Are You Blocking God From Converting You?

Anyone can be converted to Christianity….even you! If you have already been converted through faith in Christ, then you are thankful for it. That spirit of thankfulness is proof that you have truly been converted. If you have not yet been converted, you have no idea how you will look at things after your conversion. You have not been there yet; all you have are preconceived ideas of what it must be like, and most of them are probably wrong.
Do you have a hardened heart?
Are you open to having God convert your soul? Are you open to believing what millions of people have believed over the past 2000 years as they have been converted to Christianity?
Many people have a closed mind when it comes to Christ. Rather than being free-thinkers, people have locked themselves within their own box of personal beliefs about God. Their beliefs are wrong and that is a big reason as to why they are not yet converted. They assume they are right – or at least that Christianity is wrong. That is the same thing as believing that Jesus is wrong and you will never be converted by believing this.

Accepting the Trinity
In order to be converted, a person must deal with Jesus; they must come to terms with the One who is 100% God and 100% Man. There is only one God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Once you are converted, you will have an easier time accepting the doctrine of the Trinity.
That doesn’t mean you will fully understand it, only God fully understands His own nature. But as a believer, you will accept it with the faith of a child.
Having faith like a child
Child-like faith is what it will take for you to really know God. You may say: “I am a grown person, and you want me to start thinking again like a child!” Christ said in Mark 10:15 that unless you do, you can never enter the Kingdom of God. Without child-like faith, you will always tend to think that you are smarter than God, smarter than God’s Word and smarter than Christianity.
You are not smarter than God, you need Jesus, whether you think so or not. That is the absolute nature of Christianity. It’s not like some people need Jesus, while others do not. We all have the problem of sin and we all need the Saviour. But you may have another problem too, you may be blocking God from converting you. That is a massive problem for everyone who chooses to do it.

What is the condition of your heart, mind and soul?
Jesus says: “Come to Me…” Matt 11:28. The Bible also teaches that we are not to harden our hearts towards God. “Today, if you hear His voice, do not harden your heart.” Heb 3:15. In other words, if you hear His voice, don’t block Him from converting you. You may be very close to salvation or, you may be a long way from it. It all depends on how hard, or soft, your heart is toward Jesus, how closed or open your mind is toward the Saviour? How convinced are you that Christianity is wrong and Jesus is false?

Ask God to reveal Himself to you
I would like to encourage you to try something, if you are open-minded. Ask God right now to reveal to you the truth about Jesus. That’s simple enough, isn’t it? The only thing standing in your way is your self-determination, your preconceived notions, and your sin of unbelief.
If you refuse to ask God to show you the light, then you are left exactly where you choose to be, and that is in an unconverted state with no ‘living water’ inside your soul. There is living water, there is the living presence of God within every person who has been converted. John 4:14: “Whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”

Embrace the Gospel
This is all just ‘theory’ to you right now in your unconverted state. You don’t taste it with your spirit, you don’t see it with the eyes of faith, and you don’t believe it – not if you are still spiritually blind. It won’t become a reality to you until you stop blocking God from converting you and believe the truth in your heart and mind about Jesus, forgiveness and eternal life.
Conversion happens as you embrace what Jesus did on the Cross and believe He died for your sins and gave you eternal salvation out of love for you. After your spiritual conversion, you want to start living for Him in response to His grace and goodness to you. You actually begin to love God, rather than just thinking about Him in some theoretical or abstract manner. You become God’s child and even though it is a wild concept for you right now, look at what God’s Word says about the believer: “You received the Spirit of sonship. And by Him we cry, ‘Abba, Father.” Rom 8:15.

Reject or accept?
A person cannot really understand what it is like to have a loving earthly parent unless he experiences it personally. The same thing is true with Christianity, until you experience it, God is distant to you and He seems harsh and unloving. After you are converted, you begin to know Him as a loving Father who takes good care of His children. If you desire such a relationship with God, Jesus put in the work so you can have it. It’s all right there for the taking.
On the other hand, if you don’t want to receive the love of Jesus in your heart, God will allow you to refuse His offer of grace and eternal life. Man can reject God if he really wants to do so. I truly hope and pray that doesn’t describe your heart right now. When it comes to salvation, you can lead a man to the crossroads, but you can’t make him drink.

