Friday, March 21, 2014

Woman of Worth

A godly women represents well the kingdom of God, her husband, and her children. Her character is known beyond the home or the church. Her influence is felt in the community.

Proverbs 31:10 Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies.
11 The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil. 12 She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life.
The victorious women possesses uncommon character, business acumen, and the ability to counsel and mentor others. Truly, she is, as the writer explained, a women worth far more than rubies. Women today would do well to emulate her virtues if they desire to merit the same praise, and men would do well to honor the women in their lives as the rare treasures they are.
The praises of this women issue not only from the mouths of her husband and her children but also from people in the community who, though not necessarily religious, can recognize the value of this women's works. Her attractive but modest appearance and her appropriate actions, demeanor, and speech do not create her chargers; they reveal it.
What about the single women?
1Corinthians 7:34 There is difference also between a wife and a virgin. The unmarried woman careth for the things of the Lord, that she may be holy both in body and in spirit: but she that is married careth for the things of the world, how she may please her husband.
The same thing happens for single Christian women. Single women have a light of Christ and should let that light shine in the world that they may know our Father in heaven. My prayer and encouragement for you, the Christian single woman, is "May your eyes be more like a window that can see the world’s needs around you and less like a mirror that only lets you see yourself."
The man and the woman are not to compete with each other, but to complete each other.
Created by: Jocelyn Jones

Monday, February 17, 2014

Keys to Right Thinking

A Wise Mind

  True wisdom comes from God. The Scriptures instruct us to apply our heart (mind) to understanding (Proverbs 2:2). That means, we must yield our minds to the understanding and wisdom that comes from God's Word. When we do this we will be able to discern the things we read, watch, and listen to. In our world today, not everything that is called Christian is necessarily biblical. In fact, many of the materials we find in Christian bookstores, including those by some of the most popular authors are doctrinally incorrect and tainted with mere human philosophy.
  The Scripture says, "All things are lawful unto me, but I will not be brought under the power of any" (1Corinthians 6:12).  How many Christians have been seduced by ideas they have heard, seen, or read about? This is especially true at times of struggle when we are at our weakest and desperate for answers. But if we desire victory, and a true anointing from God in our lives then we must get our wisdom and understanding from the pure Word of God and then obey it. Wisdom is not only what we know about the Bible, but how we allow it to govern every aspect of our daily lives, beginning with our thoughts.

The question is not if you are a master of the Word, but is the Word a master of you?

Created by: Sis. Brittany Jenkins
Last Days Ministries Apostolic Church

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

God Called a Reluctant Man

There will come a time in the life of every Christian when God visits with a call: a duty to fulfill, a chore to accomplish, a purpose for the very existence of the one called. How will we respond, in fear or in absolute trust and obedience?

And the Lord looked upon him, and said, Go in this thy might, and though shalt save Israel from the hand of the Midianites: have not I sent thee? (Judges 6:14)

When Limitations Do Not Matter

The story of building of the Brooklyn Bridge in New York illustrates that limitations and obstacles need never stand in the way of accomplishment.

Born in Prussia in 1806. John A. Roebling moved to the United States and eventually designed the Brooklyn Bridge. At the time it was built, the bridge, which spans 1,595 feet over the East River to connect Manhattan with Brooklyn, was the longest suspension bridge in the world.

John Roebling and his son, Washington, worked together until John died in 1869 from tetanus contracted from a construction accident on the bridge.

Washington continued to direct the building of the bridge until he contracted "caisson disease" from working in the pneumatic caissons and experiencing the "bends." This brought permanent impairment including a certain amount of brain damage, which results in his not being able to walk or talk, and he was able to move only one finger.

In spite of the severe handicap, Washington Roebling, whose mind was still as keen as ever, determined to complete the bridge. He developed a type of communication with his wife by tapping her arm. He was able to communicate with his wife, and she then communicated to the engineers instructions on complete the bridge. From a near by home, Washington would watch the bridge progress. For thirteen years Washington used his finger-tapping code until finally completing the bridge in 1883.

The Brooklyn Bridge is a tribute to what an individual can accomplish, even though faced with seemingly insurmountable obstacles and limitations. With God's call and empowerment's, the believer can "do all things through Christ" (Philippians 4:13).

