“Be prepared. You’re up against far more than you can handle on your own. Take all the help you can get, every weapon God has issued, so that when it’s all over but the shouting you’ll still be on your feet.
Truth, righteousness, peace, faith, and salvation are more than words.
Learn how to apply them. You’ll need them throughout your life. God’s Word is an indispensable weapon.
In the same way, prayer is essential in this ongoing warfare.
Pray hard and long. Pray for your brothers and sisters. Keep your eyes open. Keep each other’s spirits up so that no one falls behind or drops out.” (MSG)
I’m sure we all can agree. Our connection to Christ is vital to a living the life which we have been called to.
The truth is, a connection to God is something He (God), also wants.
He wants to be a clear voice in our lives. Rather than a voice hidden amongst the ‘static’ of life or a even dropped line.
Don’t settle for a second rate service. Invest in your connection!!
This is a well known passage from the Bible where a seemingly hopeless situation has an extraordinarily hopeful outcome.
The Valley of Dry Bones
The hand of the Lord was on me, and he brought me out by the Spirit of the Lord and set me in the middle of a valley; it was full of bones. He led me back and forth among them, and I saw a great many bones on the floor of the valley, bones that were very dry. He asked me, “Son of man, can these bones live?”
I said, “Sovereign Lord, you alone know. ”
Then he said to me, “Prophesy to these bones and say to them, ‘Dry bones, hear the word of the Lord! This is what the Sovereign Lord says to these bones: I will make breath enter you, and you will come to life. I will attach tendons to you and make flesh come upon you and cover you with skin; I will put breath in you, and you will come to life. Then you will know that I am the Lord. ’”
Ezekiel was presented with a very disturbing sight. A valley full of dryness. An army which at one time was possibly dreadful, mighty to behold, now just rotten, decaying skeletons!
In light of the valley of death before him, God asks the question?
He asked me, “Son of man, can these bones live?”
My answer, as I’m sure yours would be, is a resounding “No Way!” This is impossible and besides theses guys have had their time. This beyond my capabilities.
Thankfully, Ezekiel was a little wiser and more accepting that His God could and can do anything. His answer :
I said, “Sovereign Lord, you alone know. ”
Ezekiel understood that only through Gods Words can anything be established. These bones may be beyond help But God!!!
The key is in the “Sovereign Lord” at the start of Ezekiel’s reply. So often I restrict God by looking at the surface of things. Forgetting that He is God!
Looking at the situation through human eyes : There is too much dryness here, too much death/ lifelessness. Yet, God is a life giving God. From the very beginning, in the book of Genesis God is seen as creating life from the very words he speaks
I allow areas of my life to become dry, parched and even dead. When it comes to letting the life of God flow through me. After all the Holy Spirit who was given to Pentecost is likened to living, effervescent water.
In this recent dry spell it is easy to see how the ground reacts when water is at a premium. Apart from the government sanctioned “hosepipe” bans. We see cracks, dry riverbeds and confused wildlife as they go to their local watering hole to find ……… Dryness.
The truth is if I allow myself to be cut off from the source of life : Jesus. Then how can I expect to flourish?
There’s a difference between being dead – with nothing to offer and being the “living dead” carrying the life of Christ within us. Knowing who we live for and all we have is from Him!
Rather than a soldier who is alive against the odds. When I exclude Christ, his words and the Holy Spirit. I become more of a terracotta warrior! Looks good but no life!!
Brief history : Terracotta warriors
Regarded as one of the greatest friends on the 20th century. These terracotta warriors were said to have been China’s first emperor Qin Shi Huang’s personal army constructed at around 246 BC, taking around 40 years to complete. These warriors and horses were meant to be an army to protect the emperor in the afterlife. This army is as vast, as it is detailed, with more than
Each with gestures and individuality which draws many to visit and awe in the workmanship that has gone into them.
This being said, they may look mighty but are nothing but empty pots!!
Back to the account in Ezekiel. The valley of dry bones was a hopeless, dry situation. But God,
Ezekiel understands his limitations and yet God, encourages and involves him in the restoration process.
“Prophesy to these bones and say to them, ‘Dry bones, hear the word of the Lord! This is what the Sovereign Lord says to these bones: I will make breath enter you, and you will come to life. I will attach tendons to you and make flesh come upon you and cover you with skin; I will put breath in you, and you will come to life. Then you will know that I am the Lord. ’”
What’s the point
When I feel dry, go to the source
Nothing is impossible for God, he even wants to involve me/ you in the process
Don’t just look like a warrior (terracotta) – let the breathe of God, through His Words and Holy Spirit Breathe Life through your dryness
Becoming a “living-dead Warrior”, yes dying to my will and living for Christ.
living against the odds – that’s living life to the full!!
