Articles

I AM A CHILD OF THE MOST HIGH GOD

by Steve Countryman  
5/07/2013 / Christian Living

"they will be called 'children of the living God." Matthew 5:9 "Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God." n 1:12 "Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God." The phrase "I am a child of the Most High God" has to be one of the most difficult phrases for most Christians to wrap their minds around! Mostly because we constantly listen to that stupid voice in our heads telling us that we don't deserve to be His child. The God who gave His One and only Son to suffer and die for all mankind's sins. That just to be a servant of the Most High God is such a privilege. Trying to rationalize how the God of all creation would call us "friend" let alone His child is beyond our ability to comprehend. And yet God's love is so far above our understanding that He doesn't only call us friend, call us His children but also makes us co-heirs to the throne of heaven! It is a mindset that we need to receive. It is a mindset that we must have daily. "But we have the mind of Christ." It is our heavenly responsibility to walk in it constantly everywhere we are and everywhere we go. It is where the power and authority of heaven resides in us! The reality of being a child of the Most High God carries so much more than we know or understand. For too long we have been settling for good instead of God's best for us. We have compromised away His blessings and spiritual power because of our lack of patience, our lack of faith and trust, our lack of commitment and dedication to God and our lack of wisdom, Biblical knowledge and revelation. It is understanding that as a child of the Most High God that God not only answers our prayers but more importantly He is the ANSWER to all of our prayers! "But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you." You seek first His kingdom, His ways, His will, His commands and show and prove your love for Him by your obedience and follow through then being a child of the Most High God is fulfilled in you! There is power and life is in the tongue, in spoken words and especially in speaking out loud God's Word and promises! The following is best when read out loud. I need reminding and I know it will help you realize who you are in Christ Jesus and who Christ Jesus is in you! Anytime you are faced with problems, attacks or you just need to hear from God, this is a good thing to pull out and declare out loud.  I am a child of the Most High God and God makes me more than a "get-me-by" person, more than a survivor, more than a victor and more than a conquer. I am a child of the Most High God and I am blessed beyond measure, beyond imagination, beyond my widest dreams and I overflow with His goodness everywhere I go. I am a child of the Most High God and my boast is in you Lord for every good and perfect thing in my life is from you. I am a child of the Most High God and I "put on" your amour, the mind of Christ, your love and mercy, your patience and contentment. I am a child of the Most High God and you "clothe me" in your righteousness, your peace and joy, your power and authority. I am a child of the Most High God and I represent the Holy family of God everywhere I go ALL the time! I am a child of the Most High God and I will not compromise away my beliefs or your Word. I am a child of the Most High God and I will not give up, give in, quit, lay down, hesitate, let myself be deceived or be distracted away from fulfilling the destiny that you my God has for me.  I am a child of the Most High God and my body is the Temple of the Lord and is His dwelling place. I am a child of the Most High God and sickness and disease is not allowed in His Temple my body! I am a child of the Most High God and I walk in your prosperity, goodness, all spiritual giftings, your overflow, abundance, surplus and extravagant blessings. I am a child of the Most High God and I am a Holy Spirit filled believer who walks in ALL power and authority of heaven everywhere I go. I am a child of the Most High God and my daily walk is one of intimacy, closeness, openness, honesty and transparency. I am a child of the Most High God and I am above and not beneath, I am the head and not the tail. I am a child of the Most High God and NO weapon formed against me shall prosper! I am a child of the Most High God and I walk in reverential fear, in your spirit of wisdom and revelation. I am a child of the Most High God and I will not allow the evil one, who has been defeated, to lie or deceive me! I am a child of the Most High God and I will not allow sin, addictions, wickedness, any vile thing or situation/circumstance to rule and reign over me! For ALL power and authority of heaven lives and dwells in me, His Temple through God's One and only Son Jesus through the Holy Spirit. I lay hands on the sick and they recover, I cast out demons and raise the dead. For I am a child of the Most High God and it is time for All of God's children to start acting like it!

