Why is God’s Plan for man not being realized!

There are many reasons why God’s plan for man is not being realised, but the main one is very easy to see.

Many Christians simply do not believe in the Bible! And even if they do believe in the Word of God via the Bible how many Christians actually read the Bible in their daily lives?

For many Christians the only connection that they have with the Bible is when a passage or passages is read from the Bible during the Sunday Service in their church!

But like Israel who could not enter the Promised Land because of unbelief, we suffer from tremendous unbelief today. We say we believe in the Bible but one look at the Church shows that we do not.

And another problem equally as bad is that the Church is not being led by the Holy Spirit it’s being led by religious spirits, mostly in human form.

And in some churches that I have visited, the congregations appear to give greater worship and reverence to the people leading the Service than to God and the Holy Spirit.

Often it is all about personalities. And ego. When in a prayerful mode we need to ask that the Holy Spirit work in us and through us. We need to decrease and allow the Holy Spirit to increase within us.

Yet, sadly, many Church officials, including some Ministers, do not give all the glory and honour to our Father God, which is due to Him. But, instead, they feel that they are in a high place of authority within their church and that those worshipping in their church should pay homage and respect to them, rather than to God.

The Holy Spirit wants to work with Ministers and Lay Preachers so that they can speak His words to the Church congregation when giving their sermons.

He does not want them to read out their sermons in parrot-fashion; the Holy Spirit wants to inspire them so that they can speak, without notes, to give His message to all those eager to hear what He has to say.

But very few Ministers and Lay Preachers have the confidence – or ability – to do so. Some Ministers of my acquaintance even prepare their prayers in advance of the Service and read them!!

Many years ago one truly inspirational evangelist – Kathryn Kuhlman – preached at meetings in America where many many thousands of people would attend. People would queue for several hours before the doors of the auditorium were opened and the meetings themselves often lasted for more than three hours.

Although Kathryn passed away in 1976 I have watched numerous videos of her meetings on YouTube – and, to us in the 21st century, what she did is absolutely amazing and almost beyond belief.

Kathryn – through the Holy Spirit – was able to heal virtually any disease or illness, however minor or serious.

Those in need of healing would come up to the stage and Kathryn would say a few words to them, and ask them from what they were suffering. And, almost instantaneously, so it seemed anyway, they would fall backwards and on to the floor.

There were always several men behind the person receiving healing to catch them so that they did not hurt themselves when they fell backwards.

It was very dramatic but also very effective.

People who had long medical histories of ill health were cured and their cures were testified by their own physician!

Kathryn always said that it was not her that did the healing – but the Holy Spirit.

Please take a look at this video:-

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e4zoYWAyN4s

I found it very interesting – and I am sure you will too.

May our Father God bless you all

Geoffrey

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Bread of Heaven

This is one of my favourite hymns. It was written by William Williams (1717-1791):-

Guide me, O though great Jehovah,
Pilgrim through this barren land.
I am weak, but though art mighty;
Hold me with thy powerful hand,
Bread of  heaven, bread of heaven,
Feed me till I want no more;
Feed me till I want no more.

Open now the crystal fountain
Whence the healing stream doth flow;
Let the fire and cloudy pillar
Lead me all my journey through.
Strong deliverer, strong deliverer,
Be thou still my strength and shield;
Be thou still my strength and shield.

When I tread the verge of Jordan,
Bid my anxious fears subside;
Death of death and hell’s destruction,
Land me safe on Canaan’s side.
Songs of praises, songs of praises,
I will ever give to thee;
I will ever give to thee.

In this hymn we are acknowledging that our Father God and the Holy Spirit willingly supply us with everything that we need – if we will allow them to do so.

For Jesus says, “Ask and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock and it will be opened to you”.

Statistically, the number of people attending church each Sunday is seriously declining.

This may be the fault, in part, at least, of the Ministers, Deacons and lay preachers of every religious denomination but it cannot be denied that now that our Sabbath day (Sunday) is becoming less and less sacred and less and less holy, many people find an excuse not to go to church because, for example, they prefer to watch a football match!

We have allowed our churches to become empty because the world has taken its focus away from the Word of God and we are not being obedient to reading His word and teaching our children the ways of the Lord

And one Minister, who is a good friend of mine, even admits that one of his grandchildren ‘can’t’ come to church because he is in a football team who practice every Sunday morning!

