Today is Your Day

oceanYears ago my husband and I were visiting a friend in the hospital, her diagnosis was grim but she still managed to smile. She asked me about my writing and I told her that I was working on a book. Her husband looked at her and said, “You always said you would write a book one day.” She never did. Sadly her story is a very common one. You may have heard it before; “I’ll travel and take that art class one day.” Or, “I’ll rest and enjoy life when I retire. “ Even sadder are the Believers who say; “One day I’ll have my peace and joy, when I get to Heaven.”

While at the Post Office my mother and I were griping about how we really needed to slow down and take a break. The gentlemen standing behind us politely cut in and said, “You’ll get plenty of rest when you’re dead.” We laughed at this but later I thought, “Could it be that peace, joy and rest could only be had when we get to Heaven?

A Thief Made Whole

Two thieves hung on either side of Jesus as He hung on the cross. One thief mocked Him the other rebuked the thief and boldly confessed that Jesus was innocent and underserving of this punishment. Then he turned to Him and said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your Kingdom.” Listen to what Jesus says, “Truly I tell you today you will be with me in paradise.” –Luke23: 39-43

Let’s fast-forward, Jesus died later that day. The following day the Jewish leaders wanted to take the bodies down, for the sake of their traditions. They broke the legs of the two criminals because they were still alive; when they came to Jesus and saw that He was dead they pierced His side. Jesus was dead, the thief was alive but didn’t Jesus promise him that he would be in paradise with Him today?

The Promise of Today

1John says that everyone who believes that Jesus is the Messiah is born of God. Romans 10 says if you declare with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead you will be saved. Picture the thief on the cross, he may have been nailed to a cross but he was set free. No longer a thief but Saved. Imagine the peace he had with the hope Jesus had given him, a peace that became his, Today.

This thief received the gift of paradise Today but how much more is your peace and joy in the fullness and finished work of Christ right now. The thief had a promise but you my friend received the fulfillment of the Promise. You were raised up with Christ and received the Spirit of Sonship through His finished work. You are clothed in His Righteousness, sealed by His blood, filled with His Holy Spirit. You are saved, justified, at peace with God. The kingdom of God is not only with you but it is in you.

I believe the very moment you come to Jesus with a sincere heart and believe that your are the object of His great love and affection, salvation is yours, healing and deliverance is yours, freedom is yours. Peace, joy and love are yours. Paradise is yours even as you lay in a hospital bed, sit in a prison cell or hang on a cross. You are seated with Christ, as Christ is so are you on this earth, not when you get your self together, or when you get to Heaven. Not some day but right now in Christ.

My friend if you are in Christ, Paradise and all it has to offer is yours in Him right now, so what are you waiting for!

GOD IS HERE

“I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with loving-kindness.” Jeremiah 31:3

I had a disturbing conversation with my mom the other day, a friend of hers took their own life; she was just 41 years old. The World Health Organization estimates that over one million people commit suicide every year. This is disturbing Saints. I was reminded of the Lord’s word, “that the thief comes to steal, kill and destroy.”(John 10:10) Suicide is Satan’s ultimate plan because suicide wipes you completely out of existence; there is no coming back from it. I share this with you not to bring you down but to give you hope because the scripture goes on to say, “That I have come that they may have life and that they may have it more abundantly.” The message that has been placed in my heart is GOD IS HERE! The bible says, “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” (Psalm 34:18) There is no burden too heavy, no pain too great, no obstacle  He can’t overturn. GOD cannot and will not fail you (1Chron 28:20) because He loves you with an everlasting love.

Saints let us bind and break the plans of the enemy in the mighty name of Jesus. I remind you that God is your refuge and your fortress and I declare in the name of Jesus, that the “giants” in your life have fallen. It is important for us to pray for those who do not know God. Spread the word to those around you that God the Conqueror is Here and He fights for you! “Weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.” (Psalm 30:5) That is God’s faithful promise to us. Amen and Amen.

Written by Afiya Duncanson

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PLANT A SEED

“I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the increase.” (1Corinthian 3:6)

The other day I was thinking about the story of Johnny Appleseed, I’m sure most of you remember the story, how he planted apple seeds throughout the United States. I pictured in my mind how is orchard would like from Heaven’s view then I wondered what does my orchard look like? How many seeds have I planted for God? Is my orchard lush, green and full with rich, ripe fruit?

The word of God is a seed, (Luke 8: 11) and our job as Saints is to plant God’s word and allow our Heavenly Father to do the rest. You can plant a seed of love by telling someone that God loves you so much that He sent His only begotten Son to die for our sins so that we may live (1John 4:9).  You can plant a seed of faith by letting someone know that they can accomplish anything through Christ for it is He who gives them strength (Philippians 4:13). You can plant a seed of hope by telling someone that blessed is the person whose trust and hope is in the Lord (Jeremiah 17:7) The point I am trying to make is when we do leave this earth the orchard we leave behind should be full and lush and saints it only takes a minute to plant a seed, to plant God’s loving word.

The seed I want to plant today is a seed that I hope will lift every burden, erase all of your worry and set you on a path that will lead you to experiencing the fullness of God. The seed is this: Seek first the Kingdom of God and keep yourself in right standing and all of your needs and heart’s desires will be added to you. (Matthew 6:33) God Bless you Saints and Happy Planting!

Written by                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Afiya Duncanson