Wednesday, February 17, 2021

Beware of Political Strife

 Are you a socialist? Watch out. The devil is also a socialist.

Are you a conservative? Careful! The devil is also a good conservative.

Are you an idealist who wants to save the environment, who believes in a New World Order? The devil is a card-carrying member too.

Are you a conservative patriot who wants to save your country from foreign domination? The devil loves national pride and xenophobia.

The devil manipulates us without ceasing. He stirs up self furious self-righteous indignation every day and everywhere.

The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; 

idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions … Gal 5:19–20 NIV84

"… hatred, discord, ... dissensions, factions ..."

If we look too closely at the schemes of the devil in this world, we will be tempted to embrace belligerent religious or political movements. 

Then we become spiritually blinded by fear, anger and pride. We can no longer clearly perceive the truth of Jesus and the guidance of the Holy Spirit.

When we passionately fight for an ideology, our patriotism or idealism can become a false god without our realising it.

"… hatred, discord, ... dissensions, factions …"

We see these unfortunate tendencies everywhere, unfortunately also among devout Christians.

Where do you fix your eyes, on the schemes of the Antichrist on earth, or on Jesus?

Since you have been raised to new life with Christ, set your sights on the realities of heaven, where Christ sits in the place of honour at God’s right hand.

Think about the things of heaven, not the things of earth.
Colossians 3:1–2 NLT

Sunday, February 14, 2021

God has a Way Out for You

Your situation is impossible.  There is no way out. But with God, nothing is impossible. He has a plan for you.  

Jumping up, they mobbed him and forced him to the edge of the hill on which the town was built. They intended to push him over the cliff,

but he passed right through the crowd and went on his way.
Luke 4:29–30 NLT

How did Jesus escape from the angry crowd? We can only guess.

How can Jesus, get you out of your fix? Only God knows.

How did the Holy Spirit plant the holy seed in Mary's womb so that she conceived the Son of God.

It's a mystery, but with God nothing is impossible.

Gaby Wentland is a preacher in Hamburg who was once a missionary in Africa. She now has another mission in Germany. She helps asylum seekers and sex slaves in brothels.

She says there is more prayer in brothels than in most churches.

A German evangelist once heard God's small still voice in his spirit. He was directed to visit a brothel. He was shocked, but he wanted to obey.

In the brothel he found a decent woman from a distant country. She had been lured to Germany to find work to help her poor family.

The evangelist was able to help her get out of the brothel and return to her family.

God has his ways of helping his children. If you can’t see a way out, God has good plans for you.

He is waiting for your cry for help. Right now.

‘Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.’
Jer 33:3 NIV

Saturday, February 6, 2021

#Near Death Experience.

Yegor was a young Russian communist sent to America on a secret mission. He was tantalised by the freedom in the US, and he wanted to defect, but he was so naïve that he made his intention known.

That was his death sentence. He was poisoned by a KGB agent. A few hours later his body was in a refrigerator in a hospital, but his mind was wide awake. 

He was amazed. He was dead, but he was still alive and conscious. As a communist, he did not believe in an afterlife.

For two days he was freed from his body and could reconsider the reality of his life, but then things got really serious. He was enveloped in deep loneliness and darkness. He knew he was on his way to hell.

"Jesus Christ, if you really exist, please, please take me away from here. Forgive me for all my sins, forgive me for never believing in you, but please, please take me away from here!"

I put my last spark of hope into that prayer, and at the very moment I uttered the last word, the miracle happened: I saw in that pitch-black darkness a small, brilliant light.

Toscani, Gabriel. And then there was light: 35 people, all clinically dead, tell what they saw and experienced "on the other side". Some were in paradise, others in hell. (German Edition) . Kindle Edition.

Jesus revealed himself as a Radiant Light but also as a Loving Presence. Jegor had never experienced such love.

"After two days they took me out of the refrigerator and after another twelve hours they wanted to start the autopsy. Just as the doctor was about to apply the scalpel and make an incision in my chest, I opened my eyes."

Toscani, Gabriel. And then there was light:  (German Edition) . Kindle Edition.

