Saul And……Saul??

Posted: December 30, 2014 in Uncategorized

Do I have you scratching your heads at the title? If you do bear with me and I will explain. Believe it or not there is a method to my madness here. There are two men in the bible whose name was Saul. One in the Old Testament and one in the New. Both were called and set apart by God to do something great and unique. As a matter of fact, both men were the pioneers in their callings. Lets take a closer look at these men starting with Saul in the Old Testament.

As most of us know, Israel became lazy and complacent in God’s promises once they settled into the land that God had set apart for them. Despite the nation seeing the hand of God move time and time again delivering them from impossible odds in battle, provided food and water for them in the desert, and giving the land flowing with milk and honey to them just like He promised He would, they wanted a king over them just like the other nations. One thing that God has given mankind is a freewill so He granted their request. A man named Saul was chosen. According to 1 Samuel 9:2 Saul was the most handsome man in the whole country and he stood head and shoulders above everyone. Not only that, but Saul was from the tribe of Benjamin which was the smallest tribe in the nation as well as his family being the least of all in the tribe. Saul even mentioned this to Samuel in 1 Samuel 9:21. But God knew what He was doing. I believe he sent a message to the whole nation that it doesn’t matter who you are, what family you are from, or what status you do or don’t have. If God wants you he wants you and He knows us all better than we know ourselves.

In 1 Samuel 10 we read that Saul started out really good. Samuel had told him in verse 6 that God’s Spirit would come upon him and he will prophesy like the prophets did and that sign would show that God was with him. It happened just like God said it would because in verse 11 the people marveled at Saul prophesying. Not only that, but Saul listened to God’s instructions and defeated the Ammonites. However, it went south for Saul really fast in chapter 13. Samuel had told Saul to wait for him at Gilgal and Samuel would offer a sacrifice before the Lord. The problem was Saul and the nation of Israel were in the middle of a war with the Philistines. Saul’s son Jonathan had destroyed one garrison of the Philistines and they had regrouped within those seven days and sent out 30,000 chariots, 6000 horsemen, and soldiers as abundant as the sand on the seashore. Saul waited for the seven days and when Samuel had still not shown up and the people started to scatter before Saul, he took it upon himself and performed the burnt offering himself.

Where it gets really interesting is in 1 Samuel 13:10. Saul had just finished the offering when Samuel arrived. In verse 11 Samuel asked him what he had done and in verses 11 and 12 Saul basically pointed the finger right at Samuel and accused him of not coming when he was supposed to and that he “forced” himself to offer the burnt offering. In verse 13 Samuel gave Saul the bad news: because he disobeyed God his kingdom would be taken from him and be given to someone who was a man after God’s own heart despite God wanting Saul’s kingdom to endure forever. DID YOU GET THAT??? Most of us would agree that David was probably the greatest king that Israel ever had. However, it was never God’s original plan that David would even ascend to the throne. It was supposed to be Saul’s family line that would be on the throne of Israel forever……WOW!!

Now I have heard it taught over the years that Saul lost his kingdom ultimately because he disobeyed God and offered the sacrifice. I could not disagree more. I really believe that the offering had nothing to do with it. Everyone makes mistakes. It was his response when he had to face the facts is what did him in. The fact that Saul snapped back at Samuel, refused to humble himself and ask God for forgiveness and take responsibility for his actions combined with the fact that he didn’t truly trust God to deliver Israel the way his forefathers did is what sunk his ship. From that point on, God’s spirit departed from Saul and he was never the same king until he died. Unfortunately, Saul did not finish well.

