Presence is key to intercession

When Daniel knew that the document had been signed, he went to his house where he had windows in his upper chamber open towards Jerusalem. He got down on his knees three times a day and prayed and gave thanks before his God, as he had done previously. -Daniel 6:10 ESVUK

God has been impressing upon my heart about the necessity of being in his presence. Yes, I understand his presence is always with us. However, I truly believe God desires for us to seek for his tangible presence Spending time in his presence is key to proper intercession.

Daniel is a great example of seeking and residing in the presence of God. Daniel was well known across the land of Persia. He had “an excellent spirit and was found faithful, without error or fault” (see Daniel 6:3-4). His holy life rubbed the wrong way against the other high officials and satraps of the day. Persia was not known for their holiness or goodness. Idolatry was very prevalent. So the other officials were jealous and upset because Daniel had such a good reputation.

We all grew up with the story of Daniel and the lion’s den. The officials conned Darius into signing a decree to not pray to any other gods but theirs. Despite this, Daniel went to his house and got on his knees three times daily, praying and giving thanks as he had always done before (Daniel 6:10). Please not that Daniel as 80 years old at this point. He did not give up or give in because of his age!

The officials of course caught Daniel praying and because of the decree Darius signed, Daniel was thrown into the lion’s den.

Daniel kept seeking God and his presence regardless of his responsibilities and age. He sought God for himself and for his people. Because Daniel was faithful in seeking God’s presence, God rewarded him by filling the lion’s den with his presence. He even sent an angel to shut the mouths of the lions!

The threat of the lion’s den did not deter Daniel from seeking God. So often, we come up with excuses as to why we don’t have the time or can’t spend time with God on a daily basis. Some Christians around the world suffer greatly because they pray and declare Jesus as Lord. They pray in secret, hide the word in their hearts, etc. Christianity is growing rapidly in places where persecution is rampant. However, here in our Western cultures, we are lulled to sleep. We don’t seem to value God’s presence as much as we value pleasing other people and moving up the ladder to get more money and prestige. If we were told we were going to be thrown into a lion’s den or killed for our faith, how many of us would truly be willing to stand up for Jesus and declare him as Lord by our actions, words, and prayers?

Most of us would have panicked if we were sent to the lion’s den. Daniel was calm (or at least it seems). He had faith that no matter what happened in that lion’s den, God was taking care of him. God’s presence was with him and shown through him.

Of course, we know that Daniel is saved from the lions. Darius was thrilled and relieved. He felt so bad he had sent him into the den that he couldn’t sleep the night before. When Darius saw that God had truly saved Daniel, he made a new decree that everyone was to call on and worship the living God. What a testimony of God’s faithfulness and Daniel’s obedience!

Daniel’s prayers in seeking God made a massive difference to Israel. In chapter 9, Daniel confesses the sin of himself and the nation. When we come into the presence of God, we will be shown what is keeping us, our nations, family, work, and churches from God. Sin has no place in God’s presence!

Daniel spends time confessing the sins of disobedience and idolatry which resulted Israel being held in captivity (see Daniel 9:1-19). Because Daniel spent time in the presence, he knew God’s heart and knew what the nation had done wrong. Daniel confessed not because he committed these sins, but because he was a part of a nation that did.

Gabriel then comes into the picture and shows Daniel visions beyond his or our own understanding about the nation of Israel and the end times. A lot of the prophecies Daniel saw and recorded have been fulfilled and continue to be.

Daniel was truly a man that God trusted. God delivered the Israelites from Persia’s hand to return back to their home. God intervened and saved Daniel from death. God showed Daniel amazing visions. God is willing to speak to those who are willing to stop, listen, and spend time in his presence.

We have to be intentional in seeking God’s presence on a daily basis. If we want to know God’s heart, we need to be in his presence. Intercession is not about spouting off a shopping list of prayer concerns, it is about sharing the heart of God on behalf of others. The more time we spend praying and seeking the presence of God, the more our hearts and lives will be changed. We will be known as having “an excellent spirit” in us. That spirit will be the Holy Spirit. We will know what to pray for those we are praying for. We know the heart of God. We will be interceding on other’s behalf, including our nation, the world, etc. because of love, not duty.

