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Proclaiming the good news of Jesus Christ.


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All things are ordained in heaven

gods will or my will

“For promotion and exaltation comes not from the east or the west, nor from the south. It is God alone who judges; he decides who will rise and who will fall.” – Psalm 75:6-7

Do you wish to succeed in life? Don’t boast about your own merits and future plans. It is God who ultimately decides. He alone can lift you up or bring you down.

Unless it is God’s will, the best-laid goals and strategies will come to nothing. The Bible tells us to pray about everything, acknowledge Him in all our ways, and commit all into God’s hands. If our concepts and preparations are unsuccessful, rest assured that they were never meant to be. Trusting God means that He has to have the last word in whatever we do, because He knows what is best for us.

How arrogant and contriving it is for us to leave God out of our plans! How vain it is to look for any thing good to turn out without God’s blessing and guidance!

“Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that. As it is, you boast in your arrogant schemes. All such boasting is evil.” – James 4:14-16

Matthew Henry writes, “Our times are not in our own hands, but at the disposal of God. Our heads may be filled with cares and contrivances for ourselves, or our families, or our friends; but Providence often throws our plans into confusion. All we design, and all we do, should be with submissive dependence on God. It is foolish, and it is hurtful, to boast of worldly things and aspiring projects; it will bring great disappointment, and will prove destruction in the end.”

We can rest assured that God loves us and wants to bestow the best gifts.

But not everything we contrive is the right course of action. We must ask ourselves, “Is this just a good idea, or is it a God idea?” Every good and perfect gift, blessing, and promotion comes from above, from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning (James 1:17).

Do you want to be exalted and successful in whatever you do? Learn to humble yourself and pray as Jesus prayed, “Father, not my will, but your will be done.”

There is a God, and a divine plan for us, and things happen not by chance. Men forget that all things are ordained in heaven. The Lord reigns evermore. He puts down one, and sets up another. He is at work behind the scene of our lives. The foolish dream that He is not, but He is near even now. Pray and patiently wait for things to come to pass, not in our own timing, but in His.

– Luis Josephus

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Happy International Woman’s Day

Pro-Life is Pro-Woman

It has been said — politically and culturally — that for one to be pro-woman one must be pro-choice. But nothing could be further from the truth. The truth is that life is an empowering choice for women and their developing babies. Abortion harms women, their babies, and spreads its negative effects on our society in so many ways.

Babies are a gift from God and abortion takes that gift away. A true feminist would not willingly kill other female (nor male) unborn babies.

– Luis Josephus

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Planned Parenthood Abortions To Cease

Thanks to your prayers on behalf of the unborn, the organization, Planned Parenthood, is being stripped of state funding by the Trump administration until they cease all abortion services. However, the President has offered to grant the company federal funding as long as they only conduct non-abortive medical services.

In a recent New York Times statement, President Donald Trump told reporters, “I am pro-life…Polling shows the majority of Americans oppose public funding for abortion, even those who identify as pro-choice. There is an opportunity for organizations to continue the important work they do in support of women’s health, while not providing abortion services.”

Evangelical leader, Rev. Franklin Graham had this to say, “Good for President Donald J. Trump! I hope Planned Parenthood will take him up on his offer to provide funding if they will stop doing abortions.” Franklin continued “A recent report said that 94% of Planned Parenthood’s ‘pregnancy services’ were abortions in 2014-2015. That same year Planned Parenthood performed over 320,000 abortions—that’s one every 98 seconds!”

– Luis Josephus

 

 

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God Can Clean Up Your Mess

And the winner is...you!

And the winner is…you!

Being confident of this, that He [God himself] who began a good work in you, will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” – Philippians 1:6

“He will keep you firm to the very end, so that you will be free from all blame on the day when our Lord Jesus Christ returns.” – 1 Corinthians 1:8

Both the Old and the New Testament teach that election and salvation is a sovereign work of God’s grace. God is the One who chooses us, God is the One who gives us faith to believe, God is the one who does the work of regeneration, and it is God who preserves us to the very end of our lives. True Christians patiently look forward to the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and they will trust in His promises until they are fulfilled. Those that have this hope will be blameless in the day of Christ, made so by the rich and free grace of God.

