Great Women of The Bible Challenge-Hannah

Hannah- The woman of prayer

Bible Reference- 1 Samuel 1, 1 Samuel 2

Family Background- Hannah was married to a man called Elkanah (who was the son of of Jeroham, the son of Elihu, the son of Tohu, the son of Zuph who was an Ephraimite). The Bible says her husband was from Ramathaim, a Zuphite from the hill country of Ephraim. Elkanah had another wife called Peninnah who had children, Hannah had none. Hannah was Elkanah’s favourite wife. Hannah later gave birth to Samuel, three other sons and two daughters.

Name Meaning- Hannah in Hebrew means favour or grace

Who is Hannah?

Hannah, is one of the most famous characters of the Old Testament. Like many others in the Bible, she was barren.  At that time, not being unable to conceive was considered shameful.

Yearly, Hannah and her husband went to worship  the Lord at Shiloh. The Bible says ‘Year after Year’ , which suggests Hannah and her family went frequently to worship the Lord. The Bible describes Elkanah’s love for Hannah, as he would give her double portion to sacrifice because of his love for her. His other wife, Peninnah reminded her of her sorrows constantly. The Bible says she provoked her until she wept and would not eat. Her husband reminded her that he loved her by asking her why she wept, was sad and that his love was more than ten sons.

Hannah, was in the house of the Lord  praying and weeping bitterly. She made a vow to God, that if he gave her a son she would give him to God for all of his life.  She continued to pray and Eli, the priest observed her mouth. She was praying so intently that her mouth moved without words coming out. Eli thought she was drunk. Hannah told Eli, that she was pouring out her heart to God. Eli, moved by Hannah’s pain told her to go and that God will give her what she has asked for.

Afterwards, Hannah and her husband went back to their home at Ramnah, they slept together and she became pregnant. She gave birth to a son, called Samuel. She named Samuel, ‘Because I asked the Lord for him’.

Hannah had made a promise to God, to give him back for God’s service. Hannah kept her promise. She gave her son to Eli, where her child was trained in ministering and priesthood.

God honoured Hannah for keeping her promise. She gave birth to three more sons and two daughters. Hannah’s son Samuel, grew up to be the last Judge for Israel, a prophet and counselled Israel’s first two Kings (Saul and David).

Why is Hannah great?

Hannah, is one of the most well known women of the bible.  She was the mother of Samuel, who himself was a great man of God. I believe Hannah is great for several reasons: she was perseverant, had extraordinary faith, she kept her promises, prayerful and lead a godly life.

Hannah was perseverant, she never gave up on God. She continued to pray day and night and never lost hope. She prayed year after year and was frequently at the house of God. She prayed until people thought she was drunk. It reminds of when Paul, said that we should pray without ceasing. This is what Hannah did and God answered her prayers.

Hannah had extraordinary faith, it was a peculiar type of faith. To be  praying for the same thing year after year  is incredible. Especially, when her rival wife Peninnah was poking fun at her constantly. Yet, her hope in God remained. True to her name, she walked in grace and did not retaliate. Even though God had shut her womb, she opened up her heart even more to God. As Eli told her to go home, notice how she went and was no more weeping. She believed that God had answered her prayers.

I admire Hannah for keeping her promise: to  give her child back to God. Remember this was her first child that she had prayed for many years. The sacrifice that she made, blessed her even more. She was rewarded, Hannah and her husband gave birth to five more children.

Hannah was a praying woman. She prayed without ceasing. Even though what she had asked for did not come immediately, she continued in prayer. Even though she was barren, she still believed and through her pain she found refuge in prayer. She took her worries to God even when she was sorrowful. In 1 Samuel 2, it gives us Hannah’s prayer. She gives thanksgiving for God’s goodness.

What can we learn from Hannah?

The lessons I believe we can learn from Hannah is to never give up. Hannah never gave up and pressed on in faith.  She never doubted God’s abilities. After years and years of waiting on God, her prayer life remained constant even though her rival wife irritated her. Many of us would give up, but Hannah didn’t.  Hannah teaches us to never give up, to remain prayerful, to lead a godly life, to have faith and to stay perseverant.

Stay Blessed

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Great Women Of The Bible Challenge- Esther & Eunice

Esther- The woman who saved her people from genocide

Bible Reference- Book of Esther

Family Background- Her father was called Abihail, who was the Uncle of Mordecai. When her parents died, Mordecai her cousin, took care of her and took her as his daughter

Name meaning- Esther means star in Persian. The biblical meaning of Esther is hidden or secretive. Her original Hebrew name Hadassah means myrtle.

Who is Esther?

We are introduced to Esther in Esther 2:7 as Hadassah, where Mordecai took her as daughter as her parents died. She was also known as Esther. The Bible describes her as a young woman who had a lovely figure and was beautiful.

The story is that King Xerxes had a feast for 180 days where he displayed his wealth of his kingdom. After this he had a banquet for seven days. He summons Queen Vashti in order for her to show her beauty off to the people and the nobles. However she refuses. King Xerxes banishes her and she is punished to not enter the presence of the King. A new Queen is sought and Esther is chosen. Esther did not reveal her nationality or family background as Mordecai forbidden her not to do so. Mordecai uncovers a conspiracy, during his time sitting at the King’s gate. Two of the King’s officers conspired to assassinate King Xerxes. Mordecai tells Queen Esther who then tells the King, giving credit to Mordecai.

After these events King Xerxes honours Haman, giving him a position higher than any noble. All royal officials had to bow down to him. However Mordecai refused. Haman was angry. When he found out that Mordecai was a Jew, he looked for a way to destroy all the Jews in King Xerxes’ kingdom.

Mordecai calls on Esther to talk to the King. However the King does not know of Esther’s background. Esther is reluctant to go to the King. Remember, to approach her husband without permission she risked death.  She would be breaking the law and be punished by death. Mordecai reminds her of background and purpose:

“Do not think that because you are in the king’s house you alone of all the Jews will escape. For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father’s family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?”

Esther then replied to Mordecai, to tell everyone in Susa to fast and pray for three days. She also said will do the same and after this she would go to the King.

Esther then entered the King’s court. The King was pleased with her so she requested to have a banquet with the King and Haman (she said she would give her petition at the banquet). So Haman got cocky and did ‘guy guy’ because he had been asked to attend dinner with the beautiful Queen Esther. He saw Mordecai who again did not bow to me. Haman’s wife suggested to him and his friends that he should set a 75 ft (23 m) pole for Mordecai to be hanged on.

The King the following night couldn’t sleep. He read the records of his reign and he found that Mordecai had exposed the officers who conspired to assassinate the King. The King asked Haman what should this man receive for his good work. Haman without realising it is Mordecai, told the King he should have a royal robe, sit on the house and be paraded through the city. When Haman realised he was sad and angry.