By P.D. Buford

An individual may reach into the toolbox for a specific tool. It matters little how scarred, how old, or what brand name the tool bears. What matters is the hand that wields the tool. Gideon was the tool, and like most of us, he wrongly focused on his obvious limitations to the point of forgetting whose hand was upon him.

A Study of the scriptures reveals that God has never chosen a man or woman because of their perfect qualifications to do a specific job. In fact, we discover quite the opposite; God chooses men and women of faith and relationship, disregarding their earthly credentials.

God's call is greater than any excuse!

Someone once noted that an excuse is just an opportunity to be lazy. The carnal person often offers an excuse instead of action. God will not use a person who offers excuses instead of availability.

What manner of excuse would God really accept? God would not have called Gideon or anyone else to do something he was completely incapable of doing. Whenever we manufacture excuses we risk offending the One who extended the invitation.
When one fully realizes the greatness of God and His plan for mankind, it is clear that action must take the place of excuse. God is so great that when He extends an invitation to participate in His passion and plans, how could one offer something as frivolous and flimsy as an excuse?

Material possessions in the world are not the real treasures.

Gideon, upon receiving his call from God, pleaded poverty, "Behold, my family is poor in Manasseh, and I am the least in my father's house" (Judges 6:15). however, this could have been one of the reasons God chose him. The story of the rich young ruler reminds us that sometimes wealth impedes one form living for God. This privileged young man turned away from following Jesus because he could not conceive of giving away his earthy treasures in order to gain heavenly treasures. After the young ruler departed, Jesus commended, "How hardly shall they that have riches enter into the kingdom of God!" (Mark 10:23).

As we grow, our life settles into a continuous replaying of everyday activities. We often call these recycled activities the "status quo" or a "rut." The older we get the deeper those ruts may become, and the thought of climbing out of them and into the unknown arouses immediate angst and stirs up a tempest in our psyche. Yet God has never called anyone to stay in the preserved safety of a rut; God always calls a person out of a rut and into the unknown, which requires stirring up ones faith.

It is vital for young people to seek the Lord and follow Him while they are growing and developing. The young and open seem to have less trouble seeking and following after God's will because they have not yet become dug in the automatic world of the status quo. We must choose whether we will continue to live in the boring but comfortable realm of routine or escape to explore a high level of faith and spiritual accomplishment.
If we really want God to use us we have to stay available to Him and be obedient to His call.

We love to read stories of great men and women in the Scriptures who fulfilled their call and achieved great things for God. However, what if they had not obeyed God? What if Moses had left the Israelites anywhere other than where God directed? What if Noah had made a sanctuary instead of an ark? What if Abraham had stayed in Haran instead of walking and inheriting the land? These individuals of faith would not have been heroes had they failed to obey God completely.

Created by: Jocelyn Jones
Last Days Ministries Apostolic
Source: Celebration Series 2011-2012

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Sign of the Covenant

Throughout the Scriptures we find various Covenants that the Almighty God made with men throughout history. One of the first is the one made with mankind as a whole through Noah after He flooded the earth due to the gross wickedness of man in those days (Gen 8-9). It was instituted with a blood sacrifices of clean animals, but there was a sign that was given as a reminder of that covenant for both God and man, the sign of the Rainbow. This is a reminder of what happened but also of God’s mercy upon sinful mankind, and with it came commandments that all mankind were to keep to remain within the safety zone of the covenant.

As we move forward we find that the Lord calls a man named Abram out of a pagan and idolatrous society to a life of righteousness (in right relationship with and before God) and worship of the One True God of creation, as was meant to be from the beginning. Eventually God also makes a covenant with Abram while also changing his name to Abraham, by which he is best known. This too was accompanied by animal sacrifices to signify the repercussion’s to the party that broke the covenant, as well as a sign of the covenant as a reminder to both parties. This sign for Abraham is that of circumcision for all his male descendant’s and anyone who wanted to join him in worship of the One True God. This covenant and sign is told to be everlasting upon his descendant’s, those who did not partake of the sign did not take part of the covenant and were not allowed into full fellowship with Abraham’s household but were said to be “cut off” or separated because they had broken the covenant of the Almighty (Gen 17)

