Blockages – 2018.11.27

But my righteous one will live by faith.
And I take no pleasure in the one who shrinks back.
Hebrews 10:38

So God speaks to those who have come to believe Him, who have accepted Jesus as their redeemer, who are filled with the Holy Spirit. But sometimes there are blockages in us.
Believe blockages can arise when severe illness attacks us. But when I lack faith that Jesus can heal me, then there will be a brother who has the power to pray with me for healing.
But sometimes there are hidden reasons for sickness, open doors for the tortures of the enemy. There are other brothers who are especially capable of uncovering these backgrounds, so that Jesus now can work.
It may be that a third brother has to come in to see if everything is psychologically healthy. Severe traumata may have occured in childhood which burden him and make him unhappy. This brother can pray for these emotional wounds so that the soal is purified.
God does miracles.
Sometimes the blockage is simply the ill-making sin that we do not want to let go. In this situation it takes a loving brother who reveals this and pray for forgiveness and release that healing can take place.
We often also need brothers who help and encourage us to forgive when others have done us severely wrong so that we finally get well at soul and body.
There are may gifts. Nobody has them all, and nobody has none. We are dependent on each other. Therefore a prayer in communion with many is far better!  We do not want to shrink back and live in faith on low flame. We are ready to receive all what God wants to give us. Away with all the blockages that prevent us from receiving God`s goodness. Enter into the fullness of life and take the joy of the Lord.

Thank You, Jesus, You have a solution for every problem. If we only would listen to You. Forgive, if we think to small of You, do not trust You, encourage us to become big and strong in faith.

In vain? – 2018.11.26

Put out into deep water, and let down the nets for a catch.
Luke 5, 4

Many people stood on the shore of the lake and wanted to hear Jesus. Then He asked Peter for a place in the boat, and that he should row a little distance from the shore. After the sermon Jesus said the verse above to Peter. But he was astonished, he knew his lake; – there were no fish at noon. But when He said it, Peter wanted to try it. And indeed, the net was overflowing, so they needed help. Peter was overwhelmed: He, the fisherman, had found his Master, and he knelt down before Jesus. He realized he was only a sinner, but Jesus is more, much, much more! Even the lake and the fish obey him! Jesus said to Simon Peter: “Do not be afraid! (Peter was afraid of the supernatural, of a God in human form; it was scary to him, that’s why he was afraid). From now on you will catch people.” Peter and his people left everything behind and followed Him.
Many, many Christians struggle with all their might for the Gospel, but it is very laborious, without much success, and they have become tired. The Lord is waiting for this chance. It is as it was with Peter. They were sitting after a long night’s work mending the nets. They had caught nothing. And there Jesus comes and gives the word: “Go out onto the lake! Jesus went with them. That is probably the decisive thing: He is present, He is the captain. He determines when and where the nets are thrown. That is why listening was so important before the catch: he learned to trust in Jesus. Without prayer, nothing happens except endless activities that don’t bring much, but cost a lot of strength. So, once again: first our own futile attempt, then listening to Jesus and trusting Him, then His command: go now, go there! And obeying by doing what HE silently tells us to do. And then: HE fills the net. It is certainly not our ability, experience, merit or talent. That is why the frustration was so important before, so that HE gets the honour and not ourselves.
If you also belong to the tired, disappointed workers of God, then please take courage again: it is His plan. Now HE can finally work. Remain in silence until HE begins to speak. He will clarify many things in your life beforehand and then at some point His Word will come: “Go out and throw out the nets! ….. and the net will become full.

Thank You Jesus, for Your word for me! I had already given it up, but You raised me up again, gave me courage and sent me out. Actually I didn’t want any more …. but at Your word I dared. And it has become a blessing for many. Thank You that You can still use me for something! You are so wonderful, Jesus!

No condemnation – 2018.11.25

Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus,
Romans 8:1

Hallelujah! God made me free! He send Jesus to bear my sins, now the sins are gone and exterminated. Now I can not be charged, convicted, or condemned by anyone.
Sometimes I remember stupid mistakes. And I notice how feelings of guilt start growing. But Jesus doesn’t want this to happen! He reminds me that all sin has been taken away. If I agree to it and start to praise Him His Spirit will work within me and I will start believing that my sins are forgiven and that I am free. Now I don’t want to think about those old stories anymore, because when I do guild and condemnation will rule again.
Sometimes others will remind me of my failures. But then I can turn to the Lord and He will ensure me, it is over. It is forgiven and forgotten.
From time to time the devil will have some fun with me and he remembers me of all my wrongdoings. He rubs my nose into it and asks if I am sure that I am a christian, surely Jesus couldn’t use someone like me. But the enemy is a liar and I don’t want to listen to Him but to the word of Jesus. I can trust the word of Jesus.
The note of debt that bound us is teared up and erased since Jesus died on the cross. As long as we are with Jesus Christ there is no condemnation anymore! If God doesn’t judge us, who are we to do so anyway? We are not allowed to condemn others as well. Instead we should praise Jesus and glorify God for the wonderful redemption and deliverance! This thankfulness will turn our focus away from our sins towards Jesus and we will gain freedom and joy. The Spirit of the Lord is changing our heart if we praise Jesus and we will believe truly.