I want my prayer life to be like Daniel’s, one which seeks after God’s presence and heart every day and one that intercedes on behalf of those I know and love. Do you?



Today’s Word- Motivate

Today’s five minute writing prompt is the word motivate. The dictionary says that the word motivate means “to provide with a motive, or a course or reason to act.”

Thsi year I really need to motivate myself to get back into writing. I desire to motive others to draw closer to God in their relationships with him. In order to do this, I write, share memes that inspire others to think, and by encouraging them through cards and notes.

The trouble is time and quiet space. I have to pace myself due to my illnesses. I struggle with pacing myself, especially with other commitments that I have to do.

I pray for God’s help in this endeavour. I need God’s help to motivate me to study and write more. But most importantly writing what he wants me to say to others.


Principles of Spiritual Growth

I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. -John 15:5

How is your relationship with God?  Is there a fire within your heart?  Do you still love Him like the day you first met Him or has that love grown a bit cool?  Are you growing in Him and others can see the fruit?  We all are on this journey together, growing in spiritual maturity.  Christ wants us to abide in Him and continue to draw closer to Him.  He desires us to grow, and we should not stop until we go home to be with Him.  Spiritual growth is so much more than going to church on Sunday, Bible Studies and other meetings.  Let’s look at what God has to say about spiritual growth.

God is responsible for all spiritual growth.  God is the Gardener who takes care of the soil and causes growth.  He also prunes anything that keeps us from growing in Him.  We are saved by grace and we must continue to grow in grace.  The Holy Spirit works within us to bring about change.  When we are saved, the Holy Spirit enters us and stays with us enabling us to grow in Christlikeness.  We must stay in the Vine though, we must abide in Him.  Effort, diligence and discipline on our part are necessary for growth.  2 Peter 1:5-11 says “For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love.  For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.  For whoever lacks these qualities is so short-sighted that he is blind, having forgotten that he was cleansed from his former sins. Therefore, brothers, be all the more diligent to make your calling and election sure, for if you practise these qualities you will never fall.  For in this way there will be richly provided for you an entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.”

We are to make the effort to grow.  God tends to us but we have the responsibility to keep in the Vine, to stay with Christ and do our part.  We cannot sit back and do nothing and expect ourselves to be changed for His glory.  We have to work out our salvation every day. “Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfil his good purpose” (Philippians 2:12-13).  Jesus tells us clearly in John that we cannot bear fruit if we are not staying connected to the Vine.  He even says that those branches that are not bearing fruit will be thrown into the fire and burned.

God provides the resources for us, we must supply the effort in our own relationship.  Think about any relationship; it is no good to have only one person giving everything, and the other doing nought.  After a while, that relationship will be estranged.  Sometimes, we do not sense God or hear from Him because we ourselves have walked away maybe unknowingly, but because of our lack of effort within the relationship with Him, we have pushed ourselves away.

Spiritual growth depends on an intimate relationship with Christ.  This relationship doesn’t just stop at our salvation.  Jesus tells us that we are to remain, abide, continue in and dwell within the Vine.  There are five benefits for us being connected to the Vine.  One, fruitfulness will be evident in our lives.  Fruit will be seen in and through our character as it overflows to others.  The evidence of fruit is directly related to our maturity in Christ.  As we mature, more fruit will be seen.  The fruit of the spirit is found in Galatians 5:22-23: “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.” Are we bearing fruit and do others see it?

When we remain in God, He will stay with us.  He will never leave nor forsake us.  This should give us security in who we are in Christ.  God is not like any other relationship we ever have here on earth.  He is not going to die as He lives forever.  God will not let us down, even though at times we don’t understand why things happen and we blame Him.  God will never abuse us.  He will not mistreat us.  God is an amazing God.  He will carry us when we hurt.  He wipes away our tears and stores them.  He comforts, strengthens and blesses us.  Rest in that knowledge that God is the same today as yesterday and forevermore, amen.

