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Dear Friend of Mary Craig Ministries,
Before leaving for the MCM mission into China and Asia, I had received this, which I believe is from the Holy Spirit, on December 10, 2010:
2011 will be a year of transition, a year of turmoil, a year of twists and turns in the struggle of good and evil. There is coming a time, times, and half a time when there will be tribulation as the world has not known; yet this is but the beginning of sorrows as the earth groans awaiting the revealing of the sons of God on the earth.
2011 will be a year of stretching as many will find their circumstances stretching their faith. They will wonder as their faith fails and many will not be able to stand in the evil day for these have not known to overcome in the faith of Jesus but have trusted in themselves, in their own faith to "save" them from that hour of trial.
2011 will be a year of turning, being turned in repentance, being turned in a new direction, into a new purpose, into a new vision, into new businesses and ministries.
Many will want to go back into old ways, the old days, but God will not allow new wine into old wineskins. Prepare for the new and forget those things that are behind. Press into the new to gain Christ and to apprehend that for which you have been apprehended. Do not fear the new but embrace the will of God.
For I am with you wherever you go, wherever you are.
As we passed through a year of God's judgment in 2009 and came into 2010, a year of establishment, things began to change and will continue to do so. I think we will see tension and perhaps trauma as things continue shifting to what has been established in 2010. This may put strain, but to those that fear Him, God will continue to protect and provide, pity frames, preserve souls, and bless. If we will trust God's hesed, His covenant mercy, every morning, we will testify to His faithfulness each evening. Psalm 92
This tension arises as the gospel of the Kingdom of God is preached and quietly grows like seed growing in good soil. With the incarnation of Jesus Christ, with His death and resurrection, The Age to Come has broken into human history in This Age. We experience tension as the Kingdom of God is tomorrow, yet it is also today. It is an already, not yet thing. Christ and His kingdom are at war against the enemies of God. In bearing the penalty for sin on the Cross and by rising from the dead to render the demonstration of victory over death, hell, and the grave, Jesus Christ has and is out to ruin, to render inoperative, Satan and his kingdom of evil, the evil of this present age.
In each of our lives, we have choices every day. We can be friends of this world and its cultures and systems and so be an enemy of God, or not. We can indulge in the deeds of the flesh and so find ourselves at war with the Holy Spirit, or not. We can participate in works of darkness and find ourselves at odds with Jesus, who came to destroy the works of darkness, or not. We can puff up our chests in pride and strut around, even before the Throne of God, and find that God resists the proud but gives grace to the humble, or not.
The thing is, for those who are Christ's, the Holy Spirit has an assignment. He is sanctifying believers, preparing them for the power and presence of God's glory, delivering them from darkness, and transforming them inside out. We will feel this tension between This Age and The Age to Come. We have tasted of the powers of The Age to Come and press forward to walk in the power of the Holy Spirit daily.
Cultures will clash. Nations will collide with the Kingdom of God as the kingdoms of this world become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ. I see it. You see it. Tensions will rise as Satan's time is short and God's power spreads…the mystery of the kingdom. Those who appear to the world as weak because they operate in generosity, graciousness, mercy, humility, and serving others in love, will emerge as strong. Those who understand the symbols of the kingdom-the towel and basin, the Cross, and the empty tomb, will increase in favor with God. Those who overcome by the power of the Holy Spirit will flourish; find not only peace with God, but also The Peace of Christ and peace in God. Those who walk in the spirit of sonship will understand that as Jesus is, so are we in this world. (1 John 4.16, 17)
I have just returned from our 40th MCM mission trip. This mission covered seven nations: Singapore, South Korea, Japan, China, Malaysia, Philippines, and Vietnam. We have now taken the gospel of Christ to 72 nations. This high level spiritual warfare mission involved breaking ancient strongholds, breaking blood curses, praying for the peoples, releasing the Word of the Lord over the region, and just "being the messenger."
Surprise struck me. In the Philippines I was surprised to find that cock fighting was the favorite sport. A Roman Catholic Church in Manila had rooster lanterns all around the sanctuary. This blood sport, this shedding of innocent blood, was sanctioned, honored, and engaged in even on Sundays. I found China to be "Disney World" clean and the people efficient, courteous, and forward thinking. Tall high rises and commerce belie the communist government controlling life. I could see the future of the USA moving into godless mammon worship and materialism if God does not bring serious awakening and revival to our nation. I heard of many superstitions and one thing that brought me pause.
There is in some Chinese art the concept of "one stroke." This is the discipline that the first stroke must be the right stroke, that this stroke cannot be erased, and that any stroke that may perchance be wrong cannot be removed, only overcome in the art itself. The idea is this: what a person has done, or what has happened to a person in life cannot be undone. Unlike Western art, which is mostly representation, the Chinese artist sees and then comes in and paints, sometimes to capture a moment in time. The art reflects this in spirit, mood, and emotion. The closest to this "one stroke" discipline would be perhaps the art of the French Impressionists. But the idea that nothing can be undone in life can potentially hinder the impact of the gospel.
You see, forgiveness is a Christian teaching that comes because God sent Jesus to pay the penalty for sin and rise from the dead in a power that enables new life, a new beginning, with old things passing away. (2 Cor. 5.17) People may appear outwardly balanced, beautiful, and even gracious, but without forgiveness and the grace to have new beginnings, one is left with inward shame due to guilt that has no means of being removed. Jesus came to provide the means by which guilt can be removed because sin is paid for with the sacrifice of His body and blood, and thus shame need not ruin. There is redemption, and reconciliation .The gospel offers hope and is the ground of restoration, of new life, beauty for ashes, joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness. Real transformation occurs in body, mind, soul, spirit, and life.
There may be facades of perfection in Asia but no one hides from the Living God. God sees. His Word is not chained. The Kingdom of God is here and it is coming. Jesus Christ is the ruler over the kings of the earth. God and His people will prevail in the power of "basin" ministry, in the power of the Cross, and in the power of the resurrection. In 2011 let's carry this good news as ambassadors, messengers of new life in Christ. And thank you for helping us reach the nations in His Name, for His glory, and by His grace. God's love never fails. In a year of tension and transition, let God draw you closer to Himself. Let Him love you, forgiving you, blessing you, accepting you, in Christ. And then love one another, serving one another in love.
We thank you for giving. We welcome your generous gifts as guided by the Holy Spirit. Mary Craig Ministries actively ministers to those seeking healing, deliverance, help, and hope in Jesus Christ. You are touching lives through your gifts to Mary Craig Ministries. God is blessing MCM tremendously, and we are happy for those of you who partake of this blessing.
Serving the Lord of Glory,
P.S. Go to www.marycraig.org. Order books from our Catalog section using PayPal. Worship with us 4:30 p.m. Sundays. Grow and flourish in small group ministry at Craighouse®, located in the Pompano Plaza at 114 E. McNab Road, Pompano Beach, FL 33060. Log on to www.craighouse.org for a map and more events and Bible studies. Reach MCM at 954-491-7270. Send in your prayer requests.
whatsoever is born of God overcomes the world:
And this is the victory that overcomes the world, even our faith.
Who is the one that overcomes the world, but he that believes
That Jesus is the Son of God? 1 John 5.4, 5
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