Now let’s look at the Saul in the New Testament. We first hear of Saul in Acts 7:58 when the Pharisees began to stone Stephen. Verse 58 said that the witnesses laid their robes at the feet of Saul. And in verse 59 it said they went on stoning Stephen until he died. Chapter 8 begins by saying that Paul was in full agreement of putting Stephen to death and then he went on to lead a great persecution against the church. In verse 3 it says that Paul would go from house to house in Jerusalem and put men and women in prison.  In the New American Standard it says that Saul “ravaged” the church. Pretty strong word, eh? Well, it gets even stronger in Chapter 9:1. It says that Saul was “breathing out” threats and slaughter against the disciples of the Lord. This obviously means Saul was really into this and he thought he was serving the Lord with such zeal that he was doing God a favour. He was so zealous that he went to the high priest and asked him to write letters to the synagogues in Damascus that if Saul found anyone he would have full authority to bring them bound back to Jerusalem and put them in prison.

Verses 3 thru 6 tell us about Jesus Himself getting Saul’s attention and telling him what he must do. Now I know Saul was blinded for 3 days and he didn’t eat or drink anything, but he still had the same freewill King Saul had in the Old Testament. When Ananias laid hands on him in verse 17, Saul received his sight back and was filled with the Holy Spirit just like King Saul was when he was anointed king over Israel. In verse 19 he ate and drank and got his strength back again.

Saul had a calling on his life just like King Saul did. Saul’s calling was to preach the Gospel to the Gentiles which had never been done before. I firmly believe that Saul had a choice to make in verse 19. He could either reject God’s calling and go back to persecuting the church like he previously performed or take the proverbial bull by the horns and trust God and his ways.

Saul (whose name was changed to Paul) made the right choice. Full of zeal now for the gospel of grace, it says in verse 20 that he went immediately to the synagogues in Damascus and preached that Jesus is the Son of God. Can we imagine the hornet’s nest he would have walked into? In verse 21 it started out that the people were amazed that this was the same man who was originally persecuting the church and now was singing the same tune as the people he dragged off to jail. He encountered trouble right off the bat as the Jews in verse 23 plotted to kill him and he had to be let out of a window in a basket at night in verse 25. Wouldn’t that be a fun first day on the job?

Yet despite the increased resistance, Saul radically (and I mean RADICALLY) preached that Jesus is the Son of God and the gosel of grace. He went on to live a life where he was misunderstood by many thinking that God’s grace gave people a licence to sin, he listed what all he had to endure in 2 Corinthians 11:20-33. Let me tell you, that is one crazy list, and yet despite all that he remained faithful to God.

In 2 Timothy 4:7-8. Saul summed it up best. He fought the good fight, he finished his race and he kept the faith. He kept his eyes on the prize which is the crown of righteousness. Wanna know something cool? WE get the same crown he does!! He also gave us the blueprint to achieve what he said in 2 Timothy in Philippians 3:13 when he said he forgets the things that are behind him and reaching for the things that are ahead of him. And in verse 14 he says that he presses on towards the mark for the prize which is the high calling of Jesus.

This Saul called himself the “chief of sinners” in 1 Timothy 1:15. He could have easily allowed Satan to bombard him with images, thoughts, and his actions of the past when he persecuted the church throughout the region. Yet he left all that behind and became the very first apostle to the Gentiles. And who knows? If it wasn’t for his obedience maybe we never would have heard the gospel preached to this day. I don’t know about you, but I can learn alot from the second Saul. Too many times I spend my days looking behind me at the past and in doing so I give Satan a foothold in my life. However, reading Saul (Paul’s) words, it fills me with new hope and strength for each day that I am the righteousness of God in Christ and I have the same authority in Christ as Saul did….WE ALL DO!!

So there you have it. Two men named Saul. Both called by God to be pioneers in their callings, one ended in tragedy and the other in triumph. My prayer going into 2015 is that we, the church will learn from the second Saul’s example and that we will see greater victories in our own lives, family’s lives, and our corporate church lives then we could ever have imagined.

God bless you all!