As we remain in the Vine, Christ answers prayer.  “If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you” (verse 7).  The closer you get to someone, the more you know each other’s needs and try to meet those needs.  The more we know Christ and grow closer to Him, the more we desire Him and think like Him.  The prayers we pray will be according to His will and purpose and those prayers will be answered.  This is not to say that Jesus is going to be like Father Christmas and we can give Him a shopping list and expect Him to do everything we want or ask.  God knows us better than we know ourselves and He knows what we need.  God always takes care of us.  Sometimes God answers with a “no” but He has our best interest at heart.  We just have to trust that He knows better than us.

Walking in a close and intimate relationship with Christ equals joy.  Christ’s joy relates to a supernatural, inner peace, which brings emotional satisfaction even in difficult times.  We have an assurance of God’s presence in our lives.  Jesus tells us that we will have joy and that joy will be complete in Him.  Our relationship with God should be exuberant.  We should be on fire in our love for Him.  Our hearts should burn for Christ.  No matter what life throws at us, His joy will be in our hearts. We know God is with us, we know we have eternal life and we know one day we will reign forever in heaven with Christ.

We have friendship with Jesus as we stay connected to the Vine.  Jesus calls us friends!  What an honour, to be a friend of Jesus!  As friends of Christ we are able to discern God’s word.  Legalism and tradition is replaced with freedom to do what God desires without fear of man and is also replaced with partnership with Christ.

This whole process of spiritual growth within the vine starts within our own hearts and then is seen outwardly.  Loving, serving, and worshiping God are actions that arise from passion and love for Christ.  Our challenge is to keep kindling the fire within our hearts.  Spiritual growth relates to every aspect of our life.  It affects our family, friendships, leisure time and work.  It’s a process which we allow the Holy Spirit to control every aspect of our lives.  We are to grow in our personal development in belief and action.  We are to be living sacrifices being renewed in our mind.  Every part of our being changes to be more Christlike.  People will notice a difference within us. We will be different than the world.

Usually our greatest growth come from our frustrations, sufferings and/or challenges.  Suffering is a necessary, normal part of the Christian’s life.  Jesus suffered greatly.  If we are to be like Him, we must too suffer.  During these times, our faith in God’s Word is strengthen.  We rely on God more.  Suffering moves closer to our goal of being more like Christ.  Think of the times that we suffer as the time God prunes us.  Our faith grows, and our branches grow stronger.

So back to the questions I asked at the beginning, how is your relationship with Jesus?  Is it growing? Is it producing fruit?  Are you passionately in love with Jesus? Is He your heart’s desire?  If not, ask Him today, the start of a New Year, to rekindle the fire.

One Word for 2018

For the past three years I have focused on 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 as the basis for my One Word.

“Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”

2015 was focused on thanksgiving.

2016 was focused on prayer.

2017 was focused on joy.

The words started with verse 18 and then went backwards to 16. However, I have learnt a great deal about these verses. God has taught me to be more thankful and I kept a journal for all of 2015 of all the things I was thankful for. God spoke to my heart about prayer, and I read a lot of books about prayer and prayer styles. I love the prayer movements in Wales and other places. Prayer is such a vital link to our relationship with Jesus.

This year, focusing on joy saw me starting another thankfulness journal, based on the idea from Ann Voskamp’s book 1000 gifts. My journal is 1000 plus gifts and I continue to keep writing in it things I am grateful for that the Lord has given me. When I am struggling, I look back at what God has done in my life or has blessed me with and my attitude changes.

I have learnt that joy does not depend on my circumstances. Joy is a state of the heart. Joy is delight. Joy is hope. Joy is being in a vibrant relationship with Jesus. I can be joyful no matter what I am going through because I know Jesus is with me and my soul is secure in him.

I praise the Lord for all that he has taught me these past three years.

God is leading me in a different but similar direction for my One Word of the year. My One Word for 2018 is intercession.  1 Timothy 2:1  says, “First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people.”

