Just another WordPress.com site

Archive for July, 2006

Make His Praise Glorious!


MAKE A joyful noise unto God, all the earth;

Sing forth the honor and glory of His name; make His praise glorious!

Say to God, How awesome and fearfully glorious are Your works! Through the greatness of Your power shall Your enemies submit themselves to You [with feigned and reluctant obedience].

All the earth shall bow down to You and sing [praises] to You; they shall praise Your name in song. Selah [pause, and calmly think of that]! Psalm 66:1-4 (AMP)

It doesn’t surprise me that the homosexual community has stolen many things that actually belong to the church. Satan loves to counterfeit everything that comes from God. It is time the church takes them back.

Take for example the rainbow. In Genesis 9, the rainbow was given as a symbol of God’s promise to mankind. It is a symbol of grace and mercy and yet the homosexual community have taken it to mean something else.

Have you ever noticed how black and dark colours seem to be so prevalent in the church? Why is that? When I think and read about heaven and the New Jerusalem, I see colour, vivid colours of every hue and even some that our senses cannot imagine. Streets made of translucent gold, blues, greens, reds and yellows that stand in stark contrast to the ones we know. Colourful is the thing that the church of Christ should be and yet many of us dress as if we are in mourning. We serve a risen Lord! Everyday of our lives should be celebratory and our dress and homes should reflect that. Our worship services should be so much more colourful than celebrations in the world. Not just in appearance but in spirit as well. Yet in many churches it feels as if we are attending a funeral.

Recently in our church we have taken to using banners, flags and ribbons in or praise and worship. We have also made a conscious effort for it to be reflected in the way we dress not only in Church but our everyday life. We need to start reflecting God’s glory. The church is called to be a glorious bride. His praise is to be glorious, not a funeral march. Colour is to be part of that celebration. Here is a list of some of the colours mentioned in the Bible and their meanings.

 
RED – blood and atonement   Leviticus 17 v11, Hebrews 9 v12-14
BLUE – Heaven and heavenly grace   Exodus 24 v10
PURPLE – royalty  Judges 8 v26, Mark 15 v17-18
WHITE – purity and holiness  Psalm 51 v7, Matthew 17 v2, Revelation 3 v4
SILVER – redemption  Numbers 18 v15-16
GOLD – divinity and Gods Glory  Exodus 37, Exodus 40 v 34-35, Revelation 1 v13-14
BRONZE / BRASS – judgement  Exodus 27 v1-3, Exodus 30 v17-21
YELLOW – celebration and joy  Isaiah 51 v11, Isaiah 61 v3, Hebrews 1 v9
GREEN – new life  Psalm 92 v12-14, Hosea 14 v8
BROWN / GREY – repentance and humility  Esther 4 v3, Daniel 9 v3-5
ORANGE / YELLOW / RED – fire and the Holy Spirit  Acts 2 v3
PLUM – richness, abundance, infilling of the Holy Spirit  Hosea 2 v22, Joel 2 v24
BLACK – sin and death  Psalm 23 v4, Ephesians 5 v11
 
Selah [pause, and calmly think of that]!
 

Thanks to Launa of Launa’s Little Piece of Heaven for creating the Take a Stand For Jesus banner for me. Let everyone know you are taking a stand and copy and paste it into your latest blog. Turn your space settings from private to public

 

I encourage you to join Awesome MSN Spaces and let your faith be shown!

  

 

Advertisements

Worship – Abandonment


PRAISE THE Lord! Praise God in His sanctuary; praise Him in the heavens of His power!

Praise Him for His mighty acts; praise Him according to the abundance of His greatness!

Praise Him with trumpet sound; praise Him with lute and harp!

Praise Him with tambourine and [single or group] dance; praise Him with stringed and wind instruments or flutes!

Praise Him with resounding cymbals; praise Him with loud clashing cymbals!

Let everything that has breath and every breath of life praise the Lord! Praise the Lord!

(Hallelujah!) Psalm 150 (AMP)

Many of us have our preconceived notions about worship. Many of us have been taught that this is how it needs to be. Three hymns and three choruses and keep it no longer than twenty to twenty-five minutes. Much of the way we worship comes from tradition and not from the Spirit. Oh, in the beginning it may have been, but it became more form than substance. Many churches have lost the excitement that God wants us to have in worship. It is not supposed to be something that is mundane or repetitive.

