Thank God For Your Enemies Prayer!

Pure Glory

by Apostle Gabriel Cross

Thank God for your Enemies Prayer! (POWERFUL DELIVERANCE PRAYER)

I want you to open your mouth and thank God for your enemies! Your enemies serve a purpose, in your God-ordained destiny.

Thank you Lord that my enemies help confirm to me that I am anointed, approved, and chosen by God. Thank you Lord that what my enemies planned as evil against me, you made as good for me, to deliver many others. (Genesis 50:20) Thank you Lord that the same people (enemies) putting me down, will become the same people (friends), lifting me up. Because You cause me to RULE IN THE MIDST OF MY ENEMIES, whether at work, ministry, family, or etc. (Psalms 110:1, 2,) Thank you Lord that I don’t have to fight my enemies because You smite and defeat them.

You BLESS ME SO, when my enemies come at me one way, they…

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The Light Shineth in Darkness…. (John 1:5)

The presence of light always nullifies the existence of darkness. Darkness does not flee from light. It dissipates when it encounters light. The more intense the darkness, the brighter the light shines.

After The Fall of man, darkness descended on a once pristine planet in the form of sin, moral chaos, and death. All facets of creation were marred by this cataclysmic event. Greed, pride, jealousy and selfishness converged in the human heart and widened the dark chasm between Creator and creation. The quest for knowledge became self-seeking and twisted. J.H. Newman aptly describes the scenario that ensued after The Fall, “…the greatness and littleness  of man…his short duration, the curtain  hung  over  his  futurity;  the  disappointments  of  life,  the  defeat  of  good,  the  success  of  evil, physical pain,  mental  anguish, the  prevalence  and  intensity  of sin, the  pervading  idolatries, the  dreary  hopeless  irreligion; that  condition  of  the whole race, so fearfully  yet so exactly described in the Apostle’s words, ‘having no  hope  and  without  God  in  the  world,’  all this  is  a  vision  to  dizzy  and  appal;  and  inflicts  upon the  mind the  sense  of a profound  mystery, which is  absolutely  beyond human solution….this living society of men…is out of joint with the purposes of its Creator.”1

The ubiquitous effect of The Fall permeated everything God had created, and grotesquely disfigured and distorted it. Sin did not only corrupt Adam. It spread to all his descendants, gaining momentum and intensity with each succeeding generation. The dark night of sin seemed unrestrained under the direction of Satan and his emissaries. The sacredness of human life began to wane starting with Cain who committed homicide against his own little brother with impudence. The trend to trivialize human lie has continued, alarmingly. The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) claims that in 2012 alone 437,000 people lost their lives as a consequence of intentional homicide!1 Other vices were unleashed on our planet as soon as Adam relinquished his authority and handed it over to Satan. People began to rebel against the authority of God and chose to be their own gods. Since then mankind has continued to attempt to determine his own future; trying to find significance and to make a name for himself apart from God. The tower of Babel was the first and prime example of man’s attempt to create a name for himself without God. Many other towers of Babel have been erected in one way or another since then claiming millions of lives in their wake. Unified rebellion against anything to do with God has exploded in most academic institutions under the guise of intellectual enlightenment. Stephen Weinberg, a Nobel laureate, said in 2007 in his address at a conference titled “Beyond Belief: Science, Religion, Reason, and Survival” during which they attacked religion that “Religion is an insult to human dignity.  With or without it you would have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things. But for good people to do evil things, that takes religion.”2 It is true that some people and organizations have, historically, committed crimes against humanity in the name of religion. But true Christians know that using violence to proselytize is at variance with the teachings of the Founder of their faith. Violence is never a core principle of Christianity. Jesus scolded Peter for cutting off a man’s ear although he was attempting to defend Him on the eve of His arrest.

But Weinberg should know that evil has never been limited to religious people and institutions alone. Obviously, Weinberg has never heard of people like Stalin, Hitler, Mao, Idi Amin, Pol Pot (among many others) who were architects of incredibly appalling carnages and genocides, but had nothing to do with religion. These are the consequences of sin manifesting themselves in myriad ways. The quest for autonomy and power is fast becoming the foundation for the self-defeating denial of the Creator God, and the enthronement of the self. Instead of seeking to know God, mankind has embraced a strange proclivity toward self-worship and self-exultation. This can be true for believers and non-believers alike. No one is insulated from the darkness of sinful desires and actions. That is why God, in His infinite wisdom, gave us a once -and-for-all Cosmic Remedy for this pervasive spiritual malady in the Person of Jesus Christ, the Light that shineth forever.