I cannot get away from this verse as this is what God is calling me to do and to be. He spoke to my heart several years ago when I first was off work due to illness to be a house of prayer. At first, I thought I was to start a house of prayer and yes, I do pray that one day I will be well enough to do such a thing. However, since praying about this and doing a lot of searching, I know God wants me to be a house of prayer, praying for everyone, our nation, my church, friends, family, etc.

Please don’t get me wrong. I have already been praying for everyone. However, I believe God wants me to genuinely intercede, stand in the gap for, people who he leads me to pray for. To intercede for someone means to “act or interpose in behalf of someone in difficulty or trouble, as by pleading or petition” (

The word I am focusing on, intercession means an act or instance of interceding, interposing or pleading on behalf of another person, and it is 3.a prayer to God on behalf of another (

I believe God is calling me to stand in the gap for my brothers and sisters in Christ and praying scripture over them as well. I am looking forward to seeing God answer prayers and knowing mighty things will happen for the kingdom. I pray God will help me pray through the Holy Spirit interceding on my behalf through me when I don’t have the words to pray (see Romans 8:26).



Intimacy with God

“Then Moses said, “Now show me your glory.”

And the Lord said, “I will cause all my goodness to pass in front of you, and I will proclaim my name, the Lord, in your presence. I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion. But,” he said, “you cannot see my face, for no one may see me and live.”

Then the Lord said, “There is a place near me where you may stand on a rock. When my glory passes by, I will put you in a cleft in the rock and cover you with my hand until I have passed by. Then I will remove my hand and you will see my back; but my face must not be seen.”” -Exodus 33:18-23 NIV

Intimacy with God is vital to our growth and maturity in Christ.  Relationship with God is far more important than religion, programmes, Bible studies, etc.  He desires to commune with us, to spend time with us every day.  The more we get to know Him, the more we will want to spend time with Him in His presence.  Jesus made time to spend with His Father, often slipping away in the wee hours of the morning.  Men and women of God in the Old and New Testament spent time with the Lord.  This morning we are going to look at Moses, a great example of what kind of relationship we can have with God.

Spending time with God on a regular basis seems to be difficult for many people.  For young people it can be difficult because of demands of school, friends, and extracurricular activities.  Time is hard for those who are working full time and raising a family.  Even in retirement time may be hard to find because of many commitments within the church, family and community.  Truth be told, we all have 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365-366 days a year of which we can spend time with God.

We read in Exodus 33 that Moses met with God in “the tent of meeting.” Whilst he did, the people of Israel worshipped outside of their tents.  This tent of meeting was a place where God’s glory showed forth.  Moses spent time with God.  The Bible says he talked with God face to face.  This is not in contradiction with the end of the chapter where God told Moses that he could not see God’s face and live.  Face to face was a figurative expression suggesting openness and friendship.  In order for this friendship to happen, Moses gave himself completely to God.  The people of Israel worshipped God and God was pleased.

Moses relationship with God was very close.  He had one to one conversations with the Almighty God.  He was considered God’s friend.  The book of Numbers even states that Moses was closer than a friend, better than even a prophet because God talked to him face to face.  God trusted Moses.  What an honour!  We can have that same kind of relationship with God today.  This relationship is not just for the elite, it is for everyone who believes that Jesus Christ is Lord.  Do you want to be known as one of God’s friends?  Can He trust you to do as He says or pray about what He shows you?  Friendship with God is sacred and a privilege.

Moses talks with God within the tent of meeting.  In their conversation Moses asks that God’s presence would go wherever they go.  He wants God to be a part of every step and decision that is made.  In fact, he even says in verses 15- 16: “If Your Presence does not go with us, do not bring us up from here. For how then will it be known that Your people and I have grace in Your sight, except You go with us?  So we shall be separate, Your people and I, from all the people who are upon the face of the earth.”