Sharing the Bread of Life
Thanks for considering this appeal, I make it to you on behalf of the Lord. That’s what we do as Christians, we seek to help others know what we didn’t know before our conversion. We are beggars telling others where we have found bread – the Bread of Life. We were in poor shape without Him, but now our lives are filled with holy joy and real peace….all because of the One who now lives within us.
The final word
People who have experienced a real relationship with God want that for you too. We know you will want it one day, but we hope you come to realise your need for Him long before you are standing in front of Him on Judgement Day. That way, your life on earth will be rich in spirit, and your soul will be prepared and forgiven and ready to enter Heaven.
Unless you receive forgiveness on earth, you cannot receive eternal life in Heaven. It may sound bizarre to you right now, but that’s the bottom line. Jesus said in John 3:36: “Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on them.”
His Word on the matter is the final word; why would anyone want to block that out of their life? 

By-Dan Delzell


Where are the Christian Men?

As they grow up, boys need Godly men to show them the way. Men who will take particular interest in them and their direction in life, men who will spend time with them, teach them from God’s Word, exhorting and encouraging them.
If a boy cannot find such direction in his father, he will need another Godly man to step up to the plate and disciple him. If not, he might just go looking for such support from the local gang leader or paedophile, who is more than willing to ‘help out’.

The risk of not having a Godly example can destroy your life
I’ll never forget a young man who came for an interview with our ministry. I could see this boy needed help and direction in life. He was very excited about working full-time with us. I asked him to discuss the opportunity, and procure the support, of his local church pastor before he joined us.
We never heard from him again; but later read in a news article that he had been murdered while working at a gay men’s club in Sea Point, Cape Town.
This incident, like so many others, leaves us asking: “Where are the men?” “How could this young man go so baldy astray?”
Well, they are not teaching young boys in Sunday school, nor are they at their daughter’s violin recitals, or the fathers’ prayer meeting at their children’s school. You won’t find them in the local hospital sleeping in a chair next to their child’s bed. You also won’t find the fathers dropping off their sons at a drug rehabilitation centre. Someone is doing these jobs, but it’s not the men. The mothers and grandmothers are usually doing all these so-called ‘unmanly’ chores.

How are you spending your time?
Our boys, and their neighbourhood friends, need Godly men to make a difference in their lives. Yes, I know we are very busy making money to give our boys a ‘better life’. Or perhaps we’re more ‘spiritual’, trying to win other boys (far from our homes) to Christ, through our wonderful ministries that take up all our time.
I was sitting and chatting with a great friend, a dynamic pastor and missionary in his day, but now slowing down with age. With tears in his eyes, he told me how he had spent most of his life trying to ‘save’ everyone else’s children and almost lost his own.

So, what does a Godly man do? And how does he make a
difference to his family?
Many think that being ‘spiritual’ is somehow related to spending time in meditation or contemplation during which your inner life is developed.
One man used an expletive as he explained to me how we don’t need theology today, but rather people need to be spiritual. Surely, Biblical spirituality is practical in nature, like controlling your tongue, providing for your family, and looking after widows and orphans?
The best way we can disciple or mentor boys is to point them in the direction of righteousness in Jesus Christ. We can only attain this through His great work, His sacrifice for our sins on the Cross, and His Resurrection. What wonderful news! We can then enjoy the evidence of His amazing Grace through obedience to His Word in our daily lives.

You have a responsibility
To prepare the next generation of boys to be Godly leaders in their homes and society, we need to be selfless and practise servanthood. We need to get active and reject passivity, get involved, rather than remaining uncommitted. We need to take initiative, rather than settling for the soft and destructive seductions of indifference.
We need to realise that we, as men chosen by Christ to study His Word and follow Him, have a responsibility to these boys. And the Righteous Judge will hold us accountable for how we perform this responsibility.

The gift of being selfless
Boys need Christian men who will stand on the side and cheer at the soccer game, take them hiking in the mountains, camping, or fishing with friends. We need to take time to share wisdom, skills and talents the Lord has blessed us with.
This is why even the presence of my sons and I interacting with children from the informal settlement at a sport ministry, is a great Gospel investment. My friends run the ministry and we support their efforts. We get the blessing of contributing simply by being great and supportive followers.
But, there is more. What about the nappies that need changing? Homework that needs to be done? Laundry? Shopping? Changing the lightbulbs?