Jesus, the Light of the world, is the divine panacea for this psychic and sarcous malaise of mankind-all of mankind. In Him we do not only see God. We see mankind as he was intended to be. Jesus has fittingly become our future history. He came to offer discontinuity to man’s self-destructive gravitation toward darkness and sin. Jesus is the Light that shines in the darkness of our sin-sick souls so that we can be sensitized to seek reconciliation with God and have access to a new birth with new desires, new life, new aspirations, and newness of spirit. He came to counter the aggressive dark force that has set itself against the knowledge of God and all He stands for. Jesus towers over all history as the prism revealing God’s attributes, His love for all mankind, and His power over sin. He is the Restorer of all that has been damaged by the dark night of sin.  The life, death, resurrection and ascension of Jesus are not only transformative to the believer. They give the believer victory over the kingdom of Satan now. They are also God’s promise of complete eschatological annihilation and eradication of all that is related to darkness and sin. Jesus was so acutely aware of the implications of His sacrifice and resurrection and ascension that, at the end of His ministry, He triumphantly declared, now “the prince of this world is judged,” (John 16:11). Satan was defanged by Jesus’ finished work. Sin can no longer have dominion on believers who abide in Christ. Light shineth continuously from Jesus, offering pardon and reconciliation with our heavenly Father (Colossians 1:20). But this Light is a gift that can only be effective if it is accepted. It is never forced on anyone.

 

References

1.United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) (2016). Some 437,000 people murdered worldwide in 2012, according to new UNODC study. Accessed from http://www.unodc.org/unodc/en/press/releases/2014/April/some-437000-people-murdered-worldwide-in-2012-according-to-new-unodc-study.html

2.Berlinski, D. (2008). The Devil’s Delusion: Atheism and Its Scientific Pretensions. Crown Forum, New York. pp.21

 

 

Prince of Peace – Hillsong

Jesus is the original Peacemaker. On the cross he took all of our affliction upon Himself and made peace with God for all mankind. It is from this cataclysmic act of glorious surrender and reconciliation that we find peace now and forever in and through Him. And it is in knowing the ‪‎Prince Of Peace personally as He takes up residence in our hearts that we begin the process of being made into His likeness as PEACEMAKERS in this world.

– Joel Houston

Prince of Peace – Lyrics

[Verse 1]
My heart a storm
Clouds raging deep within
The Prince of Peace came bursting through the wind
The violent sky held its breath
And in Your light I found rest

[Chorus]
Tearing through the night
Riding on the storm
Staring down the fight
My eyes found Yours
Shining like the sun
Striding through my fear
The Prince of Peace…

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Time: An Enigma

Unharnessable, uncontrollable, irreversible, unalterable, and non-negotiable is the enigma known as time. Time is a mystery that is inextricably bound up with mankind. All our experiences are determined and marked by time: past, present and future time. We know that the past exists because of fleeting events; events that are no more. Without passing events, the past does not exist. The present is marked by current events. If there were no current events, there would be no present.1 The future is a projection or anticipation of what has yet to be. Our past experiences become our memories. Although we live in the present we, at the same time, look back in the past and hope for the future. All this is a futile attempt to describe time.

Everybody operates under the auspices of time. We are all inseparably wrapped up in and with time. We perceive every activity and make every decision from the vantage point of time. Furthermore, our consciousness of time is an ever-present reminder of our own mortality. We race against time, as it were, because sooner or later, time “runs out” on us. There are no rehearsals; no encores.

