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“Jehovah Rapha”

(God Our Healer)6 But Peter said, “I have no silver or gold, but what I have I give you; in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, stand up and walk.”-Acts 3:6- After crossing the Red Sea, the people were without fresh water for three days and then they came to a spring. “Wonderful!” the people thought, but their elation soon turned to sorrow. They discovered that water wasn’t fit to drink so they gave the spring the name MARAH, meaning “BITTER” in Hebrew. Then Moses prayed, and God told him to cast a piece of wood into the water. “He threw it into the water, and the water became sweet” reads Exodus 15:25. Then God spoke. He said, “If you listen carefully to the voice of the LORD your God and do what is right in his eyes, if you pay attention to his commands and keep all his decrees, I will not bring on you any dis-eases I brought on the Egyptians, for I am the LORD, who heals you” (Exodus 15:26). Did you notice that phrase, “I AM THE LORD WHO HEALS YOU”? It says literally, I am JEHOVAH RAPHA, meaning ‘God the one who heals you.’ One of the things that Jesus did was healed the sick, the brokenhearted, the spiritual wrecks. He just spoke the word and it happened. “Yes,” you say, “but He was God.” The disciples also believed that God answered prayer and healed the sick. Peter and John encountered a cripple at the temple gate called Beautiful. Peter said, “Silver or gold I do not have, but what I have I give you. In the Name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk” (Acts 3:6). One of the first New Testament book written says, “The prayer offered in faith will make a sick person well; the Lord will raise him up” (James 5:15). Our God is still JEHOVAH RAPHA to those who look to him.Pastor...

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“Jehovah Jireh” (God Our Provider)

3 And Abraham looked up and saw a ram, caught in a thicket by its horns. Abraham went and took the ram and offered it up as a burnt offering instead of his son. 14 So Abraham called that place “The Lord will provide” as it is said to this day, “On the mount of the Lord it shall be provided.”-Genesis 22:13-14- Beginning in April, I would like to write articles on the Hebrew Name of for God. In the Old Testament, the Hebrew name for God, YAHWEH, is also compounded with other names giving us beautiful pictures of God’s nature and character. He is called Jehovah Elohim (Jehovah God), Jehovah Jireh (God Our Provider), Jehovah Rapha (God Our Healer), Jehovah Shalom (God Our Peace), Jehovah Ra-ah (God Our Shepherd), Jehovah Shammah (God, the One Present), among many others. Do you remember the story of a father who was asked by God to sacrifice his son on Mount Moriah? His name was Abraham and his son was Isaac. Abraham’s account reads. “then God said, ‘Take your son, your only son, Isaac, whom you love, and… sacrifice him there as burnt offering….’” (Genesis 22:2). With trembling heart, Abraham obeyed, but God provided the sacrifice. “Abraham looked up and there in a thicket he saw a ram caught by its horn. He went over and took the ram and sacrificed it as burnt offering instead of his son. So Abraham called the place THE LORD WILL PROVIDE” (Genesis 22:13-14). The phrase we translate “The LORD will provide” is Jehovah Jireh or “God Our Provider.” Have you discovered that God still provides for His children? Have you learned that God’s provision is enough to meet the needs of your life and that He will be with you when you go through tough times? The psalmist presented the challenge: “Taste and see that the LORD s good; blessed is the man who takes refuge in him” (Psalm 34:8). You can prove for yourself that the same One who provided a ram in the thicket for Abraham can provide for you today. NEXT article will be “Jehovah Rapha-GOD OUR HEALER.” God bless and be encouraged.Pastor Gideon...