Leave a lasting legacy
Ask yourself: “What will your children remember about you?” Will you be the father who worked so hard that his children never saw him, or will they remember the great times of discipleship in person? Sorry, I have to stop writing now, I have a ballet class to attend. And it is not my sons’ class! 
By: Charl van Wyk
Charl van Wyk is a missionary of Frontline Fellowship, involved in Africa Christian Action ministry as well as an author and radio presenter. For more information visit: www.frontline.org.za


Jesus Christ Changed The World

The world before Christ was a world without hospitals, a world without charity, a world without respect for the sanctity of life.  Hospitals were an innovation of Christianity, hence the healing symbol of a cross represents hospitals. The nursing profession was founded by Christians such as Florence Nightingale out of devotion for Christ. One of history’s greatest humanitarian movements, the International Red Cross, was founded by Christians in response to the Scriptural injunctions to care for the sick and the suffering.
Christians such as Dr. Louis Pasteur have fuelled some of the greatest practical advances in medicine. Pasteur has probably saved more lives than any other individual in history through his inventions.
Caring for the poor
The whole concept of charity was a Christian innovation. Benevolence to strangers was unknown before Christ. The teachings and example of Jesus have inspired the greatest acts of generosity, hospitality, self-sacrifice and service for the needy.
Setting the captives free
Before the advent of Christianity every culture practised slavery and human sacrifice – even the highly esteemed Greek and Roman civilisations. Child sacrifice was common among the pagan religions.
The Aztec Empire in Mexico and Inca Empire in Peru engaged in slavery, ritual rapes and mass human sacrifice. ‘Suttee’, the burning of widows on the funeral pyres of their husbands, was common practice in Hindu India before the missionary William Carey arrived.
Slavery was eradicated as a result of tireless efforts of Christians such as William Wilberforce and David Livingstone. Respect for life and liberty is a fruit of Christianity. Those promoting abortion, euthanasia and pornography are not offering us progress, but only a return to pre-Christian paganism.
Blessing the nations
The positive impact of Jesus Christ on the world cannot be overstated. Everything from education to human rights, from public health to economic liberty, the things we cherish most and many of the blessings we take for granted, all can be traced to the spiritual and the cultural revolution begun by Jesus Christ.
The scientific revolution
The irrefutable fact is that Christianity gave birth to modern science. The scientific revolution began with the Protestant Reformation and the Bible played a vital part in the development of scientific discovery. Every major branch of science was developed by a Bible-believing Christian. The Bible essentially created science.
When we get into a car, start the engine, turn on the lights, drive to a hospital, receive an anaesthetic before an operation, and have an effective operation done in a germ-free environment, we need to remember that we owe it all to Jesus Christ.
Education for all
“Every school you see (public or private, religious or secular) is a visible reminder of the religion of Jesus Christ. So is every college and university.” Dr. James Kennedy.
There is no doubt that Jesus Christ is the greatest Teacher the world has ever known. When He spoke, “They were astonished at His teaching, for He taught them as one having authority…” Mark 1:22.
The life, teachings and example of Jesus Christ have profoundly influenced the whole development of education worldwide. The Great Commission of our Lord Jesus was to “make disciples of all nations…teaching them…” Matt 28:19-20
From the very beginning Christians were establishing schools. Amongst the many innovations in Christian Education was that these Christian schools taught everybody, including girls and women. Formally educating both sexes was a Christian innovation. The Greeks and Romans before the birth of Christ did not formally educate girls. Only boys from the privileged classes obtained an education. Christianity revolutionised education by making it available to all classes and both genders. Saint Augustine observed that Christian women were better educated than the pagan male philosophers.
The phenomenon of education for the masses has its roots in Christianity. The pursuit of the knowledge of God in a systematic, philosophical and in-depth way gave rise to the phenomenon of universities all around the world. It was the Christian faith that gave rise to the idea of higher learning.
Taking the Gospel to the earth
The greatest invention in the field of learning, the printing press, by Johannes Gutenberg, was also a fruit of the Christian faith. The first book to be printed was the Bible.
Most of the languages of the world were first set to writing by Christian missionaries. The first book in most languages of the world has been the Bible. Christianity has been the greatest force for promoting literacy worldwide throughout history.
The Christian missionary movement in the 19th Century pioneered tens of thousands of schools throughout Africa, Asia and the Pacific Islands – providing education for countless millions, even in the remotest jungles, giving the gift of literacy to tribes which had never before had a written language.
Every branch and level of education was pioneered by Bible-believing Christians. The concept of graded levels of education was first introduced by a German Lutheran, Johan Sturm in the 16th Century. Another Lutheran, Frederick Froebel introduced kindergartens. Education for the deaf was also pioneered by Christians. Sunday schools were begun by Robert Raikes in 1780, to provide boys and girls from the poorest homes with the gift of literacy and the riches of the Scriptures.
Universities: One truth
The very name “university” testifies to its Christian origins. University means “One Truth”. The first universities grew out of the monastic missionary centres, which had discipled Europe.
The first university lecturers were the missionary monks who had collected books, accumulated libraries, copied manuscripts and were uniquely equipped for advanced academic study. Most universities began as Christian schools. Isn’t it time that teachers, lecturers and professors took an in depth look at the greatest Teacher the world has ever known, the greatest Book ever produced and the Faith with inspired and pioneered every major branch of education and science?
Compassion for the blind
Before Jesus Christ, human life in the Greek and Roman world was extremely cheap. Infants born with physical defects such as blindness were commonly abandoned. However, Jesus showed particular compassion for the blind, healing many blind individuals during His ministry on earth.
When the Roman persecution of the Church ended, in the 4th Century, Christians established asylums for the blind. In the 19th Century, Louis Braille, a dedicated Christian who lost his eyesight at age three, developed the world’s first alphabet that enabled blind people to read with their fingers.
The rule of Law
The Bible, particularly the Ten Commandments, laid the framework and legal foundations of Western civilisation. The very first statute, the first written restriction on the powers of government was the Magna Carta of 1215. It was written by a pastor and thoroughly saturated with Scriptural principles.
The life and teachings of Jesus Christ have inspired the greatest literature, the greatest art, the greatest examples of architecture, the age of exploration, world missions, the rule of law, the separation of powers, checks and balances, representative government, the sanctity of life, compassion for the poor, blind and needy and so much more that we take for granted.
Transforming society
Christianity has been the most powerful agent in transforming society for the better across 2000 years. No other religion, philosophy, teaching, nation, or movement has changed the world for the better, as Christianity has done. The Bible is the greatest Book ever written. Jesus Christ is the greatest Man who has ever lived. Wise men still seek Him and kings bow down before Him. 
By: Peter Hammond – Frontline Fellowship