Greatest Prophecy Ever Fulfilled

Posted: December 21, 2014 in Uncategorized

As we enter the Christmas week of 2014, I am once again amazed at how as a society we have commercialized Christmas and have made it about getting presents, feeding Santa Claus cookies and milk, and telling everyone “Happy Holidays!”  I cannot imagine how it must break God’s heart to see children write Santa a wish list, moms getting to the supermarket as quick as possible to get the best butterball turkey available, families frantically planning how they are going to visit multiple households in one day to have family time and keep everyone happy, and children constantly shaking their gifts under the Christmas tree in an attempt to figure out what is beneath the wrapping paper. Now please do not misunderstand me. I am not saying anything is wrong with the above scenarios. However, the one crucial thing and the most important thing that is swept away, forgotten about, or not even mentioned due to the rise in political correctness is that Christmas is the time we remember and celebrate the greatest prophecy ever fulfilled in the history of humanity…..the birth of our Savior….Jesus Christ. God gave us the greatest gift of all time when Jesus came to earth, lived a sinless life, and died on the cross in our place so we can receive God’s grace and mercy instead of judgement. I think it is very appropriate if we all once again revisit what the Old Testament prophets received from The Lord so once again we understand the significance and precision of what happened.

1) God revealed to Isaiah in Isaiah 7:14 that a virgin would give birth to God’s son.

“Therefore the Lord will give you a sign: behold a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.”

Matthew 1:18, 23 fulfills Isaiah’s prophecy.

“Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When his mother had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found with child of the Holy Spirit.”

“Behold the virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, And they shall call his name Immanuel;”

2) God revealed to Micah in Micah 5:2 that Jesus was to be born in Bethlehem

“But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting.”

In Matthew 2:4-6 the scribes and chief priests told Herod where Jesus was born

“And when he had gathered all the chief priests and scribes of the people together, he demanded of them where Christ should be born. And they said unto him, In Bethlehem of Judea: for thus it is written by the prophet, And thou Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, art not the least among the princes of Judah: for out of thee shall come a Governor, that shall rule my people Israel.”

3) God revealed to Jeremiah in Jeremiah 23:5 that Jesus would be a descendant of King David

“Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and a King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgement and justice in the earth.”

It is too long for me to list, so please read for yourselves Matthew 1:1-16 which talks about the genealogy of Jesus back to Abraham through his stepfather Joseph and Luke 3:23-38 through Mary which goes all the way back to Adam.

The fact that those 3 prophecies alone were fulfilled precisely how they were told is just astounding. And that is just about the birth of Jesus alone. There are many more prophecies about Jesus that were fulfilled such as his crucifixion, death and resurrection, his performance of miracles, and even Him riding into Jerusalem on a donkey. However I wanted to focus on the three prophecies regarding his birth because that is what we celebrate at Christmas.

In closing this post, let us this year and every other year always remember that Jesus is the reason for the season. If He did not willingly give up His place in Heaven and come to earth to be born to ultimately die so we may be adopted into God’s family, Christmas would not even exist. Just now my smartphone notified me of an email I received and the title of the email was “Xmas Award”. How fitting eh? This is just a subtle way that the world has taken Jesus out of everything. However, we as the church know what the truth is and my prayer is that we will boldly and unashamedly proclaim it going forward.

God bless you all!

Is The Cross An Offence?

Posted: August 31, 2014 in Uncategorized

One of the things I really like about reading the Bible is no matter how many times I read a passage I can always learn something new. Not too long ago, I was reading through the book of Galatians when I got to chapter 5 something jumped off the page at me.

As most if not all of you know, the church in Galatia was one of the early churches Paul went to preach the gospel of good news, otherwise known as the gospel of grace. When one reads through the book of Galatians, you will notice Paul takes a real hard stance with them. As a matter of fact, in Galatians 3:1 he actually calls them “foolish”. To me that is really something because when one reads 1 and 2 Corinthians, which was full of turmoil and all kinds of sins, Paul never put them down once!

