Grace and Truth

…all the words of this life…


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“But God…”

You’ve been heading one way…”But God…”

You’ve received a diagnosis… “But God…”

You have nowhere to live… “But God…”

Your marriage is struggling… “But God…”

You don’t know how you will get through this…”But God….”

 

But God…

But God

 

These words are like a great signpost in the middle of the path of your life.

Sept '15. Pastel, pencil, conte crayon

Sept ’15. Pastel, pencil, conte crayon

They signal God’s intervention in our lives.  They signal God’s mercy in caring enough to reach down and move in our circumstances.

 

But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us” Ephesians 2:4

 

“But God…” there it stands, two words that are full of promise. These two words can change the course of your future.

But God… that is all it takes to raise the dead to life.

But God… is all that is needed to change your direction

But God… lifts us up from the ash-heap to the heavenly places in Christ

 

But God… don’t walk past the signpost. Don’t accept that this is how it just is. Don’t give in. Don’t believe the words of man.

 

Stop. Look up.

There is God’s Word “But God….”

Take hold of a promise of God.

 

Know that if God can take you, who was dead in trespass and sin, and intervene to make you alive together with Christ, then God can certainly intervene in your situation now.

There is a way, and it’s God’s way. He has an answer, He has an outcome.

Take hold of “But God…”

 

🙂

 

Related posts:

God’s Victories Look Like Defeats

Suffering: According to the Pattern

The Place of Enlargement

 

 


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A Dream from 2007

 

I had this dream at the end of 2007.  I am sharing it now at the prompting of the Holy Spirit.  With no embellishment, nor attempt to “interpret” it, I will simply leave it to the Lord to use this however He intends:

There was a village by the sea.  The sky was dark and cloudy and the sea was

chronicmigrainewarrior.com

source: chronicmigrainewarrior.com

stormy and rough. The waves of the sea beat upon the stone walls that separated the village from the waters.

Out of this wild sea strange beasts started to emerge.  They were huge and black with bodies like hippos and faces like wild pigs.  They had big sharp teeth.  They poured forth from the frothing ocean, up the beach and into the village.  Their rampage through the village was terrifying.  They destroyed everything in their path.  Havoc, destruction and fear ensued. 

After they had spent some time wreaking havoc I was shocked to see that some of the villagers, who had previously been so scared of the beasts, seemed to have forgotten their terror as they began welcoming and taking the baby beasts into their own homes as pets.

I couldn’t comprehend this development and wondered how they could be so short-sighted not to realize that soon these babies would also grow to be the full-sized beasts that had rampaged their village, and would wreak their own havoc!

I then looked up into the dark sky and it was so black.  More black than anything I had ever seen.

source:shutterstock.com

source:shutterstock.com

Suddenly as I looked at the sky, light pierced through the blackness.  More and more light pierced through until I saw the form of a Man on top of a white cloud, surrounded by bright light breaking through the darkness.  I knew it was Jesus returning and I was so happy.

End of dream

 

 


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Missionary Quotations: CT Studd3

“Christ’s call is to save the lost, not the stiff-necked; He came not to call scoffers but sinners ctstuddto repentance; not to build and furnish comfortable chapels, churches, and cathedrals at home in which to rock Christian professors to sleep by means of clever essays, stereotyped prayers, and artistic musical performances, but to capture men from the devil’s clutches and the very jaws of Hell. This can be accomplished only by a red-hot, unconventional, unfettered devotion, in the power of the Holy Spirit, to the Lord Jesus Christ.”

 

Oh hallelujah!


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Moses : a Type of Christ

The Old Testament is all about Christ. It really is.Jesus2

 

Don’t listen to those who would put the OT down and say it is over with, it is past. Don’t listen to those who would say OT = “bad” but NT = “good”. It makes up 2/3’s of the Bible and it is all about Jesus.

“Then said I, Lo, I come (in the volume of the book it is written of me,) to do thy will, O God.” Hebrews 10:7/Psalm 40:7.

Remember: The New is in the Old concealed, the Old is in the New revealed.

