INTERNATIONAL TEAMS VISITS
As part of our missional interaction with teams from the USA, EU, and Australia a team from Ashland University Ohio, spent three weeks at our outreach Grace-Love-Truth: The Isaiah House in Molweni, KZN. They were an amazing blessing – well done everyone, thanks for coming!
Let us know if you have University or Church team wanting to link in with us or who want to visit. Contact one of our representatives on Face Book: Abby Mkhwanazi (SA), Mallorie Miller (USA), Rachel Mthembu (Australia), check out www.theisaiahhouse.co.za and www.orphanaid.co.za
We have been hosing teams for the past twelve years so as to bridge the culture gap and advance the kingdom. The teams live in the local community and get involved in cross cultural outreach through evangelism, discipleship and training, preaching, building, serving the poor, kids clubs etc. They will be stretched and will grow in faith and ability as we help them share the good news. At the same time enjoying local outdoor beauty of South Africa surfing, hiking/ trekking, rock climbing and other sports which we offer as either as an add on or use to empower local youth.
As a perk to the mission we can also arrange adventure trips such as game viewing, shark interaction, scuba diving, high mountain hike as these are all fairly local.by
The religious, pride filled & self righteous spirit is offended by the gospel of grace. If we are to share the good news with young people, it may help to hear what this young man has to say using rap, as I think it reflects the opinion of many youngsters.
Under the New Covenant, which is founded on the grace of Jesus Christ, the response of believers to persecution, murder and violence is completely different to that found in the Old Testament.
In this time when Christian persecution and martyrdom is happening like never before, we have to ask ourselves what does the Holy Spirit teach in the New Testament and how do we respond to violence in a Godly way? Our response in the natural may be to resort to arms, violence and revenge, but the question is how do we live by the Spirit, what did Jesus teach and live out, and how did the early church respond to the persecution of their day?
Let’s not forget that the early church converted the whole Roman empire through their willingness to die for their faith.
Maybe it’s a question that every one of us has to ask ourselves as there is no doubt that possible death and destruction is becoming more and more of a reality for many of our beloved brothers and sisters throughout the world.
Please pray for strength for the church across the world and all others expiriencing the horrible Islamic violence at this time. Pray that the Lord will reveal himself to Muslims as he did to Saul/ Paul. Send support to relief organizations helping the displaced in Iraq and Syria.
Here’s what the Scriptures say on some aspects of persecution:
Rev 20:4 I saw thrones on which were seated those who had been given authority to judge. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony about Jesus and because of the word of God.
JESUS’S WAY IS DIFFERENT TO THE WORLD’S WAYS
Mat 5:43 Jesus said “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,
Luk 6:27 Jesus said “But to you who are listening I say: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. If someone slaps you on one cheek, turn to them the other also. If someone takes your coat, do not withhold your shirt from them.
FORGET NOT THAT WE WERE ONCE ENEMIES OF GOD
Rom 5:10 For if, while we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, Jesus, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life! Not only is this so, but we also boast in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.
Col 1:21 Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behavior. But now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation–
THE GREAT APOSTLE OF GRACE, PAUL (SAUL), MURDERED CHRISTIANS
Act 8:1 And Saul (later called Paul) approved of their killing of Stephan. On that day a great persecution broke out against the church in Jerusalem, and all except the apostles were scattered throughout Judea and Samaria. Godly men buried Stephen and mourned deeply for him. But Saul began to destroy the church. Going from house to house, he dragged off both men and women and put them in prison.
Act 9:1 Meanwhile, Saul was still breathing out murderous threats against the Lord’s disciples. He went to the high priest and asked him for letters to the synagogues in Damascus, so that if he found any there who belonged to the Way, whether men or women, he might take them as prisoners to Jerusalem.
Act 9:3 As Saul neared Damascus on his journey, suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him. He fell to the ground and heard a voice say to him, “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?” “Who are you, Lord?” Saul asked. “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting,” he replied.
PERSECUTION IS PART OF OUR FAITH
Rom 8:35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written: “For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.” No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
1Th 3:7 Therefore, brothers and sisters, in all our distress and persecution we were encouraged about you because of your faith.
Heb 10:32 Remember those earlier days after you had received the light, when you endured in a great conflict full of suffering. Sometimes you were publicly exposed to insult and persecution; at other times you stood side by side with those who were so treated. You suffered along with those in prison and joyfully accepted the confiscation of your property, because you knew that you yourselves had better and lasting possessions. So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded.
