The Prosperity of Jerusalem

May the LORD bless you from Zion; may you see the prosperity of Jerusalem all the days of your life.”
‭‭Psalm‬ ‭128:5‬ ‭NIV‬‬

As I have read through the bible over the years I have come across many references to the City of Jerusalem. Particularly the verse mentioned above. I had a desire to one day go to Jerusalem.

Prophecy is being fulfilled in our days. The Jewish people are returning to live in Israel after many centuries of exile. It became a state in 1948 and since that time Jews from many nations are returning. I have been blessed to have traveled to Jerusalem. Each time I see changes; buildings going up and new roads and railways being constructed. I have been blessed to have traveled to Jerusalem. Towns are being built on the top of hillsides. What a work of engineering is going on!

The desert is blossoming. Farms are producing fruit and vegetables on land that was once barren. The story of the restoration of Israel gives me great hope for God’s promise of restoration and fruitfulness. He can cause water to flow in the desert of the Negev. What he is doing here the same God can do in our lives.
I was reading from Psalm 48 today.

“How great is the Lord, how deserving of praise, in the city of our God, which sits on his holy mountain!
It is high and magnificent; the whole earth rejoices to see it!
Mount Zion, the holy mountain, is the city of the great King! God himself is in Jerusalem’s towers, revealing himself as its defender.
We had heard of the city’s glory, but now we have seen it ourselves— the city of the Lord of Heaven’s Armies.
It is the city of our God; he will make it safe forever. Interlude
As your name deserves, O God, you will be praised to the ends of the earth.
Your strong right hand is filled with victory.
Go, inspect the city of Jerusalem.
Walk around and count the many towers.
Take note of the fortified walls, and tour all the citadels, that you may describe them to future generations.
For that is what God is like. He is our God forever and ever, and he will guide us until we die.”
‭‭Psalms‬ ‭48:1-3, 8, 10, 12-14‬ ‭NLT‬‬

We have seen Jerusalem for ourselves. I was attracted to Jerusalem because I believe that Jesus the son of God walked here. He spent much time on the Mount of Olives. It can be seen clearly across from Jerusalem. It was from here Jesus ascended into heaven, after he had been crucified and risen from the dead. He appeared and ate with his followers.

“After saying this, he was taken up into a cloud while they were watching, and they could no longer see him. As they strained to see him rising into heaven, two white-robed men suddenly stood among them. “Men of Galilee,” they said, “why are you standing here staring into heaven? Jesus has been taken from you into heaven, but someday he will return from heaven in the same way you saw him go!””
‭‭Acts of the Apostles‬ ‭1:9-11‬ ‭NLT‬‬

Jesus will return again with the two angels to The Mount of Olives. He told his disciples before he was crucified.  When the high priest asked Jesus “Are you the Messiah” Jesus replied ” I Am and you will see the Son of Man seated in the place of power at God’s right hand and coming on the clouds of heaven.”  Mark 14 v  62

“For there will be greater anguish in those days than at any time since God created the world. And it will never be so great again. In fact, unless the Lord shortens that time of calamity, not a single person will survive. But for the sake of his chosen ones he has shortened those days.  Then everyone will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds with great power and glory. And he will send out his angels to gather his chosen ones from all over the world —from the farthest ends of the earth and heaven.
In the same way, when you see all these things taking place, you can know that his return is very near, right at the door.
“The coming of the Son of Man can be illustrated by the story of a man going on a long trip. When he left home, he gave each of his slaves instructions about the work they were to do, and he told the gatekeeper to watch for his return. You, too, must keep watch! For you don’t know when the master of the household will return—in the evening, at midnight, before dawn, or at daybreak. Don’t let him find you sleeping when he arrives without warning. I say to you what I say to everyone: Watch for him!””
‭‭Mark‬ ‭13:19-20, 26-27, 29, 34-37‬ ‭NLT‬‬

It is time to get our lives ready for Jesus return. Jesus main purpose of his coming on earth the first time was to save people from their sins. He told them to turn from their sins and believe in him. He rescued them from going to hell. Hell is real. It was prepared for the devil and his angels. But Satan deceives mankind and wants to bring us to hell with him. Jesus rescues us from the Devil’s power and our own sinfulness and promises to bring us to heaven.  Are you ready to meet him when he returns?

Ask Jesus now to help you and he will.

Rosh Hashanah

 

“Today, the feast of Rosh Hashanah is being celebrated by the people of Israel. Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, is one of Judaism’s holiest days. … Rosh Hashanah commemorates the creation of the world and marks the beginning of the Days of Awe, a 10-day period of introspection and repentance that culminates in the Yom Kippur a holiday, also known as the Day of Atonement.”. Quote from “History.com”

It is the beginning of the Jewish civil New Year. The people of Israel celebrate with friends and family for two days. It is the time when they look back on the past year and reflect on their failings and successes. They dip apples into honey sharing pieces and wish each other a sweet new year. They throw pieces of bread into water signifying their sins being washed away. These two days are the beginning of a season of repentance before God ending in Yum Kippur, when the people fast.

Tonight I was reading from Psalm 65.

What mighty praise O God, awaits you in Zion.
We will fulfil our vows to you because you answer our prayers
and to you all people will come.
Though our hearts are filled with sins you forgive them all.
You are the hope of everyone on earth.
You formed the mountains by your power.

What wonderful words of love and promise from God!

