Attributes of God. P = Peace

When you think about peace what comes to mind? Perhaps you imagined a crystal clear lake glistening in the summer sun. Maybe you thought about lounging on a beach listening to the waves rolling softly onto the shore. Perhaps you were on a mountaintop looking at the wonders of creation?

Peace from a worldly point of view is always externally focused. A peaceful sleep undisturbed by noise. The children have gone to school and the house is now quiet. You’ve just come out from a busy city into the quiet countryside. War has just ended… all of these examples are external.

So, how is peace possible in the midst of chaos? When Jesus said to his disciples “peace I leave with you, not as the world gives to I give to you...” (John 14:27) What kind of peace was he talking about? If I remember correctly, not long after the disciples testified about Christ they were soon persecuted, so did Gods peace leave them when this happened?

The peace of God transcends human understanding (Philippians 4:7). While the world focuses on external peace God focuses on internal peace. People who come to belief in Jesus can become confused with what Gods peace really means because of the stark difference between the worlds peace and Gods.

So how can we explain this attribute on a deeper level? Inner peace found in Christ is steadfast in all seasons of life. The kind of peace Jesus offers is the same peace he had while he was sleeping on a boat in the midst of a storm. The disciples were panicking while Jesus was chilling and having a nap. When he awoke, Christ transferred his inner peace into his creation by calming the storm. The internal peace became an external one and completely changed the environment.

Jesus calms the storm: Mark 4:35-41

God is a God of peace and stability. It makes no difference whether you are on the beach or in the middle of a storm, Gods peace does not change like a shifting shadow. The difference for us is whether we choose to rest in His peace.

The power of Gods peace not only transforms ourselves, but can also change our environment. When the world is crashing around you and onlookers see that you are not phased by what you see, they are intrigued. When they ask how you can be so calm in such chaos then you have a platform to testify the reason why. Being at peace does not mean being passive, remember Jesus woke up and calmed the storm. However, it does mean we have no need to panick no matter what trials we face.

The world so desperately needs the peace of Christ right now! No Jesus, no peace… Know Jesus, know peace. The solution to all the worlds issues was nailed upon the cross and then rose from the grave. During this pandemic and the seemingly increasing global police state, we really need to know the peace of God much deeper.

To trust in God amid all of this demonstrates that we know His peace. It does not depend on some internal feeling but rather believing and knowing. We can test ourself when calamity comes by monitoring our response to what we face. Did I panick when financial difficulties struck me? Or did I say? “Lord I trust in you for you provide and meet all my needs“. The way we respond determines what we truly believe and what or who we trusted in.

Do you know the peace of God today? If not, then would you like to? God longs to fill you with his peace, but he will not force his way into your life. The door handle is on the inside of your heart, not the outside. This means the one who has power to open the door is you.

John 16:33  “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world”.

Much love and God bless

Deano

You’re not defined by your social status

How often do you scroll through Facebook like a detective looking into the lives of other people? Let’s be honest, we have all had a sneak preview into someone elses life at some point. Especially on social media platforms like Facebook that make it so easily accessible to see other peoples (published) lives.

The key word is published: One of the biggest issues on social media is people tend to portray a perfect self image through highlighting all the good stuff. Oh some like to blurt out everything, but many post the best moments which over time builds up a false perception of that persons life. The more a person does it, the greater that perception will be.

When I first got Facebook, besides being addicted to farmville, I also used to post every day about my life. I publicly shared everything, even when it was just useless information. Not until a few years later did I ask myself why? Why would I share so much personal information to a site that can be hacked or is visible to strangers? Would I walk down the street with banners saying – “tonight I’m going on a date”? I was lured into the belief that because it’s only written content with pictures now and again, then it was not an issue sharing it all publicly. Yet how many strangers have read my personal stories and saw photos of me? How easy could I have become victim to someone elses evil mind? Yet… I still did it and to be honest sometimes I still do it now.

I started to question why I did it? Why so many do it? It dawned on me, that those likes and comments built up my self worth – a false self worth but nonetheless a dopamine rush of emotions whenever I had a like or a comment. A rush that would envelope my senses and lure me into another post. It became like a drug with social benefits.