Ancient Oils- Cassia

Another Christmas Season, can you believe it? Joy, laughter, sharing and caring are meant to epitomise the season of Christmas. Is this how you are feeling in the anticipation of Christmas, do you have joy?
Christmas is the season when we celebrate Jesus` birth and entry into our world in human form. It is the beginning of our hope. Luke 2:10, “Do not be afraid for I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all people. Today in the town of David a Saviour has been born to you; He is Christ the Lord”.

Jesus brings everlasting joy
Joy cannot be conjured up, man-made nor obtained through worldly pleasures. Those attempts will fill your cup temporarily, but everlasting joy is a supernatural provision from Jesus Himself. Hebrew 12:2, “Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the Author and Perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the Cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the Throne of God.”
This verse tells me that it was the power of joy that gave Jesus strength to strip Himself of all Deity and heavenly glory, so that He could restore relationship with us and His Father, which had been broken due to the separation of sin.

Cassia: a recipe for joy
In previous issues two ingredients of the oil of joy have been featured: aloe and myrrh. Cassia is the last ingredient in the specific recipe from the Bible for obtaining joy and overcoming the spirit of heaviness. The root word in Hebrew for cassia is ‘quadad’, which means ‘to bow the head, to bow down, to strip off’. Cassia is harvested by the bark of the cassia tree being stripped away and crushed to a fine powder. This fine powder is distilled into oil.
Cassia encourages me to see myself as Jesus sees me. He allows me to see myself in His own image. I am able to recognise the many masks I camouflage myself with and appreciate and identify His reflection of me to be much more authentic and enduring. My prayer is for you to make a choice to retrieve the unfailing true joy of knowing your own beauty and identity as God created.