At the banquet Queen Esther told her husband King Xerxes of Haman’s evil plans to destroy the Jews (Queen Esther’s people) and kill Mordecai.  The King was angry and the pole that Haman planned for Mordecai, was instead set up for him.

The King gave Queen Esther Haman’s estate and she appointed Mordecai over it. The King gave Mordecai his signet ring which he reclaimed from Haman. The King also reversed Haman’s plans to destroy the Jews which was written into an edict. The decree granted all Jews across his kingdom the right to assemble and protect themselves.

Why is Esther great?

From Esther’s story you can tell what an extraordinary woman she was. She risked her life and interceded on behalf of her people to the King where she could have been punished to death. She knew the risks ‘And if I perish, I perish’ (Esther 4:16) yet she was willing to sacrifice her life in order for her people to be saved. Esther’s bravery, courage and faith in God highlights the strong belief she had in God. She was committed in fasting and praying, knowing that fasting gives favour and protection from God. She allowed God to use her in the position she was in to win deliverance for her people.

Esther, was a rare individual. She was chosen as a candidate for the King who must not only have been charmed by her beauty but her personality.Whilst reading this, I noticed the King was always eager to listen to his wife, Queen Esther. He greeted her with love and was willing to understand everything she put across. This demonstrates that Esther was a great wife too.

What can we learn from Esther?

We can learn from Esther’s obedience. Mordecai told her not to reveal her background and asked her to intercede on behalf of the Jews. She did whatever he asked. Imagine, as a young woman without no father and mother. Our parents from birth teach us how to respect others. However, Mordecai as her adoptive father took on that role. I learnt from this, the importance of obedience. Sometimes young people, even old can disagree with their parents, but look where Esther’s obedience brought her.

Furthermore, we can learn from Esther’s character from her determination to seek God’s guidance in her time of difficulty. We can be going through difficult times and forget the tools of prayer and fasting. In our trials and tribulations, we may lose hope and faith thinking what is the point. However Esther sought after God and we should learn from this.

Even though Esther kept her background a secret. She never forget where she came from. She was not ashamed in the hour of trouble to reveal who she was. We can learn from this that we should always love who we are, which includes our heritage and background.

From Esther’s story we learn that God can take you from nothing to something. She was  a young woman called Hadassah from Susa but then became Queen Esther of Persia. He had a plan for Esther, just like he has a plan for you and I. God used Esther as an instrument for his glorious purpose, to deliver the Jews and give them their rights. The same way God will use you and I. God put Esther as a Queen to do this. God can put us in a similar position for a purpose. Esther’s life is a demonstration of how God works. God puts each one of us into a position for his plan and purpose. We may never know what he is doing and think to ourselves- Why this? Why here? Why now? Why am I doing this? Then when everything comes together, then we look back and say to ourselves God I understand why you did it like that. She was put as a candidate as ‘for such a time as this’, she was given to the King as ‘for such a time as this’, she was the Queen as a ‘time for this’. Whatever position you are in, believe it is ‘for such a time as this’.

Eunice- The woman whose her son became a famous evangelist

Bible Reference- Acts 16:1-3, 2 Timothy 1:5, 2 Timothy 3:14-15

Family Background-Eunice was the daughter of Lois. The Bible does not mention who Eunice’s father is. Eunice married a Greek.

Name Meaning- Eunice means good victory

Who is Eunice?

Eunice was Timothy’s mother.

Why is Eunice great?

Esther is great because of the way she brought up her son. The Bible tells us that Timothy’s faith first came through his grandmother Lois and then Eunice. This means Eunice trained her son with scriptures. The bible reminds us to teach children in the way they should go. Paul speaks highly of Timothy, as his ‘dear son’. Eunice must have been proud that her son’s who was an evangelist, had an companion such as Paul. Looking at Timothy, Eunice did a great job.

What can we learn from Eunice?

We can learn from Eunice that we should bring up our children in the right way. She made sure  that from birth, Timothy was surrounded by the ways of God. We can take this from Eunice, that if we have positive Christian training in our homes our children would not depart from it.

Word Of The Week- Friendship (25/08/13-01/09/13)

Word Of The Week- Friendship (25/08/13-01/09/13)

John 15 12 15

Happy Tuesday! The word for this week is friendship. I am blessed to have wonderful friends and I always thank God for their lives. What is the meaning of friendship? What does a friend mean to you? I believe that friendship consists of loyalty, kindness, generosity, love, support and care. Friendship can be described as the state of being a friend or a friendly feeling or intimacy.  A Friend means someone who is attached to another by feelings of affection or personal regard; person who gives assistance; a person who is on good terms with another. But what does the Bible say about friendship?

1) Friendship has to be healthy

Friendship is love and affection. There should not be any abuse or wrongs held by anyone in the friendship.

1 Corinthians 13:4-8- “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonour others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.  Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres”.

A true friendship would not hold any of these things-envy, selfishness, boasting, jealously, pride, anger, bitterness or grudges. True friends rejoice with their friends when something great has happened. For example when your friend has got a promotion, you will be happy for them and thank God. Someone who is negative and does not wish the best for you is not a friend. However when someone hopes to see you be the best person you can possibly be, you should consider  he or she a friend. Verse 5 of 1 Corinthians 13 reminds us that a friend can tell you the real and it will still be love. Don’t always think when a friend is correcting you, that they are against you- it is for your benefit. Proverbs 27:6 shows that it is better to have a friend who can tell you the truth which may hurt, rather than having someone kiss your butt!  I know when my friends give me real, they are doing it because they love me. A true friend will tell you what you need to know, not what you want to hear!  If a friendship is all about me, me, me-girl its not healthy! A friendship consists of two people, it is not self-seeking.  A friendship does not hold ill thoughts against the other.

2) Friendship-Unconditional love

We discover who are true friends are through tough times. We know who are brothers and sisters are, when we are going through a hard time. The friends I am describing are people who are not only with you in the good times, but also in the not so good times-that’s real friendship! I love my friends because they accept me with both my strengths and weaknesses.

Proverbs 17:17-A friend loves at all times,
and a brother is born for a time of adversity.

The Bible says a friend should love at all times, regardless of the circumstances. We are imperfect beings, all of us are bound to make mistakes. A good friend would not take our mistakes and hold it as grudges. A friend would ask for forgiveness, or forgive their friend and keep it moving.

3) Friendship- Sacrifice

The bible says there is no greater love then when a friend lays down their life for us. Jesus is a great example of this. Jesus laid down his life for us all, so that we all may have salvation.  Jesus showed real love and was not self-seeking. He cared for people and put others’ needs before his own. Jesus said let God’s will be done before his own.

John 15:13- Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends

This means by putting your friend’s needs above your own, not being selfish. This could be praying for your friend like you pray for yourself. You will be loving like Jesus, with this kind of love.