Yes Jesus I want to praise You because You saved me! I can’t be condemned by nothing and no one, not even by myself. You own me. You live within me and You make me happy, free, and joyful. It’s great that You are with me!!

My God – 2018.11.24

I have said to you: You are my servant!
I have chosen you and not rejected you.
Do not fear, for I am with you;
do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I help you, yes, I strengthen you,
yes, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. …
For I am Lord, your God
who takes hold of your right hand
and who says to you:
do not fear, I will help you.
Do not be afraid, O worm Jacob,
o little Israel!
For I myself will help you, declares the Lord,
your Redeemer. …
But you will rejoice in the Lord
and glory in the Holy One of Israel.
Isaiah 41: 9-10, 13-14, 16

What a great word of God for us, for you and for me. How much comfort and strength are in it. You should let melt each word in your mouth.
God had said it: You are my servant! An He keeps His word for ever! It is and it will remain so: You are His!
He has chosen you and did not reject you. How many people ignore us, but God is not despising us. He has mercy on us, no misery is too big for Him.
He is the great God who created heaven and earth. And this God says to me: Fear not, I am with you! I am your God and uphold you with my righteous right hand. He will help me. I am certain about that. He will not expose me to the wickedness of men. He, my Saviour, is here!
I am only a worm, a little one. I cannot change the world. I cannot do anything against earthquake, flood and drought. I am helpless, cannot rescue myself when I am suddenly in a hail of bullets, or when a bombe is exploding near me. But He is my Lord! He takes me by my hand, helps me and redeems me. The injustice may rage as it likes. I am safe in my Lord! He is stronger!

Thank you, Jesus, in your presence I need not to fear anything. You take me by my hand and walk with me through the day and through my whole life. You are my powerful, wonderful God!

Our daily bread – 2018.11.23

Give us this today our daily bread.
Matthew 6, 11

Self-pity and envy are our worst enemies.
Lord, now I’ve been eating porridge for 6 weeks and the neighbour who never prays is eating fried chicken today. Oh Lord, how I would love to have what he is having! Couldn’t you send me a fried chicken just once? ….. Self-pity paired with envy.
Lord, my neighbour already has his fourth Audi A8 and I, your servant, still ride a bicycle! Is that fair? Lord, do something! ….. Envy paired with self-pity.
Where is our faith that the Father in Heaven cares for His children? Everybody, especially some Christians, can only moan. But only a few can eat porridge and ride a bicycle cheerfully and gratefully.
What has God promised us concretely? Eating and being satiated. Drinking. Clothing. A roof over our heads. Work to nourish oneself (and not lying on others’ pockets, not even the social welfare office).
What causes us to not like how God cares for us? Self-pity, envy and lack of humility. Once we have gone through this school, God can take us one step further and provide us abundantly with everything.
I think of the children of Israel in the desert. How they complained! Manna every day, always only dry manna and once again manna….. No, how we long for the meat pots of Egypt! – In reality it was thin soup, and flat bread so thin that one could see right through it. – Please, never glorify the past!
Gratitude. It distinguishes disciples of Jesus. Jesus himself did not live in such luxury. He often did not know in the morning where to lay His head in the evening. And yet His life was marked by gratitude. In all situations He knew Himself in God’s hand, even when the storm tried to sink the boat, He slept peacefully in God’s hand. Faith makes you strong! Gratitude makes you happy! Or have you ever starved to death? Gone thirsty? Walked around naked? Slept on the street?
Rather compare yourself with the Christians in North Korea or those in Sudan etc. How well off are you compared to them! Be grateful for your daily care.
Or do you think you really deserve it? Wait until you have cancer, your wife runs away or an accident leaves you disabled. Where is your pride then? What have you honestly earned then? – God, our Father, is our provider. How good it is that HE loves us so much!

Thank You Father, for taking care of me. I don’t have a palace and I don’t have gourmet food all the time. But I am so glad that You take care of me! Thank You for food, clothing, a home and work! How good it is to live with You!