The letter to the church in Galatia is a letter where Paul is utterly flabbergasted that the people received the gospel of grace that Jesus died to give us only to fall back into relying on the Jewish law. In Galatians 5:11 what really jumped off the page at me was about the cross being an offence. In 1 Corinthians 1:23 Paul mentioned basically the same thing when he said preaching Christ crucified is a stumbling block to the Jews and to the Greeks (Gentiles) foolishness. Some more modern translations like the NLT say it is utter nonsense.

Paul’s words in Galatians 5:12 got even stronger when he said that he wished the ones who troubled the church would be cut off. In the New Revised Standard version it says he wishes they were castrated and in the NIV to emasculate themselves. Wow those are some pretty hard, heavy words from someone who preached the gospel of grace!

Getting back to verse 11 where the cross being an offence jumped off the page at me, I stopped and asked God. “Bottom line Father, when do I make the cross an offence? Do I do it without even knowing or intending to do so?” God’s answer to me was so clear, he said “Son, when you rely on your own strength and knowledge for anything without coming to me and asking me, the cross is an offence to you.” I then realized that when I try to make something happen myself, I am following the law and under grace where Paul says is the only place to be.

After hearing this I read on in chapter 15 and smiled when I got to verse 16. One thing I do admire about Paul, he provided for us the solution that God wants us to abide by. He said we are to live by the Spirit  and goes on to tell us what the acts of the sinful nature are and the fruit of the Spirit is.

I asked God to make this practical for me in an every day setting and give me an example. Immediately I thought of situations at my work in the factory where I will come in to start my shift and I will follow someone who has left the area for me in a real mess. We all have our faults and one of my glaring deficiencies is being vindictive. What I have done in the past is made mental notes about who it was and what they did and I would try to get even by doing the same thing to them. First of all, that is not one of the Fruits of the Spirit listed in Galatians 5:22-23. It certainly would not qualify as gentleness or goodness. As a matter of fact, it is just plain childish.

Now the world would look at that and would say I am justified in taking such actions. After all, if it is done back to them they might think twice, right? Where as if I go to the person and respectfully tell them what happened and to please not do it again, or even just letting it go, which do you think God is pleased with? However, the world would look at that as pure foolishness. Some would see it as a sign of weakness. But at the end of the day, God’s Word is there for our own good.

Even as I write this I am reminded of Romans 12:1-2 where Paul talks about the church in Rome to offer their bodies as living sacrifices to God and to not conform to the world’s way of doing things but to renew our minds in Christ. It is interesting that the word Paul uses is “renewing” which means a constant action. In other words, we are to be doing this until Christ comes back for us.

What Paul is saying essentially is that it`s all about relationship between us and God. As we allow God to reveal Himself to us in new, fresh ways, and as we realize just how much He loves us,  we will have our minds renewed to His way of doing things. We will develop more of a Christ like nature. However, when we try to take action ourselves and do things in our own strength instead of living by the Spirit as in Galatians 5:16, we will struggle and fail every time. More importantly, we are operating under the old law and we are making the cross an offence. After all, Jesus died so we can go boldly to God`s throne at any time for anything.

In closing, this gives me a greater appreciation and respect for Paul. He allowed God to renew his mind and transform him into the greatest apostle who ever lived. In 1 Timothy 1:15, Paul referred to himself as the chief of sinners. Paul, who was the best of the best Pharisees put away the law and sold out to grace which Jesus paid for on the cross once and for all. I was certainly challenged by this and I hope you were too.

God bless you all!

 

I Think L.A. Marzulli did a great job on this blog and this compliments my latest post very well. please read this and you will see what I mean.

God Bless you all!

L.A. Marzulli's Blog

NETHERLANDS-TURKEY-KURDS-UNREST-PEACE-ERDOGANCommentary & Analysis

by

L. A. Marzulli

Thanks to everyone who came out this past weekend for the PITN conference.  It was great to see you all!  L.A. 