4) Friendship- Trust and loyalty

Trust and loyalty are important qualities to have in a friendship. There has to be trust in the friendship, so that you have confidence in sharing your life with them. There also has to be loyalty, so you can expect your friend to be dependable, reliable, faithful and sincere.

Proverbs 18:24- One who has unreliable friends soon comes to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.

However you have to be careful. Trusting easily can lead to ruin, it is best to trust a few loyal friends. This then will lead you to find a friend who you consider a brother or sister.

The Greatest Friendship in the Bible- David and Jonathan

One of the greatest examples of friendship in the Bible is David and Jonathan. Jonathan was loyal to David. Their friendship was like a brotherhood. The friendship between them was a covenantal relationship. In 1 Samuel 18:1-5, they formed an agreement. This is  seen in 1 Samuel 20:14-17;42 & 1 Samuel 23:16-18 where they made an agreement that Jonathan was to be David’s second in command and for David to protect his family. David kept his promise, by seating Jonathan’s son Mephibosheth at his table (2 Samuel 9). These two men had a very good friendship . Their friendship showed  sacrifice, loyalty, comprise, trust and emotional attachment. Their relationship is an example of a real friendship.  Jonathan sacrificed his right to the throne, knowing God’s will for David to be King of Israel. He gave him his clothes and weapons recognising that David was a king. Jonathan was also loyal to David, warning him of his father King Saul’s anger towards him. No jealousy, no ill thinking, no me- me-me, it’s all about me. It was selfless, kindness, trust and generosity. We should learn from David and Jonathan’s friendship!

Be aware….

Friendship has negative aspects too. Some ‘friends’ can lead us into sin, some can lead us away from God. Some ‘friends’ will give us bad advice, some ‘friends’ will use you for their benefit.  Some ‘friends’ can put doubt and fear into our hearts, so we lose faith and hope. Some ‘friends’ hold grudges that last forever. Some ‘friends’ will gossip about you. Some ‘friends’ will kiss your cheek but stab you in your back. The Bible warns us of ‘friends’ such as these, the best thing is to stay away from them.

Roll with people that love you and want the best for you!

Here are some bible verses on friendship:

1 Samuel 18:1-3 (NIV)-After David had finished talking with Saul, Jonathan became one in spirit with David, and he loved him as himself. From that day Saul kept David with him and did not let him return home to his family. And Jonathan made a covenant with David because he loved him as himself.

Proverbs 27:5-6 (NIV)-Better is open rebuke than hidden love.Wounds from a friend can be trusted, but an enemy multiplies kisses.

John 15:13-15 (NIV)-Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.  You are my friends if you do what I command. I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.

Proverbs 17:17 (NIV)-A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for a time of adversity.

Proverbs 27:9 (NIV)-Perfume and incense bring joy to the heart,
and the pleasantness of a friend springs from their heartfelt advice.

Proverbs 22:24-25 (NIV)-Do not make friends with a hot-tempered person, do not associate with one easily angered, or you may learn their ways and get yourself ensnared.

Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 (NIV)-Two are better than one,
because they have a good return for their labour: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls
and has no one to help them up

Proverbs 22: 11 (NIV)-One who loves a pure heart and who speaks with grace will have the king for a friend.

Proverbs 12:26 (NIV)-The righteous choose their friends carefully,
but the way of the wicked leads them astray.

Proverbs 16:28 (NIV)-A perverse person stirs up conflict,
and a gossip separates close friends.

Proverbs 18:24 (NIV)-One who has unreliable friends soon comes to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.

Proverbs 27:17 (NIV)-As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.

Stay Blessed

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Great Women Of The Bible Challenge- Dorcas (Tabitha) & Elizabeth

I hope you all had a lovely bank holiday weekend. Great women I looked at was Dorcas and Elisabeth.

Dorcas (Tabitha)- The woman full of good works

Bible Reference-Acts 9:36-43

Family background-There is no mention of Dorcas’ family history.

Name meaning- Dorcas is the Greek translation of the Aramaic name Tabitha. The meaning of the name is gazelle.

Who is Dorcas?

We are introduced to Dorcas in Acts 9:36 as a disciple. This means that she was a Christian. Her name is given as Tabitha, but the Greek equivalent is Dorcas. She lived in the seaport town of Joppa. The Greek variant of her name and her residence highlights the fact she would have been surrounded by Greek speaking people.

Why is Dorcas great?

Dorcas’ story shows greatness as she accepted responsibility as a disciple in her community. She gave her life to those in need. The bible describes her as always doing good and helping the poor. This suggests that she she dedicated her life to philanthropy and charity work. So many of us wish to do this, we talk but will never do. Dorcas not only talked about it but she carried out her plans.

The scripture describes the time  of her death as a very sad time. When she died, they sent for Peter who was in a nearby town to urgently come. This suggests that she was highly respected and loved. It seems that she was a person, that many in her community cared about. When Peter went, the widows stood around him crying.  They even showed him the clothes that Dorcas had made for them. This demonstrates that Dorcas’ death was a big blow to her community.

However, Peter prayed for the dead Dorcas and she got up, opened her eyes and when she saw him sat up. Peter called in the believers and especially the widows to see what God had done. The Bible says that this miracle was known all over Joppa and because of this, people found God. I believe that that the resurrection of Dorcas had a twofold effect. The first effect that it had was when Peter called the widows. He did this so they will be encouraged in the Lord- that God is great and can do all things. It would have brought comfort to Dorcas’ mourners that her life of charity work was not over. Secondly, I believe that the miracle was to bring people to believe in God. It was not a coincidence. The miracle was to show God’s glory, so that people will be saved. Dorcas was a blessed woman- her resurrection was for a reason. The  purpose in her life was not over, God had more in store for her life.

What can we learn from Dorcas?

We can learn from Dorcas’ life that she cared for people rather than just focusing on her title as a leader in the community. Some people have a title in their church as a deacon or worship leader but dwell on their post rather than carrying out the work. Many are proud and brag about their title, yet they do not carry out the good deeds like Dorcas. Dorcas demonstrated dedication in helping to those in need. She was obsessed in doing good. From time to time a person may carry out a good deed, but for kingdom people it is a duty to carry out good deeds all the time. It doesn’t mean that we should go and work for a charity or we must donate millions away, it could mean encouraging, giving and praying for the needy. For example this could be cooking for the hungry, praying for the broken hearted or giving clothes to those in need. I found out something really interesting that the The Dorcas Society is named after her. This shows the effect that this great woman had on the world and still has. The charity carries out similar work Dorcas did-making clothing for the poor. She died leaving a mark. Before her resurrection, those who were mourning her remembered her for making garments for the needy. What are we going to remembered for?  What would you be remembered for? We should all want to be remembered for our service unto God and unto others like Dorcas. Dorcas is a great example of a true charitable woman.