God’s means for providing joy
God knows all about your sense of heaviness and the many times you have felt as if a heavy fog is rolling over your joy. He knows about your hopes, dreams and failures, but the good news is that He came to earth, stripped and naked to identify with your pain.
“Who, being in the form of God did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the Cross.” Phil 2:6-8.
The supernatural provision of God’s mantle of joy for you will require a stripping away or surrendering of your lies, false beliefs and all forms of insecurities you have been bound to.

Find your identity in Jesus
Pretending has become normal in our society, especially in our church and religious culture. Being real and vulnerable is foreign to us. Humility is considered a form of weakness, yet to be real takes more courage than living a lie.
I know that my need to be liked and accepted was imprisoning me. I found great difficulty confessing that I was wrong, because it would remind me of my sense of failure, struggling effortlessly to maintain an image I knew was only in my imagination.

Joy is a powerful weapon
Joy is not only an emotion, it is an anointing, and is a powerful weapon intended to fight against the spiritual forces of heaviness and depression. You will never fight depression and heaviness by pretending, substituting, indulging in worldly pleasures, make-over’s or fashion trends. Joy cannot be bought or traded in for a new marriage, relationship or experience. These are short- lived, a waste of money, time and effort! Let’s be real!

An oil of gladness
In Psalm 45:7-8 we read how Jesus has become our joy: ”You love righteousness and hate wickedness; therefore God, Your God, has anointed you with the oil of gladness more than your companion. All Your garments are scented with myrrh, aloes, and cassia, out of the ivory palaces, by which they have made you glad”.
The best gift of all
God is incredible, He not only provides you with salvation, He also equips you to live in the joy of the new life you have accepted. What an amazing gift! An anointing is an impartation from God to us, so that we are able to live and perform supernaturally beyond our human strength by His Holy Spirit. In Isaiah 61:3, we read about “the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness, that we may be called trees of righteousness.”

Be a joy to others this Christmas
A sense of relief overwhelms me as I contemplate the reality of God’s love for me. His joy has to be contagious. What kind of Christian are you? Are your friends and family going to feel joy being with you? Sure they can!
Make a choice to put on the supernatural garment of joy and get rid of your lemon juice attitude! Jesus has come to equip you with a fresh anointing, not of your own doing but by His supernatural impartation of love. 
 
Naomi Sheneberger
Rock Rose Ministries


Jesus loves me

EVANGELISM IN HIS NAME
Dear Friend,

Throughout John chapter 15, our Lord emphasises the extreme importance for believers to abide in His love. Why is this? Simply put, all good things flow from a revelation of His love for us. In the above two verses, a direct link is made between abiding in His love and experiencing authentic joy. For those who have a true revelation of His love for them, joy is an automatic by-product. Are you lacking in joy? Seek not joy, but rather to know His love. It is in the depths of this knowledge that true joy abides. When the fruit of the Spirit is listed in Galatians 5 v 22, love is placed first and foremost, before joy, peace and the like. Love precedes joy, the existence of the latter being dependent on the presence of the former. Dear believer, allow His love to overwhelm you. Joy will follow, like a rising tide.
Yours in Him,

Tamryn Klintworth
Evangelist
JESUS LOVES ME
Despite our sin, we are loved unconditionally by God. This is possibly the greatest mystery for us to fathom. For Nosipho Mthimkhulu, this moment happened at our recent MARIANNHILL Crusade.
When hearing about our upcoming crusade in her area, her heart leapt, realising that this was her time to be make right with God. She knew that if she came, her life would change for good.
Having suffered from arthritis for the past 3 years, Nosipho needed healing, but what she needed more than healing, was acceptance. Living a sinful life was starting to weigh her down and she knew that she needed to make things right with God. She needed to ask Jesus to forgive her and to come into her heart.
Coming to the realisation that she was loved by Jesus, was the most beautiful moment for Nosipho. “I was touched by the sermon when the evangelist said that Jesus loves me,” she cries. “After accepting Jesus as my Lord and Saviour, I felt so much joy.” Confident of her forgiveness and freedom, she was happy. “I am so happy and I know that I am now cleansed from sin. That is God’s sign to me that I have been forgiven,” she said with joy in her voice.
When asked what she wanted to do with her life now that she was saved, she simply responded, “I am willing to change the life that I lived and serve Jesus for the rest of my life.”
Tamryn is the founder of In His Name Ministries, an evangelistic organisation dedicated to proclaiming the Gospel of Jesus Christ throughout Africa and the world. Find her on Facebook under Tamryn Klintworth or visit the ministry website at:

