A LIVING EPISTLE

I love the Passion bible’s depiction of faith being the ‘wrap around shield’ (see Ephesians 6:16 TPTbible) . Someone reminded me of this today which has prompted this piece .

Yesterday I was at hospital for treatment . It’s only 10 minutes now instead of 2hours so it’s great . We were in a bay. We were talking Carribean food, scotch bonnet (pepper) and Ganga …. Two black nurses , myself and a white man who was given ‘ganja’ in Barbados which had blown his head off (so to speak) . He renamed our bay 1 , ‘Caribbean Bay’. We laughed and laughed. There was so much joy and merriment.

He reminded me I had told him I was a Christian as we shared stories of our diagnosis and our feelings . It was my stance (which I believe is faith personified) . He remembered!! He said he would have died but for the advancement with his melanoma – something the doctors missed despite a number of physical checks . He had caught this from the sun on his back .

We also talked about the scaremongering that had happened with the Covid vaccination and how people had been influenced . I gave him my opinion . I said I hadn’t wanted to take it either but my stance was my faith in God to determine the time and whether this vaccine or virus or cancer or an accident would be the thing that takes me out. I said it is for Him to know and to offer protection as a loving Father, if indeed it would be a premature departure and we pray for protection . I also said I don’t condemn anyone not talking the vaccine either that decision is for them .

He was amazed at my confidence and resolve and it was here he reminded me I had said I was a Christian . The interesting thing is I can’t remember sharing that with him, but I believe the ‘wrap around faith ‘ is evident as we walk , sit, speak , talk and laugh . They know there is something different .

We as Christians are ‘ever ready batteries’ if you like . I walk up the hospital corridor as an ambassador and as a soldier . I feel dressed …🙃. I know who I am. I don’t go to preach but I SPEAK and I know I am here , I am there … for a reason. Our lives are the message people read as Paul has opined in 2 Corinthian 3:2-3

“Do we begin again to commend ourselves? or need we, as some others, epistles of commendation to you, or letters of commendation from you? 2 Ye are our epistle written in our hearts, known and read of all men: 3 Forasmuch as ye are manifestly declared to be the epistle of Christ ministered by us, written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God; not in tables of stone, but in fleshy tables of the heart

2 Corinthians 3:2-3.

May the Spirit of the living God work through your circumstance today . Let his wrap around shield of faith sustain you in every decision making, in every news, in every good or bad report .

God bless You

Evangelist Linda J UK
21/1/22

Where is the place of my rest?

I had this strange dream. It is perhaps a hard one to break but may the Lord help us. The interpretation offered below is not meant to be exhaustive, but it is as the Lord has illumed to me today.

There may be a word or a nugget for someone and may the Lord (as always) direct his work & word in truth. As one author puts it ‘love is always behind everything God does’ and he shows us dreams, thus directing our paths, and to help us to continue to pursuing Him in holiness.

Dream

I dreamt I was propping up my Father and taking him out for something to eat. It was late and many of the eateries where he could eat were closed – the dream emphasized that they were ‘no longer open’ . This appeared to be as a result of famine or a pandemic. It was night time. My father was lame and resting heavily on my shoulder. I sensed as I walked that people were wondering at the spectacle – that is: this young woman struggling (almost carrying) , this very old disabled tall elderly ‘black man’ but I wasn’t ashamed, he was my Father.

We approached an eaterie/pub that was open but had large crowds waiting. I knew I could jump the queue if I had asked (given my Fathers state) but I reasoned that he wouldn’t be able to cope with the crowds or the mayhem or what the people might culturally have to offer there. I went out to the back kitchen to see if there was food I could take out , but I saw that those who were serving were binning even the good food and there was nothing available.

That was the dream .

Interpretation

Interpretations belong to God and this dream is very strange. The Lord uses similes and symbols to speak with us and He has taught me all I know about dreams to this point and by his blessed Holy Spirit. It is a word that can be taken individually and a word I believe for the Body.

There are a number of things that jump out for me which is worthy of note. It was a black man that carried Jesus’ cross through the city as he was being taken to his death on Calvary.