 

Elizabeth- The woman who bore in her old age

Bible Reference- Luke 1:5-80

Family Background- Elizabeth was a descendent of Aaron. This means she came from a priestly family. Her husband was Zechariah who was a priest. He belonged to the priestly division of Abijah, which was one set of priests who were chosen to minister in the temple. Elizabeth was the mother of John the Baptist. She was a relative of Mary, the mother of Jesus.

Name meaning- Elizabeth means oath of God

Who is Elizabeth?

Elizabeth was a Godly woman who lived in Judea. She along with her husband is described in the Bible as ‘righteous in the sight of God, observing all the Lord’s commands and decrees blamelessly’. To be given such a description like this means that she was a woman who preserved the traditions of her descendants and walked with God. She was a priestly woman who lead a holy life.

Elizabeth was an old woman. Her and husband had been praying for a child but she was unable to conceive. This must have caused heartbreak and disappointment for the couple. I could not imagine the humiliation they may have received especially with Elizabeth as a priest’s wife. Especially in ancient times, when barrenness was considered a disgrace. It is dream for every woman to become a mother, so it must have been hard for Elizabeth.

Why is Elizabeth great?

An angel appeared to Zechariah and told him that their prayers have been answered. The angel told him that they will have a son called John. Zechariah did not believe the angel and was made mute. Just as the angel said, Elizabeth conceived. Mary, who was pregnant with Jesus visited Elizabeth. As soon as Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leapt for joy. Then Elizabeth gave birth to a son and Zechariah’s speech returned. Elizabeth’s son became John the Baptist, the prophet who foretold the saviour and messiah- Jesus Christ.

This is the story. But why is Elizabeth great? Her life was full of faith and piety. Unlike her husband, who had doubt of conceiving in old age, Elizabeth believed. She was never sad or upset because she was unable to conceive. She had faith and continued to pray. She continued to serve God and his commandments even though she may have felt like a disgrace. Even though she probably was gossiped about, she kept her faith.  She was thankful for what God had done for. Elizabeth was grateful for the favour that God had given her.

Additionally, when Mary visited Elizabeth she heard her relative’s greeting and her baby leapt for joy. She was filled with the holy spirit and said:

“Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the child you will bear! But why am I so favoured, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? As soon as the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy. Blessed is she who has believed that the Lord would fulfil his promises to her!”

Elizabeth was a privileged and favoured woman as she was the first to declare who Jesus was. She gave a prayer and a blessing. I think the baby leaped in Elizabeth’s womb because he was welcoming Jesus. The baby was excited that the messiah who was to bring salvation, was near. Elizabeth knew the messiah had come and she confessed this with “the mother of my Lord should come to me”. Elizabeth presented herself with humility, knowing that was she blessed and highly favoured to be the first to confess who Jesus was.

Moreover, the birth of John showed that Elizabeth was a great woman. The bible describes that her relatives and neighbours had heard the Lord had shown her great mercy and they shared their joy. Elizabeth obeyed God. She could have listened to her family and called her son Zechariah Jr. However she said his name is John just like God had commanded.  She was a special woman who listened to God’s commandments and because of this she was given a special blessing. She was blessed with a child who was not only to be a joy to his parents but to others (her son was great in the eyes of God, her son was to be filled with the holy spirit before his birth, walk in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn lives around and prepare people for Jesus Christ). Not even double double blessings for this one, this was an extraordinary blessing. This woman was truly blessed! Elizabeth gave birth to her son who would become John the Baptist, who had a role in God’s salvation. The fact that she was involved in the fulfilment of Messianic prophecy and promise, shows that Elizabeth was a great woman.

What can we learn from Elizabeth?

We can learn from Elizabeth and her story that God is amazing-he can take you from barrenness to fruitfulness. Even though she was unable to conceive, she continued to have faith and pray. Sometimes when we do not get what we want, we become frustrated and lose hope. Is it ever going to happen? Am I going to get my miracle? As Elizabeth said blessed are those who believe God’s promises and the fulfilment of them. Elizabeth could have given up. But she didn’t. We need to remember and believe in what God has promised us. Look at what he did for Elizabeth! I have learnt that God rewards and blesses those who are obedient and believe in him. It reminds me of a hymn lol. You know the one … Trust and obey, for there is no other way to be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey. It isn’t a surprise that Elizabeth is a common name. Who wouldn’t want to name their child after a woman who was humble, had great faith and was blameless and righteous before God?

Stay Blessed

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False WOLVES?

A couple of weeks ago, I was looking through Twitter and saw a discussion between some people slating certain pastors. Many where tweeting that these pastors were preaching ‘Fake Christianity’ and insulting them. Fair enough, there are false wolves in sheep’s clothing (Matthew 7:15) but do not label any pastor a ‘false wolf’ because you simply do not like the message they preach.  Yes, there are many who preach wrong messages. However there is no need to insult them. The Bible tells us that we shall know them by their fruits, so if their messages are not of God we should be able to discern that they produce bad fruits.

Many bash Pastors and churches because they dislike the teachings and messages that is given. Some may dislike them because they have a certain message that is key to their ministry for example some churches are known for deliverance, or their praise and worship ministry, or for their charitable causes. Everyone is called for their own purpose and ministry which may be similar to another but is different to many. Many forget that the heroic figures in the Bible had a common purpose but different goals. For instance take a look at Jesus’ disciples they were all called to preach the good news but they ended up in different places geographically. Each church may have its focus but the majority of them teach the truth and preach the most important message-there is salvation through Jesus Christ. You and I have a common purpose to share the good news but the way it would be explored may be different. Some would explore it by spreading the good news through preaching, teaching, music, writing and even tweeting. Do not hate just because it may not be done the traditional way and then label someone or a ministry a false wolf. 

Stay Blessed

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GREAT WOMEN OF THE BIBLE CHALLENGE-BATHSHEBA & DEBORAH

I hope you all had a great weekend and a blessed start to the week. Great women I looked at was Bathsheba and Deborah. Hope you are blessed by it. Enjoy!

Bathsheba-A woman who turned her sin around

Bible Reference- 2 Samuel 11, 2 Samuel 12, 1 Kings 1:11-31, 1 Kings 2:13-19, 1 Chronicles 3:5

Family Background-She was the daughter of Eliam and was married to Uriah the Hittite

Name Meaning- Bathsheba means the daughter of an oath

Who is Bathsheba?

Bathsheba is introduced to us from 2 Samuel 11:2 onwards. She is described as a very beautiful woman and her family background is given.