Bride and groom – 2018.11.22

This is a profound mystery; I refer to Christ and the Church.
Ephesians 5, 32

What is meant is the secret of marriage. Many are married, but not exactly happy. Without a partner, as they know, they wouldn’t be, but with their partner they wouldn’t be either. Only a few have a really happy marriage.
Jesus wants something like a happy marriage with His church. He is the lover, the fiancé, the bridegroom, who longs for His church, loves it with every fiber of His heart and wants to have it as close as possible to Him. There is the church, the virgin, the bride, the girlfriend and lover. She longs for the Lord, her Bridegroom, because only with Him is she happy, victorious, safe and joyful.
Jesus has His flock, which He calls together from all denominations, churches. They are His beloved people. He knows each one by name, and He even has a nickname for each one. He wants to deal with each one as a bridegroom does with his bride: to please them, to love them, to carry them. He gives His life for the bride, He loves her so much.
That is why loneliness and the feeling of abandonment is no longer a big problem for those who love Jesus. He is there for them! He is the friend, the beloved, the longed for, the helper, consoler and companion! Please, take Jesus at his word: I am with you every day to the end of the world.
For those who have not made it far in life, Jesus’ word is redemption: they are worth much, much to Him. He is like a bridegroom to them, like a friend. We may entrust all sorrow to Him, and He comforts and helps. If we are full of joy, He rejoices with us. If we are sleepless, He is there, holding our hand and gently stroking our hair. If we are sad, HE builds us up again. If we are in need, HE helps us. He is simply wonderful!

Thank You, Jesus! You seek our nearness and rejoice in us. Yes, we also want to love You, seek You and have time for You. It is You who makes my heart happy! You put an end to my loneliness.  You are there, my beloved, my friend, my helper!

Sacraments, Signs and Holy Symbols – 2018.11.21

“This cup is the new covenant in my blood.
Do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me!”
Jesus says.
1 Corinthians 11:25

The Lord`s supper is a sacrament full of power and life. We are one with Him when we accept it.
The baptism is a sacrament irrevocably valid for the visible and unvisible world.
The cross is a holy symbol.
The marriage is a sacrament like the mystery of the church being the bride of the groom Jesus.
The rainbow is God`s symbol for His grace after the flood.
The Passover lamb as a visible sign points to the death of Jesus on the cross.
The wipes of Saint Peter, that have healed people, are holy symbols.
Our hands, which we lay on the sick, are instruments of God through which the power of healing flows.
Some churches have lost touch with the holy symbols, only fulfill them ritually. In addition they have added they own symbols. That caused other churches to drop them altogether. They do not lay their hands on the sick anymore thinking God can heal without these blessings. They have been alienated from the biblical symbols. They doubt their effect only trusting their own judgement and heart-feeling.
But God has given us these holy symbols. Jesus is really present at the Last Supper. In remembrance of Him He acts in us, changes us.
At baptism in the Holy Spirit He sees the newborn person exactly and rejoices. There is power in the cross when we take it upon ourselves and follow Jesus. Our hands become channels of healing when we lay them on the sick in faith. This may be beyond our understanding. But God wants to show Himself in wonder and signs. Therefore respect and honor them and remain open to their benificial effects. He wants to strengthen our faith by that. He wants to serve us, gives us His hand, makes himself available to us. Let us honor the Lord`s signs and meet Him in them. Just believe in the signs and miracles that bring you closer to Jesus and do not ponder so much about it. If the Christian rituals are not lived with burning hearts they degenerate into superstition. We, however, want to meet and see Jesus only!

Thank You, Jesus, for the signs of grace. They strongly support my faith in You. There is something I can see and which make me strong. How well You understand me! You know that sometimes we need Your signs which lift us up.

The glory – 2018.11.20

Christ in you, He is the hope of glory.
Colossians 1:27

It will be glorious in heaven: golden streets, pearly gates and jewels without end. But, honestly, somehow it wouldn’t be enough for me. It would soon get boring. And if I only ever sing hallelujah, it would also soon boring.
All that wealth, is very nice, but does not satisfy the soul.
All visions of paradise are kind of nice, but really do not satisfy the longing that is in me. Roast pigeons flying into my mouth, lazing under palms for days, carousing and girls … I’m afraid heaven is different than the paradises that have people thought up.
Christ has given us hope, hope of glory. He himself is this hope! Imagine again, He takes everything from you, which oppresses you somehow: illness, weakness, bad thoughts, money worries, boring work, a bad boss, an old car … and then he fills everything with his ideas and his blessing. No more sickness, but strength, good and kind thoughts, sufficient money and no longer the need to worry, exciting, fulfilling work, a friendly boss, and a car of the brand “never-broken” … And then joy without end, peace in the heart, courage and strength, gratitude to God, so that we constantly have to sing to him … Yes, we have about the glory in Christ.
Jesus wants to show His glory now and here to a point. But in heaven, with Him, that glory will be in abundance and without end. Our hope is that Jesus blesses us already here, and helps and is with us. He longs for His children and wants to be with them! So we want to cleanse us from all unrighteousness, and to turn to Him:

