in to this very situation that God brought Paul, and thus the gospel, to Rome.

At that time Rome was becoming the centre of the world’s wealth.  The art, the artists, the architects were moving there as it became recognised as the world’s most cosmopolitan city.  This place was of diverse culture, containing many different beliefs and ideas.  In some ways it was advanced, as in the case of women’s rights.  It was to this worldly city that God chose to send His man, chained and bound to one small house.

God’s strategy to evangelise a whole city was through a man bound to his own home.

Paul may have been restricted, but never is the Gospel of Jesus Christ restricted!

Never will it be restrained.

God still used Paul, even chained to a prison-guard, unable to leave his own home. One man, in one house, but in that one house God brought revival to Rome.

“So when they had appointed him a day, many came to him at his lodging, to whom he explained and solemnly testified of the kingdom of God, persuading them concerning Jesus from both the Law of Moses and the Prophets, from morning till evening.”  Acts 28:23

Do we think this Covid-19 pandemic has caught God by surprise? Do we think He had no idea all the churches would be shutdown and outlawed?  Of course He knew.  And it is into this very situation that He has called us.

The gospel of Jesus Christ cannot be stopped, no matter if our church buildings are shut.  The gospel will go forth.

The gates of hell will never prevail against His Church!  It’s time to recognise that this is how God has chosen to use us for this season.  God’s plans are not being stymied by the enemy, God is still Sovereign and from the Throne He has decreed that right now this is how His church will go forth.

Without high-tech sound systems, church buildings and programs, once again from the simplicity of our homes!  Prayer with our families, Bible studies online, prayer in the closet.  Could this be God’s plan…?

We have the internet, social media, telephones. We can walk around our neighbourhoods, dropping leaflets in letterboxes. We have many ways we can answer God’s call from our homes:

““Whom shall I send,
And who will go for Us?”

Who will join me in saying “Here I am Lord, send me!”

“Then Paul dwelt two whole years in his own rented house, and received all who came to him, preaching the kingdom of God and teaching the things which concern the Lord Jesus Christ with all confidence, no one forbidding him.” Acts 28:30,31

Blessings,

Belinda 🙂


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The Way to Get Through This

My husband was on a business trip in the
USA when the World Health Organisation declared the coronavirus a Pandemic.

Things had already started to become strange up until that point but on that day everything turned and people went crazy here in Australia.

Just like that, toilet paper, pasta, hand sanitizer was stripped from the shelves and by the time I got there I couldn’t find any.  I remember the anxiety as I walked into the shops to find bare shelves, three children to look after and my husband far away.

The burden of responsibility to look after my family lay heavily on my shoulders. At heart I am a homemaker, and when I couldn’t get the basics for my family it struck me much more forcibly than anything else. I wasn’t afraid of the actual virus, I still am not. But those bare shelves brought some fear up in me I never expected.

The Lord was so very kind to me. He began to wake me up every night in the middle of the night, in fact He is still doing it to this day. I would get up and go into my prayer closet.

just me and Him.

I would cry, sometimes just sob at His feet. It wasn’t just about the toilet paper. I felt something had shifted in the spiritual realm. I felt everything was different now. And boy did I want my husband home.

I’ve always been a pray-er but those times with the Lord at night became my lifeline, literally. Without them I would not have coped. He gave me the strength to meet each day. He taught me to trust Him in a way I never have before and He turned my mourning in to dancing.

I would go in with a heavy and burdened heart. And I would come out of my prayer closet rejoicing.

Truly in the presence of the Lord there is fullness of joy. Really .

The joy that Christ gave me in those times became my strength for the day ahead.

Now we are in lockdown here in Australia, have been for two weeks. All the churches are shut, even the small ones. We are not allowed to meet in groups of more than 2, apart from our own household.

What do we do in such a situation? How do we get through with faith intact, with hope and peace?

It’s only in the Lords presence – and I can testify to it.

Every night He, in His grace, wakes me up still. It’s the only time I am alone now with a husband working from home and 3 kids locked out of school.

”where else would I go but to the Lord”

He is our strength, He is our hope and deliverer. Our shield and the horn of our salvation. Trust in Him, He never fails.

 

Bless you my brothers and sisters in this difficult season.