The dreams speaks of burden bearing and taking the message of the cross through the streets. Here also is a picture :

For surely ‘He has borne our griefs (sicknesses, weaknesses, and distresses) and carried our sorrows and pains [of punishment ], yet we [ignorantly ] considered Him stricken , smitten, and afflicted by God[as if with leprosy] . But he was wounded for our transgressions , He was bruised for our guilt and iniquities; the chastisement [needful to obtain] peace and well-being for us, was upon Him and with the stripes [that wounded] Him we are healed and made whole’ Isaiah 53:4-5 AMPC

The dream raised the issue of those spectating and embarrassed about what they were seeing – they scorned at his suffering and shame . But I say it was the Apostle Paul who said, I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ , it is the power of God unto salvation. (Romans 1:16 ) .

Jesus was bruised and broken as He navigated those streets to his death. He did this for us. Not many ran to his aid save (we are told) Simon of Cyrene who incidentally was a black man.

The way of the cross is open for all and is not about color but I need not comment on the experience of this group of my forebears in history and our Father will make redress in time.

Significantly, I believe the dream points to the duty of bearing the burden and hear of the day and carrying the cross as He did.

What is the cross?

For sure, it is as Jesus taught . It is about denying yourself, standing in the gap for others, healing the broken hearted and setting captives free – it is about showing mercy to the poor and dejected. It is about giving assistance to the halt, the lame and the blind. This was the symbolism in the dream not necessarily about my earthly Father, who is now at rest. The dream also shows the role females continue to play in bringing the message of the cross. Jesus had and continues to have special compassion for the widow and the fatherless.

The dream reminds me also of Mary and Joseph seeking a place for the Messiah to be born. The Lord continues to look for a place that is worthy, where he can find rest, eat and where his soul can be satisfied.

It was the Lord who implored through the prophet Isaiah , ‘..heaven is my throne and earth is my footstool (but) where is the house that ye build me and where is the place of my rest ?’ Isaiah 66:1.

Elsewhere in the book of Haggai, the Lord rebuked Israel for making and dwelling in cieled houses, when his own house, was left laying to waste. The prophet went on to warn of a time of famine coming, despite the labor and efforts that the people had put in. The prophet admonished that whilst they were working hard (dead works) their substance was being put into ‘a bag with holes’ and there was an urgent need for them to consider their ways. (seeHaggai 1:4 and onwards).

I want to say that God doesnt need our help or our religiosity to build. He wants us to submit and surrender to his ways and walk the road he walked to the cross. He is seeking a place of rest.

It was interesting to see the crowds waiting outside this public house jostling for position and place. It was clearly a time of desperation as we have seen in this generation and our time. I believe it is only a small reflection of what is still yet to come. May the Lord help us and give us to grace to stand. May we never be found wanting or waiting in the wrong queue.

The Bible warns that wide is the way that leads to destruction and many there be that find it , but narrow is the way that leads to life and few there be that find it. (Matthew 7 :13-14) . In the last days many will be running to and fro seeking refuge and rest and the word of God, but cannot find it.

There was a distinct check in the dream not to go into this place, even though it would have given us respite but it wasn’t the Lord’s house and I feared my Father would have again been bruised. Many of us continue to bruise the Lord by the wrong choices that we make.

There have been many creative ideas to extend kingdom in our time, but we must take care that we are not deceived and to be careful where our feet take us ie not to mix or have fellowship with unbelievers. In the dream , there was potential room at this inn, but it was not appropriate to take Father there.

The Bible warns that we ‘….cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of the devils , (we) cannot be partakers of the Lord’s table and the table of devils’. 1 Corinthians 10:2. It is the Holy Spirit that will draw souls and we don’t need to stoop to the dictates of the world or try this or that just to fit in. Our Father will make and give us provision and our meat in due season. Let Him lead us where He will.

It was concerning to see good food being thrown out by those serving . I think simply put, the dream is saying a couple of things , warning us about not giving what is holy to dogs (Matthew 7:6 ; 15:26 and Mark 7:27) , to remember the poor and to be careful how we use what He (our God) blesses us with.

