Learn How to Live a Victorious Christian Life and Seek the Heart of God
Victorious Christian Living Newsletter – May 2014
This issue includes:
1 Article From Me
Something to Think About
Interesting Bible Facts
A Powerful Story
Favorite Article from My Blog
Links to My Other Sites
When you’re down to nothing, God is up to something. The faithful see the invisible, believe the incredible, and then receive the impossible.
I don’t know about you, but most Christians I know personally don’t live in this way. I’m definitely not saying that it won’t be a bit scary to totally put your trust in God, BUT WHAT A WAY TO LIVE!
You can look back at your life and see that God came through in miraculous ways, plus the more you see God’s Character the more you will know that if He has told you to do something, He will not only do what He promised, but many times it will be even better than what you imagined. I know that doesn’t always happen, but the more you set your mind and heart to follow God, the more you will see how much He loves you and wants you to have His Very Best.
All the great people of faith that we read about in the Bible were ordinary people like you and me that God used in a miraculous way. None of them could see the end result – they just had to trust what God told them.
The Old Testament people of faith didn’t even have the reassurance of the Holy Spirit to encourage and guide like we do today. Most of them heard from God through an angel or spoken word, sometimes only once or twice in their life, and then had to wait sometimes for years before God brought to pass what He had told them.
Then I think about all the people who never heard from God audibly even once in their whole lifetime. They just had to believe in Him as the One True God and live their lives the best they could based on that belief.
I am so thankful the Holy Spirit is here now to lead and guide me each day. I don’t have to guess at making a decision because He will always give me the right answer.
You are made in the same image of God that Abraham, Moses, and Noah were, and capable of doing the same things they did if you surrender your life to God.
We all pale in comparison to the God who created the universe and everything in it.
Unfortunately, we convince ourselves that we have control over what happens each day. But it only takes one moment to change our life forever, whether good or bad. God is never taken by surprise because He already knew it would happen.
He can see the whole picture, so from His point of view why shouldn’t we just put our trust in Him and let Him show us the way.
God always wants the very best for you, even though His Best might be different from your best.
As I look back over my life, I can see that what I thought best was not usually best at all. I would have settled for something mediocre and boring and thought it great because I didn’t know better. I wouldn’t trade the times I have truly walked with God and allowed Him to use me in a mighty way.
Then I think, “Why is it still sometimes hard to totally put my trust in Him when I can’t see all of what He is up to?” I guess the human in me wants to continually go back to my comfort zone and stay there. At least I feel I am in control of things there, even though I am really not.
As long as you feel you can do it yourself and TRY to do it yourself, why should God intervene and use you to do supernatural things? You only have a limited knowledge of His plan, and can’t see into the future to make the best decisions.
I don’t know about you, but I want to see the invisible, believe the incredible, and receive the impossible.
Will you join me in this awesome adventure? If you will, send me a note through the contact page at the top of the blog.
Something To Think About
Spiders Over The Fire
America’s greatest theologian is often identified as Jonathan Edwards, a New England pastor of the 1700s. Edwards was brilliant. At age 6 he studied Latin. He entered Yale when not quite 13 and graduated when barely 15.
He was ordained at age 19, taught at Yale by 20, and later became president of Princeton. Harvard granted him both a bachelor’s and a master’s degree on the same day.
But he is best known for Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God – the most famous sermon in American history.
He preached it on Sunday, July 8, 1741, while ministering in tiny Enfield, Connecticut. A group of women had spent the previous night praying for revival.
When Edwards rose to speak, he quietly announced that his text was Deuteronomy 32: 35, “…their foot shall slide in due time.”
This “hellfire and brimstone” approach was somewhat a departure for Edwards. Of his 1,000 written sermons, less than a dozen are of this type.
Edwards neither gestured nor raised his voice. He spoke softly and simply, warning the unconverted that they were dangling over hell like a spider over the fire.
O sinner! Consider the fearful danger. The unconverted are now talking over the pit of hell on a rotten covering, and there are innumerable places in this covering so weak that it will not bear their weight, and these places are not seen.
Edwards’ voice was suddenly lost amid cries and commotion from the crowd. He paused, appealing for calm.
