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Preparing the Bride of Jesus Christ

What angers GOD and how does He measure anger?

GOD’s anger is for a moment but His favour is for a lifetime. (Psalm 30:5)

What angers GOD?

Israel and the Hebrews disobeyed. At the heart of it all, this is what dismayed GOD and caused Him to be angry with them.

Likewise for us, we must walk with Him, surrendered to the degree of our understanding, willing to grow in His likeness. This is our call as disciples of Jesus. This means we are called to obey Him. He seeks a “contrite spirit” and to be followed on His terms, not our own.

Psalm 51:17 says, “The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit, A broken and a contrite heart— These, O God, You will not despise.”

In this GOD takes delight.

How does GOD measure our obedience?

GOD looks to the heart of mankind, and of an individual, to see How close (or far) from Him is their walk.

“I am exceedingly angry with the nations at ease;

For I was a little angry [at the Israelites], 

And they [other nations] helped —

but with evil intent.” (Zechariah 1:15)

Let’s look at GOD’s behaviour towards Israel

When we look at Zechariah 1, we see that the LORD allowed nations to overcome Israel as a consequence of her disobedience. And yet, when entreated upon by Zechariah, GOD says that although He allowed “four horns” — four nations — to rise against and conquer Israel, their motive was impure. Part of their motive was for evil. And so, He was even more angry with these Gentile nations.

GOD recognised the evil in the nations who conquered Israel and they would not have their reward.

So we today must discern our motive

Today, why are we following Jesus? Is it out of fear? Yet perfect love casts out fear. Fear is unnecessary.

Why are we following Jesus? Out of duty? 

Why are we following Jesus? Because He’s True?

We need not be afraid

When we look through scripture, we see how devoted GOD is to Israel, in spite of her sin.

Inevitably, the people of Israel are brought back to the land Israel, as promised in Zechariah 1,

“I am returning to Jerusalem with mercy;
My house shall be built in it,” says the Lord of hosts,
“And a surveyor’s line shall be stretched out over Jerusalem.” (Zechariah 1:16)

So, that temple later is rebuilt…. and in 1948, that nation is reborn. GOD keeps His promises.

And we who are In Christ

We who have Jesus and abide through the Holy Spirit, have no excuse or reason to disobey, to frustrate the plans and purposes for our individual lives nor as the Church. Just as we see GOD keep His promises to the nation of Israel even though they are disobedient, we also can trust He provides for us and protects us. We need not fear… nor disobey, but must allow ourselves to surrender fully to Him so His work can be achieved in and through us as is His intention and desire.

Let our Light Shine

Matthew 5:16 say, “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.”

Let us not grow weary nor disobey His voice when He speaks to us. Let us not take lightly the following of His will and His timing. Let us not frustrate the will of GOD but let us shine brightly, so that others can see the path and follow it.

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GOD'S STORY

GOD’S STORY: Part 5 What is the Law?

Here at Preparing the Bride, I’m telling GOD’S STORY. Presumptuous?! Not when simply looking at scripture, because scripture is the unfolding of God’s story to us who read it.

How do we prepare as the Bride of Christ? We learn GOD’s Story. Piece by piece, and peace by peace, we learn to walk as He has walked. 

GOD’S STORY Part 5: What IS the Law? And How does it relate to Creation?

In a very personal way, the LORD GOD Yehovah has shared with us through Jesus what is the law… It all comes down to Love.

Last week GOD’s Story discussed why GOD created the Law. This week, I’ll share more about what that Law actually is….

Looking at Psalm 119 we can take apart so many verses and see how much the writer is devoted to the precepts, statutes, word, wonderful works. All these draw upon the Law of GOD, the Creator of the Universe.

Looking at the Laws of physics, mathematics, language…. GOD’s Law will not be mocked. We think of the Law as a set of rules (religion) or guidelines (relationship) but it is so much more….

“Open my eyes that I may see wondrous things from your law.” (Psalm 119:18) These are not simply words of wisdom but the essence of life.

“Make me understand the way of your precepts; so I shall mediate on Your wonderful works.” (v 27)

The Father does not just want us to obey rules but He wants us to comprehend His workings! Like a watchmaker who intricately creates a timepiece, so the Father has intricately created earth, from Beginning to End. And He has created not just the physical earth but all the properties and laws of nature that govern how everything works together and holds together. He is the Alpha and Omega (Revelation 22:13). In the beginning was GOD (Genesis 1:1) even before Time, creating day and night on the first day, and hence a marker, a beginning of Time itself, there was GOD at work.

Core of Creation

And at the very heart of this Creation… is Love. A GOD who has three identities in one person: the capacity for thought, the physical embodiment, and the spiritual. GOD the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit are the labels given but He is in harmony with Himself and models that for mankind. In the beginning was a void and out of that void He created life in all its fulness, that He would have companionship and share that with humanity.

And for humanity to exist well, it needs Love at its core.