When we ask Jesus to be Lord of our lives, surrender everything to Him and allow the Holy Spirit to fill us, the presence of God goes with us everywhere.  Before Christ came and tore the veil for us to be able to come before the Lord without having to go through the priest, the Holy Spirit came upon people.  His presence was visible within the tent, the tabernacle, and the temple.  His presence was not present within the hearts of everyone.  Yes, He did fill people with His presence, but because of Christ’s death and resurrection, He’s given us the key to the Kingdom, the very presence of God.  Think about it, the very God who raised Jesus from the dead lives within us through the power and anointing of the Holy Spirit!

Moses desired God’s will, presence and peace.  Moses desired God!  He saw the work of God delivering the people of Israel out of Egypt.  He knew the wonders that God could perform.  Yet, in all of this, Moses desired God.  He longed for God to show him His glory.  He could have wanted anything in the world, such as a better life in the wilderness, but Moses wanted God.

What do we want?  Do we want God or do we want the things of God?  God longs to be desired after.  He longs for a close relationship with God.  He longs to call us friend and to be able to trust us.  God was pleased with Moses and said to him in verse 17- “I will also do this think you have spoken; for you have found grace in My sight, and I know you by name.”  Moses then asked for God to show His glory.  It wasn’t a selfish request, it was so Moses could know and experience God in a better way.  God told Moses he could see His glory but not His face.  Do you desire to see God’s glory?  Do you want to feel His presence?  Oh I pray that the church today will fall down to our knees and worship the King of kings and Lord of lords. I pray that we will seek His face and His presence not the miracles, not the gifts, not the healings, but just God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit.  I believe that God will pour out His Spirit in a mighty way if we would just seek Him!

When we spend time in intimate worship of God we will become more like Him as we become like the one whom we worship.  In chapter 34 Moses goes up to meet God on the top of Mount Sinai.  He obeys God by taking two stone tablets up with him.  Whilst he was on the mountain, he spent time in God’s presence for 40 days and 40 nights.  The Lord descended in the cloud and His presence stayed with Moses.  When Moses came down from the mountain the skin of his face shone with the glory of the Lord.  It was so powerful that the people did not want to come near him, so he covered his face with a veil.  He did this until he went back up to the presence of God, then he would take the veil off.  Moses shone like the glory of God.  God’s presence was made known.
Have you ever been around someone that you knew without a shadow of doubt that the presence of God was with and in them? I have honestly known a couple of people in my lifetime like this.  These people are so close to God that they shine like Him.  People were not afraid of Moses, they were afraid of the power within him, the power of the presence of God.

My friends, God wants us to experience His glory.  He desires us to be close to Him.  He longs for us to have that intimate relationship with Him.  The question is do we want it?  This relationship is costly.  It means that we have to put ourselves aside and surrender everything to God.  It means taking time to spend it with Him instead of our own personal desires.  It means putting aside our selfishness and seek His face.  The challenge is to not allow busyness, fear and worry to get in the way.  Let’s not be like the Israelites afraid of God’s presence.  May we be willing to lay down everything and allow God to show His glory.

I promise you, when God does show His glory to us and we truly feel His presence within our lives, we will be changed.  Moses’ countenance changed after His time in the presence of God.  That power was around Moses, upon him and spoke to him on the top of Mount Sinai and in the tent of meetings.  However, that same power can live within us today!  Do we believe this?  Do we want it?

What is holding us back from the presence of God?  Why are we so afraid of God?  Do we want God or do we just want a glimpse of Him?  Do we want to have an intimate relationship with Him or just continue being a Sunday morning, open door church attender?  God longs for us.  Do we long for Him, just Him, not His blessings?  I know my answer, do you?