Then he concluded: Let everyone that is out of Christ, now awake and fly from the wrath to come. The wrath of Almighty God is now undoubtedly hanging over a great part of this congregation. Let everyone fly out of Sodom.
Strong men held to pews and posts, feeling they were sliding into hell. Others shook uncontrollably and rolled on the floor. Throughout the night cries of men and women were heard throughout the village, begging God to save them. Five hundred were converted that evening, sparking a revival that swept thousands into the kingdom.
The Great Awakening had come.
Interesting Bible Facts
In the Bible “early rain” signifies the rain of the autumn and “latter rain” the rain of spring. For six months in the year, from May to October, no rain falls, the whole land becomes dry, parched and brown. The autumnal rains are eagerly looked for, to prepare the earth for the reception of the seed.
These, the early rains, commence about the latter end of October continuing through November and December. January and February are the coldest months, and snow falls, sometimes to the depth of a foot or more, at Jerusalem, but it does not lie long; it is very seldom seen along the coast and in the low plains.
Rain continues to fall more or less during the month of March and is very rare in April. Robinson observes that there are not, at the present day, “any particular periods of rain or succession of showers which might be regarded as distinct rainy seasons.
The whole period from October to March now constitutes only one continued season of rain, without any regularly-intervening term of prolonged fine weather. Unless therefore, there has been some change in the climate, the early and the latter rains, for which the husbandman waited with longing, seem rather to have implied the first showers of autumn–which revived the parched and thirsty soil and prepared it for the seed –and the later showers of spring, which continued to refresh and forward both the ripening crops and the vernal products of the fields.”
An officer of high rank in the Jewish state, exercising the functions, not simply of an analyst, but of chancellor or president of the Privy Council. In David’s court the recorder appeals among the high officers of his household. In Solomon’s he is coupled with the three secretaries.
In the sense in which we employ the word viz. for a perennial stream of considerable size, a river is a much rarer object in the East than in the West. With the exception of the Jordan and the Litany, the streams of the holy land are either entirely dried up in the summer months converted into hot lanes of glaring stones, or else reduced to very small streamlets, deeply sunk in a narrow bed, and concealed from view by a dense growth of shrubs.
The perennial river is called nahar by the Hebrews. With the definite article, “the river,” it signifies invariably the Euphrates. It is never applied to the fleeting fugitive torrents of Palestine. The term for these is nachal , for which our translators have used promiscuously, and sometimes almost alternately, “valley” “brook” and “river.”
No one of these words expresses the thing intended; but the term “brook” is peculiarly unhappy. Many of the wadys of Palestine are deep, abrupt chasms or rents in the solid rock of-the hills, and have a savage, gloomy aspect, far removed from that of an English brook. Unfortunately our language does not contain any single word which has both the meanings of the Hebrew nachal and its Arabic equivalent wady which can be used at once for a dry valley and for the stream which occasionally flows through it.
(Taken from Smith’s Bible Dictionary)
A Powerful Story
The Blood As A Cleansing Agent
William Cooper’s hymn speaks of “a fountain filled with blood drawn from Emmanuel’s veins, where sinners, plunged beneath that flood, lose all their guilty stains.”
The apostle John said that the blood of Jesus Christ “cleanses from all sin.” The multitude in Revelation 7 had washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.
But how is blood a cleaning agent? To us, blood is a soiling or staining agent, something we try to scrub off, not scrub with.
Dr. Henry Brand explained it this way in Christianity Today:
All that we have learned about physiology in recent years confirmed the accuracy of the still-jarring juxtaposition of blood and cleansing…
I suggest a simple experiment if you truly wish to grasp the function of blood as a cleansing agent. Find a blood pressure kit and wrap the cuff around your upper arm.
When it is in position, have a friend pump it up to about 200 mm. of mercury, a sufficient pressure to stop the flow of blood in your arm.
Initially your arm will feel an uncomfortable tightness beneath the cuff. Now comes the revealing part of the experiment: perform any easy task with your cuffed arm. Merely flex your finger and make a fist about 10 times in succession, or cut paper with scissors, or drive a nail into wood with a hammer.
The first few movements will seem quite normal as the muscles obediently contract and relax. Then you will feel a slight weakness.
Almost without warning a hot flash of pain will strike, after maybe ten movements. Your muscles will cramp. If you force yourself to continue this simple task, you will likely cry out in absolute agony. Finally, you cannot force yourself to continue; the pain overwhelms you.
When you release the tourniquet and air escapes from the cuff, blood will rush into your aching arm and a wonderful sense of relief will soothe your muscles. Physiologically, you have just experienced the cleansing of the blood.
While the blood supply to your arm was shut off, you forced your muscles to keep working. As they converted oxygen into energy, they produced certain waste products (metabolites) that are normally flushed away instantly in the bloodstream.
Due to the constricted blood flow, however, these metabolites accumulated in your cells. They were not “cleansed” by the swirling stream of blood, and therefore in a few minutes you felt the agony of retained toxins.
My Favorite Blog Post For The Month
My Dream That I’m Glad Wasn’t Real
I had a dream that I found a bag of some kind of really good candy or munchies in the back of my cabinet. I was surprised to see it because I thought all the good treats had been eaten; I remember thinking what a pleasant surprise it was to find this nice treat.
I opened the bag and dug in without even looking at the contents. I must have been hungry because I had eaten a couple of bites when I had a thought that the contents tasted funny. I looked in the bag and saw all sorts of cob webs with several spiders running around, and then a huge cockroach popped its head out of the bag and stared at me as if it were flaunting the fact that I had eaten some of the gross stuff that was in the bag.
Now I was nauseated and certainly wasn’t hungry any longer. Earlier in the dream I had faintly felt something run up my arm but hadn’t bothered to see what it was because I so intent on enjoying my treat.
Now I knew that the something I felt on my arm had probably not been good and I ran to the mirror to see if I could see anything on my clothes. At that point I woke suddenly and was extremely thankful to still be in the bed and find that this was just a dream.
Immediately I started thinking about how I have done similar things in real life. It is easy to plunge headlong into something that looks good without asking for or waiting on the guidance of the Holy Spirit to see if it is something I should do. Everything that looks really good isn’t always the best for you. The Holy Spirit knows exactly what I need at exactly the right time to help me make any number of huge decisions for my life.
The following is a true story of something that happened to me in the early 1980′s. My husband had been laid off work during a really bad recession and we had been going through a very hard time financially. He took whatever work he could find to help support our family. We had two very small children, and I was not working at the time. Well yes, I was working very hard but not getting paid any money for it.
I was getting desperate to find a way for me to make money from home so that I could help out until my husband could find another good job. I came across an ad in a paper about stuffing envelopes from home. The person who wrote it did a good job because I could just imagine all the hundreds of dollars I would be making as I contributed to our family finances.
The article was vague about what would actually be in the envelopes you would stuff, but by then I was hooked. My husband tried to tell me that it was a scam, but did I believe him? NO!
Desperation will make you think very irrationally and use all your resources to try to justify what you are doing as something that will make the horrible situation better.
I sent off for information on the job of stuffing envelopes and got another really well written sales pitch. By this time I was so desperate that I sent them the $13 they were asking for (which was almost all the money I had) so they could start to send me the envelopes to stuff. There was no email and filling out a form online with instant results back then, so I had to wait a few excruciating days for my envelopes to stuff.
I finally received a letter from them, and guess what, it had exactly the same sales pitch that the first letter had. There was no envelope to stuff to make even $1 of my money back. I had lost all $13 which I could have used to buy baby formula and diapers.
I still remember the extremely nauseated feeling I had when I opened the envelope and knew I had fallen for a scam. I felt even worse knowing that I had sent them my husband’s hard earned money. He didn’t get mad at me because I guess he knew that I was trying to help in whatever way I could.
If I had prayed about the envelope situation, I know that God would have shown me that I needed to trust Him to meet my needs instead of trying to find my own way out of a desperate situation. He would most likely have answered my prayer in a different way than I could have imagined, but His answer would have been much better than the one I got from the “envelope stuffing company.”
I don’t know about you, but I want to let God be my strength for each day so that I can truly walk in His Power and have His Anointing on my life.
Don’t be content to eat cobwebs when you can have all the succulent foods from God’s Table. It might take a little longer for His Answer, but “HOW SWEET IT IS” to walk with Him each day and be a vessel He can use to carry out His Kingdom Work!
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That’s it for this newsletter. May God bless you as you strive to live for Him and walk in obedience to what He desires!