 
The NT sheds light on the OT. And the NT is concealed in the shadows of the Old – it is hidden, but it is there for those who like to search for hidden treasure. Looking for the types and foreshadows of Christ in the OT is such a joy. I love discovering Him in the OT.

 

One example is Moses. Moses is such a wonderful type and picture of Christ. His life and ministry foreshadows Jesus in many ways. However One even greater than Moses is here now, in the Person of Jesus Christ. Let’s see how:

 

  • Moses was hidden away in Egypt as a baby for his own protection when Pharaoh decreed that all Hebrew baby boys were to be killed.
  • Jesus was hidden away in Egypt as a baby for his own protection when Herod sought to kill Him.

 

  • Moses, willingly left his royal home and high position in Pharaoh’s palace for the sake of his people.
  • Jesus, the royal Son of God, willingly left the glory of heaven to come to earth for the sake of His people.

 

  • In due course Moses came up out of Egypt and spent 40 years in the wilderness.
  • In due course Jesus also came up out of Egypt. He spent 40 days in the wilderness.moses

 

 

 

 

  • Moses was the deliverer of Israel out of the bondage and slavery of Egypt. He redeemed the Israelites from their hard-taskmasters with the blood of the Passover lamb.
  • Jesus is the deliverer of not only Israel but also of the Gentiles. He has delivered us from our bondage and slavery to sin. He has redeemed us from our hard-taskmaster (Satan) with His very own blood.

“Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!” John 1:29

 

  • Moses interceded for the Israelites when they corrupted themselves and worshipped a golden calf. In Exodus 32:32 Moses offered his own life on behalf of the people. Such was his love for them that he was prepared to take their guilt upon himself and to die for them.
  • Jesus interceded for the whole of humankind, utterly corrupted and gone astray as we were.  Jesus actually did lay down His life on behalf of humankind. Such is His love for us that He did take our sin and guilt upon Himself and was offered to God in our place.

 

  • Moses was mediator of the Old Covenant of Law.
  • Jesus Christ is mediator of the New Covenant of Grace.

“For the law was given through Moses but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.” John 1:17

 

This barely skims the surface of the treasures of Christ that can be found in the life of Moses. Have a look for yourself and see what else you can find.

 

God bless!
 


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Street Preaching Last Night – An Epic Battle

soldiersThe Hare Krishna’s came back as we were preaching.  Two weeks ago, as I wrote about here, they came and did their dance to Krishna but left after only a few minutes.

Well last night they came as I began to preach.  But this time they stayed.

This time they had an amp with them and sang songs and chanted mantras to Krishna whilst they danced.  It was loud.

I kept preaching though.  I kept on, like last time:

“Jesus is the Way, the Truth, the LIfe. No one comes to the Father but by Him…”  etc

“There is no other Name under heaven by which humankind can be saved than the Name of Jesus…”

On they stayed.

On I kept preaching.

“Jesus is Lord.  And at the Name of Jesus every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that He is Lord to the glory of the Father!”

It went on.  Multitudes of people came over to see what was going on. They were fascinated.  It was a battle and everyone knew it.  Many people video-ed all of it on their phones (if you see it on YouTube, let me know!)

10 minutes – I began calling out the words to “Amazing Grace”.

hareThe Hare Krishnas became frenzied. Faster and faster they got, they worked themselves into an ecstatic frenzy. They reminded me of the prophets of Baal as they cried out to their “god” to answer them on Mount Carmel.

 

15 minutes…

My voice started hurting, my chest was heaving. I prayed to God that He would sustain me to keep going.  I saw why He has prompted me to get fit lately.

I looked into the crowd as I proclaimed that “Jesus is Lord” and there was a gift from God.  A young lady with her hands in the air crying out “Amen! Jesus is Lord!”

She became my lifeline.  I looked to her as it went on.  She encouraged me to keep going.

I didn’t know what else to do.  I lifted my hands in the air and shut my eyes and cried out:

“Jesus, I proclaim that You are Lord over this station!  You are Lord. I praise the Lamb who was slain from the foundation of the world!  I praise you Lord! Hallelujah to the Lamb!”