Over the years God has been showing me the value and significance I have in him. He has showed me that I do not need a like or a comment to define what my identity is, I only need to know how precious I am in his eyes. There is nothing wrong with sharing our personal life if we want to, it’s the motivation behind why we do it that needs to be checked. Like King David said in Psalm 139:23-24 Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting. When we examine our motives we will be able to test what our true motives are. Am I posting to increase my self worth? Do I share my public life so people can see how much fun I am? (So guilty with this one!) Do I share because I need some attention? Hard questions to ask ourself, but they are worth examining.

Know that the approval of people makes no difference to your self worth! Your self worth comes from knowing who you are in Gods eyes, for you were made in Gods image not man’s. Seeking self worth by any other means is a chasing after the wind, a useless endeavour that will likely make you depressed in the long run. The issue with a dopamine rush is that each time you have that rush, you require a bigger rush next time to feel the satisfaction. This is why when people crave for fame and power they are never satisfied – they always want more. This is also the reason for many addictions.

I know I said a while back that a new series called Christdentity is coming out, oh it’s in the making. Yet because this is such a deep and needed topic I really need Gods guidance and wisdom to write it. This must be done through the Holy Spirit not by me. Please pray for this series, I truly believe it is needed so desperately and urgently is needed to be written and published.

You are a beautiful and uniquely created person loved by almighty God. This is what defines you, not your social status through the eyes of people and social media platforms.

Acts 17:28 For in him (Christ) we live and move and have our being. As some of your own poets have said, ‘we are his offspring.’

God wants to bless you, but he cannot bless you if you are trying to be someone else. So be who you were made to be 😊

Thank you for reading

Much love and God bless

Image – Google images

Deano

Pray until God shakes the earth!

No great move of God has been accomplished without prayer beforehand.

Prayer is the key that unlocks the gates of heaven to pour out heavenly blessings upon the earth. Prayer does not mean we twist Gods arm to get what we want, fervent prayer re-aligns the human heart and soul with the heart of God and his purposes. Prayer should never be forsaken in the Christian life, rather, it should be the very heart beat of the Christian life.

Discouragement can be one of the biggest road blocks to prayer. Praying for a certain person or situation for long periods of time with no change can be disheartening. It can be enough to stop some from praying at all because they begin to think prayer is useless, like having a conversation with a brick wall. Yet… this is when we should pray even more!

I know certain people I have prayed for over the years without seeing answers. Sometimes I just want to give up and then complain to God. One of these people was (and still is) a very good friend of mine; a gifted leader, worship singer and very inspiring person who made a great impact on the church. One day this person left church and never came back (well, not yet), the whole church prayed and many visited this person to bring this person back- but the efforts were futile. Over the years almost all the support stopped for this person, I also moved to another country so was not physically around anymore – unfortunately many gave up and now this person appears to be a distant memory. Yet, in spite of all this I still pray to God and send a message now and again – I just cannot give up on my dear friend, even though at times I have been tempted too due to no response.

Ever since praying for a friend, who committed suicide… that same day! I have promised myself to never give up on prayer and do all that can be done to support a person. Someone once asked me, “why do you say hello to everyone, even when you don’t know them?” I told them, “hello may be the only time someone speaks to them today, you do not know what difference just saying hello makes”. The same with prayer, you do not know what difference prayer makes, so keep praying!

When my friend hung himself I was devastated, knowing that our conversation that day and the prayer may have been the last one – I almost felt like giving up on everything and I was angry at God for allowing it to happen. It was a few years later when I heard a preacher say something that struck me. He too lost someone through suicide, he said in his sermon, “between the rope and the neck there is still grace“. This heartbreaking but powerful truth blew me away – in no way does this condone suicide! But I was reminded that the true author of life is God and that, all though God allows freedom of choice, he is also a faithful God who I believe answers prayers in ways we do not know this side of heaven. After the death of this man, I saw the inspiring faith of family members who were remaining at church, especially his grandmother. She got up in front of the church and prayed, then she sang like an angel moving the church to tears – powerful!

Prayer can literally shake the foundation of the earth and the heavens. Prayers offered by faith is a force to be reckoned with and should not be treated with contempt. It makes the devil shake in his boots and the powers of darkness tremble.

Let’s shake the earth with the power of our prayers! That Gods Kingdom will come and his will be done… on earth as it is in heaven.

Acts 4:31 After they prayed, the place where they were meeting was shaken. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly.

