Bringing encouragement

Timothy has just now come to us from you, and has brought good news about your faith and love.
1 Thessalonians 3:9

All of us need encouragement at times, especially when we are going through hard times. Sadly many of God’s people are starved of acceptance and encouragement.

Paul arrived in Thessalonica on his second missionary journey in AD 58, and had heard good news of their exploits. They were growing in faith and working together to fulfil God’s purposes in their lives. Individually and corporately.

In the Amplified bible, Jesus says – I pray that all of them may be one.
Father, just as you are in me and I in you. May they also be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me.
John 17:20-21

God has no favourites, He loves all mankind.

D L Moody once said. “There are two ways of being united. One is by being frozen together, and the other is being melted together.” When the body is united in brotherly love, they can then expect to receive power from on high. There will be an outward demonstration of growth, which will bring glory to His Name. It will bring great joy, both to the encourager and receiver.

If we don’t like what you are reaping, change what you are sowing!

How can this be achieved

1) Keep in fellowship with others.  
(1Thess 3:1)
2) Pray to be filled with a greater measure of God’s love.
(1Thess 3:12)
3) Spend time in His Presence, walking in forgiveness, keeping clean hands and a pure heart.
(Psalm 24)

Moving out of our comfort zone, we will be able to demonstrate God’s love and encouragement to others, and we shall be blessed beyond measure!

Don’t let a day go by that you don’t bless someone!

Finally declare:

I can declare all things in Christ who strengthens me.”
Philippians 4:13

Blessings,

John

Growth in God’s Time

A word of Encouragement

“This is what the Kingdom of God is like. A man scatters seed on the ground. Night and day, weather he sleeps or gets up, the seed sprouts and grows, though he does not know how.
Mark 4:26-27

Have you ever been in your garden weeding, and come across a couple of flowers that you have not sown before. You didn’t plant them, but maybe they were brought in the wind, or were dropped by a bird in flight.
This is like spiritual growth that Jesus spoke about in the parable of the growing seed.
He compares the Kingdom of God to a farmer scattering seed on the ground.

Of course it depends on the condition of the soil, but if it has been prepared well and watered, it will reap a harvest in God’s time. This should be an encouragement to all believers.

The development of the harvest, didn’t depend on anything more the farmer did.

“Neither he who planted nor he who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow is.
1Corinthians 3:7

The key to a spiritual harvest, is planting where God instructs us to plant. He will often use others to water, and others to reap, so all the glory will go to him.

It is the same law of sowing and reaping in prayer and intercession. Providing our prayers are in line with God’s will and purpose and His Word, they will come into fruition, if we remain faithful. There comes a time in heaven when the prayer bowls are overflowing, and their answers are poured out as blessings from above.

Now when He had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty four elders fell down before the Lamb, each having a harp, and golden bowls, full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints.
Revelation 5:8

We may never see the results of what we have planted, but if God ordered the sowing, it will produce a harvest in His time, so don’t give up.

This parable about the Kingdom of God, demonstrates that the Holy Spirit is continually at work, harvest time is coming, get ready!

Then another angel came out of the temple, crying with a loud voice to Him who sat on the cloud, “Thrust in Your sickle and reap, for the time has come for You to reap, for the harvest of the earth is ripe.”
Revelation 14:15
John Yates

The Lamb of God

The Lamb of God

A Word of Encouragement

“For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you
were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you by your ancestors, but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect.
He was chosen before the creation of the world, but was revealed in these times for your sake.
Through Him you believed in God, who raised him from the dead and glorified him, and so your faith and hope are in God.”
1 Peter 1: 18-21

This time of year, we reflect on the days leading up to the Cross and Resurrection of Jesus Christ. It is also a time of personal reflection of ones own spiritual condition.
Some call it lent, but when one searches the Old and New Testament you will find no mention of it. It was unknown to the disciples, and it did not find it’s way into the church, until several centuries later. History suggests it is derived from the 40 days of fasting in the wilderness.

Jesus commanded His disciples to

“Go therefore and teach all nations, teaching them to observe all things whatever I have commanded you.”
Matt 28:19-20

They were commanded to keep Passover and the Days of Unleavened bread, remembering the Jews freedom from slavery in Egypt. They were given instruction on how to institute new Passover symbols, John 3: 1-7. At the last supper Jesus instructed them to eat the bread and wine in remembrance of Him. The High Priest took the sacrificial lamb to be tied at 9.00 am, the same time Jesus was hung on the cross.

As the lamb was slaughtered at 3.00pm, Jesus uttered His last breath,

“It is Finished.”

He became the “Lamb of God” who takes away the sin of the world, described by John the Baptist.

Three days later when Christ rose from the dead it was the Feast of first Fruits, which followed Passover, and the Feast of Unleavened bread. Jesus is called the first fruits of those who rise from the dead. Because Jesus rose from the dead, we shall also rise from the dead, with the promise one day of a new body and eternal life. Praise His Wonderful Name.