As we fast forward we come to the New Covenant instituted by Messiah/Christ, we are also given a token of His covenant when we desire to be partakers of it, and just like previous covenants, it was instituted by a blood sacrifice, this time on behalf of those who desire to be in fellowship with the Creator of all we see and don’t see. The New Covenant has it’s conditions of how to properly abide in the Covenant and what it takes to be separated from God’s Covenant people, and it comes with a very special sign.
Ten days after the Messiah’s resurrection, His disciples were gathered together for the Feast of Pentecost for that particular year, in doing so they were following their Master’s instructions. As they prayed together the most amazing thing happened! There was a loud noise that sounded like a violent rushing wind followed by tongues as flames of fire that sat upon them, each person there began to speak in unlearned/unknown languages in regards to that they themselves weren't taught them (Acts 2). This mirrored the day the nation of Israel received the Law/Torah almost 2,000 years earlier in that there was fire seen as well as great winds that swirled around Mount Sinai as The Lord God descended to give the Law/Torah (Teaching) to Moses and the people present in their day. On the day of Pentecost all the Apostles and disciples present in the upper room received the Holy Ghost/Spirit, which is said to be the token or guarantee of God’s promise to us through faith in Messiah/Christ and in time to come will inherit what He has promised us if we remain faithful and obedient. This sign of speaking in tongues was repeated through the book of Acts as God brought different people groups into His sheepfold along with the believing Jews (Act 10, 19). It was taught by Messiah Himself and also was exhibited by believers (John 3, Mark 16). Don’t dismiss the sign of the Covenant, it will cause us to be separated from God’s people.

Published By: Min. Christopher Bateman
Last Days Ministries Apostolic Church

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Taking A Step Back

"Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves..."2 Corinthians 13:5"
For the saints of God there are times in our lives when we have got to take a step back in order to see the big picture. This is not an invitation to backslide, but an invitation for an examination. Our relationship with God is continually evolving, like a marriage union, what may have been God's will for you last year may not be this year. For this reason we should never become so presumptuous that we get out of the will of God and begin to live in rebellion.

Brothers and sisters, this a good question to ask yourselves, "am I really living in the will of God or have I gotten ahead of him and fallen into the will of man". Getting ahead of God is a key sign of self righteousness and or pride. Presumptuous men and women like king Saul are in store for a great fall. I am reminded of the scripture that says "a man's pride shall bring him low" Proverb 29:23. We should be reminded that pride is subtle. A prideful man will not receive correction, for buried deep in his heart his will is greater than The Lords.

Whenever you find yourself fighting with a donkey like Balaam your in trouble Number 22:25-30. Stop what your doing. Consult God before the donkey you are riding on turns around and rebukes you. I believe that we can spare ourselves a whole lot of unnecessary frustration if we simply follow the leading of The Lord. It should be noted that Godly Pastors are the chosen vessels to Shepherd and feed the flock of God, in turn they give spiritual direction as his Oracles. One may say that they have sought and prayed for direction from The Lord. I would like to present to you that Balaam also sought The Lord, so how did he end up outside of God's will? Because he sought it not in faith. Yes. Balaam wanted to hear what he wanted to hear, and not what God was really saying. Even now there are those who profess Christianity that have itching ears! The bible says that Balaam loved the wages of unrighteousness 2 Peter 2:16. This concept can apply to any situation, do you love the wages of self promotion or popularity? If I could have a sub topic to this blogg entry it would be "What is driving you". Both Balaam and king Saul are products of false motives. Are your motives true? Can you prove it not only to yourself but to others in the body of Christ?

Getting ahead of God is a by-product of self righteousness. Without saying, it is a subtle expression that you do not need God or his leadership, you are self sufficient. When you get like that God will stop dealing with you just as he stopped dealing with king Saul. Yes, you will be rejected "for rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry". 1 Samuel 15:23 

Job was a righteous man with an underlying condition. He had an issue of self righteousness. Whenever you begin to question the very God that has kept you until now you have got an issue. You are in need of an examination, and not all examinations can be done in the comfort of your own home. God has specialists called Pastors that you can go to for a proper examination and diagnosis. Brethren, let us examine ourselves to see whether we be in the faith. Blessings to all.