Father God, sometimes we forget what great power we have by connecting to you with our prayers. Give us unshakeable faith to pray without ceasing with all kinds of requests. Help us never to quit praying because the gates of heaven may be about to open upon the earth. Bring revival into my heart and my home. So that we may be a blessing to your community – In Jesus Christ name – amen.

Thank you for reading.

Much love and God bless

Deano

The voice of the good shepherd

A voice of a stranger they will not follow…

voices are incredible, kind of like fingerprints. Each voice has a unique tone, is identifiable and instantly we recognize who is speaking when it’s someone we know. Imagine if we all sounded the same, how confusing would that be during phone calls! Gods creative ability is astounding.

However, some people are great impressionists and can impersonate other people. When joking around this is funny, but when being scammed no one is laughing (well maybe the scammer is). This is why its imperative we recognize not only the voice speaking, but the manner in which that voice speaks. You will know after listening to an impersonator for a long time if they are who they say they are. You will know because each voice will have a unique characteristic and personality.

Jesus said that a voice of a stranger they will not follow. Why? Because we know the voice of our saviour. We know the consistency of the voice of the good shepherd and will not pay attention to a phoney impersonator. Check out the below 2 minute video of a study of sheep responding to the shepherd. Very powerful example:

Wolves in sheeps clothing have crept among the sheep, but those who truly listen to the voice of the shepherd will know who they are. During these final days before the good Lords return, it is imperative that we are tuned into Gods voice revealed through his word.

How do we know if its God or Satan? Well, does what is spoken to you edify you? Does it encourage you to grow in relationship with God? Is what’s being spoken the whole truth or a verse taken out of context? Remember Satan uses the word to trap followers (read Matthew 4 and see how he tested Jesus) However, those who know the depths of Gods word will not be deceived by such tactics. The word of God can defend any miss-applied word of God. Sometimes a Christian may just make a simple mistake – it happens! Yet, just as scammers are recognized, we will know if it’s a mistake or a tactic to cause destruction.

Be wise child of the living God! Now is the time to listen to the voice of the good shepherd and obey. See in the video how attentive the sheep were when the shepherd called? They stopped what they were doing, acknowledged the voice and then went to the shepherd. If the church responded this way in unity when the good shepherd speaks, we will see incredible things and the Kingdom of God would spread like a wildfire.

John 10:1-5 “I tell you the truth, anyone who sneaks over the wall of a sheep fold, rather than doing through the gate, must surely be a thief and a robber! But the one who enters through the gate is the shepherd of the sheep. The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep recognize his voice and come to him. He calls his own sheep by name and calls them out. After he has gathered his own flock, he walks ahead of them, and they follow him because they know his voice. They won’t follow a stranger; they will run from him because they don’t know his voice.

Father God, thank you that you gave us your son Jesus Christ, the good shepherd. Help me to learn to recognize his voice and to obey when he speaks. Protect me from the cunning ways of the stranger so that I will always remain close to the good shepherd. I ask this in Jesus Christ name. Amen

Cover image: Holy family whitby – the good shepherd

Thank you for reading!

Love and God bless

Deano

Faith inspires faith – Gods power in the midst of trials and persecution.

In the past, the devil persecuted the church because he believed it would extinguish the church. However, history has proven that during persecution the church grows exponentially. Why is this? How can Gods people grow under such immense horrors of being fed to lions, crucified, beheaded, put into prison camps and many more horrific things? What’s so attractive about believing in something that could literally cost your life?

Take a look at some of the most hostile nations in the world concerning Christianity.

North Korea – this nation has been number 1 on the open doors world watch list for many years, yet Christians have not been snuffed out! On the contrary, stories have been told of many prisoners in those horrific internment camps turning to Jesus for salvation – God is moving in the midst of such horrors.

Iran – If you publicly announce your Christian belief in Iran then you are at risk of being arrested and put into prison with possible torture – yet Iran has the fastest growing global Christian population!

China – What about China? Under president Xis “smart persecution” Christians do not have the freedom to fully practice faith. Sure you can legally have “state church” but you must comply with the rules of the state as your services will be monitored by the CCP. No sharing your faith and you must honor president Xi above your own God! The CCP has attempted re-writing some of the bible to show Jesus in a much more sinister manner! In spite of all this, the Chinese underground church is the largest in the world and the Chinese Christian’s have an incredible resilient faith that has inspired many Christians around the world!