The Hare Krishna’s left.battle

Praise God.

I kept preaching for another minute, then the gift-from-God young lady came over and asked if she could sing.  She had never sung by herself in a public street before but the presence of God was so strong.

She sung a beautiful song all about Jesus.

Some people from the crowd hung around to talk to some of the guys.

There was a great battle last night, but there was a great victory for the kingdom of God too!

Needless to say, it has taken me all day today to recover…:)

“Now thanks be to God who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and through us diffuses the fragrance of His knowledge in every place.” 2 Corinthians 2:14

 


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Street Preaching Tonight

It was different tonight than it’s ever been.flinders st

It began pretty much the same as usual, but at some point I noticed the Hare Krishna’s dancing their noisy way towards us.

Great

With their colourful clothes, tambourines and dancing they make it all but impossible to preach the gospel.  They usually pull up in a wide circle in front of where we are preaching and dance and sing for sometimes 10-15 minutes.

Usually we get pushed to the sidelines amongst all the colourful chaos and the tourists bustling to take photos of them.  Standing on the sidelines politely waiting for them to finish their worship ceremony to their false god is absolutely frustrating.  It feels like Satan has got one over on us.

Something I’ve learnt: if you give Satan an inch – he will take a mile.

We are in a spiritual battle and being on the city streets you cannot forget it.

So tonight as they approached I grabbed the microphone and began preaching. As they came up to us I kept going.  They waved to me, I waved back.  I was polite, but not polite enough to stop. I preached:

“Jesus said ‘I AM the Way, the Truth and the Life, no man comes to the Father but by Me”.

They kept going.  I kept going: “There is no other name under heaven by which man can be saved, than the Name of Jesus!”  Sometimes I just called out “Jesus! Jesus!” over their noise.

They stayed for maybe two minutes then gave up and left.

But then it happened…

bourbonstreet1As I was preaching, I began weeping.

Yes, weeping.  In front of lots of people. It was weird. I couldn’t stop it. I felt God’s heart breaking for these lost sinners.  I felt Him yearning for them to come home.  It wasn’t me being emotional or sad – it was Him calling to them through me.  I wept as I preached to them His heart.

But then I stopped preaching because I began to think.  That can be a problem whilst preaching.  The anointing lifts off when you start to really think, especially if you wonder what people are thinking of you.  Now I kind of wish I kept going because that’s never happened to me before and I think I probably stopped it before God was done.  Sorry Lord.

Important point: I believe God wants to raise up preachers who are broken for the sins of the people.

You see, there are preachers who preach the cold, hard truth of the gospel.  They want the authority that gives them, but they don’t take any responsibility for the people.

Then there are preachers who in response to the above have taken out most of the truth of the gospel and replaced it with psychology or self-help or something else human.  They want to take responsibility for the people, yet they have no God-given authority to do so.

God is raising up those who will “speak the truth in love”.  We can get rid of neither love nor truth, and that is what so many have done.

God gives authority to those who will take responsibility.  And being willing to take street_preaching in chicago 1930responsibility for others brings authority.

We need to speak the whole truth of the gospel – yes, including sin, the law, hell and judgment.  BUT we need to speak the truth from a heart that has been broken for the people’s sins.  We have no right to be preaching to people about whom we couldn’t care less. That is not God’s heart.  That has never been His way.  Think of Moses, Samuel, Jesus, Paul…  We need to be willing to take responsibility for them by standing in the gap and interceding.

Preaching and intercessory prayer go hand-in-hand

Just as:

Authority and responsibility go hand-in-hand

May our mighty God bless you!

If sinners be dammed, at least let them leap to Hell over our bodies. If they will perish, let them perish with our arms about their knees. Let no one GO there UNWARNED and UNPRAYED for.” Charles Spurgeon

 

 

 

 


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Missionary Quotations: CT Studd2

ctstudd“I can easily see why the folks at home want to eliminate Hell from their theology, preaching and thought. Hell is indeed awful unless its preaching is joined to a life laid down by the preacher. How can a man believe in Hell unless he throws away his life to rescue others from its torment? If there is no Hell, the Bible is a lie. Unless we are willing to go to Hell on earth for others, we cannot preach it.”