Christians are distinguished from the profane and the atheists, that they have been chosen of God, and they have chosen to follow God.

Since God chose us from the foundations of the world, He didn’t wait for us to “clean up our act,” so to speak. He knew, in advance, what a mess we would make of our lives in many cases. Yet, God overlooked our sinful condition before coming to Christ foreknowing what a glorious transformation we would make one day. He also saw all sinful blunders we would commit – even after coming to Christ – as part of the process of transformation. Praise be to God that our Heavenly Father, continues to love us and patiently work with us despite ourselves, and the many, many times we fall short of perfection.

Why? Because He foreknew that we would eventually experience complete regeration and Christ-likeness. He keeps His eye on the big picture. He saw ahead of time, the beautiful masterpiece our lives would turn out to be.

Because He is the author of our book, He knows exactly how our story will end. He has already written the last chapter and it is thrilling! Surprisingly, it does have a happy ending. He has promised it will be a best seller among the saints and angels in heaven.

I can rest assured of my salvation.

“We love Him, because He first loved us..” – 1 John 4:19

I can rest in the assurance that God doesn’t make mistakes. Because our Heavenly Father chose us and loved us before we were able to love Him back, He saw the winner in us, not the loser.

I’m also glad that He gave me a free will. He gave me the ability to choose who I want to spend eternity with. I’m glad that my Heavenly Father didn’t make that choice for me; He wants us to choose Him of our own volition. He wants children that voluntarily love Him and want to be with Him in heaven. He does not want slaves who involuntarily give Him lip service. Everyone in heaven, and throughout eternity, will be present with God because they voluntarily chose to be there.

But right now, I have to admit, that sometimes my life is still a little messy. I’m not happy about it; I wish I could do better. I want to live in a manner that is pleasing to my Heavenly Father and make Him proud of me. But regardless of how messy it becomes at times, I’m not anxious about my eternal future. I am confident that despite the temporal setbacks, I am slowly being transformed into the image of Christ – holy and blameless. The inward man is being renewed day-by-day (2 Corinthians 4:16).

Beloved, we are the sons and daughters of God, and it does not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that when Christ shall appear again, we shall be like Him. Praise be to God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ who has blessed us in heavenly places with all spiritual blessings.

Let us always remember that no matter how messy it’s been in the past, we have a glorious future ahead of us!

– Luis Josephus

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Simeon’s Prophecy of Messiah

In the video below, actor Doug Whitley portrays Simeon the prophet, who approached Mary and Joseph when Jesus was presented to the Lord for consecration in the Jerusalem temple. Here is Simeon’s prophecy recorded in Luke 2:22-35:

22When the time came for the purification rites required by the Law of Moses, Joseph and Mary took him to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord 23(as it is written in the Law of the Lord, “Every firstborn male is to be consecrated to the Lord”), 24and to offer a sacrifice in keeping with what is said in the Law of the Lord: “a pair of doves or two young pigeons.”c

25Now there was a man in Jerusalem called Simeon, who was righteous and devout. He was waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was on him. 26It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not die before he had seen the Lord’s Messiah.27Moved by the Spirit, he went into the temple courts. When the parents brought in the child Jesus to do for him what the custom of the Law required, 28Simeon took him in his arms and praised God, saying: 29“Sovereign Lord, as you have promised, you may now dismiss your servant in peace. 30For my eyes have seen your salvation, 31which you have prepared in the sight of all nations: 32a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and the glory of your people Israel.” 33The child’s father and mother marveled at what was said about him. 34Then Simeon blessed them and said to Mary, his mother: “This child is destined to cause the falling and rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be spoken against, 35so that the thoughts of many hearts will be revealed. And a sword will pierce your own soul too.”