Turkish Prime Minister: Israel Has ‘Surpassed What Hitler Did To Them’

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan ridiculed Israel’s ground invasion of Gaza, accusing the Israeli government of “barbarism that surpasses Hitler.”

With all due respect to President Erdogan, he really needs to have a history lesson.  First on the agenda, before we even get into the ridiculous piece of propaganda that he’s spewing comparing the Gaza retaliation by Israel to what Hitler did in WWII, we need to see what the Turks did in WWI.  We need to sit Mr. Erdogan down and show him the pictures, let him read the accounts of the forced marched which systematically killed hundreds of thousands of men, woman, and children.  We need to remind the…

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For a couple of weeks now Hamas has been firing rockets at Israel causing them to continuously seek refuge in bomb shelters. However, when Israel fires back, executing the right to defend themselves, they are criticized as being too brutal, too extreme, and killers of the innocent. What people do not or do not want to understand is that Israel is in the crosshairs of Hamas who want to destroy the nation and the Jewish people. Not only that, they have made these comments public. It is also common knowledge now that Hamas is supported and sponsored by Iran who have stated repeatedly in the media they want to destroy the Zionist regime and push Israel into the sea. Six days ago on July 20th, the day is being called Bloody Sunday as 13 IDF soldiers were killed in Gaza and many 87 died.  Mahmmoud Abbas cried to The UN’s Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon about Israel committing genocide and Moon urged Israel to use “maximum restraint”.

Wait a minute! I thought countries had an obligation to protect their citizens and defend their land against enemies? I guess this does not apply to Israel. As a matter of fact, The UN is now condemning Israel for human rights violations and many nations have voted to launch an investigation. Thankfully Canada was not there and The USA voted against it. Some of the countries such as Viet Nam, Pakistan, and Iran who voted for this inquiry are some of the worst abusers of human rights ever. Can you see what is wrong with this picture?

I will be very frank in saying my spirit has been very grieved this week. Conflict has been brewing in the Middle East ever since Israel became a nation again in 1948, but it seems now to be getting worse and worse. Anti semetism is on the rise not only in the Middle East, but in Europe and over here in North America. In France, Germany, and Italy the leaders of those nations had to publicly stop Pro Hamas and Pro Palestinian demonstrations and rallies because the people were not peaceful and got out of hand every time. Don’t take my word for it. It is in the news.  Do not believe me that it exists here in Canada? Well, how come there were Jewish supporters who were physically attacked in anti Israel demonstrations in Toronto? What about the protests held in Toronto and Montreal about Israeli military action in Gaza? What about the lady and her daughter who were both flung to the ground in Calgary by Pro Hamas supporters? They punched the lady in the stomach so hard she was left with bruises. This was after they ripped an Israeli flag out of an Israeli demonstrator’s hands and punched him as well. The Hamas flag was being flown with pride too I might add.

I know this in not one of my uplifting posts that I have written before but I am here to please God and not man. It is not my job to judge, but to present the facts and write what God wants me to. We as the church need to have Israel’s back. Culture wise and popularity wise it might not seem like the right thing to do but who are we to please? God or man? Israel needs our prayers desperately for wisdom and guidance in these last days. We must remember that if it was not for Israel, we would not have our bibles today, but also our Messiah. Whether the Jews believe he has come or not is NOT the point.

I also pray for a revelation of God to the whole Arab world because God loves them as much as he loves us. Not to mention they are continuing to wage war against Israel at their own peril. Don’t believe me? Read Zechariah 12. I think God is very clear he will fight for and defend Israel. Verse 3 really was sobering to me where it said God will make Jerusalem a burdensome stone and all who burden themselves with Jerusalem shall be cut in pieces. Yikes! And God was not concerned even though all the people of the earth shall be gathered to fight against it.

