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Dear Friend of Mary Craig Ministries,
God preserved life through 2009 (I will put a difference between My people and not-My-people). 2009 was a year of plague and judgment; it is through judgment that deliverance comes. 2010 will be a year of establishment.
God of all grace who has called believers unto His eternal glory
by Christ Jesus, after that we have suffered a while,
will make us perfect (mature), establish,
strengthen, settle us. (1 Peter 5.10). .
2010 will see, he that is unjust, let him be unjust still; and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still; and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still, and he that is holy, let him be holy still. (Revelation 22.11) We will see more people settled in either faith or unbelief where Jesus Christ is concerned. We will see the battle lines against Apollyon drawn deeper. We will see greater sharpness of division between light and darkness. We will see the blood of martyrs rousing the Lion of Judah to strike His enemies. Those who are willing to be made strong in the Lord will overcome by faith. (Ephesians 6.10; 1 John 5.4) A greater anointing will cost in terms of repentance from sin unto life, selflessness, surrender, sacrifice, and suffering; but as the veil of our flesh is rent, the light of God's glory will be released.
If we want to move from grace through suffering to glory, we must be sober and vigilant. We must watch. The devil (the accuser and slanderer) roams around like a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour. Always respect the enemy, just not as much as you fear the Lord. Do not joke about Satan, challenge him in some rash moment, ignore him, or underestimate him or his kingdom of darkness. Do not blame everything on the devil.
Recognize that Satan is the great pretender, destroyer, accuser, murderer, thief, and father of lies, among other things. He prowls, desiring to attack suddenly, viciously, and upon an unsuspecting victim. He is in active rebellion against God. What might he cause? Bizarre or violently irrational evil behavior (Mark 1.24; 5.2-5; 9.18; Acts 16.16-18; Rev. 2.10); malicious slander and falsehood in speech (John 8.44; 1 John 4.1-3); increasing bondage to self-destructive behavior (Mark 5.5; 9.20); stubborn advocacy of false doctrine (1 John 4.1-6); sudden and unexplained onslaughts of emotions contrary to God's will and inappropriate to the situation (Ephesians 6.16); and spiritual uneasiness or discernment of spiritual evil (1 Cor. 12.10). Be babes in evil. (1 Cor. 14.20)
Let us be sober, resisting the devil, firm in our faith. Be confident that God will intervene as we engage in active, determined opposition, which might include confrontation. 1 Peter doesn't tell us how to resist the devil. All positive resources of the Christian life should be used, everything known to date. When that isn't enough, go to God for wisdom and revelation. As we humble ourselves before Him, we get more grace and more anointing on our lives. Use prayer, the word of God, praise, worship, the help of fellow believers, verbal rebuke of the enemy (Luke 10.17-20; Acts 16.18), renewed holiness of life, and living in the whole armor of God. Rout out doubt, all forms of it. Seek doubt's remedies. Seek God for repentance. Ultimately, this thing is between us and God. Get things right with God, and God will take care of the devil!
Recognize that you and I, we are not alone. People throughout the world experience suffering just like we do. Our circumstances are not unique or unusual. Expect to have an enemy. Be sober. Be vigilant. He's out there. But so is the God of all Grace.
Before resisting the devil, we need to humble ourselves before God. Get before the Throne of Grace (Hebrews 4.16), submit to God, and then resist the devil. (James 4.7) The devil is under our feet when we are seated with Christ in heavenly places. (Ephesians 1) We do our warfare from the throne room, not on the way up. Satan will clear the airwaves (he's the prince of the power of the air) as we worship God alone. Honor the Blood of Christ, for no flesh will see His glory and only the Blood sacrifice of Christ gives access into the Holy of Holies.
After we have suffered a little while, who knows for how long, the God of all grace will restore us. He will make us fully prepared and complete with respect to any resource or ability which we have lost through this suffering. He will equip us and adjust things to fit together. He will "mend the nets." God will perfect us in this way.
God will establish us. We will become steady in our stand for Christ, fixed firmly, set fast. He accomplishes this by His truth (2 Peter 1.12). He will establish us firmly in any position, rightful privilege, or responsibility which this suffering has taken from us. As we are established, we will not be moved by persecution or led away by false doctrine.
God will strengthen us. He will give us His strength to meet the demands of each day. For any weakness we have been made to suffer, for any inadequacy for overcoming evil, He will strengthen by His grace. His grace is sufficient for that weakness.
God will settle us. The word means "to lay a foundation," as in Hebrews 1.10. We will be grounded and founded with our faith settled (Matthew 7.24-27; Colossians 1.23). We will not be tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine. We will have our faith firmly in place. God will firmly place us in any rightful place from which suffering has wrongfully removed us.