Heb 11:36 Some faced jeers and flogging, and even chains and imprisonment. They were put to death by stoning; they were sawed in two; they were killed by the sword. They went about in sheepskins and goatskins, destitute, persecuted and mistreated– the world was not worthy of them. They wandered in deserts and mountains, living in caves and in holes in the ground. These were all commended for their faith, yet none of them received what had been promised, since God had planned something better for us so that only together with us would they be made perfect.
Rev 2:10 Do not be afraid of what you are about to suffer. I tell you, the devil will put some of you in prison to test you, and you will suffer persecution for ten days. Be faithful, even to the point of death, and I will give you life as your victor’s crown.
RESORTING TO ARMS?
Mat 26:51 With that, one of Jesus’ companions (Peter) reached for his sword, drew it out and struck the servant of the high priest, cutting off his ear. “Put your sword back in its place,” Jesus said to him, “for all who draw the sword will die by the sword.
Eph 6:12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood…
THE CHURCH IS BUILT ON THE BLOOD OF MARTYRS
Act 12:1 It was about this time that King Herod arrested some who belonged to the church, intending to persecute them. He had James, the brother of John, put to death with the sword.
Act 22:20 And when the blood of your martyr Stephen was shed, I stood there giving my approval and guarding the clothes of those who were killing him.’
OURS IS A SPIRITUAL BATTLE & WAR
Eph 6:12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.
Eph 6:11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes….. 6:17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.
Heb 4:12 For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword…
Rev 1:16 In his right hand he held seven stars, and coming out of his mouth was a sharp, double-edged sword. His face was like the sun shining in all its brilliance.
Q: David was a law breaker, a murderer, an adulterer and a deceiver YET David was a man after God’s own heart?
Act_13:22 After removing Saul, he made David their king. God testified concerning him: ‘I have found David son of Jesse, a man after my own heart; he will do everything I want him to do.’
A: He was quick to repent, he didn’t care what people thought about him and most of all David inquired of the Lord….he depended on God, expected God to guide him and obeyed.
1Sa_22:15 Was that day the first time I inquired of God for him (David)? Of course not! Let not the king accuse your servant or any of his father’s family, for your servant knows nothing at all about this whole affair.”
1Sa_23:2 David inquired of the LORD, saying, “Shall I go and attack these Philistines?” The LORD answered him, “Go, attack the Philistines and save Keilah.”
1Sa_23:4 Once again David inquired of the LORD, and the LORD answered him, “Go down to Keilah, for I am going to give the Philistines into your hand.”
1Sa_28:6 He inquired of the LORD, but the LORD did not answer him by dreams or Urim or prophets.
1Sa_30:8 and David inquired of the LORD, “Shall I pursue this raiding party? Will I overtake them?” “Pursue them,” he answered. “You will certainly overtake them and succeed in the rescue.”
2Sa_2:1 In the course of time, David inquired of the LORD. “Shall I go up to one of the towns of Judah?” he asked. The LORD said, “Go up.” David asked, “Where shall I go?” “To Hebron,” the LORD answered.
2Sa_5:19 so David inquired of the LORD, “Shall I go and attack the Philistines? Will you deliver them into my hands?” The LORD answered him, “Go, for I will surely deliver the Philistines into your hands.”
2Sa_5:23 so David inquired of the LORD, and he answered, “Do not go straight up, but circle around behind them and attack them in front of the poplar trees.
We too are called to live life this way. Before making decisions, ask the Lord. Ask him for a sign to confirm his will for you. This is life in the Spirit; depending on God, hearing his voice – seeing his signs.
Heb_4:7 God again set a certain day, calling it “Today.” This he did when a long time later he spoke through David, as in the passage already quoted: “Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts.”
John 10:27 My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.
Mat_7:7 “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.by
What has motivated both the present and historical Islamic violence? What does the Quran actually say?
Countering Islamic lies and propaganda is important as there is an agenda afoot to rewrite history. Whether it’s denying historical Islamic violence, war and ethnic cleansing, or Islamic promotion of slavery hundred of years prior to Western involvement.
Firstly we need to understand that peace in Islam does not mean the same as peace as we understand it. It does not mean the absence of war or violence but the rule of Islam (Caliphate). From the Islamic perspective there cannot be peace without the rule of Islam. Those who claim Islam is a religion of peace, actually mean working toward peace that can only come about once Islam governs all nations. This has always been the Islamic agenda since Mohammed commanded Holy War. His Muslim armies eventually advanced as far as southern France and Austria destroying ancient Christian communities in Egypt, Libya, Sudan, Tunisia, Turkey etc.