David got up from his bed one evening and saw Bathsheba bathing. He saw how beautiful she was and sent someone to find out about her. He found out her family background and that she was married yet he still sent for her. They slept together and she conceived. What I find hard to understand is why was Bathsheba bathing outside? The fact that David saw her bathing must have meant she exposed herself for all to see. If she was modest then she would have realised that people may have been able to see her. Additionally, if she had been a faithful wife, she would have refused David when he had sent for her. If she was a woman of principle she would have refused to take part in adultery.

After Bathsheba tells David of her pregnant condition, David comes up with a plan. To hide his sin, he sends for Bathsheba’s husband, Uriah the Hittite. Uriah was fighting as a solider in the Israelite army. Uriah refused to come back home and have physical contact with his wife whilst his colleagues was fighting. Uriah was a man of integrity and honour. He wished to be with the rest of the soldiers and serve his King. David even made Uriah drunk, but he did not go home. Realising that his plan had failed, David sent a letter to Joab for Uriah to be put in a place where the he was likely to be killed. I find it shocking that Bathsheba could take part in an affair with a man her husband risked his life for. After her husband’s death, Bathsheba mourned for him. However after mourning, Bathsheba she moved to David’s house. She became his wife and bore a son.

God was displeased with Bathsheba and David’s behaviour. God sent the prophet Nathan to make David and Bathsheba realise the sins they had committed. As a result the son they bore died. Nathan told David, God had forgiven him but there would be calamity in his household.

 

Why is Bathsheba great?

You must be wondering why I think Bathsheba is great. After all she did with David committing adultery, murder, deceit, lust and betraying Uriah. However she turned it all around. From a woman whose sin resulted into murder, became a blessed woman with favour. God blessed David and Bathsheba with a son called Solomon which the Bible says the Lord loved him. David was repentant of his sin and it seems Bathsheba was too, otherwise God would not have blessed her with this child. God could have given Solomon to one of David’s wives, but he chose Bathsheba. Bathsheba continued to have influence over David which is seen when she reminded David of his promise to her. This promise was that their son would be his successor. Bathsheba’s son, Solomon was known for his wisdom which is seen in Proverbs, Ecclesiastes and Songs of Solomon. Solomon became King and was known not for only his wisdom but also his wealth and power. To have a child who was an extraordinary blessing, Bathsheba herself must have been great.

Indeed, Bathsheba was a great woman as she was included in the genealogy of Jesus Christ in Matthew 1. This is evidence that God restored Bathsheba to divine favour.

 

What can we learn from Bathsheba?

We can learn from Bathsheba, that God can turn it around. He can take away our sin and make it clean. All we need to do, is to be repentant of our sins. I am amazed at how God blessed Bathsheba- look at how she started and look at how she ended! From the woman who lead a King to commit murder, then give birth to a renowned wise King and became an ancestor of Jesus. This is a 360! Bathsheba did not allow one sin to ruin her life. Instead she used her mistake to  direct her future steps.  God can take our sins and turn it into something great!

Deborah-The Prophetess Judge

Bible Reference-Judges 4, Judges 5

Family Background-She was the wife of Lappidoth

Name Meaning-A bee

Who is Deborah?

Deborah was a prophetess, a judge and a warrior. She is introduced to us in Judges 4:4 as a wife and a prophetess leading Israel. At this time, Israel was under the King of Canaan who was oppressing them. The commander of his army was Sisera. Immediately as you read this passage, you get a sense that Deborah was a woman of substance. She was leading a nation, was a wife, prophetess and a counsellor. She is also described as the ‘mother of Israel’ in Judges 5:7. This shows that Deborah was a maternal figure to all of Israel, that she took everyone in and was a mother to all.

Why is Deborah great?

I believe Deborah was great because of her role as a Judge of Israel. She is the only noted female judge in the scripture where  she sat under a palm tree named after her. Deborah’s role as a ruler is extraordinary, as at that time women would have been in the background. However she gave justice and settled disputes under her palm tree. Deborah was  a wise and intelligent woman to lead a land where it had peace for forty years.

I also admire the patriotism and fight Deborah had in her. She was brave and had great courage. This can be seen when she sent Barak to lead the 10,000 army and deliver Israel from their oppressors. Barak was hesitant to go, but he wished that Deborah would go with him. This shows that Deborah was respected as a fearless and brave warrior. Sisera had commanded 900 iron chariots. However Deborah declared that God had given Sisera into their hands. This came to pass where Barak and his men won the battle where not one man was left. Deborah knew that when God is on your side of the battle, that the enemy cannot win.

In Judges 5, the song of Deborah can be seen. This demonstrates not only could Deborah prophesy, lead battles and counsel but she could write. Deborah was a songwriter and a poetess. The song gives praise to God for delivering Israel through their leaders. Deborah was a woman of many talents.

What can we learn from Deborah?

Deborah was an incredible leader. Deborah had a remarkable personality and various gifts which delivered Israel from its enemy. She was gifted with wisdom and courage. I also admire how her reputation is based on her own merit, rather than coming from someone else. Most great women in the Bible, were married to great men or related to one. However Deborah did it on her own. Girl power! From this I learnt that you do not always have to rely on someone’s name to be great, you can carve out a name for yourself. She trusted in God’s words that he gave her. I also learnt that in a powerful position you must be grateful, thankful and humble. This is seen in the Song of Deborah when she magnifies God for enabling her and Barak to conquer Israel’s enemy.

 

Stay Blessed

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Word of the week- HOPE (11/8/13-25/8/13)

Word of the week- HOPE (11/8/13-25/8/13)

Psalms 39 7

This week I chose hope as my word. I have decided to do my 2 in 1 again, focusing on hope for two weeks. The word hope means the feeling that what is wanted can be had or that events will turn out for the best. It also means a person or thing in which expectations are centred. The word hope along with faith and love are important concepts in Christianity. Hope biblically means a strong and confident expectation. It is the anticipation that there is something favourable coming under God. Hope is based on God’s promises and having confidence in them. This differs to the earthly hope where hope is a feeling that what is wanted. Earthy hope is a feeling where there there can be doubt. Biblical hope is an assurance that there is an favourable outcome-there is no doubt attached. The earthly hope definition can cause vagueness. However when hope is based on something and has a foundation, then it can be considered genuine. The bible bases its hope in God. The word of God gives us hope and gives us confidence for our hopes to be fulfilled.

Hope is a fundamental part of our lives. Without hope in our lives, life loses its meaning. In Job 7:6, it describes how your days can be lifeless without hope. The Bible states those who hope and trust in the Lord, they shall be helped. This is seen in Psalms 28:7.  Additionally, those who have hope in the Lord will not put to shame or be disappointed (Isaiah 43:29). Jeremiah 29:11 is a verse that I love and live on. It reminds us that our hopes and plans are under all God’s control. He promises us not only a hope in the future but protection and help. God’s got it! In Matthew 12:21, we can find hope in Jesus. It in his name that we can all find hope. We can find this hope through the salvation that Christ gave us when he died for us. Through this hope, our lives are forever changed because the gift of salvation. We can  have assurance that Christ is in our lives because of this. Christians can have hope in the return of Christ,  resurrection of Jesus, the presence of the holy spirit, eternal life, the salvation of God, eternal glory and the promises of God.