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Radical Christianity

Radical Christianity When Jesus assembled the twelve along with an audience of several thousand individuals, He delivered His manifesto. We call it “The Sermon of the Mount,” but actually, it wasn’t a sermon. IT WAS A STATEMENT. He began by challenging logic and popular wisdom. Repeatedly he said, “You have heard it said…” but then challenged the status quo with, “But I say unto you…” YES, THAT’S RADICAL- pretty radical. “I say unto you,” said Jesus, challenging their views on murder, adultery, divorce, taking oaths, doing the same thing to the other person that he has done to them, and loving their enemies. Yes, the whole thinking was radical. This season of lent, we face the challenges of being radical. Are authentic Christians just as radical as Jesus was? YES, UNQUESTIONABLY! They are out of sync with their culture that says, “More is better; if it works, do it; as long as you don’t get caught, it’s OK-everybody else is doing it” and so forth. Radical Christianity causes people to take to their heart the teachings of Jesus to forgive their enemies as a sign that they are children of the merciful Father. 27 “But I say to you that listen, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, 28 bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you…. 36 Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful. (Luke 6:27, 28, 36).Radical Christianity causes people to faithfully fulfill their promise of presence, prayer, gift, service and witness as a way of showing their loyalty to the body of Christ and its works. Radical Christianity causes people to grow in faith as disciples of Christ. It causes men and women to walk away from their jobs and serve overseas or within their areas in hospitals, orphanages, schools, outstations, and hundred other locations. Radical Christianity causes people to actually put Christ on their lips and never hesitate to witness about Christ by telling their faith-stories. Radical Christianity touches the untouchables and chooses to believe the impossible. HOW RADICAL IS YOUR CHRISTIANITY?Pastor Gideon...

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“Trusting With All Your Heart”

5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not rely on your own insight. 6 In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.-Proverbs 3:5-6 NRSV- Solomon understood that there is a cause-and-effect relationship between the promise of God and their fulfillment. He knew that with almost every promise there is a condition attached to it. Picture a little child who is learning to walk. His father or mother reaches out a hand and says, “Come to Daddy or Mommy. I won’t let you down. I’ll catch you before you fall.” The term used for this picture is the same word used in Proverbs 3:5-6. It means “to rely upon, to have confidence in someone, to lean upon another.” When missionary John Patton was translating the New Testament in the New Hebrides, he sought for a word that was the equivalent of this word for trust that the writer of Proverbs 3 used. One day a native came into his hut and, for the first time in his life, saw a chair that the missionary had built. “What is that?” he asked Patton. Patton replied, “chair-you can put your weight on it; it won’t let you down,” and ever so cautiously that native followed Patton’s example and placed his full weight on the chair. “Ah,” thought Patton, “that concept is what Solomon was saying,” and thus he translated the text of Proverbs, “You can put your full weight on God and not attempt to understand everything. Acknowledge God in everything you do, and God will direct your steps.” Today, with the pandemic and everything else going on around the world, as in Solomon’s day, our own understanding is often the hindrance to trusting Him, yet if we are convinced that God won’t lie to us, and that the promises of His Word become the key that opens the door to His presence, then we can rely upon His goodness to meet our needs. “We can put our full weight on God and not attempt to understand everything. We can acknowledge God in everything we do, and God will direct our steps.” Pastor...

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BEGINNING THE NEW YEAR

“Teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.”-Psalm 90:12- Almost every year I am asked, “Have you made resolutions this year?” And my reply is generally the same. “No, I don’t make New Year’s resolutions.” How about you, “Do you make New Year’s resolutions?” Resolutions don’t change me. Only REGENERATION – the result of God’s Holy Spirit working in my life-can make any lasting difference. That is why I strive to live every day as though it could be the last day of my life. “God, I pray, as I begin my day, “walk with me today. I have no idea what lies before me, but nothing takes You by surprise. Be my strength and my stay. Help me make the most of it and use it to Your glory.” This prayer is also a good prayer with which to start the New Year. (I would encourage you to make this your New Year Prayer). The difficulty in planning or making promises about the direction we will take in the future is that we don’t know what the future holds, what bends and turns and rough roads lie ahead of us. I grew up in the Philippines in a time when most of the roads are not paved. When we travel, we do not know what kind of roads we are traversing. Will it be a paved road or not? Will it be muddy? Or will it me dusty or rough road? We must bring with us extra clothes just in case. That’s the way life is. Your road map is not always consistent with reality. The superhighway of plans turns into a jungle trail of frustration and roadblocks. It is comforting to know that what happens in the New Year will not take God by surprise. When tomorrow arrives with its uncertainties and frustrations, its pain and even sorrow, God will be standing there to give comfort, guidance, sustenance, leadership and extend His grace and mercy and compassion to you. There is one road map for life which I’ve found accurate and complete. IT’S THE BIBLE. When it describes bumpy, unpaved paths, you can be sure that’s the way it is. And when it describes the narrow path which leads to life, you can be sure there is not other way to get where you want to go. Make the Word of God your Road Map for the new Year 2022. Make it your habit to consult it regularly, not just in the New Year, but on into the days and weeks beyond. A blessed and abundant year 2022 and beyond to all! Pastor...