Authored by: John W. Jenkins
Last Days Ministries Apostolic Church 

Thursday, January 23, 2014

From the Wilderness to Jordan

From the Wilderness to Jordan
by Gary D. Erickson

   Life is like an arduous journey through a wilderness. We are forced to cut our way through thick vegetation, cross rivers, climb mountains, and fight threatening predators. Life is filled with opportunities as well as pitfalls. Sometimes we detour around things and sometimes we persevere through them. Sometimes we triumph over our obstacles and sometimes we suffer defeat. Nevertheless, we forge on. We cannot opt out even if we want to. Time moves on and we move with it.
     God has provided all we need to make our journey a success. The Bible is our map and the Holy Spirit is our inspiration and empowerment. Sometimes there are well-worn paths that make our progress smooth, and at other times we have to cut our way through uncharted jungle and up the sides of steep cliffs. The perils are many and the obstacles are real, but life is an exhilarating challenge!

     God made us for the challenge. Some people climb Mt. Everest, others swim the English Channel, and others sail around the world in a yacht. We may not be so adventurous, but everyone needs a challenge. It is what makes life meaningful. The challenge gives us opportunity to engage our talents and abilities. It gives us the opportunity to triumph over opposition. God built us for the rigors of the challenge.
     Living the Christian life is one of the most challenging undertakings. It will not be easy, but the rewards are amazing. Jesus said, "These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world" (John 16:33). Because He overcame, we can overcome as well.

The Faithless Report
     In accordance with God's command, Moses chose an influential man from each of the twelve tribes to scout out the land. God hoped their discoveries of the beauty and plenty of the land would inspire faith in His promises. He said, "Be ye of good courage" (Numbers 13:30).
     The Hebrew words translated "courage" or "courageous" could have many connotations: steadfastly minded, fortified, established, or obstinate. But most important was to go in "the strength of Jah" or Yahweh (The Complete Word Study Old Testament). God desired Israel's confidence in His power to conquer, whether the opponent be Egypt, Canaan, or any other foe. However, only two of the spies approached the mission with courageous determination. Although the other ten approached the good land, their courage shriveled when they saw the massive walled cities inhabited by the children of Anak (giants), Amalekites, Hittites, Jebusites, Amorites and Canaanites.
     Preferring the known to the unknown, the people decided to return to Egypt. They did not consider that if they turned back, God in His displeasure might not continue to protect and lead them with the pillar of cloud and fire. If they went forward into Canaan they could die. If they went backward to Egypt without water, food, and protection, they surely would die. Their weeping, complaining and rebellion pushed God to the brink of destroying them.

God's Guidance
   Because of failure to accept and believe the promises of God, Israel wandered in the wilderness for forty years, one year for each day the spies had explored the Land of Promise. In spite of Israel's faithlessness, God continued to guide and protect them with a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night. When the cloud moved, they pulled up stakes and followed it to the next encampment. Through these gifts of grace, God was attempting to teach the people that if they could trust Him to take care of them in the wilderness, they could trust He would fulfill His promise to give them a land flowing with milk and honey.
     One would think enough rebellions and swift punishments had occurred to preclude any further attempts to take over Moses and Aaron's authority. But a Levite named Korah (Numbers 16:1), who did not think his position was lofty enough, rose up against Moses' civil authority and Aaron's priestly authority. Dathan, Abiram, and On, descendants of Reuben, took part in his rebellion.
     After several confrontations, the entire congregation gathered to see whom the Lord would vindicate---Moses and Aaron, or Korah and his followers. Moses told the people to stand back, and the earth opened its mouth and swallowed the leaders of rebellion, and fire from the Lord devoured the 250 men who had offered incense. Thus, to oppose and despise Moses and Aaron was to oppose and despise God, who had placed the prophet and the priest in authority.
The Bible is our map and the Holy Spirit is our inspiration and empowerment.
We can learn valuable lessons from contrasting these two generations of Israelites. The first generation grew up with resentment for Egyptian authority and seemed to transfer the same resentment to Moses' authority.
as the second generation grew up, the teaching of Moses and Aaron had taken root in their hearts. They believed the messages they heard about the promise of God. Their strong desire to obtain the promises propelled them into the Promised Land where they conquered the giants and their walled cities and obtained an inheritance.

The promise God has for you is as true as the love He has for you. Don't get lost in the "wilderness" looking for it yourself. Instead be lead by Him to the very promise He has in store for you!

Published by: Sis. Joy Jones
Last Days Ministries Apostolic Church
Reference: Lessons From History for Christian Living (Spring 2013)


Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Joseph - A Child of Vision

Joseph viewed the circumstances of life in the proper perspective, realizing that what God had promised him in his visions would come to pass. 