Opposition to Love

What does the enemy sow? Hatred, animosity, strife. What does GOD sow? Love, forgiveness, kindness, generosity, grace.

Following GOD’s Law is not following rules and even goes beyond relationship. Jesus came to fulfil the Law, not to replace it (Matthew 5:17). And what did he encapsulate the Law as?

“Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?” Jesus said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbour as yourself.’ On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.” (Matthew 22:36-40)

In essence His Law encapsulates the concept of Love and it goes right back to the beginning — to Creation itself and its natural laws. And GOD has always wanted us to explore, to discover His Laws. The writer of Psalm 119 yearns to understand, 

“Teach me, O LORD, the way of Your statutes, And I shall keep it to the end. Give me understanding, and I shall keep Your law; Indeed I shall observe it with my whole heart.” (v33-34)

GOD’s motive and science

The LORD does not shun our exploration but encourages it. And when we tried to build the Tower to reach heaven, tried to defy nature, He divided us through language, destroying our inter-communication, not so we would be confused against one another, but so we would rely upon Him still, to seek Him rather than to override Him, not to compete with Him, but rather to engage with Him.

The astronaut who goes beyond earth’s atmosphere and into outer space says that it is more obvious, not less, that there is GOD, a Creator, of this vast universe. Exploration in itself does not take us away from GOD, but draws us to Him.

A part of GOD’s story is Love. He loves us and wants us to love Him and one another. He also encourages us to explore, to understand His creation and its laws of nature and of science, so we can better understand Him and ourselves. 


He does not compete with science and exploration. He is science and exploration just as He is the Creator of all and created us in His image.

Comment on Environmentalism

I cannot finish this post today without drawing momentary attention to the climate change agenda, the environment, and where society has got off track.

Simply put, GOD created the earth and the universe. He called us to be stewards (Genesis 1:26-28). He called us to worship Him and to take care of the planet. One without the other is confused or disobedient. 

Let us love our world but let us love GOD first and foremost. Then the world will know us by our love. Hallelujah!

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Preparing the Bride of Jesus Christ

Powerless or Full of His Power?

“In You, O LORD, I put my trust; Let me never be put to shame.” (Psalm 71:1)

Do you feel powerless or full of His power?

Goodness of God song link

Power of Intimacy

I sit in the dark at 5am and wonder, where are we headed in this nation?

We have a new prime minister in the United Kingdom who has not been elected (except by his constituents as a local member of parliament). 

We had a new prime minister for 45 days. Then she was booted out by her own party for daring to believe Britain could grow the economy and prosper now.

We had a Conservative prime minister who was voted in by a huge majority including by usually Labour voters amongst the enthusiastic throng, for a cause that was stuck in government because the party in power hated the idea that the nation voted to separate from the European Union. 

I could list the demise of democratic Britain but that would be negative. 

What we have is a somewhat quiet coup of elite parliamentarians against their own party, an opposition who is lacking in acuity, and behind the scenes the wealthy and powerful who are lining their pockets with the mad ideas from the fearful who believe the end is nigh because of climate change.

The end may be nigh, but we don’t know the season nor the time, and it certainly has nothing to do with the natural fluctuations in climate.

The whole scenario — and I’ve only touched on some of the factors — reads like a sci fi novel. We live in a liberal democracy but are ruled by an appointed leader, who doesn’t even have the freedom to lead but is pulled around like a ringed bull, doing what he’s told about the climate change agenda, the economy, and who knows what else!

If the Prime Minister hasn’t any power, then is it any wonder if we, the people, feel powerless. 

I voted Conservative, I voted for Brexit. I won. And I feel powerless. Pity those who voted the other way… It doesn’t really matter now does it? We voted but we got it wrong so powers that be are doing their level best to counter the vote: first regarding Brexit, now about policy and even the Leader.

I sit and I stare and I wonder. Do others say to our Creator,  “Father, we don’t have any more prayers right now. We just want to talk to you… and we aren’t even sure what to say.”

He’s listening. He knows. He cares. And He values our prayers. Our voice matters to Him. “Thank you LORD!” Because certainly, our voice doesn’t seem to matter to many politicians.

Who holds the Power?

We don’t know man’s time table, we don’t know the unoriginal Satan’s time table (New Ten Commandments). But we can see the signs of the enemy and it seems a New Ten Commandments on Mount Sinai are about to be proclaimed. It infuriates me. What can I do? Rejoice in the LORD! We who keep our eyes on Jesus, not the storm, will overcome…. Because GOD is in charge.

“And he who overcomes, and keeps My works until the end, to him I will give power over the nations—“ (Revelations 2:26)

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Reflections and Poetry Watchman on Alert BLOG

What is LOVE? Does it have a moral standard?

Universalism, Liberalism, Justice: What is the True Gospel?

Who is GOD? GOD is Holy… but what does that mean?