The resurrection makes Christianity unique, it is the only religion in the world based on the resurrection from the death of its founder Jesus Christ. Jesus is very much alive today, changing lives bringing salvation, healing and restoration to all mankind.
Denying ourselves of certain foods, might help us be more disciplined in study and prayer, but let us not forget it is only the blood of Jesus that can wash away our sin!

Pam Yates

Rivers of Living Waters

Rivers of Living Waters

A Word of Encouragement
 
It came to pass in those days that Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee, and was baptised by John in the Jordan. And immediately coming up from the water, He saw the heavens parting and the Spirit descending upon Him like a dove.
Then a voice came from heaven “You are My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.”
Mark 1:9-11

 

When Jesus stepped into the river Jordan, He was stepping into the fullness of God’s purpose for His life on earth. These waters were teaming with the sins of mankind, yet Jesus waded in obedience to bring redemption for ALL. The Holy Spirit, then equipped and anointed Him, to fulfill all that is Father had ordained for Him to do.

Stepping into the waters of baptism ourselves, we are declaring we are burying our old life, and are being raised up to a new life in Christ! Freeing ourselves from satans river which only leads to destruction, bringing stench and death. It is stagnant, and many of us have travelled along it through sin, unbelief and ignorance.

When we rise victorious out of the waters of baptism, streams of mercy and God’s grace flow in abundance.

The apostle Peter said “Repent, and let every one of you be baptised in the Name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sin, and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is to you and your children, and to all who are far off, as many as the Lord or God will call.
Acts 2:38-39
On the last day of the Feast of Tabernacles, Jesus stood up and cried out, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink He who believes in Me, as the scripture as said out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.”
John 7:37-38

What a wonderful promise, and on the day of Pentecost, after Jesus had ascended into heaven, the Holy Spirit was poured out by a rushing wind and tongues of fire on the new believers in the Upper Room.

Peter recited the prophecy of

Joel v17-21. v17
“And it shall come to pass in the last days says God, that I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh.”

We are moving in the last days, and it is possible we will see the complete fulfillment of this prophecy.

I leave you with

verse 21:
“And it shall come to pass that whosoever calls on the Name of the Lord shall be saved.
 
Pam Yates

 

 

Watching and Waiting with the Right Attitude

Just as man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment, so Christ
Was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many people; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him.
Hebrews 9:27-28 (NIV)

These verses instruct us to fulfil the purpose of God, by finishing the course that is set before us. Waiting with the right attitude and motivation for the second coming of Jesus Christ.

Preparing our hearts also, that we might be ready for His return, this will happen in the twinkling of an eye. When this occurs, Jesus will come with salvation, only for those who are waiting for Him. Those that are indifferent will encounter His judgement.

I believe it is vitally important that we practice and develop an attitude of watching and waiting, and there is nothing more important for God’s people.

Luke 12:37a says;
“It will be good for those servants whose master finds them watching when he comes.”
and in verse 40
“You also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect Him.”

For many years I was lost and confused until God began to move in my life. It was only then I realised there was no hope in life without God.

In Psalm 34:4-5 David says;
“I sought the Lord, and he answered me; he delivered
me from all my fears. Those who look to him are radiant; their faces are never covered with shame.

My heart was determined to be free from a life of failure, confusion and hopelessness. God brought me to a place where I was completely broken, and all I could do was to cry out for His help and forgiveness. It took quite a few years though, before I came to a place of total abandonment, and able to receive God’s mercy, forgiveness and blessing in a wonderful way.
The day after this encounter, I know I felt completely different. Someone I knew, knocked my door, and immediately realised something was different about me, and they took off with fright!

So this was the beginning of a new life in Christ, one with hope, purpose and peace. A purpose to fulfil God’s calling on my life. The darkness had gone, and the light of life had replaced it. I was now in the starting blocks, and knowing that what work God had started in me, He would enable me to complete the race, provided I remained faithful.

Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made know. But we know that when He appears, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is.
1 John 3:2-3

This process of sanctification has taken many years of peaks and troughs, but God remains patient, for it is still a work in progress! So my desire these days is to watch and wait for the second coming of Jesus returning from heaven. It is a wonderful expectancy for all who put their trust in Him.

“Yes I am coming soon”
Amen Come Lord Jesus

John Yates

The Destiny of the Church

As you therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him,
rooted and built up in Him, and established in the faith,
as you have been taught, abounding in it with thanksgiving. Col 2:6-7


A Word of Encouragement

The Church was commissioned by Jesus himself, to fulfil tasks which He himself had ordained, before He ascended into heaven. These tasks are as relevant today as they were then.

Firstly it exists to worship God, to express love and thanks. Next to minister to people, encouraging others to find salvation, baptising them into Christ’s Family.

Also, it exists to edify and disciple believers, to become more Christ like in our thoughts, feelings and actions.

 
For the equipping of the saints for the work of the ministry,
for the edifying of the body of Christ,
till we all come to the unity of the faith and the knowledge of the Son of God,
to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ.
Ephesians 4:12-13
 
 

God’s desire is for the church in these last days is to rise up in power and revelation. For the church to fulfill it’s destiny in victory. For too long the church has been asleep, unaware of the urgent days that lie ahead.