To each one of us has been given a sliver of time to enter and exit this earth in a process called life, which the Apostle James describes as “a vapor” that appears for a while and then disappears. Our life, this vapor, is measured by time. It is as a flower that blossoms with the morning dew and withers with the scorching sun in the afternoon. The vapor, our life, is action-packed from birth to death. It is characterized by expectations, celebrations, sorrows, ambitions, goals, aspirations, anticipations, mourning and rejoicing. Sometimes excruciating suffering besets us. Other times joyful achievements come our way. Sometimes our hearts break because of heart-rending loss. Other times our hearts sing ecstatically because of unexpected blessings. We laugh in good times and cry and sigh in bad ones. Sometimes alone. Other times with loved ones. Still time goes on.  It is never distracted or hindered or delayed by anybody or anything. Its pace cannot be altered or modified or slowed down. Time just goes on, indifferently, unfeelingly.

Our life is a transient experience foisted on us when we are injected somewhere in the current of time as it flows on. We gain myriad experiences for an uncertain period of time. The precariousness and brevity of our existence can be an unnerving experience because it underscores the fact that the probability of our bodily death is 100%. Nevertheless, this harsh truth is also mitigated by the reality of the corporeal resurrection of Jesus Christ, which gives eternal life with God 100% probability as truth.2 As such, faith in Jesus becomes the only worthwhile choice we can make if we must enter into eternal life, which St. Augustine calls the perpetual present: “If the present were perpetually present, there would be no longer any time, but only eternity.”3  Heman Humphrey positively viewed our short life on earth as “…a threshold of eternity-the infancy of immortality; that here our characters are to be formed for the innumerable ages of future being-that our everlasting happiness or misery is suspended upon our improvement of this inch or two of time.”3 This life is a probationary period and an opportunity to prepare for eternal blessings for believers who place their faith in the Lord Jesus to the end. This timeless truth gives the breath in our nostrils an impressive new meaning with an unimaginable, intrinsic value. We are standing on the brink of eternity! This fleeting existence is enough for us to prepare for our grand entry into a greater and larger existence. The relative ratio of life on earth to eternity is immeasurable. It is incalculable. “It is not one grain of sand to the sum total of the dusty particles that make up this huge and solid earth. It is less.” The eternity that awaits the believer “has no end, for it has no progress. It is duration not in motion, but at rest…The actions of this little limited life are empowered to decide for eternity…We are acting for eternity.”4 This is more than compensation for the shortness of this rigorous life. It is amazing grace with a sweet sound to it.

Sources

1.Hausheer, H. (Sept., 1937). he Philosophical Review, Vol. 46, No. 5 (Sep., 1937), pp. 503-512. Published by: Duke University Press on behalf of Philosophical Review. Accessed December 4, 2016 from https://grattoncourses.files.wordpress.com/2013/08/augustine-on-time.pdf

2. Gibbs, C. (2012). Logos 1 of Writing God’s Book of Life. Published by R. Crafton Gibbs via Google E-Books. Pp. 18.

3.Hausheer, H. (Sept., 1937). he Philosophical Review, Vol. 46, No. 5 (Sep., 1937), pp. 503-512. Published by: Duke University Press on behalf of Philosophical Review. Accessed December 4, 2016 from https://grattoncourses.files.wordpress.com/2013/08/augustine-on-time.pdf

4.Humphrey, H. (1833). Sermon No. 91: Time Measured by Eternity. The American National Preacher: 1834. Original Sermons from The Living Ministers of the United States (Dickinson, A. ed.). Vol. 7 & 8. S.W. Benedict & Co. 150 Nassau Street. New York. Pp. 290- 301

  1. Ibid.

Wherefore Gird Up the Loins of Your Mind….(1 Peter 1: 13)