Romans 5:2-5 tells us that there is glory in sufferings. This is because it states that our suffering produces perseverance, perseverance builds character and this gives us hope. This journey gives us assurance in the things of God. The things we may be expecting or hoping for may not happen at the time we want it. However, God’s time is the best. My hope is in God and his promises. Sometimes we may go through difficult things. It may be that we are facing rejections and having bad days but we have to remind ourselves that there is hope in Jesus. I am constantly reminding myself of this. I also have wonderful friends and family who tell me this too. Sisters and Brothers, Encourage yourselves!

Here are some bible verses on hope:

Romans 12:12 (NIV)- Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.

1 Peter 1:3 (NIV)- Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.

Psalms 33:22 (NIV)-May your unfailing love be with us, Lord,
even as we put our hope in you.

Romans 4:18 (NIV)-Against all hope, Abraham in hope believed and so became the father of many nations, just as it had been said to him, So shall your offspring be.

Psalms 146:5 (NIV)-Blessed are those whose help is the God of Jacob,whose hope is in the Lord their God.

Hebrews 11:1 (NIV)-Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.

Psalms 39:7 (NIV)-But now, Lord, what do I look for? My hope is in you.

1 Peter 1:21 (NIV)-Through him you believe in God, who raised him from the dead and glorified him, and so your faith and hope are in God.

Titus 2:13 (NIV)-while we wait for the blessed hope—the appearing of the glory of our great God and Saviour, Jesus Christ

Proverbs 23:18 (NIV)- There is surely a future hope for you, and your hope will not be cut off.

Job 11:18 (NIV)- You will be secure, because there is hope;you will look about you and take your rest in safety.

1 Thessalonians 1:3 (NIV)-We remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labour prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.

Romans 15:13 (NIV)-May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Psalms 119:81 (NIV)-My soul faints with longing for your salvation,
but I have put my hope in your word

Romans 8:24-25 (NIV)-For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what they already have? But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.

Psalms 71:14 (NIV)- As for me, I will always have hope; I will praise you more and more.

Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV)-For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

Psalm 43:5 (NIV)-Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him,
my Saviour and my God.

Job 14:7-9 (NIV)-At least there is hope for a tree: If it is cut down, it will sprout again, and its new shoots will not fail. Its roots may grow old in the ground and its stump die in the soil, yet at the scent of water it will bud and put forth shoots like a plant.

Romans 5:3-5 (NIV)-Not only so, but wealso glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.

Psalms 119:49 (NIV)-Remember your word to your servant, for you have given me hope.

2 Thessalonians 2:16-17 (NIV)-May our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and by his grace gave us eternal encouragement and good hope, encourage your hearts and strengthen you in every good deed and word.

Hebrews 6:18-19 (NIV)-God did this so that, by two unchangeable things in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled to take hold of the hope set before us may be greatly encouraged. We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain.

Acts 24:15 (NIV)-and I have the same hope in God as these men themselves have, that there will be a resurrection of both the righteous and the wicked

Titus 3:7 (NIV)-so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life.

Stay Blessed

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Great women of the bible challenge- ABIGAIL & Anna

I hope you all are having a lovely weekend. I decided early in the week that I would do a ‘Great Women of the Bible Challenge’. This is where I would look at two great women of the Bible each week. I want to be a great woman and there is nothing better than drawing inspiration from powerful women. I was inspired by my best friend who was doing something similar. I saw the great effect it was having on her and thought I need some of that lol! I can’t miss out! This week it starts with Abigail and Anna. Hope you are all blessed by it. Enjoy!

Abigail- A woman with beauty and brains

Bible Reference1 Samuel 25:1-42; 2 Samuel 3.3

Family background– The Bible does not point to Abigail’s family history or background. All we know she was married to Nabal. The meaning of Abigail’s name indicates that maybe her father was a joyous person.

Name Meaning– Father’s joy or gives joy

Who is Abigail?

We are introduced to Abigail in 1 Samuel 25:3.  She is married to a man called Nabal who was very wealthy.  Nabal could be viewed as the  modern day Donald Trump. He owned property in Carmel and  4000 goats and sheep.

Abigail’s description in the Bible was that ‘she was an intelligent and beautiful woman’. She was a woman with beauty and brains. Today, many believe that their beauty that will open doors for them. Yes, this is true at times. However, beauty does not last forever. Abigail demonstrates in this passage how important it is to have intelligence. She shows women that beauty and intelligence work hand in hand. Her intelligence equalled her beauty. To have a beautiful mind and a beautiful appearance is highly admirable and something that many should inspire to have.

Why is Abigail great?

I find it fascinating that Abigail was this beautiful and intelligent woman yet her husband Nabal was mean and surly. Abigail was painted in a good light whilst her husband was painted in a bad light. It seems like Abigail and Nabal were opposites. I think Abigail must have been patient to be married to a man who was not kind. This would take a lot of understanding. It also suggests she was down to earth and humble. The way the bible emphasises her beauty, she could have the attitude of  ‘I am far too hot for this, bye’. However she respected the value and the institution of marriage. I think we can learn from Abigail where we should have patience with unkind people. It also teaches us to be humble and down to earth. Just because you are a ‘hottie’ or a ‘great beauty’ does not mean you should be boastful or have a proud heart.

David moved to the desert of Paran whilst he was there he treated Nabal’s shepherds well. The scripture points out that that Nabal’s shepherds even spent time with David and his companions. At this time David was in the wilderness, he sent his ten young men with a kind message of good health and long life. They heard that it was sheep wearing time and wished Nabal to give them whatever they could find. Can you imagine the rude behaviour Nabal displayed to David’s men? He told them ‘Who is David?’, ‘Who is the son of Jesse?’. This demonstrates Nabal’s churlish behaviour. He definitely knew who David was. How can you mention his father’s name and claim that you don’t know him? As for this Mr Churlish, I think he knew David and that he is the King in waiting. I think Nabal just did not like David. Can you imagine someone displaying that kind of behaviour to Prince Charles? Or Prince William? That is what Nabal did. Adding insult to injury he refused to give food to David’s men. He also said that he would not give it to men that he knows from no where when the food is for his shearers. This shows Nabal’s selfish, harsh and brutal character.