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The Angel’s Point of View (or ‘The Visited Planet’)

BEarth-Lightsy J.B. Phillips

Once upon a time a very young angel was being shown round the splendours and glories of the universe by a senior and experienced angel. To tell the truth, the little angel was beginning to be tired and a little bored. He had been shown whirling galaxies and blazing suns, infinite distances in the deathly cold of inter-stellar space, and to his mind there seemed to be an awful lot of it all.

Finally he was shown the galaxy of which our planetary system is but a small part. As the two of them drew near to the star which we call our sun and to its circling planets, the senior angel pointed to a small and rather insignificant sphere turning very slowly on its axis. It looked as dull as a dirty tennis-ball to the little angel, whose mind was filled with the size and glory of what he had seen.

 

Senior Angel: “I want you to watch that one particularly,” said the senior angel, pointing with his finger.

 

Little Angel: “Well, it looks very small and rather dirty to me. What’s special about that one?”

 

Senior Angel: “That is the Visited Planet.”

 

Little Angel: “Visited?” “You don’t mean visited by ——–?”

 

Senior Angel: “Indeed I do. That ball, which I have no doubt looks to you small and insignificant and not perhaps overclean, has been visited by our young Prince of Glory.”

And at these words he bowed his head reverently.

 

Little Angel: “But how? Do you mean that our great and glorious Prince, with all these wonders and splendors of His Creation, and millions more that I’m sure I haven’t seen yet, went down in Person to this fifth-rate little ball? Why should He do a thing like that?”

 

Senior Angel: “It isn’t for us, to question His ‘why’s’, except that I must point out to you that He is not impressed by size and numbers, as you seem to be. But that He really went, I know, and all of us in Heaven who know anything know that. As to why He became one of them – how else do you suppose could He visit them?”

 

The little angel’s face wrinkled in disgust.

 

Little Angel: “Do you mean to tell me, that He stooped so low as to become one of those creeping, crawling creatures of that floating ball?”

 

Senior Angel: “I do, and I don’t think He would like you to call them ‘creeping, crawling creatures’ in that tone of voice. For, strange as it may seem to us, He loves them. He went down to visit them to lift them up to become like Him.”

 

The little angel looked blank. Such a thought was almost beyond his comprehension.

 

Senior Angel: “Close your eyes for a moment, and we will go back in what they call Time.”

 

While the little angel’s eyes were closed and the two of them moved nearer to the spinning ball, it stopped its spinning, spun backwards quite fast for a while, and then slowly resumed its usual rotation.

 

Senior Angel: “Now look!”

And as the little angel did as he was told, there appeared here and there on the dull surface of the globe little flashes of light, some merely momentary and some persisting for quite a time.

 

Little Angel: “Well, what am I seeing now?”

 

Senior Angel: “You are watching this little world as it was some thousands of years ago. Every flash and glow of light that you see is something of the Father’s knowledge and wisdom breaking into the minds and hearts of people who live upon the earth. Not many people, you see, can hear His Voice or understand what He says, even though He is speaking gently and quietly to them all the time.”

 

Little Angel: “Why are they so blind and deaf and stupid?”

 

Senior Angel: “It is not for us to judge them. We who live in the Splendor have no idea what it is like to live in the dark. We hear the music and the Voice like the sound of many waters every day of over lives, but to them – well, there is much darkness and much noise and much distraction upon the earth. Only a few who are quiet and humble and wise hear His Voice. But watch, for in a moment you will see something truly wonderful.”

 

The Earth went on turning and circling round the sun, and then quite suddenly, in the upper half of the globe, there appeared a light, tiny but so bright in its intensity that both the angels hid their eyes.

 

Little Angel (in a low tone of voice): “I think I can guess, that was the Visit, wasn’t it?”