WWW.INHISNAME.ORG.ZA


The Arab-Israeli Conflict: Who is the Real Enemy?

Thirty-nine years ago, on  6 October 1973, the third major war between the Arabs and Israel broke out. The war lasted only 20 days. The two sides were engaged in two other major wars in 1948 and 1967. To this day, many more confrontations have taken place.
The Arab-Israeli conflict is the most complicated conflict the world ever experienced. Following the anniversary of the 1973 War between the Arab and the Israelis, many people in the Arab world began to ask questions about the past, present and the future.

The questions no-one dares ask
The questions at the moment include: “What was the real cost of these wars to the Arab world and its people?” And the more challenging question that no Arab national wants to ask is: “What was the real cost for not recognising Israel in 1948 and why didn’t the Arab states spend their assets on education, health care and the infrastructures instead of wars?”
But, the testing question that no Arab national wants to hear is if Israel is the real enemy of the Arab people?

The real enemy…
I decided to write this article after I saw photographs and reports about a starving child in Yemen, a burned ancient Aleppo market-place in Syria, the under-developed Sinai in Egypt, car bombs in Iraq and the destroyed buildings in Libya. The photos and the reports were shown on the Al-Arabiya network, which is the most watched and respected news outlet in the Middle East.
The common impression is that the destruction and the atrocities are not done by an outside enemy. The starvation, the killings and the destruction in these Arab countries are by the same hands that are supposed to protect and build the unity of these nations and safeguard the people of these countries. So, the question now is: who is the real enemy of the Arab world?
The Arab world wasted  billions of dollars and lost tens of thousands of innocent lives fighting Israel, which they consider their sworn enemy, an enemy whose existence they never recognised. The real enemies of the Arab world are corruption, absence of good education, lack of decent health care, nonexistence of freedom, and a shortage of respect for the human lives. 

Are we our own worst enemy?
The Arab world has had many dictators who used the Arab-Israeli conflict to suppress their own nation. These dictators’ atrocities against their own people were far worse than all the full-scale Arab-Israeli wars.
In the past, we have talked about why some Israeli soldiers attack and mistreat Palestinians. Also, we saw Israeli planes and tanks attack various Arab countries. But, do these attacks match the current atrocities being committed by some Arab states against their own people?
In Syria, the atrocities are beyond anybody’s imagination. And, aren’t the Iraqis the ones who are destroying their own country? Wasn’t it Tunisia’s dictator who was able to steal 13 billion dollars from the poor people? And how can a child starve in Yemen if their land is the most fertile in the world? Why do the Lebanese fail to govern one of the tiniest countries in the world? And what made the Arab states start sinking into chaos?

The tragedy exists in Arab states
On May 14 1948, the state of Israel was founded. And just one day later, the Arabs declared war on Israel to claim back Palestine. The war ended on March 10 1949, just under 10 months later. The Arabs lost the war and called it Nakba (‘Day of the Catastrophe’), since they gained nothing and thousands of Palestinians became refugees.
In 1967 the Arabs, led by Egypt under the rule of Gamal Abdel Nasser, went to war with Israel and lost more Palestinian land. The Arabs called this war Naksa (‘Day of the Setback’). The Arabs never admitted defeat in both wars and the Palestinian cause grew even more complicated.
We now find that with the never-ending Arab Spring, the Arab world has no time for the Palestinian refugees or cause, because many Arabs are refugees themselves and under constant attack from their own forces. Syrians are leaving their own country, not because of the Israeli planes dropping bombs on them, but the Syrian Air Force.
Yemen, the world’s saddest human tragedy play is being written by the Yemenis. In Egypt, the people in Sinai are forgotten.

