‘a stone of commitment- two-thousand-nine’

   The Burren region of north-west County Clare offers a collection of holy wells, standing stones, ancient churches and forgotten tombs.          Photo: Tourism Ireland/www.telegraph.co.uk

This will be the last post from “A Word From Malachi’ for the year two-thousand-eight. There is a lot that has been posted this year and I want to thank ALL of the readers for stopping by and considering the convictions that the Lord has put on my heart to share.

In this last post for this year, I would like to leave the readers with  these few thoughts-

  • If you have spent some time this year reading ‘A Word From Malachi’ and do not know Jesus as Lord and Saviour, it is my prayer that you shall see Him in this light this upcoming year, for there is no other name whereby man may be saved.
  • If you are a believer in Christ and have found this blog a source of encouragement, PRAISE THE LORD and please stop by for future exhortation in this upcoming year.
  • If you are a believer and are immersed in the midst of persecution for your faith, I want you to know that there is a small body of believers in Atmore Alabama that are keeping you and yours lifted up before the Lord, daily, in prayer. Just remember…. He is faithful and His word is true… a firm foundation in the midst of a storm, both in life and in death.
  • If you are a believer and through reading some of the post have come to the realization that you have been nothing more than a religious pawn of the church and its religious system, I pray that you have found the post from malachi a source of conviction, and that they have driven you toward our Lord via a spirit of commitment, and that commitment not to the institution, but to the body and that, our faithful Lord.

A New Year commitment-

And Joshua said unto the people, Ye cannot serve the LORD: for he is an holy God; he is a jealous God; he will not forgive your transgressions nor your sins. If ye forsake the LORD, and serve strange gods, then he will turn and do you hurt, and consume you, after that he hath done you good. And the people said unto Joshua, Nay; but we will serve the LORD. And Joshua said unto the people, Ye are witnesses against yourselves that ye have chosen you the LORD, to serve him. And they said, We are witnesses. Now therefore put away, said he, the strange gods which are among you, and incline your heart unto the LORD God of Israel. And the people said unto Joshua, The LORD our God will we serve, and his voice will we obey. So Joshua made a covenant with the people that day, and set them a statute and an ordinance in Shechem. And Joshua wrote these words in the book of the law of God, and took a great stone, and set it up there under an oak, that was by the sanctuary of the LORD. And Joshua said unto all the people, Behold, this stone shall be a witness unto us; for it hath heard all the words of the LORD which he spake unto us: it shall be therefore a witness unto you, lest ye deny your God. So Joshua let the people depart, every man unto his inheritance. Joshua 24:19-28

In the above text recorded in the Book if Joshua, Joshua has completed the task (bringing His people into the Land of Promise and the dispersion of their particular inheritance) that God had given him.

Joshua had gathered all the tribe of Israel to Shechem and called on the people to reaffirm their commitment to God and His covenant.

Joshua reminds the people of God that serving Him is not easy and should not be done haphazard for we are sinners and God is Righteous, and as a Holy God, He is a jealous God. To forsake Him and serve other (strange) gods, would result in His judgement and their hurt.

But the people reaffirmed their commitment…

 

 “they would serve the LORD”

 

Now when an individual makes a commitment to the LORD, it is a very serious deal. That is why Solomon exhorts us not to be rash with our mouth and let not our heart be hasty to utter any thing before God.

For God takes our vows serious and He will expect us to keep our word, so when we make a commitment to God, pay that which we have vowed, or in the common vernacular, KEEP YOUR WORD, lest the LORD be angry with thy voice and destroy the work of thine hands. [Ecclesiastes 5:1-7]

So Joshua made a covenant with the people that day and set the words to writing, so that they could not come back later and say, ‘we did not say that?’ and wrote these words in the book of the law of God.

He then took a great stone and set it up under an oak tree that was by the sanctuary of the Lord, then Joshua told the people,

“Behold, this stone shall be a witness unto us, for it hath heard all the words of the Lord which he spoke to you: it shall be therefore a witness unto you, lest you deny your God”.

How can a stone hear? It has no ears?

He that hath ears to hear, let him hear what the spirit saith.

malachi

Advertisements

‘drinking from a well that never shall run dry’

photo: World In Crisis Appeal

Matthew Parris is a writer for the online version of the ‘Times of London,’ He is also a avowed atheist and posted the article below which  describes a trip he made just before Christmas to the African country of Malawi, where he had lived as a boy.

Please read the article in its entirety-

As an atheist, I truly believe Africa needs God TimesOnline.co.uk

The  purpose of the trip was to assess the ministry of a small British charity (Pump Aid) working there which helps rural communities to install a simple pump, letting people keep their village wells sealed and clean.

Parris found another work going on that feels a void that the work of the secular NGO’s [Nongovernmental Organizations], government projects and international aid is not filling. It is the work of the Christian missionary (evangelism-the gospel of Jesus Christ).

Parris is stated that “Africa is in need of a spiritual transformation, something that will change the peoples heart,” and that is what Jesus does. He said “the rebirth is real” and “the change that he is seeing is good”.

 

In the fourth chapter of the Gospel of John, we are told of a woman of Samaria that comes to Jacob’s well seeking water. She was met by the Lord who offered her much more than the water that she could get from the well.

Christ told her that…. whosoever drinks of the water from the well will most assuredly thirst again, but whosoever drinks of the water that Christ can give shall never thirst again, and that the water that Christ will give shall be in an individual, a well of water, springing up into everlasting life.

I am thinking that Parris got a taste of this spirit as he traveled to Malawi to see the philanthropic efforts of Pump Aid, that met a need that many in America take for granted…. clean, cool water to a thirsty people yet he found a people who had drawn from a well of water that springs up into everlasting life.

 

Parris said, “It inspired me, renewing my flagging faith in development charities. But traveling in Malawi refreshed another belief, too: one I’ve been trying to banish all my life, but an observation I’ve been unable to avoid since my African childhood. It confounds my ideological beliefs, stubbornly refuses to fit my world view, and has embarrassed my growing belief that there is no God. “

 

On the last day, the climax of the festival, Jesus stood and shouted to the crowds, “If you are thirsty, come to me! If you believe in me, come and drink! For the Scriptures declare that rivers of living water will flow out from within.”  (When he said “living water,” he was speaking of the Spirit, who would be given to everyone believing in him. But the Spirit had not yet been given, because Jesus had not yet entered into his glory.) John 7:37-39

 

Parris said, “I would say, that salvation is part of the package, but Christians black and white, working in Africa, do heal the sick, do teach people to read and write; and only the severest kind of secularist could see a mission hospital or school and say the world would be better without it. I would allow that if faith was needed to motivate missionaries to help, then, fine: but what counted was the help, not the faith. But this doesn’t fit the facts. Faith does more than support the missionary; it is also transferred to his flock. This is the effect that matters so immensely, and which I cannot help observing.”

“You are the salt of the earth. But what good is salt if it has lost its flavor? Can you make it useful again? It will be thrown out and trampled underfoot as worthless. You are the light of the world–like a city on a mountain, glowing in the night for all to see. Don’t hide your light under a basket! Instead, put it on a stand and let it shine for all. In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father. Matthew 5:13-16

I praise God for the faithful men and women that are salt and light all across Africa. I pray the Lord, by His Spirit will bring forth that water whereby a man or women shall never thirst again.

malachi