Saturday, July 25, 2015

Year of Jubilee

Today marks a special day for my father. Today, He has reached the point of no return and has turned 50. So in honor of his momentous occasion, I want to show you all the importance of the number 50 in the bible.

As a lot of you may know, the bible is very structured in that it repeats pattern and will present a number to relate the Old Testament to the New Testament. The number 50 is one of these such instances.

To start, the word Pentecost found in Exodus and Acts means "fiftieth". In Exodus, this symbolized the 50th day after the passover, the day the angel of the Lord passed over the Israelites in Egypt, killing all the firstborn of the Egyptians. 50 days the Israelites were freed from slavery, God gives Moses the foundation of the law known as the 10 Commandments. Then we move on to the book of Acts. When Jesus was eating the Last Supper with his disciples, this was taking place on Passover. 50 days after this event, the Holy Spirit comes upon the 120 believers gathered in the Upper Room. Both of these occurrences are described as taking place on the Day of Pentecost, which was a annual celebration for the Israelite people. These two different events, in my opinion, represent a day of instruction. First the 10 Commandments, then the command to "Go and make disciples". God not only tells them what must be done, He also gives them the power and authority to do it. On the day of Pentecost in Acts chapter 2, 3000 people were baptized in the Spirit because the 120 listened to God's instruction and did what needed to be done.

The number 50 in the bible also represents Freedom and Deliverance.

Every 50 years in Israel culture is known as the Year of Jubilee. This year is known as a year that slaves are released and property is restored. The book of Leviticus describes the Year of Jubilee as this- " And you shall consecrate the fiftieth year, and proclaim liberty throughout all the land to all its inhabitants. It shall be a Jubilee for you; and each of you shall return to his possession, and each of you shall return to his family"- Leviticus 25:10.

This was a year of Joy. People were freed from slavery, land was restored to its rightful owner. Come on people, this is a year of celebration.

I think it is so cool that not only has God sent his Son for us, he also set aside a year of pure freedom and restoration.

God has brought us into our year of Jubilee. Let us walk in Joy, Freedom and Restoration as we watch God move us into the place that is rightfully ours.

Adam Semple- a young man on a mission from God

Saturday, July 18, 2015

From "How, When" to "Now Then"

Some of the biggest worries of the Christian's walk come from not knowing how God is going to do something and when is it going to happen. But instead of living in this state of "How, When", I want to be in the state of "Now Then". God has already given us everything that we need to do what needs to be done. Every gifting and every spiritual attribute we will ever need to spread the good news of Christ is already rooted inside of us from the moment we are saved.

So how do we get out of "How, When?" and walk into "Now Then"?

We have to start by letting go of the things that are causing us to lose heart that comes from over thinking on something. Not once in the bible does God say, worry about how you will talk to those people and make sure you know everything there is to know before you begin. Rather he says, " Do not worry, I have already prepared the way for you. Everything you need is already yours." God knows that on our own, we are incapable of doing any good for the kingdom. Only when we walk in his power and in his strength and might will things happen through us. Not to say that we will be perfect Christians or that every casual salvation will lead to salvation. What I am saying is that through God's strength, we become his vessels that he uses to reach the areas of life he has placed each and everyone of us in for his purpose. We must get out of this rut in which we do nothing because of worrying about the How, rather than walking in the Now. God's grace and mercies are new everyday, so why are we so bent out of shape wondering how we can be effective instead of declare what God has already done for us, so Now Then, we move ahead knowing God has already prepared us for each moment, even ones we don't realize are already in the works.

I don't want to fall behind in terms of God's plan and purpose because I am so caught up in he details, but rather I want to dive head first into the now, not worrying about if God will show, but rather the impact that will arise when He does.

Our world is so focused on How to provide for earthly needs and cannot grasp the concept of trusting God with everything. Not a few things, or most things, but all things. God says to trust Him with the big and with the little and everything in between. We can't walk in the now, if we are so caught up in the how.

God doesn't want half-hearted Christians who are not willing to step out of their respective box outside of Sunday or Wednesday. He wants Now Christians who aren't afraid to say," Here I am God, Send Me. No matter the place, no matter the time, I want to walk down the path that you have placed before me without any doubt of the details. Move me from How, When into Now Then through your promise and through your Son".

Let us make this our Declaration to God. Let us move out of ourselves and move into the generation of believers who are ready to go when God says,"Now".

Adam Semple- a young man on a mission from God

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Fear Not

Many times in Scripture, Satan sees God moving in a person's life and he gets scared. He tries to throw everything he's got at the individual in order to redirect them out of God's plan. But no matter what the devil throws our way, God never ceases to make known to his children that he is in charge. For many Christians, after a few attacks from Satan come their way, they tend to back off a little and are scared to share what God has put in them. There have been times when this same fear sweeps over me. But then I look through all of God's word and time after time, he encourages the believers by saying, "Do not be afraid". This phrase is written in the Bible 365 times. There is not a doubt in my mind that god was very intentional about this. He has prepared us, in that every day of our walk with Him, we have nothing to fear. Such examples of this can be found in Isaiah 41:10," Fear not for I am with you, Be not dismayed, For I am your God. I WILL strength you, yes, I WILL help you. I WILL uphold you with my righteous right hand". Did you catch that? Here God is saying don't worry, I've got you covered. Another passage on "fear not" is found in the book of Psalms, chapter 56:3-4," Whenever I am afraid, I will trust in you. In God(I will trust his word). In God I have put my trust. I will not fear. What can flesh do to me?" In another translation, verse 4 says it this way," In God I trust and am not afraid, what can mere mortals do to me?" This is saying that though people may reject you, they can not do anything to you on their own. That in itself should be encouraging enough to not stop us from sharing the good news of Christ. Again in the psalms, in the 23 chapter, David writes about fear," Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I WILL FEAR NO EVIL, for you are with me your rod and your staff, they comfort me"-verse 1. 