Many are seeking, looking for food and I don’t think this relates to just physical food alone. Many are seeking the unadulterated word of God but there is a dearth and famine as the scriptures had already warned us there would be in the last days.

James 2: 15 tells us ‘if a brother or sister be naked and destitute of daily food and we say ‘depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled, yet we give them nothing needful for the body, what does that profit us ?‘. How often have we seen or experienced this in our time and been guilty too of not going that step further. It is not of God to see the need and just pray or say ‘I will pray’ and not attend to the need when we have it by us. We have to reach out and come out of our ceiled houses and also from behind our screens, to see or meet with our brother or sister and minster to their needs. May the Lord help us as we reflect on how we might have been.

It was the prophet Jeremiah in Lamentations who lamented on the Lord’s inheritance being turned to strangers and the Lord’s house to aliens, leaving many as orphans and fatherless and mothers as widows. Interestingly in the dream the color of my Father was significant to me – ‘a black man’ – I am black also, so the dream was pointing to deeper things and in context.

I have already commented on the man that helped to carry the burden of the cross, above. In Lamentations the color black is used as synonymous with famine which is what I had also picked up in the dream ie this was happening in a time of social distress and unrest.

I quote Jeremiah’s lament here Lamentation 5 verses 1- 18 for ease and as it is also a prayer for restoration

Remember, O LORD, what is come upon us:

consider, and behold our reproach.

Our inheritance is turned to strangers,

our houses to aliens.

We are orphans and fatherless,

our mothers are as widows.

We have drunken our water for money;

our wood is sold unto us.

Our necks are under persecution:

we labour, and have no rest.

We have given the hand to the Egyptians,

and to the Assyrians, to be satisfied with bread.

Our fathers have sinned, and are not;

and we have borne their iniquities.

Servants have ruled over us:

there is none that doth deliver us out of their hand.

We gat our bread with the peril of our lives

because of the sword of the wilderness.

Our skin was black like an oven

because of the terrible famine.

They ravished the women in Zion,

and the maids in the cities of Judah.

Princes are hanged up by their hand:

the faces of elders were not honoured.

They took the young men to grind,

and the children fell under the wood.

The elders have ceased from the gate,

the young men from their musick.

The joy of our heart is ceased;

our dance is turned into mourning.

The crown is fallen from our head:

woe unto us, that we have sinned!

For this our heart is faint;

for these things our eyes are dim.

Because of the mountain of Zion

My own prayer

Father we thank you for your word. At the entrance of your word is light.

Thank you for you desire us to walk as you walked and live as you lived here on earth and without compromise. Thank you that you have chosen us to bear the cross with you and our desire is to do as you would wish us. To go where you send and to not be afraid of the faces of men.

Thank you Lord that through love you were bruised for our iniquities and the chastisement of our peace laid on you and by your stripes we are healed . We declare we are not ashamed of bearing your cross or the gospel which is the power of God , our Father unto salvation, to the Jew first and to the Gentiles.

Lord you seek all those who desire to know you. You are no respecter of persons. Let those that seek you find you.

Lord helps us to use what you have given us well not to throw what is holy to dogs, but to distribute to all fairly.

Lord we see in our time how sin is represented across our society and as Jeremiah prayed above , both princes and politicians are caught up in scandal , children and women in peril, there is much darkness and the crown has fallen from many heads.

Lord as you help us to consider our ways, forgive where we have fallen short of your glory. Where we have paid lip service to others and traded things to fit in with the crowd and the call of this world. Help us in this dark hour to wait on you and not to seek to build our own empires. To shine as your sons and daughters continuing to bear the cross and despising not the shame.

Lord we want to make room for you , to find you a place of rest with us, in our hearts.

Move us out of the way where we cause road blocks and frustrate the gospel, leaving many destitute for your fresh and Holy word.

These and other mercies I ask in your Name

Your daughter

15/1/22

Reviewing Matthew 8

Reviewing Matthew 8
JANUARY 13, 2022

Matthew 8

I wrote this in 2020 (which seems a life time now). The review is not exhaustive .