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The Justice and Mercy of GoD

by MAX APLIN 
7/30/2017 / Christian Apologetics

In some ways life contains paradoxes.  Sometimes, two things that might at first seem to contradict each other are in fact both true. 

One such paradox concerns justice and mercy.  At first sight these things might seem to be contradictory, yet deep down we feel that they are both good and we relate strongly to each of them. 

A deep sense that justice is a good thing 

First, deeply ingrained within us is a sense that justice is a good thing.  We feel it is right that an action that is morally wrong deserves to be followed by punishment, i.e., suffering of some sort, as a consequence of that action. 

For example, often when we hear that someone has been convicted of a crime and has begun a prison sentence, we feel that the punishment is a fitting thing.  We are pleased that the wrongdoer is being punished. 

In fictional stories too we frequently find this theme.  A storyline might begin, for example, with a person performing an evil act, perhaps murdering someone.  Then the police track down that criminal and bring them to justice.  The audience of the story is encouraged to sympathise and side with the police in their quest.  And at the end, when the wrongdoer is punished, there is a feeling of satisfaction that justice has been done.  The story is designed to elicit these feelings in us, and they are ones that we relate to. 

A deep sense that mercy is a good thing 

Although we relate positively to the concept of justice, something else that is deeply ingrained within us is a sense that mercy is a good thing.  We feel that there are times when it is good that punishment is withheld from a wrongdoer.  In such cases, the just punishment is still deserved, but this is overruled, so to speak, by mercy. 

For example, we will sometimes hear about someone who is deeply remorseful for something they have done wrong, and who then has mercy shown to them.  When we hear about a situation like this, we often find ourselves feeling that it was good for mercy to be shown.  We feel compassion for the remorseful wrongdoer, and although we still condemn what they did, we are glad that they have received mercy. 

Those who deny the goodness of justice or mercy 

It is true that some people deny the goodness of either justice or mercy.  However, I would suggest that those who do this are not being honest with themselves.  Or a few of them may have some sort of psychological problem that prevents them from feeling what people should feel in this area.  

Despite occasional objections, it should be recognised as a fact of normal human experience that we relate deeply to both justice and mercy. 

God administering justice and showing mercy 

According to the Bible, the history of God’s dealings with human beings has involved him administering a lot of justice by punishing and also showing a lot of mercy.  Given how we relate to the goodness of justice and mercy, it shouldn’t be surprising that a good God would act in this way. 

The Bible teaches too that God will properly settle the matter of his justice and mercy towards us after we die.  Importantly, it teaches that the ‘default position’ of people after death is to receive just punishment from God rather than mercy.  

That people can more naturally expect punishment from God instead of mercy after death shouldn’t cause any eyebrows to be raised: 

Firstly, we have all done many things in our lives that are morally wrong, so no one can claim that they don’t deserve punishment.  

And secondly, mercy is exceptional in a way that justice is not.  As I have already noted, being merciful to someone involves an overruling of the just punishment that they deserve.  But just punishment, by contrast, is something that naturally follows wrongdoing.  

God’s preference for mercy 

Given that mercy, and not justice, is exceptional, we might expect that God would have a preference for enacting just punishment over showing mercy.  In fact, according to the Bible the opposite is the case.  The Bible teaches that his great love for people means that he actually prefers showing mercy to punishing. 

In John 3:17, for example, Jesus states: 

‘God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but so that the world might be saved through him.’

Similarly, in John 12:47 he says: 

‘I did not come to judge the world but to save the world.’ 

These verses shouldn’t be taken literally as meaning that Jesus will not judge the world at all.  That would conflict with other parts of John’s Gospel.  They do mean, however, that saving the world, i.e., showing mercy to people, is at the heart of God’s plan for human beings in a way that punishing is not. 

There are numerous other Bible passages that point in the same direction.  

For example, in Ezekiel 33:11, we find this statement: 

‘“As I live”, declares the Lord GOD, “I take no pleasure in the death of an evil person, but rather that the evil person turn from his way and live.”’ 

In a similar vein, 1 Timothy 2:3-4 says: 

‘. . . God . . . wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.’ 