I see dusted all over the place, GOD is LOVE. Jesus LOVES you, All you need is LOVE to win the lost. And I notice there is relatively little about the justice of GOD; and yet, Jesus will return to judge the nations (Matthew 25:31).

Well, first of all, what IS LOVE?

I Corinthians 13:4-8a defines LOVE as the following:

“Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails…” 


Love is… and is not:

LOVE isn’t soft. It isn’t excusing. It isn’t cruel but nor is it without standards.

LOVE prevails… is not self-seeking. It isn’t for our pleasure that we love but for other’s welfare. Real love wants the best for the object of our love.

There is such a thing as tough love. Our children need it sometimes; our pupils in schools definitely need it. Sometimes, love isn’t gooey and all-accepting. Sometimes love has hard edges. Likewise, GOD must sometimes demonstrate tough love towards us.

And secondly:


Love is NOT ALL He is.

The Gospel message isn’t just that Jesus is love. He also stands for justice. He whipped the market sellers in the Temple (Matthew 21:13). He accused the Pharisees of their hypocrisy (Matthew 15:7). He scolded his disciples: ‘Have you seen me so long and yet you do not know me?’ (John 14:9)

Love has a moral standard. And furthermore, GOD isn’t only love. He is love, but he is also just. The Just shall live by faith and the faithful shall have a standard or else their claim to faith is dead (James 2:14).

The Full Gospel:

And so, if we are to preach and teach others of GOD’s love, we must also balance that with the Truth of His justice. Otherwise, we are saving souls by our standards rather than by His… and then many will hear from Jesus at his return, “I never knew you” (Matthew 7:23).

The full identity of GOD is not Love, but also Justice, Mercy, Truth.

We must stop deceiving people into thinking He is all-kindness, all-love, all-gooey. Whether or not we have standards, GOD, the Creator of the Universe, has standards. He is all-forgiving, but there must be repentance. He is all-loving, but we must take responsibility for our actions. And so, we must also preach the same. He is Truth. And the truth is: we are born with a sinful nature and must come to Him to repent. It is through the sacrifice of Jesus’ life, determined by God the Father and Jesus the Son, that we can inherit eternal life, not only because GOD is a GOD of love, but also because through His sacrifice and our repentance, His justice is satisfied.

GOD IS LOVE. But He is so much more, and to define Him as only LOVE, we miss our responsibility and His perfect justice and righteousness.

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Reflections and Poetry

What is God: a reflection

Names

God is Yaweh. He is “I Am”. He is Yehova. God is Adonai Elohim and LORD. These are some of His names.

Character

God is good. God is love. God is merciful, kind and patient, gracious and just. These are some of His attributes.

Roles

God is Creator of the Universe. God is Abba, Daddy, Father. These are two of His roles.

But what is He?

Relationship… with Whom?

We who are born again, we who are evangelical or charismatic – we focus on the relationship we have with God. But do we fully grasp what God is?

The mighty God of the universe, Creator of sun, moon, stars — and mankind — has given us Himself. Some shun Him in order to determine their own lives, prove their independence, and test His love by denying His existence.

We who know Him through His son Jesus, and having been gifted the same Holy Spirit as fathered Jesus and breathed life into Adam and hovered over the universe when it was a blank slate, we need to recognise just how incredible He is. Because if we truly grasp the incredulity of all His magnificence, we might believe God can heal, God can change our destiny, and God must be obeyed.

What is God?

I’ve been a Believer and follower of Jesus for over thirty years, and I’m still learning. I’m still discovering the width and depth and breadth of God’s power and love. I’m only just beginning to consider His justice and His wrath, which is enough to compel me to walk a better witness, as I don’t wish anyone to encounter His wrath.

What is God? The truth is, my words cannot fully convey what He is. Master. Supreme. Creator. These come the closest to describing what I understand Him to be.

And if I could find the perfect word to encapsulate God’s identity, would it make a difference? Would more people follow? Would more followers bend the knee? Would I be a better person?

“The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom.” (Psalm 111:10a) My God is wonderful, full of grace and truth. But as times are shortening, and I’m beginning to realise that the wrath of the LORD is just as strong as is His love, I am beginning to quake in awe, wonder, praise and fear.

I don’t want to miss His blessings. I know He won’t turn on me and harm me. But I also don’t want to allow others to walk into His wrath, or for any of us to miss the generosity of His love, lavished on me and lavished upon others.

And now too, as I mature, I am only just beginning to grasp: neither do I want Him to miss celebrating with His chosen ones as they receive all He has prepared for them.

God is wise. He allows us to choose. But He also calls. I’m tired of wrestling with myself between receiving from Him and doing things my way. I’m wanting more and more to follow His call.

And as I recognise the incredible awesomeness of His sovereign love and authority, I also want others to see it, to trust it and live under it. It will make them happier, me happier and Our Sovereign LORD happier too.

What a wonderful world He’s created. What a wonderful world it would be if we all knew it!

“The earth is the LORD’s, and all its fullness.” (Psalm 24:1a)