 

Senior Angel: “Yes, that was the Visit. The Light Himself went down there and lived among them; but in a moment, and you will be able to tell that even with your eyes closed, the light will go out.”

 

Little Angel: “But why? Could He not bear their darkness and stupidity? Did He have to return here?”

 

Senior Angel (voice stern and said): “No, it wasn’t that. They failed to recognize Him for Who He was – or at least only a handful knew Him. For the most part they preferred their darkness to His Light, and in the end they killed Him.”

 

Little Angel: “The fools, the crazy fools! They don’t deserve —-”

 

Senior Angel: “Neither you nor I, nor any other angel, knows why they were so foolish and so wicked. Nor can we say what they deserve or don’t deserve. But the fact remains, they killed our Prince of Glory while He was Man amongst them.”

 

Little Angel: “And that I suppose was the end? I see the whole Earth has gone black and dark. All right, I won’t judge them, but surely that is all they could expect?”

 

Senior Angel: “Wait, we are still far from the end of the story of the Visited Planet. Watch now, but be ready to cover your eyes again.”

 

In utter blackness the earth turned round three times, and then there blazed with unbearable radiance a point of light.

 

Little Angel (shielding his eyes): “What now?”

 

Senior Angel: “They killed Him all right, but He conquered death. The thing most of them dread and fear all their lives He broke and conquered. He rose again, and a few of them saw Him and from then on became His utterly devoted slaves.”

 

Little Angel: “Thank God for that.”

 

Senior Angel: “Amen. Open your eyes now, the dazzling light has gone. The Prince has returned to His Home of Light. But watch the Earth now.”

 

As they looked, in place of the dazzling light there was a bright glow which throbbed and pulsated. And then as the Earth turned many times little points of light spread out. A few flickered and died; but for the most part the lights burned steadily, and as they continued to watch, in many Parts of the globe there was a glow over many areas.

 

Senior Angel: “You see what is happening? The bright glow is the company of loyal men and women He left behind, and with His help they spread the glow and now lights begin to shine all over the Earth.”

 

Little Angel (impatiently): “Yes, yes, but how does it end? Will the little lights join up with each other? Will it all be light, as it is in Heaven?”

 

Senior Angel (shaking his head): “We simply do not know. It is in the Father’s hands. Sometimes it is agony to watch and sometimes it is joy unspeakable. The end is not yet. But now I am sure you can see why this little ball is so important. He has visited it; He is working out His Plan upon it.”

 

Little Angel: “Yes, I see, though I don’t understand. I shall never forget that this is the Visited Planet.”


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Street-Preaching – Uh Why?

“I believe I never was more acceptable to my Master than when I was standing to teach those hearers in the open fields…I now preach to ten times more people than I would if I had been confined to the churches.” George Whitfield

ha love it We were there to street-preach before the concert began and set up the PA system. With wave upon wave of people coming across the street toward us and hundreds more pouring out from the train station behind us, it was crazy busy.  There were so many people that at one point I could hardly move.

It was too good an opportunity to pass up. I preached.

“Nobody cares!” someone screamed at me.

Who cares if nobody cares?  I certainly don’t.  My Lord Jesus told me to “Go”.   I kept preaching. I preached for as long as I could, until my voice started cracking and I had to stop for its sake.street preaching

Street-preaching – why? (I ask myself this when I’m feeling tired or lazy)

Because thousands of people, both old and young heard the gospel of Jesus Christ last night who perhaps wouldn’t have otherwise.

What if those people never once in their life ever stepped inside a Church?What if they never heard the gospel before they died?

Thank you my Jesus.


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Bible Prophecy: When Rivers Dry Up

euphratesThe Bible tells us that the Euphrates and the Nile will one day dry up. When that happens, great hardship and suffering will be experienced by those relying on the waters of these rivers.

In Egypt, nearly eighty percent of the population is to be found living within a short distance of the banks of the Nile, relying on its water for commerce and sustenance. While not as devastating, many people in Syria and Iraq would also face extreme hardship should the Euphrates dry up.