The above are just some snippets of Christianity around the world. This is without mentioning Africa and how God is moving in Nigeria, Kenya, Egypt and many other nations! In fact, those nations most hostile towards Jesus are the ones seeing the greatest revivals! Where sin abounds, grace abounds even more (Romans 5:20).

God is sweeping these hostile nations with His Holy Spirit and softening the hearts of many. Christians who hold onto faith in such extreme cases become an inspiration to those around them. When those who hold them captive see that they are willing to die for what (or should we say who) they believe in, they are amazed.

I’m sure you have heard of the great hymn “I have decided to follow Jesus”? Well, this hymn is the perfect illustration of faith inspiring faith. The man who inspired the hym is called Nokseng, from India. He, his wife and 2 children became believers and publicly confessed their faith to a village in India. The chief of the village gathered all the people and executed his wife and 2 children because Nokseng would not deny his faith. Nokseng was then killed after quoting the words in the song. However, after his death began the great revival when the chief and all the village accepted Jesus! His refusal to give up on faith was so mesmerising that the chief was astounded and confessed that he believed in Jesus… what an inspiration that inspired such a great hymn!

Read more about the song and origin in the link below…

True Story Behind The Hymn: I Have Decided To Follow Jesus

The voice of the martyrs has echoed through the ages inspiring multitudes to hold onto faith during times of trouble. Not only that, it has inspired multitudes to turn to faith in times of trouble. People stop and listen to the voice of someone who passes through the fire and yet stands and declares the praises of God.

In Daniel 3 we read about how Daniel, Meshach and Adednego were thrown alive into the fiery furnace because they refused to worship King Nebuchadnezzar. They were kept from the flames and God rescued them in the face of such a fiery trial – literally. This faith inspired the King so much that he promoted them and their God!

Never under estimate what impact your faith can make. Nokseng did not know his faith brought revival immediately after he died – oh but he will know in heaven for sure! You have no idea that your stance to keep your faith in times of trial may inspire someone to believe later in their life. Your patience, love and consistency may be ridiculed for a time, but if you never quit this ridicule could end up bringing praise to God. The work of salvation is no doubt the Lords as He convicts the world of sin through the Holy Spirit (John 16:8) However, your testimony about Jesus and the faith you hold so dearly could be the stepping stone to draw them towards Christ.

Personal story: Many years ago, just a few years after my drug taking days, I remember having a catch up with an old friend. He was amazed at the changes he saw in me (all glory to God!) I had no idea what me telling my faith story to my old friend would do until a few weeks later.
One day, the pastor of the church called me aside and explained the following (maybe not word for word but something like this) … “I had an amazing surprise today. A man walked into this church to speak with someone, so I spoke with him. He told me he just got off the bus and had to come to this church. He explained that he had a conversation with you and heard your story about God and the church you come to. He asked me how he can accept Jesus! So I led him to Christ”. I was blown away with tears forming in my eyes. Praise God for such conviction and for his salvation! All because he was inspired by seeing what God had done in my life. So God convicted him through the Holy Spirit! Amazing – all glory to God!

Be encouraged today! Your witness may be that much needed stepping stone so do not be afraid! God is with you and he can certainly use your life to be an inspiration for His Kingdom!

Ephesians 3:16-19 I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge-that you may be filled to the measure of the fullness of God.

Amen!

Please remember to pray for our persecuted brothers and sisters in Christ. Here is a quote from Paul Hattaway concerning the remarkable true story of Chinese Christian Brother Yun: “Don’t pray for the persecution to stop! We shouldn’t pray for a lighter load to carry, but a stronger back to endure! Then the world will see that God is with us, empowering us to live in a way that reflects his love and power. This is true freedom!

Pray for God to be with them, strengthening them and bringing even their adversaries to Christ!

World watch list: https://www.opendoorsuk.org/persecution/

Song: https://youtu.be/iRb769P50IQ

Image: Google images – Daniel in the furnace

Thank you for reading!

Much love and God bless

Dean

Attributes of God. N = Near

One of the most difficult aspects of faith that can entangle the heart of a Christian is Gods closeness. We all want to “feel” close to God, but in all honesty on many occasions God seems distant and unresponsive. We ask God, “have I done something wrong? Why are you not listening to me? Why are you not speaking?” Oddly enough many will ask this question when they already have a bible near them that is full of the words of God.