The loins are a procreative, generative and productive area of the human body. It is the part of the body that is between the lower ribs and the hip area. The apostle Peter drew a parallel from the natural and customary practice of the people of his day and gave us an object lesson – First the natural and then the spiritual (1 Cor. 15:46). Girding is a process of encircling a certain part of the human body with a belt to hold it together. In Bible times, in the Near East, people wore long loose robes (some still do) for everyday labors and activities, but when they faced an imminent intense activity, they girded their loins in preparation for it. They tucked their robes into a wide belt around their waist to free themselves from any encumbrances and to concentrate on the task. Strenuous activities required a sustained effort of engagement.
The apostle Peter is calling believers to prepare their minds for the inevitable intense challenges and tests of their faith. He is urging believers to think and reason intellectually and purposefully, not randomly or haphazardly. In order to do this, the mind should be surrendered to its Creator, the Source of all reason and wisdom, and be renewed. This is contrary to the popular belief that the Christian faith precludes intellectual activity and reasoning. Most critics of the concept of faith insist that faith is believing where there is no evidence. Sadly, they miss the point that every human being exercises a measure of faith in one thing or another. We believe our spouses love us not because we can quantify that love and test it in a laboratory, but because they tell us so and we see them demonstrate that love in their behavior toward us. The claim that science is the only way to access truth is itself unquantifiable. It cannot not be dissected or tested in a lab. Therefore, it is self-refuting. Not everything we believe can be quantified. Scientists believe in the intelligibility of the universe and in the fact that they can explore it? They are exercising a measure of faith here. The Oxford English Dictionary states that “faith and belief are cognitive concepts intimately related to the question of substantiating evidence.”1 This means that “evidence-based faith is the normal concept on which we base our everyday lives.”2 As such, faith is inevitably interwoven with our everyday living. Therefore, Christians need not be ashamed of their faith.
The apostle Peter is calling believers to apologetics, which is a defense of their faith; what they believe in and why they believe in it. But he urges them to do it with gentleness not strife. Intellectual indolence is not a characteristic of the Christian faith. A believer divinely endowed with a… sound mind cannot have a languorous or torpid mind. One of the functions of the Holy Spirit is to convict us of sin and to lead unbelievers to Christ, but can they do this without applying their reasoning power? By grasping the reasonableness of Jesus’ finished work on their behalf and what He says about them, unbelievers can open their heart to Him and become converted through the ministry of the Holy Spirit. No one can make such a radical decision about their life without reasoning and sifting through the evidence presented to them. Reasoning is one of God’s gifts to mankind. Why, He even challenges us to reason with Him (Isa. 1:18). The assumption that to become a good academic you need to be an atheist is a fallacy that has no evidence for its claims whatsoever. Believers who have girded the loins of their minds can see through the façade.
Unfortunately, there are some believers who have been fanning the belief that Christianity is opposed to intellectual engagement by insisting that the Word of God is not for the mind but for the spirit. This is nothing other than intellectual lethargy and languor. But where did this mindset come from? The early scientists were Bible-believing intellectuals such as Joseph Lister, Louis Pasteur, Isaac Newton, Gregor Mendel, James Joule and many others. They found no dichotomy between their faith and intellectual acuity. In fact, these individuals believed that a Christian’s mind must be an intellectually sharp mind. A mind that is yoked to the mind of Christ is a keen and exceptionally intelligent mind because it draws from His unsurpassed wisdom and reasoning. Jesus was both an intellectual and spiritual authority. J.P. Moreland asserts that the anti-intellectual position among some of the believers is a consequence of the rise of “rhetorically powerful, and emotionally directed preaching of” some preachers of the Great Awakening revivals of the 1800s, which were not balanced with “intellectually careful and doctrinally precise” teaching to equip the saints to defend their faith with reason. This approach ill-prepared the church for harsh attacks from people such as David Hume, Immanuel Kant and Charles Darwin etc…with their philosophical challenges and arguments against Christianity.3 Since then, the attack against Christianity has grown more shrill and intense. Instead of responding to these challenges with counter intellectual vigor, the Church has mostly withdrawn from intellectual public debates and has lost the zeal to authenticate and validate its tenets. Its enemies have mistaken this to be a capitulation and admission of lack of rationality for the doctrines of the Christian faith. Perhaps the time has come for believers to study, soak and saturate themselves with the Word of God, and earnestly seek wisdom from above. The Church should ever match forward armed with reasoned-out truth. This is the wrong time for the Church to be marginalized and voiceless in the public debate. There is too much at stake.

Sources
1.Lennox, J. (2011). Gunning for God: Why the New Atheists are Missing the Point. Lion Hudson Plc. Pp. 55
2. Ibid.
3.Moreland, J.P. (1997). Love Your God with All Your Mind: The Role of Reason in the Life of the Soul. NAVPRESS. pp. 23

http://www.wmturls.com/pp

Avocado Banana Bread

Must Try Recipe

Avocado Banana Bread

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Is it God or Gold?