In Revelation 16:12 we read:

12The sixth angel poured out his bowl on the great river Euphrates, and its waters were dried up to prepare the way for the kings from the East. (NIV)

In Isaiah we read:

19: 5 -6 5The waters of the river will dry up, and the riverbed will be parched and dry. 6The canals will stink; the streams of Egypt will dwindle and dry up. The reeds and rushes will wither, (NIV)

The following few verses from Isaiah 19 have been added to show the utter devastation that will occur when the Nile dries up.

nile7also the plants along the Nile, at the mouth of the river. Every sown field  along the Nile will become parched, will blow away and be no more, 8The fishermen will groan and lament, all who cast hooks into the Nile; those who throw nets on the water will pine away. (NIV)

11 :15 The Lord will utterly destroy the tongue of the Sea of Egypt; With His mighty wind He will shake His fist over the River, And strike it in the seven streams, And make men cross over dry-shod. (NKJV)

Interestingly, the NIV names the river as the Euphrates. Thus in the NIV it seems that both the “gulf of the Egyptian Sea” and the Euphrates are dealt with simultaneously, while in the NKJV it appears to refer only to the Nile. There seems to be some uncertainty as to what is meant by the “tongue of the sea of Egypt” (NKJV) and the “gulf of the Egyptian Sea” (NIV). We ask: “Is it perhaps the Nile Delta with all its canals”?

Nearly ninety percent of the Euphrates’ water has its source in mountains in Turkey. As far back as the 1930’s Ataturk, the founder of modern Turkey, came up with the idea of utilizing the waters of the Euphrates and Tigris, the latter also having most of its source there, for irrigation and hydroelectric purposes. After a number of delays, the project to dam up the waters of the Euphrates and Tigris began in the 1980’s. The project involved the building of over twenty dams, the largest being the Ataturk dam. Once completed the project was capable of doubling Turkey’s irrigable farmlands. In the late 1980’s when the Ataturk dam was being filled, Turkey stopped the flow of water into the Euphrates for four days, showing how easily they could stop it flowing completely. Syria and Iraq have already raised concerns about the effects of the reduced flows; soil erosion and increased salinity in irrigated areas amongst other problems. Clearly in times of great national need, it would seem that Turkey would not hesitate in diverting all the water towards its own needs.

Egypt faces a similar situation because Ethiopia is currently building a massive dam on the Blue Nile, which accounts for eighty percent of the water flowing into the Nile downstream. The massive Aswan dam is not in contention here, as mapit is fully under Egyptian control, although about 10% to 12% of the annual flow of the Nile is lost to evaporation because of the vast surface area of the dam. The waters of the dam in Ethiopia will be used primarily for electricity generating purposes, although there is talk of making Ethiopia more “water resilient” by using the dam for storage purposes and irrigation schemes. Through this dam, which is due for completion in 2017, Ethiopia will be able to limit the flow of water into the Nile and, as could happen in Turkey, may well completely stop the flow of water from the dam in times of great national need.

As of now, these rivers have never dried up, so these scriptures clearly refer to a future time when, for His purposes, God will cause them to cease flowing. God’s main purpose at that time will be His judgment on mankind, especially upon those who refuse to recognize and worship Him.

It is worth mentioning here that God used Darius to defeat Belshazzar and take Babylon by diverting the flow of the Euphrates, but that was a temporary strategy and the river did not dry up completely. (Daniel 5:30, Isaiah 44:28 – 45:1-4.)

How God will dry up the rivers we do not know, but is it perhaps possible that He will also use man and man-made structures to achieve His purposes? We are told that “With His mighty wind He will shake His fist over the River” and wonder whether that is a reference to a coming drought which will cause not only a reduction in the water flow, if not a complete drying up of those rivers, but will at the same time entice the countries controlling those dams to look after their own interests by completely stopping water from being released out of them.

Chris, from our fellowship, has an interest in Bible prophecy and from time to time will share his views with us on current events and how they relate to prophecy in this new series “Bible Prophecy”.