Word got back to David. David was ANGRY. The Bible mentions strapping the sword thrice. David meant business and was coming for Nabal Churlish. A servant told Abigail of her husband’s lack of social graces. The servant mentions that Nabal is such a wicked man that no one can talk to him. The fact that the servant came to Abigail, suggests that she was the logical one in their household. This can be seen when the Bible says she ‘acted quickly’. She went out without telling her husband to meet David with food supplies. A woman of this period, probably risked the anger of their husband by going out without permission. I applaud and commend her bravery! She did what she had to do, to save her household.

When Abigail saw him she fell with face down to the ground. I love the respect, humility and submission she showed David. She mentions that her husband is just like his name-foolish.No wonder his behaviour is foolish. She asks David to spare her household. I love that Abigail knew who David was in the Lord.

‘ The Lord your God will certainly make a lasting dynasty for my lord, because you fight the Lord’s battles, and no wrongdoing will be found in you as long as you live. Even though someone is pursuing you to take your life, the life of my lord will be bound securely in the bundle of the living by the Lord your God, but the lives of your enemies he will hurl away as from the pocket of a sling. When the Lord has fulfilled for my lord every good thing he promised concerning him and has appointed him ruler over Israel, my lord will not have on his conscience the staggering burden of needless bloodshed or of having avenged himself. And when the Lord your God has brought my lord success, remember your servant’

Indeed, Abigail was a wise woman. She recognised who David was. She had a great understanding and judgement of David.  I believe that David was moved by Abigail’s wisdom and judgement which lead him to to preserve Nabal’s household. He states that if it was not for Abigail’s wisdom he would have destroyed Nabal’s household. He respected Abigail for the care she had for her husband and household.

When Abigail returned home, Nabal was having a party and was extremely drunk ‘holding a banquet like that of a king’. How did Abigail deal with her husband? I know many of us could not do it. I certainly could not. She told him later of her actions when he was sober. The Bible describes that he had heart failure and become like stone. He died ten days later.

David then remembered Abigail. He sent his servants to ask Abigail to become his wife and she accepted willingly. Lol, who would not remember Abigail? A woman of beauty, intelligence, wisdom, bravery and humility of course David would want to marry her. She saw herself as a servant and even was ready to wash David’s servants feet. Such humility!

Abigail is mentioned another time in the Bible, as the mother of David’s second child.

What can we learn from Abigail?

I have learnt a great deal from Abigail. Her story is an example of submission, courage and wisdom even in times of danger. Abigail was truly an amazing woman. She was respectful and humble. I love the way she was so humble to fall down to the ground. This really moved me. I know many of us would be like I aint bowing down for nobody. However Abigail’s bowing down is something that we can learn from, that we should be respectful, humble and submissive.

Anna- The Prophetess

Bible ReferenceLuke 2:36-38

Family background-Anna was the daughter of Phanuel. The name Phanuel means the face of God. This suggests that Anna may have come from a family that seeked God or a devout religious family. She was from the Asher Tribe. Anna had a husband, but he died.

Name Meaning– Grace or Favour

Who is Anna?

Anna appears in the Bible in Luke 2:36-38.  The Bible describes her as a prophet. So Anna was a woman of God who heard and spoke from God. She was a widow, she had been married for seven years but her husband died. The scripture describes her as very old.

Why is Anna great?

Anna was great because she seeked God’s face and presence. She never left God’s temple, fasting and praying everyday. She knew the importance of worshipping God. She recognised that Mary and Joseph’s child, Jesus was the saviour and gave thanks.

What can we learn from Anna?

I admire Anna’s longing to be with God at all times. It seems like she was a woman who loved spending timing with God. The constant fasting and prayer showed she wanted to draw closer to God. Nowadays many of us regard fasting as old fashioned. I, myself was guilty of this some time back. However I have realised the importance of fasting and prayer. Fasting and praying are key principles in our faith. Jesus himself highlighted the importance of fasting and praying. It is important to fast and pray because we may need to seek God on important decisions in our lives. It also makes us stronger against the flesh and can bring breakthroughs. Anna knew the importance of fasting and praying.

 

Stay Blessed

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Word of the week-PRAISE & WORSHIP (04/08/13-11/08/13)

Word of the week-PRAISE & WORSHIP (04/08/13-11/08/13)

Hebrews 13 15

This week I chose praise & worship as my word. Praise can be described as the act of expressing approval or admiration; commendation; laudation. It is also the offering of great homage to God in a words or a song e.g. ‘For who you are’ by Hillsong or the hymn ‘Great is Thy Faithfulness’. Worship is defined as reverent honour and homage paid to God. It can also be described as the object of adoration and reverence.

Many of us confuse praise and worship as the same, although its closely related there are differences. The sacrifice of praise is the fruit of the lips whilst worship is the fruit of the heart. Praise can be seen as outward actions whilst worship is the adoration of God in our lives. David was a great example of a man of praise. The book he wrote ‘Psalms’ is full of praises. Praise has elements of sacrifice. In Hebrews 13:15 and  Jeremiah 33:11 it describes how we should give sacrifice of praise to God. When we are giving a sacrifice of praise we are letting go and surrendering to God. This can be done by opening our mouths and praising him. In the Old Testament sacrifice was done by offering the sacrifice of animals. We no longer need to do this. Instead we pour out sacrificial praises from our lips. Psalm 50:8-15  describes that God wants sacrifice of thank offerings rather than sacrifice of animals.Worship can be expressed by living a godly life by honouring God’s commandments. True Worship is done in spirit and truth. This means when we come before God we are sincere in our worship.

It is important to have praise and worship in our lives for several reasons. One is because of who God is-all powerful, all knowing and all loving. We worship him because of who he is not for only what he does. He deserves nothing but honour and reverence.  Another reason praise and worship is important is because it brings us closer to God. We enter into his presence and invite the holy spirit in during time of praise and worship. God inhibits the praise of his people. This means that God enters the atmosphere with his people where there is true praise and worship.  Another reason praise and worship is powerful is because it can send our enemies running. There are many examples of where God has delivered his people from the enemies through praise and worship. In 2 Chronicles 20, the people of Ammon, Moab and others came to battle against Jehoshaphat and Judah. God told his people not to be afraid for the battle is his. Jehoshaphat and all of Judah bowed down and worshipped God. Then Jehoshaphat sent people before the army to sing praises. When the people began to sing praises God ambushed Judah’s enemies and they were defeated. Judah means praise. I believe that Judah being a people of praise, knew the power of praise and what God can do through it.

Here are some bible verses on praise and worship:

Hebrews 13:15 (NIV)-Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise—the fruit of lips that openly profess his name

Psalm 150:1-6 (NIV)-Praise the Lord.Praise God in his sanctuary;
praise him in his mighty heavens. Praise him for his acts of power; praise him for his surpassing greatness. Praise him with the sounding of the trumpet, praise him with the harp and lyre,
praise him with timbrel and dancing, praise him with the strings and pipe, praise him with the clash of cymbals, praise him with resounding cymbals.  Let everything that has breath praise the Lord.Praise the Lord

Psalm 100:4 (NIV)-Enter his gates with thanksgiving
and his courts with praise;give thanks to him and praise his name.