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God Honors The Person Who Honors Him

One of the highlights of the Liturgical Celebration during the month of November is the All-Saints Sunday. We come together and remember the saints of the Church. In this article I would like to share the life of a brave follower of Jesus. His name is Eric Liddell. When a major production company in Britain decided to do a film about an athlete of the 1920s, media experts predicted they would lose millions. But as it turned out, the picture became an Academy Award winner, and Chariots of Fire roused something of hero worship that the experts did not know was still there. As good as the picture is, it falls short of actually demonstrating how great a man Eric Liddell really was-not it the sense of being great athlete, but above and beyond that, of being a man great in character and integrity. Chariots of Fire focuses on the contests that took Liddell to the 1924 Olympics in Paris, where his convictions kept him from running the 100-meter race, his specialty, because it was held on a Sunday. Instead, Liddell chose to run in the 400-meter race and was further handicapped because he drew an outside lane where there were no other runners to help him set his pace. Liddell of course, raced to victory and later returned to his native city of Edinburgh as a great hero. The story of Eric Liddell’s life, however had just begun at that point. Turning his back on a life as an internation-al hero and one of Scotland’s favorite sons, Liddell chose to follow in the steps of his father and became a missionary to China. In 1925 Liddell went to China to begin missionary work at the Anglo-Chinese Christian College. Although Lid-dell ran some, the Chinese could not quite understand the strange Anglo-Saxon who ran through the crowded streets. Since it was not culturally very acceptable to the Chinese, Liddell stopped running. He did, however, accept an invita-tion to Japan in 1928-three years later-to run in a 400-meter, international event. Running in his own unique style, Lid-dell outclassed his opponents and swept the field, to the delight of the Japanese crowd. What the crowd did not know was that Liddell’s ship back to China was due to leave fifteen minutes after the event. Liddell mystified officials and spectators alike by continuing to run under the grandstand and out of the stadium to a waiting taxi, which rushed him to the docks. The ship had already cast off from the jetty. In a final sprint, Liddell ran down the pier and leaped to the deck of the ship fifteen feet away. Ironically, Liddell spent his last...

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Be Transformed

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.”-2 Corinthians 5:17 NKJV- Some words mean exactly what they imply. There are no secret messages or hidden esoteric meaning. “What part of ‘NO’ don’t you understand?” a frustrated father asked his teenager. It’s hard to dance around such bluntness. Similarly, Paul wrote to Roman believers who felt caught between the pressures of their culture to conform or to be transformed by the renewing of their minds. A well-respected businessman, a lay leader in his church, and a father tells his story. When he was twelve, he took a gun and shot his enemy. As a troubled teenager with no father to guide him and a busy mother who ignored him, he became involved in drugs and petty crime. When he began dating the woman who eventually became his wife, he said, “She couldn’t understand why I always had money. I would stop at a gas station and return with a roll of bills.” He then remorsefully told how he hooked up businessmen with girls. He married, but all the turmoil was destroying his marriage until a friend led him to Jesus Christ. A marriage seminar sponsored by Guidelines more than twenty years ago helped him learn skills that he desperately needed. This kind of transformation, which happened to him, is the work of the Holy Spirit (Sanctifying Grace) – affecting the will, body, and mind. “Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking, Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you” (Romans 12:2-this is from The Message Bible Translation) In His Service,Pastor...

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