Revelation 3:20

2022 CHALLENGE – GET OUT OF THE MUD AND CLEAR OUR HEADS ABOUT WHAT GOD REQUIRES!

(January 03, 2022) Mama Lava asks a leading 2022 question…

Have you ever wondered what God wants from you?

Sometimes I get caught in that rut. As the saying goes, a rut is formed in the mud. Well, I don’t want to be thinking in the mud. I want my mind and focus to be clear. Don’t you?

The Lord’s requirements
If we’re going to clear our heads, we have to get out of the mud!

Overthinking is the enemy of simplicity… but the gospel is simple. God wants a relationship with you and me. He has done everything to make that possible. But once it is established, what then?

God spoke to His people in the Old Testament through the prophet, Micah. He clearly stated what He requires: ’He has told you, O man, what is good – and what does the Lord require of you, but to do justice and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God?’ (Micah 6:8 ESB, emphasis mine).

Surely, He wants more than that. He wants mission work and tithing and sacrifice… right? He wants our hearts to be willing to act when He prompts us, yes… but so much of what we feel we must do comes from our own imagination. If we read the above verse in context with the previous two verses, we get a clearer picture…

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MEDICAL EMERGENCY: VISION OF HEAVEN AND HELL

Mark Ellis shares a good news story…

As a self-made man focused on providing an abundant lifestyle for his family, Jim Woodford had no place for God in his life.

However, Jim is married to a strong Christian, Lorraine, who prayed for him diligently, according to a report by CBN. ‘God please change his heart,’ she prayed. ‘Bring him to know Jesus Christ and just make a change in him and deal with this materialistic way.’

‘Break him or remake him’
Jim was diagnosed with Guillain-Barre syndrome at age 61, a rare, incurable autoimmune disorder in which the body’s immune system erroneously attacks the peripheral nerves and damages their myelin insulation.

The syndrome results in ‘unremitting, electrical current pain in every part of my body, accompanied with paralysing inability to move,’ Jim (right. Photo: CBN screenshot) told CBN. Lorraine saw changes in his personality as the condition worsened. ‘He was just getting to be a very angry person. The pain was just consuming him.’

Despite the ordeal, Jim refused to turn to God. At a certain point, Lorraine began to get impatient. She said, ‘God, I’ve been praying, but I haven’t seen any change. Maybe you just have to break him to remake him.’

In April 2014, Jim went to inspect a field he wanted to sell. To manage his pain that day, he had taken four times the normal dosage for his medication. As he sat in his truck, he felt a burning sensation in his legs.

‘Forgive me, God’

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THE PROSPECT: NO ROOM AT THE INN

(December 12, 2020) Brian Bell shares a point from one particular Christmas nativity play …

If you have young children and or grandchildren, then this story may resonate in your heart. For me it is more poignant in the current restricted climate which has prevented us gathering at school this year to see our children or grandchildren in the expected Christmas nativity play.

One aspect of the Christmas story is that of no vacancy for Joseph and Mary at the Bethlehem inn – as Luke 2:7 says, ‘… there was no lodging available for them.‘

I don’t believe the following telling of one particular Christmas nativity play will cause any offence (it’s my adapted version of one that, I understand, was first published in The Baptist Herald, December 1968 in my teen years, and has since been adapted elsewhere in various forms).

The Preparation
Wallace was just nine years old.

Most people in town knew that he had difficulty keeping up in school. Big and a bit clumsy, he was slow in movement and in mind. His class, all of whom were smaller than Wallace, would get a little irritated when Wallace would ask to play games with them. Especially when winning was important and even though they would try to keep Wallace out, he would hang around anyway – not sulking, mind you – just hoping he would be asked to play. (more…)