I write as instructed not necessarily for an audience nor to attract likes…! However, as my daughter is in the book of Matthew, I thought I’d resurrect it, share it with her and cascade wider. The word always locates those God intends it to. It is His word. It is His work.

Oh the beauty and joy of electronic devices – that ‘saves’ materials, ‘keeps’ memories and ‘satisfies’ 🙃It always amazes me to look back on what I wrote in another season and why and whether there is any growth or change to my understanding . Let us use these devices for good and to advance kingdom.

Reviewing Matthew Chapter 8

Matthew 8 touches on the healing ministry of Jesus, but essentially the ability of the individuals to receive what Jesus gives or brings, by faith.

The passage commences with the symbolic message ‘he came down from the mountain ’. A picture to me of Jesus now rolling up his sleeves and getting ready to work… This should have resonance for us ie we have to go up to the mountain to be filled and be connected with God (prayer and fasting) and then come down to do the works of God on the level of the people.

Matthew harmonizes with Romans 10, highlighting that the same faith in us to receive salvation, is the same faith we must exercise to receive or do the works of God. The word of faith is forever close by, even in our mouths and in our hearts as chapter 8 of Matthew exemplifies, by the centurion whose servant was healed and the leper who was cleansed.

With the leper, we see that it was clear that he recognized the inherent power of Jesus and his ability to heal ie ‘you can make me clean’ (emphasis on the ‘can’). He knew it in his heart and he spoke it with his mouth. From the abundant need and belief in his heart , his mouth spoke. He said something. You have to say something… This is the same for salvation and for healing.

With the centurion the delegated authority that he knew Jesus had (akin to the authority he had over his own servants) was sufficient for faith to work on his behalf and from a high level, but he also humbled himself. He said ‘speak the word only’ – ie you dont need to come to my house – Simply put : I understand and accept the anointing on your life, Further, I believe in you and understand chain of commands-let your word now do the work, and it did.

Jesus marveled at the centurion particularly as he had not seen such faith amongst his own people. Elsewhere we see in the scripture he was hampered to do much work amongst his own people, due to their unbelief. Confirming the words in Malachi ‘ from the rising of the sun to the going down the same, my name will be great, amongst the Gentiles’. Malachi 1:11

Thank God for that door that was opened to us to have access to healing and salvation and to become spiritual Israelites.

That said, the Chapter is a salutary reminder of the need to bear fruit worthy of repentance, or the kingdom will be taken away from us and given to those who bring forth (see also later chapter of Matthew 21:43).

What is the message of Matthew 8 ?
Father is seeking personal trust and walk of faith; one that produces submission and obedience . I see this both for the ministered to and the minister.

As can be seen with Jesus and the centurion’s posture .. Jesus came down and did not scorn the leper – the Centurion also humbled himself to receive on behalf of another. He recognized hierarchy even though he too was a man of authority and holding a degree of power. Father is wanting us to bend the knee… and our hearts… he is seeking a positive confession of the acknowledgement of the Lordship of Jesus Christ, not just for ourselves, but to help others.

May God help us. He won’t wait forever – it is very much a whosoever will. Believe it in your heart and confess Him and that thing you desire with your mouth, and it will be yours by faith.
I repeat – it is the same faith and person that you lean on for salvation JESUS -which is the same faith and person that will give you the ‘salve’… salvation…. healing for your body, and address emotional, financial and spiritual issues again for yourself and others .

Prayer

Father we know that faith without works is dead. We ask that you increase our ability to believe that you came to set the captives free. Healing is our bread and you are just waiting to bestow upon us if we just believe.

Help us to exercise simple faith in what we say and do.
Help us to acknowledge you as Lord and be willing to let you administer your healing power to us and so that we can be free to help and witness to others.

Teach us the good and perfect way to walk in authority and as your ambassadors of the kingdom.

Take not your anointing or your Holy Spirit from us, but empower us to do of your good pleasure.

Help us to trust that you are in control and that we need not be anxious for anything.

Help us to give you a place of rest in our hearts so that you can continue to manifest yourself to us, to the world and to those in need.

With your word (and in our mouths expressed), we know devils, demons , disease and decay will flee, and the sick healed and recover in our churches and the environments you have placed us.