Gods closeness does not depend on an audible voice or a physical manifestation. Theophany would be great, an encounter with a burning bush or a cloud that can talk would not leave any room to doubt Gods closeness, but sometimes, God whispers quietly into our ear… we just need to still ourself to hear his voice. Yet in this crazy and busy world, it’s hard to settle down and hear his voice. Yet does Gods closeness only depend on the ability to hear him when he speaks?

God is omnipresent, so he is everywhere all at once! However, God can manifest His presence visually or through an emotional connection. Gods “peace” that transcends all understanding is one way to describe His closeness because His peace is different to the worlds. The world offers peace externally but God offers peace internally. The peace God offers is stable through all circumstances because it depends solely on Him and not on the world around you. This means you could be facing some crazy situation (like a natural disaster or an encounter with an armed robber) yet still have perfect peace because you have faith in Gods supreme power.

What about the persecuted? We hear all the time about Gods closeness and how he can protect his children, so has he failed with persecuted church? Miracles are told about Gods deliverance and yet many grieve for the loss of a loved one. Has God abandoned the ones that were not protected from death?

The answer to the question depends on our view of persecution. Jesus said “blessed are you when you are persecuted for my names sake” (Matthew 5:11). Those who die for the Lord die in the Lord, this means the next thing they will see is the face of God! They cannot possibly get any closer than that. Those who are killed for the faith they have (and yes the loss on earth is still tragic) receive the greatest blessing anyone could ever ask for. For them, they are immediately ushered into Gods physical presence where they will remain for all eternity! For those who grieve, God will also be close to them through his comfort and peace (2 Corinthians 1:4)

Gods closeness transcends human understanding because we have learned to to understand closeness as something to be felt. Yet our faith in God being near is the wellspring of peace that fills up our hearts and souls. It is unexplainable without faith, it also would not make any sense. Some would say how can God be close without being seen, felt or heard? Yet elements of creation are exactly that! Oxygen is close to everyone us, we do not hear it, feel it or see it yet we breathe it in for our survival! Yet, oxygen atoms can be seen under an electron microscope.

God is near to you today! Whether you feel like He is or not, God is near. You may be able to spend some time in worship and prayer and sense his presence growing. You may be able to stare at creation and feel a sense of awe and wonder burning deep within you. You may be suffering a loss of a loved one or your job and yet sense a peace and calmness about what’s happening. You can only sum up all of this with one sentence… God is near.

God has not abandoned humanity as some may suppose. However, when governments around the world and societies are kicking God out, God is respecting this decision. It does not mean He is not around and cannot see what is happening, it just means God is allowing humanity to live without him, so that they can see that just like oxygen, they really do need God. Yet, anyone who calls upon the Lord by faith, God will draw near to them.

If humanity was abandoned then the cross would have been avoided.

However you feel today, know that God understands your pain and situation. Jesus can empathize perfectly with you because he too suffered trials and tribulatuon. Today, know that God is near! Nothing can change that, for he is always with us… even to the end of age! (Matthew 28:20)

Psalm 34:18 The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.

Romans 8:38-39 For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Father God, thank you that you are an ever present help in times of trouble. Thabk you that when I simply just acknowledge you, I am acknowledging your awesome presence. Help me draw near to you every day and live every day knowing that you are near to me. All praise and glory be to you. In Jesus Christ name amen.

Love and God bless

Deano

Fight the good fight!

You’ve been fighting battles that only God knows about. That secret battle ground in your heart and mind, a place where no one else can see what you are truly going through. On the outside you look like you have it all together, on the inside you are crumbling apart. Internal cries are being heard only by the one who knows your thoughts; internal tears are being caught by the one who holds your heart. Yet, it still hurts and the pain is real.

Is this you? Or has it been you? Have you felt so low that you cannot even articulate what you are feeling? Have you been so sad that you cannot even form tears? Brokenness becomes numbness and numbness becomes hopelessness. Oh how we cry out for the joy of our salvation! Once again to be restored to the true joy we once experienced. Life has knocked you down…. the question is. What are you going to do about it? You going to stay down or get back up and fight the good fight? The choice is yours…

I will never forget a time of despair in my past where I almost lost faith. Continuous setbacks, attacks from people (within the church), depression and the loss of loved ones… I was pushed to breaking point. I felt so lost as a child of God and remember blaming God and saying, “if you are such a good father why do you let this happen!”. I cried into my pillow cases and crunched up on my bed blocking out the world around me. Yes, this pain was real and felt all consuming.