Jesus, come! Fill my heart with Your presence and glory!! Cleanse me from dead works that have no meaning. Cleanse me from all unrighteousness, and make room in my heart for you! Although I still live very limited here, but I want to see your wealth and glory here already!

Stay in the country! – 2018.11.19

Trust in the Lord and do good,
dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture.
Take delight in the Lord!
And He will give you the desires of your heart.
Commit your way to the Lord;
He will do this.
Psalm 37, 3-5

Here in Lithuania there are many people who go abroad to work. You earn a lot more there than you do here. The disadvantage for Lithuania, however, is that many, many Christians leave here and leave large gaps.
A head of the family is of course responsible for providing for the family – nobody should go hungry!
But if you can live reasonably comfortably in the country, should you go abroad only because of the money?
In all things we should ask the Lord. And we should not only ask whether He is against it, but we want to know His exact opinion. We belong to the Lord, He will have the answer to such an important question. We want to do what HE thinks is best and be obedient to Him.
I know the plight of some people. A mother from the Ukraine left her children with their grandparents and is now in Hamburg looking after the children of other parents, both of whom are working. She has daily contact with her children via Skype. But isn’t that somehow perverse? She leaves her children and instead takes care of children who only have working parents; – none of these children have parents who are truly present! – And all because of money! Are the children not important enough? Or is there an unknown need behind it?
The Lord makes great promises here in these verses: When I intensively ask for Him and live according to His will, He gives me what is necessary and much, much more. He even knows the  secret desires of my heart and often fulfills them. Yes, so great is our Lord. We, on the other hand, behave as if our Lord were very thrifty, or even stingy.
When I came to Lithuania, I worked like crazy. And yet I almost went bankrupt. Then I gave everything to the Lord and since then I can live without worries and don’t need to work 12 – 14 hours a day anymore. How good the Lord is!

Thank You, Jesus, You know me through and through! You know when I am on the wrong road or on detours. Help me to listen to You – or even better, to always ask before I am in need! I want to go on Your ways, because You are a good Lord to me and take care of me.

Staying alive – 2018.11.18

But you who held fast to the Lord your God are all alive today.
5. Mose (Deuteronomy) 4, 4

Israel had some trials to pass, but many fell away from the LORD and followed other gods or wanted to return to Egypt, into the slavery of sin. But those who remained faithful to the LORD were still alive, and all the others were gone.
It is not so easy to live as a Christian and always be faithful to the Lord. As long as everything is “Hallelujah,” Christ has many followers. But as soon as we have to suffer for His name’s sake, be it by mockery or bad rumors, many leave the Lord of life. As soon as the world lures with fun and pleasure, faith is trivial. As soon as a beautiful woman clambers with her eyelashes, Christ is forgotten … Where are our weak points? Let us rather entrust them to the Lord and seek His help as soon as the seduction comes!
The Bible writes much about the success and happiness of the faithful. But it also writes much about suffering. We must be purified by suffering and brought closer to Jesus. But only suffering and suffering and suffering, God does not allow that. HE has promised salvation and HE keeps it!
Those who proclaim a “Hallelujah Gospel” have a lot of popularity. People travel far to attend these conferences and return confident of victory. But this shortened gospel does not last long in real life.
Likewise, the “gospel of suffering” and constant purification has no endurance. For a long time suffering was overemphasized, and no one wanted to become a Christian anymore, and Christians also looked very joyless, not exactly attractive to others.
The truth lies in the middle. We must go through much suffering, that is true, but our God is there and gives us His Spirit of joy in the midst of suffering. He leads us to the resting places by the water, to the green pastures, and sets the table for us abundantly in the face of our enemies. He is there, and that is the true gospel! HE, the Prince of Peace, whom God has anointed with the oil of joy, HE, the Wisdom, HE is there! and He has an eye on us so that there is a limit to evil. Never will a temptation be stronger than our Lord. Never will it overcome you, for you hold fast to Him.

Thank you, Jesus! You are my rock on which I stand safe. Even if everything is only suffering, I am still safe with you. Thank you for peace, thank you for joy, thank you for your presence! It is worth more than anything I can buy in the world. You are my LORD of life.