And 2 Peter 3:9 tells us: 

‘The Lord . . . is patient with you, not wishing that any perish, but that all come to repentance.’ 

The Bible, then, portrays God as having a preference for showing mercy over enacting just punishment. 

We have a choice 

According to the Christian faith, people all have a choice as to whether they experience God’s mercy or justice.  

Importantly, although God prefers to show mercy, the Bible nevertheless makes it clear that only a minority of people actually choose to receive his mercy.  

For example, in Matthew 7:13-14 Jesus warns: 

‘Enter through the narrow gate.  For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it.  But narrow is the gate and constricted is the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.’ 

This passage is clear that the number of people who will experience destruction, i.e., hell, is significantly greater than the number of those who will experience life in heaven. 

There is a need, then, for people to take action to ensure that they are among the minority who will gain eternal salvation.  God will either be merciful to us for all eternity – his preferred option – or he will enact his just punishment on us for all eternity.  For our own sake and for his, we should each choose to receive his mercy. 

This is done by accepting in faith Jesus Christ as our personal Saviour and Lord.  When Christ died on the cross, he paid the price for all our wrongdoing, and then he confirmed that he had succeeded in this by rising from the dead.  When someone believes this and accepts Christ as Saviour and Lord, it results in a relationship with him and a whole new life.

I have been a Christian for over 30 years. I have a Ph.D. in New Testament from the University of Edinburgh. I am a UK national and I currently live in the south of Scotland. Check out my blog, The Orthotometist, at maxaplin.blogspot.com

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SERVING THE GOD OF NEW BEGINNINGS

by Beatrice Ofwonab
4/27/2010 / Christian Living

Our God is God of new beginnings. He will constantly bring things to us in a way that is different from our expectations. He has the power to replenish and the ability to make fertile that which is barren for He is the Creator and originator of all things. His word never returns empty and what He has purposed for us, He will see to completion. We need to believe in the power that God wields in our lives to see us accomplish the tasks for which He has created us. Many of us have the ability to do greater things but are stuck in acceptance of the status quo. We need to embrace new attitudes and new ways of doing things.

Several obstacles hinder our ability to move forward; firstly is our obsession with what has passed on. Some of us are stuck in the 'looking back' mode; constantly looking at where we are coming from and using this as an excuse for our present circumstances. The past remains in the past and though we may sometimes draw from it to chart our way forward, it should only be used to empower and not limit us. Cherish the moments that need cherishing but certainly move forward.

Secondly is the fear of failure which hinders many from trying out new things such as changing jobs or committing to marriage which is usually due to the fear of responsibility; the fear of getting into business ventures forgetting that these must always come with risks; or maybe just the fear of the unknown. God has not created timid human beings. We are created in His image and as such carry in our genetical make-up, His attribute of courage. We are programmed winners and only need to trust Him enough to let Him lead us into these realms.

Thirdly are our lack of sensitivity and lack of alertness to God's directions. Each one of us is fitted with a conscience and the ability to hear the small voice of reason. We have the intuition gift which enable us to make rational decisions with what might appear as gut feeling but which is really God prodding us. We have to have a certain level of faith in our undertakings. This is why spirituality is a cushion that we need, that we may believe enough to try. Let us constantly pray that God may open our eyes and ears that we may see and hear what He needs us to.

Fourthly is the need to strip off what is holding us back. Athletes do not run in suits, they do so in the lightest of dressing in order that they may move faster. We too should know how to leave behind any weight that is laboring our movement as we seek to achieve our goals. Let us also put boundaries where they are needed and be able to say 'No' when we are in a fix or when we are asked to compromise on our values. It is certainly better to flee from compromising situations and be seen as foolish rather than be laughed at as we live in regret. Wealth must go with values.

Lastly, the people we surround ourselves with will either make us, break us, delay us, quicken us, connect us or kill us. If they are pessimists, we will achieve nothing much for they will constantly pull us down. In this therefore, we need to associate with resourceful people that add some value to our lives and always trust in God to inject the DNA of winning into us.
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May these words (sermons), from various men and women of God be a blessing to all. 
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