He had to stay in hospital for another nine months. Without the intensive care and God's healing power, he would not have survived.

Only later did he fully understand that it was actually Jesus who had answered his prayer.

It is exactly as it says in the Bible: 

"I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." John 14:6.

I am convinced from the bottom of my heart that what it says is true.

Toscani, Gabriel. And then there was light:  (German Edition) . Kindle Edition.

*** Translated with (free version) ***

I write blogs in English and German. I often use this excellent free software. It makes my work a lot quicker and easier. I originally write this article in German. I recommend this software. It is better than the translator apps provided by Google, Microsoft, Facebook and Twitter.

I edited this English version, but the software is so good, that I didn't need to make many changes.

Jesus the best Therapist

 Many devout Muslims live under the dark clouds of fear. They never know if their obedience will be enough to save them from the flames of hell.

Some compare themselves to not so virtuous nominal Christians, and they feel proud and superior.

Others compare themselves to extremely religious Muslims, and they judge themselves as failures.

Then they can become extremely fanatical because they can never be sure if their religious virtue is enough to save them from hell.

Unfortunately, there are also some Christians who live in this kind of religious no-man's land.

There are Christians who are caught in pornography addiction. They feel helpless to escape from slavery and are full of fear of God's judgement.

There are other Christians who believe in Jesus, but they have never understood that they can only receive their salvation as a gift from God. They live rather like Muslims, with the feeling that they have to earn their salvation.

When you think like that, you can become very strictly religious, and look down on Christians who are not so strictly virtuous. That's exactly how the Pharisees were.

Or you can condemn yourself as inferior because you keep failing.

If you are addicted to pornography or gambling, you desperately need help, from God but also from people.

Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results. James 5:16 NLT

Many Christians need deliverance from demons and many need good counselling or a good therapist. 

Jesus did not come to burden us with guilt complexes. On the contrary.

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. John 10:10 NIV84

Such a life is only possible in close communion with God. God is love. Only those who experience the love of God daily have access to this abundant life.

Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Matthew 11:28 NLT

How do these morbid religious attitudes arise, where legalism, pride or guilt complexes keep us away from the love of God?

Legalistic religion, tradition, unbending or manipulative parents or pastors, narrow-minded culture.
Sin, perversion, abuse, shame.

I know Christians who were seduced or abused as children. That can lead to all kinds of feelings and thoughts, all kinds of waywardness, so that we are full of shame.

If you cannot get rid of wrong thoughts and feelings, you need to know that Jesus loves you unconditionally. Let Jesus be your therapist. He wants to help you, not condemn you.

 Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Matthew 11:28 NLT

Friday, February 5, 2021

#Near Death Experience.

 On Christmas Eve 1999, Miranda felt unwell without warning. Then came terrible pain.

Her husband drove her to the hospital, but by the time she reached the emergency room, she was clinically dead.

Suddenly she felt herself being pulled out of her body and she watched the frantic resuscitation attempts from above.

Then everything went black around her, but she felt no fear. She felt lovingly protected.

Then it became wonderfully bright around her. She met an amazingly loving man who looked directly into her eyes with deep compassion.

Who was this? Jesus or an apostle? She doesn't know to this day, but this spiritual encounter was from God.

The man showed her scenes from her life, especially where she had hurt other people. She felt very ashamed, but she still felt unconditionally loved by the man.

This painful experience was not a condemnation but a rebuke that she never forgot, an epiphany that totally changed her life, for she did not remain dead.

She understood for the first time what Jesus meant by loving your neighbour.

... You shall love your neighbour as yourself. ... Mark 12:31 NKJV

The loving man then asked what she wanted.

... I felt more comfortable than I had ever felt in my life with this man, but I also knew that my time had not yet come, that my family needed me....

... "I want to go back to my family," I then said firmly and without the slightest hint of doubt.

Toscani, Gabriel. And then there was light: 35 people, all clinically dead, tell what they saw and experienced "on the other side". Some were in paradise, others in hell. (German Edition) . Kindle Edition.

Immediately her heart beat again, but then she fell into a coma. She was then put on a heart-lung machine. The doctors still doubted whether she would survive.