Let’s go back even further. Before the nation of Israel was even formed, what was a promise God gave to Abraham? In Genesis 12:1-3 God told Abraham to get out of his country and go to a country that he would be shown. God promised Abraham that he would make him a great nation and would be a blessing. Verse 3 is key for us. God said he will bless those that bless Israel and will curse those that do not. One can say God did not mean that but meant about Abraham only. Nonsense! God just said in verse 2 he would make him into a great nation. Therefore, it is to our benefit to bless Israel. I do not know about you but I want God’s blessings and not curses.

The bible is very clear about another thing. We the Gentiles have been adopted as sons and daughters to God. In Romans 11:11 Paul writes how our salvation is to spurn the Jews to jealousy. In verse 19 Paul said that the branches (Israel) were broken off so the Gentiles could be grafted in. He went on to say in verse 21 that if God did not spare the branches he would not spare us either. The verses go on to say that when the fullness of the Gentiles are saved ALL of Israel will be saved. God’s heart is still Israel. Zechariah 2:8 says that Israel is the apple of His eye.

My heart’s desire is to see everyone have the fullness of God’s blessing in their lives. I am so thankful that I live in a country whose leader supports Israel. Even if Canada rejects Israel in the future, or if you live in a country whose leadership does not support Israel. God still wants to bless YOU! He wants you and your household to be blessed. So I just enourage everyone to support Israel prayerfully and publically. I am not saying to go and join a pro Israel rally, (however if you feel God is leading you to do that, all the more power to ya) but wherever you go and the conversation about the Middle East gets brought up and people start knocking Israel, I encourage you to gently share with them the truth. Whether they believe it or not is between them and God. And I know beyond a shadow of a doubt, God will be faithful to us.

God bless you all!

Keep Your Eyes On Jesus

Posted: July 21, 2014 in Uncategorized

There are not too many instances where I wish I was in a certain situation having a front row seat. One of the times was when Jesus’ 12 disciples saw Jesus walking towards them on the water. To be out in the middle of a storm, fighting to keep the ship upright and then to see Jesus at the time when the night was darkest and the storm heaviest walking on the water would have been an amazing sight to behold.

The bible does not say what time the disciples entered the boat and went out to sea to go back to the other side. In Matthew 14:23 it says that when the evening had come He was there alone. I must admit I had to chuckle when I read verse 24 where it says that the ship was in the midst (or middle) of the sea and was tossed with waves for the wind was contrary. I thought that contrary was a pretty interesting word for the translators to pick and use. The Greek word for contrary is “enatios” which means opposite or against. In other words, the winds were very strong and no matter which way the disciples tried to steer the ship, the wind was against them EVERY time. I was not chuckling though when I read verse 25. It said that in the 4th watch of the night Jesus came to them walking on the sea. The 4th watch is the period between 3-6 am.

Can you imagine being the disciples out there all evening, into the 4th watch of the night struggling and fighting with all their strength to get to the other side? Back in verses 20 and 21 we read that Jesus had fed 5000 men beside women and children. They all ate until satisfied and the leftovers equaled 12 baskets. I am sure the disciples ate well and where satisfied too. However, I do believe they all lost their dinner by being out in the middle of the sea for at least 8 hours. They all would be exhausted, sea sick, discouraged, and probably decided to just ride out the storm. Perfect time for Jesus to show up right?

I wish I was there in the boat to see the look on their faces seeing Jesus walking on the water towards them. That must have been quite an eerie sight for verse 26 says they thought he was a spirit and cried out in fear. They were probably thinking seeing a spirit was the last thing they needed at that point.

I love how Jesus always ministers calm because He told them in verse 27 straightaway that it was He and not to be afraid. Now Peter is one of my favourite characters in the bible because he had one serious set of stones on him. The fact that he challenged Jesus’ identity by asking him to come out of the water and then actually stepping out of the boat, in the middle of a raging storm is very courageous. And just think, he did this before the day of Pentecost and had not received the Holy Spirit yet.