Belinda


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Purim – When the Enemy’s Plans are the Cause of His Downfall

It is the feast of Purim today.  Purim is from the book of Esther.

In the book of Esther, Haman (the enemy of Gods people) made gallows to hang Mordecai, but because of Esther’s intercession, he was hanged on his own gallows. So we see the plans of the enemy were the cause of his own downfall.

So now,as the people of God, as we rise up in intercession, the plans the enemy tries to use against us will be the cause of his ultimate defeat! Hallelujah to the Lamb!

”So they hanged Mordecai on the gallows that he had prepared for Mordecai…” Esther 7:10

Ultimately this is a picture that points to Christ. For where else is it so powerfully displayed that the means the enemy, satan, tried to use to destroy the Son of God at the cross, was the place of his ultimate defeat, and of Christ’s complete victory over the powers of darkness?

We have nothing to fear brothers and sisters, even from the Coronavirus, for the Lord knows the way , even if we don’t. And as we stay close to Him we are safe and in the place of victory.

Blessings,

belinda

The Man in the Gap – Acrylic on canvas


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Grace Gleanings- Mixing Law & Grace

Following on from Grace Gleanings – 3 Errors Regarding Law & Grace

Most Christians are aware that we are justified only by grace through faith, yet a lot tend to mix Law and Grace in sanctification.

That is, they believe that once they are saved by grace, they then need to keep to some sort of code of conduct to remain saved, be it the Ten Commandments, their own set of rules or their church’s. The church where I grew up had written rules and regulations for everything under the sun.  There were also unspoken rules that everybody knew, such as, getting to both services on a Sunday was a must, otherwise you would be considered weak in the faith by everybody else.

Thus often a Christian is still under the Law even though he can easily quote “I’m not under law but under grace”.

We need to understand that Law and Grace are two complete systems in themselves, and they are mutually exclusive of each other. You cannot be under both Law and Grace at the same time, neither can you mix Grace with Law. This was the error of the Galatians. But what did Paul say to them :

O foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you that you should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ was clearly portrayed among you as crucified? This only I want to learn from you: Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? Are you so foolish? Having begun in the Spirit, are you now being made perfect by the flesh?” Galations 3:1-3

Under grace our acceptance with God is based on the fact that we are in Christ by faith and He is acceptable to God. How we live after being saved is also by grace. He saves us and He sanctifies us, there is nothing we can do to save ourselves. We live now not by rules and regulations but by a new principle : the law of the spirit of life in Christ Jesus. (Romans 8:2)

That means that Christ lives His life through us. It is His righteousness , not ours.

”and be found in Him, not having my own righteousness , which is from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith” Philippians 3:9

more to come…


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Grace Gleanings – 3 Errors Regarding Law and Grace

There were three errors in Paul’s day concerning Law and Grace and these three persist until today.

LEGALISM

the teaching that we are saved by keeping the Law, by observing days, rituals, ceremonies and the Ten Commandments.

This is the false doctrine of WORKS.

“…knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law but by faith in Jesus Christ…for by the works of the law no flesh shall be justified” Galations 2:16.

The book of Romans counteracts this false teaching.

ANTI-NOMIANISM

the teaching that because we are saved by GRACE we can live however we want and it makes no difference how we behave.

“Even so Faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone” James 2:17

The book of James counteracts this false teaching.

 

GALATIONISM

the teaching that we are saved by GRACE but are kept by the WORKS of the LAW afterwards. This makes our salvation dependent on our WORKS rather than the GRACE of God.

”And if by grace then it is no longer of works: otherwise grace is no longer grace. But if it is of works, it is no longer grace; otherwise work is no longer work” Romans 11:6

The book of Galations counteracts this false teaching.

”Salvation is not a matter of LAW and GRACE, but it is a matter of LAW or GRACE, for it cannot be both” M.R De Haan

 

more to come…

 


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Missionary Quotations: James McKendrick2

“Since that day I have spent thirty-two years, a changeable man, in a changing world, but John 3:16 has never changed and never will. All those years have only served to endear to me my blessed Saviour and His Holy Word. His unchanging LOVE, unchanging WORD and all-atoning BLOOD is where I rest today”.

 

from the book ‘Seen and Heard’

(which I miraculously found on my own bookcase, having no idea of how it came to be there)