Living Your Dreams

Dreams are mysterious mental commotions that flutter through our brains and sometimes disturb our sleep. Occasionally, their residue lingers into our waking hours. Dreams can be quite dramatic and bring deep emotional feelings. We are helpless as our dreams take us to strange and unseemly places. They are without normal boundaries and can either take us to hights of grandeur or to the depths of despair. 

Some believe dreams are expressions of the dreamer's deepest fears and desires. It is from this idea that some individuals use the dream metaphor to refer to personal vision of achievement. The ability to envision our future is an ability that separates humans from animals. Although life is unpredictable, we are able to plan and plot our future. God dreams and envisions the future as well. The prophets of the Bible manifest God's vision of the future. His dreams are not "pipe dreams," but they become reality.

God has given us the ability to plan and envision. So let's dream about lofty attainments and then endeavor to achieve them. The dream comes first and then reality. Just don't sleep too long.

By: Gary Erickson

Words such as dream and visions resonate with Spirit-filled believers. After all, on the Day of Pentecost, Peter took his text from Joel 2:28. "And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophecy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams" (Acts 2:17).

Surely Joel's message does not mean visions and prophecy come only to the young and dreaming is relegated to the old. Instead, it means that the lives of those upon whom the spirit is poured are characterized by the miraculous. They prophecy, uttering words given to them by the Holy Spirit. They see divinely inspired visions. They dream dreams that come from God. (See Acts 16:19-10, 18:9 in which the word translated "vision" can refer to something seen in one's sleep.)

"And Joseph dreamed a dream, and he told it his brethren: and they hated him yet the more. And he said unto them, Hear, I pray you, this dream which I have dreamed: For, behold, we were binding sheaves in the field, and, lo, my sheaf arose, and also stood upright; and, behold, your sheaves stood round about, and made obeisance to my sheaf. And his brethren said to him, Shalt thou indeed reign over us? or shalt thou indeed have dominion over us? And they hated him yet the more for his dreams, and for his words. And he dreamed yet another dream, and told it his brethren, and said, Behold, I have dreamed a dream more; and, behold, the sun and the moon and the eleven stars made obeisance to me. And he told it to his father, and to his brethren: and his father rebuked him, and said unto him, What is this dream that thou hast dreamed? Shall I and thy mother and thy brethren indeed come to bow down ourselves to thee to the earth? And his brethren envied him; but his father observed the saying" (Genesis 37:5-11).

What God has promised will come to pass, no matter how impossible it may seem.

Joseph knew his God-given dreams would be fulfilled only if he remained FAITHFUL.

His father had mixed feelings about Joseph's dreams, but his half-brothers viewed him as a downright arrogant upstart. However, had Joseph's dreams been simply expressions of personal ambition, the end of the story would have revealed an overdeveloped ego. But to the contrary, the outcome revealed Josephs' humility.
Josephs dream did not include: the pit, going into prison or Potiphar's wife's lewd infatuation for her husband's handsome overseer.

How easy it would have been for Joesph to set aside his dreams for a moment of pleasure! But he knew his God-given dreams would be fulfilled only if he remained faithful.

Rather than succumb to bitterness and homelessness, Joseph showed himself such a model and trustworthy prisoner that the keeper released him from the chains and gave him the oversight of the prison. (See Genesis 39).

What an opportunity Joesph had to say, "I told you so!" How easy it would have been for him to treat his brothers the way they had treated him. But he had a dream, and in that dream was his destiny. Rather than squandering his dream by seeking vengeance, Joesph viewed even his brothers abuse as a vehicle for God to bring His purposes to pass. 

If a dream is from God, it will come to pass. Dreams never die unless we abandon them.

When we view life from God's perspective, even suffering takes on divine significance. Joesph had a glorious dream, but on the way to fulfillment, it took him through rejection, betrayal, false accusation, and imprisonment. If we were able to view Joseph's circumstances at any point along with painful path, we would be tempted to think Joesph's dream was merely a figment of his own imagination or perhaps a results of his own arrogant ambition.

But the validity of one's dreams cannot be determined by the attempts of other people to prevent them from being fulfilled. If a dream is from God, it will come to pass. Dreams never die unless we abandon them.

By: Jocelyn Jones
Reference: Celebration Series, Summer 2012