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Portrayals of Biblical and historic figures by Doug Whitley. Doug travels the world in this full-time ministry. For bookings please contact him at: http: www.preachersofthepast.com


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God’s Healing Power

prayers-for-healingJesus once told His disciples, “Oh you of little faith, why are you so afraid?” Sometimes we can be so easily intimidated by certain illnesses and infirmities when we’re trusting that man’s opinion is the final word on the matter. The doctors may say, “This is an incurable disease,” and we think, “Oh, woe is me!”

But is anything too hard for the Lord?

Is He still the same all-powerful God who created the universe, and engineered the miraculous workings of our own human bodies? Shouldn’t we trust His word more than the incredulous opinions of others?

If you believe what cynical man has to say about divine healing you are certainly to be pitied. On the other hand, if you believe the Bible’s promises of a supernatural cure by a loving and compassionate God who can do exceeding abundantly above all we ask or think, you can be healed!

Romans 10:17 tells us that faith comes from hearing, and hearing from the word of Christ. Stop putting your faith in man and unbelieving doctors. Instead, believe in God’s healing power – for your own healing, your friends, and your family. God will never let you down if you put your trust in Him.

Below are some healing promises and affirmations that will encourage your faith. Read them every day, memorize them, and believe them with all your heart.

SEND US your prayer requests too, and let us pray and believe God together.

– Luis Josephus

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prayer 1HEALING SCRIPTURES & PRAYER AFFIRMATIONS

1 “But He [Jesus Christ] was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; The chastisement for our peace was upon Him, And by His stripes we are healed [spiritually and physically].” – Isaiah 53:5

2. “Now unto Him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us…” – Ephesians 3:20

3. “For God has not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” – 2 Timothy 1:7

4. “Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.” – James 5:14-16

5. “And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all kinds of sickness and all kinds of disease among the people.” – Matthew 4:23

6. “Then Jesus said to the centurion, ‘Go your way; and as you have believed, so let it be done for you.’ And his servant was healed that same hour.” – Matthew 8:13

7. “When evening had come, they brought to Him many who were demon-possessed. And He cast out the spirits with a word, and healed all who were sick.” – Matthew 8:16

8. “O LORD [Jehova] my God, I cried out to You, And You healed me.” – Psalms 30:2

9. “Have mercy on me, O LORD, for I am weak; O LORD, heal me, for my bones are troubled.” – Psalms 6:2

10. “Bless the LORD, O my soul; And all that is within me, bless His holy name! Bless the LORD, O my soul, And forget not all His benefits: Who forgives all your iniquities, Who heals all your diseases, Who redeems your life from destruction, Who crowns you with lovingkindness and tender mercies…” – Psalms 103:1-4

11. “Then one was brought to Him who was demon-possessed, blind and mute; and He healed him, so that the blind and mute man both spoke and saw.” – Matthew 12:22

12. “Then your light shall break forth like the morning, Your healing shall spring forth speedily, And your righteousness shall go before you; The glory of the LORD shall be your rear guard.” – Isaiah 58:8

13. “And the whole multitude sought to touch Him, for power went out from Him [Jesus] and healed them all.” – Luke 6:19

14.”Come, and let us return to the LORD; For He has torn, but He will heal us; He has stricken, but He will bind us up.” – Hosea 6:1

15. “And when He had called His twelve disciples to Him, He gave them power over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all kinds of sickness and all kinds of disease.” – Hosea 6:1

16. “The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon Me, Because the LORD has anointed Me To preach good tidings to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to the captives, And the opening of the prison to those who are bound…” – Isaiah 61:1

17. “And when Jesus went out He saw a great multitude; and He was moved with compassion for them, and healed their sick.” – Matthew 14:14

18. “Heal me, O LORD, and I shall be healed; Save me, and I shall be saved, For You are my praise.” – Jeremiah 17:14

19. “For I will restore health to you And heal you of your wounds,’ says the LORD, ‘Because they called you an outcast saying: “This is Zion; No one seeks her.”‘ – Jeremiah 30:17

20. “Behold, I will bring it health and healing; I will heal them and reveal to them the abundance of peace and truth.” – Jeremiah 33:6