Then, one new year my best friend caught me by surprise. Each year he used to go out with his family for a traditional Christmas and new year celebration. During this celebration they hold an event where they take hold of a promise from God. These promises are laid out on a table so the words cannot be seen, people then pray and take one, either for their friend or for themselves or both. My friend took one for me and swore that he had not looked at it before giving it me. It was a bookmark with a picture of a child in a giant hand. The verse read from Isaiah 49:15-16… I will not forget you! See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands. I was gobsmacked. Out of all the promises available, he chose the one that connected deeply to my silent struggles. God spoke to me that day and those words have been with me ever since!.

Have you heard from God recently? Or has the devil been talking to you form both shoulders? Whose words are more important to hear? If the words you are hearing are making you depressed, feel worthless or hopeless, then those words are not spoken from God. God speaks for your construction not destruction. When he speaks, those words can bring healing to every fibre of your being.

The Christian life is a battle, not a playground. If you have been sold the lie that when you become a Christian life will be free of troubles; then please understand that “lie” is not how it is. The difference however, is that now you know that God walks with you throug every storm and will never leave you nor forsake you. The most powerful being in the universe can most certainly protect you from bad circumstances, but a greater power is someone who can protect you through them.

Fight the good fight! I write this while feeling weary and tired, but I refuse to let the enemy bring me to a point of idleness. Our strength comes from God, our hope and the reason we can persevere is because of God. Giving up is not an option for us, we cannot throw in the towel because the next round may be the victory we have been fighting for.

Keep doing good to your neignour… love them, forgive them, bless them, do something random and kind (the world needs this so much right now) send a random message to an old friend and ask how they are doing. Share food (of course be sensible because of the pandemic) share the gospel and pray the healing power of the gospel. Remember that our battle is not against flesh and blood but against principalities (Ephesians 6:12) We fight on different plains and we have unseen forces on our side.

When our focus is less on self and more on Jesus and others, we will surprisingly become more joyful. JOY = Jesus, Others, Yourself.

Never ever give up… Tomorrow may be the victory you prayed for today.

May our words at the end of it all echo the words below…

2 Timothy 4:7 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith

Father God, your Kingdom is worth living for. Sometimes I feel like giving up, It gets so difficult and I just cannot go on. Then, I call up on your sons name and find strength to face another day. I read your word and become full of peace, I pray in the spirit and my soul is lifted. You have given all the weapons needed to fight the good fight of faith. Help me father to learn how to effectively use these weapons for your glory and purpose. In Jesus Christ name. Amen.

Love and God bless

Image cover… fight the good fight of faith – Google images – mission rescue

Deano

Death has been defeated!

If Jesus never rose from the grave then he would have only been hailed as a great teacher who died for what he believed in. The paradoxical truths of the death and resurrection of Christ shatter the enemies empire on earth. In death Christ brings life; in his pain he brings healing and in suffering he brings hope. If Jesus remained in the tomb…. it would only be death, pain and suffering that would be remembered.

Hallelujah! Christ is risen and the story did not end that way.

The power of the undeniable resurrection has continued to breath life upon the earth each passing year. With so much suffering in the world, our suffering servant and saviour Jesus is able to empathize completely because he too suffered immensely. Those who suffer (which is almost all people on earth today) are not without hope, they are not without a future.

Today the devils party ended and his party hat thrown into the bin! No more celebration for him because the “prince of this world” now stands condemned. A way has been made to heaven in the most impossible way, through death (the last enemy)! If the enemy knew Christs death would conquer death then he would not have been so keen to nail him to the cross.

What does Easter mean to you? Is it a time of joy and celebration as you ponder the greatness of Gods glorious resurrection? Is it only a time with family and eating some beautiful lunch/dinner? Is it both?

Some would say Easter is a pagan holiday and should not be celebrated. I have heard Christian’s in the past say they do not celebrate Easter (or Christmas) because it is not in the bible. I explained that the significance of these events are in the bible, all though the words themselves are not. The significance of Easter is clearly written in the bible from the perspectives of 4 of the disciples (Matthew, Mark, Luke and John). The apostle Paul also clearly speaks about the risen Christ and preached the resurrection fearlessly. Then you have millions upon millions of testimonies from the time of Christ until now about the crucifixion and resurrection… In my opinion, overwhelming evidence points to the reality of a risen Christ.

Today we celebrate because the promise of salvation through the fathers son was fulfilled. All who believe can now be made righteous with God. The Kingdom of Satan lost its power as all authority in heaven and earth was given to Christ (Matthew 28:18-20) How amazing is that!

Today, celebrate Christs victory over death and the promise fulfilled! Know how much God loves you and that no matter what you are facing, God is able to turn things out for good for those who love him and are called according to his purposes (Romans 8:28). The meaning of Easter has never been lost because it will be remembered for all of eternity. Christ died for you, Christ rose for you and one day he will be coming again!

Rejoice brothers and sisters in christ!

Father God, thank you for giving your one and only son for me. Thank you that I can trust in the finished work of salvation and be filled with the Holy Spirit. You loved me even when I was your enemy, now I can say that I am a friend of God. In fact, I am a child of God and have been adopted into your eternal family! All glory be to you. In Jesus Christ name, amen

1 Corinthians 15:55 Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?'”

Thank you for reading.

Happy Easter! God bless you and family

Cover image – westville presby – the risen Christ

Love from Deano

The silence

Today the devil must have put on his party hat and celebrated. He must have thought he was victorious with the death of Christ and no resurrection. All though the scene at the cross was powerful to the point of shaking the earth, the enemy of God in all his pride must have still claimed victory.

What a strange day for the disciples. Mourning over his death and probably still pondering his last words they must have felt lost and confused. It seems as though some returned to their comfort zones as Peter went back fishing.

We do not have much information for this inbetween day. Inbetween apparent loss and victory. We only know that at this point Christ was buried in a tomb being guarded by Roman soldiers because of the “rumour” of him rising from the dead. This is great by the way, because this maximises the power of the resurrection with the testimony of Roman soldiers.

All is silent… all appears calm. The prince of peace was buried in a borrowed tomb, time appears to be standing still. Yet despite the silence, an expectation lingered in the atmosphere. The Romans suspected an event because they posted guards. The disciples must have had a sense of expectation despite the disappointment they felt. The mysterious words of Christ “soon you will not see me, but in a little while you will see me again”, must have been pulling on the heart strings. Even so, they returned to comfort.

When God appears silent it is not without purpose. Sometimes the silence of God is because the wait makes the victory more powerful. The 3 days shows that Jesus truly did die and rise again, 1 day would not carry such a powerful testimony, but 3? No one can explain away 3 days, no matter how smart the explanation.

We know the end of the story. This day for those who believe is a day of anticipation. It is a moment of reflection as we ponder the great sacrifice and the great victory to come. It is a moment where we can rejoice because we know the joy that is coming… A moment to say thank you Jesus for taking my sins… A moment where we can shout hallelujah for Christ is risen!

Today…. take a moment and remember all Christ has done. For tomorrow we will celebrate!

Matthew 27:57-60 Now when evening had come, there came a rich man from Arimathea, named Joseph, who himself had also become a disciple of Jesus. This man went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. Then Pilate commanded the body to be given to him. When Joseph had taken the body, he wrapped it in a clean linen cloth, and laid it in his new tomb which he had hewn out of the rock; and he rolled a large stone against the door of the tomb, and departed

Love and God bless

Deano

He was pierced for our transgressions

Why do they call today Good Friday? What’s so good about crucifixion?

Wikipedia explains at as follows: Etymology. “Good Friday” comes from the obsolete sense “pious, holy” of the word “good”. Less common examples of expressions based on this obsolete sense of “good” include “the good book” for the Bible, “good tide” for “Christmas” or Shrovetide, and Good Wednesday for the Wednesday in Holy Week.

The English word good does not carry the original intention for the word relating to holy. In Portugal they call this day Sexta Feira Santo which means Holy Friday, the original meaning is still captured. So, it’s called good Friday because it relates to the holiness of God, not the horrors of the crucifixion.