We need to be baptised by the Holy Spirit, so that we can worship in Spirit and in truth. The church fire has been dimmed and will go out. The fire of God needs to come down upon each one of us so that we can once again put God first in our lives. The bible says in Matthew 6:33:-

“But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.”

John Wesley (the founder of the Methodist Church) in the eighteenth century often preached at outdoor meetings when many thousands of people gathered to listen to what he had to day – and many of those people had walked miles and miles to get to the place where Wesley was preaching.

How many people would be prepared to walk 10+ miles to church every Sunday? Very few I would expect!

God will never leave, nor forsake you (Deuteronomy 31: 6) but he is very disappointed when we ignore Him because we cannot find time to attend Church on Sunday and seldom talk to Him in prayer.

In my humble experience, God always listens to my prayers and, on many occasions, He will answer them in a positive way.

And I am sure that He will listen to your prayers too. You just need to set aside some time every day, no matter how busy you may be.

With many peaceful blessings

Geoffrey

Just Checking In

A minister passing through his church in the middle of the day,
decided to pause by the altar and see who had come to pray.
Just then the back door opened, a man came down the aisle.
The minister frowned as he saw the man hadn’t shaved in a while.

His shirt was kinda shabby and his coat was worn and frayed.
The man knelt, he bowed his head, then rose and walked away.
In the days that followed, each noon time came this chap.
Each time he knelt just for a moment, a lunch pail in his lap.

Well, the minister’s suspicions grew, with robbery a main fear.
He decided to stop the man and ask him, “What are you doing here?”
The old man said, he worked down the road. Lunch was half an hour.
Lunchtime was his prayer time, for finding strength and power.

“I stay only moments, see, because the factory is so far away.
As I kneel here talking to the Lord, this is kinda what I say: –

“I JUST CAME AGAIN TO TELL YOU, LORD, HOW HAPPY I’VE BEEN, SINCE WE FOUND EACH OTHER’S FRIENDSHIP AND YOU TOOK AWAY MY SIN.
DON’T KNOW MUCH OF HOW TO PRAY, BUT I THINK ABOUT YOU EVERY DAY. SO, JESUS, THIS IS JIM CHECKING IN TODAY.”

The minister feeling foolish, told Jim, that was fine.
He told the man he was welcome to come and pray just anytime.
Time to go, Jim smiled, said “Thanks.” He hurried to the door.
The minister knelt at the altar, he’d never done it before.

His cold heart melted, warmed with love, and met with Jesus there.
As the tears flowed, in his heart, he repeated old Jim’s prayer:

“I JUST CAME AGAIN TO TELL YOU, LORD, HOW HAPPY I’VE BEEN, SINCE WE FOUND EACH OTHER’S FRIENDSHIP AND YOU TOOK AWAY MY SIN.
I DON’T KNOW MUCH OF HOW TO PRAY, BUT I THINK ABOUT YOU EVERY DAY. SO, JESUS, THIS IS ME CHECKING IN TODAY.”

Past noon one day, the minister noticed that old Jim hadn’t come.
As more days passed without Jim, he began to worry some.
At the factory, he asked about him, learning he was ill.
The hospital staff was worried, but he’d given them a thrill.

The week that Jim was with them, brought changes in the ward.
His smiles, a joy contagious. Changed people, were his reward.
The head nurse couldn’t understand why Jim was so glad,
when no flowers, calls or cards came, not a visitor he had.

The minister stayed by his bed, he voiced the nurse’s concern:
No friends came to show they cared. He had nowhere to turn.
Looking surprised, old Jim spoke up and with a winsome smile;
“the nurse is wrong, she couldn’t know, that in here all the while
every day at noon He’s here, a dear friend of mine, you see,
He sits right down, takes my hand, leans over and says to me: –

“I JUST CAME AGAIN TO TELL YOU, JIM, HOW HAPPY I HAVE BEEN, SINCE WE FOUND THIS FRIENDSHIP, AND I TOOK AWAY YOUR SIN.
ALWAYS LOVE TO HEAR YOU PRAY, I THINK ABOUT YOU EACH DAY,
AND SO JIM, THIS IS JESUS CHECKING IN TODAY.”