Let us join with the people of Israel at this season and reflect on our failings this past year. God has provided his Son Jesus to wash away our sins. Jesus died on the cross and shed his blood for the forgiveness of all people’s sins, Jews and Gentiles. All one has to do is believe there is a God, our Father in heaven and believe in his Son Jesus.
The Jews believe in the God of Creation, but do not have a revelation of Jesus yet.

Jesus breaks the power of sin in our lives. We often feel we cannot be forgiven for the wrong we have done. Or we keep doing the same wrong over and over again and never feel free from condemnation and guilt. Woe is me. But Jesus brings us good news. He sets one free from sin’s power and condemnation and guilt. He washes us as white as snow when we come to him. He remembers our sins no more. Our sins are truly washed away.  I know my sins are forgiven and I am healed of deathly cancer through the power of Jesus.  He defeated the power of sin and the power of death in cancer over me.  I’m alive to tell the tale.

““For Adam’s sin led to condemnation, but God’s free gift leads to our being made right with God, even though we are guilty of many sins.”
But there is a great difference between Adam’s sin and God’s gracious gift. For the sin of this one man, Adam, brought death to many. But even greater is God’s wonderful grace and his gift of forgiveness to many through this other man, Jesus Christ.
Because one person disobeyed God, many became sinners. But because one other person obeyed God, many will be made righteous.”
‭‭Romans‬ ‭5:15, 19‬ ‭NLT‬‬

Now some people believe Jesus forgives their sins and don’t need to keep asking for forgiveness each year.  It is good to come before God and admit our failings.

The Word of God says we are to confess our sins one to another so we will be healed.

“Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed.”
‭‭James‬ ‭5:16‬ ‭NLT‬‬

I believe I needed to confess my sins to others and they prayed for me so my body could be healed of cancer.

Have a sweet year ahead.  Be forgiven and healed.

Family Friday. Have You Turned Your Face to the Wall and Wept?

When one finds oneself with a threatening disease and facing death, all kinds of emotions erupt.  Why has this happened to me?  What will happen to my children?  People stay away because they feel helpless to make a change.  Clouds of fear and depression close in.  The disease advances in the body and death threatens slowly, slowly.

This happened to a King in Israel a long time ago.  Here is the story.

In those days Hezekiah became ill and was at the point of death. 
The prophet Isaiah son of Amoz went to him and said, “This is what the Lord says: 
Put your house in order, because you are going to die; you will not recover.”
Hezekiah turned his face to the wall and prayed to the Lord, “Remember, Lord, how I have walked before you faithfully and with wholehearted devotion and have done what is good in your eyes.” 
And Hezekiah wept bitterly. 
Before Isaiah had left the middle court, the word of the Lord came to him: “Go back and tell Hezekiah, the ruler of my people, ‘This is what the Lord, the God of your father David, says: I have heard your prayer and seen your tears; I will heal you. 
On the third day from now you will go up to the temple of the Lord. 
I will add fifteen years to your life. And I will deliver you and this city from the hand of the king of Assyria. I will defend this city for my sake and for the sake of my servant David.’ ” (‭2 Kings‬ ‭20‬:‭1-6‬ NIV)
So Hezekiah’s servants spread the ointment over the boil, and Hezekiah recovered! (‭2 Kings‬ ‭20‬:7‬ NLT)

Imagine the king turning to the wall and weeping bitterly.  Have you ever been in distress about a situation, perhaps not only a health problem, when all you could do was lie on your bed and turn to the wall and weep?  Have you ever felt you can’t go on unless the situation changes?  One can think “Why bother doing good?”  “Why bother seeking to keep God’s laws?”  “Why bother denying myself when my friends get away with doing things they shouldn’t.  Nothing seems to happen to them?”

Psalm 13 describes how one often feels.

How long, Lord? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me? How long must I wrestle with my thoughts and day after day have sorrow in my heart?  (‭Psalm‬ ‭13‬:‭1-2‬ NIV)

I have turned to the wall many times and cried, particularly when I was facing death through cancer.  I was afraid.  I was sad.  All hope was gone.  But God saw me and healed me.  Jesus was moved with compassion and healed the multitudes.  Will he not have compassion on one person, that person being you or me.  

Hezekiah the king of Israel was facing death.  He was distressed and wept.  He didn’t just give up.  He reminded God that he had tried to live right before him and do good.  He put his case before God.  He talked to God.  He reasoned with God.  
God heard his prayer and saw his tears.  God changed his mind and sent the prophet back right away to tell the king that he would recover.   Isn’t that good news?  Take heart today that when you cry to God and reason with him he can quickly heal you.

I have more good news.  God has made a way where there is no way. Jesus died on the cross and shed his Blood to forgive all our sins and heal all our diseases.  Even if i haven’t lived right, if I believe in Jesus and call on his name and plead the Blood of Jesus before God our Father he will forgive and heal.  Having faith in Jesus brings results.

A young lady I know had Multiple Sclerosis.  Her condition had deteriorated till she was confined to bed.  She was no longer able to look after her husband and children.  She was being treated with medication from the doctor but she remained weak.  She cried out to God from her sick bed.  Through prayer she too has been totally healed, is restored to look after her family and has two more children.   

Another young pastor’s wife had cancer and she began to bleed. She was pregnant with her fifth child.  The doctors gave her pain relief and sent her home.  She was in terrible pain.  She reasoned with God.  “I have tried to serve you as best I know how.  Please heal me.”   She was totally healed in a few days.  The cancer passed from her body with no harm to her baby!  24 February 2015 “Testimony Tuesday, Young Mother Healed of Cancer”