To list every example of "Fear not..." in scripture would be exhausting. I just want you to realize that whatever you are going through, whether Satan is attacking like the snake he is in more areas than one in your life, or doing those times in your life when things just don't seem to be going the way you intended. DO NOT FEAR. Satan is not all knowing, all powerful or everywhere at once. He is limited in his "power" and does not see how things will play out in the end. He is even more scared of what God is doing in us, than anything he tries to do in us and to us. He will do anything he can to make sure that you do not receive what God has for you, because though he does not know what it is, he knows with it, there will be nothing that can stand in your way. 

So in your life, let go of your fear, and God will remove it and give you his strength, his power, his comfort, his security, his boldness and the ability to do whatever is needed to equip us and use us to the highest possible capability through the Holy Spirit and his Son Jesus Christ. "Do not be afraid, but speak, and do not keep quiet. For I am with you and no one will attack you to hurt you, for I have many people in this city" Remember, you are not fighting this spiritual battle alone. There are people all over the world fighting this same fight through numerous difficulties that rise up. Do not be afraid to speak up and to speak out the things that need to be said in order to keep Satan confined to death and the grave where he must stay. Walk in trust and boldness in all that you do, and Satan's schemes will never get you down.

Adam Semple- a young man on a mission from God 

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Don't give up, Look up

It is sometimes hard to look at the troubles of this life and see the good in them, but we must remember that everything we go through is only a stepping stone to the greater things God has for us. A perfect example of this is found in the story of Joseph. Joseph was the annoying younger sibling who was his father's favorite. Not only was he loved more by his dad, he would also have these dreams in which he saw his fathers and brothers bowing before him. Because of these things, he was hated by his older brothers. One day while they were working in the field, they devised a way to get rid of him. They threw him into a pit with the intent to kill him. By chance, a group of Ishmaelites  came through, and Joseph was then sold by his brothers for 30 pieces of silver. But Joseph's troubles did not end there. He was a slave for a time, and later he was cast in prison for a crime he didn't commit. While in prison, he interpreted the dreams of some of Pharaoh's officials and through that, he was finally released when he gave an interpretation to Pharaoh himself. Now Joseph is in a high position of authority in charge of food distribution doing a 7 year famine. This famine is so bad, that it spreads all through the region, even to Canaan where his family resides. When his brothers hear that they is food in Egypt, they journey to Egypt so they won't die. Through a series of events, Joseph reveals himself to his brothers and explains how through the evil by which the brothers had thought they had done, God was able to save everyone through Joseph.

There were several times in Joseph's life when he easily could have complained to God because of his situation, yet he choose to stay in the Father and because of his obedience, he became God's vessel for greatness. 

There are many occasions in scripture where things like this happen. The people of the bible mess up terribly or they live a hard life, yet when they stayed focused on the Lord through their suffering, God would tie everything together and work it all out. 

Struggles of life are to be expected. For even Jesus, the Son of God, went through his share of trouble. He was rejected and ridiculed and eventually, he was hung on a tree. Satan knew that Jesus was sent to earth in the flesh as a Savior to the people, and in an attempt to stop him at all cost, he hardened the hearts of the Pharisees and the Sadducees in order that they were get so terrified in as sense of Christ, that they would do everything in their power to have him killed. Jesus came to the earth to be the bridge that would connect God back to his people, and it was through his death on the cross that ultimately tipped the scales back to God's favor. Had Satan realized that in order to save, Jesus would have to die, he would have had tried everything to keep him alive rather than wipe him out. The good news for us, is that Satan can not see what is ahead for us. He is not omnipotent or omnipresent. In other words, he is not everywhere at once, and he is not all powerful. The reason that the devil comes down so hard on God's people is because he only sees the present, and it scares him when he sees Heaven getting ready for something to be released over a person's life. The only weapon Satan tries to use against the Children of God in these situations is fear and hardship. He tries to make us think that we screwed up so bad that not even God himself can save us, and when we believe this lie, we fall away from the blessings and promises that are coming from the Father. 

During the hard times of life, we must not reflect on the stuff happening around us or the bad happening to us, In these times, we have to remember that there is a God working in us and for us that is more powerful than anything the devil tries to throw our way. God uses the trials of this life to not make us cower in our own self pity, but rather to stand up and walk in the boldness and strength to overcome anything thrown our way through the power of the Most High God. 

This week is a big week in American History. It is a day of Independence celebrating our freedom from the British empire. We are now a people freed from the oppression of England with the freedom to do as we please. But freedom from earthly oppression should not be the only freedom we celebrate. 2000 years ago, the Son of God took on flesh and came down to earth as a baby born in a manger, in order that he would be crucified on a cross, bearing the weight of all sin, both past, present and future, to purchase our freedom from the dominion of Death and the Grave. Satan no longer has control over his own kingdom anymore, because Jesus went down into hell and took the keys to his gates and opened the doors bringing out every righteous person who was trapped there for too long. Jesus is the war hero, that has not only secured our freedom, but has also won the war called life. Everything will work out for the good of those who love God, who are called according to his purpose. Guess What? That means us. When we have been saved, God comes in and changes everything that once held us captive and delivers us with his freedom. So, are you going to go through life down in the dumps because things are rough or they aren't going the way you hoped, or are you going to stick it out and trust that God knows what he is doing, even when it requires a little discomfort on our part. Don't give up, look up and everything will end up alright.

Adam Semple- a man on a mission from God