Arabs are better off in Israel…
Israel now has the most advanced research facilities, top universities and innovative infrastructure. Many Arabs don’t know that the life expectancy of the Palestinians living in Israel is far longer than many Arab states and they enjoy far better political and social freedom than many of their Arab brothers. Even the Palestinians living under Israeli occupation in the West Bank and Gaza Strip enjoy more political and social rights than some places in the Arab World.
The Arab Spring showed the world that the Palestinians are happier and in a better situation than their Arab brothers who fought to liberate themselves from the Israelis. It is now time to stop the hatred and wars, and start to create better living conditions for the future Arab generations. 
 
By: Abdulateef Al-Mulhim
First Published on Arab news


The Year of The Lord

The Spirit of the Lord is on Me, because He has anointed me to preach Good News to the poor. He has sent Me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favour.” Luke 4:18-19 (and see Isaiah 61:1-2).

Shifting our focus onto what is truly important
In the Old Testament, we find that New Years were of major spiritual importance.  [The emphasis on this is not as common] in the New Testament however, and I have wondered why. I think this is because the focus shifts to what is truly important. 
Colossians 2:16-17 explains that the feast days and festivals were “a shadow of the things that were to come. The reality, however, is found in Christ”. In Christ, we pass from the temporary to the permanent.

The Lord cares about our hearts
Jesus did not come to establish a religious system or to give us rituals. Some people like a liturgical style of worship with special ordinances and garments, but Jesus has never required them of us and, let’s be clear about it, they do not save us. “…If you hold to My teaching, you are really My disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.’” John 8:31-32.

Give glory to God all year long
For the children of God, Passover, for example, is not one day a year: “Christ, our Passover Lamb, has been sacrificed. Therefore let us keep the Festival with the bread of sincerity and truth.” 1 Cor 5:7-8. That important festival is not just once a year but should be appreciated every day, without interruption.
When we look at things like that, the start of a new year does not mean a great deal. Figures on the calendar are blotted out by the glory of Christ. Christianity is not a religious system founded by Jesus. It is Jesus Himself! The flow of His blessing, power and goodness is eternal, without reference to earthly times, dates or festivals.

Expect an extraordinary life
With God every day and year is special.  For those who trust in God, there are no lucky or unlucky numbers and no unlucky days, such as Friday the 13th.  In fact, it is not luck but the blessing of God that is the over-riding reality for God’s people.
The Psalmist said: “Goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life. My times are in Your hands.” Psa 23:6, 31:15. With God there are no ordinary days. He makes each day unique and extraordinary!
We do not know exactly when Jesus was born, however, that is not important because Jesus Christ was the same yesterday as He is today and will be tomorrow. Christ’s coming to earth gave true meaning to all human existence. Unless the world relates to Him, it ultimately relates to nothing. Its significance rests on a relationship with Him. “What good will it be for a man if he gains the whole world, yet forfeits his soul? Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul?” Matt 16:26.

Every new year, God is with you
We do not know the date of Christ’s Second Coming. Some Christians were adamant that Christ would return at the end of the second millennium  (by our earthly calendars), and that date passed long ago.  In truth, any odd day could be ‘the day’.  God has no sentimental regard for our special days or years.
For the New Year, I would like to present you with one tremendous fact from the Bible: God is with you and is faithful!  Life for the believer is not haphazard, a matter of chance or fate.  God is faithful and dependable.  He is not affected by our fickle nature or dependent on our faithfulness, our constancy, or our flawless spirituality.  We may not be perfect Christians, but “nothing can separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus.” Rom 8:38-39. We can lose a lot because of our sin and foolishness, but we cannot get away from the love of God any more than we can escape from the air we breathe. God the Father proclaims Himself as the everlastingly changeless and faithful Lord. Christ promises never to leave us and tells us that the Holy Spirit will abide with us forever.
A 365 day life-journey through unexplored territory lies ahead of you in the New Year. Let this glorious truth be your guide and promise: God is faithful! He is with you! “Surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Matt 28:20. 
You can be sure of one thing: that truth applies to you! 
By: REINHARD BONNKE is the founder of Christ for All Nations. For more info see: www.cfan.org.za