God longs for us to be attentive to His heart cry, and act accordingly and flow with His plans to see that destiny fulfilled.

He has provided wonderful gifts to the body, where individuals are anointed for various tasks, by the power of the Holy Spirit, to build and edify His church.

No one is surplus in the Kingdom of God. God needs you, and He wants you to know how valuable you are in His eyes. Also, He desires for you to experience that abundant life which has already been bestowed upon the church, through Jesus’s sacrifice on the cross. Be blessed! God is desiring to raise up an army, who will stand and fight shoulder to shoulder in the Spirit in prayer, undefeated until Jesus returns and takes His place as King of ALL Kings.

 
Let your Kingdom come, Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.
Yours is the Kingdom, the power and the glory, forever and ever.
Amen.
 
Your friends in Christ
John & Pam

 

A Season of Blessing and of Fruitfulness

“And let us not grow weary while doing good,
for in due season we shall reap if  we do not lose heart. Galatians 6:9

The daffodils are in full bloom, and buds are appearing on the trees, the season is changing rapidly, and memories of a long hard winter are diminishing.

Our walk of faith is very much likened to seasons in our lives. Mountain top experiences, seasons of fruitfulness and growth, followed by troughs of barrenness, hardship and testing.
The Christian walk brings constant change, new roads to walk down, and always challenging situations. Without these we would get stagnant, but trusting in the One who provides us with living water, our wells of salvation will never run dry.
When everything around us seems to be crumbling, that is the very time to trust God for strength and hope knowing that He will give us the enabling to carry on.

As they pass through the valley of Baca, they make it a spring, the rain also covers it with pools. Psalm 84:6.

God’s purposes are divine and His timing perfect. If you are experiencing hardship at the moment, where every door seems blocked and opposition lingers at the door. Be encouraged, a season of blessing, progress and fruitfulness is on it’s way to you! Trust in Him, and He will sustain you, He will not fail.

O Lord of Hosts, Blessed is the Man who Trusts in You. Psalm 84:12.

Live out of your spirit

Have you ever wondered how Jesus slept through the storm on the Sea of Galilee? (Matt.3: 23-27). The passage tells us that Jesus calmed the storm and that shows us His power over the elements. However, perhaps the greater lesson we can learn from this passage is that in the midst of the storm Jesus was asleep! The disciples however were far from sleep; they were anxious and woke Jesus to do something about their predicament. I suppose it is testament to their confidence in Jesus power that they woke him to ask him to save them. And no doubt we would have been anxious too if we had been in the boat. But, objectivity tells us that if that boat had been swamped, not only the disciples but Jesus too would have been in the water. Therefore a far greater power than the storm was at work and this power enabled Jesus to sleep through it. He knew that God’s purposes for Him did not include drowning and this confidence allowed Him to sleep through the storm. One could say that Jesus was living out of His spirit rather than out of what his five human senses were telling him about the storm.

He knew that when the time came for Him to return to the Father His followers would need help and so He said, ‘you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you’, (Acts 1:8). This power enables us as disciples to (with faith) have victory over the world (1John 5:4). We have a choice, do we live out of our spirits and what we know of the Lord and His purposes for us or do we live out of our five senses and what they tell us of the world and what comes against us. If we do the latter we are in no better a situation than people who do not have the Lord with them. Trust in Him, if He is in the boat with you, you are not going down!

Russell Bowles

Trusting in God

“For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me. This is the will, of the Father who sent Me, that of all He has given Me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up at the last day. And this is the will of Him who, sent Me, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in Him may have everlasting life, and I will raise him up at the last day.” (John6:38-40)

Praise God that when we surrender our hearts to Jesus, we can then have through sanctification His perfect purpose and will worked out through our lives, and the reassurance of eternal life.

We trust God that He knows what He is doing, for He never makes mistakes and through the trials, He is crucifying the old nature and developing our personalities to be more like Him. Life is a journey for us all, Jesus started His in a humble stable, and will complete it when He returns in majesty as King of Kings and Lord of Lords. Clothed in a robe dipped in blood, out of His mouth will go a sharp sword, and He will take His place on the Holy Hill in Jerusalem, and will reign over the Nations, and they will all come and worship at His feet.

Redemption

When Jesus was crucified on the cross, He identified with our fallen humanity, and took all on our sin himself paying the price for it.

“In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace” Ephesians 1:17.
When we have God’s forgiveness for our sins, we have redemption; we are redeemed. Redeem means “to buy back” or “to ransom.”
When a person is a slave, he or she has no choices. When slaves were sold in the market place in Jesus’s day they had to stand on a block, and from a post behind them a spear was extended over there head. The apostle Paul said “I am carnal, sold under the spear of sin, which is extended over my head. I have no options. “I am carnal, sold under sin”
Romans 7:14.
The good news is that Jesus Christ walked into the slave market and said,
“I’ll buy him; “I’ll buy her, I’ve paid the price for them. They are now My son and daughter.” That is redemption and it’s free to all who call on the Name of Jesus.
John Yates