It is time for us to bring forth those precious seeds. Help us to speak the word only.

This I ask in your precious Holy Name

Evangelist Linda J UK

Written 9/1/2020

Edited & Reposted 13/1/22

The savour of life unto life

I dreamt I was ministering to a few people in a house church, but it was like a school room.

I was busy trying to get the video to work to go with the worship but to no avail. The people were waiting for me to begin. I was nervous as I hadn’t anticipated such a gathering, nor that I would preach or lead on this particular occasion, but as I turned round the place was full and filling up. All eyes were on me.

My sister Cherry was there in the audience as were T & T from M24. I was bundling my tools together including my old bible to begin, but I hadn’t prepared a scripture. I knew I should have been prepared to roll at any opportunity but I knew I wasn’t. I felt out of practice.

All of a sudden the word came and started to flow through me . I didn’t begin with ‘Good morning’ but

‘.. thanks be unto God, which always causeth us to triumph in Christ, and maketh manifest the savour of his knowledge by us in every place’ 2 Corinthians 2:14

I went on using the light of the world and the salt of the earth and seasoning – ie wherever we go we should be emitting a light, a sweet fragrance and also taste good . The audience smiled and there was engagement. I could feel the anointing at work.

I asked the question whether they thought that was true of themselves ie what scent they were giving off /giving to the world – whether they felt they tasted good.

Then I heard me use the link scripture

As He is so are we in this world. 1 John 4:17

I then launched into ‘come taste and see that the Lord is good’ – preparing to catch a soul – but my daughter then closed the front door going out to work early this morning and disturbing my sleep. I woke up from the dream.

What was interesting in the dream was that people were seeking, enthusiastic, needy and expectant – they had (if you like) their hearts open. These people hadn’t been given an invite nor had they been marketed by anyone, but the Holy Spirit had clearly drawn them to this place. I saw three people who were ‘church people’ but the rest were people I didn’t know – they looked like seekers. I got a sense this was current event/era happening in Covid time.

The dream also shows we don’t need props and equipment, but that the word of faith is in us. The anointing is present and at work through the sharing of the word. We must be ready and prepared to do of His good pleasure and to give an answer for the reason of our hope. We must have faith to just ‘ do’ . His word says ‘open our mouths and He will fill it’ Psalms 81:10. People are ready waiting. The dream showed, they are coming in! The Lord is depending on us.

I close today with the key scripture, with extension :

For we are unto God a sweet savour of Christ, in them that are saved, and in them that perish: 16 To the one we are the savour of death unto death; and to the other the savour of life unto life.

2 Corinthians 2: 15-16

There will always be those at different levels of inquisition, knowing and need. Ours is just to speak. He will do the rest.

PRAYER

Father we thank you. We thank you because you are our ever present help in the time of need. Indeed you are the sweet smelling savor ever present and willing to work through us for your purposes here on earth – to catch souls.

Lord, we have become complacent and unprepared for the ‘setups’ that you have prepared for us on the way. You want to use every one of us in our small corner. We have delegated our ministries to others, depending on props and equipment to help make you attractive to the world. You are already altogether lovely and nothing can compare. We need add nothing but to speak .

Lord, take us back to basics . Help us use the gift that you have already deposited in us to reach the world – a world that is waiting. We have been in the school room of learning far too long and it is time to rise. It is time for us to run with what you have deposited in us so that other can taste and see that you are good.

Lord, help us to know this is not our work, but your work and you are waiting . It is you who convicts, saves and satisfies. We are simply conduits of your manifold blessings.

Increase our faith to do of your good pleasure. Ever ready willing and waiting to speak the word instant in season and out.

Thank you Blessed Holy Spirit that it is you who draws men. No one can come unless you call. Those who seek will find. You Lord will do great and mighty things if we simply obey and remain available.

Your word says that we should preach the gospel to the whole world and that you will be with us always. You will do your wonders in our time.

Increase our faith in you. Fill us to overflow so that we will be the fragrance of light and life in the dark and essential food for others.

Linda J UK

3/1/22