Whenever Jesus talked about the kingdom of God, He emphasized self-denial, pain and suffering, and even martyrdom.  When someone voiced a voluntary desire to follow Him, Jesus’ response was amazingly dissuasive: “Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head,” (Luke 9:58). In other words, “I do not have the material things you are seeking.”

On another occasion when Jesus was being thronged by a jostling multitude clamoring for His attention, He gave a cogent lesson about the cost of discipleship: “If anyone comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brother and sisters-yes, even their own life-such a person cannot be my disciple,” (Luke 14:26). Hate in this case does not mean disdain for one’s family, but rather making Jesus preeminent over all else. After all He is the Source of all we have. How can the gift be greater than the Giver? Jesus must be Lord over who we are and what we have. Jesus emphasized the cost of making a commitment to follow Him by drawing object lessons from the construction and military professions: Before embarking on a building project or military campaign, the leader should ensure they have enough resources and manpower to complete the task at hand otherwise they can become the local laughingstock. Shoddy, unfinished work attests to the slothfulness of the worker.

Although salvation is free through Jesus Christ, discipleship is often costly. When we become Jesus’ disciples in enemy territory, inevitably we suffer backlash from enemy forces. Discipleship requires total commitment to our Lord in all facets of our lives. Only in Jesus do we find approval from God. The teaching that all material abundance and a life devoid of suffering are evidence of godly favor is false. In fact, Scripture is replete with accounts of spiritual giants who suffered persecution, torture, enslavement, exile and even martyrdom for their faith in God such as Job, the prophets Ezekiel, Jeremiah, Isaiah and many others. Then there is the epic example of the excruciating suffering of Jesus, our Lord, God’s only Son. God Himself audibly endorsed His Son: “This is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased” (Matthew 3:17), and yet the Bible says of Him: “He learned obedience by things which He suffered,” (Hebrews 5:8).

The apostle Paul gives a chilling account of his own suffering for the faith (2 Corinthians 11: 24-27). When God did not take away his thorn in the flesh, but gave him grace to endure it, the apostle exultantly declared: “Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me,” (2 Corinthians 12:9). This is the same apostle who reminds us that “If we suffer, we shall also reign with him…” (2 Timothy 2:12). God does not abandon His suffering children. He is right there beside them granting them grace to endure the trials, and the glory of Jesus is exemplified in their suffering and, sometimes, ultimate martyrdom for their commitment to their Lord and to the faith.

The prosperity Gospel places an unfair burden on numerous genuine disciples across the world who are contending with hardship, disease, political turmoil and trauma despite their fidelity to the Lord. Suffering is not always indicative of God’s displeasure. In February 2015, 21 Egyptian Christians were beheaded by Islamic State militants in Libya after they refused to recant their faith in Jesus Christ. These saints were faithful unto death. They sealed their witness with their blood. What does the prosperity message have to say about this? How about the fact that all of the Lord’s disciples are reported to have been martyred except for John, the Revelator who was boiled in a cauldron of oil? The prosperity message sounds like Job’s friends: If you are suffering, something is wrong with your faith or you have missed God’s favor, which puts the faith of the believer at risk. Job’s suffering demonstrated God’s glory and refined Job’s righteousness. The suffering of a true disciple is not a master’s whip cracking on the back of an errant disciple. Rather, it is often a scalpel in the hands of a skillful Master Surgeon carefully incising a spiritual tumor. If someone is suffering and we cannot comprehend why, the wisest step we can take is to pray for them and with them. In all this we need to keep in mind the sovereignty of God. God’s might is purposeful in all our lives. The prosperity Gospel ignores the fact that we become disciples on God’s terms not ours. It is self-centered and fosters greed and selfishness. This is not to say prosperity is bad for the disciple or that we must become masochistic. There are accounts in Scripture that tell us how God lavished unprecedented riches on certain people. Prosperity is not sinful.  But prosperity should not always be regarded as God’s signature of approval. We must be careful lest, in our pursuit for feel-good theology, we evolve into egocentric gold-digging narcissists at the expense of seeking first the kingdom of God and His righteousness.