We all know the rest of the story. Peter walked out to Jesus and as soon as he paid attention to the storm, he became afraid again and started to sink. I give Peter credit that when he started to sink he didn’t try to fight to stay afloat, he cried for Jesus to save him right away. As soon as they got into the boat the storm ceased and all the disciples knew right then and there He was the Son of God.

The sea represents troubles and challenges we face in life. We all have them no matter who we are, where we live, and what our background is like. Jesus showed us by walking on the water that victory is ours for the taking every time if we would just step out in faith as Peter did by getting out of the boat. As he walked to Jesus on the water, he focused squarely on Him. In other words, he had tunnel vision. He saw nothing else but Jesus. This is exactly how we are to be today, myself included. We must be Jesus conscious and focus on Him only in every situation. It is interesting to note that as soon as Peter turned his attention to the storm and got afraid, he started to sink. As soon as we take our eyes off of Jesus we in effect are saying we don’t believe that He will come through for us. Jesus said that Peter had little faith and asked him we he doubted. When we take our eyes off of Jesus, it is the same thing.

As I write this, the one passage that came to mind is in Numbers 21:5 where the Children of Israel spoke against Moses about not having food and water and God sent fiery serpents who bit them and killed many in verse 6. However, in verses 8-9 God instructs Moses to put a fiery serpent on a pole and to instruct the people that whoever looked at the brass serpent when bit would live. This serpent is a foreshadow of Jesus. When the Children of Israel beheld the serpent, despite being bitten, they lived. When we look at Jesus and trust Him, despite our circumstances, or life “biting” us, we have victory every time. And it is all because of Jesus! Whenever we don’t look to Jesus, and struggle in our own strength, we are defeated every time. God wants it this way because we cannot boast of ourselves and how good we are, but how good Jesus is!

In closing, Paul gives us a good tidbit of advice in Hebrews 12:2 that says “Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.” Notice he says looking unto Jesus? The NIV says to fix our eyes on Jesus. This is what Peter started out doing when he walked on the water like Jesus and what the Children of Israel did in the wilderness by looking at the bronze serpent on a pole. Paul says in verse 1 about running the race with patience before he says to keep looking to Jesus. As a former sprinter in track and field, I know all too well if one does not have tunnel vision by keeping focused on the finish line, and start looking at the opposition around them, the runner loses speed, and is in danger of being overtaken and also in danger of falling and causing injury to themselves and the other runners. One time I was comfortably out in front during a 200 metre run. About half way through, I turned to see where my opponents where. That was a colossal mistake because the moment I turned my head, I lost momentum and my feet got tangled up causing me to fall. I quickly got up but by this time, two of my opponents had gone by me and despite my best efforts, I could not catch them and had to settle for third. What a hard way to learn, eh? The same principle is applies to our daily lives. When we focus on Jesus and Jesus alone, victory is ours.

God Bless you all!

We really need to pray for the safety of all Israelis and wisdom for the Israeli PM in deciding what to do. With ISIS their goal of the caliphate includes Israel. It will not be long until Israel is in their crosshairs if not already.

Blessings!

L.A. Marzulli's Blog

John KerryThere is a prophecy which states:  “Behold, I will make Jerusalem a cup of trembling unto all the people round about…. Jerusalem twill be] a burdensome stone for all people….in that day will I make the governors of Judah…like a torch off re in a sheaf; and they shall devour an the people round about…” Zechariah 12:2,3,6

I re-posted this from Jerry Golden’s web site as I believe it is pertinent and timely.

Our media is not covering what is going on there.  Jerry acts as our eyes and ears.

The situation could escalate….

Please pray for the peace of Jerusalem.  L.A.M.

Happening Now in Israel

by

Jerry Golden

Once again the war drums are beating louder here in Israel. Southern Israel is being bombarded with thirty to forty rockets out of Gaza daily, with tens of thousands of families with children running to bomb shelters several times every…

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