Ephesians 5:19 (NIV)-Speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit. Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord

Psalm 95:1-6 (NIV)-Come, let us sing for joy to the Lord;
let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation.  Let us come before him with thanksgiving and extol him with music and song. For the Lord is the great God, the great King above all gods. In his hand are the depths of the earth, and the mountain peaks belong to him.The sea is his, for he made it, and his hands formed the dry land. Come, let us bow down in worship, let us kneel before the Lord our Maker

John 4:24 (NIV)- God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.

Psalm 96:1-9 (NIV)- Sing to the Lord a new song; sing to the Lord, all the earth. Sing to the Lord, praise his name;
proclaim his salvation day after day. Declare his glory among the nations, his marvellous deeds among all peoples. For great is the Lord and most worthy of praise; he is to be feared above all gods.
 For all the gods of the nations are idols, but the Lord made the heavens.  Splendour and majesty are before him;
strength and glory are in his sanctuary. Ascribe to the Lord, all you families of nations, ascribe to the Lord glory and strength.
Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name; bring an offering and come into his courts. Worship the Lord in the splendour of his holiness; tremble before him, all the earth.

1 Chronicles 16:29 (NIV)-Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name;bring an offering and come before him. Worship the Lord in the splendour of hisholiness

Psalm 100:2 (NIV)- Worship the Lord with gladness; come before him with joyful songs

John 4:23 (NIV)-Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks.

Colossians 3:16 (NIV)-Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts

Stay Blessed

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Word of the week- PROMISES (21/07/13-04/08/13)

Word of the week- PROMISES (21/07/13-04/08/13)

2 Peter 1 4

This week I chose promises as the word. However I decided to do a 2 for 1- 2 weeks for a word. I felt lead to focus on the word of God’s promises. The word promise can be defined as a declaration that something will or will not be done . It also means an express assurance on which expectation is to based. However the definition of promises to man and what God sees as promises are different. Man may promise another man but go back on his word- ‘Sorry, I can not do this now’. We all have heard this before. However, God is not a man that will disappoint, he is not a man that will lie, what he has promised will come to pass. Trust him, have faith, believe and stand on the promises of God.  He can open the door that no one can shut- whether it is your healing, your job, your ministry, your business or your education it is done. God’s promises was true in the past, true now and will always be. Be expectant of the promises that God has given in your life.

He is the same yesterday, today and forever. What he did back in the Bible, he can still do it today. He is the God of Moses, the God who delivered the Israelites, the God of Abraham and the God who healed the blind and the sick. What can’t he do for you and I? In God’s appointed time, his promises upon your life will come.

Here are some Bible verses on promises:

2 Peter 1:4-Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires (NIV).

Jeremiah 29:11-13- For I know the plans for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart (NIV).

2 Corinthians 1:20-For no matter how many promises God has made, they are “Yes” in Christ. And so through him the “Amen” is spoken by us to the glory of God (NIV).

Jeremiah 30:17-But I will restore you to health
and heal your wounds, declares the Lord (NIV).

Titus 1:2- In the hope of eternal life, which God, who does not lie, promised before the beginning of time (NIV).

Isaiah 53:4-5-Surely he took up our pain and bore our suffering,
yet we considered him punished by God, stricken by him, and afflicted.But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him,
and by his wounds we are healed (NIV).

Philippians 4:19-And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus (NIV).

Deuteronomy 7:6-15-For you are a people holy to the Lord your God. The Lord your God has chosen you out of all the peoples on the face of the earth to be his people, his treasured possession.The Lord did not set his affection on you and choose you because you were more numerous than other peoples, for you were the fewest of all peoples. But it was because the Lord loved you and kept the oath he swore to your ancestors that he brought you out with a mighty hand and redeemed you from the land of slavery, from the power of Pharaoh king of Egypt. Know therefore that the Lord your God is God; he is the faithful God, keeping his covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love him and keep his commandments. But those who hate him he will repay to their face by destruction;
he will not be slow to repay to their face those who hate him. Therefore, take care to follow the commands, decrees and laws I give you today.If you pay attention to these laws and are careful to follow them, then the Lord your God will keep his covenant of love with you, as he swore to your ancestors.  He will love you and bless you and increase your numbers. He will bless the fruit of your womb, the crops of your land—your grain, new wine and olive oil—the calves of your herds and the lambs of your flocks in the land he swore to your ancestors to give you.  You will be blessed more than any other people; none of your men or women will be childless, nor will any of your livestock be without young. The Lord will keep you free from every disease. He will not inflict on you the horrible diseases you knew in Egypt, but he will inflict them on all who hate you (NIV).

Deuteronomy 15:6-For the Lord your God will bless you as he has promised, and you will lend to many nations but will borrow from none. You will rule over many nations but none will rule over you (NIV).

Deuteronomy 28:1-14-If you fully obey the Lord your God and carefully follow all his commands I give you today, the Lord your God will set you high above all the nations on earth. All these blessings will come on you and accompany you if you obey the Lord your God: You will be blessed in the city and blessed in the country. The fruit of your womb will be blessed, and the crops of your land and the young of your livestock—the calves of your herds and the lambs of your flocks.Your basket and your kneading trough will be blessed.You will be blessed when you come in and blessed when you go out. The Lord will grant that the enemies who rise up against you will be defeated before you. They will come at you from one direction but flee from you in seven. The Lord will send a blessing on your barns and on everything you put your hand to. The Lord your God will bless you in the land he is giving you.The Lord will establish you as his holy people, as he promised you on oath, if you keep the commands of the Lord your God and walk in obedience to him.  Then all the peoples on earth will see that you are called by the name of the Lord, and they will fear you. The Lord will grant you abundant prosperity—in the fruit of your womb, the young of your livestock and the crops of your ground—in the land he swore to your ancestors to give you.The Lord will open the heavens, the storehouse of his bounty, to send rain on your land in season and to bless all the work of your hands. You will lend to many nations but will borrow from none. The Lord will make you the head, not the tail. If you pay attention to the commands of the Lord your God that I give you this day and carefully follow them, you will always be at the top, never at the bottom. Do not turn aside from any of the commands I give you today, to the right or to the left, following other gods and serving them (NIV).

Philippians 1:6- Being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus (NIV).

Jeremiah 17:7-8-But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord,
whose confidence is in him. They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green.It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit (NIV).

Mark 16:17-18-And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues; they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well (NIV).

Isaiah 40:31- But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles;they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint (NIV).

Jeremiah 33:6-Nevertheless, I will bring health and healing to it; I will heal my people and will let them enjoy abundant peace and security (NIV).

Stay Blessed

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