NEWSLETTER part 2 Aug 2009 by monkey6

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									HOW GOD’S WORD HAS CHANGED ME ...
Amanda
I love GOD because he listened to me, listened as I begged for mercy. He listened so intently as I laid out my case before him. Death stared me in the face; hell was hard on my heels. Up against it, I didn’t know which way to turn; Then I called out to GOD for help: “Please, GOD!” I cried out. “Save my life!” GOD is gracious - it is he who makes things right, our most compassionate God. GOD takes the side of the helpless; when I was at the end of my rope, he saved me. I said to myself, “Relax and rest. GOD has showered you with blessings. Soul, you’ve been rescued from death; Eye, you’ve been rescued from tears; and you, Foot were kept from stumbling.” I’m striding in the presence of GOD, alive in the land of the living! I stayed faithful, though bedevilled, and despite a ton of bad luck, Despite giving up on the human race, saying, “They’re all liars and cheats.” What can I give back to GOD for the blessings he’s poured out on me? I’ll lift high the cup of salvation - a toast to GOD welcomes those who love him. Oh, GOD, here I am, your servant, your faithful servant: set me free for your service! I’m ready to offer the thanksgiving sacrifice and pray in the name of GOD. I’ll complete what I promised GOD I’d do, and I’ll do it in company with his people, In the place of worship, in GOD’S house, in Jerusalem, GOD’S city. Hallelujah! - Psalm 116: 1-19 (MSG)
This Psalm is the narrative of my walk with God through His word. It describes our walk and our relationship; my emptying and my filling - all in one Psalm! In 1995, when I started building a relationship with God, this Psalm caught my attention. Without even knowing that I was calling to God, I had been praying for mercy, for a salvation from my mundane, meaningless life. And because the Lord turned His ear to me, I vowed to complete what I promised God I’d do: I’d persevere with Him throughout my life, no matter how hard this life is. And I’d do it in the company of His people; you, my new family

Eileen
God is teaching me through His Word that it is ALL about GOD – His Glory – His love His Mercy – His Blood that saves. I believe I have passed over from ‘doing’ to pleasing God, to just being awed to worship Him, loving Him and being in a relationship with Him. Opening up to a deeper relationship with God; just knowing Him and Loving Him first, has made a huge difference to my life. Now I finally understand those scriptures that I did not before, for example, my yoke is easy, peace that transcends all understanding. I don’t have to check if I have had my quiet time or prayed because it is JUST naturally my life now. I seriously can not tell you how that came about; GOD just blessed me. It was nothing I did and I am so grateful to Him for that. I love my life in Christ now and I understand the scriptures ‘your Words are like honey to me’. Literally, I feel like GOD feeds me ‘manna’ daily and it is so exciting to know Him. Secondly God is teaching me that He is Sovereign. This has built my faith tremendously.

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Studying out the history of the Old Testament has in particular shown me how GOD is in control of every event, whether big or small. God softens and hardens hearts. He raises up Kings and even every day ordinary people like you and me can do amazing deeds in His power by His will for His Purpose. Grasping this facet of God has enabled me to honestly not worry about tomorrow, who is in power, whether I will lose my job and such things that could happen. God knows everything that is going to happen and He is in control, even allowing it to happen, at the end of the day, for the good of those He Loves. We can’t see the bigger picture but GOD is painting the bigger picture. Trust Him.

”No one can deliver out of my hand. When I act who can reverse it?” - Isaiah 43:13

Neil
I am learning to read and interpret the Bible very differently, helped by great teachers like NT Wright, Michael Burns, Kirk Stevens and others. I am particularly excited that I am learning to read the Bible from a Hebraic perspective which has revealed God to me in a much fuller and more exciting way. I have been a disciple for more than 12 years and its wonderful to be on such a steep learning curve again! I am more excited now about getting into God’s word now than I have ever been. Having said that, the challenge is to live the “logos” and not just know it. As Jesus was the Word becoming flesh (John 1: 14); we who are in Christ must practically live out God’s Word. Most of you will know that I am a very cognitive person and as a result, I can easily get excited about gaining new knowledge without it necessarily resulting in heart level change. This is something I need to fight as a Christian and I am praying that God will help me to overcome it completely, as He continually transforms me into the likeness of Christ. My renewed desire to learn more about God through his Word has been blessed by Him putting his Word more deeply in my heart, which in turn has helped me to change aspects of my character. I have learnt to empathise more with people and to appreciate different personalities (and we have the full spectrum in our church which gives me plenty of opportunities to change!). I also have more of a desire to be a minister of reconciliation to people in the world. I thank God for how He is changing me (recognising He still has some work to do …) and pray that He will continue to teach, rebuke, correct and train me in righteousness through his living Word (2 Tim 3 : 16 – 17).

Barbie
“He humbled you by letting you go hungry; then He gave you manna to eat, which you and your fathers had not known, so that you might learn that man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord.” - Deut 8:3 (HCSB).
To me, this verse illustrates the fact that God sometimes let’s us ‘go hungry’ (or remain empty) for a while in order to bring us to Him, and only Him for filling. Let us continue to be in His word, filled by it and living out the scriptures in faithfulness and truth.

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“I have not departed from the commands of His lips; I have treasured the words of His mouth more than my daily food.” - Job 23:12 (HCSB).
The following selection comes from prayers in my ‘morning pages’ of the diary I keep. The excerpts span March to early April of this year and illustrate my experience of God’s word and my personal expression of the prospering of that word, within me, to Him. Morning pages are best written early in the day just as one wakes before the rest of the day crowds in and chases out inspiration. But I find that when God guides thoughts and words writing in response to Him can be done at any time. I’m sure you will see that the Psalms were a big part of my times with God recently - often I prayed them back to Him. May Your name be holy forever … My God, our victory is in You. This is the foundation of truth and of my life. … My God my victory lies in You alone, not in my abilities or actions or personality or charm. It is only You who fills me, touches me, delights me and delights in me. … Show me the way of Your will; of Your perfect way. Dear Lord. I know I need to speak to You from inner quiet places of myself. You make me real, able, vital, whole. Please hear my prayer - let Your Spirit intercede for me and answer my prayers that I don’t even know how to form in my mind. Be my shepherd. Lead me to green pastures on right paths for Your name’s sake. Make me a willing sheep, humbly following You whose voice I recognise. Call me to You, comfort me with Your rod and staff. May my heart be receptive to Your discipline and teaching. My God, I hear Your voice… Overwhelm us today with a sense of Your presence. Make the church a channel of your righteousness and peace. … Put us in places of want so that we may find our joy complete in You. … Make us a temple of your holiness. Help us to grasp fellowship, its true meaning as a way of being a vessel to each other for Your Spirit. … Restore our body. Keep us in Your Light, under Your Wing, in Your Shadow. Keep us close. … May You bring love into the hearts of Your people. I am alone. Be my rock. … Capture me and make me Yours … Give me healing through openness … Let me be my brother and sisters’ keeper. … Reveal us to one another. … Explain Yourself to us in loving-kindness. … Purify us through Your work set before us. … Help us to give over to You everything we fear - including fear of where You will take us and what You will ask us to do. Perfect us in love so that fear does not reign. Amen.

“When I discovered your words, I devoured them. They are my joy and my heart’s delight, for I bear your name, O Lord God of Heaven’s Armies.” - Jer 15:16 (NLT)

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