Monthly Archives: March 2016

Avoid fooling around on April the 1st (April fool’s day)

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The first day of the month of April, is usually when most of the world practices what called “April Fool’s Day”. Christians should avoid indulging in the antics of this day and rather pray for wisdom for themselves and others.

It’s a noble thought to desire that your friends and family become wise and intelligent. It’s vain to provoke them to fear, shock and outrage by deliberately fooling them or rather tricking them. Such thoughts which are deceptive are not as per the will of God.

In order to fool someone of April Fool’s Day, people of the world tell lies, they also deceive others in various means.  So if you see a picture of a panda on an elephant be assured that it’s a trick to fool you. Rather pictures human beings riding an elephant are more realistic. I mean on this day (maybe others try it all year round) there are plenty of lies being told through videos, news reports, images and what not. Be on guard against them. It’s best to avoid trusting the news and messages that you might receive on such a day.

Jesus Christ is the Way, the Truth and the Life. All his followers must therefore, not lie! The Bible does not tell us to lie, it in fact tells us not to lie and not to sin with our speech and actions. Life your life unto the Lord in honesty and integrity of heart. If the world wants to sin by indulging in April Fool’s day, its only because they have chosen so because they have accepted falsehood as their all. While you have the Word of God to guide and lead you, so never say you cannot reject the sinful ways of the world. Say yes to Christ in all your words and actions, let them always be true and wholesome.

 

Bible verses for reflection:

  • Lying lips are an abomination to the Lord, but those who act faithfully are his delight. (Proverbs 12:22)
  • Better is a poor person who walks in his integrity than one who is crooked in speech and is a fool. (Proverbs 19:1)
  • Be not a witness against your neighbor without cause, and do not deceive with your lips. (Proverbs 24:28)
  • And as you wish that others would do to you, do so to them. (Luke 6:31)
  • “So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets. (Matthew 7:12)
  • Therefore, having put away falsehood, let each one of you speak the truth with his neighbor, for we are members one of another. (Ephesians 4:25)
  • Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you. (Ephesians 4:31-32)
  • Pray for us, for we are sure that we have a clear conscience, desiring to act honorably in all things. (Hebrews 13:18)
  • But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the detestable, as for murderers, the sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their portion will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death.” (Revelation 21:8)
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If Jesus Came to Your House

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Sin by any other name is still sin

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Labelling sin by giving it other names doesn’t lessen the consequences of it.

Pray for those affected in the church bombing in Pakistan (March 2016)

While in the earlier post I had shown how preaching goes on in Pakistan, I’d now also want to show that persecution and terror is real over there.

On Resurrection Day, the 27th of March 2016, as per the new reports “a bomber blew himself up near an entrance to Gulshan-e- Iqbal Park in the Pakistani city of Lahore, close to a children’s play area on Sunday evening. The sound of the explosion was heard several kilometres away and eyewitnesses said there were big crowds in the area because of the Easter holiday.”

Here’s what a news snippet from the Guardian news agency says:

“A faction of the Pakistani Taliban, Jamaat-ul-Ahrar, claimed responsibility for the explosion, saying it was targeted at Christians celebrating Easter. A spokesman for the group, Ehsanullah Ehsan, told the Guardian: “We have carried out this attack to target the Christians who were celebrating Easter. Also this is a message to the Pakistani prime minister that we have arrived in Punjab [the ruling party’s home province].” However the Punjab government denied the claim that the bombing was aimed exclusively at Christians, as those in the park were from all backgrounds.” (read full article : http://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/mar/27/dozens-killed-in-blast-outside-lahore-park-pakistan)

The fact that Resurrection day was chosen and the terrorist group directly claimed they intended to attack Christians, shows that persecution against Christians in Pakistan does exist, though the government may officially deny it.

 

Pics from CNN

Image source : CNN

 

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Image source : CNN

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Rescue workers and police gather near the site where a suicide bomber blew himself up in a crowded park in Lahore, Pakistan, on Sunday, March 27. The blast killed at least 60 people and injured 200, according to health adviser for Punjab province Khawaja Salman Rafique. Image source: CNN

Rescue workers and police gather near the site where a suicide bomber blew himself up in a crowded park in Lahore, Pakistan, on Sunday, March 27. The blast killed at least 60 people and injured 200, according to health adviser for Punjab province Khawaja Salman Rafique. Image source: CNN

 

Taliban says it targeted Christians in a park on Easter Sunday, killing 65 : http://www.latimes.com/world/la-fg-pakistan-blast-20160327-story.html

Pray for those affected by the bomb blasts that killed lots of people. Pray for the victims and their families. Also keep in your prayers both Christians and non christians who are affected by this brutal bombing.