With many joy-filled  blessings

Geoffrey

Pleasure

A couple of days ago, following the conclusion of the evening meeting, I was talking with Pastor Tim Howells and I asked him why he thought that the number of people attending church was declining at a fairly constant rate.

Pastor Howells gave me a one word answer: –

“PLEASURE”.

And that set me thinking.

When you study your Bible (as I do constantly) you will know that there are numerous references to the fact that the Sabbath day should be a day of rest.

God made the earth in six days and on the seventh day God finished the work that he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all the work that he had done. So God blessed the seventh day and hallowed it, because on it God rested from all the work that He had done in creation (Genesis 2: 2-3).

Then in Exodus 20: 9-11 God says to Moses: –

Six days you shall labour and do all your work, but the seventh day is a sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your male or female servant, nor your animals, nor any foreigner residing in your towns. For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.

When I was a young child I attended a Methodist Sunday School every Sunday at 11am. Returning home at 12.15pm, I had dinner with my parents and then I was sent to my bedroom to have (at least) a two hour ‘rest’ on my bed.

On Sundays I was not allowed to play with my toys or to play outside my house with my friends.

Football matches, and other sporting activities, simply did not take place on any Sunday. Very few shops were open (except at the sea-side, perhaps). My mother would encourage me to improve my young mind by reading classical novels (like Dickens, Thackeray, Scott etc).

I remember that my father bought us a television in 1953 so that we could watch the coronation of our Queen but in those days there was only the BBC available and programmes were only shown at specific times during the day. So, I was in no danger of being seduced by unsuitable television programmes!

And, generally speaking, all churches seem to thrive. Many churches were filled every Sunday with regular worshippers. This, of course, was in the 1950s.

But – sadly – as soon as the law was changed to allow the Sunday opening of supermarkets and football matches (for example) to take place, slowly the traditional form of Sunday began to change and a decrease in the number of people attending church each Sunday with it.

And in the last decade or so, with the advancement of computer technology (especially in respect of the world wide web and emails), many young people stay up late on a Saturday night watching films, or playing computer games, and are much too tired to get up early enough on a Sunday morning to go to Sunday School or Young Church.

Even one of our Ministers, who has a ten year old grandson, is unable to persuade him to attend Sunday School because he is a member of his school football team who play their fixtures on a Sunday morning.

Understanding the problem is one thing – but fixing it is quite another.

How can today’s church environment possibly compete against the ungodly world? There are no Billie Graham’s around these days and there are relatively few outstanding evangelists.

Recently I have been researching the phenomena surrounding the Welsh Revival of 1904. One of the leaders of the Revival, Evan Roberts, had a vision that he would bring 100,000 souls to God within a few months.

Through long hours of prayer, Roberts began to speak at more and more meetings, at which the Holy Spirit descended upon all those present, which in turn led to a tremendous increase in the number of people attending church.

Meetings would last until 2, 3 or even 4am in the morning. Every church was overflowing with people and on many occasions, large crowds gathered outside the church because there was no room for them inside!

The main Welsh Revival took place from 1904-1906 but its effects lasted for a considerable number of years thereafter.

Just as it was in 1904, prayer today, in our twenty-first century – is very very important. Evan Roberts and his team spent many many hours in prayer – and the Holy Spirit bestowed great wisdom and oratory powers on the Revival preachers.

My wife, Marlene, and I always make time every day – no matter how busy we may be – for prayer. Sometimes we pray individually, sometimes we pray together. We live in a ‘House of Prayer’………..

A few months ago – just before Christmas – we began to attend the weekly Prayer Group at an Apostolic Church in Ebbw Vale.

It was totally different and a completely new experience for me. People were speaking in tongues; I had only ever read in the Bible that the Holy Spirit descended upon the disciples in Jerusalem whilst they were having a Pentecostal meal together.

All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other languages as the Spirit gave them ability (Acts 2: 4).

Also different was the fact that the number of regular attendees at the Thursday morning Prayer Group was a greater number than could be found in some of the local Methodist Churches on a Sunday morning or evening.

Now returning to my original theme – ‘Pleasure’ – the challenge for us all is to adapt our Church presentation to meet the needs of people in our local community.

Pleasure – and leisure – certainly have their place in our weekly ‘menu’ of activities but if we do not make time for worshipping our Father God then we have truly ‘lost’ our way.

What do you think?