Jesus the Baby

At that time the Roman emperor, Augustus, decreed that a census should be taken throughout the Roman Empire. (This was the first census taken when Quirinius was governor of Syria.) All returned to their own ancestral towns to register for this census. And because Joseph was a descendant of King David, he had to go to Bethlehem in Judea, David’s ancient home. He travelled there from the village of Nazareth in Galilee. He took with him Mary, his fiancée, who was now obviously pregnant. And while they were there, the time came for her baby to be born. She gave birth to her first child, a son. She wrapped him snugly in strips of cloth and laid him in a manger because there was no lodging available for them. That night there were shepherds staying in the fields nearby, guarding their flocks of sheep. Suddenly, an angel of the Lord appeared among them, and the radiance of the Lord’s glory surrounded them. They were terrified, but the angel reassured them. “Don’t be afraid!” he said. “I bring you good news that will bring great joy to all people. The Saviour—yes, the Messiah, the Lord—has been born today in Bethlehem, the city of David! 12 And you will recognize him by this sign: You will find a baby wrapped snugly in strips of cloth, lying in a manger.” -Luke 2:1-12 NLT
Christmas is about Jesus the baby. For some reason many Christmas cards have Jesus with a halo around his head and soft velvety animals around the manger. It also has three wise men bringing gifts to the new-born. There are a few misconceptions in these images.
First of all, Jesus didn’t come with a halo alongside Mary and Joseph, if he did many people would recognise him and probably thought there was something strange about him. Isaiah spoke of Jesus being simple and all throughout the New Testament, Jesus is spoken of as being humble. There may have been some cute little animals around Jesus but more than likely the donkey which Mary and Joseph rode on as well as the sheep that were brought with the shepherds. And the greatest misconception are the wise men. First of all, we don’t know if there were three of them, we just assume because of the three gifts. It could very well been an entourage of men from Babylon and the east. They arrived in Bethlehem when Jesus was a child more than likely a toddler about 2 years old.
No I am not trying to disprove the nativity story. Christmas is indeed about the baby Jesus, but more so his incarnation. This is the story of God coming to earth as a human. Christmas is about God’s love stretching beyond heaven’s door to earth. His birth linked all people together, not just Jews. God called the shepherds first to witness this beautiful incarnation. They were of little importance, bottom of the food-chain as far as prestige went. Jesus came as the Saviour to all nations. Thus the reason the wise men came from the east to worship him. He included the lowest of the low to the richest and most knowledgeable men.
Even as a baby and a child, Jesus created turbulence. His existence caused a stir and demanded a response. People either loved or hated him, accepted his love and try to squash it. Herod tried to get rid of him by murdering all boys 2 and younger (see Matthew 2:13-18), very much like the Pharaoh did when Moses was born. And just like Moses, Jesus was spared because of God’s intervention. Moses was a saviour for the Israelites in the Exodus to the promised land. Jesus came as the Saviour for the whole world.
I know in some parts of the world, Christmas seems to be a swear word. The reason is simple, people are offended by the message of the incarnated Jesus. We will cause offence by just being Christians. This should not come as a surprise to us as Jesus said this was going to happen. People are offended by Jesus because it goes against their selfish desires. Sadly people hate God who they don’t even believe exists. God desires everyone to come to know him as their Lord and Saviour. God wants us to be the bearer of his love. The question I have for us, if we were tried in a court of law, under oath, for being a Christian, would there be enough evidence in our actions and words to convict us?
Jesus is the incarnation of God himself. Give thanks to God for his ultimate gift of love. Spend time today and tomorrow especially, to worship this amazing God. Jesus came to set us free. He came for the rich and the poor. He loves everyone. Christmas is about Jesus- the baby, the incarnation. May He be born in us.
Today’s Prayer is the Lyrics for O Holy Night, don’t just sing it, really read and breathe in the words:
O Holy Night! The stars are brightly shining,
It is the night of the dear Saviour’s birth.
Long lay the world in sin and error pining.
Till He appeared and the Spirit felt its worth.
A thrill of hope the weary world rejoices,
For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn.
Fall on your knees! Oh, hear the angel voices!
O night divine, the night when Christ was born;
O night, O Holy Night , O night divine!
O night, O Holy Night , O night divine!
Led by the light of faith serenely beaming,
With glowing hearts by His cradle we stand.
O’er the world a star is sweetly gleaming,
Now come the wisemen from out of the Orient land.
The King of kings lay thus lowly manger;
In all our trials born to be our friends.
He knows our need, our weakness is no stranger,
Behold your King! Before him lowly bend!
Behold your King! Before him lowly bend!
Truly He taught us to love one another,
His law is love and His gospel is peace.
Chains he shall break, for the slave is our brother.
And in his name all oppression shall cease.
Sweet hymns of joy in grateful chorus raise we,
With all our hearts we praise His holy name.
Christ is the Lord! Then ever, ever praise we,
His power and glory ever more proclaim!
His power and glory ever more proclaim!
God bless you all. Merry CHRISTmas!