Nevertheless, she was transferred to the normal ward three days later. After ten days she was back home, completely healthy.

The doctors cannot explain why her circulation collapsed. Nor can they explain why she had no brain damage after 20 minutes without oxygen.

Many sceptical doctors want to explain away such near-death experiences as sensory delusions, not because the patient is psychotic, but because of brain damage.

But near-death researchers tell many accounts of patients who have no brain damage after being resuscitated.

We might expect that clinically dead patients who survive with brain damage would be somewhat disabled, but many people who tell of near-death experiences lead better lives with a much more positive attitude.

"I have learned from my experience that I consider every minute of my wonderful life a gift and that I treat all people the way I want to be treated."

Toscani, Gabriel. And then there was light: 35 people, all clinically dead, tell what they saw and experienced "on the other side". Some were in paradise, others in hell. (German Edition) . Kindle Edition.

God speaks through Children

 2020 was not just the beginning of a new decade. Because of the pandemic, our familiar world order has come apart at the seams. Many want to return to our old ways, but yesterday's world is never coming back.

Many of us try to explain the crisis with conventional ways of thinking, but traditional world views can often lead us astray.

In times when yesterday's ways no longer work, we see in the Bible that God often speaks through children or teenagers.

  • Mary was a teenager when she became the mother of Jesus.

  • David was also a teenager when he killed Goliath.

  • Samuel was a young boy when he became a prophet.

A seemingly successful pastor of a large American church attended a charismatic event. A very young girl came up to him, put her hand on his head and spoke with amazing boldness.

"Lord, take the junk out of him!"

When the prominent pastor returned to his congregation, he was a very different man. So far he had built an active and well-organised church with his own abilities and spiritual gifts. He himself was the foundation stone of the congregation.

He recognised the pride and self-centredness of his Christian ministry, and he began to focus on Jesus and give the Holy Spirit free rein.

A lot of members left the church, but in a short time the church was much bigger than before.

When we try to solve new problems with conventional approaches, we become like ships without rudders, sailing helplessly in circles.

The preacher who sparked the Welsh revival in 1904 was a man of only 26, Evan Roberts. He was supported by a team of intercessors, four teenager girls.

Children and young people are often much more open to new ideas and revelations from God. We need this openness.

Very many Christians only want to believe and obey God when they understand God's guidance. Children often have an open heart. They can believe and obey even if they don't understand.

Therefore whoever humbles himself as this little child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. Matthew 18:4 NKJV

But Jesus said, “Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of heaven.”
Matthew 19:14 NKJV

When the children hear directly from God, and explain things differently from our old way of thinking, we must take the children seriously. We must not stand in the way of the Holy Spirit.

One of the countless people raised up by God in the Welsh revival was a street preacher who was 15 years old. 

She preached with such heavenly power that thousands of listeners took her seriously and were blessed. Among them were prominent businessmen and rejected prostitutes.

You will not find such testimonies in many books. History is often manipulated to promote  religious traditions.

Where did I hear that? A few years ago we had a Welsh guest preacher in our church. She told wonderful stories about the Welsh revival.

The dramatic works of the Holy Spirit are often swept under the carpet, but those who seek will find.

Tuesday, January 26, 2021

Emergency Operation

 This week is my birthday. I will be 72.

This month I had a dangerous operation. After the operation, my blood pressure suddenly dropped to 60/45, and my pulse to 29. Medical staff quickly gathered around my bed in ICU.

I was thankful to God for good doctors and nurses who knew what to do. They immediately gave me an injection with a heart stimulant.

I didn't even feel afraid. I trusted I was safe in God's hands.

My life with Jesus is eternal, but my mortal body is perishable.

What can I do this week that will make a difference to those around me?

How can I make God's love and truth known today?

“LORD, make me to know my end, And what is the measure of my days, That I may know how frail I am. Psalm 39:4 NKJV

What is your purpose in life? Do you know why God put you on this planet?

If not, have you asked God seriously? He loves you. He wants to answer. He is not deaf and not dumb.

My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. John 10:27 NKJV