How can we reverse the present serious decline in our Church attendance? I’d love to hear your ideas. Or even your own experiences, where you live, about how you are managing to attract more people to your church?

Please send your ideas, thoughts and experiences to me at: –

geoffrey@mywalkwithgod.net

With many prayerful blessings

Geoffrey

 

 

 

Easter Greetings from the World Methodist Council

I greet you in the name of our Crucified and Risen Lord, Jesus Christ on this special day as we proclaim with Christians throughout the word; “The Lord is risen! He is risen indeed. Hallelujah”.

The past week Christians reflected on Jesus’ march on Jerusalem that ended in the crucifixion. We were further shocked and horrified by the cowardly acts of terror inflicted on innocent civilians in Corte d’Ivoire, Turkey and Belgium. People all around the world expressed collective solidarity and grief with the victims of these ghastly deeds. As on Good Friday for many it seemed as if hope died but death could not hold Jesus.

The story of Jesus would have been nothing more than an occasional point of reference of an inspirational teacher, a charismatic figure or a martyr if it had simply ended with the crucifixion, but Jesus defeated death and rose from the grave on the third day. For this reason, we are the people of the resurrection and can affirm with Christians throughout the centuries that; “God Raised Jesus from the Dead”.

The Easter message is about the unlimited, boundless grace, victory, joy and renewed hope for believers. In William Shakespeare’s Hamlet, death is described as, “The road from which no traveller has ever returned”. (Hamlet Act 3 Scene 1) He was wrong because one did return, and his name is Jesus, the Christ. It is in His name that we gather today as an Easter people, a people of Hope. With Easter, we look at death and the grave differently, and words like hopelessness and impossible loose its meaning.

Easter functions as a divine proclamation and a decisive victory over the evil forces of sin and death. Therefore, we can look with confidence towards the future with God.

As a people of hope, we live in the shadow cast by the resurrection and everything should be interpreted in the light of this event.

Happy Easter!

Ivan Abrahams
General Secretary
World Methodist Council

A Dusty Room

They came unexpectedly. Two of them following a man with a jar – he pointed me out, and then disappeared as the others hurried towards me. I recognised them immediately; they were followers of Him, the teacher.

We had spoken before, this teacher and I, He spoke wisely and seemed somehow to be able to look inside my very soul.

We had discussed money, something that I was very fond of, but He seemed to think that I should give more away, help the local poor, reach out to those in need around me. I was a little taken aback; after all, who was this man to tell me what I should do with my own money?

But He sowed a seed, and it really got me thinking. It was as if He knew it would, as if He even knew the outcome of my thinking.

Then of course it happened, his two disciples arrived and asked for my upper room so that they and the teacher could share the Passover together.

Here was my chance, to show Him that I had been thinking about our conversation. I welcomed the party and told them I would prepare it for them.

They went back to give Jesus the news and I went straight to the room that had not been used for a while and needed a good clean. I spent the afternoon cleaning everywhere, making it ready to receive Him.

It was not too long before they showed up. Everyone looked hot and bothered, He smiled at me as I had said nothing about charging Him for the use of the room. He knew I was beginning to change.

He asked me for a bowl of water, which I provided and then to everyone’s amazement He bent down and washed his disciples’ feet. I have never seen a teacher, a leader do that before. Who was this man who turned the norm on its head and changed everything from the inside out?

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

With many peaceful blessings

Geoffrey

 

The Last 7 Sayings that Jesus said on the Cross

These are the last seven sayings that Jesus said on the cross.
 
Sometimes they are referred to as the “Seven Words.” There’s also a bit of a debate on the exact order of the sayings, but the following is a complete list with a plausible order.
 
Luke 23:34, “Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing.”
 
Luke 23:43, “Truly I say to you, today you shall be with Me in Paradise.”
 
John 19:26-27, “Woman, behold, your son!” 27 Then He *said to the disciple, “Behold, your mother!”
 
Matt. 27:46, “ELI, ELI, LAMA SABACHTHANI?” that is, “MY GOD, MY GOD, WHY HAVE YOU FORSAKEN ME?”
 
John 19:28, “I am thirsty.”
 
John 19:30, “It is finished!”
 
Luke 23:46, “Father, INTO YOUR HANDS I COMMIT MY SPIRIT.”
With many heartfelt blessings
Geoffrey