Ask in faith, that the workers of sin, who carried out this blast are punished by the Pakistani government and if that government cannot do so, then let the Lord God still find other workers of justice who are truly capable and willing to get justice done.

Finally, pray that the preaching of the Gospel still goes on even more strongly in Pakistan.

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Photos of preaching in Pakistan

Here are few photos a few preachers based off in South Africa who were preaching in Pakistan. South Africa now preaches the Gospel of Jesus Christ to various nations. The photo’s were taken in September 15-28th 2015, around the city of Lahore, Pakistan.

But first let’s know our man on the ground. Pastor Saleem Saddique (Graduate, Rhema Bible College, SA) from Tell The Nations Church, Pakistan. Here’s a photo of him in South Africa.

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Pastor Saleem Saddique preaching in Pakistan

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Here come my brothers in Christ, Martin Lloyd and in the next image Chris Chitts. Both are from South Africa. Pastor Saleem doubled up as their translator apart from being their host.

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The preaching was spread over a couple of days. So expect them wearing up different clothes each day.

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A baptism in Pakistan

Saleem Saddique

Praying for a Pakistani man.

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More preaching – Now in a ghetto.

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Many people including those who were sick arrived for the preaching in the ghetto for their healing. The reviews were amazing!

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Ministering to the people. Couldn’t get the name of the preacher in the checked shirt but I do wish him well.

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Praying over a child.

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Pastor André Smith doing the preaching as well as praying over others.

 

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A little camaraderie after preaching.

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A mission trip review.

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Courtesy of the photos : harvest-timenews.com

Participating ministries were : Spirit Formed Ministries, South Africa  and Harvest Time Ministries, Praetoria, South Africa.

Happy and blessed Resurrection Day of Jesus Christ

When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead. But he [Jesus] laid his right hand on me, saying, “Fear not, I am the first and the last, and the living one. I died, and behold I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of Death and Hades. (Revelation 1:17-18)

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Take heed to the resurrection of the Lord and you’ll be courageous and not fearful. By his resurrection we have the confidence of eternal life forever. Wishing all in Christ, a happy and blessed Resurrection Day of Jesus Christ!

Fragrance of resurrection

Rising up on the third day,
Doing things God’s way.
A sacrifice painful to endure,
Sinless Lamb of God all pure.

A fragrant offering and sacrifice,
God’s mercy through Jesus does suffice.
No decay in his death nor grave was found,
He fulfilled the Law of Moses all around.

Christ became a worthy offering in love,
Unto the Lord God above.
Jesus died for us crucified,
At the Father’s right hand now glorified.

Death couldn’t hold him up forever,
Because he is holy and sinned never.
God raised him from the dead O behold,
His prophets the resurrection foretold.

The fragrance of the knowledge of Jesus is good,
For he overcame sin and death by the cross of wood.
This aroma spreads everywhere in triumphant procession,
Led by Jesus Christ who gives us redemption.

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Verses for reflection:

14 But thanks be to God, who in Christ always leads us in triumphal procession, and through us spreads the fragrance of the knowledge of him everywhere. 15 For we are the aroma of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing, 16 to one a fragrance from death to death, to the other a fragrance from life to life. Who is sufficient for these things? 17 For we are not, like so many, peddlers of God’s word, but as men of sincerity, as commissioned by God, in the sight of God we speak in Christ. (2 Corinthians 2:14-17)

Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. (Ephesians 5:1-2)

12 But when Christ had offered for all time a single sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God, 13 waiting from that time until his enemies should be made a footstool for his feet. 14 For by a single offering he has perfected for all time those who are being sanctified. (Hebrews 10:12-14)

Can a person not believe in the resurrection of Jesus Christ and still be saved?