Jesus- the Way, the Only Way

“Don’t let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, and trust also in me. There is more than enough room in my Father’s home. If this were not so, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you? When everything is ready, I will come and get you, so that you will always be with me where I am. And you know the way to where I am going.” “No, we don’t know, Lord,” Thomas said. “We have no idea where you are going, so how can we know the way?” Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me.” -John 14:1-6 NLT

Jesus explains to Thomas and to us “I AM the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me.” He didn’t say, “I know the way,” he declared “I am the way.” Jesus is our path to God the Father. This is what Christmas is all about. Christmas is about CHRIST, leading us to the Father and eternal life.

Sadly so many other religions out there tell us there are many ways to God. There are well-known tele-evangelists that believe this and they call themselves Christians. Let’s look at the statistics, the leaders of these other faiths are dead. We serve a risen and alive Christ! Despite what the world says, JESUS IS THE ONLY WAY for eternal life!

Jesus also declares he is the truth. He didn’t say “I know the truth or I teach the truth.” He said “I AM the Truth.” Truth is a reality that is stable, solid, reliable and something strong enough to support us. Jesus is all these things. He challenges the lies the enemy tells us. The greatest lie Satan tells us is we are okay as we are, we don’t need Jesus, we don’t need salvation. The first lie Satan told to Eve was if she ate the fruit she will be like God. People have bought into that lie ever since. We are not our own gods, we are not here for ourselves. There are thousands of people dying and going to hell because they bought into this lie and only living for themselves. They reject the truth of Jesus. Ignoring God will defeat us. Going our own way will destroy us. “Apart from me you can do nothing,” he said. “If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned” (John 15:5-6).

Jesus is life. There is no life without him. Life begins with Christ. He formed us in our mother’s womb to give us physical life. He gave his own life on the cross of Calvary so we can have eternal life. We have to choose to believe and give ourselves completely to him. Jesus is grace, his grace sets us free. Sexual gratifications, business success, fame, money, etc may make an individual popular with the world and they seem to reign supreme. However, inside they are dying. None of these things or “religion” will save them from hell. Only Jesus can give eternal life.
The challenge, even for Christians, is to not buy into Satan’s lie that all ways lead to heaven. This makes people very uncomfortable because we don’t want to upset others. However, this is God’s truth not mine. God’s word is truth and life. Jesus as the I AM declares the same as God:
“I AM/I was/I will always be/ the way. I AM/I was/I will always be/ the truth. I AM/I was/I will always be/ the life. No man comes to the Father except through me.”

If we declare otherwise, we are calling God a liar. This Christmas let us renew our faith in Jesus. Let us not waver in our stand as Christians. May our lives tell the sweet story of salvation. Let us love others but not hide the truth of Jesus being the only way to salvation and damning others to hell. Jesus came so all men can believe and be saved!

Jesus, the way, the truth and the life, thank you for saving me. I thank you for coming as a babe as God to rescue me from the pits of hell. Jesus, it is so easy to join in the Satan’s lie with the world to declare all ways lead to you. Oh please forgive me for ever buying into this lie. Jesus so many good, well-meaning people are dying and going to hell because they believe they are their own god, that good works will get them to heaven and there is nothing to fear. Oh, Jesus, I was one of those people before I met you. Please help me to live solely for you and love others no matter what but out of that love, not hide the truth of your words. This statement from you puts us at edge because it goes against everything we are as people, we want to have full control, to be successful, to have it all. But in reality Lord, we suffer greatly and the things of this world are material and won’t last into eternity. Jesus, I confess today that you are indeed the way, the truth, and the life and I stand firm on my faith in your words. I stand firm that no one comes to the Father except through you. Thank you for your gift of salvation and eternal life. Amen.