Matt Redman, in his book The Unquenchable Worshipper tells us how one of the Hebrew words for praise is hallal. It means to be clamorously foolish or mad before the Lord. It is the root of the word hallelujah. He says that; " In a reasons to be passionate competition, the church of God should come first; yet too often we find ourselves lagging way behind in this area. Isn’t it time we saw a bit more holy mayhem in our worship?"

During the recent world cup soccer event we saw just how passionate people can get about things. People got painted up and wave all kinds of banners on behalf of their national teams. The Italians are still driving around in this city with flags and banners on their vehicles. And yet put these same people in a church if they are Christians they have a real problem with having any kind of excitement in worship.

Matt goes on to say; "I’m pretty guilty of this myself, to be honest, I could blame it on my personality, but deep down I know that isn’t the whole story. Now and again comes a glimpse of a greater freedom in worship. One night when I was 15 years old’ we were having our normal Friday night youth meeting. But during the songs of worship God really got of my heart in a fresh way, and I felt I could explode with love for Him. I was desperate to somehow let this worship out. But singing didn’t feel like enough, and I’ve never really got on with dancing, so it really didn’t occur to me that dancing was a viable option either! Becoming frantic for a way to release my worship, I hurried out of church, forgetting to put on my shoes on, and ran around the parking lot for ten minutes. I must have looked like an idiot. But at that time I couldn’t have cared less. I wasn’t bothered who saw me or how weird it all looked. I was before God – and God alone. As Oswald Chambers says’ "The consequence of abandonment never enters into our outlook, because our lives are so taken up with Him"

We get so caught up with Him in love and wonder that we forget what others might think and we throw ourselves into God’s pleasure. I long for more of those times – seasons where my heart is so consumed with Jesus that abandoned worship floods out in extreme ways."

I have come to realize that in truth, I am not the worship leader and neither is the pastor. It is the Holy Spirit and Him alone that needs to have control. He needs to be the leader and conductor of everything we do in worship. I am just His instrument and He can do with me what He wills.

In our church’s abandonment to the Holy Spirit in our church, things have changed. To some it may shock. To others God will lead you to worship in a different way. Our worship has taken on color and beauty. We get excited about coming into it on Sunday mornings. We move the chairs out of the way, take out banners and sing, dance, jump, twirl and shout and there is an awesome sense of God’s glory that enters into our midst. The worship can last from up to an hour. We want to come to that place of total abandonment in all things relating to our King. If He wants to lead us to worship until there is no longer any strength in our bodies, then so be it. He is worth it.

Get excited in worshipping Jesus. He is the greatest person who has ever walked the face of the earth and He done things that no other could. He conquered death and the grave and He purchased us with His blood. What could be more exciting than that. If we can cheer sports teams and athletes for their accomplishments and act like fools when they win, how much more for Christ. Let’s worship with that wild abandonment we find in hallal.

HALLELUJAH!!!! THE LORD HE REIGNS!!!!

 

Thanks to Launa of Launa’s Little Piece of Heaven for creating the Take a Stand For Jesus banner for me. Let everyone know you are taking a stand and copy and paste it into your latest blog. Turn your space settings from private to public

 

I encourage you to join Awesome MSN Spaces and let your faith be shown!

  

“In the Holy Name of God who is our life and existence”


 

The Written Defense of the Rev. Mehdi Dibaj Delivered to the Sari Court of Justice – Sari, Iran December 3, 1993
A born Muslim who decided to follow and serve Jesus and paid the price with his life

With all humility I express my gratitude to the Judge of all heaven and earth for this precious opportunity, and with brokenness I wait upon the Lord to deliver me from this court trial according to His promises. I also beg the honored members of the court who are present to listen with patience to my defense and with respect for the Name of the Lord.

I am a Christian. As a sinner I believe Jesus has died for my sins on the cross and by His resurrection and victory over death, has made me righteous in the presence of the Holy God. The true God speaks about this fact in His Holy Word, the Gospel (Injil). Jesus means Savior "because He will save His people from their sins." Jesus paid the penalty of our sins by His own blood and gave us a new life so that we can live for the glory of God by the help of the Holy Spirit and be like a dam against corruption, be a channel of blessing and healing, and be protected by the love of God.

In response to this kindness, He has asked me to deny myself and be His fully surrendered follower, and not to fear people even if they kill my body, but rather rely on the creator of life who has crowned me with the crown of mercy and compassion. He is the great protector of His beloved ones as well as their great reward.

I have been charged with "apostasy!" The invisible God who knows our hearts has given assurance to us, as Christians, that we are not among the apostates who will perish but among the believers who will have eternal life. In Islamic Law (Sharia’), an apostate is one who does not believe in God, the prophets or the resurrection of the dead, We Christians believe in all three!

They say "You were a Muslim and you have become a Christian." This is not so. For many years I had no religion. After searching and studying I accepted God’s call and believed in the Lord Jesus Christ in order to receive eternal life. People choose their religion but a Christian is chosen by Christ. He says, "You have not chosen me but I have chosen you." Since when did He choose me? He chose me before the foundation of the world. People say, "You were a Muslim from your birth." God says, "You were a Christian from the beginning." He states that He chose us thousands of years ago, even before the creation of the universe, so that through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ we may be His. A Christian means one who belongs to Jesus Christ.

The eternal God who sees the end from the beginning and who has chosen me to belong to Him, knew from the beginning those whose heart would be drawn to Him and also those who would be willing to sell their faith and eternity for a pot of porridge. I would rather have the whole world against me, but know that the Almighty God is with me. I would rather be called an apostate, but know that I have the approval of the God of glory, because man looks at the outward appearance but God looks at the heart. For Him who is God for all eternity nothing is impossible. All power in heaven and on earth is in His hands.

The Almighty God will raise up anyone He chooses and bring down others, accept some and reject others, send some to heaven and other to hell. Now because God does whatever He desires, who can separate us from the love of God? Or who can destroy the relationship between the creator and the creature or defeat a life that is faithful to his Lord? The faithful will be safe and secure under the shadow of the Almighty! Our refuge is the mercy seat of God who is exalted from the beginning. I know in whom I have believed, and He is able to guard what I have entrusted to Him to the end until I reach the Kingdom of God, the place where the righteous shine like the sun, but where the evil doers will receive their punishment in the fire of hell.

They tell me, "Return!" But to whom can I return from the arms of my God? Is it right to accept what people are saying instead of obeying the Word of God? It is now 45 years that I am walking with the God of miracles, and His kindness upon me is like a shadow and I owe Him much for His fatherly love and concern.

The love of Jesus has filled all my being and I feel the warmth of His love in every part of my body. God, who is my glory and honor and protector, has put his seal of approval upon me through His unsparing blessings and miracles.

This test of faith is a clear example. The good and kind God reproves and punishes all those whom He loves. He tests them in preparation for heaven. The God of Daniel, who protected his friends in the fiery furnace, has protected me for nine years in prison. And all the bad happenings have turned out for our good and gain, so much so that I am filled to overflowing with joy and thankfulness.

The God of Job has tested my faith and commitment in order to increase my patience and faithfulness. During these nine years he has freed me from all my responsibilities so that under the protection of His blessed Name, I would spend my time in prayer and study of His Word, with a searching heart and with brokenness, and grow in the knowledge of my Lord. I praise the lord for this unique opportunity. God gave me space in my confinement, brought healing in my difficult hardships and His kindness revived me. Oh what great blessings God has in store for those who fear Him!

They object to my evangelizing. But if one finds a blind person who is about to fall in a well and keeps silent then one has sinned. It is our religious duty, as long as the door of God’s mercy is open, to convince evil doers to turn from their sinful ways and find refuge in Him in order to be saved from the wrath of the Righteous God and from the coming dreadful punishment.

Jesus Christ says "I am the door. Whoever enters through me will be saved." "I am the way, the truth and the life. No-one comes to the father except through me." "Salvation is found in no-one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved." Among the prophets of God, only Jesus Christ rose from the dead, and He is our living intercessor for ever.

He is our Savior and He is the (spiritual) Son of God. To know Him means to know eternal life. I, a useless sinner, have believed in this beloved person and all His words and miracles recorded in the Gospel, and I have committed my life into His hands. Life for me is an opportunity to serve Him, and death is a better opportunity to be with Christ. Therefore I am not only satisfied to be in prison for the honor of His Holy Name, but am ready to give my life for the sake of Jesus, my Lord, and enter His kingdom sooner, the place where the elect of God enter everlasting life. But the wicked enter into eternal damnation.

May the shadow of God’s kindness and His hand of blessing and healing be and remain upon you for ever. Amen. With Respect,

Your Christian prisoner,
Mehdi Dibaj


"I have always envied those Christians who were martyred for Christ Jesus our Lord. What a privilege to live for our Lord and to die for Him as well. I am filled to overflowing with joy; I am not only satisfied to be in prison. . .but am ready to give my life for the sake of Jesus Christ." – Mehdi Dibaj

Note:

Rev. Mehdi Dibaj who was born into a Muslim family became a Christian 45 Years ago. On December 21, 1993 an Islamic court in the city of Sari condemned him to die. The conviction was based on the charge of apostasy, i.e. that Rev. Dibaj had abandoned Islam and embraced Christianity. Once the news of Rev. Dibaj’s death sentence reached the rest of the world, the reaction was one of disbelief followed by prayer and action. One of the persons who worked very hard to overturn Rev. Dibaj’s sentence was Bishop Haik Hovsepian-Mehr. Bishop Haik, an Armenian pastor, shared the news of Rev. Dibaj’s death sentence as well as other violations of religious freedom of Christians in Iran with the world. Due to the world’s reaction, Rev. Dibaj was released on January 16, 1994.

Five months after the release from prison, Rev. Mehdi Dibadj was abducted mysteriously and suffered martyrdom in June, 1994.


"Others were tortured and refused to be released, so that they might gain a better resurrection… they were stoned; they were sawn in two; they were put to death by the sword… the world was not worthy of them." — Hebrews 11: 37-38.

Bishop Haik disappeared from the streets of Tehran on January 19, 1994. The authorities reported his death to his family on January 30. Haik was a man of God who believed in the God-given right of a person to believe according to his conscience. He loved the people of Iran whether Christian or Muslim. For their religious freedom, he gave his life.

Bishop Haik Hovsepian-Mehr did not believe in succumbing to government pressure and chose instead to "tell the world" about the plight of Iranian Christians. He said: "If we go to jail or die for our faith, we want the whole Christian world to know what is happening to their brothers and sisters."

Are you ready to die for Christ?    (An article by Campus Journal)

Okay, these aren’t exactly the early morning or late evening soothing words you were looking for–but they’re too important to soften.

In 1994, some 156,000 Christians died for their faith, according to researcher David Barrett, professor of missiometrics at Regent University. That number seems huge, but Barrett states that "one in every 200 Christians can expect to be martyred in his or her lifetime."

Mehdi Dibaj was one of those people. He had been born into a mega-rich Muslim family in Iran. As a teenager, he asked Christ to be his Savior after reading a tract. Later he attended seminary and became a missionary in Iran.

In 1979 he was put in jail for 68 days because of his beliefs. In 1984 he was arrested again. While in jail he experienced stuff like solitary confinement (for 2 solid years!), mock executions, and regular beatings.

What’s more, in 1988 his wife divorced him and went back to being a Muslim after being threatened with death by stoning. Church and family members took custody of his four children.

Yet, a few years later while still in prison, Mehdi wrote these words to his son: "What a privilege to live for our Lord and to die for Him as well."

In 1994, he finally gained release from prison. For the next 6 months he traveled around Iran encouraging fellow believers. Then he was murdered.

He died for Christ. Life was not as important as the love and hope he had found for eternity.

The apostle Paul said that we should be firm in our faith and boldly proclaim Christ "without being frightened in any way by those who oppose you" (Philippians 1:28). He knew that people can harm us physically, but they can never take away our salvation.

If your faith in Christ isn’t something you would be willing to die for, check your pulse.

You may be spiritually dead already. –TF

Thanks to Launa of Launa’s Little Piece of Heaven for creating the Take a Stand For Jesus banner for me. Let everyone know you are taking a stand and copy and paste it into your latest blog. Turn your space settings from private to public

 

I encourage you to join Awesome MSN Spaces and let your faith be shown!