All loss will be made right. God, the God of all grace, has called us into His eternal glory in Christ. We will be summoned into the midst of that glory in Christ, in union with Christ, and share in that glory. Look to God's power and rule over a world where so much evil abounds and seems to have the upper hand. God's grace overcomes any suffering in this life. Count on it. To Him be glory and dominion (kratos) forever and ever. Amen.
To establish means to support, sustain, bear up, uphold; to be set up, stationed, firm, healthy; to set, place, be planted; to be in a position of authority; to institute, to make firm, to introduce and cause to grow and multiply; to bring into existence, to found; to put in a favorable position; to gain full recognition or acceptance; to put beyond doubt; to prove.
God establishes His covenant (Genesis 6, 9, 17) and the new covenant in Christ's blood (Hebrews 10.9, Hebrews 8.6). He establishes His people as a holy people to Himself (Deut. 28.9) and sets His sanctuary in their midst (Ex 15.17; Ezekiel 37.26). God establishes His word (Ps 112; 1 Samuel 1.23). He established David's kingdom, his throne and house, forever. (2 Samuel 7; 2 Chron. 9.8) because God loved Israel to establish them forever (Is 9.7). A throne is established by righteousness (Prov. 16.12) and a godly king is to do justice and righteousness.
God establishes boundaries (Pr 15.25), something important this year as God upholds the laws of establishment, i.e., God's administration of authority and government over all mankind for the purpose of protecting individual freedom and preserving life. (Romans 13) Thus it will be important to have respect for authority, respect for truth, to protect human freedom and comply with the laws of society so far as biblically possible, and to not use God's name for false pretext. God judges between what is living and what is dead and establishes boundaries between life and death, between what leads to life and what leads to death.
In Brazil there is a place where two rivers meet. I have been there. One is teeming with life; in the other, no life can live. If something living gets pushed or swims from the living waters into the river of pollution and death, it dies almost instantly. So it will be as God calls His people to be the holy Bride of Christ, to walk the narrow way that leads to life. Remain in the river of living waters.
God establishes glory in the land of the living. (Ezek 26.20). He establishes His shepherds, His prophets and apostles. (Ezek 34.23; 1 Sam 3.20; 2 Cor. 1.21). God establishes creation (Ps 24, 78, 93, 96, e.g.) and the testimony (Ps 78, Ps 81). It is God who establishes equity (Ps 99) and justice (Is 42.4) in order to establish the land (Prov. 29.4).
God will establish His people according to the gospel (1 Thess. 3.2, 3.13). He will establish believers in every good word and work (2 Thess. 2.17). He will establish believers and guard them from the evil one. (2 Thess. 3.1) He will establish our steps (Ps 40.2, Pr 4, Is 54.14). He establishes the law through the Gospel. (Romans 3.31) Ask for it. Pray. Trust Him to sanctify. What can we do?
1. Establish justice in the gate. Hate evil and love good. Amos 5.15
2. Establish your hearts. James 5.8
3. Believe the Lord and you will be established. 2 Chron. 20.20
4. Commit your works to the Lord and your thoughts will be established. Prov. 16.3
5. Discover, develop, and deploy your spiritual gifts. Romans 1.11
6. Be established in the faith. Colossians 2.7
7. Establish the heart by grace. Hebrews 13.9
8. Be established in the truth. 2 Peter 1.12
An MCM mission team, under Rev. Jim Craig, is called back to Israel and the Galilee in March. This is the fourth call to Israel. For more, go to the Prophetic section. There is also a call to China and back to Asia as the Lord wars with the king of death and destruction. By God's grace we will press in to new nations this year, in His Name, for His glory.
At Craighouse® we are actively ministering to those seeking healing, deliverance, help, and hope. 30% of those at our Craighouse® Christmas dinner this year were homeless. This month we begin again The Monday Night Thing, a Christian 12-step strategy for breaking bondages of all kinds. For the current schedule, go to www.craighouse.org.
We thank you for giving as we take the gospel around the world and across backyard fences. Please continue to give generously, gladly, graciously, and as the Holy Spirit guides.
MCM gave more than a tithe of its gross income to 12 other organizations this year; your giving multiplies as you give to Mary Craig Ministries. You are touching lives through your gifts; and we pray God's richest blessings upon you as He establishes you, and us, in 2010.
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.
And the Lord make you to increase and abound in love
One toward another, and toward all people, even as we do toward you:
To the end He may establish your hearts unblamable in
Holiness before God, even our Father,
At the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all His saints. 1 Thess. 3.13
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