ISLAM HAS ALWAYS ATTACKED CHRISTIAN NATIONS
Check it out for yourself, Islam has constantly advanced through war and this Islamic agenda is not going to go away. Islamic terrorism (Fascism) and war is nothing new, it’s been going on in various guises since Mohammed’s time in the 7th century, He instigated and modeled “Holy War (Jihad) as the primary means of advancing Islam into the surrounding Christian, Jewish and Pagan territories. Muslim armies invaded Spain in the year 711 and Southern France in the year 721. It is important to note that this was hundred of years before any of the Crusades…. which Muslims so often use as an excuse for their violence. As late as 1529 Muslim armies invaded Eastern Europe and laid siege to the Austrian capital of Vienna.
VIOLENCE AND WAR IN THE QURAN
The Quran gives a clear mandate that unbelievers (Kafirs) have to convert or been killed or treated as second class citizens……
Quran 9:111 “Lo! Allah has bought the lives and wealth of Muslims because the Garden (of Paradise) will be theirs: Muslims shall fight for Allah, and shall kill and be killed. It is a promise which is binding on Allah in the Torah and the Gospel and in the Quran. Who fulfills His covenant better than Allah? Rejoice then in your bargain that you have made, for that is the supreme triumph.”
Quran 8.12: “Remember thy Lord inspired the angels (with the message): “I am with you: give firmness to the Believers: I will instill terror into the hearts of the Unbelievers: smite ye above their necks and smite all their finger-tips off them.”
Quran 5:38: “Cut off the hands of thieves, whether they are male or female, as punishment for what they have done-a deterrent from God: God is almighty and wise.”
Quran 22:19-22: “Fight and slay the Pagans, seize them, beleaguer them, and lie in wait for them in every stratagem” “for them (the unbelievers) garments of fire shall be cut and there shall be poured over their heads boiling water whereby whatever is in their bowels and skin shall be dissolved and they will be punished with hooked iron rods”
ISLAM INTIMIDATES AND SOWS FEAR
This strategy of Islam to intimidate, provoke fear and cleanse territory of non Muslims is nothing new. It has gone on since Mohammed time. However we must resist in love and truth and not let fear and threats intimidate us. God’s strategy to overcome this terror is for us to reach out and share the good news of God’s grace with Muslims.
Lets pray for real peace, love, forgiveness and the rejection of violence, for this is the way of the Son of God, Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace.
This map shows the invasion of Christian territories just before the Crusades of the 11th Century (which were a response to Muslim violence and not the cause of it as Muslims would have the world believe). Today most of these Christian lands are Muslim!
The heat is on, there is an economic drought in many places resulting in a lot of negativity, anxiety and tension.
God’s word to his people is “Don’t let it panic you. This is nothing new to me, I will see you through”.
Why not spend a bit of time to quietly meditate (which in Biblical terms literally means to chew on, savor and get full nourishment from) on God’s encouragement today……
The prophet Jeremiah took up this theme and God encourages us today with the same word that has been true generation after generation (Jer. 17:7-8):
“Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD. He is like a tree planted by water, that sends out its roots by the stream, and does not fear when heat comes, for its leaves remain green, and is not anxious in the year of drought, for it does not cease to bear fruit.”
Brothers and sisters, because of Jesus’ grace you are a fruitful tree of The Lord. Do not be shaken. See yourself as God see you, righteous, full of his life and fruit full. He will see you through all droughts and storms. God is saying that He see you as an unshakable Oak of Righteousness that will weather every storm and every drought and eventually change the very world around you (Isa.61:3-5).
Grace and peace.
Some thoughts on grace living….
>>Grace puts aside every barrier & disqualification that has robbed us of our true identity as mature children of God. #jesusgrace transforms!
>>Don’t miss Gods grace & allow offense & bitterness to take root & defile your family. Heb.12:15. Be quick to love & forgive- that’s grace!
>>A profound& hidden truth is that our level of understanding & receiving Gods grace determines our true identity- Without it we are blinded.
>>The good news is also that we no longer have to justify ourselves to others all the time. We are justified by Jesus & allow him to defend us.
>>Jesus died for our sins & was raised to justify us. (Ro.4:25). We don’t have to justify ourselves to God – that’s grace.
>>Many look to the past & yet can’t enjoy today. The reality is, today is the good times you will one day look back on – So enjoy the now!
>>Against all hope, Abraham in hope believed …. being fully convinced God had power to do what he had promised. Yep, just like life today.
>>Gods freely given love & grace, found in Jesus alone, sets us free from the useless religion of law keeping & fear that justified no one.
Be blessed and encourage those around you. We are loved!