Bill Johnson may be known by some as the senior Pastor at Bethel Church in Redding, California. However, He is also the author of many books and is known for leading a church that focuses on the pursuit of the Holy Spirit gifts. Who is and should be living and active in and through our everyday.
The book itself is only 9 chapters in length and as it’s dedication suggests. It is to serve as a testimony of the works/ miracles of God. That they are not just events that happened in the Biblical time but, that God is living and active today.
Bill’s writing style is very easy going and at points it’s hard to put down. As the reader is taken on a journey where God reveals himself, his nature and his person as the Good, Good Father.
Bill shares personal testimonies of How God can move and encourages each believer not only to read the testimony. But, to believe that of God can do something for others he is more than capable of breaking through our circumstances too!!
Throughout the chapters Bill is careful to direct the reader not to himself. Rather, to the one whom the miracles, signs and wonders are pointing to! Almost echoing the famous Matt Redman song : The heart of worship.
“It’s all about you Jesus”
This book is simplistic in its design and content. Reinforcing, that when we declare/ testify to the works of God in our lives, he releases faith and power both to us and our hearers.
As Christians we are not so quick to share the God interventions in our lives and yet when we do, kingdom is proclaimed, breakthrough is brought and a truth encounter is released.
Transformation begins as we start to believe what our God can do (Big or small). Enabling us to go further in our trusting relationship with Him. In turn this should inspire others to go deeper, further into the things of God – producing a legacy, where people encounter the loving God.
“Our great responsibility is to know God and make him known”
A great little book which not only releases faith through testimony but also encourages and urges us to go deeper!
The book is more of a reference or one that you dip in when you have a similar question to the chapter names.
It is split into three sections :
Challenges related to truth and reality
Challenges related to world views
Challenges related to Christianity
Within these sections are argument and counter argument to common challenges Christians face with regard to sharing faith, doctrine and theology in general.
Paul Copan looks throughout history at philosophers like Plato, Aristotle and also looks forward at the great revelations of modern science. Showing that as believers we don’t need to be scared of these but actually using the Truth of the Word we great thinkers fail and science confirm the truths in the Bible.
Some of the questions relate to the trinity, why did Jesus have to be- come a man, the creation story and others such as slavery, reincarnation, who cre- ated God and the reality of Hell.
I found this book to certainly ‘tickle’ the grey cells and I’m sure I will revisit at points in the future.
I especially like the fact that the author, Paul Copan, summarises each chapter and also at the conclusion of the book ex- plains that he his not the complete authority about any of the subjects discussed. As these topics could go on forever.
However, I found that the way the book is laid out and the way Paul Copan logically answers each topic. Certainly gives the reader food for thought about what we actually believe. It also shows how Great our God is to have the answers within his Book – Bible and modern thinkers, science is only just the scratching the surface – revealing the Bible truths.
The Hammer of Judgement by Dr. E Cooke Victory through Christ
“Put on the whole amour of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil” Ephesians 6:11 ESV
Although I love reading, it isn’t a hidden fact that I am a terribly slow reader. It’s not that I am disinterested in the novel if find myself reading in that particular moment; i just like to take my time reading each and every detail a book has to offer. On knowing this, I was extremely surprised to find that I flew through ‘The Hammer of Judgement’ like there was no tomorrow; it captured my imagination and attention greatly. Being able to put the book down was a task I found hard to complete.
‘The Hammer of Judgement’ focuses on a small town church and it’s struggle with the enemy. With the power of the enemy stirring up destruction and dissension, and the Church ever growing in strength and numbers; the battle for Christ and victory begins.
“The battle is the Lords”
As I read through each page, I found myself being drawn in, so much so, that I felt apart of this battle; that I was apart of this congregation, that I was experiencing the situations faced. It was so well written, that there was no need to ‘try and image’ – you were al- ready there. We can experience so much empowerment through pray and trust in our Lord, that although it seems that the battle with the enemy is like a never ending corri- dor; victory is always at hand.
Jesus has the victory
This book is not only a reflection of the real evils out there in this world we live in and we, as Christians, must be on guard; but it is a reflection of the power of God; of His love, His grace, His mercy and His VICTORY.It all boils down to the victory – for it IS the Lord’s. Whether this is reflected in a piece of fiction or in the Bible – it is TRUE. I thank God, after reading this book, that I too have the victory in Christ and that Satan; he doesn’t stand a chance.
By N Clarke
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