21. “Then Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people.” – Matthew 9:35

22. “Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out demons. Freely you have received, freely give.” – Matthew 10:8

23. “So they departed and went through the towns, preaching the gospel and healing everywhere.” – Luke 9:6

24. “Whatever city you enter, and they receive you, eat such things as are set before you. ‘And heal the sick there, and say to them, ‘The kingdom of God has come near to you.'” – Luke 10:8-9

25. “And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, returned, and with a loud voice glorified God.” – Luke 17:15

26. “In the middle of its street, and on either side of the river, was the tree of life, which bore twelve fruits, each tree yielding its fruit every month. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.” – Revelation 22:2

27. “Now when the woman saw that she was not hidden, she came trembling; and falling down before Him [Jesus], she declared to Him in the presence of all the people the reason she had touched Him and how she was healed immediately.” – Luke 8:47

28. “And He said to her, “Daughter, be of good cheer; your faith has made you well. Go in peace.” – Luke 8:48


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God Chooses Winners

winner

And the winner is… You!

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ.  For He chose us in Him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in His sight. In love He predestined us for adoption to Sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with His pleasure and will…” – Ephesians 1:3-6

Isn’t it reassuring to know that God personally chose us before He laid the foundations of this world – billions of years ago?

Most Christians will readily affirm that our salvation is by grace through faith in what Jesus the Messiah accomplished for us on the cross. They may even be able to quote Ephesians 2:8-9 from memory, and equally affirm that we are not saved by our own good works, lest anyone of us have opportunity to take credit for our own salvation. But what most believers fail to understand is the concept of God’s sovereignty in the matter of election. In theological terms it is called Predestination.

The fact is, none of us would be saved today if God Himself had not chosen us long ago to salvation. Jesus Himself validated this truth when He said, “For no one can come to me unless [God] the Father draws them to me…” (John 6:44). Both the Old and the New Testament teach that election and salvation is a sovereign work of God’s grace. God is the One who chooses us, God is the One who gives us faith to believe, God is the one who does the work of regeneration, and it is God who sustains us to the very end of our lives.

Because of my Armenian theological background, I used to have a problem with this.

I used to wrestle with the issue of salvation and man’s free will. I once believed that Free Will Theology and God’s election were incompatible. Then one day, I heard a well-known theologian explain it in a way I could understand and agree with. I realized that man could have a free will, and I could still believe in the sovereignty of God with regards to election and salvation. The answer lies in understanding God’s foreknowledge (1). The apostle Paul describes this concept in Romans 8:28-30:

“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters.  And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified.”

Notice that Paul says that whom God foreknew He predestined and called to salvation. Since God is all knowing, He knew ahead of time who would choose to accept His free gift of salvation through Jesus Christ. In other words, He could see into the future – from the foundation of this world, who would make the decision, out of their own free will, to be saved. He knew beforehand who the winners were, and who the losers were, so to speak.

Take the Lottery, for example. I don’t gamble, but I know many Christians who have a weakness for this vice. If you could know ahead of time which numbers would win and which would lose, why would you bet on the losing numbers? That’s how God’s foreknowledge works. He knew in advance that you and I would choose Jesus Christ and become His winners. And because we are the winners – and not the losers, He chose us and predestined us to justification and glorification. Our eternal security is assured, because God doesn’t pick losers, but winners.

The God of this universe chose us from the foundation of this world to be adopted into His family and become His beloved sons and daughters. He has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ Jesus! How wonderful is that?

– Luis Josephus

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1. In his omniscience and foreknowledge, God knows what the future holds both for individuals and for nations. He knows and sees everything in advance and his will is carried out in accord with his plans and purposes. In the Old Testament God’s foreknowledge is usually represented by the verb yada is the normal verb for “know.” In the New Testament the main verbs are proginosko, “to know in advance, ” and proorao, “to see what is ahead.” Foreknowledge is closely connected to election and predestination and to God’s sovereign rule of his universe. – Bakers Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology