Friday, December 14, 2018

Prepare for Battle

We are preparing for Christmas! We celebrate the birth of Jesus as a human being. Babies seem so peaceful and calm. Yet even at Jesus first coming, the enemy sought to destroy Him, the Savior of the world [1].  The Advent, or Coming of Jesus is accompanied by spiritual warfare.

Jesus birth however, was only one of two Comings prophesied.

We are on the verge of Jesus second Advent! And this Coming will be accompanied with a cataclysmic battle which will dwarf anything we have ever seen.  It will be the ultimate battle between good and evil!

At this time, the realm of darkness including Satan and his demons will be ranged alongside mankind's society in actively opposing the second Coming of the Messiah. This opposition has already started.  This is a time of Satan's wrath, and he makes war on the church [2].

Christians will be on Messiah's side. We fight against Satan. But we are only a little flock, we do not have great power of our own. We need God and His angels to fight on our behalf [3]. We stand and watch as Jesus overcomes the enemy of our souls.

The enemy is out for our destruction. Right now he is plotting how to take us down.  But we are on the Lord's side [4]. And He will ensure our victory.  God is faithful, and will not allow the enemy to succeed [5].

But time is running out. It is timeprepare for this cataclysmic battle, which will be global as well as personal. It is time to make ourselves ready.

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1. Revelation 12:4
2. Revelation 12:12
3. Exodus 14:14
4. Exodus 32:26
5. Psalm 121

Monday, December 10, 2018

Getting to Know God

Good morning readers!  I want to share about something that has been on my heart for a while.  Actually, for a very long time.

When I was a 12-year-old whippersnapper, I read through the story of Abraham as described in Genesis.  I was captivated by the fact that not only did Abraham talk to God, but God actually spoke back to him!  This communication was so clear that Abram (his birthname) was prepared to leave his urban house in Ur (with hot and cold water and indoor plumbing), to go live in a tent on a one-way trek through the desert.  Without asking for confirmations (like Gideon), or dillydallying along the way.  He just did it!

God's communication must have been crystal clear.

This birthed in my heart a hunger to have this same kind of communication with God.  For a long time, this was swept under the rug, I was not in an environment where you did this.  Age 45, however, there was a huge change in my spiritual walk.  God broke through with truth, and a lot of the cobwebs were swept aside.  I learned that there were actually a lot of people who heard from God.  I started to read books about the subject, and learned to quieten myself down and be open and listening actively for God's communication.

This then started a search for God, wanting to know Him deeper and deeper.  Believe me, there have been many ups and downs along this journey, I do not consider myself particularly special, with the exception that I have a unique set of fingerprints!  However the Holy Spirit continued to carry me on, along this quest to know God. I am still on this quest.
 
I will continue telling about my journey, next time.

You may think, why am I telling you my personal journey.  I am doing this so that maybe you will be inspired by my experiences, and have an amazing testimony of your own, getting to know our heavenly Father in a whole new way!

Have a blessed day!

Thursday, December 6, 2018

There is Hope!

Around 540 BC Cyrus had issued his edict allowing the Jews to return to their homeland, thus bringing to an end their 70 years of exile.

They had gone back in joy, looking forward to a time of restoration, a new beginning and a fresh start to their lives.

They recognized their sins had led to their captivity, and were determined never to fall into that trap again.  So in an effort to get things right, they set themselves lots of rules, to ensure their obedience to God's laws.

These rules became a burden God never intended them to carry.  The rules took the joy out of their newfound relationship with their Creator.  Rules and legalism were never how God wanted to relate to His people.  Why?

Because when there are rules, we break them.  As human beings, we live in imperfection, and we sin.

And sin is bad.  Bad for us.  Bad for the people around us.  And bad for our relationship with God.  Sin separates us from our Creator.

So even though the Jews desperately wanted to turn a new leaf, their quest was hopeless.  They just did not have it in them to stay the course.

God however had a different view of this seemingly impossible situation.

Thousands of years before, He had decided to become one of us.  In doing so, He would make it possible for mankind to once again have a relationship with Him.

By becoming one of us, He would experience what it was like to have to fight against sin, day in, day out.  He would not give in to this temptation, though.  The consequence of sin is death.  As He did not sin, He did not need to die.  He chose to die for us instead.  He would pay the price on our behalf.

This would then restore mankind's relationship with God.

He would give us hope!

So, centuries later, the angel Gabriel appeared to Mary, and told this precious young lady that she was going to become pregnant when the Holy Spirit came upon her.  That the child she would bear was to be the Savior of the world.  That through faith in Him, our sins could be forgiven.

Instead of living a life without hope, we now have a hope that overcomes all sin, all separation from God, all pain and hurt that follows from sin.

As Paul says, "Death where is your sting!"  We now have hope for an eternity in intimate relationship with our God.  Hallelujah!

Thank you Jesus for leaving heaven, and your magnificent glory, to become one of us.  Because in you is hope!  

Saturday, December 1, 2018

Welcome

Welcome to Healing Shepherd Ministries!

Dianne and I started this ministry in 2003, when the Lord was making it abundantly clear that He was sending us out to bring His healing to the broken.

There are so many broken people out there.

People who have suffered loss, people who are experiencing pain and sorrow.  Perhaps that special person has gone, through whatever circumstance, and now we are on our own.  Sometimes we have brought things on ourselves.  Sometimes we seem like a victim of the world's ugliness. 

Jesus says to us, "Come to me, all you that labor and are heavy-laden and I will give you rest." (Matthew 11:28).  He says, "... He has anointed me to preach the [good news] to the poor, he has sent me to heal the broken-hearted ..." (Luke 4:18).

This is the starting point.  

We try all kinds of ways to deal with broken hearts and lives.

Alcohol, drugs, sex.

Each of these has its own hell of torment.  It looks attractive at first, but then it swallows us up. Until we break down and recognize it is not the answer.

"Come to me and I will give you rest."

Jesus is the answer.  He is the one who heals the broken-hearted.  He came to bring healing into your life too.  Sometimes he touches us and we receive healing instantly.  Other times there are things we have to do, to receive his touch.  

Things like turning away from our sin, surrendering ourselves to Him, being willing to be obedient.

But it is worth it.  He offers us rest.

If you want your life to be different, pray this prayer:

"Dear Lord Jesus, thank you that you paid the price for me, a sinner.  You died and gave Your life, so that my sins could be forgiven.  Would you please forgive me for my sins, whatever they may have been.  I realize that nothing is too big for you to forgive.  Please remove my guilt.  I need a fresh beginning.  I need your rest.  Thank you that you have not given up on me.  In Jesus' name, amen."

You may have prayed this prayer before, and later turned away from God.  No matter what has happened, no matter what you have done, or where you have gone, it is never too late to turn back.  Jesus heals the broken.

Have a wonderful life!

Pastor Gerry