Today you are going back in time as a disciple…

Imagine yourself witnessing the events of this day. Last night you were chilling with Jesus enjoying supper. Then he washed your “dirty” feet and taught you some baffling lessons about love. It was revealed that a so called friend of yours was going to betray Jesus and another friend would deny him. You then left and went to the garden of Gethsemane where you witnessed the agonizing pain that Jesus was already going through. The weight of the sins of humanity rested on Christ as you saw him crumble under the heaviness asking the father to remove this cup of suffering. Baffled by the fathers lack of response but tired in the flesh, your eyes were heavy and you could not stay awake in spit of Jesus saying to keep watch. Then… the betrayer came and kissed Jesus as the armed guards took hold of him and arrested him. You ran in fear, so did all the others.

Just take in all the events of the evening before the crucifixion, so much happened! Such a rollercoaster of emotions, such a time of confusion and darkness. Things were about to get worse before they get better.

Jesus stood trial before Pilate, questions were asked but Jesus humbly remained silent. Pilate could not find cause for justifying his execution. After being passed from one leader to another Pilate was still not convinced that Jesus should be condemned to death. Yet it was the crowds jeering”crucify him, crucify him!” That made Pillate afraid. He did not fear God, he feared man and then acted in accordance to that fear. Jesus was condemned and led like a lamb to the slaughter.

Besides being falsely accused, Jesus also suffered mockery and abuse as they put a crown of thorns on his head, dressed him in a purple robe to pay false homage to him and then kept striking him on the head! He then got whipped with a metal tipped whip until his flesh was hanging off only to be condemned to crucifixion. Then he had to carry his own cross (with some help) that he would be nailed too, for about 1 mile to the execution site. Then they nailed his hands and feet to the cross as they stretched his body to breaking point. Then while he was laid on the cross they put it into the ground and rose him up high as his body hung on those nails. As well as all this, people walked past him on the cross jeering and taunting him…”if you are the son of God, come down from the cross!”. The physical pain, the humiliation of being practically naked while onlookers mocked him and the spiritual separation from the father as he bore our sins… this combination created the maximum pain possible for Jesus to bare… but the worst for him was the separation from the father.

He went through all this for a people who rejected him! While we were Gods enemies Christ died for us (Romans 5:8) this ultimate act of love far out weighs any love story ever told.

Check out these 7 mind blowing things Jesus said on the cross:

1. “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do” (Luke 23:34)

2. “Today you shall be with me in paradise” (Luke 23:43)

3. “Woman, behold your son” (John 19:26)

4. “My God, my God, why hast you forsaken me?” (Mark 15:34)

5. “I thirst” (John 19:28)

6. “Father, into the hands I commend My spirit” (Luke 23:46)

7. “It is finished” (Luke 23:46)

In such excruciating pain I do not think I could utter such memorizing last words! Father forgive them… after all they were doing to him and yet he cried out forgiveness for them, if that’s not love then I do not know what is. My God why have you forsaken me?… This moment was the only time in all eternity the father turned from his son, it was the moment Christ truly took our sins. It is finished… What had finished? The work of salvation! Nothing else needed to be done at this point, accept for dying on the cross. The transgressional transaction was now established through the blood of Jesus Christ.

Once Jesus breathed his last after 6 hours on the cross (3 hours in darkness… even nature was mourning for the death of the saviour) the earth shook, the rocks spilt and the souls of many were risen from the dead going into the city! The curtain was torn in 2 (meaning the separation between man and God was destroyed) and the centurion cried out… “surely he is God!“. What a powerful scene in the midst of all those witnesses! No scientific explanation could possibly justify what had just happened, this was a supernatural encounter manifested in the physical realm for all to see.

Today we remember the incredible love and sacrifice of Gods one and only son Jesus. Today we remember that because of his sacrifice every human being has the hope of finding forgiveness through trusting in Christs blood. This is not a day of mourning because we know how the story ends. The devil however thought that he had won… tomorrow we will speak about the inbetween day and how that must have felt as a disciple.

Isaiah 53:5 .But he was pierced for our rebellion, crushed for our sins. He was beaten so we could be whole. He was whipped so we could be healed

Readings: matthew 27:27-44; Mark 15:16-32; Luke 23:26-43 & John 19:16-27

Father God, thank you that your love is so great for us that you gave your one and only son to die for our sins. Lord Jesus, how can we ever say thank you enough for what you have done! Without your sacrifice we would be doomed and without help, but you made a way! Glory be to your name. In Jesus Christ name. Amen

Image cover: Google images – crucifixion

Thanks for reading!

Love and God bless

Deano