If anyone believes that Jesus Christ exists that person’s faith is still incomplete, if he or she does not believe in the resurrection of Jesus Christ. This will be a great hindrance to that person receiving salvation.

Those who say he was never crucified by citing any reason or religious authority, are not saved either. For the resurrection to happen there would need to be a death. Not any type of death but that by crucifixion. Again, there is no resurrection of Jesus Christ without the crucifixion. Jesus himself spoke of his death and resurrection as mentioned in the below verses:

  • And Jesus began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders and the chief priests and the scribes and be killed, and after three days rise again. (Mark 8:31)
  • saying, “The Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised.” (Luke 9:22)

The crucifixion was foretold in Psalm 22, of which here are the specific verses:

16 For dogs encompass me; a company of evildoers encircles me; they have pierced my hands and feet17 I can count all my bones—they stare and gloat over me;18 they divide my garments among them, and for my clothing they cast lots. (Psalm 22:16-18)

This prophecy about Jesus was fulfilled and mention in the Gospel of Matthew (Chapter 19:23-24)

23 When the soldiers had crucified Jesus, they took his garments and divided them into four parts, one part for each soldier; also his tunic. But the tunic was seamless, woven in one piece from top to bottom, 24 so they said to one another, “Let us not tear it, but cast lots for it to see whose it shall be.” This was to fulfill the Scripture which says,They divided my garments among them, and for my clothing they cast lots.”

The following verses show that one must confess and believe that God raised Jesus from the dead, to receive salvation:

5 For Moses writes about the righteousness that is based on the law, that the person who does the commandments shall live by them. 6 But the righteousness based on faith says, “Do not say in your heart, ‘Who will ascend into heaven?’” (that is, to bring Christ down) 7 “or ‘Who will descend into the abyss?’” (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead). 8 But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith that we proclaim); 9 because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved. (Romans 10:5-10)

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, (1 Peter 1:3)

 

Conclusion:

14 Now after John was arrested, Jesus came into Galilee, proclaiming the gospel of God, 15 and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.” (Mark 1:14-15)

Jesus said “repent and believe in the Gospel”. One needs to repent of sin, because it’s the command of Jesus. Now, believing in the Gospel includes believing in the atoning death of Jesus Christ and also his glorious resurrection. Those who don’t believe in the death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus will not be saved, unless they repent of their unbelief and believe in the Gospel completely. And by this I mean they believe that God raised Jesus from the dead.

 

Related Articles:

Give them all to Jesus (Video)

Note: This song was sung by Christy Lane.

Lyrics:

Are you tired of chasing pretty rainbows
Are you tired of spinning round and round
Wrap up all the shattered dreams of your life
And at the feet of Jesus lay them down

Give them all (give them all)
Give them all (give them all.)
Give them all to Jesus
Shattered dreams, wounded hearts, broken toys
Give them all (give them all)
Give them all (give them all.)
Give them all to Jesus
And he will turn your sorrows into joy

He never said you’d only see sunshine
He never said there’d be no rain
He only promised us a heart full of singing
That’s the very thing that once brought pain

Give them all (give them all)
Give them all (give them all…)
Give them all to Jesus
Shattered dreams, wounded hearts, broken toys Give them all (give them all)
Give them all (give them all…)
Give them all to Jesus
And he will turn your sorrows into joy

Verses for reflection:

casting all your anxieties on him, because he [Jesus Christ] cares for you. (1 Peter 5:7)

And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes, and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain; for the former things are passed away. (Revelation 21:4)

Quick reminder: Examine yourself in Christ

Let us test and examine our ways, and return to the LORD! (Lamentations 3:40)

Whoever, therefore, eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty concerning the body and blood of the Lord. Let a person examine himself, then, and so eat of the bread and drink of the cup. For anyone who eats and drinks without discerning the body eats and drinks judgement on himself. (1 Corinthians 11:27-29)

Examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Or do you not realize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed you fail to meet the test! I hope you will find out that we have not failed the test. But we pray to God that you may not do wrong—not that we may appear to have met the test, but that you may do what is right, though we may seem to have failed. (2 Corinthians 13:5-7)

For if anyone thinks he is something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself. But let each one test his own work, and then his reason to boast will be in himself alone and not in his neighbor. For each will have to bear his own load. (Galatians 6: 3-5)

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